Coaching provides the context for people to establish new habits and report back on their progress over a period of time. As a coach, you can give specific feedback on habits or behaviours you've noticed that don't seem to serve them and invite them to choose better ones. Experts say it takes 21 days to change a habit. Change can be instant, yet some entrenched patterns take longer to change, which is why longer-term coaching assignments, of say six months, provide an environment that supports behavioural change compared to a one-off NLP session to fix an issue.
Ultimately clients are accountable for their new behaviours, and as a coach you support them to hold on to these new behaviours to make lasting change because you work with them on a regular basis, through the real ups and downs of life. As clients recognise their own patterns, they become curious about themselves in different contexts and spread their learning from one situation to another (see the sidebar ‘Bringing concerns to the surface’ for a great example of this dynamic).
In order to change patterns in the long term, challenge your clients to experiment with new patterns in a variety of contexts. Make the challenge interesting and fun and adapt it according to what you discover about their metaprograms based on the activities earlier in this chapter.
More procedural clients may enjoy a system to follow that tracks their progress. Encourage them to report their success stories back to you. ...