Tuesday, 25 October 2011

John Grinder Coaching Review

John Grinder

I was lucky enough to attend John and Carmen’s 5 day (plus one day’s accreditation) coaching seminar in Croydon on the 26-30th November 2004 with about 50 delegates. I was particular interested in this particular seminar because in addition to John being an NLP co-founder both John and Carmen have a track record in business coaching. I was also looking for any ideas to improve our own coaching training.

It was a great learning experience which is a reflection not only on John and Carmen but also on the NLP Academy and the other delegates. Having five days to model John was great; having five days to practice coaching with open feedback was also great. Unlike the ‘new code’ seminar I stayed for Carmen’s sessions. What follows is my recollections of some of the key points as I remember them; I’m not claiming they’re accurate and they’re not comprehensive but I hope they’re useful. 

As a preamble I’ll say that all learning in the context of coaching is experiential; what’s important is noticing (hearing and feeling?) what works. I’ll also quote John quoting Gregory Bateson, “The logic of unconscious process is profoundly different from the logic of conscious process; it’s the collision of these two processes which is the basis of creativity and art.” For the sake of this article I’m concentrating on some of the conscious logic; use your experience or come to the next seminar to fill in the rest! 

Two types of coaches
Some characteristics of excellent coaching
Coach’s purpose
Phases of coaching
Bostic–Grinder Coaching Model
The purpose of tasking
Some neat exercises

Two types of coaches
Some coaches are experts at what they do and their feedback against what works is invaluable; some aren’t and therefore have to manage the process – which in a different way can be a significant advantage
Having knowledge of the context or being an ‘expert’ can give additional rapport  

Some characteristics of excellent coaching 
It’s a learning process for both the coached and the coach
You do not build a dependency
Set up an agreement that the person coached may be asked to do a task without understanding the reason why
Nothing happens without rapport – defined in this instance as having the full conscious and more importantly the unconscious attention of the individual being coached
Effective change occurs at the level of ‘state’ rather than ‘behaviour’.
Explanation can hinder change  

Coach’s purpose 
Facilitate, assist but not (necessarily) give solutions
Phases of coaching 
Gain rapport/contract
Establish frame
Elicit information
Create action plan
Get commitment
Follow up  

Bostic-Grinder coaching model (as a guide) 
Elicit information
Working goal
Is goal ecological for coach or client?
Goal’s intention
How many ways can this be satisfied?
Graphically or spatially represent options
If the client were to choose X, would they commit to an action plan
Negative and positive consequences of X
Sensory representations of X
Test – summarise and check congruency
Commit to action to plan (could use Smart goals)
Commitment (could use unconscious signals) 

The purpose of tasking 
A task set by the coach which will provide a counter example to the clients limiting belief/value
For example a man shy of talking to women could be asked to complete market research in a women’s store; the task could be a game or a specific NLP technique 

Some neat exercises in 3’s 
Client talks too much – how many pattern interrupts can you use?
Client doesn’t know what he/she wants – how many interventions can you use?
Client doesn’t want to explain content – agree a metaphor with client; discuss options and solutions using the metaphor
Coach and observer work as one – Observer tells the coach which technique (or part of a technique) to use in real time and the coach executes it. The observer is responsible for ‘strategy’ the coach for ‘execution’. 

In 3’s the client and coach were briefed separately, the observer wrote a brief report on what happened. Results collated with John and Carmen’s observations. Delegates were either accredited or had to come back to demonstrate proficiency in something they hadn’t shown proficiency in yet. 

After thoughts 
A great learning experience; I recommend John (and Richard) to anyone who wants to develop their NLP attitudes, modelling skills and techniques.  
The oddest thing was listening to John tell a story that I normally associate with Richard; I’m sure the voice was the same…..

Highly recommended