Tips from an NLP Trainer: Using NLP on Groups – Part I


As an NLP Trainer and facilitator of many smaller workshops and groups I have learned a great deal. Mostly due to failures, which provided me with a lot of feedback.

  1. Before you step into any group setting it helps to step into the shoes of the general individual you basically haven’t even met yet. This is what we call the 2nd perceptual position of NLP. It gives you a great level of predictability. They all don’t know anyone for instance, and have to spend time with complete strangers. They also paid money and devoted their time to go to a gathering where they hope to find return of their investment. You act on that as a trainer very early on, in setting up the experience.

Example 1: I specifically state during my NLP training for the first lunch: “make sure that anyone who wants to go to lunch with another person, has someone to go to lunch with.” There is always a student (usually an extravert) who promptly starts asking for a show of hands.auditorium-1380003-m

Example 2: Putting people at ease, by referencing past clients as an NLP Trainer and coach, having former students in the room, clearly looking like you have a routine & habits that come from many years of facilitating. Even referencing something innocent: “I will give you your manual later, as I know as I give it to you, your attention will be on that for the next 5 minutes and curiosity will get the better of you.”

  1. It is easy to see who the whole group gravitates to in rapport. The person that everyone follows. You build rapport with this person, gain their trust. A tool that works on all groups. See this video how to build group rapport.
  1. publlic speaking megaphone 400As the presupposition of NLP says “the map is not the territory.” You can put 20 people in a room, and they each have a different experience of reality. You can never assume to know what map of the world someone comes from. Pay attention. There is always a person who will enjoy what you do, but there is also a person often with a more negative filter.
  1. In NLP we have many meta programs, meaning things we automatically filter for when we perceive the world. One of them is how people are convinced (of what you are doing.) People are: A) automatically convinced. Don’t let yourself be persuaded that everyone thinks you are doing a great job and your content is having a positive meaning for everyone on the first day, no matter how much one person compliments you. B) Someone needs a specific amount of examples. For most of these people it is 3-6 examples you being a rock star at what you do. C) Some people need time. D) Some people need constant convincing.Build Rapport with a Group

As an NLP Trainer it is the best to assume that I constantly need to convince in the end. And be very aware when something didn’t go well. This includes the relationship that the individual has with the group or groups within the training as a whole.

  1. When there is an issue with one person, also here step into their shoes (2nd perceptual position of NLP), but also in the shoes of the group as a whole (the 4th perceptual position of NLP.) I tend to take that person aside, and out of the room. To handle the situation there, it is easier to have a discussion in rapport, without having a public contest of who wins. There is no influence of the room, and as the group leader, it is easy for you to win. It is tempting to exercise your group power and win, but you will loose that individual. The individual can loose the group. The group is negatively affected by this show down. And if the whole group is already on your side, you clearly showing the sidebar happening, shows that you are handling it.