Episode 129: How to sell your ideas to your boss – with Brigitta Hoeferle of Center of NLP

Sometimes it’s hard to get your point across to your work colleagues.

Trying and failing to persuade someone to your point of view can be extremely disheartening.  But what if there were techniques you could use to help you?

In this episode, award-winning educator and NLP master, Brigitta Hoeferle, explains everything there is to know about neuro-linguistic programming and how it can help you get your ideas across and create better relationships with your co-workers.

Today’s guest

Brigitta Hoerferle of Center of NLP

Websites: Brigitta Hoeferle and Center of NLP

Email: info@brigittahoeferle.com info@nlpatlanta.com

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Brigitta Hoeferle is a powerfully engaging and professional international speaker and is the fast-tracked female trainer and retired lead coach of one of the largest self-development companies in the world.  As a leading mentor, business coach and author Brigitta has been invited to speak on stages around the world.

Her degrees in marketing, communication, social pedagogy, and education science validate her expertise, logic and knowledge, but it is her creativity, humanity, and passion which really makes her stand out and lead other credible high-quality leaders.

Brigitta is the award-winning founder of the German Language School and the Montessori School of Cleveland.  As the Founder and Shareholder of The Montessori School of Cleveland, and as CEO, Owner, and Grandmaster of The Center of NLP, a global institute located in Atlanta, GA, she gives full credit for her success to her unique communication and listening skills, her tenacity and her never-ending desire to take something from good to outrageously great.

Brigitta and her team have created coaching programs for large corporations and conducts extensive trainings for businesses: small, medium and large.  Be prepared to learn from Brigitta so sit back, take notes and let’s have some fun.

What you’ll learn in this episode

  • [1:30] Brigitta’s experience in teaching the Montessori method and how she became an NLP master.
  • [3:55] What ‘neuro-linguistic programming’ (NLP)  is.
  • [6:37] The programming side of NLP and how we shape the behaviour of our children.
  • [7:50] How adverts programme us to think a certain way.
  • [10:08] How you can programme yourself to change the way you react.
  • [12:30] How NLP can help your self-development and reframe your childhood experience.
  • [18:43] How your childhood thoughts and upbringing affects who you become.
  • [21:27] How to acknowledge past traumas without obsessing over them and the different strategies to reframe your mindset.
  • [25:36] How NLP can be used as a tool in your interactions with others.
  • [28:12] How parents can use NLP to improve their parenting.
  • [31:29] Techniques to build rapport with your boss and get them to listen to your ideas.
  • [36:48] Areas of NLP to be wary about and what makes NLP different from manipulation.
  • [40:19] The founders of NLP and the science behind it.
  • [41:41] How to find out more about NLP.

Resources mentioned in this episode

Please note that some of these are affiliate links and we may get a small commission in the event that you make a purchase.  This helps us to cover our expenses and is at no additional cost to you.

To see the resources recommended by all our guests, visit the Resources page.

Episode 129: How to sell your ideas to your boss - with Brigitta Hoeferle of Center of NLP

Jeremy Cline 0:00
You've got a great idea for how something can be improved at work. You just know that, if this change is made, it's going to make life a heck of a lot easier for you and your colleagues. You're really excited about the idea. You go in, tell your boss about it, and your boss just looks at you blankly. They're just not interested. So, how might you bring them around to your way of thinking? That's what we talk about in this week's episode. I'm Jeremy Cline, and this is Change Work Life.

Jeremy Cline 0:41
Hello, and welcome to Change Work Life, the show where we're all about beating the Sunday evening blues and enjoying Mondays again. Have you ever tried and failed to persuade someone to your point of view? Maybe you've tried to convince a work colleague about an alternative way of doing something, but you just felt like you weren't getting through to them. Are there techniques you can use to help you? That's what we're going to be looking at this week, as we delve into the world of Neuro-Linguistic Programming or NLP. And joining us this week to help, I'm delighted to introduce Brigitta Hoeferle. Brigitta is owner of the Centre of NLP in Atlanta, Georgia, and is a mentor, business coach and author who speaks on stages around the world. Brigitta, welcome to the show.

