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How to Unlock Greater Team Performance Using NLP Techniques

There’s no denying that the individual performance of employees is the backbone to any organisation.

And in order for that organisation to grow, reach goals and work efficiently, employees need to understand their patterns of behaviour and how they approach personal or professional challenges to achieve greater success.

That’s where Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) comes in.

In this post, we’ll cover the fundamentals of NLP, including why it’s important and useful for both individuals and the wider organisation, along with proven expert techniques told by NLP Master Trainer, Steve Payne.

Two employees learning how to use neuro-linguistic programming in the workplace


What is NLP and What Can it be Used For?

When Googling NLP, you might have come across confusing definitions and crazy diagrams to illustrate the meaning, but, we don’t do things like that here. Let’s break it down. NLP explores the link between:

Neuro = The mind and how we use our brain and nervous system to access moment-to-moment experience

Linguistic = How we assign language to our experiences to understand it and give it meaning

Programming = Our behavioural patterns based on the meaning we have given to our experiences

NLP explores how we respond to our interpretation of events, not the actual event itself. This means by understanding how we create these subjective experiences, we can develop strategies and processes that can change how we assign meaning to experiences at a deeper level – in turn, offering greater behavioural flexibility.

NLP was initially developed to help those in therapy suffering with anxiety, high stress levels and cure phobias, but since NLP has become more mainstream, organisations are starting to see the benefits.

Why is Neuro-Linguistic Programming Important Today?

Let’s face it, humans are thinkers. We overthink, analyse and sometimes even overcomplicate things, which can influence our personal and professional lives. NLP helps us change how we view and approach challenges that come our way, often positively impacting the way we feel, think and behave.

NLP can help us change our patterns of habitual behaviour that have not been working and achieve greater success. How do you do that you ask? Well, through NLP tools and techniques, managers will be able to understand their teams better, boost their performance and gain more insights on what service users really need.

How NLP Can be Used in a Public Sector Workplace

Each public sector employee has an important part to play. Each role fits into the bigger picture and how that impacts society and communities they serve. NLP can help employers show employees how important their role is through stronger internal communication. In terms of external communication to key stakeholders, NLP can help with that too, whether you want to communicate with leaders, managers, government or members of the public.

Benefits of NLP on Public Sector Employees:

  • Helps us manage and resolve conflict through NLP tools and techniques
  • Stronger and more effective communication which leads to greater understanding
  • Reduces the potential for misunderstandings
  • Helps us manage our responses to others and understand how we react to challenges we face
  • Overcome limiting beliefs that hold us back and build more empowering beliefs that impact our performance
  • Allows us to manage difficult conversations

Benefits of NLP on Public Sector Organisations:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of the issues others face – this allows organisations to not lose sight of how what they do impacts the greater system they operate in
  • Perform an analysis of internal communication effectiveness and gain insights
  • Improve service quality and understand user needs on a deeper level
  • Empower employees – leading to greater productivity and engagement
  • Analyse processes and potentially see where costs can be reduced

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How NLP Skills and Techniques Can Boost the Performance of Your Team

1. Greater opportunity for feedback

NLP techniques encourages constructive feedback which can be done on an individual or team level – this could be through 360 feedback or another method of choice. The more learning and growing your team can do, the more it will help develop you to create a high performing team. When you learn more about your team and employees learn more about themselves from one another, NLP can be used to help managers resonate more effectively with their teams to boost motivation, inspiration and team belief and morale.

2. Overcome limitations and reach goals

It’s likely we’ve all had thoughts at some point that made us feel we couldn’t do or achieve something. This is imposter syndrome – thoughts that doubt your abilities and achievements. Neuro-Linguistic Programming on the other hand, can help us overcome those limitations of thinking through greater creativity and flexibility of behaviour. This is also beneficial when it comes to problem solving and how we can reach our goals.

3. Understanding strengths

When it comes to building strong, high performing teams, the majority relies on employees and managers understanding everyone’s strengths and leveraging this potential. NLP techniques can help us understand individuals, build their confidence and motivate to promote greater team dynamics and effectiveness.

Read: 4 employee engagement strategies every public sector manager needs

4. Personal effectiveness

Alongside the feedback, Neuro-Linguistic Programming techniques can help to improve communication between employees and be clear on how everyone can work together to reach the goals. Think about the way you behave at work, what language you use, how you manage your emotions and how you focus is throughout the day.

If you already know what you want to improve on, that’s even better. NLP can even help change long term behavioural patterns in the workplace so you can respond adequately to each other’s needs.

NLP can also play a role in the recruitment process to hire those with the right attitude, train for maximum competence and manager for greater retention.

Expert Voice: 4 NLP Techniques You Should Implement in the Workplace

We spoke to NLP Master Trainer, Steve Payne, to give us the insight into his top 4 NLP techniques that he has helped organisations and leaders implement in their team.

1. Perceptual Positions

This Neuro-Linguistic Programming technique helps us step into the shoes of others and understand where they are coming from, what’s important to them and how they ‘see’ things.

Without this ability, it is not possible to be effective in building relationships, managing conflict, and holding successful negotiations.

The NLP Perceptual Positions technique helps us to see and understand things from three perspectives:

  • Self
  • Others
  • The neutral observer

When we truly understand these three perspectives, we can use the intelligence we gather to create more effective strategies and get better outcomes.

2. Calibration – Greater Awareness

Awareness is the mother of all skill sets’ – John Grinder, NLP co-creator

What I am aware of I can control, what I am unaware of controls me’ – Sir John Whitmore, founding member of the International Coaching Federation

NLP builds our sensory acuity, that is our ability to notice the information gathered through our 5 senses.

Awareness is the basis of behaviour and performance.

NLP has techniques that develop our awareness of changes in self, others and situations. This creates the ability to develop greater Emotional Intelligence (EQ). The greater the awareness, the greater the emotional intelligence. Emotional Intelligence is our ability to respond more effectively and improve personal and team performance.

Calibration in NLP is defined as noticing shifts and changes as they happen. This level of awareness enables us to respond more effectively.

3. Rapport

Rapport is our ability to form stronger connection with others. This creates greater trust amongst colleagues and all stakeholders. This in turn leads to more loyalty and motivation and a desire to support each other and succeed as a team.

The NLP rapport-building technique leverages the key elements that promote greater connection between individuals and teams:

  • Matching physiology, tonality, energy and more
  • Mirroring physiology, tonality, energy and more
  • Sharing Common Experience
  • Active listening
  • Questions

The ability to create strong rapport takes elegance, unconscious competence and active participation in verbal and non-verbal communication.

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4. Neurological Levels of Change

Neurological levels of change is a diagnostic and alignment tool and technique that enables us to become aware of changes we can make to move more powerfully towards a goal we want to achieve.

It also helps us to align more effectively to a role that we have, such as Leader, manager, project lead etc.

It is also a very powerful tool for team alignment.

The technique involves exploring and aligning six levels of experience:

  1. Our Environment
  2. Our Behaviour
  3. Our Skills
  4. Our Values and Beliefs
  5. Our Identity
  6. Our Purpose

This NLP process was developed by Robert Dilts

Learn more about Steve Payne’s background and his upcoming NLP training courses you can book.

Create Positive Change Through NLP With our Training Course

Enhance the performance of your team and learn how to adapt NLP techniques to your needs and team with our Neuro-Linguistic Programming Techniques (NLP) for Managers course. View upcoming dates for our NLP training course here.

Chloe Martin
Content Editor

2+ years in SEO and content marketing. Striving to help public sector professionals develop their skills and learn something new through high-quality content.