Thursday, September 04, 2008

Hugh Comerford on TV

NLP works!

Although I did this a few years back, the other day I was playing with some video capture hardware and tested it out on the old videotape (check out the young bearded Comerford...) and it came out quite nicely.

So I thought I'd put it up on Youtube to show how NLP is done when NLPworks.

Follow ze link here, and if you have any feedback let me know!

Friday, August 22, 2008

NLP that works!

n the months of July and August, we have put on 4 Introduction to NLP Courses.

The feedback has been incredible! Some testimonials have been put out on the website at, and I'll share a couple with you here below. Unattributed because those who have sent me these messages haven't let me know how they want to be attributed yet.

Here's one from one of the participants this past weekend:

"Hey Hugh. Just wanted to thank you for making such a big heartfelt impact in my life. There was one moment of the seminar that trully touched my heart and almost brought me into tears. Thank you for dreaming about me, it changed my life forever."

Here's another more formal one from someone who tested out some NLP I taught him in real life after the class:

"I am an MBA and a Molecular Biology major, thus I am generally quite reticent to try of adopt something that does not seem like a formal science at first glance . Therefore, I must admit, I was quite green to NLP before the session with Hugh. Hugh's approach to NLP was very engaging; he peeled away its layers so well that by the time I was done I only began to fathom what I had actually absorbed. This knowledge honestly and truly works on a very practical level!"

These are the only testimonials I have from the last session. More about that below.

More good news: I've been asked back to present at the Toronto Power Group meeting on September 9th at Metro Hall in downtown Toronto. Information is here

...and I've left the bad news for last. At the very last minute of the last class I walked over to my Macbook that had been diligently recording the entire session through Garageband and noticed it wasn't working. I rebooted to find it no longer rebooted.

I found out today that it had coughed up the hard drive on Sunday. What that means is if you have contacted me in the last while for a consultation or training, I may no longer have the e-mail. I do have my data and all the training manuals and ideas for more training (more on that in the future) I've lost some of my e-mail...and that might be forever!

So if you've contacted me for training or coaching in the last while and I haven't gotten back to you, please accept my apologies and e-mail me again.

If you're interested in Introduction to NLP (and NLP Dojo) courses in Montreal or Toronto, let me know. I'm building the training models right now as I reinstall programs...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

"...and then I'm gonna slam his ass into trance..."

Subtitled, "Why NLP often has such a crappy reputation..."

The title of this post is a quote from someone who was in my Introduction to NLP course in Montreal this past weekend. One of the participants was a clinical psychologist who told the following story:

"A few years back I had a client come to see me. For various reasons what I was doing with him wasn't producing results, and I was getting a bit desperate. The client wasn't eating and I was worried he was going to die. Now, I happened to be acquaintances with an 'NLP guy' who was in town for a seminar. I asked him if he'd be willing to work with my client.

He listened to the story of the client and said, "No problem. I can fix anything. I'm gonna slam his ass into trance, blast him through a couple of processes and he'll be all fixed up.."

Then he mentioned that he billed $3,000 per day.

I agreed to pay his rate if he could help my client.

I asked and my client agreed to see him, so my client, the 'NLP guy' and I sat down for an intense 2 1/2 hour NLP session. At the end of the session, the NLP guy pulled me aside and said, "Sorry man - your client is too resistant. He's pretty screwed up..."

This after he told me he could fix anything..."

So he got the impression that NLP Practitioners are a bunch of blustering arrogant aggressive BS-artists.

In this instance he was right.

But not in all instances.

I was pleased and gratified that this psychologist watched how we do NLP at NLP Centres CANADA and, along with the rest of the group wants me to go back to Montreal for one day every month so they keep learning!

So if you have a negative impression of NLP because you once came across some arrogant or incompetent NLP person, take heart. There are some ethical and skilled NLP Practitioners out there...

Head over here to learn more

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Using NLP for Business Success - Neurolinguistic Programing

Using NLP for Business Success - Neurolinguistic Programing
By Ellen Dunnigan

Business professionals face challenging people and events everyday. They may ask how they can better relate to their client(s), give a more dynamic presentation or simply, get better results. The answer is clear: Neurolinguistic Programming. Here’s how it works:

Neuro refers to the brain and neural network that feeds into the brain. Neurons or nerve cells are the working units used by the nervous system to send, receive, and store signals that add up to information.