Brigitta Hoeferle 1:26
Thank you so much, Jeremy, for having me. I'm delighted.

Jeremy Cline 1:30
So, when someone asks you, Brigitta, what you do, what do you say to them?

Brigitta Hoeferle 1:35
Depends on who asks. I often say I'm an educator. I'm an educator at heart, I was born in Germany, live in and reside in the United States now, own two educational facilities. And when people look at me, and they see and hear that I am an educator, and they also see me not working with children, it kind of sparks their interest, and they say, 'So, what do you educate on?' And I like to say, the two educational facilities that I have, one is the Montessori method, I have a Montessori school, that's what I came in 2004 to build, which is a Montessori school for my own children. Through the building of the business, and through the growth of the business and scaling of the business, I have found I love educating children. And I have also found that I love working with parents, because often parents would come to me and say, 'Well, Brigitta, you seem to have a different child in school than I have at home. Why is that?' And I would start educating parents and give them some insights in setting boundaries and giving children meaningful things to do and having them part of the household and having them part of the family task force, if you will. And out of that, I realised it's the adults that shape, I know it took me a little while, but it's the adults that shape our children, and that's when I heavily invested in learning more about that, and that's when I became an NLP master and learned more about Neuro-Linguistic Programming. So, that's a long answer to your short question. I am an educator at heart, and I love to educate people holistically, so we can really have an impact on the future of our lives, and that's through our children.

Jeremy Cline 3:30
Brilliant. Well, thanks so much for that introduction. Let's start with a really open question, which could eat up the entire interview unconscious, but let's go there. What is Neuro-Linguistic Programming? I mean, the Programming bit sounds slightly sinister, it sounds like some kind of brain manipulation or something like that. So, what is it?

