NLP Three Stage Coaching Process for non-linear change

November 12, 2015

In my last article entitled “Are NLP Coaches Limiting Their Clients By Insisting On Well Formed Outcomes”,

I challenged the linear left brain approach to coaching which relies on conscious attention focussing on a goal when the client is still in the present state space and possibly stuck.

With so many coaching models insisting on the client being very clear about their outcome/goal at the onset of the coaching session, what is not being taken into account is the client is operating from the same logical level as the problem/challenge and thus constrained in what can be created as an outcome.

What would happen if, before an outcome or future orientation is arranged, the coach works with the client to create states and mind-sets that are dramatically different from present space so that in terms of outcomes, a new world awaits?

The three stage coaching integrates Classic NLP and New Code NLP formats in unique way for the client to have a radical change in life which is beyond their linear conscious perception. The three stages are

Stage One – Elicitation and first shift of perception
Stage Two – Creating choices
Stage Three – Future orientation

Stage One: – Elicitation and first shift of perception

When clients come for coaching they are operating with a limited perception. In NLP terms – they have a set of filters that are anchored to the present state. From my experience, clients will have a stuck representational system and thus have limited access to a multi sensory experience. There will also be a stuck perceptual position and there will be 2 or 3 stuck Meta Model patterns.

In the first stage, the coach will elicit the situation the client is working with and then facilitate processes to access other representational systems, perceptual positions and break the Meta Model violations. With these simple shifts of perception the client will be seeing / hearing the world differently and have access to more choices by being liberated from their Model Patterns and will also have a different VAK experience from shifting perceptual positions. These simple perceptual shifts already begin to open the client up to a world of new choices.

In the first stage the coach will also explore

a) Current intention
b) Future intention
c) Hidden intentions

The current intention is the benefit of the behaviours that are occurring. Future intention is usually abstract and related to the direction the client wants to go in. (This is much more abstract than an outcome). Hidden intentions can be the secondary gain that keeps the client stuck in present state or the unstated intention in the client really wanting to make the change.  The client is not always aware of the hidden intentions and sometimes they are and have another hidden intention in not revealing it to the coach. The coach will use variety of non linear tools to uncover the intentions including non verbal coaching, provocation, misdirection and use of metaphors.

Stage Two – Creating choices

Having made explicit the intentions and shifted perception, the coach will now work with the client to access different states where new choices can emerge.  In this model the coach will use New Code NLP. There are some key differences in New Code NLP and Classic Code NLP

New Code NLP

  • Works primarily at the level of state

  • New choices are unconsciously selected

  • Works at level of intention

  • Unconscious is involved in all the critical steps

Classic Code NLP

  • Works primarily at the level of behaviour

  • Choices are consciously selected

  • Works at the level of goal

  • More conscious mind oriented

In New Code NLP we have a number of games designed to evoke high performance states. The games synthesise multiple representational systems, parallel processing tasks and cross hemispheric processing and can be scaled to individual competencies.  In stage two, the coach works with the client to naturally associate the high performance state to the contextual cues of present state, automatically enabling the client to have access to a high performance state where they were once lacked choice.

When back in the present state context, the client, without thinking, will have access to multiple variables (out of conscious awareness) and perform very differently. This is non-linear change, the client does not know what will happen, what specific new behaviours and choices will emerge until he/she is back in context.

We also have formats that will erase kinaesthetic attachment to historically unresourceful states with no need for the client to go back in time and connect with personal history. These formats are like kitchen scourers in the sense that they rub away the existing kinaesthetic for a different experience to emerge, again in a non-linear fashion.

The NLP pattern that paved the way for the New Code to emerge was the six step reframe. This was the first pattern in NLP to incorporate the use of unconscious involuntary signals and intention. Many signal utilisation patterns exist in New Code NLP that trace their lineage back to the six step reframe.

In a coaching session the coach may elicit an unconscious (involuntary signal) from the client to make agreements with their unconscious mind to make explicit but out of conscious awareness changes in the context(s) they are exploring.

Again the client will not have a conscious representation of what will occur until they revisit the context in real time.

After the New Code games have been played and the client will have natural access to high performance states and new choices have been established through the unconscious signal, it’s now time for the client to go and enjoy the new experiences. There is no future pace, there is no outcome setting, just a world full of as yet unknown choices for the client to enjoy.

Stage Three – Future orientation

Having had the experience of non-linear change in the coaching context, it is most likely the client will not be operating at a different logical level than when they first arrived at the coaching session.  From this perceptive the client can begin to create a future with more conscious input.

The coach can use ‘well formed outcomes’, tasking, timeline visualisation and metaphors to help the client build a dazzling, harmonious and concrete future full of new possibilities.

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