Why NLP is Vital for Coaching
NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming was created in the mid-1970’s by Richard Bander and John Grinder, when they realised that the way that people communicate has a massive effect on their inner mental reactions. Their methods were refined and are now taught all over the globe.
NLP looks not only at how we communicate, but at how we create our values, beliefs and inner emotional states. Our entire reality is constructed from what we experience and what we believe. For one person, a traffic jam on the way to work is a disaster – it makes them angry, stressed and upset. For another person, it is no big deal – they can simply turn up the music and relax. Why do different people react so differently to different situations? Because of what their inner realities are like.
Coaching focuses on helping people to create the life that they want through a combination of setting goals and changing the way they think. Goals won’t be met if the client believes, deep down, that they are incapable or unworthy of getting what they want, and so coaches need to delve deep into the mind of their client. NLP is essential for a Coach to be able to effective achieve this.
By using NLP techniques, a Coach can look at the unique way that their client’s inner world is created and understand them better. NLP is vital in helping Coaches to understand the interaction between their client’s goals, beliefs and values. By listening carefully to the language that their clients use, an NLP Coach can pick up on things that clients might not even be aware of.
NLP teaches several ways of building rapport – for example, matching and mirroring body language, and listening for their clients preferred representational systems ie whether a client uses mostly visual, auditory or kinaesthetic language. By matching their speech to fit the preferred representational system and using open, warm body language, coaches who utilise NLP can create better rapport with their clients. This is critical in gaining a client’s trust, which means that they are more likely to open up and work effectively with their NLP Coach.
NLP techniques are powerful and effective coaching methods – many NLP techniques are tailor-made for coaching. There are many techniques – such as visualization or anchoring – that a NLP Coach can use with their clients to help them recall positive, powerful states with volition. Certain techniques – for example, “editing” a memory in the client’s mind so that it takes the charge off of it – are most effective when led by a NLP Coach who knows exactly the right combination of tools and techniques to use with the client to ensure a successful outcome.
A Coach trained in NLP will also clearly understand language and can challenge vague, unspecified language that the client uses – for example, if the client says “People say I should get a job”, the NLP Coach will do able to drill down on that generalisation by asking certain questions eg “Who specifically?” NLP coaches are also trained to speak in ways that maximise coaching efficiency – for example, using presuppositions such as “When are you going to start?” which presuppose the client is going to take action in this case.
Although many coaches do not have formal NLP training, it is highly likely that their coaching training incorporated some NLP techniques. It is recommended that any coach serious about maximising their effectiveness books our NLP Coaching Certification training to add these essential skills to your tool kit.
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