The 3 pillars of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)

Einstein is famously quoted as defining insanity as “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

You could also call this process, being stuck in a “rut”.

If you’re looking to break out of a rut, then the 3 pillars of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) may be a useful set of guiding principles.

1) Know your outcome – State your outcome using positive language that clearly defines the evidence of success in sensory-specific terms.

  • What will you see, hear and touch that lets you know you’ve achieved your goal?
  • When do you want to achieve the outcome by?
  • Where do you want to achieve the outcome?
  • Who will be involved with or affected by the outcome?

2) Take action – If nothing changes, then no thing changes. By taking action you’re already moving towards the attainment of your goals. Taking an iterative approach to your goal and continually improving your approach is far more effective than trying to make sure everything is perfect before you begin. Perfection is an essential ingredient for procrastination. So start moving and refine on the go!

3) Pay attention to your results – It’s important to determine what’s working and what’s not working in order to maintain the aspects of your approach that are moving you closer to your results. We don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Take time to connect what you’re doing well, with where you’re heading. Then engage in the 4th pillar of the 3 pillars of NLP.

4) If what you’re doing isn’t working, then do something different – Yes, this is a 4th pillar! However, now that your brain has registered the error, this is the one you’re likely to remember the most. It is also the part of the strategy that will enable you to avoid being the embodiment of Einstein’s definition of insanity.

The 3 pillars of NLP are valuable principles to apply to any outcome you set yourself and is a great set of guiding principles for organisations seeking to be agile during times of disruptive change.

About the author 

Paul Mischel

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