Brigitta Hoeferle 3:53
Yeah, that's a great question. And I agree with you on the programming, so I'm going to take it, I'm going to decipher it bit by bit. Neuro-Linguistic Programming is made of three words. Neuro, our brain, our operating system, our computer, if you will, where scientifically, we know that that's where our emotions originate, our thoughts originate our experiences, our memories are stored, the things that we experience of how we view the world through our lenses, not just the lenses being our eyes, but through the lenses of how we experience the world through our senses, seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling and tasting, all of that is stored in our brain. That's the Neuro part. So, really understanding where all of that originates and where it's stored, where we're retrieving that kind of information. Linguistic, if you would see me, I'm pointing to my mouth, Linguistic is the communication. But communication is so much more than just words. One scientist has, Albert Mehrabian has deciphered language when it's in a high emotional state, so highly emotionally charged, may be funny, may be sad, may be elated, whatever it is. So, he took our language apart and put it in three components, words, tonality and body language. And when our communication is in a high emotional state, our words, how it counts in our communication, only counts 7%. Our body language counts 55% and our tonality 38. So, when we're in a high emotional state, say we're really, really angry, and we're trying to get a point across to our team or a teammate, and we're trying to do that with our words, but our tonality just comes out wrong, and our body language just gets really abrasive and aggressive, the words that we're trying to say might be not in alignment with our body language and our tonality, and it just doesn't land the way it needs to land. And that's where a lot of leaders just kind of disconnect to what they really are trying to get to. So, that's the communication part. In our communication, we cannot not communicate. So, there's sometimes silence, right, pauses, silence, there's the body language part that speaks a language all for itself, if you will. Sometimes I have to tell my face, if you would see me, guys, sometimes I have to tell my face to shut up separately, because it just speaks language all by itself, without me saying anything. And then, there's the Programming part, as you just said, Jeremy, it's kind of, you know, ooh, I don't know how I feel about Programming, let's talk about that. With our thoughts, with our emotions, with our language, may be verbal or nonverbal, we shape the behaviour, like I said earlier, as adults, as teachers, as parents, we shape the behaviour of our child, or our children. And as a teacher, we have an impact on a whole classroom. As a mother, as a father, we have impact on our children, maybe even on our own parents, perhaps other family members, neighbours. So, with our thoughts and our communication, we have an impact on people's behaviour, other people around us that are listening to us, and of course, on ourselves. So, our thoughts lead to, and our communication, maybe inward, our self talk, or outward, the things that we're saying to other people, shapes their behaviour. And therefore, if you want to use that word, we programme others of how they feel about us, or how they feel about what I am saying. Let's look at TV programming. Within a TV programme, if we decide for TV programming, if we don't have a high paid subscription, there's also advertisement. Advertisement programmes us to create a feeling around what I'm seeing, ooh, there's this brown liquid that is being poured into a glass with ice cubes, and you hear it go [imitates sound of ice cubes hitting the walls of a glass], and someone drinks and he goes, 'Ahhh!' I don't have to tell you what that person is drinking, because you probably already made up your mind what that brown liquid is, because we have been programmed, not just over weeks and months and years, but over decades, what this liquid is called, and what it tastes like. You can probably already taste it in your mouth, right, and your saliva is probably gathering, because you're like, 'Now, I'm really yearning for this drink', if you like it. So, we programme either ourselves by drinking or eating something over and over again and anchoring an expectation or anchoring a memory to something that we eat regularly when we are in that state of mind. Like my husband and I, we love to go to a Vietnamese restaurant, because that was the restaurant that he took me when he proposed to me. Vietnamese cuisine for us has a special meaning. So, we constantly, as humans, we're meaning making machines, and we're programming ourselves. Now, the thing about programming is, there are other people, like advertisement or people that want you to buy something, may it be from stage or someone that rings a doorbell, they're trying to programme you, but often, they come across as ooh, you know, slimy, kind of car-salesy guy type of personality, and it doesn't work. Because it's not done masterfully. Advertisements, like I just shared with you, the brown drink, are done very masterfully, and we have been programmed over decades, since I was a little child, and there is no resistance, other than the resistance that I know that that drink is not good for me because of the sugar count, because of the sugar count, because of the sugar count and because of the sugar count, basically, for me. So, I don't drink it. I know what it tastes like, but I don't drink it. So, wherever there is a programming, when we become aware of what are the consequences of these programmes, I first have to become aware of it to then also have a counter programme, to have an evidence, or enough evidence for myself, to realise, okay, this is not good for me, or me finding excuses and excuses might be a programming that we do subconsciously on a regular basis, finding excuses of not going to the gym. Oh, it's too hard work, or I don't have time, or I don't want to get up in the morning, or I don't want to go at night, or whatever the excuses that might be, those excuses are evidence for you to not go to a workout. So, we're constantly, the point that I'm making here is we're constantly programming ourselves, and we're being programmed by our environment, by TV, TV programming, by the people around us. That was, again, a very long explanation to a short question.

Jeremy Cline 11:27
But that's a really helpful explanation. Thank you for that. And to summarise, and correct me if I've not got this correct, but essentially, it's something that we do to ourselves, effectively, or that we sort of build into ourselves, the way we react to things, the way you how a certain trigger might make you react in a particular way, and it's also a means by which others can seek to influence you, or the counter is that you can seek to influence others. Let's look at the first of those. So, I've often heard of NLP being talked about in a sort of self-development, personal development capacity. So, this is more of the inward-looking thing. So, what is it that NLP is something that, in what ways is it that NLP can help you from a personal self-development perspective?

