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In this post, we explore what NLP coaching is, our unique NLP coaching model, what clients use coaching for, the key questions potential clients ask, the importance for coaches to choose the right clients (and vice versa), why some clients give up, details of our coaching and coach training.
What is NLP Coaching?
NLP is an approach to model outstanding performance. NLP coaching uses appropriate NLP models, together with models specifically developed by top coaches, to enable you to improve your and your client’s result significantly.
Our Coaching Model
Coaching models. We recommend coaches, in addition to this one, have a number of NLP and related models that are likely to lead their clients to success.
Our coaching model’s basic NLP building blocks are NLP presuppositions, eye-accessing cues, representational systems and submodalities.
NLP Presuppositions. We recommend coaches have an inventory of valuable beliefs and principles to help their clients. NLP presuppositions are an excellent place to start. (Curiously, sometimes strong beliefs are helpful, sometimes it’s best to be belief free!)
Accessing cues and representational systems. Being aware of our client’s eye-accessing cues and representational systems helps us build rapport and understand how they think; this, in turn, helps us help them produce better results. Closely related to representational systems are NLP submodalities; these are the qualities of each of our senses. These help us access and change our memories.
Our coaching model starts with a beginning frame and ends with an end frame.
Beginning frame. What we say at the beginning of the session focuses our clients on what will make the session really useful; this in itself can significantly improve the value the client receives from the session.
Emotional state. Our and our client’s emotional state impact how we both come over and the internal resources we can access. If our clients and we are in an appropriate state, we are almost certain to help our clients.
End goals, outcomes and direction. What does our client want? And what direction do they want to go in? Both are essential questions for any coaching intervention.
Rapport and trust. Two-way, open communication is an enabler for good coaching. While it’s essential throughout the session, it’s crucial before we ask potentially tricky questions, which we need to do in the next session.
Current reality. (Where are you now?) Helping our clients elicit their current reality can be genuinely challenging. Meta-model questions are a compelling way of achieving this.
Getting there. When we know what our clients want and where they are now, it’s helpful to have a number of different approaches to help them get to where they want.
Future Pacing. When our clients know, what to do, and how to do it, to move forward, it significantly increases their chances of succeeding if they mentally rehearse taking the first step (together with any potentially problematic steps.)
End frame. What we say at the end of the session can amplify the effectiveness of the session and help our clients create a positive story about the session. Both will have a positive impact on the client’s results.
What do clients use NLP Coaching for?
Our client use coaching to move from A to B, turn theoretical learning into real-world results and improve their performance in the areas that are important to them. The areas we work with clients include:
- financial freedom,
- career, professional and business success,
- improved leadership, sales success, managing projects and managing stakeholders
- improved coaching skills
- significantly improved relationships,
- clarification of purpose,
- improved health
- overcome blocks and challenges in achieving the above
The NLP community has modelled valuable strategies for all of the above.
Is NLP good for coaching? – Yes, NLP is a really good discipline for coaching and personal change. NLP originated from modelling people who were exceptionally good at helping people change and develop, and this has led to some excellent coaching models.
How practical is NLP for coaching? – Very, NLP is a modelling approach, and we are continually developing our models to be exceptionally effective in the context in which we are using them.
How much does an NLP coach charge? – It varies. We’ve seen charges from free to £100+ an hour for personal coaching and from free to £50 an hour to £1000+ an hour for business coaching. The essential question for a client is, “What might this change be worth to me?” “What guarantee does the coach give?” “How does the coach reduce any risk in being coached?” “What do I need to do to ensure I’ve chosen the right coach for me?” “And am I prepared to take the responsibility and do the work required to make any change?”
How do you become an NLP coach? – There are a number of routes. Becoming a certified NLP practitioner is an excellent starting point, as this includes many approaches that are useful for coaching. In addition, we offer principles of the NLP coaching programme for those with no NLP experience and NLP coach practitioner certification for existing NLP master practitioners.
What are the best NLP coaching techniques? – Almost all NLP techniques are for coaching. Our favourites are framing, state management, setting outcomes and direction, developing rapport, meta-model (and other questioning skills), storytelling, mental rehearsal, and belief change.
How important is the coachability of the client – Very important? Choosing the right clients is one of the most significant measures of success for a coaching business.
When is coaching more effective than training? – Coaching is the best option where active follow-up significantly affects performance. This includes goals such as financial freedom, starting and growing a business, improved health, or winning at a sport.
What is the difference between coaching, consulting, teaching, mentoring and counselling?
- Coaching – we help the client find their own answer (so they’re in charge). The client implements it, albeit with our help.
- Consulting – we complete a research/discovery phase and give the client the answer. We may be asked to implement it.
- Teaching – we tell the client the answer.
- Mentoring – we’ve been there before, and the client can learn from our experience.
- Counselling – helping clients resolve experiences that they had in the past, where those experiences are negatively impacting them in the present.
While an NLP coach will mainly use coaching, they will include other interventions in order to help them help their clients the most.
Choosing the right coaching clients?
In any coaching engagement, there are (at least) three key influencers:
- the client,
- the environment, and
- the coach.
It’s important to acknowledge the importance of the environment. The environment can undo the benefits of being coached, so I often coach our clients to create an environment that supports any change they want to make. This means the client not only benefits from the coaching but has those benefits reinforced by their environment.
The coach is essential; however, the attitude of the client can be even more critical. In our view, the client needs at least a touch of the following:
- openness/honesty, and
In addition, the following states are helpful for anyone working with NLP:
- tenderness, and
As well as all this, the client needs to accept ownership, commit to a certain amount of time and energy, and focus on achieving what they want.
Being coached requires effort and persistence; however, the rewards can be significant and genuinely life-changing.
Why do some coaching clients give up? How can we reduce this?
Marshall Goldsmith, one of the very top business coaches, has identified a number of reasons why clients sometimes give up.
- Ownership. The client doesn’t take ownership of the problem/challenge and the search for an effective solution.
- Time. While some interventions are very fast, others take time and follow-up. The client needs enough persistence to stick with it.
- Difficulty. Ambitious goals aren’t always easy, such as setting up a successful business or winning a gold medal.
- Distractions. We live in a distracted world. Ambitions require focus.
- Rewards. We’re in a world of instant results. Our client may have incorrect expectations of the practice required.
- Maintenance. Clients may not accept that high performance requires maintenance.
We can reduce the odds of a client giving up by ensuring they realise the actual value to them of what they want to achieve and giving them a realistic expectation of what is required from them right from the start.
We need the client to fully ‘buy in’ to the programme, the benefit they’ll get, and the action they need to commit to. Clients need a certain amount of ambition, courage, openness and discipline to succeed. We can’t do this for them; however, NLP has a number of approaches to help them develop these characteristics.
NLP has many approaches to help our clients connect with their values and purpose and, in doing so, reduce the chances of them giving up. I’ve found that when they connect to what they really want, commit to doing what is required, and take a realistic view of their responsibilities, they may be surprised by how quickly they start achieving what they want.
It’s an active relationship. The client needs to choose the coach, and the coach needs to choose the client.
Interested in coaching or coaching training?
See our NLP Coach Practitioner Certification.