NLP & Resilience in Times of Crisis

environmental-protection-326923_1280A friend of mine, an ecosystem management consultant and resilience thinker, was in town last week. He has been impressed with NeuroLinguistic Programming’s ability to provide tools for the evolution of people. So we decided to hold an informal meeting with about 10 people – some NLP trained – to discuss the topic of resiliency and NLP.

HIs research indicates we are entering the “Anthropocene Epoch” – the first earth epoch in which humans are the most influential force in what will happen. Global warming, rising coast lines, radical weather patterns, energy shortages, wars, and destruction of habitats are changing our environments — causing massive immigration to safer areas, food shortages, and energy grid breakdowns.

There has been too much emphasis on who is to blame for what, and even if, any of this will end up happening; and very little about how innovative, resilient humans and other species can cope with and direct the changes.

We talked about the growing evidence that shows massive changes are already happening and that we need to wake up and adapt: share knowledge, fuel innovative solutions, and build mental resilience in individuals and communities. Rather than being scary (at first it was!) it was exciting to discuss the potential ways we can alter our trajectory once we acknowledge the facts.

In my experience, one reason people don’t wake up to bad news (my friend Pat Wagner’s favorite saying is: bad news is good information) is that people feel helpless to deal with it. NLP’s principles and tools help people deal creatively with difficult situations and can help increase people’s ability to be resilient in challenging situations.

So what is resilience? It is a property of all living beings (individuals and communities of plants, animals and people) that enables them to recover from a shock or disturbance.

Attributes of resilient social systems include:

  • cultural diversity
  • disconnectedness (this means having enough space to operate independently)
  • social capital (leadership, trust, learning networks, institutions & penalties for cheaters)
  • innovation
  • openness
  • participation in decision making
  • humility

and we in attendance added the attribute Humor.

It was agreed that what has been taught at NLP Comprehensive and now is taught at NLP of the Rockies is useful in building those attributes in people. As changes in our world accelerate at faster and faster rates, our abilities as individuals and communities to adapt and direct the changes needs to increase.

What NLP training brings to the table is an increased ability to detect change, the ability to connect with, understand and influence others, and to manage our own mental state. These qualities are paramount to support the resilience needed in the times to come.