No Image Available

Seb Anthony

Read more from Seb Anthony

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Using NLP as a trainer


I'm a trainer and as part of my ongoing development my manager has asked me to look into NLP and how it can help me as a trainer. i was wondering if anyone had any suggestions of materials that I can look at.
Stuart Farmer

15 Responses

  1. Intro to NLP

    Amazon have a great offer on at the moment for an audio CD called “An Introduction to NLP” by Joseph O’Connor & Ian McDermott – ISBN 0007175264 £9.99 New.

    “An Introduction to NLP reveals the techniques you need to achieve excellence in everything you do. Specially designed for audio with listener participation exercises, this CD focuses on communication strategies, using and understanding body languages, successful meetings and more!”
    Hope this is of some use, and good luck

  2. NLP at work
    There is a very user-friendly book called ‘NLP at work’ by Sue Knight. It is a useful introduction to NLP without being too heavy or full of jargon.

  3. NLP Book

    You could take a look at NLP – Skills for Learning which was written about 5 years ago specifically for poeple like you; experienced trainers wanting to apply NLP practically in the training room:

    “Hugely practical and refreshingly straight-forward. A must for any coach, teacher or trainer.” David Nicoll

    “Peter has produced a practical, congruent and elegant handbook that I can not praise highly enough … inspiring, stimulating and highly practical” Stephen Cotterell

    “This really is as good as they say” Karl Tyler

  4. NLP past its SBD
    Bearing in mind NLP was ‘founded’ 30 plus years ago based on some slightly dodgey premises and psuedo-scientific babble, you have to consider whether or not it has any value at all. As successful a franchise as it has been (make no mistake NLP is as much a franchise as certain American meat sandwich outlets and exhibits the same marketing-over-content strategy) there’s not much that you couldn’t pick up for considerably less cost from an old copy of Desmond Morris’ Manwatching (same era as NLP) or from Nick Halls own tour-de-force ‘Paradigm Protocols & Intercognitive Dialogues’ (PPID). OK so I just made that up, but it sounds convincing doesn’t it? If only I could be bothered to add some psycho-babble subheadings and a bit of New (Old) Age mystic relaxation techniques and recycled Eastern philosophy it could be the next Training buzzphrase.

    Before all the NLP ‘Masters’ & ‘Practitioners’ leap to the defence of their corner of the trough – Don’t Panic! I also have a radical new recipe for the meat sandwich that’s gonna make us all rich.
    Nick Hall
    Master-practitioner/Guru/Wizard P.P.I.D.

  5. NLP in Training
    Hi Stuart

    Good for your manager I say, would that all managers were so forward thinking!

    Not withstanding the sceptic views of some philistines…(apologies Nick) I contend that NLP does have a massive role to play in training. Let’s not forget that NLP was actually kicked off by British psychologist and is founded on the work of some of the greatest psychologists and psychotherapists the world has produced. That includes a huge amount of scientific research into how people learn and how our brains are affected by things like linguistics.

    Defence over (for now), there are three books that are really the definitive works on training using NLP, the first is ‘Training with NLP’ by John Seymour and Joseph O’Connor, the second is ‘Effective Delivery of Training Using NLP’ by Ted Garratt and the third is coaching orientated – ‘The NLP Coach’ by Ian McDermott & Wendy Jago.

    Of course there are many other books to recommend tah cover NLP from the general to advanced level specifics (Influencing with Integrity by Genie L Zaborde & Words that Change Minds by Shelle Rose Charvet spring to mind).

    How can NLP help you as a trainer? Well:

    • Creating group rapport faster
    • Dealing with difficult people/situations
    • Highly effective question techniques
    • Improved sensory acuity
    • Getting into the right frame of mind
    • Motivating learners
    • Creating ‘instant’ exercises
    • and on, and on.

    Now I know that pretty much all of that is covered by many other works…but the key difference here is eliciting the difference that makes the difference, that is essentially the heart of NLP, so instead of trawling through loads of reading material and attending several courses, you can get the skills you really need in a far shorter timeframe.

    So where to start?

    If you are new to NLP, get yourself onto a good introduction course, if you let me know where you live I’ll be able to recommend a good provider (there are sadly too many ‘quick buck’ providers out there!).

    From intro you can go on to do a certificated Practitioner Programme, thence Master Practitioner and finally Trainer Certification. NLP is not for everyone, but to be honest it really depends on how you are first exposed to it. Without exception I have found that those who ‘pooh pooh’ the field have had a poor initial experience. Sadly, like so many people they then adopt the attitude that it is ‘balderdash’ and become unwilling to question their own beliefs, thus perpetuating their own limitations. In order to truly develop oneself you must be prepared to question what you believe to be true, growth comes not from staying still but from challenging what we believe we know.

