Wednesday, 18 September 2019

The Most Dangerous Coaching Question

The entire self-help industry is based on a simple question: "What do you want?"

With this one question, coaches and life transformation gurus conjure up your wildest dreams, innermost desires and best laid plans.

And what you don't realise is that this one question is precisely what prevents you from achieving those dreams.

In fact, the self-help industry is designed to create one result: Addiction.

Here's why.

The question "What do you want?" contains a presupposition, something which must already be true for the speaker in order for the question to be understood. Whilst all statements contain presuppositions, the important one here is 'want'. To want something presupposes that you do not have it.

'Want' is also an 'unspecified verb', meaning that it is an action with something missing. The missing part is 'to have', so if we expanded a 'want' statement to be fully grammatically correct, the result would be "I want to have..."

Have is not an action, it is a statement of possession. However, the word 'have' shows up in language in the same place as a verb, and it is therefore an unspecified verb, and also a 'lost performative' meaning that the direct action has been lost, muddled up and hidden.

Here's an example: "My boss criticises me". Criticising is not an action, it is not a performative verb. It is a judgement on a series of experiences, edited together in a generalisation, like the trailer for a movie. Similarly, we could summarise the movie Star Wars into the statement "Boy becomes hero". It's true, but it's missing a few details. Maybe sometimes your boss does give you feedback which you don't like, and at other times that's not the case, and at other times you are not interacting with your boss at all. Your assertion is a misleading generalisation which omits the action that you are commenting on.

If I use 'have' in present tense, I might say, "I have a pen". That doesn't tell you anything about how I got the pen. Did I buy it? Steal it? Borrow it? 'Have' is a snapshot in time, and your brain will create a story to explain that snapshot. My mother developed dementia later in life and would create stories to explain unfamiliar items around her. When I bought her a clock, she said, "Oh, where did that clock come from? Oh yes, the neighbour brought it in for me". Five minutes later, my sister had brought it. Five minutes later, another story. None of them were true, from my point of view, but all of them were true for her, at least for a moment. Our brains create stories to explain the world that we see around us, like a prequel for a movie to explain the backstory to a character.

When you use 'have' in place of a verb in future tense, you miss out the steps that you'll take to get you to where you intend to be. Anything in the future is imaginary, yet we act as if it's real. We say, "This time next year I will have a new job". And what are you doing, today, right now, this minute to get a new job? Nothing.

The question "What do you want?" provokes the response "I want to have..." which means that you don't have it now, and you have no idea how to get it. You're not focusing on the first, direct action that you can take, you're focusing on the end result. You're picturing the cake, but you don't have any of the ingredients. And you don't know how to bake a cake. When I say that you have no idea how to get it, that’s based on a very simple observation. If you knew how to bake a cake, and you had the ingredients to hand, you wouldn’t want a cake, you would be baking a cake.

'Want' literally means 'lack', as in this ancient rhyme and proverb:

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

Focusing on what you want without considering how you'll get it amplifies your sense of dissatisfaction with where you are right now, with what you have in your life right now.

With that amplified sense of dissatisfaction, where do you go? Straight back to your guru for some more daydreaming.

We're so used to thinking in terms of goals, objectives and targets that we have largely forgotten that goals are impossible to achieve, because by the time we start taking action, the landscape has changed and the goal has changed.

Research shows that the only reliable way of making changes in your life is to DO something. NOW.

Move. Get going. Start. Begin.

Goals exist only for a far more important reason - to set a direction of travel. Focus on that instead, and see where it takes you.

As a coach, perhaps a more useful question is therefore, “Where are you going?”

Take a look at my upcoming NLP training dates here for Practitioner, Master Practitioner and Trainer

Friday, 5 October 2018

DIY for Beginners, or Why Loose Roof Tiles are a Bigger Problem than you Thought

I've had a number of conversations recently with clients who seem to go round in circles over periods of time, perhaps cycling back to old, destructive behaviours, looping in and out of periods of high and low self confidence, and so on. A common theme, perhaps arising from the greater public awareness of counselling and psychotherapy, is the client's childhood experience as the root cause of their current 'problems'.

