Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Overcoming Barriers to Learning

In this day and age there are opportunities for learning all around us; many people say they want a career change and some of these need to learn new skills possibly go back to college or university. Some of these are lucky enough to have companies who will assist them in their quest; the workplace can provide excellent opportunities for learning and continuous personal development.

Many review opportunities and never get started; whilst others start, they begin full of enthusiasm, excited at the prospect of creating a new future then something happens that stops them.

Firstly, let’s examine, what is learning? It is a physical process, some may argue that it is a mental process and this is the traditional way of defining learning. Yet when thoughts occur, something physical happens to us. When external events take place, physical processes take place in our bodies in reaction to them; these processes establish memories, reinforce or create behaviours and beliefs and change our physiology.

Our learning begins before birth, taking place in our development and continues throughout our lives. In the beginning we learn how to control movement, to feed and communicate with others; learning who we are and about the world around us. And it is here that we may learn other things, beliefs about ourselves, things that we inadvertently pick up from those around us.

For example: “I can’t dance”
“I’m not musical/artistic”
“I can’t spell”
“I can’t change”
“I always fail”
“I’m stupid”

These are just a few statements that people may learn about themselves, beliefs that hold them back limiting their self development. Beliefs that were learnt physically then metaphorically into their bodies through individual experience.

Can these beliefs be un-learned? Certainly and generally very quickly using various NLP techniques.

What we believe about ourselves can easily influence our ability to think and learn; this can also be influenced by the mood that we are in, our state. Our states serve as a filter for the information that we receive; when learning our physical and mental state is just as important as the level of training and information delivered. Discovering your learning state and how to access it will enable you to get yourself into the appropriate state as and when required.

As well as having a state that best suits the learning process people have individual learning styles that they have developed. For example some people prefer to be shown how to do something, learning by watching or reading; whereas others prefer to be told how to do something, learning by listening and discussion; and then there are those who learn best by doing, they like to try things out.

From the NLP perspective learning styles can be either paced or lead, as a tutor/trainer the information can be presented in a way that matches the person’s preferred way of learning; as well as helping the person to enrich their learning style by helping them strengthen their other senses. Recognizing peoples natural learning styles is an important skill for all communicators, and can enhance the effectiveness and ease with which they can influence their listeners.

Many people today are discovering that NLP is a powerful tool that can be used for personal development as well as in the business arena. Teaching techniques that enable us to get the best out of others as well as ourselves providing strategies for coping with and managing those difficult moments in life.

Much can be learned from books but NLP is experiential and learning from a skilled trainer is invaluable.

Come along to our practice group www.nlpmasterclass.co.uk to experience NLP for yourself.

Tina Taylor

Monday, 2 August 2010


I have just returned from assisting on the NLP Summer Program as part of the La Valle Team with Dr Richard Bandler, John & Kathleen La Valle in Orlando.

I love the tranceformation the students make throughout the seminars, and remember at the end of my practitioner training oh many years ago now, Dr Bandler looked out at the audience and said “who are you guys”. He mentioned how different we were from day one, at the time I hadn’t realised exactly what he meant.

Then when I began assisting in 2000 I suddenly realised what he meant and as I began to run my own trainings I love to watch the moment when a student has the ah ha moment. When they realise that actually you can control your thoughts and feelings, that you create your own reality.

On day 1 as they arrive some are excited, some reserved in their responses and there are those who are looking for some specific technique that will help them with a certain problem. Gradually as the course progresses I see people run a gambit of responses, generally going through a phases of being confused, then theres a point (the ah ha moment) when they begin to realise that NLP can be used in all aspects of their life enabling them to make changes in their lives in whatever way they want to.

When I attended my Practitioner course I did so without really knowing what NLP was; I was (like many people I’m sure) hoping to learn how to improve my communication skills in business. At the end of the course I knew that I felt more relaxed, confident and better able to deal with the day to day challenges in the office at that point I hadn't realised what else I had learned.

Looking at those faces on the last day, so much more confident, clear in their minds; I like millions of participants got so much more from the courses than I originally expected and continue to do so.