Sunday, February 27, 2011

What is the benefit of knowing about NLP for you as a trainer or facilitator?

The book 'Unlimited Power - the new science of personal achievement -' - Author: Anthony Robbins (Dutch version - 'Je Ongekende Vermogens) gives an insight in the world of NLP.

What is Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)? What can you do with NLP as a trainer or facilitator?
Neuro = 'Brains'; Linguistic = 'Language'; Programming = 'Planning or Procedures'
NLP studies how language (non-verbal & verbal) influences our brains. Our capacity to take action in our own lives depends on our ability to manage our brainsystem. The ones who gain successes have an ability to manage and direct their system effectively. Antony Robbins, author of Unlimited Power, mentions 7 characteristics of successful people which are based on a research of Bandler & Grindler in the '60s and '70s of the last century.

Successfull people have;
1. Passion; 2. Beliefs and ability to convince; 3. Strategy; 4. Clear values; 5. Energy (through maintaining a good health), 6. Ability to connect and build relationships; 7. Effective communication skills.

How to apply NLP as a trainer or facilitator?NLP is an effective tool which can make your work as trainer or facilitator more effective. Following are some six hints:
1. Identify the communication behaviour of your group (or individuals) and adapt your strategy to itHas the group (or individual) a visual approach? (seeing), or an auditive approach? (hearing) or a kinetic approach? (feeling). The challenge for you as a facilitator or trainer is to fine tune your communication to the behaviour of your group. What do you see yourself doing in 3 years from now? What images come up to your mind? are appropriate questions for a visual person. What music comes to your mind when are you visualising your future? What noises are you hearing? are more convenient questions for an auditive person. Touching, warmth and a feeling of companianship are part while communicating with a kinetic person. How do you feel in your ideal situation 3 years from now? What kind of relationships will you have? How will the atmosphere look like? are effective questions for a kinetic person. Use visuals and music in your sessions and stimulate a safe and warm atmosphere.

2. Check and challenge beliefsThere are certain beliefs, we have adapted since our own childhood. There are beliefs we can change, or look from a different perspective. Help the group to look at things from a different perspective; Example: 'Our director is not willing to listen to us' - change to a new perspective: 'We are good listeners - we even make time to listen to him'. Challenge; 'how can we make it both ways?'

3. Take care of yourself, maintain and ensure a good healthSleep enough, eat and drink healthy and use your breath optimally. Just take every day a quiet moment to do some breathing exercises. All measures will give you as a facilitator or trainer enough energy for the day. The group you can help by building in meditation sessions or give them the opportunities to do some reflective exercises in a physical healthy environment (forest). Ensure that there are healthy drinks (water, fruit juices) and food (preferably vegetarian or light).

4. Help the group to make from a drawback an opportunityEach obstacle is a source for change or creating an opportunity. Has the group missed some opportunities, help the group to draw the lessons and stimulate them to do it differently the next time. Or help them to change the perspective. If our clients are not willing to buy our products, we can use the opportunity to ask them 'why they don't buy our products?' or 'it gives us information to change our products'.

5. Make the group to take lead of their own destinyStimulate the group not to wait for others to decide for them, but to take steps to give direction to their own destiny. Include the what? who? when? where? how? in your facilitation or training sessions. 6. Build in opportunities to relate to peopleBuild in moments in your sessions that people can relate to each other, or think about on how they can expand their networks. Or invite outsiders (experts, people with network value) to your events. Build in enough moments for informal exchange (coffee, lunch breaks, walking in the forest, or just fun in the bar) or do some relaxing sessions (party, right brain exercises) .

The book 'Unlimited Power ' - Anthony Robbins is easy and fun to read. NLP is strong related to Brainlearning. The tips and hints which have been given in the article BrainatWork are covering the principles of NLP.

Other interesting handbooks which are useful for you as facilitator are:
- Title: Coaching met NLP - Author: Paul Kerr- Title: Het ABC van NLP - Authors: Yoka en Dick Brouwer

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Brain@work, an eye opener for trainers & facilitators

Brainatwork - authors Nina Lazeron & Ria van Dinteren - gave me a lot of inspirational hints in preparing my trainings and facilitation events. Following are some useful hints:

Know abouts and hints for preparing your trainings· Repetition is essential for embedding learning
· Create a safe environment, where people feel safe and comfortable. Also provide space and time for informal contacts. The most practical and valuable information is shared during the informal moments. The formal moments are the platform for the starting process of new behaviour and inspiration.
. Trainees formulate their own expectations, monitor and evaluate them. Provide space of adjustment of your training according to the development of the students. Give your trainees a task in advance of the training to foster their motivation.
· Create a positive learning environment. Build on successes from the past, apply appreciative inquiry
· Practise, practise, practise..... 10.000 hours or more make you finally make to master the art of the profession. Stimulate practicals and ask for applications
· It takes average around 6 weeks to adapt and embed new learning. This process can be stimulated by practicals, connecting people to buddies or a personal coach, by reporting & sharing (social media is excellent for this) and reflective meetings/ follow-up.
· Check assumptions or perceptions about learning or change and try to challenge them
· Make use of the the 5 senses; eyes (visual material), ears (music or sounds), touching senses (toys or stones), nose (different smells) and taste (different sweets, chocalate etc...)
· Make use of the context (worksituation) or workhistory of the trainee. 80 - 85 % of the training is based on asking questions and facilitation. Only 15 - 20 % is based on transfering information from the trainer to the audience.
· Create a learning environment which stimulates learning such as fresh air, movement, light, colours, toys etc.. and use different presets (set up of the room or learning place)
· Meditation and mindfullness (be in the now) are helpful in creating peace in your mind, and can be effective for learning. Enough sleep is also very important for learning.
· Connect emotions to learning. Whenever people feel strong emotions, knowledge or lessons sustain
· Stimulate the 'growth mindset' of people. In situations people have the feeling they can make steps of improvement, provide a space to do that.
· The package of learning is as important as the content. Create a package and a training that looks professional, inviting and safe.
· If possible integrate social media tools in your trainings, so that people are encouraged to do hands-on-learning and sharing through the internet.

The 8 F's for preparing and conducting facilitation eventsThe hints and tips for conducting a facilitation event are very similar to the ones when you conduct a training. However, Ria van Dinteren, author of Brain@work, quotes 8 F's for the facilitator:
1. Feiligheid, security; provide a safe environment & build in moments of meditation or silence
2. Fresh air and food; make sure that there is the right food (light), water, drinks and light
3. Fysical enviroment; ensure that the presets and room setting is inviting, inspirational and stimulating
4. Focus; Have a clear goal and focus, which is matching the groups' expectations
5. Ferbinden/ connect; Make connections and sharing possible between people (small group work), and relate to theory, images, stories, fairy tales and associations
6. Fun; Integrate fun elements, games and humor in the training
7. Feeling; Question and discuss when people show heavy emotions (positive or negative) and connect them to learning
8. Ferwerken/ reflect; Reflect regulary on what people liked, learned and on how they think they are going to apply what was discussed (what?, where?, when?, how?, who? )?

Inspired?! or curious? read more about Brainatwork, Brain learning in organisations.
In case you would like to share links or articles about brain learning in organisations, please feel free to respond.