As Founder and CEO of The MIND Engineers, Donna coaches and trains professionals with the tools of Neuro Linguistic Programming. NLP is an attitude and methodology with which you can enhance the quality of your life and your performance in work.
NLP is co-created by Richard Bandler in the 1970s and recently enjoyed renewed popularity due to developments in artificial intelligence. NLP is based on the premise that if you change the way you think, you change the way you feel an therefore what you can do.
Where psychologists kept people with phobia’s for years in therapy, NLP provides a solution in already a single session. Also, it is often used in top sports, education, business, sales, public speaking and more. Wouldn’t it be great to know more about this? Sit back and relax while we ask Donna about the power of NLP and her brand-new company: The MIND Engineers.
How did you end up founding an NLP-based training company called The MIND Engineers?
The MIND Engineers is founded only recently, however the story that led to that moment goes way back. I started my professional career working for a big corporate five years ago, working in financial advisory. About two years ago, something happened that changed my life tremendously…
All of the sudden, in a short period I completely lost the power and coordination in my legs. Leaving me in a situation where I was not able to walk anymore.
It took me a while to accept that the signals between my brain and legs were misfunctioning mainly because of.. Stress. Where the mainstream medicine and hospitals could not do much for me, I found out about NLP and noticed that the tools they were teaching helped me get better.
Being amazed by what NLP is possible with NLP, I decided to dive deeper into this. And there the start of a promising company was born..
Could you tell us what neurolinguistic programming is?
NLP is the study of how we process information and how that affects our behavior, or simply said, the way the brain works.
“Neuro” refers to the nervous system, with which we receive and process information that comes in our body through our five senses. “Linguistic” stands for to the verbal and non-verbal communication, with which we code, order and make sense of the world around us. And “Programming” refers to the way that we organize the information and run programs in our mind to operate in this world and achieve specific goals.
“The kinds of problems that people have usually have nothing to do with the content; they have to do with the structure, the form of how they receive, process and organize their experience”
NLP is also called ‘The Study of Success’. It started by studying people who were performing at a high level of excellence in their field (e.g. Virginia Satir, Milton Erickson etc.) and looking at what they are doing differently than other people.
How does this work…?
The kinds of problems that people have usually have nothing to do with the content; they have to do with the structure, the form of how they receive, process and organize their experience.
With NLP, you’re able to coach someone in the way how he processes information internally. So instead of focusing on the content itself, miles can be made by paying attention to how information is received, processed and translated in a way that works for you.
You get tools that make you aware of the internal processes and filters that you use to perceive the world around you. And once you are aware of these and able to change it, you can allow yourself to achieve results that were once thought of as impossible.
It sounds to me as if NLP is more about emotions.
NLP is a way that allows you to think on purpose rather than being led by emotions. It is important to give your mind a direction, so it knows where it is heading to. When someone has very intense emotions, for example after trauma, often what they do is make a huge internal image and relive the experience over and over again. And you know what: when you train something, people tend to get real good at it. I’d rather train to feel good. NLP provides me the tools to reduce the emotion of less helpful feelings, and increase the emotion on the real good stuff.
Could NLP also help fight problems such as burn-out?
With NLP you can help people with a range of different issues, and it can certainly be useful to get people out of burn-outs. You know what I found, research shows that about 75%-90% is stress related. If we could reduce the stress component, how much better would the lives of many people be? NLP provides the tools to change the perception of stress. By changing the way you think, you can change the chemicals your brain produces and sends into the body. More and more people start to realize the importance of the mind-body connection now, that’s a wonderful development.
By giving training and coaching sessions?
Exactly, I give training sessions about NLP and how to apply it to specific areas such as health, business or how to set your goals. It gives me such a good feeling to share the valuable things I’ve learned through NLP so people can make conscious decisions about the most important areas in their life, including their health. I am a licensed practitioner, master practitioner and trainer in NLP, so if you’re curious you can just hook me up! And this summer we’re starting a training program to become a NLP practitioner yourself. So these are very excited times!
How deep does the programming of NLP go?
The techniques you learn with Neuro Linguistic Programming are powerful, and can also address the deeper belief systems. As I said, with making the changes you might be able to achieve results that were first thought of as impossible.
Besides I used NLP to learn myself to walk again, I got rid of my spider phobia and even dropped my food allergy. Previously my throat was swallowing up when eating certain foods. It feels so liberating to just go to a restaurant and order what I want. Such a luxury.
What instant lesson did you learn by setting up your company?
One of the major learnings is that in the beginning there are a lot of different tasks that require attention. Spending time on my website is not my favorite task I figured out. Luckily B. is full of potential to start working together with others. Also, one of the things on my bucket list is developing biofeedback software that tracks stress levels for preventive health care. I have very exciting plans for that. So, if someone has experience in this area, let’s get in touch!
How do you ensure to grow as a person?
I read a huge number of books, a couple every month. If you want to get a feel of NLP, consult Richard Bandler’s Get the Life you Want, which contains some practical exercises that you can apply in your daily life right away. Else I travel around the world to follow courses from the best trainers and formed an international team with some NLP trainers from all over the world in order to keep learning together. I am really looking forward bringing that community for a part to B. and the Netherlands. And who knows, perhaps beyond…
Donna would like to give away three free sessions to our B. members! Send your coaching question to firstname.lastname@example.org, and who knows you might win one of her trainings!