I'd like you to come on a short journey with me. Imagine that you would like to live by the sea one day. Imagine that you have always dreamed of the beautiful landscape, walking on the beach, the sunshine and the relaxing sounds of the waves. Imagine that one day, you see a plot of land for sale in a wonderful location, so you buy it and make a plan to build your own house.

You've lived in houses all your life. You know exactly what a house needs, how it's constructed and what it should look like. You design it yourself, and start buying materials. Slowly, you build your own house. After some months, there it is, perfect in all of its self made glory. It's exactly how you imagined it, exactly what you wanted.

Imagine that you live in this house for many, many happy years.

One winter, you notice a little water damage on the ceiling of one of the upstairs rooms. You ignore it for a while. It gets worse. You go up in the roof space and look for the cause. You see some evidence of water leaks. You get a ladder and look outside, and you discover that some roof tiles are missing. You go back to the building supplies warehouse, buy some more roof tiles and replace them. Just one of those things.

You enjoy a wonderful spring and summer, walks on the beach, beautiful sunsets, picnics. That winter, you notice some more water damage, a little worse this time. You check and discover some roof tiles missing. You replace them and think nothing more of it.

You enjoy a wonderful spring and summer, early morning swims in the sea, ice creams, watching children playing. That winter, you notice some more water damage, even worse than before. You start to wonder why it keeps happening. "Cheap roof tiles", you conclude. "The builder's merchant conned me", you say to yourself. You were ripped off. You paid good money and were given substandard tiles. It's the only possible explanation. You buy more expensive roof tiles and think nothing more of it.

Year, after year, after year, the same cycle. Wonderful summers, and winters that bring ever growing areas of water damage. Cracks start to appear around the window frames. The cracks get a little bigger every year. Poor quality cement. Poor quality plaster. Poor workmanship from the contractors you hired.

Your friends start to comment on the cracks and the water damage, and you brush their comments aside, defensively. It's your house, built with your own two hands. Who says there's anything wrong with it? Poor materials. Unreliable workmen.

After many years of this cycle, you start to worry, in your quiet, private moments, that maybe there is something wrong with the house after all.

Friends suggest that you get a building surveyor to take a look. What would they know?! You know your house inside out. What could anyone else tell you? The very idea is an insult.

After a few more winters with the water damage getting worse and the cracks getting wider, you begrudgingly call a surveyor in. He looks carefully around the house and finally delivers his analysis. The house is built on sandy ground, and has no foundation. No foundation! What's a foundation?

He explains the concept to you. Every house has a hidden foundation, invisible, buried deep below ground. No-one ever sees it, no-one would know it was there. And without it, the ground that we think is so solid and reliable can move, shift a little, driven by the natural movement of the environment. The house should have been built on a solid foundation, but it wasn't. You can't turn the clock back, but you can look forwards.

What are your options?

You could dismantle the house and rebuild it on a new foundation.

You could walk away, let the house fall into complete disrepair, abandon it and start again.

You could have the foundation professionally created under the house while it is in place.

The final option is usually the most practical. It involves digging a trench around the house and placing stones and concrete into a space created beneath it, retrospectively creating a foundation where none existed before.

Imagine that this is the option you go for. After all, you have invested so much in the house, it's worth saving.

With the new foundation in place, the house is safe and secure once more.

And yet, the cracks are still there. The new foundation doesn't heal the existing damage. The water can still get in. The cracks aren't getting any bigger. The roof tiles are no longer falling off. But the existing damage is there forever.

You can fill the cracks, repair the damage, fit new roof tiles. You can redecorate. You know that your friends still know about the damage.

Over time, now that you've understood more about what was happening to the house, and you have accepted the mistakes you made in its construction, you begin to notice cracks in your friends' houses too. But rather than hide the cracks, you notice that they're part of the house's character. The wear and tear makes the house what it is - unique, homely, comforting.

You slowly realise that the cracks and bumps and irregularities in your own house have become part of its character. They define it, they each tell a story.

What's the story behind your unique character?

Take a look at my upcoming NLP training dates here for Practitioner, Master Practitioner and Trainer

Friday, 31 August 2018

Some Meta Model Thoughts

I wanted to share some obsolete knowledge from my telecoms days, because I think it's relevant to a recent post where there was much debate on the categorisation of words.

