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One of my favorite books is The Empty Space by Peter Brook (Penguin Books, 1968), the world-famous theatre director. In it, Brook explains Brecht's belief that, in making an audience take stock of the elements in a situation, the theatre is serving the purpose of leading its audience to a more just understanding of the society in which it lives, learning in what ways that society is capable of change. As an example, Brook describes a scene where a girl, who has been raped, walks on to a stage in tears. If her acting touches us sufficiently, we automatically accept the implied conclusion that she is an unfortunate victim. However, suppose a clown were to follow her, mimicking her tears, and suppose, with his talent, he succeeds in making us laugh. His mockery destroys our first response.
Imagine the organization as a stage, the employees as both the actors and the audience. In taking stock of the many situations that occur each day, emotions are stirred in response to the way people act out their roles. These responses are often inappropriate, exaggerated or, perhaps, misguided, manifesting in conflict, inertia, apathy, and withdrawal. Change becomes a struggle, learning suffers, and progress is impeded. If the way forward for organizationsas Brecht suggests for societiesis to take stock of the elements in a situation and learn in what ways the organization can change, then this book can be considered a handbook for the change agent.
Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) is a set of principles, models, and tools for learning, communication, and change. It describes the workings of the mind and how verbal and non-verbal language is used to communicate our thoughts. This, though, is not a book on psychology; for it contains a battery of techniques to help you realize your full potential as a human being in the world of business.
You may be reading about NLP for the first time, in which case you will find this book a simple and direct interpretation, making both the theory and the vast array of techniques easily digestible. If you have some NLP knowledge, or you have attended a training seminar, the comprehensive coverage of the principles, patterns and techniques will provide you with a creative reference manual you will want to use for many years to come. Whatever your level of knowledge and skill, if you want to have more of an influence in the business world, you have in your hands a practical companion packed with tried and tested ways to achieve superior performance.
This book is the result of a collaborative effort, combining the experience of ten highly trained and successful NLP business consultants. Together they have over 50 years' experience of using NLP to help make companies and their employees more successful. In Section 1, you will learn the key principles on which NLP is based and, like any discipline, the techniques will only work when underpinned by sound principles. The eight chapters of Section 2 explain the core patterns of thinking and behavior to give you a solid foundation on which to begin developing your skills. Section 3 consists of 13 chapters of tools, techniques and skills fully tried and tested by the contributors - a substantial compendium of effective ideas for creating change. Section 4 is dedicated to modeling excellence, five chapters revealing how you can be the best at whatever you choose, with examples from customer service, consulting skills, effective memory, getting rid of bad habits, and the model team.
At the time of writing this book, my colleagues and I were designing a new course in NLP for use in business. The course and the book were given the title "Masterclass" in recognition of the demanding expectations of our clients. I wanted to write a book that could be used with the training, so it had to have sufficient theory supporting the reference material, and a large practical section crammed with ideas for putting NLP to use in a variety of business situations, plus a section on modeling to enable you to generate whatever excellence you desire. I think a book with this amount of content and coverage deserves to be called "Masterclass," but you will judge this for yourself. I invite you to write to me with news of your achievements using these powerful ideas. Your feedback will be highly valued.