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Coaching with NLP For Dummies® by Kate Burton

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Slipping into Parent or Child Role

In life you assume many roles other than coach. You were once a child and may well be a parent now. Even without children of your own, you know how to play the parenting role from witnessing your own or other people's parents. As you engage with your clients' experiences in coaching, you also draw on your emotional history of family relationships.

If you're naturally an indulgent parent or experienced in that kind of parenting, a tendency to let your clients off the hook and prevent them taking ownership for their actions may come out in your relationships with clients. Likewise, if you had strict parenting, your coaching may take on a bossy style.

Another role to avoid slipping into as coach is to be the adaptive child trying to please your clients: this gets in the way of challenging them. If you're coaching someone who you feel is more experienced than you or are in an unfamiliar business context, remind yourself that you're not hired as the expert in his world, but as a coach bringing a fresh perspective.

When you encounter a difficult situation with a coaching client, check whether you're slipping into being an indulgent parent or an adaptive child. If you happen to be coaching a client who's part of a family business, be aware that you very likely to pick up the unconscious family patterns during sessions as well.

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