NLP Coaching Model | How to Improve Our Coaching Results

Coaching Models

Note: Please read this page in conjunction with our NLP Presuppositions and Other Useful Principles,

Where to start?

  • Take radical responsibility for ourselves and how we react to any situation.
  • Cultivate radical acceptance of what is
  • Set a direction (or directions) that helps us and others, and take small steps to move forward daily.

Almost good success models start with a direction and purpose. Two principles are: 1) Do they motivate us to take the right action on a daily basis? 2) Will we be happy (choose your own word ) when we get there? In some measurement systems, two crucial elements are connecting with our senses (and not getting lost in our mental maps) and asking for feedback and feed-forward.

A further essential question set is how we choose to invest our time, energy and focus daily. Small daily steps in the right direction can build vast amounts of compound interest over time. Mistakes are vital to help us learn.

It’s also worth remembering that our genes, upbringing, and environment hugely influence us. The space between these is where our spirit, soul, identity, and purpose are forged. This may start small but may lead to genuine mastery.

What else is essential? Internally – beliefs, state, values and health; externally – our stakeholders, community and environment; what links the two – action, skills and capabilities.

Two additional resources, Marshall Goldsmith’s The Earned Life (feedback and feed-forward what’s essential for long-term success) and Brad Blanton’s Radical Honesty (mental maps and not buying into our own bullshit), and our favourite NLP book, Richard Bandler’s The Ultimate Introduction to NLP.



Where to start? (What leads to happiness and fulfilment?)

  1. Take responsibility for our experiences and lead our journey. (It’s empowering to take responsibility for both the impact we have on others and the impact others have on us),
  2. Develop a sense of control (see daily routines), develop an empowering set of values (see values), and a community to which we can contribute and be supported in return.
  3. Understand the concept of mental maps. We create much of our own experience. (Remember, we all have blind spots, cognitive blocks, lifetraps and egos)
  4. Respect (but not necessarily agree with) our own and others’ maps
  5. Connect to our dreams and desires. We can turn this into our purpose (something for us and something bigger than us, direction, and milestones
  6. Connect to our sensory experience, what we see, feel, hear, smell, and taste.
  7. Connect, lead and ride our emotional states. Functional emotional states include curiosity, playfulness, courage, discipline, openness/honesty and appreciation,
  8. Take action (Some will put this as no1 – everything thing is theoretical until we test it on the outside world)
  9. Develop our belief system. For example, most successful business people believe 1) they were successful, 2) they are successful, and 3) they choose success. and 4) they will be successful
  10. Understand our values, value criteria and our value hierarchy
  11. Develop a plan that takes us from our direction and purpose to how we use our time, energy and focus every day, to how we measure progress and continually seek ideas for improvement. Feed-forward, daily questions, journalling, modelling and after-action reviews can be really useful.
  12. Develop a series of daily routines to keep us on track. This may include elements like exercise, meditation, drinking water, daily questions or journalling, and sleep hygiene.
  13. Remember to look after yourself, and enjoy the journey.

Mental maps: Understanding the concept of mental maps. How we perceive the world is simply that, how we perceive it – it’s not the world itself. And the universe doesn’t really care how we perceive it; it will always do what it wants. One of our first responsibilities is to explore our maps and continually improve their accuracy – We’ll start to get much better results when we do. Our second responsibility is to respect and understand others’ maps and realise they have as much right to their maps as we do to ours. That doesn’t mean that we have to agree with them; growth often comes from exploring the difference.

The next step is establishing and connecting with our dreams; exploring and clarifying our direction, vision, purpose, values, and principles may be a major part of discovering our dreams and turning them into reality.

Another key skill is managing our emotional state. When we can be comfortable and confident in where we are, wherever it is, and appreciate the validity of others’ views. We’re in a very powerful position. When we can add a touch of curiosity, ambition, courage, discipline and openness, we’re in a great position to start and/or continue our journey.

A great way to learn and grow is by setting a direction/outcomes, taking action and reviewing the result. Whether we get what we want isn’t important, it’s simply information – what’s important is that we learn from it, so over time, we get more of what we want.

We’re now set up to enjoy our adventure and life journey,

Before we start, here are some things to reflect on. Pick what works for you!

Top 5 Regrets Of The Dying

(A useful reminder, taken from Bronnie Ware’s book of the same name)

  • I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  • I wish I didn’t work so hard.
  • I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
  • I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
  • I wish that I had let myself be happier.


