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Coaching with NLP For Dummies® by Kate Burton

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Racing into Detail without Seeing the Bigger Picture

By its very nature, coaching gives people time and space. So allow your clients that space to think. Avoid the temptation to hurry along one line of inquiry before the client's had the opportunity to set out what's on his mind. Racing through coaching is rather like asking someone to choose one location to visit for a holiday before he's had time to look at the options on a map and evaluate several choices.

NLP reminds coaches to pace and lead people. Pace your clients' current reality by listening to them, then listening more and finally leading them along one particular path with your questions. This approach requires the coach to achieve the fine balance between uncovering what's happening overall for the client and targeting the core issue. (You can read more on pacing and leading to build rapport in Chapter 2, while Chapter 6 looks at the core coaching competency of listening in more detail.)

A thought to hold while listening to clients is that the presenting issue isn't the real issue. By dallying a while in the space with patience, you get to the place where the client says, ‘I think this is really about Y,’ and you then have something deeper to work with than the superficial topic the client first put forward. Don't push your clients to go too fast too quickly: they need to trust you and the coaching process. The chapters in Part III are full of suggestions about how to shift to a deeper level of work with your client. ...

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