Computers talk to each other using languages called 'protocols'. If you're into such things, TCP/IP, CO3, SNA and DEC LAT are examples. Protocols fall into two broad categories - Bit Oriented Protocols and Byte or Character Oriented Protocols. For short, they are known as BOPs and COPs.

A BOP uses a rigid structure to signal information. In an 8 bit 'word', such as 11010001, the first digit might represent 1 for send or 0 for receive, the next 3 digits might signify the recipient address and so on. A particular digit or 'bit' always means the same thing. The sender doesn't have to say "I'm telling you where I want my message to go, here's the address..." because the receiver knows it's the address because of where it is. The sender doesn't need to say "I've finished" because the receiver knows it's only going to get 8 bits. When it receives bit number 8, the message is over.

You don't have to say "Please deliver to:" when you write an envelope, that instruction is implied in the presence of something that looks like an address on the same side of an envelope as the stamp. A BOP uses no more space than it absolutely needs, it's very efficient, but it's very prone to errors. A single noise spike on a transmission line will knock a BOP protocol completely out of action. I once spent 4 hours on customer site with a data analyser trying to catch such a problem that switched a huge overnight print run from producing factory production data to churning out pages and pages of gibberish. Some electrical noise corrupted the signal, turning a '16' into '11', which the receiver couldn't understand, and which it had no way to recover from.

A COP uses a flexible structure. COPs can typically transmit variable sizes of data, because it doesn't matter where the signalling information is as long as it is explicitly marked out as such. A COP can say, "here's the address" followed by almost any length of message, and as long as it ends with the code for "bye!" the receiver knows that it has the complete message. A COP can correct transmission errors. In TCP/IP, which your computer is using right now to receive this post, if the receiver thinks the message doesn't look right, it asks the sender to send it again, and pieces together the fragments in the right order, even though they might be received out of sequence. It's like dropping a document and scattering the pages all over the floor. As long as the pages are numbered, it doesn't matter.

Why am I telling you all this? How is this relevant to Meta Model? Well, if you hadn't already guessed, human language has some aspects which are analogous to a BOP, and some that are analogous to a COP.

A COP makes the content significant. Tomato is what it is, a thing, an object, a fruit popular in sandwiches and Italian cooking. Except when it's an adjective for a flavour or a colour. So our symbol, in our linguistic COP, isn't unambiguous, it needs context. The word 'tomato' is not enough information, we also need to know its position. In a SOV language, if the word is in the S or O position, it's a noun, if it comes before something in the S or O position, it's an adjective. We would never expect to see it in the V position. And yet with many words, we do find them in the V position when they don't belong there. Such is the flexibility of our linguistic machinery that we can move words into any position and they still make sense. Kinda. Sensey make order in any. We can do this because we have an understanding of language both as a BOP and as a COP. We recognise a word and know where it should be, even if it isn't, and we know what's missing, even when it's not stated. Of course, we're filling in those gaps from our own experiences and expectations, which means we're receiving our own signal, looped back, not the signal from the other person.

If, as coaches or whatever we are, we think we 'know' what the client said, then we're actually coaching ourselves. If we really listen, and if we 'unfold the map' with Meta Model, then we discover more about what the client is experiencing, and we hope that's to their benefit too.

Take a look at my upcoming NLP training dates here for Practitioner, Master Practitioner and Trainer

Friday, 2 February 2018

Stop Selling Yourself

The most common complaint I hear from self employed people and anyone who is personally connected to their product such as an artist or writer is, “But I find it hard to sell myself”.

My advice is simple. Don’t sell yourself. Your family will not thank you for it. It doesn’t matter how much money someone offers you for you, you’ll regret it in the long run because you won’t be able to spend it, and since they now own you, they also own the money they just paid you for you, so it’s never a good deal.

Instead, sell something that you know or have made. You can sell lots of these things without having to give any part of you away permanently.

So not being able to sell yourself is not a problem, because you should never be doing that anyway. Instead, you have to be clear on what your product is.

If you’re a trainer or consultant, your product might be knowledge. If you’re a coach, hypnotherapist or masseuse it might be your expertise.

Selling your time is almost as bad as selling yourself. There is only one of you to sell, and there isn’t much more of your time to go round either. Let’s say you want to work 8 hours a day, which means you can only sell 40 hours a week. An artist might charge more for a limited edition print, so you might value your limited time in a similar way.

