How to Use NLP to Lead Teams


Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) helps us understand and interpret how people organize their behaviors and thoughts, and how they use language to express and communicate.

NLP originated in the 1970s at the University of Santa Cruz (California), thanks to the research of Richard Bandler (computer scientist and psychologist) and John Grinder (linguist). By systematically observing the communication of successful professionals, they modeled their excellent communication skills to create a methodology that can be applied in daily life, especially when your mission is to lead a team.

How to Communicate Better with NLP

NLP is a set of tools designed to understand and delve into how people organize their thoughts, feelings, language, and behavior to produce a result. It allows us to understand what happens to us (and how it happens) when we act in a certain way, to establish strategies and changes that enable us to advance towards personal and professional efficiency.

By understanding how we function, it is easier to establish the changes we want to generate in ourselves and others, using our verbal and non-verbal communication as key tools.

Knowing the Basics of NLP Will Help You Communicate Better, Gain Influence, and Help Your Teams Grow

When working with your team, it is highly beneficial to adapt your language to that of your collaborators. This makes you better understood since our brains do not need to exert effort to recognize what is familiar. Therefore, adapting both your verbal and non-verbal language will make your listeners more comfortable and more likely to accept your message. NLP is a communication model that facilitates leadership development through enhanced communication.

3 Steps of Leadership with NLP

1. Results Orientation

Whenever we want to achieve something, the first step is to set a goal. In NLP, the term used is “result.” When you focus your attention on what you want to achieve, your mind is better prepared to think about the strengths and resources needed to reach that result.

As a leader, part of your mission is to ensure that the team collectively achieves these results. Understanding what motivates your collaborators and adapting your message to these motivations is very helpful when setting individual and team objectives. Developing your coaching skills for the growth of your team will make you an inspiring leader for them.

2. Train Your Sensory Acuity

When you know what you want, you prepare yourself to open up to new paths and proposals. Training to develop attention and the ability to observe small details, going beyond words when talking with your collaborators, and being more aware of what is happening around you are crucial.

By expanding the information about what we hear, see, and feel, we expand our reality map and gain access to new options.

3. Flexibility in Behavior

If what you are doing does not lead to the desired result, try something different. Practice your adaptability, one of the 12 soft skills we analyze in our Mindbly 360 Assessment.

Listen to your collaborators, allow them to be creative, and do the same yourself. Generating new thoughts and options is key to being more flexible and increasing adaptability.

Benefits of Using NLP in Leadership

Understanding NLP techniques and tools simplifies your ability to influence by fostering attraction and trust with your collaborators, facilitating interpersonal relationships and communication. By increasing your self-awareness and understanding of others, your emotional responses become more adaptive, boosting your self-confidence to support your teams in being more efficient and feeling more comfortable with their mission in the organization.

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