Applying Covert Hypnosis to NLP Coaching

Rintu BasuCoaching3 Comments

This article will show you how you can get your audience to shift limiting beliefs, install a desire to succeed and get people compliant for whatever you have in store for them. The techniques you will read in this article are ideally suited to coaches, counsellors, therapists, trainers and teachers.

NLP Techniques Applied to Training and Coaching

As a trainer I very quickly learnt the value of preparation. I am not talking about preparation like having your notes ready, knowing the material and that sort of thing. All of that is obvious. What I am talking about is making sure your audience is prepared for you and the learning.

This could take the form of setting expectations, removing common limiting beliefs, installing a massive compulsion to succeed and any number of things dictated by the context and situation.

When I first started working as a coach I quickly discovered that many people come in with beliefs that limit how well you can work with them. One simple example would be many clients would come in with the belief that the problem they were facing was so tough that it would take a lot of coaching for them to resolve.

Very quickly I learnt that coaching has some similar aspects to training. Getting your clients or students prepared for the learning, the development or result was far more important than the intervention itself. Consider the example above, if a client has already decided that it will take hypothetically five sessions to be coached over a particular issue they will not be satisfied until they have spent the “due” time.

Whereas even if you spent the whole of the first session shifting that belief to something like, “I can find a solution in just one session”, you will have saved three coaching sessions. And I now have a frame that blows this sort of thing out in minutes so you don’t even have to spend a session discussing it. I will give you the pattern further down the page but first let me give you the whole problem.

Ruled By Emotion, Justified on Logic

It would be great if we could take limiting beliefs and get our clients and audiences to believe something different just through logic. But this rarely happens. Trust me, when I started as a coach I would tell my clients that even though they thought of their problem as huge we could still deal with it in one session.

I would confidently tell them about how many other people came in with the same problem and how they had left having it completely resolved in the one session. My client would explain why their problem was different from everyone else’s. I would explain how the mind works and how quickly the unconscious mind will adapt to new processes if you know the techniques. My clients would explain how they have tried the same thing and why it didn’t work.

The trouble is that when someone holds a belief they will tend to justify, explain and defend it. And as a coach I was constantly pointing out unhelpful beliefs that my client’s would ingrain even further as they defended their position citing the “evidence” and the logic as to why things had to be that way.

A Trainer’s Guide to Coaching

I spent some time looking at solutions to this problem and eventually got a genius idea. Like all good ideas it was incredibly simple once I have realised it. All I need to do was take a leaf out of the trainer’s handbook and just reframe the beliefs before we start coaching.

The first thing I tried with my next client was to get them to briefly tell me about the reason they were there and to rate the problem on a scale of one to ten. Obviously they would rate the problem highly. I would nod at them sagely and say something like, “I can see that this is a really serious problem and that means we have to devote some serious resources to it. I’ll tell you what because the problem is so big, I don’t normally do this, but let’s devote this entire session to resolving it so you know that it has completely gone.”

This whole pattern is designed to pace the client’s initial conception of the problem, set the expectation that we are taking it very seriously and then reframe the meaning of serious to a whole session as opposed to five sessions.

Did this work? Actually more often than I expected. But there is a neat little twist I started doing with my clients that made this pattern work almost every time.

Take the Trance to do some Covert Hypnosis

Imagine what happens with this client if you have taken the time before this covert intervention to explain to them how the mind works. What you might do is split the world into two types of people, those that fit your client’s self-image and those that don’t. You then explain the difference between the two categories. This might include the idea that certain types of people create solutions very fast when they follow a particular process. You obviously link this to your client’s self-image illustrate with examples and give them whatever justifications they need.

As you can see this is a trance induction that is driving your client to identifying with a group of people that think in a particular way and can easily install a compulsion to get the results that they want.

The specifics of what you use can be different for each client. For example if your client is an artist you might talk about common traits with artists is that they can make connections between random things. If you are talking to a business person that you know follows a rigid business model you might draw this as a common trait for successfully business people.

Whatever you are using the end result is a linking phrase such as, “and that means these types of people will become solution focused as soon as they (insert your coaching process) and when they do that they get answers to their issue almost immediately. Now I am not saying that you are in this category (that is the category you have already elicited as their ideal self-image) but you look like you might  be…” I usually pause at this point to allow them to butt in and explain why they are exactly that sort of person. When they do this I know everything has worked properly and they are going to get a great result.

I don’t move from this position until my client is positive this is the right thing for them, that it will work for them and that they are desperate to have a go. I then ask them to rate the problem and do the whole “better spend the whole of the session on it” thing with them. You can guess how quickly they get over the big problem that was stopping them so that they can focus on the “good stuff”.

Covert Coaching Trances

Obviously this is a simplistic example. We have not discussed the specifics of these trance scripts, or what happens if they don’t take the preframes on board or any of the other things you may want to tweak to make this work effectively.

At the end of September I am delivering my first NLP Practitioner course for three years where I will detail my coaching process, the covert trance induction and how you can use Timeline Reframing to blow out beliefs so completely that your client will argue that they have always thought that (the new) way. You can find out more about this NLP Practitioner Course.


3 Comments on “Applying Covert Hypnosis to NLP Coaching”

  1. Vanessa_Saks

    Excellent post Rintu.   Appreciate the depth of the information you provided and would have liked to been in @ the workshop.  

    Think it is always important to let the client/patient/student get to where they want to be, without force or pressure.  

    Whether a child or adult, we all want to feel a sense of independence.  This example of pre framing  (covert hypnosis) demonstrates an excellent way of helping them “get it” on their own with our “coaching”. & everyone wins!  

    Nice work!

  2. Mat R

    Way back when I was starting out as a trainer I listened to Tad James’s 5 sales steps and since then I’ve pre framed the 4 common objections right up front in presentations to save the delegates clinging on to them to the end to get them answered.
    Great article Rintu

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