A couple of years ago, Ian Yorston concluded an exhilarating and challenging presentation at the IAPS conference with the chilling statement “Create the software or be the software”. His assertion was that our teaching of ICT has to develop beyond using programmes to creating programmes; understanding how to create software so that our students will be better equipped to relate to the world. After 4 days of a Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) diploma course, it has dawned on me that there is another way of looking at Ian’s statement. Not with the attention on ICT but on human communication and relationships.
Learn the programme or be the programme. With a science background, I’m not given to hyperbole and remain healthily sceptical until proof is available. That is why I wanted to explore NLP further. I now recognise that it has received very poor PR largely due to its misuse and promotion by “trainers” and “consultants” who lack authenticity and indeed, in some cases, the necessary training. Whatever the criticism of it, at a fundamental level NLP provides tools to understand how we process our experiences of the world around us through our perceptual systems (senses, neurological preferences) to create “programmes” with which we interact with that world. It also enables us to better understand other people and communicate with them more effectively.
By continuing to improve our understanding of others and of how to form more effective relationships we will become better as both individuals and as a society – humans are inherent,y social organisms. The tools of communication (both verbal and non-verbal) are available to all of us as are the frameworks for development, whether this is NLP or otherwise. We need to learn to use these tools and then perhaps we will be better at interacting with our increasingly complex world.