Now, I’m not talking about that holy grail of passive income which all the coaching e-books tell you about. The idea is that you write an e-book, or charge people to look at your website, and you create a passive income stream. Hooray! Everyone can have a passive income stream and retire to the coast! As the American life coaches say, you can “monetize your blog”, which sounds painful. The latest thinking from the cutting edge of ‘self-actualization’ is that you write a blog, then turn it into an e-book to sell, then you give the e-book away so that people think they’re getting something of value from you. Whoever thought of that obviously had a day job to pay the mortgage.

No, what I am talking about is putting value on the result of your expertise and knowledge rather than putting the value on the length of time it takes you to use that expertise and knowledge. In other words, how it is that your client benefits from what you know or can do. And what I am talking about here is designed not to create the perception of value but to put real cash in your bank account.

Whatever your views on capitalism, materialism, consumerism or antidisestablishmentarianism, there’s no denying the fact that cash in the bank comes in very handy indeed, especially when it comes to those little essentials of life such as eating and keeping a roof over your head.

By the way, this also implies that the better you are, the faster you can achieve results, so you actually deliver your service in less time. If the client values your service less because it takes less time, they are not valuing their own time. A client who values their own time understands the importance of coaching taking less of it in order for them to achieve the results they want.

If you’re a masseuse, your product is neither a massage nor an hour of your time. You might sell an hour’s appointment, but that’s a scheduling issue, not a sales issue. If I could feel that good after 5 minutes, why would I want to spend an hour there? So what I really want is to feel relaxed, or energised, or whatever you want to feel after a massage.

If you’re a trainer, are you valuing your knowledge by the time it takes to transmit it? If that’s the case then why not charge by the word? By now, I expect you to be charging based on the value of what your learners can do as a result of your training. If their sales performance increases by 10% then you could show an excellent return on investment by charging anything close to that.

So why don’t more sales trainers charge £10,000 for a day’s training that increases the team’s output by £100,000?

Perhaps because no-one else is. Perhaps because they’re not totally confident their training will have that result. Perhaps because they can’t be bothered to measure the return on investment once the initial decision to buy the training has been made and they’re home dry. Perhaps because they can’t appreciate how their time can be worth that much, it just doesn’t seem right when you compare it to an average salary for an employee.

Economists understand the concept of ‘price anchoring’, whereby price is such an arbitrary label that no-one really knows what anything should cost until someone tells them. On that basis, some people are comfortable paying the same amount for a new car that I spent on my first house, even though the car will be worthless long before it needs replacement. The car marketers are selling the concept of ‘newness’ as much as the car itself.

One thing you can ask of yourself is what you’re doing in the time when you’re not ‘delivering’. Professional athletes can win quite a lot of money in a sports tournament. However, there are only so many of those a year and a lot of potential winners, so when you work out their annual salary it’s about equivalent to someone with a full time job. They’ll add to that with advertising and public speaking too. But here’s the thing – it is a full time job. They’re working on their game every day of the week. If they only play one big tournament a year, they spend the rest of the year getting ready for it.

So what would it be like if you spent the whole year getting ready for one piece of work? What would its value to you be then? If you spent a whole year learning, practising and preparing for one project, the client would get an amazing piece of work from you, wouldn’t they?

“Yeah, yeah”, you’re thinking. Pricing on value rather than cost sounds nice but it doesn’t work in practice. Maybe, maybe not. I heard about a company that makes luxury yachts that cost a million Pounds per metre in length. A Rolls Royce car probably costs no more to make than any other Volkswagen. But how many of those products can the market sustain? Not many, because the economy has evolved to sustain a range of products at a range of prices.

No matter what you charge for your services, I guarantee you will not be the cheapest, and I guarantee you will not be the most expensive either. Knowing that you fall within the market system, you can choose how to price your services, not on the cost of your time but on where you want to position yourself in that market.

