• Posted in July 2014
  • Article written by Jack Carroll

Creating Self-Sufficiency

“Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.”

Being in the personal development industry I hear a lot of quotations, but none I feel quite capture the spirit of New Code NLP like the one above. Teaching your clients how to apply NLP in their own lives and coach themselves is such a generative approach, it allows them to continue growing, developing and creating new choices years after their time spent with you and even better, it often extends beyond them when they pass on these tools to others. This is the intention for any piece of ‘change work’ that we do here at the Academy because it’s integral that the client ‘owns the change’, it’s not you who has ‘fixed or changed’ them, they did this themselves! You simply have the privileged position of being the facilitator who helps them uncover what strategy will serve them best going forward. How though do you create a legacy beyond your time spent together? I propose the best way to do this is to teach them how to fish!

Here is a brief outline of some of the models I commonly teach clients. Which ones they learn is based solely on what they present and my calibration.

-The Meta Model: The original NLP Model, teaching your clients the Meta Model will allow them to uncover their own deeper structure and understand why they do what they do. From knowing this they can discover if what they present through their surface structure is working for them, if it can be improved or if it is a redundant pattern. Look out for specific patterns inside the model that they demonstrate, for example if they use a lot of modal operators (Need, must) you’ve found which part of the model to teach first!

-Unconscious Signals: One of the biggest focus areas on our courses is that our students have clear yes/no unconscious signals. Unconscious signals are, in my opinion, the purest coaching tool you can ever use. It takes the conscious mind out of the equation and allows the client/self direct communication with their unconscious. When teaching this to clients I often use metaphors that can be universally identified with to describe natural unconscious signals, e.g Gut instincts, SOS signals in times of danger etc…

-Anchoring: Teaching your clients to self anchor allows them to have a resource in times of need at their fingertips, it will also give them the skill to collapse any unwanted experience as well. Anchoring is so simple and yet so powerful. A recent client likened his resource anchor to ‘feeling like a warrior protected by armour’, he now regularly conducts bulletproof presentations, another person would describe it completely differently. It is however a simple, powerful and assessable technique which can be easily learnt and applied.

-Perceptual Positions:Helping your clients to be able to step into the shoes of another (second position), or move to an observer position seeing the context from the outside in (third position) and in some cases step in and experience it completely free from ones own filters is a simple yet deadly effective tool in many settings. Some may only see the world through their own filters and never be able to appreciate the perspectives of others, alternatively some people may always ‘think and do’ for others often to their own detriment. The ability to be able to shift from each position is an excellent tool for decision making, business, coaching, relationships and so many other contexts. It also allows for self feedback which is an incredible tool for personal growth.

These are just a few ideas, you I’m sure could use many more! I propose though keeping the simple ideology of teaching your clients to fish allows them to keep developing for the rest of their lives so no matter what the situation they know they have the resources internally to go with whatever direction they see fit, with no self limitations. To me as an agent of change ‘that’s what it’s all about smile 

About The Author

Jack Carroll has been directly part of the NLP Academy team since November 2009, though has been around the Academy most of his life. He works at the Academy on a daily basis heading the client services team, running coaching sessions and delivering some of our programs.
He is also an associate trainer at the NLP Academy and can be seen presenting sessions at various practice groups and courses.



  • The quality of training was outstanding, the depth of human understanding was awe inspiring, and to meet and learn from Carmen Bostic St Clair and the co-creator of NLP John Grinder was utterly mesmerising.

    John Phelan
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