    Hope this helps!


    NLP Master Practitioner & Trainer (just for the record!)

  6. In Defence of NLP
    Happy to delete this response, but Nick’s posting contains much that is emotive about a subject that takes some pretty hard but unsubstantiated knocks. Happy to delete if any of this causes offence, it is NOT my intention to do so. Indeed it is only through having such views posted that discussion and learning occurs!

    “Bearing in mind NLP was ‘founded’ 30 plus years ago based on some slightly dodgey premises and psuedo-scientific babble, you have to consider whether or not it has any value at all.”
    I don’t think the works of Gregory Bateson, Milton Erickson, Fritz Perls and Virginia Satir would be classed as ‘dodgey’ by even the most doubting of believers in psychology or neuro science. Sure NLP doesn’t fit some peoples ‘model’ of the world, but that doesn’t make it valueless.

    Besides, Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning Objectives was founded in the mid to late 50’s, is that now incorrect? Or what about Donald Kirkpatrick’s evaluation model (widely criticised by those who seem to have misunderstood his work…and curiously still at the heart of pretty much every single alternative I have ever seen!). Maybe Freud and Jung are also now out of date and perhaps we should not be using Transactional Analysis, or Meyers-Briggs any more, because lets face it if you were looking for a couple of raving lunatics you couldn’t do much better than Freud or Jung!!!

    We should question, rigorously question theories and systems that have been around for a long time, but lets not start off by assuming they have no value in the 21st century unless we can offer a better alternative!

    “As successful a franchise as it has been (make no mistake NLP is as much a franchise as certain American meat sandwich outlets and exhibits the same marketing-over-content strategy)”
    Franchise? As in ‘the authorisation granted by a manufacturing enterprise to a distributor to market the manufacturer’s products’??? Well….yes, in the sense that most providers of NLP training should be able to trace their roots back to Richard Bandler and John Grinder and of course anyone issuing a certificate that says you have reached a certain degree of skill in the art & science of NLP should be properly qualified & authorised to do so. However that in NO WAY is similar to a true ‘franchise’. I know of no one that ‘markets’ the work of Bandler & Grinder and pays them for the privilege.

    “there’s not much that you couldn’t pick up“
    ‘Pick up’…it is a special and rare gift indeed to be able to pick up new skills just from reading a book or article.

    “New (Old) Age mystic relaxation techniques and recycled Eastern philosophy”
    Is that what you think NLP is? I am truly sorry that you have been so badly mislead.

    Yours truly,

  7. NLP
    Thanks for all your comments folks even the anti NLP. I have done some investigations on the internet and it supports all views as well. I’m currently training systems and softskills (although I hate that term) but I am really interested in the whole NLP area after looking into Transactional Analysis which I found very interesting.

  8. NLP for me
    As a trainer and a NLP practitioner, I have found it immensely useful in day to day training.
    I think to generalise, where the Skills and Knowledge side of training are easier to design and impart, NLP has allowed me to train or affect attitudes towards work or training, in a way that doesn’t feel forced.
    In fact I find that by using NLP, the feedback I have received demonstrates that the SK and A’s of training have been acheived.


  9. Something else to read
    Hi Stuart

    Rather than go on with the debate here, if you let me have your email details I will send you a copy of an article I recently had published in Training & Management Development Methods on “Can NLP Help or Harm Your Training and Development?” – or you can find it on the Emerald Publishing site.


  10. ‘Doing’ NLP
    Hi there

    As others have suggested, there are some good books on NLP and they are worth reading but NLP is really all about ‘doing’, not just having knowledge. I strongly recommend attending an NLP course where you can actually see for yourself how NLP works. The best I have attended is through Pegasus NLP (and even if you decide NLP is not for you, i’m sure you will pick up some valuable training tips from their excellent trainers). I have found my training has greatly improved since attending the courses and would recommend them to anyone.

    Glen Butler
    NLP Practitioner

  11. This thread will run and run!
    Well – here’s this conversation again! I think it’s been running since NLP became more widely known and I’m sure this won’t be the last of its type!

    I’m also a Master Practitioner and Trainer of NLP (which means that I can train and accredit others to be Practitioners and Master practitioners). I would say that NLP is an important and worthwhile part of my toolkit – but is just that – ‘part’ of my toolkit.

    As a lifelong Pragmatist, my main criterion for the efficacy – or otherwise – of any subject is ‘does it work?’ (indeed ‘is it worth a hill of beans?’) and for me the answer with NLP is ‘yes’.

