Meta-Modeling As a Coaching Style

– by Michael Hall
everything in NLP came from the Meta-Model ~ Richard Bandler
The problem with Coaching Essentials is that we only devote one day to the Meta-Model of Language in your training. In NLP Practitioner training that usually expands to two or three days. Personally, if I were to train that course again, I would devote even more time to it. Why? Because as Richard Bandler once told me, “everything in NLP came from the Meta-Model.” Did you know that? I was almost at the end of my Master Practitioner training when I heard that and I was absolutely shocked. “How could that be?” I began asking myself.
That question sent me back to the Meta-Model and in studying it and learning it inside-out, I understood how that model serves not only as a communication model, but also the key template for how to model an experience, how to facilitate generative change, and much more. Now if you have not intensely studied the Meta-Model, set that as a personal goal and study it deeply and thoroughly. The question you might have at this point is how. “How can I learn the Meta-Model if it so so essential in Coaching, and especially in Meta-Coaching?” Here’s how.

1) Take each of the linguistic distinctions and their questions and practice it intensely for three or four days.

Think baby steps. One distinction at a time. Then with everything you write, every email, every tweet, every article – meta-model yourself. Then with everything you hear people say or write that fits the linguistic distinction you are working on-turn the statement over and over in your mind and generate questions to make it precise and specific.
If you work with two distinctions each week, then it will take you six weeks to get through the original set of distinctions and ten for the additional distinctions. Ten weeks! Let’s call it three months. In three months you could train yourself for these distinctions so that you have some real expertise in critical thinking, detailing and meta-detailing, getting specific, engaging the Clarity Conversation, and slowing down a coaching conversation and making it a deeper conversation.

2) Once you know all of the linguistic distinctions inside-out, use the logical level template of the Meta-Model that I put in “Communication Magic.”

Don’t attempt this prior to your first three months of deliberate practice.
Once you have that down, then you can begin to delight yourself with distinguishing the levels of the linguistic distinctions. And when you can do that, you can ask what we call at the PCMC level, Torpedo Questions.
These questions go straight for the heart. They take the person very deep into their mental mapping and to where the leverage point for change and renewal will be. Now are you interested?
All Meta-Model distinctions are not equal, some have much more expansive influence than others. But until you get your hands on these linguistic distinctions- and get a felt sense of how they work, where they send a person, how people respond to your questions, you really won’t understand their neuro-linguistic responses.

3) Practicing meta-model coaching with a buddy coach.

After the first three months of practice, then get with a buddy coach and engage in a coaching session, but not for the purpose of coaching as much as for practicing hearing and questioning Meta-Model violations. When a statement is not well-formed and has “violations” -generalizations, distortions, and deletions, then identify what distinction is present and search for the question that will challenge it.
When you do this, make sure you have lots of fun. Make it playful. One of the games that is in Coaching Essentials that I hope you played in the training is to play around and see how many Meta-Model violations you can put in a single sentence. After you create these monster statements that are loaded with violations, then generate a whole series of questions that challenge the statement. Afterwards you can do a post-play review and reflect on which questions were most powerful in terms of facilitating a transformation.
What Will You Get?
If you devote yourself to really learning the Meta-Model in an in-depth way, what will you get from this? First and foremost you will be able to hear your client at a very, very deep level. In a word, you will be able the structure of a client’s experience.
If you are interested in becoming a professional communicator and coach, learning the meta model and to learn the skill and art of communicating effectively in October, contact The Coaching Centre on 0439194323
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