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Susan Grace Branch & Associates Center for NLP

Susan Grace Branch has a theory about items, such as book titles, that keep popping up in conversation, on television and elsewhere. They continue to appear because we are meant to pursue them.
“If you begin to notice something,” she says, “pay attention to it.”
Branch’s something was neuro-linguistic programming, a method of learning patterns for success in personal and professional life. Since 1989, Susan Grace Branch & Associates Center for NLP has consulted organizations in-house and coached individuals one-on-one in using NLP.
Neuro-linguistic programming is not widely known in Rochester, Branch says, and her center may be the only one in the region bounded by New York, Toronto and Pittsburgh. More than 1,000 such centers exist around the world.
Some people apply NLP teachings without calling it by name, often because both name and concept can confuse people. One of her biggest challenges is explaining just what neuro-linguistic programming is, Branch says.
“It’s like water,” she says. “It’s required for everything.”
NLP studies the patterns successful people repeat. For example, NLP asks the question, how does a successful manager know when to do things and how to put them into action? It then isolates the patterns and builds models on them for those trying to attain success. The process applies to organizations as well as individuals.
Many of Branch’s clients are businesspeople. She coaches a number of them on conquering on-the-job stress and has helped professionals at all levels plan their career strategies using their own resources and resources within their organizations.
A director of a mental health organization is one client who has had positive results after neuro-linguistic training, Branch says. The director was frustrated with the organization’s board, which controlled everything he did.
By the end of his training, the director’s dealings with the board had turned from adverse to cooperative, due to a shift in how he was communicating his goals.
In her in-house consulting, Branch encountered a vice president of a family-run company attempting to improve the quality of its services. He asked her to help train the company’s managers, many of whom had risen through the ranks and had little managerial experience.
During their training, the vice president would call her every week to say he could not believe how supportive the managers were being, she says. They had developed a rapport with him, and with the people below them.
Branch encountered NLP not long after she received her master’s degree in fine arts. Her husband recently had finished his degree in chiropractic, and both wanted to start their own businesses. Knowing they could not juggle both ventures, she volunteered to work as his receptionist and leave to pursue her own business when his got off the ground.
While looking at various organizations for practice management, Branch discovered neuro-linguistic programming. Then, out of the blue, several patients mentioned the concept. That was Branch’s clue to pursue NLP.
She attended an introductory seminar, developed an interest and found she was good at practicing it, Branch says. She became an apprentice to NLP trainers and learned the practice.
Today, she is the center’s sole trainer, though for specific work she brings in outside help, including Judith DeLozier, a co-developer of NLP and the woman with whom she finished her apprenticeship. She plans to develop and expand the center, building a small staff of trainers, and increase her in-house work.


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