Brigitta Hoeferle 12:30
Yeah, for sure. So, if we look back, NLP is known as the science of success. So, looking inwardly, in self-development, that's when I first looked at NLP for myself. Clearly, there are things, if you've ever seen the knowledge pie, right, there's a pie chart, there's a small sliver within the pie chart, that is the knowledge that we know that we know. And then there's another small sliver in the pie chart, that is the knowledge that we know that we don't know yet, but we are aware that we want to learn it. And then, there's the big, I'm going to call it the like the Pac Man style piece of that pie chart, that is the knowledge that we don't even know that it would really do us good if we would know that. So, in personal development, as a leader, it would be very beneficial to learn first about yourself, to then decipher what are the things that work really well for me, what am I doing on a consistent basis that is very supportive, not just to me, but to my outer world, my family, the team that I'm leading, my children, my parents, anyone that you want to have a great relationship with. Because, at the end of the day, Jeremy, it is not about the money that we make and the sales that we do, it is about what kind of relationships do we have in business and in personal life. And first and foremost, before we can have a really good relationship with someone else, we've got to have a good relationship with ourselves. So, looking and deciphering, which patterns do I run regularly that were probably keeping me safe, perhaps, at some point, but they're not keeping me safe anymore. You might have a pattern that is, and often these patterns come from our imprint phase, when we were children, from age zero to age six, that there was no wall, if you will, or you can't see the wall, but the subconscious and the conscious mind was one within that imprint phase. That means all of the information, everything that's been said over and over again, sticks. It's part of your belief system. If your mom, when you were a small child, said on a regular basis, 'You're dumb, don't touch that hot stove', well, now you're making it mean, because you heard it so many times over, that you are dumb, and maybe, touching the hot stove makes you less dumb. I don't know. Whatever the child in their little brain creates. So, growing up, what remains is the 'you're dumb'. So, that child that has heard that over and over and over, over years, it came from, the mom only did it because of a positive intention to keep the child safe to not get burned, but what stuck was that the now adult still carries around the 'you're dumb', and wonders, 'Why in the world am I not getting where I want to be?' Because it is so deeply ingrained that that person believes that, because there's evidence upon evidence upon evidence of every time the mother or the father or anyone else in the family said that, all of it is evidence, and as humans, we are driven by evidence. The more evidence we have, the better of a case we can make, right? So, we're making a case for our own, sometimes it's just not supporting us. So, NLP allows you to, remember Neuro, the thoughts lead to your communication that leads to your results, that can either be a programming that works for you or not work for you, you've got to be able to peel back those onion layers, those layers and layers, to get to the bottom of where does that old belief come from, and how can you reframe it. We can't change the past. We can't go back and say, 'Mom, take your words back.' We can't do that. But we can change bringing insights, bringing resources from today, and allowing that little child from back then to realise, 'Oh, that was because I was supposed to be safe. And I can give mom those words back, because they have nothing to do with my success in life, or they have nothing to do with me feeling worthy or not worthy.' So, often, it's these little nuances that we can get to the bottom of with making use of the NLP strategies. And there are many strategies that you learn from a living teacher, it's hard to learn that from a book, you really learn from a living teacher that guides you hands on through that process. So, that's on the personal level. So, when you know how you can do that, how you can build your own really supportive relationship with yourself, it's easier than to also build that in your personal life and in your business life.

Jeremy Cline 17:48
I'd just like to extend that example that you used a bit. So, we've got the person who might have been told when they were a child that they were dumb, and that was, as you say, just because their mother was trying to keep them safe. But just to give an example, maybe something that you've seen, how might that upbringing, that conditioning, manifest itself in adult life? What might this childhood experience mean for the adult in terms of how it expresses itself?

Brigitta Hoeferle 18:26
So, are you talking about like a worst-case scenario?

Jeremy Cline 18:30
A worst-case or a realistic case, or just as an example, you know, what might be the characteristics that that person displays in adulthood as a result of what they experienced as a child?

Brigitta Hoeferle 18:43
If that person experiences that as a child and never goes on the journey of finding out why am I doing certain things, like, why am I not getting the smart, witty spouse or partner that I'm seeking for my life? Why is that? Right? And if they never go on that journey, or they're just asking themselves, but then, they just sit on the couch and wait for the universe to drop an answer in their lap, that's probably not going to happen, they're going to either not have that relationship that they're yearning for on the inside, or they might have a relationship, and they might then even have children, and if they do not learn from that, it will perpetuate on. So, often, if we do not realise of what we're doing on a very subconscious level, it will be passed on to the next generation. Because that's all we know. And if we don't go on that journey of the knowledge pie, of looking at, okay, so if I'm not aware that that's actually what I'm doing, and now I'm telling my child, 'Are you dumb? Don't touch the stove', because I'm telling them that, because I know how that works, I've heard it so many times in my own life, I know how that works, I'll pass it on. It worked for me, I never touched the stove, so I'll just pass it on. So, if there's not an awareness of, actually, it's not okay to call my child dumb. Actually, it's not okay that I carry around the notion that I might be dumb, because am I? And what would it feel, sound and look like if I'm not dumb? Because I don't think I'm dumb, but why do I have that notion that I am?

