[Video] Olympic legacy

The Olympic Games had a slogan: "Inspire a Generation" and at the time I wasn't really sure what I thought about that. But as time has gone on I've been reflecting back on a lot of things that have been happening over the summer. Not just the Olympic and Paralympic games, but other sporting achievements that we've seen. I've started to think about what I would like the legacy of the Olympic Games to be…














Personal and Professional Development – survey results

Earlier this month we invited our subscribers to complete a survey about personal and professional development. Thank you if you were one of the 269 people who generously gave us a little of their time to take part.

Here are some of the highlights of the information gathered – and my interpretation of the findings:

1. Of the people who responded to the question about their level of skill in NLP, 38% are either Master Practitioners or Trainers of NLP and over half of the total respondents are at qualified at least to Practitioner level. I’m delighted to discover that my newsletter and blog are considered relevant by so many highly qualified people.

2. Just over half (51.4%) of the respondents paid for all of their personal and professional development themselves, with no contribution from their employer (although of course this includes a significant number of people who are self-employed). This suggests that even though some companies have had to reduce spending on development activities, lots of people realise that they still need to acquire new skills to secure promotion or maintain performance in new conditions. It seems that they are taking responsibility for their own development and spending their own money to achieve their goals.

3. 16% of people had all of their personal and professional development paid for by their employer. This is quite encouraging in that it shows that not all companies have stopped spending on development activities in the face of the current economic uncertainty.

4. Only 15 people said that they had had no personal or professional development in the past three years. I guess that if you weren’t at all interested in your own development you wouldn’t have subscribed to my newsletter!

5. Predictably, when asked about the topics that are of interest, a majority said that they were interested in NLP – 82.2% to be precise. The next most popular topic was Leadership, followed by ‘How to be a Great Coach’. Well, I guess that’s no great surprise either, you probably wouldn’t be on my mailing list if you weren’t interested in at least one of those areas!

6. The challenges people are facing are very varied, but the clear winner on this list was ‘Getting everything done in the time available’ 45% of people selected this as one of their challenges. ‘Making a Professional Impact’ and ‘Staying focused’ were the next most common challenges. There’s no getting away from it – people are busy. You’re busy, I’m busy and the people we want to impress are also very busy. Making every interaction count and making every hour productive are vital skills.

7. When I compared responses related to challenges with the person’s level of NLP, I noticed that over half of the people who haven’t taken at least Practitioner training indicated ‘Influencing my boss or other senior stakeholders’ as a challenge. Those with NLP qualifications rated this as much less of a challenge. Perhaps because many people in this group are self-employed? But certainly it makes sense that people who have done NLP Practitioner would not regard influencing others as a challenge.

8. When it comes to learning, the most popular methods are Training courses, Seminars and Workshops, followed by Books and Personal Coaching. The least popular were Teleseminars and Audio programmes. This is very interesting: we hear a lot about the rise of e-learning, but it’s not looking very popular here. I’m forever saying that there’s no substitute for getting in the same room and breathing the same air and it looks as though lots of people agree with me!

9. When I compared the preferences in learning methods with the levels of skill in NLP, I found that the more NLP a person has done, the more likely they are to favour face-to-face, facilitated learning as opposed to self-study methods. I wonder if this is simply a reflection of the fact that NLP is skill-based rather than knowledge-based and therefore hard to learn from books. It could be that the people NLP appeals to are more inclined to face-to-face learning than self-study methods. Or it could be that once you’ve experienced the real development and high-quality interaction you get on an NLP course, other methods of learning seem a bit dull?

Overall, this has been a very useful exercise and has given me some guidance in relation to plans or next year. For example, we’ll be focusing on face-to-face training, workshops and coaching rather than distance learning methods. We’ll also be launching a new training programme for coaches, so that all those people who want to learn how to be a great coach can come to us!

Thank you again to everyone who took part in the survey.

The lucky winners in the prize draw are:

Elvira Villarini from E-Motion NLP Ltd wins a 60-minute coaching session
Ali Antonelli from Ecclesiastical Insurance wins a 12-month subscription to 'Use Your NLP'
Daniel Dumas from the Commonwealth Secretariat wins a copy of 'Discover the Business Benefits of NLP' audio programme.


How can I set goals if I don’t know what I want?

You and I know how important it is to have goals. Without goals, there is a real risk of getting distracted, of spending time in activities that have little or no value and of never experiencing a proper feeling of achievement.

You probably know as well as I do, that writing down your goals is more powerful than simply thinking about them. There is a commitment that arises from writing down your goals. Unwritten goals are just ideas, dreams, wishes.

And that’s all fine, as long as you know what you want. Have you ever found yourself wondering what your goals are? Not because you haven’t thought about them, but because you haven’t got anything in mind that you want to commit to, that you’re excited about doing, or that looks like a meaningful challenge.

It happens to most people at some point. There are lots of reason why you might not know what you want:

  • Maybe, deep down, you DO know – but it’s big and scary and so you’re just avoiding it rather than take on something so big you’re not sure you can handle it.
  • Maybe you have recently achieved something significant. It’s part of our natural anti-stress systems to take some time out when we complete something important – especially if it’s been very demanding to get there.
  • It could be that you’re just not in the habit of thinking about goals. Lots of people who grew up in the UK when I did were brought up with the mantra ‘I want never gets’ and mistakenly avoided wanting anything because they thought they’d never get it.
  • Or maybe you’re experiencing a shift in your values. This is an evolutionary process. Each person’s values change throughout life, moving through distinct phases where the importance of self vs group, achievement vs process, acquiring vs sharing changes and challenges.

This is why fantastically successful entrepreneurs suddenly stop focusing on making money and become philanthropists.

So if you don’t know what your goals are at present, maybe you’re looking in the wrong place for them.  

Ask yourself this question: if NOTHING AT ALL changed in my life in the next 5 years, would that be okay with me? 

(If the answer is ‘yes’ then your goals are about maintaining the status quo, aren’t they?)

If you answer ‘no’ to that question, then your real goals will quickly reveal themselves if you start considering what you want to be different.

Dianne Lowther to present at the NLP Conference

This year's NLP Conference takes place 9 – 11 November in London and I'm delighted to say that I'll be presenting a session at the conference again. My topic this year is 'NLP and Business Partnering'.

What can you expect at the conference?

The highlights include a full day and one half day workshop from Michael Grinder as well as a full day workshop from Art Giser.

The international line up of presenters includes Frank Pucelik, Wyatt Woodsmall, James Geary, Byron Lewis, Laureli Blyth, Heidi Heron and Frank Bourke. The UK trainers presenting alongside me include Ian McDermott, Lisa Wake, Judith Lowe, James Lawley, Penny Tompkins, John McWhirter, John Seymour, Pamela Gawler-Wright and Marie Faire.

The theme of the conference is collaboration and community and you'll have the opportunity to mix with like minded people and share experiences with practitioners using NLP in fields as diverse as education, business and therapy.

The conference provides the best networking opportunity in the NLP world!  So if you'd like to find out more and book your place, here's the link you need: www.nlpconference.co.uk