A student on a NLP Practitioner course once asked me about day rates for training. She felt that she could only charge a certain amount, which was ludicrously low. Up until the point you start doing the work you’re hired to do, the client has no idea whether you are worth what you’re charging. And based on the concept of price anchoring, your work is worth pretty much what you think it is. She said that she was afraid to justify a higher day rate, so I said to her, “It’s not your job to justify it. It’s the client’s job to justify it. It’s your job to ask for it.” A decade later and she is living the dream, having moved abroad, running online training for other coaches and trainers, and giving them advice on what to charge!

Remember, you can’t sell yourself because there’s only one of you to sell, so you can only sell yourself once. Your time is almost as limited, so you could sell it but you would run out of it so quickly that it wouldn’t be worth the trouble.

Selling the result of your knowledge or expertise is best of all, because it’s a tangible product that you can define in the client’s terms, and there is no limit to how much of it you can sell.

You might only want to spend a maximum of 40, or 20, or 10 hours a week generating that result for your clients, but that’s a lifestyle decision that you make for yourself, not one that your clients make for you.

What you are really selling is therefore not your time and not your ‘self’. You are selling your Intellectual Property, and it’s such a valuable commodity that there are laws to protect it. The reason that most service providers charge on a time basis is that time is the only constraint that limits how much IP you can sell. If your business model is to write your IP down then you’ll charge for access to that, for example with a subscription to a content website, or a cover price for a book. If your business model is to pass that IP onto the client, you’ll charge for training time, perhaps with an element of results-based charging, or something like a license fee for profiling tools. If your business model is to retain that IP yourself then you have to be ‘hands on’ when working with clients, and you have to charge on a time basis. But for all of these examples, what you are charging for is not a book, or website access, or licenses, or time, but for the value created by the application of your unique Intellectual Property.

Take a look at my upcoming NLP training dates here for Practitioner, Master Practitioner and Trainer

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

The Unsticker at the International NLP Conference, May 2018

I'll be speaking at the 2018 International NLP Conference on Saturday May 29th 2018

Here's the teaser trailer

Visit The Unsticker online and get the free Android version to have portable Unsticky goodness wherever you go.


One of the ICF’s criteria for a coach is to ‘ask powerful questions’. What a lot of pressure that puts on the coach! How can you know which question is going to have the greatest impact on the client? Surely, there must be an easier way. There is! The Unsticker is a free coaching tool which gives you a valuable set of questions for your next coaching session. The questions, asked randomly, approach the problem from different angles and I’m told that after only 4 or 5 questions, the problem is gone.

In this workshop, you’ll get a free Pocket Unsticker to practice and take away with you, and you’ll find out what it really is that makes a question ‘powerful’ and gives you, as a coach, your greatest potential to effect lasting change in your clients.

Plus, you’ll have fun!

You will learn...

How to take the pressure off you to ask the ‘right’ questions

What really makes a coaching question ‘powerful’

The principles behind the questions

How to develop your flexibility and creativity in coaching

How to make your coaching sessions even more fun

How to easily move your clients past even the stickiest obstacles

About Peter

Peter Freeth is a SNLP Master Trainer, author of more than a dozen books, coach, talent management expert and lots more besides. He has been learning, innovating and teaching NLP for over 20 years and has created many new techniques and tools that are used by coaches and trainers all over the world. Peter runs training up to Trainer level in the UK, Europe and Asia.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Why Ask Questions?

Coaches ask questions. Counsellors and therapists ask questions. Even good presenters and leaders ask questions. Lots of questions.

But why?

If you've got a point to make, just say it, right? Why beat around the bush, go round the houses?

The answer is simple. You don't listen.

It's not your fault. From an early age, you developed an abstract map of reality, and as that map formed, your ability to listen to others diminished. Your map contains physical constructs, so that you can find your car's ignition or your bedside lamp even in the dark, and it contains abstract constructs too, such as relationships, desires and problems.

A problem is something that prevents you from achieving a goal, and it's a collection of representations. Think about any problem that you have, right now. It's a collection of elements, isn't it? Objects, people, conversations, beliefs, past experiences. This unique collection is a problem, and the reason that you can't solve it for yourself is that it's part of your map, and you go to great lengths to protect your map from outside influence. In short, you don't like being told what to think.

We each have a critical filter which evaluates incoming information to judge it against our own beliefs and perception of the world.

The filter is useful because it protects us from other people’s beliefs. Unfortunately, it also prevents us from accepting new information too.

