by Dr. Kim Redman
as published by CHOICE Magazine Volume 10, Number 4
Neuro Linguistic Programming, or NLP, is the ability to put your message into a client’s internal language in a way that assists the client in making changes in their behavior, or programming. Insiders define it as “the way to quickly reproduce excellence”. NLP was developed by John Grinder and Richard Bandler in the seventies. Since then it has become the niche of captains of industry, presidents and prime ministers; people who need to communicate deeply and quickly and who are assessed on their ability to produce results.
How’s It All Work?
It turns out that our conscious mind is the goal-setter, and that our unconscious mind is the goal-getter. Our conscious mind handles language, sequential thinking, and the present moment. The unconscious mind handles our emotions, our learning, our strategies and behavior. The unconscious communicates with symbols, as anyone who has ever had a strange dream can attest to. It also takes all of our learning from the past and applies it to future endeavors. This is why success, so easily leads to success. It also explains why it is often so hard to achieve success in brand new areas of our lives. We can set all the conscious goals that we want, but if a bigger poverty or failure program is already running in our unconscious mind then we encounter resistance, and often, failure. NLP allow us to to clear out those programs and change the encoding of our new goals so that they are ‘louder’ and more present to our own unconscious minds. We are also able to shift the steps of unconscious strategies so that we can facilitate when a client is ‘stuck’. When that happens, resources are continually directed at your goals at both the conscious and unconscious levels, which leads to success.
NLP Coaching Wins Gold!
NLP Coaching is the newest synergy of our two fields. It is defined as results based coaching and is highly lucrative. Master Coaches usually guarantee their results in writing, both for life and executive coaching.
Let’s take a look at what stays the same:
The four core competencies as defined by the ICF stay the same as do open-ended questions and client based decision making. Tasking is still used to get ‘skin in the game’ on the front end of the coaching process and to install new skill sets during the coaching process.
What changes when you add in NLP Coaching?
The ability to coach both for the conscious mind and at the level of the unconscious mind, and to quickly change the programs that guide behavior. Additionally coaches are able to develop tremendous behavioral flexibility in how they approach a client and how they enter and use the client’s model of their world. Rapport is developed in less than six seconds, and the concept of resistant clients truly disappears. Each of the ICF competencies is followed and calibrated on throughout the process.
What Does It Feel Like?
NLP Coaching is just like any other type of coaching until we get to the unconscious techniques. Then the client experiences either a fast technique like sub-modalities, (where we can shift the encoding so that the client now feels and thinks about the project at work the way they feel about their favorite activity), or relaxation (as in light trance).
Trance is a natural state and most of us are in it all day long. Just ask yourself if the car ever drove home on ‘auto-pilot’, which is defined as a medium trance state. Or if you looked down after being in the garden and saw that you had cut your hand with no memory of it? That too is a medium trance state. Trance allows our bodies to go into our parasympathetic nervous systems, which is where we need to be to regenerate and heal. It is like Disneyland for our bodies! Since all hypnosis is legally defined as self-hypnosis, and NLP only uses light trance work, the client is always in control.
In NLP Coaching the techniques are part of the coaching process. Client’s are educated in their choices and often request specific techniques as part of their coaching/tasking process.
Who’s Doing It?
While many places are offering courses in each of the modalities, there is a professional board that has quantified the process: the ABNLP Coaching Division – The American Board of Hypnotherapy and NLP. All of their trainers are both NLP Trainers and have gone through an in depth training to hold to and synergize with the ICF core competencies. Whatever direction you choose to explore in make sure that your trainers have a professional board backing them, and that those trainings result in extra designations for you!
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