Dear Readers,

  Welcome to the first issue of the Competence Strategies e-Newsletter.  This Newsletter will share NLP tips and techniques to help improve our competence, confidence and congruence on various aspects of our professional and personal lives.  If you are not the intended recipient of this Newsletter, instructions to unsubscribe are found at the bottom of the Newsletter.

In this issue, I will be discussing the following topics: 

1.  Why NLP?

2.  Why Competence, Confidence, and Congruence?

3.  Weekly “To Do” List

4.  NLP Presupposition:  “The Map is not the Territory.”

5.  Training programmes for August 2003 


1.          Why NLP?

  Yes indeed why NLP?  For the uninitiated, let me first explain what is Neuro Linguistic Programming or NLP.  The elements of NLP are: 

refers to our neurology and our ability to take in information through our 5 senses and translate it into usable information

refers to the verbal and non-verbal language we use to communicate with ourselves and with one another

refers to our ability to program in useful behaviors and deprogram un-resourceful behaviors to enable us to obtain the results we want.

  In short, NLP is a philosophy and methodology of utilizing our brain and language to impact our behaviors to get the results we want.  Referred to as the software of the brain, NLP is a model to duplicate human excellence. 

  How did I get interested in this field?  For some years I worked in a large organization and couldn't help noticing the difference between effective and ineffective workers.  Effective workers were proactive, resourceful, and have a higher level of independence.  Ineffective workers tend to wait to be told what to do or to ask how to do their tasks..  It all boils down to initiative, performance and results.  Many workers, despite their university degrees and high potential, somehow didn’t perform at the level expected of them.  I wanted to know what makes the difference.  As I was in charge of management training of the 5000 strong organization, I looked for answers in many of the traditional fields of training: Maslow, Skinner, Mind mapping, Lateral Thinking, 7 Habits, Whole Brain Dominance, Myers - Briggs Typology.  True, they have something to add to people’s performance level, but I journeyed on.

  When I came across NLP, I thought this is it!  I felt its effectiveness because it is not only about cognition but works on the body and emotions (and spirituality) as well.  Without hesitation, I took my practitioner and master practitioner trainings.  Later, I went to the USA and Canada to be certified as an NLP Trainer, Consultant and Coach. I’m proud to say that I’ve been to almost all the major NLP Centers in the US and Canada and know their relative merits.   After 15 years in NLP, I still go to the US 2 or 3 times a year to deepen and stretch my skills.

  How have I use my NLP skills?  In more ways than I could ever imagine when I first took up NLP.  My relationship with my wife and children improved almost immediately.  I showed my children how to do well in their studies without extra tuition.  At work, I easily got into rapport with my colleagues; got more work done in less time; cured my phobia of riding in lifts beyond 20 storeys.   I had the boldness (and peace of mind) to leave my corporate job to do the things I find most meaningful; work with school - going children labeled “average” and help them into better students; help children who still bed wet into their teens; work with managers and organizations with performance or communication issues; conduct NLP trainings which I think are the most fruitful training anyone could be exposed to.  What’s most comforting to me is the thought that I possess skills which are useful and marketable until my last days. NLP impacts all aspects of my professional and personal lives.

  With my academic and managerial background, my mission is to provide the highest quality NLP training and services in Singapore and in the Asia region.


2.         Why Competence, Confidence and Congruence?

  Competence and confidence are simple enough.  Competence is about bringing the required skills and ability to do what we’re paid or assigned to do.  Confidence is about the belief and sense of assurance that we can do the task.  Both are important qualities and can be developed.

  More and more people are having an issue with Congruence.  Many middle -aged managers and professionals tell me how much they dislike their work.  In the morning, they have to drag themselves out of bed to get ready for work.  They just have to soldier on in their job in order to bring food onto the table.  The passion for their work has been lost.  Or it may never have been there in the first place.

  Congruence is about aligning our values with the work we do.  Once aligned, we  feel we are making an important contribution.  We find meaning in what we do.  And life becomes more meaningful. 

  People must have the guts to move on if their work no longer appeals to them.  If we persist in a job we loath, this is the onset of many unhappiness and illnesses.  If we cannot leave our jobs, one way to align our values is to look for the “value” of our contribution.  Reminds me of the old saying: 

“Some people do what they like.
Others will have to like what they do."


3.          Weekly “To Do” List

  In the fast pace world that we now live in, it’s easy to feel a sense of loss over our time.  Before we knew it the day, the week, the month is gone and we are still left with piles of work undone.  A sense of helplessness and hopelessness soon creeps in.  

  One of the easiest ways to put some control into our lives is to plan our day.  Many books prescribe using a daily “To Do" list.   I cannot recommend strongly enough you list out the tasks you need to do as part of a life habit.  You list all the things you need to do for the day and proceed to do them one by one until everything is done.  I have added in a refinement.  In the days when life was more placid, I used to put up daily “To do” list.  Now, I rarely found I could complete the tasks I set out to do for the day. And I begin to feel guilty.

  The remedy is to extend my time-frame. I now put up a "To Do" list for the entire week – from Monday to Sunday.  I ensure that tasks touch all aspects of my life (physical, spiritual, financial etc.) are listed down. I strongly recommend you do likewise and begin to sense the breathing space you can now enjoy without bringing down your productivity.


4.          NLP Presupposition:  The Map is not the Territory

  In this issue I want to talk about the NLP presupposition: The Map is not the Territory.  It simply means no 2 persons have the same concept of what is true.  When 2 persons see a scene of a baby, for example, one person might see beauty while the other might see just another mouth to feed.  Each person has his or her own internal representation of what they see externally.  What this internal representation is depends on the person’s, past history and beliefs. When one of them insists that his internal representation is the one and only truth, trouble soon erupt. 

  The lesson of this presupposition is simple enough.  If we wish to continue to be in rapport with others we must respect others' concept of reality without necessarily having to give up our own idea of reality.

  Knowing and practicing this presupposition saved me from many potential boo-boos. Once I was doing a demo on eye movement patterns during an NLP practitioner training.  The subject was a medical doctor.  When I asked him about his early school days, his eyes were fixed to the front.  There was no movement.  When I asked him about the dinner he had the previous night, still no movement.  And no movement either when I asked him about his retirement plans.  With 20 other pairs of eyes staring at me, I was beginning to get very uncomfortable at this “failure.” 

  Almost on the verge of declaring the demo didn’t work. I suddenly thought about the doctor’s concept of time.  I asked “What is your earliest memory and can you talk about it?”  His eyes immediately moved up and to the left.  Wow! that really saved my demo.  Apparently the subject believed in past lives and had some interesting things to say about his past!  Even though I don’t believe in past life that is not relevant for the purpose of what I was demonstrating.

  Have a great day!



22 Aug
Presenting for Influence and Persuasion

28 Aug
The 1 Day Essential NLP Programme

29 Aug
Joy of Presenting

Find out more about these courses here.

To register:
By Phone : (65) 9752-0670  

Online Registration: Click here


Copyright 2003 Competence Strategies International Pte Ltd All rights reserved.