Any solution that you offer, no matter how brilliantly conceived, will be rejected.

Fortunately, we can bypass this filter quite easily. Secondly, you can use the two forms of communication which will bypass the critical filter. One is a story; an account of events which aren't here or now. The other is a question.

Why do questions bypass the critical filter?

How do questions bypass the critical filter?

Questions don’t convey any information or instructions, do they?

We hear questions when:

The speaker’s voice pitch and eyebrows rise towards the end of a sentence, not to be confused with a stereotypical Australian accent which is different
A sentence starts with a word such as why, when, where, how, what, which, who, if, is, could, would, might, may, can
A statement ends with a tag question, such as couldn’t it?, don’t they?, do we?, can it?
A question bypasses the critical filter completely, because it conveys no dangerous information, it requests information and since you're always right, you love to talk about what you think. However, the question directs your attention, and can help you to uncover aspects of the problem that you were unable, or unwilling, to consider previously.

If you ask someone questions about the problem, you're probably gathering information to give them a solution. After all, if they're telling you about a problem then logically they haven't solved it and they can't solve it, so they're asking you to solve it.

When someone says, "I don't want you to solve it for me, I'm just thinking out loud, I'm just letting off steam" then don't believe them. That's just their way of saying, "Don't tell me what to think!"

So here's the paradox. The person is stuck. They can't find a solution, but they don't want to be given a solution. Somehow, we have to gently direct them towards the resources that they already have. Asking questions about the problem doesn't help, so we have to ask questions which are not about the problem. Weird, eh?

I know. It seems counter-intuitive. Yet it really does 'work'. So much so that I created a free online tool and app to help you do it, called The Unsticker. And I'll be presenting The Unsticker at the International NLP Conference on May 19th 2018. I know, it seems like an advert, but the app really is free. No advertising or anything. It's my gift to the world.

You can, of course, also learn the principles of asking questions for yourself. But would you want to?


Peter Freeth is a SNLP Master Trainer, author of more than a dozen books, coach, talent management expert and lots more besides. He has been learning, innovating and teaching NLP for over 20 years and has created many new techniques and tools that are used by coaches and trainers all over the world.   Peter runs training up to Trainer level in the UK, Europe and Asia.

Take a look at my upcoming NLP training dates here for Practitioner, Master Practitioner and Trainer

Sunday, 23 April 2017

So You Think You Know Meta Model?

The NLP Conference is now only a few days away and my workshop is on Saturday 29th April.

If you're planning to attend, or even if you can't make it, I thought I'd share two things with you; firstly, the handout that I'll be giving to participants, and secondly my plans for what is going to happen during the workshop.

You'll see the handout on the right.

My plan? I don't really have one.

Very generally, I'll talk a little bit about Meta Model in order to frame the workshop, but other than I have no idea what's going to happen. Someone in the audience will offer a question that they would ask a coach, something that they want more or less of in their lives, and together we will apply Meta Model, live, in real time, unrehearsed, unplanned, and see where it goes.

During the time available, we might get through one or maybe two questions, we'll just have to see how it goes.

Why am I doing this? Because otherwise a 'standard' presentation is boring, contrived, planned, formulaic and doesn't show what I want to show you - that the Meta Model is something to be used in regular, normal conversation, not a tick list of questions that you use 'on' your client.

The Meta Model is dynamic and organic, and you can be using it to achieve an incredible depth of insight that will astound your clients, all without them feeling like they've been interrogated.

So You Think You Know Meta Model? - International NLP Conference, Advanced NLP Stream, Saturday 29th April @ 11:30am

Take a look at my upcoming NLP training dates here for Practitioner, Master Practitioner and Trainer

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Meta Model Workshop?

I've recently heard that NLP's Meta Model, when used skillfully and thoroughly, is the most important diagnostic technique that enables other interventions to work most effectively, because they are then targeted precisely at the most effective point of change. The problem is that most people aren't properly trained in how to use Meta Model because their trainers didn't understand it themselves.

Whether we're talking about coaching, leadership development, EFT, hypnotherapy, whatever, the most skillful practitioners are the ones who can precisely target the point where their work can have the greatest impact.

To remedy this, I'm thinking about an advanced Meta Model workshop in Florida, to encompass the use of Meta Model as a diagnostic tool and as a means of creating customised interventions in real time.

