Using NLP for continuous learning
Technical professionals of today are expected to omniscient. Not only do they have to proficient in their own field, but also in several other domains including inter personal skills, communication and presentation skills. They have to build on their leadership and management skills in order to grow within the organization. Some professionals find it difficult to cope with this increasing demand on knowledge and skills. Others fail to understand the importance of gaining knowledge and are stuck in reverse gear.
Organizations often provide training and workshops to their employees. However, most often, these trainings are not utilized by the employees out of their own ignorance. Neuro-linguistic Programming can be used to first develop the mindset of technical professional or software developers so that they can develop a yearning for continuous learning.
Building A Learning Organization
Neuro-linguistic Programming describes a learning organization to be an organization that is constantly expanding its capacity to create its future. Capacity indicates the resources and the quality of resources that constitute the organization. The technical professionals form the major and most valuable part of these resources, which is why having expert, technically sound and people-oriented professionals directly affect the organization’s success. Successful organizations are the ones that excel in their particular markets. In order to excel in any particular field, the culture of the organization has to support continuous learning.
Neuro-linguistic Programming provides answers to how a learning culture can be developed. Neuro-linguistic courses can be provided to technical staff of the organization to alter their structure of thinking and behavior. A change in attitude towards learning can make a big difference in achieving and mastering new skills. Neuro-linguistic Programming places an importance on the internal world, stating that we can create a learning culture outside only when we influence and alter the internal structure.
In businesses today, the success of an organization depends on its ability to learn and grow faster than its competition. More and more organizations now try to ensure that their employees have been provided with a requisite amount of training and development. Organizations invest their effort, time and money in providing hi-end technical training programs and development plans for the employees. However, these efforts become a mere drop in the ocean if the employees do not understand their Neuro-linguistic importance and take them as mandatory trainings in order to remain employed. Successful learning organizations understand the importance of using Neuro-linguistic training to inculcate a learning culture in the organization. Technical professionals need to understand that learning is not a process that can be turned off or limited to training rooms. Learning cannot be limited to books or courses. By restricting learning, only a fraction of the available resources can be utilized. We as individuals are capable of learning from everything we do, bad or good. We are in fact learning from all our experiences. Neuro-linguistic Programming states the presupposition that there is no failure, only feedback. That means that we learn from our failures as well. In fact, every failure is a step towards success, since we know what things need to be avoided in the next attempt.
In terms of an organization, a learning culture can be developed when the employees of the organization accept and encourage feedback from all sources. We often find that it difficult to give feedback to other team members on their style of work, language or conduct, although it might be hampering the success of the team. This is because some members regard any feedback as active criticism, and take such comments personally. They feel that people are attacking them, and pointing fingers at them, creating a sense of insecurity. The result is that they lash back at such comments with criticism and sarcasm, in response to the unpleasant internal representation of the initial feedback. Neuro-linguistic courses can be used to change this way of thinking. When we begin to understand that feedback is essential in order to alter our actions and achieve a higher level of success, it ceases to offend us and destroys any sense of insecurity. In fact, some organizations do not stop at receiving feedback, but go one step further by soliciting it from others using Neuro-linguistic training principles. Some companies offer a 360-degree feedback system, where the managers get feedback from the employees.
In order to grow in an organization, the technical professionals must instill the habit of learning something new everyday using Neuro-linguistic training. Feedback is not limited to annual or semi-annual appraisals, but can be offered and accepted any day. Professionals need to manage their minds in order to increase their flexibility of thinking and the resulting behavior. Neuro-linguistic courses can teach technical programmers and software developers how to do this by making them realize that the only thing they can change in the system is themselves.
Using the Mirror to Oneself
As per Neuro-linguistic courses, our perception of others is a reflection of ourselves. This Neuro-linguistic mirror is a powerful tool for personal learning for any technical programmer or software developer. Neuro-linguistic training teaches us that the meaning we derive through our internal representation of any situation we experience plays an important role is our progress of failure. It is this Neuro-linguistic meaning that we have total control on, and by changing the meaning, we can change our emotions and resulting behavior. Most often, the things that bother us the most are the ones we tend to exhibit in our behavior as well.
For example, a programmer might find that his team member often comes in late. He might be bothered by this behavior and it could be affecting his work. However, on deep introspection, the programmer can discover qualities within himself that need to be corrected. He might need to modify his tolerance levels for other’s style of work, by being less adamant and wanting things his way. He might be insensitive and ignorant of other’s problems, resulting in his frustration. He might need to develop his team building skills so that the other team member can feel free to approach him, and talk about the reason behind his behavior. Thus by looking within himself, the programmer can find valuable insight into altering any situation that is affecting his progress.
As per Neuro-linguistic training, there exists a gap between an event and our response, within which we can assess and choose an appropriate response. Our unconscious mind goes through our past experiences, values, beliefs, emotions and internal map of the situation and then decides on the response. We can learn to access these Neuro-linguistic processes going on in our minds, and steer them in a way such that our responses are well thought of and create a desirable outcome. We can coach our minds to react in a certain way using Neuro-linguistic courses, and achieve personal performance in all our endeavors.
By using our internal mirrors to guide us, we can begin to understand that the feedback we give to others has a lot to say about ourselves as well. We recognize qualities in others that we find in ourselves as well; otherwise, it would be difficult to find these traits in the first place. For example, a professional used to be always busy with work, with decreasing amount of time for family, social and personal life. His subordinate team member used to stick to office timings, arrive and leave at same time every day. The professional grew increasingly frustrated with the subordinate team member, thinking that the subordinate needed to mend his ways and take on more work. After having a meeting with the subordinate, in the presence of a Neuro-linguistic expert, the professional understood that he was the one who needed to make a change in his life. In reality, the professional admired the way the subordinate managed his time, and made it a point to make time for his family and personal life. The professional had this quality within himself, but not using his own qualities was resulting in his frustration.
Modern day professionals need to inculcate the habit of continuous learning. It is not just the technical training that teaches us, but all our daily experiences, success and failure, feedback and behaviors bring us valuable lessons. By having a mindset to learn new things, we can add flexibility and more choices to life and decisions. In addition to learning from our external world, we can learn even more by looking at our internal reflection. We can find many qualities, traits, habits and behaviors that need to be altered or rectified. Every situation and every moment is a golden opportunity to learn and gain new skills. By identifying when we are blocking the process of learning, we can open new doors of knowledge and wisdom. Neuro-linguistic Programming teaches us that the person we have total control upon is ourselves. By recognizing this simple principle, we can achieve personal success within any organization, and bring about success for the entire team.