Jeremy Cline 20:33
To what extent do you need to dive into the past to address some of this? I know that it's a fairly common technique in things like counselling or therapy to look at past experiences and see what impact they might have. But I guess on the other hand, there could be a concern that you always drive yourself crazy trying to look at all the events in your past life and figure out what they might mean and start to see patterns where there are no patterns and suddenly think, 'Oh, yes, that's what it was all about.' And suddenly, you're just driving yourself slightly potty, trying to figure out all of these things. Is there a happy medium, a line where it's useful, but you don't go beyond that?

Brigitta Hoeferle 21:26
Yes, and I'm not a fan of 'go dig in the past'. But I am a fan of becoming aware of where did it happen or when did it happen, how did it happen, and then offering a reframe. Because like you said, and I said it earlier, we cannot go back and change the past. So, digging around in the past is not, from where I'm standing, from my point of view, not necessarily the best way to go about, but you've got to be aware of where has that happened, and then offer some resources and cut the ties. So, one of the strategies in NLP is called a pattern interrupt. So, you interrupt that pattern, you become aware of the pattern, you interrupt it, and you can interrupt it with a language pattern, like one very common language pattern that I use with my clients is, 'Up until now, I told myself I am dumb', for example. 'From here on forward, I will acknowledge my knowledge', and and then fill in the blanks, XYZ. So, you're cutting the ties that, up until now, this is what I did, and from here on forward, like from the moment that I'm talking, right now, I will do, and now you're offering a reframe, or you're offering the new way that you want to go about. Now, that's changing a habit. And the older people are, the harder it is to change a habit, right? So, you've got to be very mindful, you've got to be very aware of what is no longer serving you, what you want to do from here on forward, and literally have that new belief, that new mindset, you can post it all around your house for the beginning, so you're constantly reminded, because often, that little voice of 'I'm dumb' sneaks in, and you're not even aware of it. In the funniest little, you know, it could be happening right now as we're talking. So, you want to be so alert and so mindful that it'll just subconsciously creep up and take over, that you do have that reframing in place of how you want to replace it. And that also takes evidence procedure, right? So, sometimes, one of the strategies that I use with my clients is I have them draw a table, and I have them put on that table that new way of thinking or that new belief, and then, I have them draw legs under the table, and each leg is an evidence. So, you and I know, a table needs four legs to stand sturdy, and I ask them to look for four legs in the beginning, and then, as they become more aware, to draw out more legs under the table every time they have evidence that they are indeed smart, that they are indeed knowledgeable, that they might have heard someone say, 'Oh, that was so helpful, thank you for shedding light on this', or 'That was super helpful in that last meeting.' And then, they would draw those or write out that evidence as a leg under that table, and the more legs are under that table, the sturdier that new belief becomes.

Jeremy Cline 24:58
I'd like to switch this over now to how NLP can be used as a tool in interactions with others. So, we've talked about how you can use it to work on yourself, how you can look at some underlying beliefs you might have, and how you can combat those beliefs through reframing. But I think you mentioned that, also, NLP is something, or NLP techniques are something that you can use to assist you in interactions with other people. Can you sort of start to introduce us to that as well, please?

Brigitta Hoeferle 25:33
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I do a speaking, and I'm often asked to speak, and I ask from stage, 'How many of you are in sales?', and I ask the participants in the room. And then, I have, you know, maybe a third, maybe a half of people raise their hands, and I say, 'That was a trick question. You all are in sales. You're constantly selling your idea, your opinion, you're persuading your superior to look at your idea that you have, that you know would actually make a great change in the workflow, and it would make things work smoother.' Right? Most people just go in and say, 'We've got to do this, and we've got to do it now.' So, there's no bridge to even, say you were my boss, Jeremy, and I would come into your office, and I would have this grand idea, and I'm really enthusiastic about it, because I know, in my own world, I know it's going to make a change in the workflow and would make your life, my life, everyone's life that's working in our department easier. Now, I might come into your office, and I might completely disturb you, get you out of your own mindset of something that you're doing, going through your spreadsheet or whatever you're doing, and I just come in, bulldoze over you and say, 'This is what we're going to do.' Well, your first reaction is going to go, 'Get out.' Right? 'I don't want to hear it, I'm not ready for this, get out.' And I'm totally overdrawing the scenario, but that's how it often works. We're not picking the person up that we're trying to make an offer to, to buy our idea, to buy our opinion, or to buy our product or service, and pick them up where they're at in their model of the world. And first of all, relating to them, to then go on a walk with them, to also be able to then see your side of the world. And I see that more and more happening in interactions with people, it is almost like a black or white interaction. We either immediately see eye to eye, and it's like, 'Oh, yeah, I totally get what you're saying, and it makes total sense', or 'No, that's absolute bollocks, and we're not going to go into that at all.' So, it's that grey area of how do you cross over that bridge to meet the other person where they're at, so you can then pick them up where they're at, kind of hook under, take them for a walk and say, 'And here is also how we can do it.' Parents, you know, as a child, I'd rather have chocolate for dinner, or sundae ice cream. Okay, you can have ice cream for dinner after you've eaten your broccoli. So, you're acknowledging, okay, you can have that, there's a little bit of bribe perhaps in there as a child, but first, you're going to eat your broccoli, or at least, you're going to try something new. And then, you also, as a parent, right now I'm talking about parents and not leaders of a company, as a parent, then you also got to be very aware of what are the consequences. So, setting clear boundaries, so if this is not being done, then here's the boundary and here's the consequence. You know, AKA you're not going to get your ice cream. Parenting and leadership can be the same, and can be two different things. I'm not saying to penalise your team members. But the strategies of Neuro-Linguistic Programming can help you to see the other persons of the world, so they can then be open enough, you hear the, you know, people will buy from you or buy your idea when they know, like and trust you. Well, yeah, that's all fine and dandy, but how do you build that know, like and trust? How do you build that rapport? With some people that are very much like you and your personality style, it's easy. When you have someone that is not like you at all, it's going to be more effort, because you've got to learn a different coded language, if you want, putting that in air quotation marks, because you're not necessarily speaking their coded language. You might be speaking the mutual language of English, but you're not speaking their coded language, that means that you're not picking that person up where they are at.

Jeremy Cline 30:14
We start to touch on some of the specific techniques that one might be able to use. And let's give an example. So, a few months ago, on my podcast, I did an interview, which was all about conducting meetings. And we had a conversation about how to make the dreaded team meeting more effective, and not just a talking shop that no one wants to be there, and no one gets anything out of, and everyone leaves thinking, 'Well, there's an hour of my life I'm never going to get back again.' So, say I've listened to that podcast, and I'm thinking, 'Oh, this is great. Yeah, there's some amazing ideas here. I am going to go and talk to my boss and try and persuade them that we should do team meetings in a different way.' Now, I could go to the boss and say, 'I think we should do team meetings differently. We don't get anything out of them. And here's some ideas of what we can do alternatively.' And that might get a reaction, it might fall on deaf ears. What sort of techniques could I use in that conversation to stand a better chance of getting my boss's buy in?

