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Business Applications of NLP – 30 activities for training

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'Business Applications of NLP; 30 Activities for Training'. Roy Johnson and John Eaton. Gower, 1999. A4 ring-binder, 303 pages, £155. ISBN 0 566 08090 7

Gower published in 1996 what, as far as I know, the first UK collection of NLP activities, authored by Johnson (40 Activities for Training with NLP'). Again as far as I know, this current collection is only the second to be so published.

The first collection included activities on goal-setting; self-management; reading people; rapport; communication channels; values; and influence, with an appendix suggests seven training courses including the activities. Also included were 7 suggested NLP programmes This current collection's activities cover visionary leadership; influencing with word; business planning; working with groups; self and people management; unblocking people's potential; beginnings and endings. Ten suggested programmes are included, the subjects covering meetings and negotiation; entrancing communication; motivation; team building; creativity; personal influence; stress management; project management; personnel management; presentations, so extending the range of suggested training areas that can encompass NLP methods.

The activities themselves are creative and imaginative, albeit many of them being reminiscent of a number of activities I have previously encountered in different forms. I am sure the NLP supporters will disagree, but with my examination of the activities, when the NLP-related comments and jargon are excluded offer activities that can be used in virtually any management training programme as straightforward training activities. This does not detract from the value and usefulness of the activities, but perhaps some of them are given an NLP tag to produce a 'revolutionary' difference.

For example, the first activity entitled 'The Team's Vision' sets out to engage a team in creating a vivid picture of its desired future. The activity requires the team to cut out from newspapers and magazines pictures relating to the goal - producing an advert; working together - producing a 'dig for victory' poster; participation - a cartoon; a collage - a built-up collage; reviewing - a photo of a soprano looking at herself in a mirror; and how to do it - a chain of arrows in a Business Links advert; etc. Others require paired activities and discussions, small group work and full team considerations.

In summary I found this an interesting collection of activities usable in a wide range of programmes, many of the methods requiring novel approaches to well-known topics and consequently offer a change of atmosphere from activities in the non-NLP manner that might be becoming stale.

Leslie Rae
August 1999

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