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Michael : Fiona, I’m delighted that you’ve agreed to talk to us about NLP today and what you’re doing in the field. Can I ask you to get the ball rolling by introducing yourself and letting our listeners know a little bit about yourself and what you do?
Fiona : Hello, thank you for having me – I’m delighted to be here as well. My name is Fiona Campbell, I’m managing director of Fiona Campbell Consultancy. I’m also an NLP trainer and business coach.
Michael : You’re an NLP Business coach – What experience of business do you have?
Fiona : I’ve actually had over twenty five years of experience in Sales and Marketing. I was also business development director for Xerox Middle East in the Eighties.
Michael : Excellent. Carry on.
Fiona : For the past six years I’ve actually been working with independent companies as a business coach.
Michael : Just stepping back a bit – How has NLP helped you personally?
Fiona : Personally, I believe that the main thing that I’ve got from NLP is the use of states. I believe that when you’re able to control your own state and understand how to transfer your own state to people is phenomenal to have in business. I’ve also found the use of language – my use of language has changed dramatically. Especially in meta programmes and also my questioning techniques – using the meta model and using Milton model.
So the language pattern and the states are the main thing for me.
Michael : Let me just ask one further question on that. In managing your own state – What are some of the simple things that you do to manage your own state?
Fiona : Well one of the main things is just holding one point – That’s just focusing. And also spinning a good feeling – and when I can spin a good feeling it brings a giggle to my voice – and the more that I can get that giggle into my voice the more I can share that state with the people that I work with.
Michael : What aspects of NLP do you think are particularly useful and important in a business context?
Fiona : In a business context NLP is starting to become mainstream. It’s starting to be – although it’s been around for over forty years. It’s been accepted in business. Most of the business courses out there are NLP based, and language pattern based – although they don’t always say that they are NLP.
Michael : I understand. Now you’ve mentioned before some of the things that are important, things like language and meta programmes – Can you talk a little bit more? You’ve mentioned state and attention, spinning feelings – is there anything else that you’d care to mention as far as business goes in terms of flexibility of state, maintaining state?
Fiona : Well flexibility – One example I have – I was working with a company with their board of directors and with one of the directors I asked what his expectations for doing the training with him was and he actually stood up, looked down to the ground and muttered – ‘I want to be really dynamic and be able to motivate people’. So his state was nowhere near what his actual words were saying – So it was quite fascinating working with that particular person by changing his state, by making it more constant, by becoming more excited and curious – putting that tonality into his voice – and actually using his use of language towards people, made a tremendous difference to the actual results that he was able to get.
Michael : And you talked about language, which leads us on to language patterns. Have you got an example of where you would use language patterns?
Fiona : The use of meta programs can be phenomenal because – I’ll give you an example – I’ve been working with a team, and the team leader would have a real problem getting the team to accept a new system that was being laid out. Now after some more questioning what she identified with – This was a team that had worked with the same computer system for years and they were in the habit of having daily meetings to talk about this project – and when I asked the team leader how she actually introduced this new system her words were ‘This is a completely new system that we are installing, that is nothing like the old one, and we no longer require daily meetings because you will prepare your own reports.”
The meta programmes that were used in there were completely different from the meta programs that were being used by the team – and by introducing it to the team in this way, no matter what was said after that, she had just blasted their model of the world apart – That this new system was going to be so different, and that they were now expected to report for themselves.
When we changed this, the language that she used – She would say that ‘the new system will be the same and more as the old one, but even better than it was. You’ll have plenty of time to get used to working with these systems and eventually you’ll be able to produce your own progress reports. Until you’re able to do this we will continue with your daily routines to discuss your progress.”
Now, for someone that is very used to their own process, that is internal and very used to the big picture – this is the type of meta programme that they are using. And this type of statement may appear quite weak and not very motivating.
However the people that we were feeding this information to were mostly reactive – They were used to the same, they like things to be the same – they were external and they were low-detailed. So they would actually present information in this way, to keep the model of the world within that team, so it became much easier for them to accept that information.
Michael : That’s very good. And I like the example because to me it emphasises that sometimes a very simple difference in the way that you explain things can make it much easier for a wide group of people to accept it. And I think that demonstrates that really well.
We’ve had a look at some of the things in NLP that you use, some of the things in NLP that are useful in business – What has NLP actually enabled you to do much better? So what are some of the outcomes that using NLP approaches actually helped you achieve?
Fiona : To create a resourceful learning state in myself and others – For example, for me delivering NLP training, we make it as fun as possible. So people are actually thoroughly enjoying themselves, having a good laugh and learning. So I will do whatever mad, daft, silly things that I have to do to create a good atmosphere. A lot of people have the history and the belief that learning is hard, or that learning has to be painful – and when you change that state people start to realise that they’re picking up far more information than they are giving themselves credit for.
Michael : And what sort of things do you find that people can do differently after the training?
Fiona : Lots of things. Very often we find that there’s a huge boost in their self confidence, in their own belief in what they can do. Also they are very much able to listen far more clearly to what is being said – because I believe when people master the techniques of NLP they’re really able to question what’s been deleted here, what’s been distorted – what’s been generalised – what’s not there? So the more they can listen the more that they can listen naturally to get far more information than they would have got previously.
Michael : You’ve talked about your training – would you like to talk a little more about what you do, what services you offer?
Fiona : Well I work with another NLP trainer Vicky Ross. And Vicky and I deliver the practitioner, the business practitioner, and master practitioner seminars. We’re accredited by the Society of NLP and Dr Richard Bandler and John La Valle actually sign our certificates. We deliver other programs in Birmingham and London, and excitingly for 2010 we’re going to be starting our first class out in Crete, and at Christmas 2010 we’re developing our first Practitioner and NLP in Thailand.
Michael : I have to say I will keep my eyes on that.
Fiona : I’ve been going Thailand for years and it’s been a long ambition of mine to be able to actually deliver training in an environment that I find phenomenal for learning anyway.
Michael : Excellent. Let’s round up what we’ve been talking about. Which is really about NLP and Business. To summarize and to bring this to a close, is there anything that you think is really important that you’ve left out from what you’ve said – or anything that you think is important enough to bring in in this stage?
Fiona : Well I think it’s vitally important that people within the NLP world, people with qualifications within NLP, people that work with NLP in business must use this in a very ethical way. NLP had a lot of bad press in the past and I really believe that it’s up to the people that are working with it now to demonstrate how easy these techniques are to use, but how powerful the change can be when people really start to communicate. So it’s a case the more people that are out there teaching people that there are many ways to do things – It’s phenomenal – But it must be professional.
We’ve had the bad press – That is changing, thank goodness. I’ve got lots of people contacting me now specifically contacting me either to become a practitioner in NLP or to get some NLP training. It is a buzzword, and I think that it’s up to everyone to keep it as professional as we can make it.
Michael : Brilliant. Now you’ve spent some of your time sharing your experience and the benefits of what you’ve been doing – Is there anything that you’d like to plug on top of what you’ve said?
Fiona : Yes please. Our next practitioner course in Birmingham is starting on the 11th September and at the end of October our next Business Practitioner in London – and for details of that you can either go to http://www.fionacampbellconsultancy.com or phone us on 0870 3800823.
We’ve got all of our events details on that, so if you go onto the events page you’ll find all of the events that we’re doing – Including the one on Thailand which will be up next week.
Michael : Brilliant. Thank you very much for your time Fiona.
Fiona : Thank you very much, I really appreciate you taking the time to ask me to do this.
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