Thursday, November 08, 2012

What are you buying?

I am continually befuddled by the long-winded defence of a magic number of hours in NLP training.  I suspect that it is an easy out for organizations that can more easily show how long their training lasts than how competent their graduates are.  After many years (eek- it's almost 30 now) in and out of post-secondary teaching, I am well aware of the difference between putting in hours and putting out skilled graduates.

If you're looking for training in neurolinguistic programming (NLP), there are just two questions that you need to ask.

1) How do I know you graduate people with increased skills in building relationships, managing states, modeling excellence, and getting tangible results?

2) What support do you provide post-graduation to your clients (at no extra charge)?

Anyone who believes you can reliably build all the skills you need in 120 hours does not believe the research (10,000 hours to mastery of anything).  The point is not to be brilliant during the course: it's to be brilliant in the days and months and years after you complete your training.  I've met many graduates of 120 hour programs who are in search of a community.  Their hours of training were supposed to be the beginning of something, but their trainers did not provide ongoing support or practice opportunities. The 120 hours were not a minimum: they were all of what was possible.

If you want to buy training hours, buy online.  You probably won't get the range or depth of interpersonal skills necessary, but you will get the best price per hour of training.

If you want to buy something more, then decide what that is before you decide on a training company. Many people take NLP training when they become curious about how to adapt to a transition or make a decision about the direction of their life.  They know they've succeeded when they find themselves on the other side of the transition, satisfied with their work or lives.  Other people want to "practice" NLP either with internal clients (if they are managers, social workers, etc) or with external clients (if they are coaches or therapists).  They will find, as professionals in virtually every field find, that there is no substitute for ongoing professional development.  They will know they've succeeded when they are part of a community or network that allows them to fine-tune their practice and evolve into new applications or models.

In Canada, if you want a meaningful credential at a good price, then you probably want to invest in a certificate program at a publicly funded post-secondary institution.  If, on the other hand, you want accelerated learning and tangible change in your life and work, you may want NLP training. Take it from someone who delivers in the training room and provides ongoing support as you work through the change you start in your training hours.

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