In a previous blog entry (you can read it here) I talked about how NLP has grown beyond a single field of study and likened it to the lineages found in martial arts.
There are dozens, if not hundreds of companies offering NLP training in the UK, each one is different to the next, with different styles and bias’s. With that much choice, how do you know which one is right for you?
Every NLP training company offers slightly different trainings and what suits you will come down to your personal preferences. With so many companies offering NLP trainings the good thing is you have a wealth of choice available to you, the bad thing is, to the newcomer to NLP, it can be a huge and confusing field and it is very difficult to find all the information to make the right decision about which training to book on.
With so many different styles and types of training out there, it is ESSENTIAL that you do your research before booking on a course, rather than just booking on the first one you find on Google (of the people I meet who were unhappy with their NLP training, I hear the same thing again and again – they just booked on the first one they found, or the most convenient, or the cheapest and gave no thought to quality or style of the training).
I am realistic and recognise that the course I run is not going to be for everyone, or maybe you live in a part of the world where it is just not possible to attend one of my trainings!
So to help you make the right decision, here are a suggested six steps for you to follow:
1) Start With Your Outcome in Mind
It is important that you have an idea of what you want to achieve from your training. Having a purpose will help you get the most out of NLP and help you to find the right NLP course for you – one that will help you to get what you want.
Do you want to use NLP predominantly in a business setting? Are you interested personal development? Do you want to start your own coaching or therapy practice (or already involved in coaching or therapy and want to add NLP to your skill base)?
2) Do Your Homework
It’s useful to understand something about NLP in advance of looking for a trainer. Having a basic knowledge of the subject will make it easier to select the trainer that can deliver what you want to get out of NLP. Be careful, however, to avoid “making up your mind” about what NLP actually “is” just by reading a few books before you attend a training. It is much harder to undo a misconception and keep an open mind (which is essential during an NLP training) and you may miss out on valuable information because it does not match your preconceptions.
3) Choose the Right Structure for You
There is no “standard” way to train NLP and each training company will have a different delivery style. It is important that you decide what style suits you best. Some things you are may want to consider are:
- Do you like the idea of watching DVD’s and listening to CD’s before you attend the course, or does the idea of having to do all that pre-work turn you off?
- Do you want to learn lots of prescriptive techniques or do you prefer a free-form training where you will be able to develop your own ideas, techniques and processes?
- Do you want to get the training done in “one hit” or do you think you will be better suited spreading (Maybe your diary doesn’t allow one of these options)?
- Do you want to attend a larger group training where you will be able to remain somewhat anonymous or you do you want a smaller training with lots of hands on support?
4) What is Your Budget?
There isn’t a fixed price for NLP training and you can find training courses that offer exactly the same qualification for wildly different prices.
There is no correlation between the training fee and the quality of the course. Often the price of the course will be affected by things outside of the training – cost of the venue, how much the company spends on marketing, etc.
You will often pay more for an experienced trainer, but that is not strictly the case. I have seen two very experienced and respected NLP trainers offer their practitioner training for £999, and I have seen unknown, inexperienced trainers charge in excess of £2000!
5) The Most Important Element: Finding the Right Trainer for You
In NLP, the most important part of the training is not the qualification, or the qualifying body, or the length, cost, location or date of the course. It is the trainer.
Sadly, it is quite possible to do your Practitioner, Master Practitioner and Trainer qualification and set yourself up as an NLP trainer in as little as a few months, without every gaining any real practical NLP experience. So it is important to check the trainers experience and credentials to teach what they do.
Don’t just believe the marketing blurb on their website. Although it is illegal to lie about what you have done, can do and offer, it is common for NLP trainers to embellish such things as a their experience and length of time they have been training.
Make sure they have actually USED NLP in the setting in which they train it. For example, I have known several “Business NLP trainers” who have little or even no business experience…
6) Create a Shortlist
The obvious starting point for any search nowadays is the internet; you go to your favourite search engine and type in the criteria that you want.
The problem with relying on the internet is that the training companies who appear at the top of the search engines aren’t necessarily the best trainers, they are just the ones that have spent the most money on marketing.
Don’t give in after page one, take your time to look through some of the listings further down as well. Armed with the information we have covered you should be able to create a reasonably short list of “possibles”…
Compare the trainer’s approaches and speak with them via telephone or email. Assure yourself that you are making the right decision and the best investment of your time and money.
If you want to learn much more about NLP qualifications, trainings and how to go about choosing the right one for you, I have written a Kindle report “NLP Training Demystified” that includes:
- The 3 worst reasons to choose an NLP training
- The 3 most common misconceptions about NLP training
- Details of each of the qualifying bodies (as best as I can research!)
- An expanded suggested process of how to choose the right training for you
- A list of essential questions to ask the training company
- An important checklist of information you MUST know before you book on a training
- What to do during a training to make sure you get the best from the training
- What do to if you are unhappy with the training