Does anyone have any experience with NLP

I spent a weekend in the NLP seminar and became a "manipulator"

Finally the man with the headset takes the stage. Roman Braun, our NLP trainer, is completely different from what I expected. Less of the self-help / motivational / you-can-make-it-happen guru. More like a thoughtful cabaret artist. His topic: How absurd we communicate with ourselves and with our fellow human beings. That we don't allow feelings too much and should laugh more. I look again in my seminar folder to see if I have booked a happiness seminar after all.

Neurolinguistic cabaret

Roman Braun picks up the first real laughs from us in the first few minutes. When he tells his anecdotes, he imitates the tone of his protagonists - sometimes it's the nasal Hietzinger German, sometimes the whispered Simmeringer Viennese. He cleverly places pauses, quiet moments - in order to accelerate in the next moment and steer towards the climax. The funny stories all pack interesting wisdom, experiences and anecdotes from real life.

"The quality of our internal dialogue determines the quality of our life," says Roman Braun in a more serious minute. In the next two days we learn that it is always about how we talk to ourselves first, because that determines how we affect others.

First impression

At the end of the first day, I feel very good. Downright inspired. Of course, I defend myself against that. I look for criticism of NLP on the net. Some say it is unscientific and ineffective. Others say it's dangerous because it works too well. That doesn't help me either.

What NLP really is now, I ask Roman Braun later. Basically a mixture of rhetoric training and help in life, his explanation can be summarized. But there was a lot of rubbish about it, I tell him. "I've never coached FPÖ politicians," says Roman Braun. His clients include Caritas Socialis and Volkshilfe, he explains to me. In the audience I find people from a wide variety of professions: a social worker who works with refugees, teachers, salespeople.


The method of neurolinguistic programming was invented in the mid-1970s by the American mathematician and psychologist Richard Bandler and the linguist John Grinder. The two were looking for the formula that makes particularly successful people so successful. Her theory: The top people just communicate differently. What they observed, they brought together with set pieces from various psychological schools and developed something like a "tool case" for successful communication. The seminar I attend is the typical entry point into the NLP career. Two days for the price of € 120. If you want more, you can book nine days and two weekends for € 3,300.

It only gets really NLP-like in the last few hours of the seminar. Then we try the rapport with the well-known "mirroring". Alternately in the same and unequal posture, I discuss the bus intervals for public transport with my exercise partner and the quality of the sausage stands. For me, the exercises are more like halting elevator small talk. I remember why I would rather write than speak.

My conclusion

After the weekend I'm a little confused, I don't know what to write. The sensational journalist in me was a bit hoping for the blatant revelation. Instead, we practiced self-awareness and shied away from each other. It's crazy - people who want to improve their communication on the weekend. It's tempting to bash all of this. At the same time, my subjective experience was very positive. I decide to write it down just like that.
I didn't take any NLP tools with me from this weekend. But the next time I have to lift something heavy, I will say “Yes, yes, yes” out loud beforehand.