By Joseph O’Connor (United Kingdom)
The title of this issue reminds me of the 1979 Academy award winning film ‘Kramer versus Kramer’ starring Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep. It is a great drama of a husband and wife who separate and fight over their son. What is the connection to NLP and coaching? NLP and coaching are clearly related, I want to explore in this short article what each discipline contributes, their differences and similarities, where might they agree and where do they agree to disagree.
Both NLP and coaching have very broad definitions that are process rather than content oriented. Here are some common definitions of NLP: ‘The study of the structure of the subjective experience’ and, ‘NLP is an attitude and a methodology, which leave behind a trail of techniques,’ the latter attributed to Richard Bandler. John Grinder defined NLP as, ‘The epistemology of returning to what we have lost – a state of grace.’
For sure, NLP came from modelling exceptional communicators, primarily Fritz Perls, Virginia Satir, Gregory Bateson and Milton Erickson. NLP is a modelling methodology that has generated a number of techniques. Sometimes NLP is wrongly identified solely with the techniques. It would be nice if NLP modelling techniques were applied to coaching – what are the thinking patterns, goals, values, beliefs and behaviours that make a great coach? I have never seen this done and think it would be an extremely interesting union of NLP with coaching.
About Joseph O’Connor
Joseph O’Connor is an executive coach, author of fifteen books on NLP and two books on coaching (How Coaching Works and Coaching with NLP). He is the co founder of the International Coaching Community, one of the largest coaching organisations in the world, and an NLP master trainer.