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Resolving Conflicts with Simplicity, the NLP Way

Understanding the Basics of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) NLP, a way of bringing about a desired mental behaviour using language and other types of communication, often uses hypnosis and self-hypnosis to achieve the required change or ‘programming’. Essentially, NLP is a pattern of thought that influences brain behaviour. Language, which is the chief medium of communication, is used to identify and then play out desirable brain behaviour. Developed in the 1970s, NLP was and continues to be seen as a way of communicating with the subconscious through regular conversations. Language, our mode of comprehension and persuasion, is stretched a little beyond it comfortable boundary to communicate with the mind. Along with communicating effectively with others, NLP recognizes the importance of communicating with oneself. Most of us know the feeling of not really getting through to another person who does not speak the same language. In such situations, we try our best to break the thought down and communicate that which is most necessary. Sometimes this works and some other times we fail at getting the message across. In our day-to-day lives, most of us use this kind of hit-and-miss approach while communicating with ourselves. With NLP, one can benchmark or model the best examples of communication and use it for personal growth and development.

‘You can’t always control what happens, but you can always control how you deal with it.’

—Richard Bandler, Alessio Roberti, and Owen Fitzpatrick in ‘How to Take Charge of Your Life: The User’s Guide to NLP’

Why Is NLP Important and What are Its Uses?

Many successful entrepreneurs and companies are using NLP to further their success. A methodology that teaches one on how to organize thoughts, behaviour, emotions, language, and feeling, we can use it to replicate or redo the steps that were taken by the best in the field to achieve the desired success. In other words, with NLP we can codify the steps or the structure that are present in all human activity and then identify and recreate the ones that best suit our needs.

Based on how we interact with the world, we all have ready backdrops or ‘mental maps’, which we use in comprehending information and shaping our responses. With NLP, effective ways of comprehension and processing information emerge that help in changing the ways in which we think about the past, view our present, and approach the future. Today, the need to excel is felt more sharply than ever and students, professionals, even retired individuals are rapidly getting interested in this method. As we realize how new opportunities for success and self-development are first created in the mind, NLP is being used to bring about the necessary positive changes.

What Are Conflicts and How Can NLP Help?

Surely we all understand and relate to conflicts, both inner and outer. Clinically, conflicts are defined as disagreements that often involve arguments. Whether we are in conflict with another person or ourselves—in terms of our beliefs, attitude, and often more typically, between what we had imagined and the outcome—causes us stress and anxiety to say the least. In a situation where there is a difference of opinion, information tends to get filtered. Based on our past experiences, we veer towards that which we have already in some shape or form experienced. While this is a common occurrence, it also leads to valuable information or experience slipping away as we are unable to see or feel it for what it truly is. Coloured by negative impressions from the past, a difference of opinion, that can in many ways enhance our knowledge, due to the pre-existing mental maps, tends to get firmly established as a negative experience, thereby automatically predisposing ourselves to all future arguments as a negative event. And yet we all know that arguments need not be necessarily be negative; some are constructive even necessary. With NLP, ideal communication and behaviour is benchmarked and repeated so as to establish a positive model/structure upon which hopeful, more optimistic experiences can be carved.                

  Resolving Conflicts with NLP

NLP works best if you understand it as a technique, a formula that will fetch the desired outcome provided you apply it properly. Our brain functions on the cause-and-effect principle, i.e. it will see, smell, taste, feel, and hear based on what is transmitted to it; repeated often enough, given half a hint, it will even begin anticipating the outcome (we have earlier referred to it as a mental map/structure). Based on this model, if viewed or experienced negatively, a conflict will always remain negative. Now, vis-à-vis a conflict scenario, imagine a situation where the information which is transmitted isn’t negative; instead it is curious, perceptive, patient, and grateful for the criticism and feedback. Designed especially to tackle conflict scenarios better, NLP gives individuals the ability to improve their communication, mediating, and negotiating skills.       

The following are the three easy techniques that NLP teaches while resolving any conflict:

  1. Learning to ask the precise questions: This is a technique that gets the truthful answer within minimum time and without much effort or coaxing. NLP recommends that the best way of doing this is to step in the other person’s shoes and see things from his/her perspective.
  2. Counselling: Central to this technique is the idea of conveying that the other person is being understood, not interrogated. Once this has been established, communication can be regulated.
  3. Negotiation: This is important as the ability to influence others happens through negotiation. If the conflict involves shouting then it is of course necessary to remain calm and not reciprocate in the same manner; instead it is important to present the other side of the argument in a logical manner without matching either the volume or the angry content. A successful negotiation will have both conflicting parties feeling satisfied not just with the outcome but also with a subtle, more sympathetic feeling that their side of the story was heard and well received.

Conflicts are inevitable—there is no technique or formula that can permanently eliminate this. What can be eliminated is the accompanying stress and thereby the pattern it forms in our brain. In many ways, in overcoming conflicts we are trying to break free from the pattern—the feeling of misery and dread that awakens in the brain.

With NLP the trick is to control how we react to the world, especially since there is very little over which we have control. If we take this as the starting point, our feelings, thoughts, and beliefs seem less absolute, more open to change, and, therefore, easy to control.



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Mind Matrix Wellness Studio is an Accredited ICTA Institute (International Coach & Trainer Association: Europe and Russia, which carries out professional NLP Training Programs based on different methods of personal development and transformation where we share common standards of professional teaching and are united by common coaching approach to transformation supervised by the NLP Master Trainer and the Founder of ICTA and Akasha Healing System: Jack Makani.

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