NLP for Coaching

Written by Geoff Duncan
For enquiries about NLP for Coaching,
contact Franciska Neuhauser at

Neuro-linguistic programming is a method for modelling excellence. It is the study of how we do what we do, especially the behaviour that works well. By studying thinking patterns and behaviours that create excellent outcomes, NLP professionals can teach other people strategies for achieving their own best outcomes. These goals range from personal (such as improving self-confidence, quitting an addiction, resolving trauma and health problems, becoming happier...) through to corporate success (such as increasing sales, improving public speaking, developing better marketing strategies, creating better workplace dynamics). NLP supporters love NLP because it creates rapid change by providing tangible steps for a person or an organisation to put in place to create great outcomes.

How NLP may be useful in Coaching

“Everyone needs a coach. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a basketball player, a tennis player, a gymnast or a bridge player. We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” – Bill Gates


NLP coaching techniques allow us to clearly define both personal and professional goals.  NLP also provides us with tools to identify the strategies which are likely to support us in reaching our goals, and to remove both conscious and unconscious barriers to success.  As a result,  coaching with NLP can help us to make the changes we desire with greater speed and ease.


Not surprisingly, “coaching” is fast becoming the most essential leadership skill. Developing your NLP coaching skills can help you to maximize your professional potential and can significantly enhance your personal and career success.


Some of the common reasons you might seek NLP coaching support include:

  • Being able to achieve a level of performance which you weren’t able to on your own.Performance coaching can be applied to a broad range of contexts, from sports, to business and even personal relationships.

  • Gaining greater clarity about your goals, particularly when you have conflicting ideas and emotions.NLP can help you to achieve greater alignment.

  • Nothing seems to be working, at least not in the longterm! You know what you want, but no matter what you’ve tried, things keep getting in the way of your success.

  • Gaining a competitive advantage in the workplace.

  • Acquiring leadership skills.

  • Attaining greater levels of happiness and fulfillment in both your personal and professional life.

  • Improving your personal or professional relationships.


NLP Technique for Coaching

Together at the Top
NLP Techniques used during Coaching
  • Using all your senses to define a goal; what will you see, hear, feel, smell and taste to let you know that you’ve achieved your goal?

  • Developing a detailed plan for achieving your goal, measuring your progress and having someone hold you accountable.

  • Speaking the coachee’s language.When we learn to notice and use the specific words and body language that our conversation partner is comfortable with, we can gain their trust and more easily help them to explore their values, beliefs, thoughts and emotions.

  • Why is Jacinda Ardern so effective as a leader? One of the key reasons is her ability to connect with people’s emotions while also remaining really calm herself. Being able to manage your emotional state is the key to achieving better outcomes in both your personal and professional life. A trained and skilled NLP coach will be using these techniques of self-regulation to support you in your coaching session and can also show you how to use these skills to achieve your goals.

  • One of the most important aspects of effective goal setting, is making sure your goals are ecological.Are you achieving one goal at the expense of another?

  • Sometimes greater clarity and success come simply from reframing a situation or seeing it from different perspectives.


NLP Technique for Coaching

Watch how world-famous coach, Tony Robbins, helps a young man achieve greater long-term, happiness in his marriage, by seeing the relationship from both his own and his wife’s perspective


Research About NLP in Coaching

A Supportive Therapist

This article explores the contribution NLP has to make to coaching and concludes that NLP is “a useful model for coaches because it allows them to codify and respond appropriately to their own and their clients’ experience”.

This paper offers an informed, detailed and more academic view of NLP in relation to its role in the development and validation of professional coaching practices that are grounded in established psychological theory and research.


Books About NLP for Coaching

Coaching with NLP

This is a practical guide to using NLP in both life and business coaching contexts. It is useful to both coaches and coaches.

The 7Cs of Coaching

This book highlights the relevance of NLP to coaching and shows how NLP fills a gap in contemporary effective coaching practice. It is considered essential reading for all coaches and counsellors/therapists with an interest in coaching techniques.


How the Writer of this Page Uses NLP in Coaching

Geoff Duncan

Early in my career I had my first taste of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and I was hooked.  Over time, I noticed that the more I set about learning and utilising NLP tools and techniques, the more quickly and more easily I achieved what I truly wanted in life, both personally and professionally.


Professionally, I was able to secure a number of operational and strategic roles in a range of contexts, in both the public and private sector, with organisations such as British Airways, Open Polytechnic of New Zealand and American Express.  Since 2011, I have translated this breadth and depth of skill and experience into running my own successful businesses as a master coach and coach master trainer.


On a personal level, I was also able to quit smoking, improve my boundaries, and even marry the woman of my dreams!


My mission is to help you experience more of what you want your life to be about and to support you making the changes you desire with ease and grace.


For enquiries about using NLP in coaching, or to join our NLP for Coaching online professional development and peer supervision group (for Associate and Professional Members of NZANLP) contact Franciska Neuhauser: