Relationship first.

I'm increasingly bothered and genuinely concerned by some of the ways we engage with eachother in the NLP Community. These are behaviours I recognise in both myself and in others. I'm doing my best now to step outside of this culture and do things differently.

There are people in the community who have been incredibly fortunate in their NLP Training choices and opportunities and as a result have good references and skills that others have not yet had the opportunity to develop.

People who don't know what they don't know, people who may not have had the opportunity or references to realise there are differences in standards of training and even people who are brand spanking new to the field are being judged quite harshly for what they don't know yet and for things they didn't learn or pay much attention to in school. Like "verbs" for example.

Ridicule. Condescension. Aggression.

This kind of behaviour does not promote learning and growth. This implicitly communicates you have to know everything or you will be mocked by your peers. There is no space to be a learner, to make mistakes. There is no psychological safety. It shuts down learning. It closes hearts and minds and ends conversation. It creates disconnect and divide. Schismogenosis.

I have heard NLP Trainers I respect and admire in many ways refer to fellow NLP Community members as idiots, stupid, dumb, dolts.

When I hear this I feel disappointed and ashamed. And reminded that we're all human and flawed. Which is followed by compassion. And a reminder that I have been guilty of similar behaviours myself. More shame. Followed by more compassion. And a reminder of my commitment to doing things differently.

I understand that there is a great deal of emotion and frustration with the poor standards of NLP Training in the world. I often feel utter devastation and heartbreak about this myself. I have often felt like lashing out.

My intention is to shine a light on an area for development for myself for us as a community that could lead to increased performance and results.

When we're putting someone down, we have lost connection to any intention to raise the standards of NLP. That's not about NLP anymore, that's about ego, status and our own insecurities.
We are demonstrating a deficit. As much as there might be declining standards of technical skill and innovation, what I'm noticing is a massive gap in self awareness and relational skills and a culture that claims to promote ongoing learning but actually perpetuates growth limiting behaviours.

Relational skills are just as important, if not more important than technical skill and depth of understanding. We know for example, that with a good relationship and connection, placebos are more effective, client/patient outcomes are more positive and students perform better.

How well do people generally respond to alternative ideas and perspectives when they're attacked and treated with ridicule and disrespect?

When we connect with members of our community who remind us of what's missing, there are a number of ways we can respond and I wonder what we can learn from each other in these moments to help us preserve and enhance the magic of NLP.

We can rant.
We can post about it in forums and on social media and websites like this.
We can call out how inadequate or unskilled someone is and put them in a box marked "inferior" ignoring their value and potential as a human being and the consequences of engaging with them in this way.
We can call out how much better we are than them.
We can boast about our own superior training and skills.
We can elevate our own sense of status, importance and intellect.
We can create a divide between "us" and "them".
We can lose focus of what we really want most.

We can also remember what's important.

We can look within.
We can practice curiosity and connection and behavioural flexibility.
We can take action to create access to the learning opportunitues we would like people to have.
We can demonstrate what we'd like to see more of.

Do we all have to get along? No.
Do we all have to agree? No.
But if we're shouting about declining standards and behaving in ways that are having people disengage, ways that are closing minds to what value we might have to offer, reducing our ability to influence, shutting down conversations and opportunities and perpetuating a fixed mindset culture, then we need to recognise this and do better.

There are opportunities here should we take the time to get over ourselves a little bit, connect and be curious. We all have something to learn from each other.

Raise the bar. Relationships first. Stay human and don't be a dick.