Counseling 150x150 Life Coaching and NLP?

Benefits of NLP in coaching.

After author and star of “The Secret,” Joe Vitale, had learned the power of the new Ho’oponopono as taught by Dr. Hew Len, he wrote in his book Zero Limits that he felt all his previous books (on subjects like hypnosis and NLP) were now irrelevant or less effective. Dr. Len then reassured him this was not so; that each of those books are stepping stones for people at different stages of their understanding.

This is something that I think is important to understand as a coaching client and as part of life coaching. We all have the desire to get to the end – to achieve our goals – but should not skip the important steps along the way. They are all meaningful and important for building a foundation for greater and greater things.

In fact, this is why life coach training is so beneficial to a prospective coach. You learn how it works, why it works, and are able to apply different techniques based on the individual needs of your client.

What does this all have to do with Neuro-Linguistic Programming? Well, NLP is one of those stepping stones for coaches and others seeking self-help techniques. NLP was first developed by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the 1970s and popularized in the 1980’s by trainers like Anthony Robbins. The method involves looking at subjective experiences and how they relate to a person’s speech and behavior, then altering these to affect their experiences. In other words, it teaches you how your brain functions so you can use it to your advantage. You can see the breakdown of this method in its name: Neuro (mind), Linguistic (language), and Programming (behavior/body).

In How Coaching Works, Joseph O’Connor and Andrea Lages write:

“NLP proposes that change can be approached from three directions: by changing the way a person talks about an issue, by changing the way a person thinks about an issue and by changing his or her behavior.”

Here are some benefits of NLP in coaching:

  •  Identifying limiting beliefs. NLP can help a person to identify their own limiting perceptions, so that they can then actively correct them. Understanding subjective experience is a big part of NLP.
  •  Understanding. A basic NLP technique involves viewing the perceptions of a situation in from three different points of view: 1. The “I” position (your point of view) 2. What you imagine another person’s point of view is, and 3. Objectively viewing the first and second point of view and their relationship without judgement. This multiple view technique allows the client (and yourself) to see a situation more clearly and make better decisions.
  •  Building rapport. As a coach, knowing NLP can help you to communicate more effectively with your client. It can also help you to identify non-verbal cues and information that the client may or may not be aware of. This gives you insight into the client’s current state of mind and how they are thinking, allowing you to better understand where they are on the path to achieving their goals.
  •  Entertaining the Conscious Mind. NLP is actually a great tool for the conscious mind, because it keeps it busy identifying flaws in its own subjective perspective. This can be especially useful for the analytical mind, which often questions everything it experiences and requires understanding.

After experiencing the effectiveness of Dr. Craig’s Logical Soul(R) Method, I’ve found NLP to be a “weaker” tool overall, but one that can greatly help as an adjunct to a Logical Soul(R) session. As with many coaching techniques, NLP can also be a great stepping stone along your path to becoming a better coach.

Have you tried NLP in coaching or on yourself? How has it helped you? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below.