How to use NLP to visualize your future
Updated: Feb 13, 2020
Some time ago, a senior manager came to see me and asked if I could help him prepare for a presentation he was asked to do as part of an interview process for a vice president of software position. The coaching work was intended to prepare the candidate for an effective presentation from the definition of the slide deck concept, how to speak to the jury, what to say, in what intonation, doing a private SWOT analysis and much more. I knew that by the time we had finished he had a good chance of getting the job, so he wanted to be sure that being accepted for that position is something he really wanted. It was important to analyze his true motivation for two main reasons:
1. Sometimes we want something for the wrong reasons, and when the "dream" comes true, we do not know how to deal with it. As one famous person says "be careful with what you dream, it can come true".
2. Being aware of your true desire can help you focus better on achieving that goal on the one hand, and deal with it better in case of failure on the other hand. To understand how much this manager really wanted the position of vice president, I wanted him to be really there, to feel what it would be like to be a true vice president of R & D. For that purpose we did an NLP exercise using the Timeline technique. I took him to a semi-hypnotic state and asked him to imagine a timeline with the past, the present and the future, and put himself in that line in the present present. I asked him to imagine himself in his current job and to feel all aspects now. What he feels, hey, go. Then I asked her to assume that she gets the job and put herself on the timeline within a year, and again I asked her to feel, feel, hear and see everything in her new vice president position. Immediately he began to feel an unpleasant sensation, an accelerated heart rate, a strange feeling in his legs and hands, unpleasant noises, visualized too much work and images that were not pleasant to see. Then I asked him to imagine himself in two years working on his perfect job. And again, feel, feel, hear and see everything in this new point in time. The results were surprisingly surprising. Suddenly he felt light, his heart rate was regular, he heard pleasant noises and he saw nice images. At the end of the NLP session, it was clear to him that he really did not want this job, at least for now. By further analyzing the candidate's values and intentions, it was also clear that he would like to continue with the interview process in order to make a point and gain some experience in that selection process, but not to actually obtain it. Taking this into account, we made another 4-hour simulation session in which the candidate presented me with an actual presentation and polished it until it was ready for the real event. A couple of days later he received excellent comments from the interviewers as one of the best presenters they had until now. He managed to have a great impression by being clear about his true goals and objectives without expecting too much from the process itself. Finally, a friend of the new General Manager got the job (that's how things work here), but my client was happy to know that a better opportunity is waiting for him very soon. A few weeks later, my client called me because he was hired as Vice President of Development at a software startup company.