Linguistic refers to the content, both verbal and non-verbal, that moves across and through these pathways.

Programming is the way the content or signal is manipulated to convert it into useful information. The brain may direct the signal, sequence it, change it based on our prior experience, or connect it to some other experience we have stored in our brain to convert it into thinking patterns and behaviors that are the essence of our experience of life.

Our experiences and feelings affect the way we react to external stimuli. Let me illustrate. I am afraid of snakes. The impulse I get if I see a snake or even hear a sound close to resembling that of a snake is a feeling of total fright. This is because I was a city girl and no one in our family was fond of snakes. One day in Arkansas, a man in my office brought in his pet snake. He wanted to show it off. He was holding it like we hold a puppy. For him it was a pet and gave him lot of joy to hold. To me, it gave an anxiety attack!

My colleagues and I saw the same thing. The same signal was passed to our brains. It was the picture of a snake. However, our brains interpreted the implications of the snake entirely differently. In processing the information, our brains used our experiences (good and bad), our biases, our opinions, our value systems, etc. to convert it into useful information that we can use.

Neurolinguistic programming (NLP for short) was developed in the early 1970s by an information scientist and a linguist at the University of California at Santa Cruz. They had observed that people with similar education, training, background, and years of experience were achieving widely varying results ranging from wonderful to mediocre. They wanted to know the secrets of effective people. What makes them perform and accomplish so much. They were especially interested in the possibility of being able to duplicate the behavior, and therefore the competence, of these highly effective individuals. It was the golden era of modeling and simulation. They decided to model human excellence. They looked at factors such as education, business and therapy. They then zeroed in on the communication aspect. They started studying how successful people communicated (verbal language, body language, eye movements, and others). By modeling their behavior, John Grinder and Richard Bandler were able to make out patterns of thinking that assisted in the subject's success. The two theorized that the brain can learn the healthy patterns and behaviors and that this would bring about positive physical and emotional effects. What emerged from their work came to be known as Neurolinguistic Programming.

One of the basic tenets of neurolinguistic programming is the impact of the senses during communication (for both the speaker and the listener). As each person develops, their five senses (visual, auditory, touch/emotion, taste, and smell) are shaped by both environment and genetics. As we go through life experiences, we store newly learned (and reconfirmed) information through our senses. In other words, our reality is stored information which becomes memorable through the senses. We either see pictures or symbolic images, hear voices or sounds, or feel sensations, energy, and emotion. We recall this information literally in the words we use. These words are called predicates and are nouns, verbs and adverbs. Each statement represents what a person is subjectively experiencing.

Consider these three different ways of giving the same message:
“I am out of step with my boss.” (Kinesthetic)
“We are not seeing eye to eye.” (Visual)
“We are singing different tunes.”(Auditory)

Let’s review an example: A manager I worked with said to his subordinates, "I want you to jump on it." His employee responded "I will take a look at it as soon as possible." My client felt that his employee did not understand the criticalness of the situation. If the subordinate had replied, “I’m going to stomp the fire out,” this manager would have felt that his message had gotten across.

Another example shows a manager and director who were not working well together. After learning about predicates the director realized that she is visual and the manager is auditory. The director wanted to see everything in charts and graphs and the manager was always telling her the information. After this recognition the manager was sure to paint pictures for the director as he spoke. The director also attempted to comment about the information, in order to satisfy the manager's needs.

Do you have a boss? How does your boss “talk” about sales or business results? In pictures? In words? Likes sports analogies?

How do you give your boss info about sales or business results? How can you gain her/his attention? Be seen as valuable? Use the boss’ style!

Beware of categorizing or labeling someone visual, auditory, kinesthetic etc. No one is purely one style. Often it is contextual. For example, when describing a communication snafu one client of mine primarily used kinesthetic predicates. Words like, “felt”, “confused”, “grasp”, “handle”, “connection”. When she spoke of her vacation she used all visual words

i.e., “vistas”, “colors”, “bright”, “light”, “see”, “vantage point”. And when she described a successful event in her life she primarily used auditory words,

i.e. “heard”, “clicked”, “snap”, “tell”, “spoke”, “listened”, “harmonize”. Rather than pinning her down as a kinesthetic from the first interview it was important to pay attention to her words and be flexible in each of the other scenarios.