Right now, the idea is in its infancy and I'm floating it 'out there' to see what feedback I get.

Over to you...

Take a look at my upcoming NLP training dates here for Practitioner, Master Practitioner and Trainer

Monday, 29 August 2016

NLP Trainer Training

I'm currently working on a new book, The NLP Trainer Training Manual. As you may have guessed, it's the manual that will accompany my NLP Trainer Training which I'll start running in November 2016.

I thought you might like a sneak preview, so here's the introduction.

If you’re reading this now then you are most likely quite some way along your NLP learning journey, and I am delighted that you have made it this far. I’ve been waiting for you.

If you are not reading this now then something has gone horribly wrong. I suggest switching yourself off and back on again.

That’s actually a pretty good summary of the process of learning. Read something. Stop reading it. Switch off and back on. Repeat. Nice and simple. However, humans do like to complicate things.

Learning is very easy because you are a learning machine. Like Neo in the film The Matrix, you can assimilate new information into your brain remarkably quickly and efficiently, and then you can forgot most of that just as quickly if it’s not relevant to you.

As a NLP Trainer, you will learn how to shape and guide this natural process. Learning NLP is not like learning maths or history. Long division presents no challenge to the ego. The factors which led to the First World War do not require the learner to push through any personal barriers. Of course, exam anxiety play a part in the student’s success, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. The very process of learning NLP changes the student, and that change creates friction and resistance. If you, the Trainer, cannot manage that, your learners will only ever skim the surface. You will sign certificates, knowing in your heart that you are unleashing ineffective, inexperienced and substandard Practitioners and Master Practitioners onto the world. Those students aren’t painting fences and driving buses, they are engaging with clients of their own through coaching, counselling, even therapy. You have a responsibility to those clients because you are putting your name on the certificate of the people who they are entrusting their lives to.

After all, if you were training bus drivers, you would consider passenger safety, wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t you?

Being a NLP Trainer is more than a set of skills or a certificate, it is a responsibility both to your students and to their friends, families, colleagues and clients.

If you’re not ready to accept that responsibility then it is unlikely that you will meet the certification criteria for a NLP trainer. If you are ready then let’s get started.

People describe NLP in different ways; a study of excellence, a model of human communication and behaviour or a toolkit for personal change are ones you may have heard. Some NLP trainers even present NLP as a panacea for all ills; it can give you confidence, wealth, contentment, good health and more. Because of this, NLP has earned a reputation from some critics for being a hyped up, pseudo-scientific cult that tries to pass itself off as a branch of psychology, or neuro-science, or psychiatry, depending on which website you’re looking at.

At the heart of NLP is a set of linguistic tools for understanding the intuitive mindset and behaviour of excellence in any field.

At this Trainer level of NLP Training, we actually have to achieve two things. Firstly, we need to develop a set of skills which are broader than those explored at the Practitioner and Master Practitioner levels. Secondly, we must develop an understanding of the process of learning itself. We must not just be teachers of knowledge, we must be guides on the journey itself.

You see, when we train NLP, we’re not just teaching facts and figures like the wives of Henry the Eighth or how to do simultaneous equations. We are guiding our students through a process of personal change. This is very prominent at Practitioner level, where the primary purpose of the training is, through learning the techniques of NLP, to give the student a first hand experience of change.

At Master Practitioner, we want out students to see the world in a fundamentally different way, to see through the facade presented by people and see the patterns and programs behind their language and behaviour. To do this, the student must acknowledge their own facade, their own patterns and programs.

What, then, are we aiming for at Trainer level?

By following the same logic, if we are to teach others how to teach, we must first learn how to learn. NLP Trainer Training therefore works at two levels – superficially developing the skills to train NLP and its techniques, but at a deeper level, you must overcome your own barriers and prejudices to learning so that you can more clearly see those of your students.

I’m privileged that you are joining me for this part of your journey, and I hope that you enjoy exploring and learning NLP as much as I do.

Take a look at my upcoming NLP training dates here for Practitioner, Master Practitioner and Trainer

Sunday, 14 August 2016

NLP Presuppositions: The Meaning of the Communication...