    I find the techniques invaluable, for coaching especially, but much of its value lies in the fact that it’s – mainly – very straightforward and very ‘learnable’.

    There are a few of the NLP population who try to turn it in to something rather more esoteric and complicated (or who use it clumsily) – but for every one of those there are many more who use the knowledge and techniques skilfully and elegantly.

    If I want to cure a phobia, for instance (invaluable for fear of presenting, for example, and my GP brother uses this technique in his surgery to cure needle phobias) or instil some confidence, control feelings (mine or theirs!) and build and maintain good relationships, NLP provides me with a methodology to do so. And I always explain what I’m doing and, where appropriate, teach them to do it for themselves. Of course, getting along with ‘people who are like me’ is not difficult – it’s for those who are not where I think NLP has such a strong advantage!!

    I think that it’s quite right to be sceptical about any ‘fad’ (if indeed it is one) – but would caution against throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

    My copy of ‘Introducing Neuro Linguistic Programming’ by Joseph O’Connor and John Seymour is very battered and much used -and so is highly recommended by me as a great place to start!

    I also think that HR departments should know at least something about NLP – as a tool for their own toolkit, because it’s becoming much more mainstream and because many of their customers know about it!

    Here endeth my twopennyworth – I shall watch this subject with interest!

    best wishes


  12. Marxists defended themselves, too.
    Some bright people that I know quite like the NLP stuff. In the past, some equally bright people that I knew quite liked Marxism. Both would defend their religious beliefs with statements such as: “Sadly, like so many people they then adopt the attitude that it is ‘balderdash’ and become unwilling to question their own beliefs, thus perpetuating their own limitations”
    I do hope that NLP has more value to add to our businesses than this. I hope that I continue to be open to alternative views on such topics, rather than closing out options as the Marxists used to do.

  13. NLP & Religion?
    Richard makes an interesting point here. Marxists defended themselves too…as did the followers of Hitler and Lennin. They all ‘believed’ in what they were doing and were acting from a ‘positive intention’. NLP ‘evangelists’ can often seem to be little more that the ‘new Marxism’, but I think this is a detrimental viewpoint to the fundamentals of NLP.

    The interesting point to note is that ‘NLP’ is classed by the Church as a ‘religion’, though by their definition (or so I understand) so is being a football fan.

    Why do things like ‘Marxism’ and ‘fascism’ hold sway for some people…because they are unwilling to question their own beliefs!

    Are these religions or political viewpoints…and what is the difference?

    If I may be honest, I really couldn’t give a monkeys what anyone thinks about NLP or anything else in private. But I believe that if you are going to have a healthy debate about something then it should at least be an informed one.

    Neither do I see NLP as being a ‘fad’, maybe 20yrs ago, but this is now a main stream discipline, with a well researched and authored encyclopaedia to give creditability to that discipline, backed up by what is fast becoming a highly respected University. OK, so the ‘Uni’ part is a little ‘American’ for my tastes (apologies to our cousins across the water), but with the highly professional bodies starting to become more mainstream (Professional Guild, ANLP, INELPTA etc) this cannot be considered as a gimmick, nor in my humble opinion a ‘religion’…though I understand why others may not share that. Long may they have the right to do so.

    So a question if I may…

    “How is it useful for you to hold on to your beliefs…what ones (as you start to question them) might you now find it is useful to start to change and what would happen if you let go (and you can let go, can’t you) of those that hold you back?”


  14. Greta debate..
    I’m very happy to see that my comments have rekindled the old ‘NLP/Emporers new clothes’ debate and equally glad to see some of the franchise holders jumping predictably to its defence. I’m sure you would agree that anything which encourages people to question their assumptions is healthy, in particular the assumption that because NLP has such a catchy and scientific sounding title and the backing of various ‘Universities’ and ‘Professional bodies’ (none of which are actually universities or professional bodies)that it is a recognised or regulated science. It is not. The International University of Intercognitive Dialogue and Paradigm Protocol Transactions (of which I am President, as of five minutes ago)will offer you similar accreditation for a nominal fee, haha. The great masters of communication Grinder and Bandler went their seperate ways after a row about money, I think that tells its own story.
    In the final analysis, like any other methodology, NLP will work or not for an individual teacher because it is right for them and not because it is scientifically proven or not. And if after looking at or trying NLP they decide that they want to discard it, they are at liberty to choose another set of principles. Or, to borrow a well-known NLP saying: If it works, use it; if it doesn’t, try something else. NH


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!