In Krishna & NLP – Part 1, we talk about dilemmas we face in day to day life. We also examine how people from all walks of life, are incapacited due to battles in the mind. The body exhibits our mental state by manifesting certain symptoms/reactions. We use an illustration from the Battle of Kurukshretra to set context and base my propositions on this illustration.

Back to Our Illustration

Now the day of reckoning arrives and the armies are lined up across each other on the battlefield and a lot of chest-thumping, psyching of the self and opposite side ensues.
Arjuna, the commander in chief of the Pandava armies takes stock of the battle arrays. He is a seasoned war veteran, yet he balks when he sees the lineup. Not out of fear. Nor is it because he is taken by surprise. He knows all along who will be lined up against him, as the seeds have are sown a very long time ago. Despite his fearlessness, despite being in the know, despite being confident of victory, he faces a dilemma. 

He grows weak at the knees. He shivers as he contemplates the consequences of the actions he is about to take.

Seeing his state of mind and listening to Arjuna’s words,  Krishna, Arjuna’s childhood friend and charioteer (soon to become Guru) has to act! 

Krishna’s Roles

In India and elsewhere, but mostly India, we worship, revere and regard Krishna as the Supreme Godhead. However, in this piece we look at his role as a friend, philosopher, guide, mentor and Guru. We also examine what techniques and stratagem Krishna uses in His advisory capacity.

Krishna As “Sarathi” (Charioteer)

In the Bhagavad-Gita, Krishna’s role as charioteer is to guide Arjuna the warrior, through the battlefield and protect him from harm. He navigates the battlefield efficiently, thus leaving Arjuna to focus on the fight and not worry about navigating the battle formations or covering his flanks.

Ratio – Applying our Illustration to the Corporate World

Let’s abstract this and apply a ratio, in the interest of steering away from religion and spirituality. Let’s say that Pandava Inc. is a leading organization. Krishna is the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Pandava Inc. and Arjuna is the Chief Executive. 

In his capacity as Chairperson, Krishna sets the tone. He provides overall guidance and remains in an advisory capacity and delegates the execution to Arjuna as his Chief Executive.

Despite the planning, the strategy, when push comes to shove, the Chief Executive isn’t delivering. Therefore Krishna uses a variety of means to get his Chief Executive to stay on mission.

The Twist – A Very Different Take

Despite this series being based on a widely acclaimed spiritual text, we seek to give it a twist that has not hitherto been examined. At least not with the angle that I’m about to propose! 

The Proposition – Krishna Uses Neuro Linguistic Programming Techniques

What I propose is that Krishna uses basic and fundamental NLP – Neuro Linguistic Programming techniques that we can learn from to achieve breakthrough results and deliver the remits that we are charged with in our day to day lives.

In Focus – Krishna Intervenes Using NLP

Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) comes naturally to me, as it does to people who have a high EQ - Emotional Quotient. That should be no surprise because EQ comprises, ​​self-awareness, management, social awareness and relationship management.

As we proceed, I propose to demonstrate how Krishna used every aspect of NLP to turn Arjuna around. 

But before I even go there, perhaps it is only fair that I introduce you to my pet subject, 

Neoro Linguistic Programming – What is it? 

Neuro Linguistic Programming or NLP as its referred to in short, is predominantly about outcome facilitation. And outcomes depend on several factors, predominantly sentiment analysis.

It is very powerful and used in many differernt ways including, effective communication, personal development and psychotherapy.

It can not only be used in dealing with others, but is an excellent system to deal with our own issues.

The Four Pillars of NLP

NLP provides a framework and a set of techniques to facilitate desirable outcomes.

It deals with Sensory Acuity or awareness about how good our senses are at doing what they should do. It is the ability to use our senses to make unbiased observations about ourselves or other people.

Behavioral Flexibility is the ability to modify our own behavior to prompt a desired response from another person. NLP experts develop an wide range of responses to handle any given situation instead of falling back on stereotype responses, which are limiting and inhibit performance potential.

Building Rapport gives us the ability to relate to others to create trust and understanding. The ability to understand opposing points of view, doesn’t mean that we have to agree to the point of view or even like it. It just makes communication easier.

The Power of Observation


Data about a person is collected via various means by observing physical reactions of people and closely heeding verbal exchanges. These observations are categorized based on sentiments, which enable us to gain a deeper understanding of what lies behind the outward physical reactions and the choice of words.

Sentiment Analysis

More often than not, we humans base our decisions on sentiments. Therefore understanding sentiments is paramount in facilitating desireable outcomes. Further classification of sentiments is possible based intent, topics and language.

NLP Techniques


Certain techniques are applied that alter or correct a person’s thought process, for once the mind is set right, desired action is a logical outcome.

