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NLP: basic assumptions

Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) forms a set of suggestions whose implementation seeks to improve interactions with the physical environment, improve relationships with others and with oneself. To achieve this, NLP is based on assumptions that, rather than providing absolute accuracy, focus on testing the effectiveness.

That is, it is not empirically test the veracity of the results of the application of certain guidelines, but rather to see how effective that has that application in real life. The theoretical basis of NLP are valid because they are useful, not in terms of the accuracy of its assumptions, but in terms of their effectiveness.

1. People elaborate mental maps of reality.

People have their own representations of the environment in which it moves and also representations about itself. What is considered as the internal reality is that each image is formed on things. You could say that each person develops a mental map of everything around you, always bearing in mind that no map is real or true than another person.

Each subject reacts, thinks or feels according to the map of your personal reality, not from situations. There are the facts that make an individual feel one way or another, it is how to interpret this situation that will determine the reactions, feelings etc.

2. The map is a representation of the environment.

The maps are built by sensory capabilities: visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory and gustatory. When reality is analyzed as a mental map develops a specific neurological pathways involved. For example, if you are watching a landscape are to activate specific brain neurons that are going to help, for example, to store visual information, which was felt at that time, what was heard etc. Later, when voluntarily attempting to retrieve that information, that is, remember, memory access, the memory will be thanks to the activation of the same neurons that participated in the creation of memories.

You can also create linguistic maps where it is to describe reality through verbalization. This is evident when an internal dialogue constantly with oneself is maintained, describing our own reality.

Both verbal and visual maps are used when relating to the environment.

In practice they can be reprogrammed sequences of behaviors that will change emotions, thoughts and feelings from within. Working with memories and experiences is working, directly, with the nerve pathways that later will be used for appropriate behaviors that later, we project outward.

You can also manage internal dialogue to facilitate change; leading him to think in a certain way, but this requires a lot of practice, it is not easy to change the automatic thoughts by new ones, even if they are the most appropriate and beneficial interactions with the environment, with others and with ourselves.

3. What limits people are the few resources they have their own mental maps.

It is impossible for a person wants to make a living as an opera singer if you have innate abilities to do so without knowledge of music or without musical ear. Similarly, there are limitations impossible to solve by their genetic characteristics or the physical environment. For example, it is impossible for a person with physical impairments intends to climb Everest, but it depends on himself gradually start walking, hiking or short walks that can help improve their physical and mental health.

NLP helps to understand the mental maps of those who achieve their goals to “copy” these maps and integrate them to someone else. It is about knowing what steps, thoughts or feelings you have in that person to promote the attainment of its objectives. To know and understand they can be applied to real life in the form of exercises, activities, etc.

4. Only the results should be taken into account.

Avoid or reduce the use of labels such as the failure or error. These terms are just that: words. The downside is that is typically used for self-limiting or belittled. Sometimes things are not as expected but the internal map does not allow the person to change of attitude, because in certain situations the mind acts the same way and repeatedly.

We must change this internal map by a more suitable for things also change. If you always acts in the same way, you can not try to change things as much as you want. The proposal NLP therefore assumes that when something does not work ideally try something different. The exercises proposed by the PNL allow reprogram the mental maps, improving personal development and interaction with the environment.

5. Differentiate between behavior and identity.

Sometimes, people can behave stupidly or irresponsibly. But altruistically, creative, etc. But people are not irresponsible nor geniuses.

There is a difference between being and acting. It can be a certain way, but there are situations in which it acts differently than the person really is. Albert Ellis said the issue by stating that “we” humans and “act” as such, sometimes making mistakes and doing well in others.

6. People act according to the context and choose the best possible option

The problem arises when the maps do not have enough resources to find an alternative option. The use of poor mental maps has the consequence that people have difficulties in problem situations.

Behavior change will occur when the person internalizes other more appropriate ways of acting.

7. Each person consists of different parts

Since psychoanalysis was considered that the human mind is divided into two parts: the conscious and the subconscious. Also from the Transactional Analysis it is considered that personality is made up of three ego states. Almost all schools of psychotherapy somehow fragmenting the internal world.

Thus, each part of one’s identity can have your goals, intencioes, capacities etc. they may conflict.

8. The importance of communication.

People are exchanging messages, continuously, with the external world and with oneself. Thus, the perceived demands of the environment and the needs and frustrations manifest.

9. Communication conscious and unconscious

conscious communication is established when we intend to convey a message by any verbal, written or gestural channels. For its part, unconscious communication is given by way of externalizing which do not have any control.

The unconscious messages are always more reliable than transmitted consciously and voluntarily.

10. The meaning of communication is the result of the interlocutors

After transmission of the message, solely responsible for its interpretation it is the issuer. The intention has been the communicator can be a concrete thing but the receiver displays a different response than I expected.

In the business world, NLP will make a difference in communication, motivation, influence, negotiation, personal development, leadership, power, authority, etc.

Sobre el autor

Iván Pico

Graduado en Psicología (UNED). Nº Colegiado G-5480. Diplomado en Ciencias Empresariales (USC). Máster en Psicología del Trabajo y las Organizaciones. (INESEM). Máster Universitario Oficial en Orientación Profesional (UNED). Posgrado en Neuromarketing (Universidad Camilo José Cela). Técnico Deportivo Nivel II, fútbol sala (RFEF). Especialista en Psicología Aplicada al Deporte. Etc, etc...
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