By Florence Madden
Author interview printed in Rapport: The Magazine for NLP Professionals…….
We wanted to explain NLP in ‘everyday’ language and in everyday situations.
Once upon a time, two friends (and NLP Trainers) were talking over Skype. It was October 2017. Just before the end of the call, talking about pre-course reading for their NLP courses, Florence said, jokingly: “We should write our own book.” Eleni replied immediately, “Yes, let’s do that… You write half, I’ll write half. It will be easy!” Florence sat back, making a mental note to be careful about making jokes to Eleni in future, and then said, “Well, let me finish the book I am writing now and let’s do it!”
So, by the end of the call with her friend, Florence had committed to writing another book! And so our story began… We met in France in 2009 on our NLP Trainer’s Training with Sue Knight and started a lasting friendship. Although we grew up in opposite ends of Europe – Greece and Northern Ireland – and despite having different styles, as we got to know one another it became apparent that we shared some common beliefs around NLP. Principally, we have a shared belief that NLP is relevant in every aspect of our daily lives – hence the book title Everyday NLP. On one occasion, someone from the local Chamber of Commerce said to me, “Of course, NLP is very specialist!” I was quite shocked by this, and yet this was important feedback that the ‘message’ of NLP needed to be clearer to a wider world and lose that ‘specialist’ tag.
So, we set about explaining the models and concepts of NLP through the lens of our life experiences and its relevance in our lives. There are many books that explain NLP concepts in much more technical detail, and we did not seek to emulate those. Instead, we wanted to explain it in ‘everyday’ language and in everyday situations. And there was something else – as the book was principally intended for prospective delegates to our courses, we wanted those readers to hear our voices and our approach. They needed to know if we were the ‘right’ trainers for them; it was not simply about laying down a base knowledge for the courses. In addition to this, we wanted the book to support the ANLP syllabuses and make the transition from pre-course reading to course as smooth as possible.
We eventually started writing Everyday NLP on 1st January 2018. The title actually came about by scribbling ideas on a flipchart in my kitchen! Eleni loved Everyday NLP as a name for the book and when we researched it, neither of us could believe no one had taken it already. Our process of writing took us on a journey in 2018 – literally and metaphorically! After broadly agreeing who would write which chapters, we met up in Kuala Lumpur in February, London in May, Thessaloniki in June, Toulouse in August. The book developed as our friendship developed.
In Chapter 1, I quoted from Rumi’s poem The Great Wagon to describe my learning journey with NLP – and yet it also describes our learning journey in writing the book:
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other doesn’t make any sense.
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.
We certainly criss-crossed the fields of what was right and what was wrong, and I am pleased to say we met on the other side. Our friend Mike Rawlins described the book as “a conversation between friends,” and so it was.
It is certainly easier in some respects to write a book on your own, but the collaboration produced something much richer than we could have imagined. Each conversation seemed to spark new ideas, each challenge encouraged deeper thinking. Early on we agreed we wanted the book to be in colour, to be inviting to open and it would be filled not just with diagrams and models, but with pictures and drawings. We wanted to invite the reader into our world.
Later in the book we quote the old adage that it takes a village to raise a child – our ‘child’ was hugely helped not just by our fabulous editors and graphic designer, but by a small army of friends and associates who read drafts and gave their feedback. One person’s comment about the difficulty of navigating through the 28 chapters resulted in the creation of the ‘signposts’ that now guide the reader through the different sections of the book.
We need to give special thanks though to Robert Dilts, who took time to give us some practical advice on the Sleight of Mouth chapter, as well as this hugely encouraging testimonial:
“Congratulations to Florence and Eleni for this thoughtful, rich and comprehensive overview of NLP and its applications to everyday life situations. As Eleni and Florence show us, the greatest value of learning NLP is in how it can be applied to improve almost any situation that you encounter in your daily life. By presenting stories and examples from their own personal experience, Florence and Eleni bring NLP to life in a way that illustrates both its simplicity and power without needing to be sensational. The field of NLP has needed this book on Everyday NLP for a long time. I am grateful to Eleni and Florence for finally giving it birth. Bravo!”
Robert Dilts – Developer, Author, Trainer and Consultant in the field of NLP and Co-Founder NLP University
Our book was finally published in October 2018 and we are grateful to all those who helped along the way and have bought it since. The book is available on Amazon in paperback and ebook versions and will shortly be available through the ANLP website also. Don’t all the best stories end like that?
Florence Madden is an internationally certified NLP Trainer, Generative Coach, NLP New Code Coach and podcaster, originally hailing from Northern Ireland and now based in Cumbria, where she is the ANLP Regional Ambassador. Her business is Florence Madden Associates, and she works with organisations in the private, public and third sector, delivering NLP and coaching courses in the Lake District. She is passionate about the ability of all of us to learn and grow at any stage in our lives, and how doing this enriches the lives of colleagues, family and friends too. As well as co-authoring Everyday NLP, she is also the author of another book, The Intention Impact Conundrum. Find out about her courses, podcasts and books at www.florencemadden.co.uk
Eleni Sarantinou is a Master NLP Coach, Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Certified Coach, Life Coach and Internationally Certified NLP Trainer and her focus is on her clients making that important next step in the direction they desire. Her work focuses on creating practical and supportive strategies that will make the unconscious mind realize our goals and help create societies that promote contribution, accountability and personal and financial growth hand in hand. Next to coauthoring Everyday NLP, she is the author of the leadership book Perception Projection: 9 Principles to empower your team, and co-author of The Change 6: Insights into Self Empowerment together with Jim Britt, Jim Lutes and others. Eleni is based in the Netherlands and is the ANLP International Ambassador for the Netherlands.