What is NLP?

NLP is a popular coaching technique and personal development methodology.  

It plays a prominent role in our Life Coaching Courses at The Life Coaching College Australia and contributes to our coaches’ successful track record serving clients — and creating change within their own lives.  

 But what does it do, and how does it work? In this article, we’ll explain what NLP is, what it’s good for, and how it can be a helpful tool as both a coach or simply as a human being looking to improve your life.  


NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic-Programming. NLP was developed by Information Scientist Dr Richard Bandler and Linguist Dr John Grinder back in the 1970s at the University of California in Santa Cruz. Together, Bandler and Grinder believed it was possible to identify successful individuals’ patterns of thoughts and behaviours and teach them to others.

 According to the NLP Association of Australia (NLPAA), no single definition entirely captures NLP’s spirit and power. However, according to Glen Murdoch, Founder and CEO of The Life Coaching College Australia, a good starting point is to break down the definition of each of the three words that make up its name:  

  • Neuro: The mind and the brain (which make up our nervous system) and how they interact with the body.
  • Linguistic: The words and language we use. Language can be verbal and non-verbal. 
  • Programming: The habits of thought that lead to patterns of behaviour.

Then, with these definitions in mind, Glen says that “The most simple, non-scientific explanation of NLP is that it’s an instruction manual for your brain. It helps you understand all the things that drive you and teaches you how to change those things to do things better.”


Ultimately, says Glen, NLP provides a “magical” step-by-step blueprint for success. Except it’s not magic! 

It provides coaches and practitioners with models, techniques, and processes to follow that help them create change, get what they want from life and achieve excellence in any realm.

So, NLP can help you (or your clients) to: 

  • Be more effective, efficient and successful
  • Improve the quality of your life, mental health and physical well-being
  • Communicate more effectively 
  • Transform your relationships
  • Heal from the past and release limiting beliefs
  • Eliminate fears, phobias and low self-esteem
  • Regain control and get the life you want


We cannot go into great depth here — that is what an NLP training program is for! — but we can give you an overview. 

With NLP, you’ll learn how to understand and identify the patterns of thoughts and behaviours that have led you to where you are in your life. From there, you can choose whether they work well for you and decide whether you want to change them.   

You’ll know how to change those patterns of thoughts and behaviours rapidly and effectively for profound and lasting change. And you won’t just change them for the better; you’ll be able to change them in the best way possible.

Because NLP is about behavioural modelling, which means that any task or skill done excellently can be decoded and replicated so that others can learn to do the same skill or task well. So, you’ll be modelling excellence when you create change. After all, says Glen, “The difference between success and unsuccess is mapping it out.”

NLP Training

“At its heart, NLP is about shifting people from merely existing to loving living. And you can only do that if you know HOW to do it. NLP is the how. It’s a step-by-step recipe that you can take your clients through or take yourself through.”

NLP is also the ultimate communication tool because it grows you into an expert in verbal and non-verbal language. This means NLP dramatically enhances anyone’s ability to coach, teach, train, manage and negotiate — making it an extraordinary resource for anyone in business, sales, education, therapy and coaching.


Per the NLPAA, you can apply NLP effectively in the following areas: 

  • Coaching, therapy and counselling – to accelerate the changes with clients by looking at the processes that underlie a particular pattern, emotion or habit.
  • Personal development – to remove unresourceful emotions and patterns while promoting confidence and self-esteem.
  • Business – to enhance communication and negotiation skills. 
  • Sports – to enhance performance.
  • Parenting – to assist in clear communication with children from the start.
  • Relationships – by enhancing communication.
  • Teaching and training – by giving you tools for developing group rapport and communicating to different learning styles.


“NLP is so popular in coaching because it works for everything. Meaning, it’s an incredible way to help clients have success in any area of their life,” says Glen.  

“Plus, it works fast! Your clients can see results quickly — which is, of course, what they’re after. With NLP in your coaching toolkit, you can help your client change their outlook, perspective and behaviours (and in turn, the outcomes they experience) in a matter of minutes or hours.” 

NLP Training

It won’t just help you coach your clients, either. Applying NLP techniques in your own life will also help you run your business by enabling you to communicate better with clients (even in difficult moments), overcome your inner blocks, and achieve success. 

Just like Nicole Cabello discovered! She told us, “I get emotional just thinking about it because NLP changed my relationships, my thoughts on who I am and who I could become, and how I operate my business.” Read her story here


Are you eager to become an NLP Practitioner or Master Practitioner to change your own life as well as others?  

If so, it’s crucial to study NLP with the right school or practitioner. According to NLP training standards, it’s essential to learn NLP in-person for 7-9 days. (Some courses are as short as three days and conducted purely online). 

NLP TrainingSource: https://nlpaa.org.au/Training_Standards

Glen explains why. “Firstly, in terms of pure experience, you cannot replace the energy in the room when you learn in-person. You and your group become a beautiful family after spending 7-9 days together, experiencing breakthroughs, fears and laughter. People are getting rid of emotional and mental baggage they’ve been hanging onto for decades.” 

“Secondly, it’s imperative to learn in-person because trainers can assess your competence with NLP techniques in real-time.”

After all, if you want to be using these techniques and gleaning the benefits for yourself and your clients, it’s essential to be doing them right!  

Do you want to complete a reputable in-person NLP training? We offer NLPAA accredited Training Programs at The Life Coaching College Australia. Explore our 7-Day NLP Practitioner Training and 9-Day Master NLP Practitioner Training.


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The Life Coaching College

Glen Murdoch is the founder and CEO of The Life Coaching College. He has a long history of working with Athletes and Teams as a Performance Coach and Analyst and has developed Australia's number 1 Life Coaching College.