When you meet someone for the first time, listen for the predicates and match the system. If you meet them a second time, beware of the labeling tendency. Make sure you give them an opportunity to speak – then, respond to them at the moment using the appropriate sensory mode.

Sometimes people do not use predicates in their language. Now can we label them "difficult people?" No, of course not. These people are using unspecified words.

For example, “awareness”, “understand”, “experience”, “comprehend”, “appreciate”, “think”. When you are in conversation with an unspecified speaker simply ask a clarifying question.

For example, "Well what do you appreciate about your employees?" The response should be more specific with sensory information; “I am so grateful that they see the big picture” (visual).

In business, people generally use three senses in making decisions about buying a product or service; visual (sight), auditory (hearing), and kinesthetic (touch and emotion). And more often than not, they rely on one sense more than the other two. In building rapport and bonding with your prospect or client, your job is to figure out which one is more dominant.

It’s your lucky day! We can help you “get a read” on your prospects and clients. In addition to having a clue as to how this person perceives the world, your ability to match the style of your prospect or client is a great technique for establishing rapport. When you enter the other person's model of the world they feel understood. You’ve gained their attention and their trust. You have a greater opportunity to influence their actions and make the sale!

For more information or to schedule a voice assessment with Ellen Dunnigan, call (317) 843-2983 or visit

Accent On Business founder and CEO Ellen Dunnigan is a nationally-recognized and proven coach with specialized training in voice, speech, and English improvement. She holds a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology and has been certified as clinically competent by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association.

In addition, she has spent several years in corporate settings as an operations leader and strategist. Ms. Dunnigan has devoted 17 years to helping people improve their personal and professional voice and speaking skills. For more information go to:

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Take on New Empowering Beliefs Using NLP

Take on New Empowering Beliefs Using NLP
By Beryl Whiting

Change your Self-limiting beliefs – using NLP

What is your opinion of you? Whatever that is, is a belief, your belief. Who created that belief? Well you are the only person who could, aren’t you? No one else has access to your thoughts do they?

Whatever you believe about yourself will take shape in your life. When you believe that you are say, a great competition cyclist, then you will begin to take more interest in your fitness levels, your equipment, your diet. Then you will ‘know’ that you have prepared well for your activity and will feel more ‘confident’ in yourself. You are then more likely to be successful in competitions. This will encourage you to step up to the next level and learn from those more experienced than you. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The danger is that negative beliefs about ourselves can start to become like facts in our minds. We just know that the tomorrow the day will dawn. Whatever we choose to believe about it, it is a fact. Believing something different won’t change it. However, believing that everything else in our life is an unchangeable fact too, is where the problems begin.

Roger Bannister was the first man to run a mile in under 4 minutes. It was widely believed at the time that no man could run a mile in less than four minutes. Guess what? Shortly after he had achieved this record breaking run, many other athletes did the same. What had happened? Their belief that no man could run a mile in less than four minutes had been shot to pieces.

So here is the ‘how to’ create a positive belief about yourself:

Do this simple yet powerful exercise to help you change your beliefs:

Rememeber a belief which is definitely true for you. It could be something like, “I am a woman”. Was there an image created in your head? Notice if there were colours, was it bright, was the picture moving? Were there any sounds to accompany it, were they loud or soft, soothing or jarring. Did you get a feeling in your body? Whereabouts?
Now think of a belief that you would really like to change, a belief that is holding you back in your life? A belief that if you could change would really make a dramatic difference to your life. Aim high.It could be something like,“I will never get the kind of job I really want.”
Overlay the qualities of your original belief which you know is definitely true for you, onto those of the belief that you would like to create. So for example, if your original picture was colourful,you would make your new belief picture colourful and bright. If you heard singing and laughter you would attach those sounds to your new picture. If you had a feeling in your chest, create that feeling in your chest for this belief too.

