NLP for coaches

NLP for coaches is really about harnessing the power of NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming), so that a coach can bring excellence for their clients. I use NLP with clients at my busy London office. If you would like to learn more about how NLP can help you, get in touch today.


NLP for coaches


Unlocking Potential: The intriguing union of NLP for coaches


Unveiling profound purposes, both coaching and NLP share a common goal: to enhance the quality of individuals’ lives, fostering contentment and fulfilment. Yet, the convergence of these disciplines, in the form of NLP for coaches, remains curiously uncommon—an observation that has piqued my interest. It’s my firm belief that NLP holds a key to unlocking the true efficacy of coaching, rendering it an indispensable asset for coaches. Personally, I’ve seamlessly integrated NLP techniques into my coaching practice, yielding transformative results.


NLP for Coaches: Elevating Coaching to Unprecedented Heights


NLP possesses the remarkable capability to distil the craft of the life coach into a teachable framework accessible to all. The essence of NLP for coaches resides in its ability to distil coaching into a tangible, crystalline methodology. Notably, my interactions with exceptional coaches consistently reveal a thread connecting their proficiency with NLP.

This natural synergy between the two disciplines is akin to a symbiotic relationship. This article aims to unravel the clear harmony between coaching and NLP, illuminating the reasons behind this union and pragmatically illustrate how the joining of these practices empowers NLP for coaches.


Tracing roots: NLP for Coaches – A historical story


Allow me to embark on a journey through the historical narratives of both NLP and coaching. We commence with a history of coaching’s evolution.

In the sun-soaked landscapes of 1970s California, a tennis coach, filled with the progressive ideologies of the 1960s, pioneered an avant-garde approach to his craft. Embracing a liberating strategy, he relinquished rigid teaching paradigms, allowing his students to explore and learn through self-directed endeavours. This departure from convention yielded astounding results, capturing the attention of media through a compelling TV documentary. An endeavour to ridicule his methods backfired when he successfully imparted tennis skills to an inexperienced, overweight woman. This visionary coach, Tim Gallwey, penned the acclaimed manifesto “The Inner Game of Tennis,” birthing a series of ‘Inner Game’ literary works. A disciple of his, John Whitmore, transported these principles into the realm of business, bequeathing us the quintessential text “Coaching for Performance.”

Simultaneously, the realms of therapy and business underwent transformative shifts. The 1960s heralded the emergence of Carl Rogers, a therapist who valiantly challenged Freudian orthodoxy, introducing the paradigm of ‘client-centred therapy.’ This novel approach championed equity, treating clients as equals and enveloping them in an embrace of ‘unconditional positive regard.’

Amidst this dynamic backdrop, the 1950s and 60s bore witness to the maturation of business as a disciplined field, spawning the proliferation of business schools and MBA programs worldwide. As organizational frameworks burgeoned, the mantle of business philosophy was assumed by luminaries like Peter Drucker, a visionary professor at NYU and progenitor of a new professional identity.


Dawn of a paradigm: The fusion that created coaching


The landscapes of sports, therapy, and business were irrevocably altered by the emergence of innovative methodologies. The ‘Inner Game’ philosophy revolutionized the arena of sports, challenging conventional coaching norms and propelling athletes towards self-directed excellence. Simultaneously, Carl Rogers’ pioneering ‘client-centred therapy’ redefined therapeutic interactions, ushering in an era of equality and empathetic understanding. The quest for professional ascendancy also witnessed the rise of structured pathways, exemplified by luminaries like Peter Drucker, birthing a new philosophy of business.

These converging tributaries flowed into the confluence of a fresh discipline—’coaching.’ A synthesis of these novel approaches yielded a versatile practice that harmonized elements of sports, therapy, and professional advancement.

In contemporary times, the influence of this is palpable, as a staggering cadre of over 120,000 coaches now operate across the globe. Accreditation bodies, with the International Coaching Federation at the forefront, have lent credence to this burgeoning field. The marriage of NLP and coaching techniques, in NLP for coaches, is strikingly evident in this new generation of coaches, who ride the crest of transformative methodologies. Remarkably, these approaches, whether institutionally endorsed or embraced informally, have permeated the corridors of multinational giants such as HSBC, GlaxoSmithKline, and the BBC.


NLP for coaches London


NLP for Coaches: New frontiers of life coaching


The acronym NLP encapsulates the captivating world of Neuro-Linguistic Programming—an intricate study of the human mind and its intrinsic mechanisms of self-programming and reprogramming. Delving beyond spoken language, NLP navigates the uncharted territories of physical sensations and gestures that contribute to the intricate fabric of our cognition.