I'm going to dedicate the next few blog posts to the Presuppositions of NLP. Often misunderstood and rarely trained properly in Practitioner training, they will help you to use the techniques of NLP much more easily and effectively.

The first one I'm going to discuss is "The Meaning of the Communication is the Response You Get" which I have most often heard trainers describe as "You are responsible for your own communication".

By definition this cannot be true!!! And it represents a complete lack of understanding of that most vital and fundamental element of NLP - Meta Model.

At face value it seems OK, doesn't it? If the meaning of the communication is the response you get, then what the other person does to respond to you must be based on what you actually communicated, not what you think you communicated, and therefore their reaction is your responsibility because of what you communicated to them. If they ignore you, you didn't communicate. Great.

What is communication? How about, "The transfer of a message from sender to receiver". If we assume that the meaning is the message, then we have to take into account the intentions of both the sender and receiver. And we also have to be careful with what we mean by a "response" because the receiver's response will be internal. If we see their response, that's no longer a response, that's a new transmission, a new communication.

Imagine saying something sarcastic to your partner. They raise their eyebrows at you and smile. This is not one communication, it is four. Two messages transmitted using different communication channels, two messages transmitted in reply. You didn't see the response, that was internal.

How can the meaning be the response, then? What if we switch it around, so that we're no longer assuming that it's you who's doing the communicating?

The other person's intended meaning is how you feel. If their barbed, sarcastic comment makes you feel bad, that was their intention, and it is a reflection of how they are feeling, because they want you to feel the same way that they do.

If we're to stick with you as the communicator then we could work back from the response. You share an opinion with your partner and they say, "Yes, dear". What did you communicate? Was it your opinion? Or was that merely a carrier for your real meaning of, "Please agree with me so that I'll know that my map of the world is true".

Interpreting the presupposition as 'you are responsible for your communication' ignores the possibility that you are the receiver, you are the responder, and your responses will influence your client more than anything else that you communicate to them.


Take a look at my upcoming NLP training dates here for Practitioner, Master Practitioner and Trainer

Have you had a holiday yet? And what about your NLP Practitioner certification? Why not do both! Join me in beautiful sunny Spain this September. I've had a late cancellation so there's now a place available.

And since I had a late cancellation, you can negotiate yourself a good deal on this last place.

Friday, 3 June 2016

NLP Practitioner in Manchester

NLP Practitioner in Manchester - venue and dates confirmed

Module 1: September 8 - 11
Module 2: October 8 - 11

If you want to attend only a Foundation course in NLP rather than a full Practitioner, the first module is structured so that you get all the basic, practical techniques of NLP in module 1, and the more complex techniques and the linguistic tools come in module 2.

The venue is in Northwich, Cheshire with each access from the M6, Manchester, Liverpool and the Midlands.

£445 for attending only module 1

£795 for the full Practitioner training, including SNLP certification

Take a look at my upcoming NLP training dates here for Practitioner, Master Practitioner and Trainer

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

NLP Trainer Training in India

NLP Trainer Certification in Delhi - 25 November to 2 December. I guarantee you will learn the inside secrets of training NLP that you will not get from any other trainer today.

At the end of the course, after passing the certification criteria, you will be a Society of NLP licensed trainer, able to certify Practitioners and Master Practitioners.

Learn how to make your technique demonstrations work first time, every time - no other trainer will show you this because no other trainer can do it!

Learn how Kolb's Experiential Learning Theory is woven through the entire learning experience on multiple levels.

Spacial anchoring? It's nonsense. Stop it. You're distracting the audience and you think you're anchoring states? You're not.

Venue is Zorba the Buddha in New Delhi.

The cost is Rs 69,950 or £770 which includes drinks and meals during the daytime. There is accommodation available at the venue too if you need that.

If you want to certify your own Practitioners and Master Practitioners then not only is this the best Trainer Training you can attend, it's also the most thorough, it's SNLP licensed and it will cost you less than a Trainer course in the UK, even including your flight to amazing India. Plus you get a trip to amazing India!

Take a look at all of my upcoming NLP training dates here for Practitioner, Master Practitioner and Trainer

I'm also producing a new published book as the course manual, to join the NLP Practitioner Manual and NLP Master Practitioner Manual. Here's a sneak preview: