LEADERSHIP AT THE PEAK – The well formed outcome

George W Nyabadza

LIFE thrives on communication, whether effective or not. As a Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) practitioner I have come to a deep appreciation of the fact that communication lies at the h

eart of everything.


One of my NLP mentors Michael Hall who lives in the United States puts it this way: “God has built into our very bodies innate ‘communication systems’ of immense complexity so that our central and autonomic nervous systems can interact with each other and the world ‘outside’ our skin in a way that keeps us alive, healthy and vigorous.”


A formal definition of NLP is found in the three words that form the label: neuro, which refers to our nervous system/mind and how it processes information and codes it as memory inside our very body/neurology.

Linguistic indicates that the neural processes of the mind come coded, ordered and given meaning through language, communication systems and various symbolic systems (grammar, mathematics, music, icons).


In NLP we talk about two primary language systems. First, the mind processes information in terms of pictures, sounds, feelings, tastes and smells (sensory-based information) via the “representational systems”.


Second, ‘mind’ processes information via the secondary-language system of symbols, words, metaphors etc; programming refers to our ability to organise these parts (sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and symbols or words) within our mind-body organism, which then enable us to achieve our desired outcomes. These parts comprise the programmes we run inside our brain.

The practice of NLP enables one to be an excellent and exquisite communicator. The NLP model identifies three key qualities that excellent communicators live by:


l Identifying explicit and achievable outcomes;

l Using sensory awareness to notice responses; and,

l Flexibly altering behaviour to achieve outcomes.

This week I will address the first of these three qualities. In the following weeks I intend to more fully address the second and third qualities of excellence.


* What do I want? State what you want in positive terms, ie what do you want and what do you want it to do? Where do you want it? When do you want it? eg ‘I want to be, do or have X’. If the answer forms, as ‘I do not want…’ then asks, ‘What do I want instead of…’;

*Is it achievable? Is it possible for a human being to achieve the outcome? If someone has done it, then in theory you can do it, too. If you are the first, find out if it is possible;

* What will I accept as evidence that I have achieved my outcome? Ensure that whatever your evidence criteria are described in sensory based terms ie: That which you can see, hear and/or touch that proves to you and/or third parties that you have done what you set out to do;

* Is achieving this outcome within my control? Is it under your control, ie can you, personally do, authorise or arrange it? Anything outside your control is not ‘well formed’;

* Are the costs and consequences of obtaining this outcome acceptable? Ensure that the outcome is worth the time, outlay and effort involved in achieving it, and that impact on third parties or the environment is accounted for;

* Do I have all the resources I need to achieve my outcome? Do you have or can you obtain all the resources, both tangible and intangible that you need to achieve your outcome? Resources include knowledge, beliefs, objects, premises, people, money, and time and

* If I could have it now, would I take it? Are all costs and consequences of achieving your outcome, including the time involved, acceptable to you and anyone else affected by it? This is known as ecology. Consider the costs, consequences, environmental and third party impact of having the outcome.


I trust by now you are beginning to reflect on this year’s achievements, possibilities and opportunities that await you in the New Year. NLP tools should form part of your transformation arsenal.

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