Our story moves now to the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1972. Here, an enterprising mathematics student named Richard Bandler and a seasoned linguistics professor, John Grinder, embarked on an informal exploration of the methodologies pioneered by Fritz Perls, the luminary behind Gestalt therapy, and family therapist Virginia Satir. Despite professing distinct therapeutic paradigms, a closer inspection unveiled uncanny parallels in their engagement with clients. Both therapists, it seemed, employed remarkably similar lines of inquiry to challenge their clients’ constricting beliefs.

Driven by intellectual curiosity, Bandler and Grinder dissected the intricate tapestry of language woven within these probing questions. Their diligent analysis bore fruit in the form of a pioneering model that extended the accessibility of these transformative inquiries beyond the realm of trained therapists.

The realm of NLP for coaches rests at the intersection of NLP and coaching, synthesizing the two domains into a harmonious whole. A foundational element that unites many schools of NLP is their exploration of ‘presuppositions,’ fundamental convictions concerning individuals and the dynamics of change. Among the plethora of presuppositions, a few stand prominently. Notably, these beliefs resonate deeply with the essence of coaching, serving as a fertile starting point for the nuanced exploration of the symbiotic interplay between these disciplines.


You already have the resources


The first presupposition postulates that individuals possess an innate reservoir of resources. NLP techniques revolves around the strategic transfer of these ‘resources’ (essentially, advantageous states of mind) from one context to another. Consider, for instance, an individual who exhibits remarkable charm and ease in social settings but grapples with anxiety when it comes to sales. NLP, in this context, becomes the conduit for enabling the mobilization of these dormant resources, effectively empowering them to navigate the sales environment with the same charisma and ease that characterize their social interactions.


Shifting perspectives on “failure”


In the realm of NLP, the very concept of “failure” undergoes a profound metamorphosis, transmuting into an invaluable wellspring of feedback. This perspective, ingrained in the minds of early computer programmers who mastered games like chess through iterative learning, resonates seamlessly with the approach towards personal growth and transformation. A mindset that perceives setbacks as informative insights, rather than insurmountable defeats, presents a vastly superior alternative. Unlike the prevailing notion that any misstep brands an individual as a ‘failure,’ NLP fosters a paradigm where every action, regardless of outcome, fuels an iterative journey toward refinement.

NLP’s evolution bears the imprint of early computer programmers, who, through immersive self-education in games like chess, gained remarkable proficiency. This mode of learning, highly efficient and adaptable, finds resonance when applied to human cognition and transformation. This methodology stands in stark contrast to an alternative framework wherein missteps become identity-shaping failures.


Every action has a positive intention


Embedded in the tapestry of NLP is the conviction that every action, regardless of its immediate implications, is underpinned by a benevolent intention. Even seemingly self-defeating behaviours, upon closer inspection, reveal a hidden positive agenda. NLP posits that the genesis of human behaviour is rooted in positivity, and while certain actions may presently undermine well-being, their origins trace back to an initial, well-meaning goal. Unless an alternative avenue emerges to fulfil this original positive objective, cessation of self-defeating behaviour remains elusive. A vivid illustration arises in the act of yelling at others—a behaviour typically deemed undesirable. However, if this behaviour originated from a childhood tactic to assert boundaries, then unless a new means of boundary assertion is discovered, the yelling persists as a default strategy.


The map is not the territory


While the assertion that a map does not embody the actual terrain may seem overtly evident, a profound truth underscores this notion. Often, individuals conflate their personal interpretations of reality with an objective reality itself. This divergence in perceptions can precipitate dire consequences, exemplified poignantly in the conflicts that unfold between disparate religious groups. Within the contours of NLP, a fascination emerges with the formation of these individual cognitive “maps.” The pursuit lies in creating malleable maps that align with fluidity and facilitating effective communication with those whose maps differ. Moreover, NLP engages with the formidable task of assisting individuals ensnared in the clutches of rigid cognitive maps, offering a pathway toward liberation from self-imposed limitations.


Why NLP for coaches?


NLP takes the expertise of the great coach and smashes it down so it may be learnt by any person. NLP for coaches is all about using the implicit technique of coaching and rendering it specific and clear. In support of this understanding, I find that the majority of the greatest coaches I encounter have also learnt NLP. The two disciplines are appropriately ‘made for each other’.


NLP for coaches brings professionalism


NLP for Coaches provides professionalism. Coach training and certification is a demanding process, and as such gives protection for clients and a professional code for coaches. Beyond professionalism, coaching gives an ethical framework. Part of the enjoyment of NLP lies in its decentralised, ‘let a hundred flowers bloom’ approach. Yet the catch to this is a lack of an overarching commitment of what constitutes ethical practice. Coaching delivers such an agreement.


NLP for coaches – final thoughts


Would you like to raise your game in life skills on your personal development journey? NLP could be for you. For more information about sessions using NLP click here now.


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Jason Demant Clinical Hypnotherapist
London hypnotherapist. Seeing Clients in King's Cross and online.