NLP is on the rise in Malaysia! And we at Navigo NLP Center are very happy to witness this trend. For the past few years we have been receiving increasingly more inquires about Neuro-Linguistic Programming and requests for training. It means that the word about the great power of NLP is spreading around and people don’t want miss out on making use of this great skill. So if you have already decided to attend an NLP Practitioner course, congratulations! Provided you choose the right course and the trainer, this training will turn out to be one of the most significant training programs you’ve ever attended at the very least, if not life-changing.
Since an NLP practitioner course usually means a rather significant investment of time and money, you obviously want to go for quality NLP training and get the best from your investment. Below are the main key aspects I would recommend to consider and a few pointers on making sure you choose the right course for yourself.
1. The Trainer
First and foremost is, of course, the NLP trainer – the quality and success of the course greatly depends on the skills and qualifications of the trainer. Read the trainer’s profile to understand the trainer’s background, which NLP body trained and certified him/her and how many years of experience the trainer has.
To become a trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming one needs to have completed Practitioner, then Master Practitioner and then Trainer courses (three levels), only then does one become qualified to train and certify others in Neuro-Linguistic Programming. And this process usually takes quite some time. However, some of the providers out there, also here in Malaysia, offer so-called fast-track courses – from zero skills to trainer in as little as 15 days in one go. Now, would you want to be trained by somebody who only has 15 days experience with NLP? I bet you don’t.
Another important aspect to find out about the trainer is how often, if at all, they conduct personal coaching (working with a client on a one-to-one basis).
How is this important? Well, would you want to take singing classes from somebody who never or hardly every sings? Neuro-Linguistic Programming is above all about human interaction, frequently working with people on their issues directly and applying relevant skills and techniques to help overcome those issues and achieve desired outcomes ensures that the trainer deepens their knowledge, skills and experience in NLP and that they can draw upon practical experience in answering questions from participants during training programs.
And finally, trainer’s style and personality can have a significant impact on your overall learning experience. They determine whether you will find yourself in a fun, dynamic, experiential and interactive learning atmosphere or monotonous, dry, school-like lecture. To get the feel of the trainer you can either attend shorter training programs conducted by this trainer, or catch them in action on video footage, or simply request a short meeting with the trainer if possible.
There’s a list of certain skills and techniques which participants need to have successfully acquired and demonstrated during the course to qualify to be certified as NLP Practitioner. The list of content is usually determined by the certifying body. However, just because the trainer follows the list of training topics doesn’t guarantee quality NLP. Unfortunately, there are plenty of cases where after attending a course practitioners had very poor understanding of the topics or were taught wrong execution of the techniques, or, even worse, learnt something which wasn’t even Neuro-Linguistic Programming to start with. To avoid this kind of disappointment and being tricked into those mock-NLP courses you need to check trainer’s background and the certifying body they associate with. Neuro-Linguistic Programming skills and techniques, when properly presented and trained, have the potential to transform your life, and this is the ultimate outcome of the Practitioner course.
The field of Neuro-Linguistic Programming is relatively young and not yet regulated by a single authority. While there’s plenty of NLP authorities on the market that claim to offer credible and internationally recognized certification, only few really do. Just as you do your research on the trainer, you may want to enquire about the certifying body the trainer associates with, this will allow you to discern which one is the most trustworthy and reputable.
And then, there’s often the questions of how many certificates an NLP Practitioner course should provide. Very simple – JUST ONE – the NLP Practitioner. And unless you are a “certificate collector” you will value the quality of the program more than how many certs you’ll get.
Duration of Practitioner courses offered in Malaysia varies in length from 3 to 12 days. The longer courses usually include additional certifications such as Time Line Therapy™ and Hypnotherapy, they are being sold as one package under the umbrella of NLP Practitioner course, hence multiple certs upon completion.
So what is the ultimate duration? How long is too long and how long is the minimum? Richard Bandler himself, the father and co-founder of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, conducts 7-day Practitioner courses, and he says that any practitioner course shorter than 7 days is too short and wouldn’t be endorsed by him.
By the way, did you know that some of the Practitioner courses in the past were up to 25 days long? So what about the longer courses then? Depending on your criteria this too can be a suitable option for you, if you can make such an investment of time and money. But again, the outcome will depend on the trainer and the content – long duration doesn’t guarantee quality.
5. Workshop format
The Practitioner course can be divided in several parts –modular format- and run over a certain period of time with several days or weeks of break in between. The advantage of this format is that you get a chance to apply, practice and reflect upon your learning in the workshop, and you can ask for feedback or clarifications from the trainer when you return for the subsequent parts of the course. If a course is conducted in one go without breaks in between it is called residential course. It’s up to you to determine which format fits best with your own lifestyle and schedule.
What about online courses or so-called distance learning NLP? Are they any good? Neuro-Linguistic Programming is first and foremost about human interaction; the learning should be experiential and interactive. Any kind of NLP distance learning, even if they include video demos will never give you the value and the skill that you get from real face-to-face interaction; you may gain some information but not the actual skills and experience that enable to you to make use of Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
You may also find it useful to watch this Interview with John LaValle, the president of The Society of NLP™, in which he shares some insights on Neuro-Linguistic Programming and what to keep in mind when choosing a training.
I hope the assembled points will make your search successful and you will make the right choice.