The magic is, that you can use this simple technique very easily and very simply for any beliefs that you want to take on. Start now and make that list of new beliefs that will change your life.

NLP Coach and Personal Development Trainer, Beryl Whiting delivers professionally developed management training programmes to individuals and blue-chip organisations. You can contact Beryl via her website Go to her website now for a free Stress Assessment.

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Monday, July 31, 2006

NLP in Management, Psychotherapy, and Counselling

NLP in Management, Psychotherapy, and Counselling

By James Angove

NLP has been called the study of subjective experience. Its central contention is that people operate from and respond to their "construction" of their experiences rather than from a single external "reality". They have their own unique models or maps of the world and each one is different from every other. All such "maps" are valid whilst no map is fully able to represent the "territory" or external reality itself.

NLP has a theoretical basis the core of which is that it is a way of thinking about people which has proved practical and effective in a wide range of applications, contexts and situations. It is not held to be "true", but it is taken as a useful model. The model itself is organic and changes as new applications are explored. It is broadly based and draws on concepts from many areas of psychology and psychotherapy.

Early influences stem from the Gestalt "school", the family therapy of Virginia Satire, Ericksonian brief therapy, and humanistic psychology. There are also clear links with the fields of systems theory, behavioural psychology and linguistics, especially the works of Bateson, Watzlawick, Korzybsky and Chomsky.

NLP addresses the issues of creating expectations which cannot sensibly be realised. To do this there is a great deal of emphasis placed on the concept of "ecology" in the personal and corporate change work in NLP. The changes sought must be fully representative of the whole person or system, and not just a part that may be fanciful {albeit also creative} or careless of the potential adverse consequences of change.

The NLP approach is "reflexive" in that therapists seek to make their own psychological processes explicit and to understand these in terms of the theoretical model on which their therapeutic approach is based. The essential remedial and generative model for change is NLP.

In NLP it is stated that PRESENT STATE + RESOURCES = DESIRED STATE. Where the resources are "enabling states" drawn from client's own experience.

The NLP psychotherapist and counsellor seeks to help the client to identify the desired state and then achieve it using his or her own internal resources. This can involve the client in changing limiting beliefs, acquiring new beliefs, and / or gaining insights into patterns of behaviour, thereby enabling more choices.

Whilst the client's personal history is taken as relevant to his or her present state, the emphasis is on how he or she constructs that state from experiences past and present rather than on why. In general this is taken to be a process of "deletion" in which some experiences are ignored, "generalisation" in which universal rules are inferred from individual sets of experiences, and "distortion" in which connections are made between experiences, the intensity or quality of which may be heightened or diminished by internal processing.

"Experiences" are highly varied but they can finally be described in terms of past and present sensory inputs modified by deletion, generalisation and distortion. That is to say, that at any one time, an individual has access to external sensory inputs through the visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, abstract, gustatory and olfactory channels and to internal constructions {memories, with or without deletion and distortion, and synthesised fantasies} which can be described in terms of the same basic five senses. The particular "construction" actually experienced depends on the extent of distortion and deletion in each of the ten categories {five internal and five external}.

The "meaning" ascribed to the experience depends on the extent of generalisation or distortion applied to it. Change takes place in the present and is experienced in the future. Understanding the "past" as a means to achieve change, is in effect understanding the present construction of the past.

Cybernetics and systems theory provide a metaphor for the NLP model of personality. It is seen as being one where the person is driven by cognitive patterns of experience rather than by cause and effect chains.

NLP psychotherapy is typically brief compared with some other types of psychotherapy. Furthermore because NLP is generative as well as remedial, work with an NLP therapist or counsellor can move on from dealing with past limitations to future performance in order to achieve personal and professional goals.

James Angove has an interesting and varied professional background in the field of corporate multi-nationals. Twenty years ago he embarked upon a change of direction and began training as a therapist.

He is a Certified Master Practitioner, and Trainer of the Art of Neuro Linguistic Programming. He is experienced in the use of Bio energetics, Reflexology, Ericksonian Hypnosis and Psychotherapy. He combines the experience of both fields of business, and therapy to bring a new and pervasive perspective to finding solutions and enhancing trainings. His website is Therapist Online.

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