NLP Coaching comes in a variety of forms. Most NLP Practitioners do some sort of one to one work that could loosely be described as coaching. The best coaches use NLP as a backdrop to their coaching practice and there are a number of ways that this will manifest itself to their clients.
NLP Techniques in Coaching
The first, but least obvious way that a coach would use NLP would be on themselves to get and stay in the right state to coach. Let us say that it is key for a coach to be totally focused on the client, non-directive and non-judgemental. The list might be longer and have differing things in it, but for illustration let us stick with these. I would expect a good NLP coach to have built this ideal coaching state for themselves and have an anchor that they could fire off to maintain that state whenever they are working with a client.
NLP Techniques for the client
NLP is full of tools and techniques that can be offered to the client for their use. One that I find particularly useful in coaching is Perceptual Positions as a route for a client to explore their relationship with their external environment, goals and the people around them.
Any good coach would benefit from a powerful NLP Training because the range of tools and techniques that would add to their skill set is large and useful. A good NLP Course will give you at least five different ways of changing beliefs for either yourself or your client. This is something that I use a lot in a standard coaching scenario.
An Illustration of NLP Business Coaching
This is a typical coaching scenario I might find myself in and some of the NLP techniques I would use. This is made up just for the purposes of the illustration and is only indicative of my approach, as there are lots more ways of dealing with the situation.
The setting I using is a business one with a client that has taken on a new role with a wider and more complex remit.
As mentioned earlier, I would be putting myself into my coaching state before I start. I would then use hypnotic rapport techniques to get the client settled in the coaching relationship.
Hypnotic rapport is not really about that matching and mirroring thing that we are all familiar with but building conversational patterns that focus on the relationship between client and coach rather than as two individuals.
Using presuppositional questions and conversation management techniques I would then be exploring the client’s outcomes for the session. Presuppositional questioning is an NLP Concept that is about the way that language is a filter through which we express out behaviour. Therefore by the way we use questions we can expand or contract those filters and create different results. But asking the right questions is not as useful as getting them in the right order, with the right emphasis and level of rapport. Using the conversational management techniques in NLP we can ensure that the questions we use hit the right spot.
Let us say that the initial exploration brings up issues about being unclear with what is expected, self-doubt in the role and not being sure about how to approach their new team.
In no particular order here are some of the ideas and NLP Techniques I might use:
There are several places I might use this technique in this situation. I might get the client to see how the boss might see them to let them know that since they were given the role there are people that obviously see that they are good enough to do it. I might even get the client to do a skills analysis of themselves but from the boss’s perspective.
I might use this NLP technique to get the client to step into the shoes of their new team. The client could then plan an approach to their team from the team’s perspective.
I might even use perceptual positions to get the client to step into the shoes of a future version of themselves that is the version that will happen once they are comfortable and confident in the new role. The client from this position could action plan on how to get there and explore the values and beliefs that they have to change to become that person.
Other NLP Techniques I might use in this situation might include timeline interventions to allow the client to let go of their self-doubt. I would almost certainly be looking at NLP belief changes and goal setting systems as almost a routine part of this sort of scenario.
Obviously, this is a hypothetical situation and I have kept the techniques quite basic but this might give you idea of the range any depth of the use of NLP in a coaching context. The real power of NLP in a coaching context actually comes from the use of hypnotic language.
Language (both verbal and non-verbal) is the glue that binds the different elements of a coaching relationship. It is also a primary filter on our experience of the outside world and our expression of our internal world. A good coach needs to understand how this works and NLP with its focus on language is an ideal framework to use. Every coach needs to be able to notice and utilise their client’s filters and the most efficient way of doing this is linguistically.
As an example could you imagine pre-framing exceptionally positive results, installing empowering beliefs and deleting any self-doubt before your client even knows the session has started? This is my expectation of any good hypnotic NLP Business Coach.