I have coached professionally since 2002 and back in 2004 I started teaching coaches how to coach using NLP.
I learned business from my many business start-ups and have successfully sold some of them (I started a tattoo business when I was six and had no idea that I could have actually sold it). I used to think that my greatest learnings happened when I ran multi-million-dollar advertising agencies, but those pale in comparison to what I learned starting a coaching business. I gleaned a lot over those coaching years, so if you’re thinking about getting a coach, here is what to expect from working with one.
Firstly, your coach is there to help you. To help you to do what you previously couldn’t, so don’t get caught up on all the things that your coach will do for you. Remember, coaching is intended to get you to do the previously undoable.
Coaching is conversational, so if your coach does ‘Step #1’ (below) really well, it should feel like you are working with a very clever ‘friend.’
Not all coaching sessions or meetings are the same, though here is a guide of what to expect from your first coaching experience. While I’ve put them in ‘Steps,’ some steps continue happening while your coach is performing the next step. Depending on what your coach is helping you to achieve, the steps might include other elements and could be presented in a different order. My point here, is this is a guide, not a rule. So here we go…
Step #1: The very first thing your coach will do is help you to feel comfortable in the partnership – coaching is a partnership after-all. If they’re training in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), this step will be achieved quickly and you won’t even know that you’re in this step. You’ll just feel at ease.
Step #2: Next your coach will elicit from you what you want or expect to get from your coach meetings. Your coach will help you to get specific about your goals or desires or what life for you looks like without your problems.
If they’re NLP trained (and I hope they are), they’ll also take you through the ‘7 Keys for Success’ and help you to create what we call, ‘Well-Formed Outcomes.’ By the end of this step, you’ll be clear about the outcomes of your coaching, more-so, your coach will know exactly what you want.
Step #3: Now it’s time to identify the obstacles that stand in your way, between you and those outcomes that were elicited in Step #2. Your coach will continue asking questions to determine what needs to change or what you need to do.
Again, if they’re NLP trained, you’re in for some life-shifting moments, because they are trained to identify limiting beliefs, patterns, neurological pathways and conflicts that stand in your way and – they can help you to change at the most profound neurological levels. This is where the true magic of coaching begins and if your coach is trained to NLP Master Practitioner level – buckle up, this next step will be amazing.
Step #4: This is the stage where the coaching road splits in two. If your coach is not NLP trained, then you’ll end up with a list of tasks that you need to do to achieve your goals.
If your coach is NLP trained, then they’ll help to shift your thinking at the level of the unconscious (where you do things without thinking) so that you will be able to do what you need to do, to get what you want without experiencing the usual self-sabotage that most people experience. It now should be much easier to reach your desired outcomes.
If you’ve got yourself an NLP trained coach, they’ll be making sure you’re good to go after doing the neurological change work.
Step #5: Now for the plan. Your coach will work with you to map out the best way forward; a strategy if you like. There will be specific tasks laid out in detail and ideal completion dates and/or times. This way everyone is clear what needs to be done and by when. If we are to enter unchartered territory, we’ll need this map.
Now we know what to do next and we should feel like we can do all that needs to be done. If not, we’ll deal with those limitations in our next coach meeting.
Step #6: Now it’s time to end the session, but before doing so, you’ll work with your coach to decide when is the ideal time to reconnect for your next coach meeting. Remember this is a partnership.
Some coaches and their clients like to pre-arrange all their meeting dates and times in advance – and of course, this is okay too as it saves doing ‘Step #6’ at the end of each meeting.
The next session: Here you both address the list of tasks from the previous meeting, to see what was done and what wasn’t. Now this is not a parent/child relationship, so don’t expect to get into trouble for not completing any tasks. You’re both adults after-all. Though should there remain uncompleted tasks, this creates an opportunity for your coach to find out more about you – perhaps there are underlying issues surrounding ‘procrastination’ for example. This can be removed as a disruptive and unproductive program in the next session.
Coaching is an amazing partnership. It’s like having someone on your side, in your success team. They will see what you can’t and help you to do what you previously couldn’t. Anyone who is serious about success in their career, relationships, health, wealth and their life in general really should consider getting a coach. After-all, every champion has a coach, so should you.
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