Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) is centred on concepts of communication and change – on helping people to think and communicate more effectively with themselves and with others.
Neuro: refers to the neurological system – the idea that all our experiences are received through our senses and translated into thought processes, which then direct our neurological system, which in turn affects our physiology, our emotions and our behaviour.
Linguistic: refers to the idea that all people use language to conceptualise experience and communicate our experiences to others. As such, in NLP we explore the words we use to conceptualise and communicate our experience with a view to changing any unhelpful patterns and to install new, more helpful, thinking patterns.
Programming: refers to the idea that we are programmed in the form of our thinking patterns (this notion is taken from learning theory), and that these thought patterns can be changed where they are unhelpful.
If you would like more information about this theory there is a good book by Ready and Burton called Neuro-Linguistic Programming for Dummies, which provides an accessible explanation of this model.