Personal NLP Coaching

NLP (Neuro Linguistic programming)  Personal Coaching

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What is personal coaching?

Coaching is a form of learning, where a person (a coach) supports someone else (a client) to create learning and self-development in a way that benefits them.

From early forms of transportation, i.e. stagecoach, or rail coach, the word ‘coaching’ literally means to transport someone from one place to another. One thing that all forms of coaching seem to have in common is that people are using it to help them move forward in a certain direction.

One simple example is probably that of a sports coach. Here, the coach supports the individual to improve their performance and get better results-depending on what they want to achieve. For a golfer, the goal might be winning a major tournament, or simply improving their grip. The role of the coach is to apply specific principles of success, in a way that creates experiential learning and improvement for the golfer.

Coaching is normally a conversation, or a series of conversations, one person has with another. The coach intends to produce a conversation that will benefit the other person, the client, in a way that relates to the client’s learning and progress.

Coaching conversations might happen in many different ways, and in many different environments.

For example, coaching might consist of two people talking in a room about things the client wants to change. This is sometimes called ‘off-line’ coaching. It might also be one person observing another person during something, e.g. chairing a meeting, then discussing that afterwards. This can be called on-line coaching.

Why do people have coaching?

People enlist the services of a coach because they want to improve their situation and achieve their goals. They want to learn new ways of thinking and approaching situations, in order to get better results. Common goals might be becoming more organized and effective at work, gaining confidence in certain situations, or simply relating to other people more effectively.

A skilled coach uses a combination of observation, questioning, listening and feedback to create a conversation rich in insight and learning. For the client, they will experience a focus and attention that enable them to develop a greater awareness and appreciation of their own circumstances.

In addition, the client will also create new ways to resolve issues, produce better results and generally achieve their goals more easily.

Common benefits people experience from coaching include:

• Improved sense of direction and focus
• Increased knowledge of self/self-awareness
• Improved ability to relate to and influence others
• Increased motivation
• Improved personal effectiveness, e.g. focused effort
• Increased resourcefulness/resilience, e.g. ability to handle change
• Clarity about their values and the ability to honour them
• Flexibility about beliefs, including the ability to change them
• A greater sense of appreciation for the self and others

What coaching is not

Coaching can be defined by what it is not, which includes the following:

Coaching is not … structured training, e.g. classroom learning

Structured training relates to a fixed agenda of learning, and a prepared approach to making that learning happen. For example, if you were being trained in a classroom to use a computer, the trainer would often use a structured approach to making sure you learnt a certain amount of information, within a certain time frame.

Coaching follows a more flexible format, according to the client’s objectives. Both the client and the coach influence the direction and content of sessions. Coaching also places real responsibility for learning on the individual and encourages learning to continue after the session.

Coaching is not … therapy, psychoanalysis or psychotherapy

Whilst coaching is not therapy, and should not be viewed as therapy, it does provide a viable alternative to people who may have previously considered some form of counselling to resolve a situation.

For example, coaching promotes a greater self-awareness, and fuller appreciation of our own situations and circumstances. Sometimes, change can be promoted by a simple shift in perspectives. Barriers or self-belief such as ‘I can’t’ or ‘I don’t’ can be challenged in order to encourage fresh approaches and ideas.

Coaching is not … a way of someone else solving your problems for you

Coaching is based on the principle that an individual is ultimately responsible for their own life and the results they’re getting. If we acknowledge that we are responsible for something, it follows that we have power and influence over it. For example, if you’re not getting the results at work that you want, a coach might encourage you to:

• Understand the situation more clearly
• Develop new ideas of approaches to take in such situations
• Take constructive action that gets you the results you want

What a coach will not do is instruct you to go and do something specific, or go and do it for you. If they did, the coach would be taking responsibility − and therefore power − away from you.

What you can expect from your coach?

The role of coach provides a kind of support distinct from any other. Your coach will focus solely on your situations with the kind of attention and commitment that you rarely experience elsewhere.

Your coach will listen to you, with a genuine curiosity to understand who you are, what you think and generally how you experience the world. Your coach will reflect back to you, with the kind of objective assessment that creates real clarity. During conversations, your coach will encourage you to rise to challenges, overcome obstacles and get into action.

A coaching relationship is like no other, simply because of its combination of objective detachment and commitment to the goals of the individual.

Because the coach-client relationship is based on trust and openness, the content of your discussions will be confidential. Where a third party has requested the coaching for you, the coach will agree with you the best way to keep that third party involved or updated.

What your coach will expect from you

In return, your coach will encourage you to stay committed to the coaching process. That means showing up for sessions, taking your own notes where appropriate, and keeping any agreements you make during the sessions.

In addition, your coach needs you to be open to the potential of coaching. That means contributing to conversations honestly and openly. For example, if something isn’t working, your coach needs to know. If you have concerns or problems, voice them. If you know why a problem is occurring, say so.

The strength and power of coaching relates strongly to the level of openness and trust between the coach and the client.

How might coaching benefit you?

Coaching can benefit all areas of life. Before you come to your first coaching session, please spend some time thinking about which of the following areas you would like to work on with your coach. If you have any specific goals in relation to any of the areas, please make some notes on those in preparation. Your coach will then be able to help clarify your thoughts and ideas.

Areas to think about:

• Work/career
• Money
• Health
• Friends and family
• Significant other/love
• Personal growth/spiritual
• Fun and recreation
• Physical environment

Coaching overview

Hopefully, you will now have gained a better understanding of what coaching can offer you. Perhaps you’ve also begun to think about your own situation and goals and are beginning to imagine how coaching might support you.

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