What is NLP?

NLP is a communication model that deals with:

  • studying the links between communication, thinking and behavior, as well as
  • various techniques for improving communication, behavior change and achieving goals.

NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming and even though it sounds strange, the name of this communication model is the most direct way of describing what it does.


There’s a great confusion regarding what is NLP and what is the most significant thing in NLP trainings. NLP is known for its techniques and that is primary source of confusion. Although the techniques are extremely useful, they are not the most important as well.

There is no universal NLP technique or technique for each situation. So, if there is no technique, can we even apply NLP?

Of course we can, but solution shouldn’t be found in techniques themselves, but in the process of modelling. It is necessary for us to look around ourselves and find the person that is successfully dealing with same or at least very similar situations.

Strategies used by that person is what we can model and apply in our situation. This way, we are creating our own solution for the situation in which we have ended up in.

NLP is a method of recognizing and modelling successful strategies. NLP techniques known today have been made as a result of modelling of skills and strategies done by successful psychotherapists, and they are not the NLP itself – they are the result of applying the NLP.

If we focus on NLP techniques only, we can easily end up being NLP robots. On the other hand, if we direct our attention and energy towards enhancement of modeling skills, then we will soon become the creators of our very own techniques.

Peđa Jovanović
NLP Master coach

Neuro-Linguistic Programming

Neuro refers to our way of thinking, or various (conscious and unconscious) ways of processing information coming from the outside world. We experience the world we live in in a way that is unique to us and subjective. NLP deals with these subjective experiences. Million people – million different experiences. Is it a nice day or bad day predominantly depends on how we feel that day or what is our subjective experience of it. Often, if we think about the good things that will happen we can experience even the darkest autumn day as beautiful, and vice versa. The challenge lies in the fact that we often feel our subjective experience is not under our control. That it somehow comes and goes by itself. Among other things, NLP deals with the influence on the creation of useful subjective experience in this situation.

Linguistic refers to the words. People describe (subjective) experiences through words. In addition to describing experiences, words are also means of perception. When we say that a shirt is dark blue color, we can imagine the color of the shirt pretty clearly. NLP explains how words can impact our way of thinking, mood change and behavior.

Programming refers to our habits. People are creatures of habit. Sometimes, these habits are useful and desirable, but sometimes they are completely undesirable. NLP uses simple, but very effective, methods of changing our way of thinking so it’s consistent with our values and goals and results in desired changes in behavior.