Amazon told me about a new NLP book: last night – Essentials of NLP: 150 Questions & Answers
The blurb stated
It gives you all of the information that they teach you in those $3,000 one week programs.
What is NLP really? It’s as far away from questions and answers as you could get. Real NLP is firstly a frame of mind. It is about being able to see the structure of a problem. It’s about looking for process rather than getting sucked into the content (when does this program occur rather than why don’t you do X?).
It’s also about skills.
- The skills of paying attention to what is actually going on (being uptime)
- the ability to associate and dissociate as appropriate.
- The ability to get yourself into and out of states.
- The ability to learn from experiences rather than be crushed by them.
- The ability to use mental rehearsal to benefit rather than your detriment.
- The ability to persuade and influence at an unconscious level both yourself and others.
- The ability to be curious and ask generative questions rather than ones with set answers.
This harks back to the old “if you can answer all the questions on the exam, then you know and understand the subject”. So off you go thinking that because you regurgitate a few facts – named the date of events (the only one I can remember is 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue). That this means you understand history.
Teachers teach facts because they are easy to measure. It’s an objective way to rank kids. Everyone gets the same questions to answer so there is no bias.
The step up from that is that you teach to the exam questions. Then your class gets good marks and you look good to the inspector. The whole system is based on this
Teaching for understanding and skills development is a whole different matter. How would you know someone understood history? That they can really appreciate the underlying issues and the context that caused the disastrous war for instance?
It’s a darn sight harder to measure for one thing. You end up resorting to “are there specific keyword phrases in their written answers”. Meaning are they regurgitating the facts I gave them — the trite phrases?
And of course this biases the students who can present themselves well in writing. The ones who can actually only apply the lessons of history to their own everyday experiences rather than spout required phrases get an F.
People who learn NLP want to be able to use it to make their lives better, but I guess unfortunately that sometimes means jumping through the hoops and passing the practitioner questions just like we had to do at school.