It may seem strange to think about ‘love’ having a place in coaching. Yet, in my world, it is the fundamental ground for all success. Why would that be?
Well, I guess we first have to create a working definition for this very powerful word that brings up all kinds of responses and reactions.
So here’s how I’m going to define it for the purpose of finding its place in coaching. (And all other areas concerned with lessening the suffering and confusion we human beings can’t seem to get away from.)
Love: the release of all personal & professional judgement about who is in front of you, the way they are perceiving their reality, and how they are navigating their lives.
Sound simple? Well, most folks in the people helping professions would say this is a ‘no-brainer’.
Yet, we all find out, sooner or later, that it’s not so easy to actually do.
Here’s where awareness, presence, consciousness, and the power of mindfulness enter the scene.
These capacities offer a bit of distance from what is in front of your eyes and ears and emotions. They allow you to take that needed ‘step back’ from your reactions and assessments (including your beautiful psychological, emotional, and energetic training).
That tiny step away from the situation frees you to find a new ground that allows you to take a new kind of action. That is action based on clarity about the client’s view of reality (both problem & solution).
One of the most helpful models for accomplishing this seemingly easy but actually very challenging task is NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). NLP is well known for its trail of almost magical, fast change techniques.
BUT … I found its most amazing contribution to be the fundamental skill set for communication with the unconscious mind, which is the key for developing an uncanny level of trust, and the uncanny results that come with it.
Communication With The Unconscious Mind Is The Key
This NLP skill set offers the precise tools for demonstrating what I call Love In Action – a deep respect for and acceptance of the client’s personal and very unique sense of reality.
Respect and acceptance is what happens when you can suspend your judgments and assessments about what’s wrong and what needs to be fixed or corrected.
It’s easy to pay lip service to the fundamental coaching perspective: Your client is perfect as they are.
However, it requires skill to demonstrate this in your actual words and behavior.
Why is this important? So the client’s unconscious mind finds you worthy of its trust.
And the unconscious mind has to trust you in order to grant permission for the requested change to actually emerge.
I am a faithful proponent of including NLP into every coach’s repertoire. This model gave me the gift of running my private practice for over 4 decades by referrals only. I think that speaks for its efficacy and effectiveness.
The Problem With Judgment – Even When You Believe It’s Accurate
When judgement happens outside of your awareness, (even if it’s an accurate assessment), the judgment (whether positive or negative) still shows in your non-verbal and often verbal behaviors, like tonality, tempo, inflection, and volume. This can even impact how you unconsciously structure your sentences.
My point is that if you’re unaware of your own judgments about what you’re perceiving in the other (even if you’re seeing a perfect match to your psychological training for dysfunction), you limit your ability to demonstrate Love In Action.
There is little that can replace the power of communicating respect and true acceptance of the other’s perception of reality. As human beings, we almost all feel more than a little starved for recognition, acceptance, and approval.
So even though you have judgments about the way the other is perceiving things, the skill set I’m advocating allows you to consciously and purposefully move beyond them.
This frees you to demonstrate respect and acceptance in both your language and non-verbal communications. You will have developed a discerning eye for the innate challenges of the human condition, and how to perceive beyond their intrinsic limitations.
The Most Healing & Life Changing Gift You Can Give Another
I would go so far as to assert that demonstrating Love In Action as I’ve defined it here is the most healing and life changing gift you can give another.
It is a rare ability to truly communicate acceptance and respect for another’s perception of reality.
The idea is easy. The actualization of the idea into your behavior requires time and energy to develop.
But you do have this capacity. And I encourage anyone working with people in any context to take the time to at least explore this powerful skill set offered via NLP.
In so doing, you will amplify the power you bring to the communication table – both conscious and unconscious – whether for professional or personal outcomes.
Where You Can Learn This Skill
You will want this skill set in your communication tool bag. To learn more about how to get it, please go to www.InspiredNLP.com. Take a moment and check out the details for my NLP Coach Certification training granted to me through the original certifying body, The Society Of NLP.
I was honored to study NLP back in the late 1970’s with co-founders Richard Bandler & Grinder, and later on with Robert Dilts and Leslie Cameron Bandler.
Because of that, I can promise a bit of the original purity that always accompanies a great model before it becomes popular and mainstream, and some of what made it so great fades into the background.
Much love to you,