Brigitta Hoeferle 31:29
First of all, I would set an appointment and not just walk into the boss. So, set an appointment, and really have a good amount of time where you have one-on-one time with your boss, first and foremost. Because most people just kind of walk in. I don't know if that's still doable or not these days. Then, I would pick up, like I said earlier, pick your boss up where he's at and ask, when you ask good, open-ended, quality questions, you will actually get answers for them. So, ask, be mindful of what questions you're asking, one of the first questions that you would ask your boss, 'What do you get out of team meetings? What do you get out of that hour or half hour, however long it is?' And then ask, 'And what would you change?' So, first, your boss also wants to be heard. So, you pick him up where he's at, and then, you would go into, 'I agree with your ideas, and would you be open to hearing more ideas?' Now, it is a conversation. Now, it is a, and this is a language pattern all in itself, would you be open of hearing other ideas? That is a test that you actually have rapport with the person that you're talking to, and that person is now engaged enough to go on that walk with you. Maybe they're already hooking under, and now you're going on that journey of, oh, let me look at the world from your side. So, when the boss says no, then you've got to build more rapport and do a little bit more, I call it schmoozing, or asking very open-ended questions that will allow the boss to talk about what he would like to see. And of course, I sure hope that the bosses that we're dealing with here, that those are the bosses that I'm dealing with, are open enough to have a conversation with a team. If you're dealing with someone that is totally closed-minded, and that is not open to any new ideas, you can do all sorts of NLP strategies, you're not going to get anywhere, right? People cannot be, and I'm going to pick up the word programme again, people cannot be programmed against their values. People cannot be programmed against their values. One of my values is to eat and live healthy. Therefore, any kind of junk food or soda drinks, I could watch those advertisements all day long, I will never have a craving for them. Because they are just not part of my values. So, same for you, and I want to finish the how can you persuade your boss to look at other ways of having team meetings, maybe having team meetings for a very specific, you know, you could make all sorts of ideas of making them a very specific length, and having someone within the team call the time, so giving ownership of different tasks within the team to different team members, and not just have it on the boss or on one person. So, in order to do that, you must be heard. And how do you get heard? You first have to hear about the other person. It is, seek to understand first, and not to be understood. And that means that you've got to go over that bridge, you've got to meet the person where they're at, and that, depending on the personality styles and how different your personality style from the other person's personality style is, that might take a little bit longer or will shorten the strategy itself. Picking up the person where they're at, that's first and foremost, the first thing that you've got to do.

Jeremy Cline 35:36
I love that. I love the idea of starting by asking questions, so starting with, 'I'd like to talk about this. How do you think they're going?' or that kind of thing. It's one of those things where I think we're so used to being in advice giving mode, that starting with a question, starting with where you're at, that's just completely alien to most people.

Brigitta Hoeferle 35:36

Jeremy Cline 35:38
I'm aware that sometimes NLP can be perceived as having a dark side. Perhaps it's that line between persuasion and manipulation. So, you've talked about advertising, and where it's this slightly sinister, the programming part of it, where someone on a stage is trying to manipulate you to open your wallet, get your credit card out, rush to the back of the hall and spend 2000 pounds or dollars or whatever on their programme, or whatever it might be. What should people be wary about in terms of NLP?

Brigitta Hoeferle 36:44
And thank you for speaking to that. And it's with the Centre of NLP and swimming against the stream of other, not all of them, but several NLP programmes out there. So, first of all, vet. Right? If you're looking into learning more about NLP, vet the people that you're learning from, and are you really getting the information that you want to get, or are they just kind of, 'Oh, I'm just selling you this, so I can do an upsell.' But the biggest difference between manipulation and persuasion is intention. And that's it. And I'm going to say that again, because it's so important. The biggest difference between manipulation and persuasion is the intention behind it. And that's it. So, are you creating, or the person that is learning about NLP, are they learning it for a win, which is ego, it's their own win, or are they learning it for win-win, a win for you, a win for me, or as we're teaching it, is it a win-win-win, a win for you, a win for us, and a win for the community or the company or the neighbourhood or the bigger family or whatever the bigger entity is that is connected to you and I? It's got to be a win-win-win. It's got to be a three-part win. Or else, it is that manipulation. And I like to say, or I like to compare NLP with a hammer. NLP is a communications tool, it is the major programme of our communication, of our language that we're using. And when we're aware of the major programme, then we can use it intentionally. Now, a hammer is made to build a house, put walls together, put pieces of wood together, to build a beautiful bird house, or even full structure. But it can also be used to damage, it can be used to hurt someone, it can be used to demolish a house that doesn't need to be demolished. So, it's the intention behind the use of this incredible tool that really you've got to be mindful of. And with the lenses that I gave you just today, you can start seeing who's using it for win-win-win, who's using it for their own good, to sell something for 2000 pounds from stage, what are their intentions behind it, and quite frankly, if you don't know what their intention is, ask a question.

Jeremy Cline 39:40
One of the criticism I've seen of NLP, which I think it's just worth addressing, in case this is something that the listeners are also aware of, it's sometimes described as a pseudoscience and something where there's not really any scientific evidence to support the claims about what it can do. Now, I don't know whether that matters, I don't know to what extent those who are within NLP claim it to be a science, and the science that's been subject to scientific rigour, but whatever, is that something that you can talk to?

Brigitta Hoeferle 40:17
Yes, absolutely. So, for me, it is the signs of success. And let's look back at the founders of NLP, Richard Bandler and John Grinder. Back in the late 60s, they were both mathematicians and deciphered language in its parts. And out of that, from where I'm standing, from my point of view, it is a science in itself. And for people that are looking at, is it a pseudoscience or trying to give it some meaning, that is totally okay, because from where they're standing, it might serve a purpose for them to understand it in that way. From where I'm standing, being able to have these strategies that I can use to support someone to get to the place in life that they want to get, I really don't need it to back up by any specific science, if you will.

Jeremy Cline 41:21
Perfect. That's great. That's fantastic. So, thanks for that. If people are interested in delving into the subject in more detail, there must be reams and reams and reams of literature out there. Where's a good place that you want someone to start if they're interested in looking this further?

Brigitta Hoeferle 41:41
Well, there are all of the books by John Grinder and Richard Bandler. They are for the beginner. They're not an easy read. There's one book by Richard Bandler, Frogs into Princess, they're not an easy read. I like for people to start out reading, it's a book that is not an NLP book per se, but is an incredible book that actually touches on some of the success patterns within NLP, and it's by the author Don Miguel Ruiz, R-U-I-Z, his last name, and the book is The Four Agreements. And although it is not an NLP book, if you will, it is a very important read for anyone that is interested to learn more about NLP. Because it sets the stage, and it sets the foundation in the right direction of creating those win-win-wins.

Jeremy Cline 42:44
Perfect. I'll put a link to that in the show notes. And where should people go if they want to find you?

Brigitta Hoeferle 42:51
centerofnlp.com or simply google my name, Brigitta Hoeferle, it's very easy, you spell it just like you say it, so I'm the only one out there with that name.

Jeremy Cline 43:04
Fantastic. Well, Brigitta, thank you so much for coming on the show and introducing us to this fascinating subject.

Brigitta Hoeferle 43:12
Thank you, Jeremy, for having me.

Jeremy Cline 43:14
Okay, hope you enjoyed that interview with Brigitta Hoeferle. NLP is one of those things that I've heard of, but I really didn't know much about it. So, I was really grateful to bring on Brigitta to give us an introduction. What I like about it is the fact that it can be used both to help you personally and to help you in your interactions with others. In yourself, you can use it to help reframe your thoughts and question what it is that you believe to be true. And you can also use it in your interactions with others to help bring them around to see your point of view. And I love this very simple idea of doing this just by asking questions, rather than saying, 'This is what we need to change, and this is how we're going to change it.' You instead start by saying, 'So, how do you think this is going at the moment?' It's such a great way of closing the gap between where you are and where the person you're speaking to is. Show notes for this episode are on the Change Work Life website at changeworklife.com/129, that's changeworklife.com/129, for Episode 129. And you'll find there a full transcript of the interview, if you want to go back and read some specific bits, as well as a summary of everything we talked about, and links to the resources that Brigitta mentioned. And I know I keep mentioning this, but if you haven't yet left a review for the podcast on Apple Podcasts, it would be amazing if you would. I know that I've got a ton of information which will help people, and if you leave a review which says the same thing, then people will know that they're in the right place and that the podcast is worth listening to. So, I know Apple Podcasts doesn't make it particularly easy if you're not an iPhone or an iPad user, but if you do get a chance just to leave a review, it would be absolutely amazing. In two weeks' time, we're going to be talking about what happens when you're so busy that you just start to feel overwhelmed. Everything gets on top of you, you just don't know which way to turn. My guest has got some great tips for how to deal with that. It's going to be a great interview, so make sure that you have subscribed to the show, if you haven't already, and I can't wait to see you then. Cheers. Bye.

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