Reframing

It is always best to remain objective to take appropriate decisions. Staying steeped in subjectivity (when we’re immersed in that situation) personal biases or motivations, prevent us from examining the facts. Therefore, in NLP we swap the problem situation of by either putting it into a different context or a different setting. This allows us to step back and reassess sentiments and the reactions that the sentiments drive. We Reframe the problem statement by abstracting the root cause and apply a ratio to a comparable but different statement.

Anchoring

In NLP, Anchoring is the process of associating an internal response with some external or internal trigger. In this way the response may be quickly and often covertly determined.

Why covert? As NLP practioioners we realise that people may not overtly (openly) divulge the entirety of the problem.

It’s like going to a doctor. Suitable treatment is possible only when the doctor has all the facts/symptoms of our ailment. Doctors ask all kind of questions and prescribe different tests to identify the nature of the ailment. Inquiries are made in a probing, yet gentle manner without letting the person know why the question is being asked. This provides answers that the patient may not readily provide.

There are five keys to anchoring:

  • Intensity – which helps us to determine how serious the issue is.
  • Timing – To determine when the situation arizes.
  • Uniqueness – To narrow down the root cause of the issue at hand.
  • Replicability – To see if the issue can be replicated in different ways.
  • Number of times – To determine if the issue is just a one-off issue or there is a pattern.

The quick way to do this is:

  • Determine how we want to feel. If we want to feel confident, we recall a time when we were confident and examine why we felt confident. Remember the visual, sound and the feeling when we were confident.
  • Using a device an anchor (something we can touch and feel) that makes us replicate that positive time.

Rapport

When faced with trying or vexatious situations, we tend to be more open and talk to people we trust. Before trust is established we need to build Rapport. In NLP rapport is measured by how responsive a person is. The test of responsiveness is that people you are interacting with, consciously and unconsciously respond and therefore you have the upper hand and can lead the conversation.

Pacing

When we communicate with people one technique is join that person in his/her model world/state of mind by matching their external behaviour, such as speed (tempo) of talking or body posture. This is done over a period of time to gain and then maintain the rapport.

Leading

When people are in a state where they cannot arrive at a conclusion or a decision, we need to lead them to a conclusion. When we say “leading” we do not try to make a decision for the person. Instead, simply state the facts about the situation. State what you believe to be true about what they are experiencing. Then use it to lead them to a conclusion which influences a decision.

Remodeling

The words we use, the actions we take or the habits of the past that we hold on to, reflect the subconscious perception of our problems. When words, actions, habits and perceptions are inaccurate, they create an underlying and persistent problem as long as we choose to remain associated with them.

Therefore, more often than not, our attitudes and persistent behaviour become a prophecy that our subconcious perceptions are driving to fulfilment. The subconscious mind then assists us by forming rationalizations about why we choose to continue to be immersed in our situations.

I often hear people talk about “coping mechanisms”. Coping mechanisms are roundabout ways that we formulate to deal with our own lackings or even to deal with how people deal with us. Whereas coping mechanisms do have some efficacy, they are merely temporary fixes and are not conducive to a permanent solution.

In NLP, we need to consciously make an effort to delve into the current state of being. Only then can assist them in remodeling.

Remodeling involves taking current patterns, reactions and stimulus to determine what the underlying triggers are. Only when we understand the triggers can we develop a framework to slowly remove those negative perceptions, influences and habits. Once these negatives are removed we evolve or help others to evolve into a healthier state of existence.

Mirroring

Mirroring is perhaps the trickiest part of the NLP techniques. Simply because when we are feeling low, the last thing we want is for someone to show us the mirror to our true selves.

Therefore it is fundamentally important to build rapport, trust, reframe the issues and only then delve into Mirroring.

Combination of Approaches & Techniques

What we need to realise is that we humans are complex and one size doesn’t fit all. A combination of techniques is used to deal with our own situations and to assist the people who need our assistance.

NLP Resources

NLP is a very vast subject. I have merely provided a teaser. I have used the best possible example from the Bnagavad-Gita.

However, it is best that I leave you with resources to read and learn more about this most powerful method.

A mastery, or even a basic fimiliarity will help you. You will see your communication skills sharpen. You will see that you will achieve the desired result.

Our ability to manage personal and professional relationships will see measurable improvement. Our ability to resolve problems for ourselves and to assist people who need intervention and guidance will be enhanced.

Finally I end this part with some links to resources if you need more information.

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuro-linguistic_programming
  2. https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/types/neuro-linguistic-programming
  3. https://www.nlp.com/what-is-nlp/
  4. https://beyondnlpcoaching.com.au

Up Next

In Part 3 of this series, Krishna & Neuro Linguistic Programming, we take a look at a bewildered Arjuna. We examine his state of mind, his words and his actions. Finally in Part 4, we look at Krishna, a master Neuro Linguistic Programming practitioner. We see how he deals with the bewildered Arjuna and facilitates an outcome. An outcome were Arjuna arrives at the conclusion most conducive to resolve the problem conclusively.