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The Art of the Science Behind qChange Series: NLP

Updated: Dec 4, 2021

Utilizing Neuro-Linguistic Programming to Communicate with Leaders Better

The Art of the Science Behind qChange series highlights the Science behind qChange, while also describing the Art of applying that Science. Last week we focused on Nudge Theory and how we provide leaders with prompts, or nudges, right before critical meetings, so that the leader shows up better in that meeting, and therefore, the meeting is better.

This week we’ll focus on Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). NLP was co-founded by Richard Bandler and John Grinder and has been around since 1970’s. NLP comprises models, techniques, and strategies to help us understand how the language we use influences the way we think and the results we get.

NLP isn’t without controversy, and as it became commercialized it became over-used in some settings. We simply focus on the communication aspect of it, using it to “talk to” leaders in a style that resonates best to them. Individuals tend to gravitate towards different sensory styles of communication. Some are more visual; some are more auditory. Some are more procedures focused; some are more options focused. Essentially, the NLP communication model suggests that to improve the likelihood of behavior change, you use language that works best for that individual.

An example would probably help. Let’s say a leader is working on the Area of Driving Accountability (one of 45 Areas in our Leader Experience Action Dimension model). Right before a key meeting the leader will get nudged on the topic of Driving Accountability. Utilizing NLP, we try to communicate the nudge in a style that increases the likelihood of that behavior occurring in the meeting.

If the leader is more Auditory the nudge would read something like: In this meeting, tell the team what accountability looks like to you. If the leader is more Visual the nudge would read something like: In this meeting, show the team what accountability looks like to you. By meeting the leader in styles that are more comfortable to the leader, we increase the possibility that the nudge will be accepted and used by the leader in the meeting.

How do we do this at qChange?

When a leader onboards within qChange Leader Experience (LX) the leader is asked a series of short questions to help us (and our AI) better understand the leader’s communication style and sends nudges to the leader in styles that resonate best to that leader. Within qChange we utilize twelve different NLP styles to provide leaders with the strongest nudges (and we have over 900 nudges) possible. To learn more check us out at:

John Howes, Ph.D.

Chief Leader Experience Officer

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