(We all need coaches, mentors, consultants, accountability partners, etc., because we all have egos and cognitive biases, which will otherwise hinder our progress.)

DUFF (Our preferred Success System)

  • direction, vision, purpose, values, principles  you want to go in (normally works much better than goals)
  • use of: time, energy, and attention on a daily basis (probably the most important resources we have). Building daily habits and routines.
  • feedback (asking about our performance in the past) and feedforward (asking for suggestions on how to improve in the future).
  • follow up (follow-up turns the framework into a system)

Reflections on What Leads to Happiness and Fulfilment

Useful when setting our life direction/end goals: 1) Meaning and purpose 2) Financial, time, and geographical freedom 3) Physical, emotional, and spiritual health 4) Great relationships 5) Work direction (these may be a subset of 1) and/or 2).

Remember to translate direction and purpose into a daily routine. We need a version of goals (Massively Transformative Purpose (MTP), High Hard Goals (HHG’s), Clear Goals (CG’s) – small, daily achievable goals.) and a way to prioritize (3 key 12-month goals, 3 key quarter goals, 3 key week goals, 3 key daily goals).

Another approach we use is learning to cultivate curiosity, amplify it into passion, transform the results into purpose, and then further amplify it with autonomy and mastery.

(Kotler, Steven. The Art of Impossible (p. 29). Harper Wave. Kindle Edition.)


  • goals, what you want to achieve
  • current reality, where specifically you are now in relation to what you want to achieve
  • options, a number of real options that you could take to move you towards your goal
  • way forward, what’s the next small step to move you forward, and
  • follow up, follow up turns the framework into a system.

NLP Coaching Model

  • beginning frame. How do we set the scene for any interaction?
  • state. Our mental/physical condition at that moment.
  • outcome. What our client wants to achieve.
  • rapport. The quality of communication between our client and us.
  • current Situation. What our client is already doing to achieve their outcome and/or to stop them from achieving it.
  • technique or task. Actions to achieve an outcome.
  • future pace. Mentally rehearsing actions to achieve an outcome.
  • end Frame. What do we say at the end of the interaction to support our clients in achieving their outcomes?
  • review. Continually improving what we do.

Items 3, 5, 6 and 7 are similar to GROW

Items 1, 2, 4 and 8 increase the effectiveness of the model

DVMOAR (How to achieve almost anything) 

  • discovery, investigation, and clarification of what we want
  • vision, purpose, and culture, what will what we won’t look like (+other senses) when we’ve really achieved it, and what do we and others get from achieving it? Who (what sort of people) do we want to work with to achieve it?
  • management (plan), what resources do we need? How will we get them? How will we use them? How do we become effective and efficient?
  • output,  we sometimes need a test, fail fast and improve stage to confirm the best action to take. How do we stop procrastinating?
  • action,  what are the action (s) will we take? How will that move us forward?
  • review, how and when do we measure how we’re doing? How will we change what we’re doing? How will we know when we’ve achieved our vision? We may then repeat the steps.

Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching (MGSCC)

  • discovery, coachability check, leadership assessment, stakeholder input, psychometric (if appropriate), leader to choose a maximum of 2 behaviours to improve. Select time frame – normally 6 or 12 months; estimate the benefits and implications of not improving.
  • involve key stakeholders, initial key stakeholder briefshare improvement areas with key stakeholders, ask each stakeholder for feedback and feedforward one a month in a time efficient process, write down their suggestions with thanks – but not comment,
  • develop a monthly action plan, brief coach on feedback and feedforward, agree on a simple action plan for the month, rehearse with coach as necessary, repeat monthly,
  • conduct a mini survey,  every 3-6 months complete a confidential mini-survey,  complete after action assessment,
  • final mini survey, complete final mini-survey and final after action review, celebrate success, thank those involved.

(If the coach contracts on the ‘Pay on Results’ basis, the coach only gets paid if the final confidential mini survey confirms that the leader’s stakeholders have noticed a real improvement in the leader’s capabilities in the areas designated at the start of the programme.)

