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Modeling Excellence in Business with NLP
Modeling Excellence in Business with NLP
Many organizations around the world have used the technology of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) to assist them to achieve their corporate objectives. Those projects range from coaching individual executives for improved performance and communication to customer service initiatives involving every employee in the company. NLP is useful in any situation in which two or more people must communicate in order to produce results.
Here are some examples of projects in which NLP has been used:
- Diners Club trained every manager and representative in the customer service area in NLP skills for handling customer and internal communication. The net result was a 254% increase in customer spending, and a 67% reduction in customer loss. The Customer Service Department, previously a cost center, became a revenue-producing part of the organization.
- BMW in England modeled the communication patterns of the top 1% in sales. After determining the successful behaviors of these salespeople, the skills were taught to every salesperson in the organization. Sales of all newly-introduced employees greatly exceeded projections.
- American Express trained twenty-four line managers from all over Asia to become transformational trainers. With no previous training experience, these employees became the heart of "American Express Quality Leadership", an area-wide initiative to encourage every employee to take personal responsibility for quality in customer service.
- Fiat modeled the leadership skills of their finest formal and informal leaders. Subsequent management training focused on the skills uncovered in the modeling process.
An individual employee with NLP skills is empowered in the performance of his/her duties in many ways. The ability to read and understand others' model of the world is the basis of effective communication. NLP has been used to assist business professionals in the following ways, among others:
- A manager tailors her approach to staff development and motivation to the individual thinking patterns of each staff member. In a performance review, she identifies the employee's motivation strategy, i.e. how the employee motivates him/herself, and incorporates this naturally into the employee's development plan. In her next meeting, she uses conflict resolution techniques to resolve differences between three employees working on the same project.
- A team member presents a proposal in a planning meeting. He begins by gaining rapport and agreement in the group. He then incorporates highly valued criteria representing each part in the team into the design and communication of his idea. This makes the idea more accessible to each participant in the meeting, and therefore more persuasive.
- A saleswoman uses precision questioning to understand how her customer has been using the product she represents. She teaches the customer how to make the product work more effectively and go farther. In the process of gathering information she uncovers another area in which her products may be able to help the customer.
- A customer service representative handles a call from a very angry customer. She establishes rapport with the customer, gently leads him into a calmer state of mind, pinpoints the problem, and solves it. After the grateful customer hangs up, she takes a moment or two to shift herself into a more resourceful state of mind.
- An internal consultant is part of an international project. He notices cross-cultural communication problems developing between project team members. Reading their non-verbal cues, he "translates" each group's intentions to the other group and prevents delays in the project due to misunderstandings.
Modeling to find Excellence
When you recognize someone as being successful in what they do how do you define what it is that makes them such a good performer? If you have one of these people in your organization then you will want to replicate their way of doing things and instill this in others. NLP models what the successful person is doing. It defines very clearly what they are doing, how they do it and the thought patterns that they put into it.
For the top performer you want to copy, there is a problem however. They may not know exactly what it is they are doing! They operate at a high level automatically. Neuro-linguistic programming has a number of tools and devices to find out what makes one person so good at their job.
Having found a model you need to work out what they are doing differently. You need to look at what they do. That is the physical side of things such as posture, timekeeping and body language.
You then need to find out from them what they are thinking and saying to themselves when they are doing their job. To find this out you will need to ask searching questions. NLP provides a large range of tools for this.
The hardest part to define is the behaviour they have that is intuitive to them. They do not know exactly how they do their job so well. They will have many inbuilt beliefs and values that they use on autopilot and hardly know they are using. Their whole person will be a mixture of how they have developed over years and how they themselves have modified their own behaviour. A good NLP practitioner will be able to discover these embedded behaviours, beliefs and values.
Helping Others Improve Their Performance
Once you have defined your successful model than you can concentrate replicating this in other people. This can be through training programs or close working with the successful person.
The training has to be in two parts to achieve good results. The first part is the seen behaviour and language. You can simply observe what the successful person is doing. A good sales person will always ask for the order. There are no “ifs” and “buts” about this. It is what a salesman does as part of his job. If another salesman doesn't ask for the order every time then they know how to change their behaviour. Start asking every time.
The second part of the training is to improve the unseen behaviour. It’s not just asking for the order but the way you do it. This involves the whole person. Their character, emotions and inner mindset. To train in this area is where NLP Modeling has its main focus. You can change the crooked thinking that someone has and their attitude to their job performance through neuro-linguistic programming.
So to use NLP modeling you need to find your model and replicate it through study and then training others.
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