What is NLP?

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a training program dedicated to the development of skills that have been largely disregarded by most traditional curricula (Universities, Management schools...):

  • People skills: communication
  • Creative skills: problem solving, innovation and venture oriented
  • Systemic skills: process and interdependencies
  • Emotional intelligence skills: self-management

What distinguishes NLP from many other approaches is its high level of reliance on non-verbal and sensory language to understand human behaviour. Although the "L" stands for linguistics and language, NLP is first and foremost about behaviour and sensation. Established in the 1970's, ever refined since, NLP has proved highly adaptable and is taught worldwide.


The abbreviation NLP refers to three components that are the basis of human experience: neurology, language and programming.

  • Neuro: Our experiences are stored through our nervous system and our five senses. Memory is constructed of images, sounds, tastes, sensations. Emotional states are determined by these sensations (the quality of our mental cinema).
  • Linguistics: and manifested through our verbal diction as well as our nonverbal language. Indeed, it is through language that we give meaning to what we experience. Thus each language is a new way of organizing the world.
  • Programming: We create our experiences through programs, habits and automatic mind-body reflexes. Our behaviour has a structure – which we can model, acquire, transfer or change.

Two definitions from the founders of NLP:

  • Grinder: NLP is the analysis and reproduction of human excellence and its know-how. The difference that changes everything.
  • Bandler: NLP is a methodological approach which follows a set of techniques. It is a way of understanding people. A vision of the world.

NLP was born from the observation of human behaviour. Rather than constantly questioning the reasons why something doesn’t work, its founders (Grinder and Bandler) have developed a methodology to model people who use their capabilities in extraordinary ways. The aim is to render this expertise readily available to others.

NLP stands for the following values:

  • Respect for the individual
  • Curiosity and openness
  • Achieving results by setting goals
  • Flexibility
  • Spirit of experimentation