Richard Wiseman’s (scientifically verified) view on what encourages luck

  • take action
  • always be clear about your direction/what you’re working towards
  • always know what you want to achieve
  • listen to your gut and intuition
  • always take the learning from what appears to be bad luck (it may not be), and let go of the emotion (if not useful)

Ray Dalio’s 5-step process to achieve success

  • know your goals/direction
  • identify and don’t tolerate your problems
  • (we will get big problems when we set an exciting direction – rejoice rather than panic) diagnose your problems to get to the route causes
  • design a plan to get around them
  • Implement your plan

+ Pain +reflection = progress

+ Don’t let your ego and blind spots get in your way

(and repeat)

See Ray Dalio Successful Principles Video (30 minutes)

Nietzsche/Steven Kotler (The Art of Impossible)

  • Find a passion and purpose
  • Fortify passion with grit and goals
  • Amplify the results with learning and creativity
  • Use flow turbo-boost the whole process

Steven Kotler (The Art of Impossible)

  • Curiosity, Passion, Purpose
  • Autonomy and Mastery
  • Massively Transformative Purpose (MTP’s), High Hard Goals (HHT’s), Clear Goals (CG’s) – small, daily  achievable goals.

Manson, Mark. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

Some examples of good, healthy values: are honesty, innovation, vulnerability, standing up for oneself, standing up for others, self-respect, curiosity, charity, humility, and creativity.

You’ll notice that good, healthy values are achieved internally. Something like creativity or humility can be experienced right now. You simply have to orient your mind in a certain way to experience it. These values are immediate and controllable and engage you with the world as it is rather than how you wish it were.

Some examples of bad, unhealthy values: are dominance through manipulation or violence, indiscriminate fucking, feeling good all the time, always being the centre of attention, not being alone, being liked by everybody,

Bad values are generally reliant on external events—flying in a private jet, being told you’re right all the time, owning a house in the Bahamas, eating a cannoli while getting blown by three strippers. Bad values, sometimes fun or pleasurable, lie outside your control and require social support.

Values are about prioritization. Everybody would love a good cannoli or a house in the Bahamas. The question is your priorities. What values do you prioritize above everything else and therefore influence your decision-making more than anything else?

Manson, Mark. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (Mark Manson Collection) (p. 87). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

From Clear Leadership: Sustaining real partnership at work by Gervase Bushe

How to communicate our experience (so others can understand our maps better):

  • Observation
  • Feeling
  • Thinking
  • Wants

Key skills to do this include: self-awareness, descriptiveness, curiosity and appreciation,

From The School of Life: Eight Rules of Life

ACCEPT IMPERFECTION: We are inherently flawed and broken beings. Perfection is beyond us.

SHARE VULNERABILITY: Recognising that we are each of us weak, mad and mistaken should inspire compassion for ourselves – and generosity towards others.

KNOW YOUR INSANITY: We cannot be entirely sane, but it is a basic requirement of maturity that we understand how we are insane.

ACCEPT YOUR IDIOCY: Do not run away from the thought you may be an idiot as if this were a rare and dreadful insight. Accept the certainty with good grace in full daylight. 

YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH: The alternative to perfection isn’t failure, it’s to make our peace with the idea that we are, each of us, ‘good enough’. 

OVERCOME ROMANTICISM: ‘The one’ is a cruel invention. No one is ever wholly ‘right’ nor indeed wholly wrong. 

DESPAIR CHEERFULLY: We are under undue and unfair pressure to smile. But almost nothing will go entirely well: we can expect frustration, misunderstanding, misfortune and rebuffs. 

TRANSCEND YOURSELF: We are not at the centre of anything, thankfully. We are miniscule bundles of evanescent matter on an infinitesimal corner of a boundless universe. 

A final point: some of this may sound convincing. But that isn’t enough. We know – in theory – about all of it. And yet in practice, any such ideas have a notoriously weak ability to motivate our actual behaviour and emotions. Our knowledge is both embedded within us and yet is ineffective for us. 

For this reason, we need to go back over things. Once a day, certainly once a week. A true good ‘school’ shouldn’t tell us only things we’ve never heard before; it would be deeply interested in rehearsing all that is theoretically known yet practically forgotten.

And a final question, 

How much time and energy do we spend on developing a vision and clarifying and connecting with current reality?


In this video, Michael talks through our NLP coaching model.

NLP Coaching | NLP Model to Improve Our Coaching Results

We’ll go into the  points above in more depth in the following sections, starting with the beginning frame in the next session.

NLP Online Training | Ultimate NLP and Coaching

Full NLP Techniques List

NLP Coaching Section Index

1: NLP Coaching Introduction
2: Success system and model
3: NLP coaching model
4: Beginning frame
5: States and anchors
6: End goals and direction
7: Rapport
8: Where are you
9: Getting to there
10: Mental rehearsal
11: End frame
12: Summary
13: CEO and executive coaching follow up

NLP Coaching Model
NLP Coaching Model