I had a student that is booked for my upcoming NLP Training Course email me today asking me about a challenge he’s dealing with in the workplace.

I asked his permission to share, as I think it’s a valuable article for others to learn from as well in regards to overcoming challenges and conflict both in the workplace, and in our personal lives as well.

Of course I’ll leave out any private information such as his name etc., so I’ll just refer to him as “M.B”.

Here’s the email that M.B. sent me;

“Hey Kevin. I’ve been having problems at work with one of my co- workers. He has been cheating with his work. The lead has his back & does not reprimand him when we bring up the problems to the shift lead. So tonight, in just a few hours, we are taking it to the supervisor & the director. I won’t be the only one voicing my concern. This guy has been giving me a lot of problems. Some really petty stuff too.

Is there anyway I can use NLP to my advantage to get the bosses on my side? He already has the shift leads on his side, they are close friends. It’s pretty bad, there’s a lot of negativity when he is around. I have to meditate after work every time that I see him. Please let me know if you have any ideas.

Thank you for your time, Kevin. I know it’s valuable and don’t take it lightly.


And here was my response to M.B;

“Hi M.B.,

Conflict in the Work Place. Not a fun situation since you spend most of your time at work and if you don’t enjoy your work, you aren’t enjoying life. So let’s help you remedy that.

Step 1– State Management: First, you want to come from a place of complete inner calm and inner confidence so that they are much more likely to listen to you. I know you’ve been reading up on different NLP Techniques and Hypnotic Language Patterns as you get ready for your NLP, Life Coach & Hypnosis Training with me, so hopefully you’ve read up on the classic NLP Technique called “The Circle of Excellence”. It’s a really simple technique that helps tremendously with State Management. If you have any questions about it, just let me know, but it’s pretty straight forward and very helpful.

Step 2– When communicating with your supervisor, you want to state your case very clearly: Take the time to write down all of your points, but not from a place of complaining.

You want to come from a place of wanting what’s best for the team and the company. You want to point out the problems- while offering solid solutions and being respectful to everyone involved- including the co-worker that seems to be giving you trouble.

You do not want to come across as attacking your co-worker.

There’s a great set of Hypnotic Language Patterns from one of the NLP Techniques called “Sleight of Mouth” that goes something like this…

“The real issue isn’t_____________________, it’s ____________________. “

Frankly, I used to hate Sleight of Mouth Patterns because I so seldom heard people using them in a way that was A. Ethical and B. Effective.

As a matter of fact, the classic NLP example of this Sleight of Mouth Hypnotic Language Pattern is as follows…

If your supervisor said to you “Your being late for work means that you don’t care about your job”, then the classic response might be “The real issue isn’t my being late, what’s really important is the fact that I’m producing for the company”.

As you hopefully recognize, a response like that could get you fired really fast!

So we’re going to be smarter than that- and use these language patterns both Ethically- And… Intelligently.

The thing is, you want to use language like this to come across as both a person with higher integrity than your co-worker (who at least appears to be cheating on his work), and a strong desire to serve the team and the company as a whole.

So here’s an example scenario for you…

If your co-worker ( again- the one who you believe is cheating on his work) says something like “M.B. just has a problem with me. I do my work and my lead can testify to that. I don’t know what his problem is”, you can come back with something like:

“OK, in all honesty, I admit that (Name of your co-worker) and I have had some issues in the past, but I’d like to put those issues behind us because that isn’t serving anyone, and It’s not the real issue.

The real issue is that we need to figure out a plan to work together for the sake of the team. Currently, we seem to have some challenges in that regard and that’s slowing down production. I think we all want what’s best for the team and the company and I’d like for all of us to discuss how we can better work together to make that happen. What do you guys think”.

Then simply continue to communicate with them with the focus of 90% or more on the solution, and only about 10% on the problem(s).

What this does, M.B., is it puts you in a position of caring about the team and wanting to find a solution. Not in the position of a just being a “trouble making employee” (not that you are trouble making employee of course. I’m sure you have your reasons for being frustrated at this guy- although I’m curious how you know for sure that he’s been cheating on his work and I’ll ask you about that later- but for now- you asked for some immediate advice because you’re meeting with your supervisor tonight- so I’m offering that).

Does all of that make sense so far? If not, then back up a bit and re-read it again. Sometimes with email things don’t make perfect sense the first time reading it through.

If it does make sense, great. Just continue reading on to “Step 3”.

Step 3– If step 2 doesn’t produce the results that you want (and it’s really tough to say and depends greatly on the supervisor), then gain more clarity on what you do want (although best to gain that clarity in steps 1 & 2) then I would suggest you go to the Human Resources office and ask them for help.

Step 4– I know that you have goals of starting your own business and no longer having to work for someone else one day. That’s an awesome goal. I support it 100%, and you can use opportunities like this current “Conflict In The Workplace” as motivation to continue studying business, marketing, communication skills (which you’ll learn a great deal of in your NLP Training with me ), sales (such as Chet Holmes, Tom Hopkins, and other sales people with proven track records) and any other areas you believe will serve you in eventually doing your own thing.

In the paraphrased words of the late Jim Rohn, “It’s perfectly appropriate to be working full time paying the bills, while working part time building your dreams- And gradually make the shift to living full time living your dreams”.

The only thing I will add to that is to be very- very cautious of short cuts to those dreams “sold” by those that are being less than 100% transparent with you. **Said differently, there’s a lot of “business opportunities” out there that sound wonderful at first- only because you aren’t being told the whole truth about them. Just the parts that sound good. So be certain to educate yourself in every area you can- and always ask a lot of questions. If someone uses “Sleight of Mouth” type language as a way to avoid your question—Run Away Fast!

Not everyone holds the same integrity that you do, and the more you understand that not everyone uses persuasion techniques with the highest of integrity, the better. Please don’t get me wrong, I highly recommend giving everyone the benefit of the doubt- it’s just helpful to have a better understanding of how some people might be using language to strictly “close a sale” as opposed to “open a long term relationship”, which in my opinion at least, is what selling should be about.

Anyway, I look forward to having you in my course and teaching you all about all of these technologies- and much more. If you ever have any other questions before, during, and after your training with me, just ask. **I can’t promise to always spend this much time answering these particular kinds of questions in this much detail, but to be honest, you’re helping me come up with some great content for an article, so I don’t mind (I’ll explain and get your permission later).

**And now back to you- the readers of this article. I hope you gained some insight into a couple of valuable ideas and language patterns for diffusing a conflict/argument in the workplace, and hopefully a bit more as well.
If you found some value here- Please, take a moment and leave a comment.
Love, Light & Prosperity,
– Kevin Cole
Head Trainer & Founder of EQI www.NLPTrainingQuest.com