• Posted: May 2015
  • By: Michael Carroll

What is Coaching?

Coaching as a profession has grown at a rapid rate over the last ten years or so. Like the field of NLP, Coaching is unregulated and thus the standards vary enormously. On a process level NLP and Coaching fit together well as both systems focus on the practitioner enabling the client to access their own internal resources to actualise their outcomes.  In this article, I will offer a definition and overview of coaching.

A Definition

Professional Coaching is an ongoing partnership that helps clients produce fulfilling results in their personal and professional lives. Through the process of coaching, clients deepen their learning, improve their performance and enhance their quality of life.

In each meeting, after the focus of the session has been agreed, the coach uses his/her skills, to question, challenge and help their client access the relevant states to reach the outcome desired. This interaction creates clarity and moves the client into considering new choices both consciously and unconsciously. NLP Coaching accelerates the client’s progress by utilising NLP tools for rapid change in the individual. NLP helps clients be clear about their futures and take effective action.

Coaching concentrates on where clients are today and what they are willing to do to get where they want to be tomorrow. The main basis of NLP Coaching is to help people create future realities that are much bigger than their past.

Coaching is a rapidly growing field

Formal executive coaching has only been around since the mid-1980’s. The field has started to grow exponentially.  A Harvard Business School study predicts the $1 billion market will double. Some large companies, like IBM, Marriott and Cisco Systems, have recognised the benefits of coaching and are training their staff to provide these services in-house. Business schools are also just now starting to offer classes with executive coaching content. The benefits of coaching to the organisation are enormous.

Coaching is all about the client

The reason coaching is so effective is that it’s NOT a generic ‘one-size-fits-all’ program. Each client/coach relationship is a bespoke session. The coach works with the client on the key issues in a confidential manner.

Have you ever felt like you could get so much more accomplished if you could just block out all the distractions in your life? That’s what happens with coaching, the distractions are blocked so the client can really focus.

It certainly helps when the person being coached takes responsibility and isn’t in the session to complain about life. Coaching is about taking responsibility and creating solutions.

Coaching is not Counselling or Therapy

When a person goes to counselling, frequently the focus is the problem and the possible causes of the problem with the client coming to terms with the causes to move on. In this model, the client isn’t able to solve his or her own problems; the therapist works to fix the patient. In NLP and Coaching we don’t adhere to a cause- effect system.

The philosophy behind coaching assumes the client is creative, resourceful and whole. The client is responsible for making changes in his/her life, and the client has all the resources to make the changes happen.

The coach is there to facilitate and guide the client on their journey and to help the client get back on track if he/she loses momentum.  Coaching is much more outcome focussed as well as state orientated.

Types of coaches

An Expert Coach is a specialist in a certain field.

They bring their expertise to the coaching space. Examples would be sports, acting, and specific applications of business. Their feedback is invaluable, they have the expertise to engage in content coaching. Nevertheless, their effectiveness will be limited by the method they use to transfer their expertise. The least effective way for them to give feedback is by telling the coachee what to change.

A Process Coach is an individual who may or may not have extensive knowledge regarding the business or arena where the client is working.

This coach is a specialist in working at the process level to help the client achieve his goals. This style of coach works at the process level in helping client get from A to B without being overly directive. Life coaches and NLP coaches are usually process coaches.

Skills of top coaches

  • Rapport skills
  • Calibration skills
  • Questioning skills
  • Listening skills
  • Pacing and leading
  • Can challenge clients
  • Knows how to set tasks
  • Can create momentum and motivation
  • Leadership skills
  • Not overly directive
  • Provocation
  • Misdirection
  • Coach works with multiple outcomes
  • Coach can work (either implicitly or explicitly) with the unconscious mind
  • All NLP skills and New Code NLP skills

New Code NLP and Coaching

New Code NLP, primarily developed by John Grinder and Carmen Bostic St Clair, complements coaching very well. John Grinder famously says, ‘it’s not the problem that’s the problem, it’s the state the client enter the problem in’. A major premise in New Code NLP is the coach helps the client naturally access performance states that can be applied across multiple contexts. When a client has a high performance state as a natural state, a problem is no longer a problem, the client finds many ways to work through the situation

Coaching is a profession

The great thing about coaching as a profession is the potential market is massive. It could be argued that every adult could benefit from coaching and thus every adult is possible client. Now as a coach you may wish to narrow that down demographically.

The challenge coaches face in this massive market place is most of the people are unaware they could benefit from having a coach and would not know where to look if they were aware of their coaching needs. To that extent the modern coach needs to educate their target market of the coaching need and be very high profile in their communities so people know how beneficial coaching could be.

If you are interested in becoming a professional coach take a look at the courses on http://www.nlpacademy.co.uk or phone the office on 0208 686 9952

About The Author

Michael Carroll is the founder and course director of the NLP Academy and co-founder with John Grinder and Carmen Bostic St Clair of the International Trainers Academy of NLP. He is the only NLP Master Trainer in the world certified by John Grinder and Carmen Bostic St Clair and he works closely with them in developing and delivering high quality NLP training.

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