30 Things I Learned Teaching Personal Development & NLP Courses



I have learned so much while providing personal development and NLP courses around the world. Here are 30 lessons, out of many, that I picked up along the way.

1. People are not their behaviors.

2. Everyone has a story worth telling and listening to.

3. People can make extraordinary changes and get a new, more positive, filter during a 7-day course. This is true even on topics they have been struggling with, or in therapy for, for many years.

4. Group rapport is built much more quickly and more intensely if a safe and intimate space is created where people can connect.

5. People from around the world have more in common than differences. We all want to learn, improve, be loved, give love, have a safe home, etc.

6. If you take responsibility of putting someone in a more resourceful state each time you engage with him or her, your life ends up changing.

7. Doing NLP, personal development, or coaching patterns on someone is like stepping on sacred ground.

8. Each person has a different map, and sometimes someone else’s negative way of observing the world ends up being projected onto the wrong person. This can occur with anyone, sometimes even being a trainer, a student, or a hotel staff member at the training venue.

9. Sometimes you indeed encounter people that are challenging. They need the course the most. They may not walk out as the best student, but there is an opportunity for them to make the biggest leap from the map of the world you first met them in.

10. People who do not have the other students’ best interest in mind are always found out.

11. When someone is really good at a certain skill, they always believe that they can do it (and do it well,) even if the rest of their strategy or how they exactly do it is unknown to them. I have never seen anyone being truly excellent at something and not believing that they can do it.

12. There are often students, who may not say so, who literally spent years saving up for the training, have all of their life’s happiness or future depending on the training, are sleeping in their car or crowded hostel dorm room, took out a huge loan, left their children in the hands of others, etc. It is important to remember that as a trainer and as a student inside a personal development course. It’s often unknown to most people which student that is.

13. The right people seem to magically fit and come to the right group, in the right training and location.

14. Sometimes when people want something of their personal best interest, but not in the best interest of the group, they will slowly increase a display of negative emotion hoping to get what they want from students or trainers. It’s not manipulative, but it is important to maintain boundaries in the best interest of yourself and that of the group.

15. Always enter the training room in a resourceful state. Also ground or center yourself before you go in.

16. Each student may have a lesson to teach you, that you have to learn.

17. Humility is important.

18. The people who commit the most and go for the ride trying to learn instead of not fully participating for whatever reason, end up getting the most personal development.

19. It’s fun when people question, and then are convinced. They end up being the biggest supporters of the tools taught.

20. It is extremely rewarding to also care about students and the fellow group after the training. It nourishes you as a human being. It is important to also set boundaries for yourself as a change worker.

21. The true impact of what you do, can only be guessed! Letters, phone calls, and gifts of gratitude sometimes come years later. And that’s the students that let you know. Students impact others … who impact others. That is a thing to remember when you are having a tough day at work. It’s even better when students send these letters to each other, instead of just the trainer.

22. As a trainer or as a coach you must apply NLP or personal development on yourself. It makes your work so much better.

23. Pay attention to the introverts in a training, even though it’s the extraverts you clearly hear most of the time.

24. Silence of a person isn’t consent.

25. You always have to improve your own skill set, keep learning, and you also need a coach.

26. Being a trainer or a coach is a top sport. It is impossible to be the best trainer of your abilities if you are out of shape, unhealthy, and feed yourself with garbage. Your body shows the evidence of how personal development is expressed in your life and how much you apply the tools on yourself.

27. When people learn, they also go through stages of confusion and frustration. It’s part of learning.

28. It’s not just unconscious mind work; the conscious mind wants to be satisfied too in order to create lasting change.

29. People learn better when they are having fun. Also when they can walk around, lie down on the floor, go to the bathroom, or get coffee whenever they want.

30. If people show up with a positive intention to create change in their or someone else’s life, magic occurs.

Also, the venue of training … there are always people that return either the day after class or years later. It will always be a special place with good memories. And for me as a trainer of NLP and personal development, I feel the same way.


  1. I love those. Thanks for sharing.
    Especially your first point touched me: “People are not their behaviors.”

    It’s a lesson I’ve learnt and am still learning every day. Especially also with myself. I am also not my behavior and I can love myself the way I am, even when I am not happy with my some of behavior and am working on changing it.

    And point 6:
    “If you take responsibility of putting someone in a more resourceful state each time you engage with him or her, your life ends up changing.”

    To me that’s THE motivating factor in everything I do. Having a positive impact on everyone I meet. Not only the people in the training room, but the person who delivers the food or the receptionist whom I am asking for more flipchart paper.

  2. Yeah, the first one is a presupposition of NLP. And something that I remind myself of continuously, where it comes to my own behavior as well as others.

    With point 6 we ultimately change our world. If you assume your communication to create a feeling, then people communicate back to you based on that feeling. That in order makes me feel good, and makes me communicate back differently. It ultimately then becomes the most amazing connection. If you can provide personal change, then the communication you get back and the way they communicate to others, ends up changing. It’s that pebble in a pond.