As you well know, one of the distinguishing features of
Meta-Coaching is that it is systematic. It makes a
difference. It means that you are not just hoping and
guessing that your coaching makes a difference— you
know it does! And you know how it does. You know this
because of the systematic approach you have to
coaching. And that means you are not coaching “by the
seat of your pants,” “intuitively,” or “just believing that a
caring approach and good intentions is enough.”
It is systematic because it operates from a precise
understanding of what the “coaching” methodology is.
And it is systematic because we use and operate the
seven models that governs and guides our thinking,
feeling, speaking, and acting. When you know what
Coaching is in contradiction to what Therapy is as well
as Consulting, Training, and Hypnosis, then you know
the boundaries of your profession. Do you know the
boundaries of your profession? How well? Do you know
how to explain it to people?
Now one problem in the field of Coaching today, and it
is a big problem, is that lots of coaches — maybe the
majority of them are Grab Bag Coaches. They read a
little of this, a little of that; they do a workshop on EQ,
then some from Ken Wilber, then a bit of Meyers-Briggs,
TA, and so on. Then depending on how they “feel,” they
try to be “intuitive” coaches. What that approach mostly
does is create a mess in both the coach’s mind and in the
client’s life. It’s no way to be professional!
What you have in the Meta-Coach Training system is a
fully systematic approach. This means many things. A
systematic approach means that you have a consistent
theory and model of human beings— that you use one
consistent psychology, Self-Actualization Psychology.
You don’t mix a bit of psychoanalysis with it, a bit of
emotive therapy, or a bit of some superficial new age
theory like “The Secret” about “intentionality.” It means
you understand the basic functioning of human beings in
how they create their reality and how to model it.
This is where NLP and Neuro-Semantics— as powerful
expressions of Cognitive-Behavioral Psychology—
comes in. We operate from several premise that how we
coach, question, and interact. The key premises include
Every experience has a structure. An experience may
seem confusing and mystifying when first presented,
but with persistence, you will discover how it is
structured. It always makes sense. Maybe not from
the outside, but always from the inside. That’s why
we pace, pace, pace— to understand how it makes
sense on the inside.
Every experience is structured in the mind-body
system with “thoughts” and “feelings.” That’s why
we pay close attention to words, images, sights,
sounds, cinematic features of the person’s internal
movies, and how the person uses semantic space
with his or her body to express the experience.
That’s why we listen so intensely, intently, precisely
and calibrate to the person’s state.
Every experience is a mind-body state. Every client
is always in a state, so we coach from our state to
their state. That’s why calibration is so important.
What state is my client in? Is it useful, effective,
productive, ecological? That’s also why stateinduction
is so important. What state does the
person need to be in to get the most out of the
Each person is the creator of his or her experience
and state. This puts the responsibility on the client
and makes us, as the coach, the explorer with the
client to find out, “How are you creating this
experience? What are you seeing, hearing, saying,
Every experience is a skill. No matter what the client
does, it is a skill and there’s a structure to it. If the
person never delegates and “can’t” delegate, there’s a
structure to it. If the client can be obnoxious and
over-controlling as a leader, there’s a structure to it.
If you, as the coach, have eyes to see structure and
process, then everything is a skill. So you can
explore and be curious.
The person is never the problem; the frame and
framing is the problem. This is what makes your
attitude as a coach so important. You can speak truth
to the client and expose reality without making the
client as a person wrong, just the behavior or the
framing. And because the client is response-able, the
client can assume responsibility for the frames.
The emotion of the experience is derivative. The
client’s emotion is important, but not primarily
important, only secondarily. At best it provides
information, but not an order or command about
what to do. Sometimes we will listen to the emotion,
sometimes act on it, sometimes ignore it, sometimes
act against it, sometimes put it on hold to get back to
it later. Emotions give us our somatic registering of
our meanings. Your meanings show up as your
feelings. Emotions are the difference between your
model of the world (your beliefs, meanings,
decisions, understandings) and your experience of
the world. How it goes— fulfilling your meanings or
violating them creates your positive and negative
emotions respectfully. So as a coach, you use
emotions, induce states, but your goal is not to
validate every emotion or get people to always “be
true” to their emotions. Sometimes you will be
challenging your clients to act against the emotions.
Inside experiences naturally are actualized to the
outside. The mind- body system is designed to turn
what’s in the mind into muscle memory and
neurological responses. So we coach first to the inner
game so that clients can win at their outer games.
Behind every experience are layers of thoughts as
frames. People don’t merely have a representational
mind— they have a self- reflexive consciousness and
so “in the back of the mind,” they all have more
thoughts, more emotions, more memories, decisions,
and the other 100 meta-levels. That’s why we use
meta-questions to explore the matrix of these frames.
Experiences can be ecological or non-ecological.
Just because a client feels something or thinks
something or remembers something and so on, does
not mean it is useful or productive. It can be toxic! It
can make them and others sick. So we coach by
“quality controlling” the stuff of experience.
Experiences can and do change. Change is normal,
natural, and healthy. We organically change when
we learn and grow. Development to become more of
what we can be is “change.” Change in itself is not
hard or scary or painful. In spite of Anthony Grant’s
book on Coaching and his first change, “Change is
Painful.” That’s therapy thinking!
Experiential change can be facilitated in generative
ways. That’s what coaching is all about. Identifying
desired changes and facilitating those
Resources for new experiences can be unleashed
and enabled. That’s what self- actualization is all
Progress of experiential change can be measured.
That’s what benchmarking is all about.
I could go on and on with this list of premises that guide and govern Meta- Coaching. The Neuro- Semantic approach is to use a fiercely focused conversation to get to the leverage points of change and transformation.
So, how systematic are you? How clear are you about
“human functioning” in mind-body and how well
informed and skillful are you in using the systematic
Meta-Coaching Material used in our Trainings ISNS –
International Society of Neuro-Semantics.