Have you ever listened in suprise as someone aggressively tells you they are kind, considerate and approachable? This is the difference between content and process – a key skill that NLP can teach you, and the essence of NLP coaching.

What is content and process?

Oftentimes the story that people believe about themselves is not what you as a coach (or friend, colleague, manager etc) will experience. This is the difference between content (the story, opinion, gossip or interpretation that colours our communication) and process (how we communicate those ideas, or the lens through which we view them).

To use another example – an artist paints many different things. Landscapes, portraits, abstract or realistic paintings, work in charcoal or oils. This is the content. But the way in which they paint – their preferred brushstroke, the order in which they layer on the colour, their style – that is their process.

To put it another way – when an artist is commissioned to paint something, what they are commissioned to paint is the content. And how they paint it is the process.

How is it used in NLP coaching?

The essence of coaching is helping a client move out of a ‘story’ where they may feel angry or victimized and an essential element of NLP Coaching is helping someone move out of content to becoming curious about their process.

But how do you do this?

By acknowledging their story.

The coach needs to acknowledge the story, yet encourage the client into a space where they become curious of repeated patterns of thoughts and behaviours which make the ‘story’ all too familiar.

In other words helping someone move out of the content of the story and being curious about the process of what they are doing. Why are they thinking these thoughts? What is the payoff? Is there an underlying positive intention?

Understanding the process can give you as a coach much more information about what is really going on with your client.

This can have profound effects for the client and really help them move forward.

Hear more about this

I cover more about this in the video below:

If you if you find yourself repeatedly getting stuck in cycles in you mind – constantly telling yourself stories in which you are the victim, or feeling a deja vu sense that the same things keep happening to you over and over again – the problem might be that you’re getting bogged down in content.

Ask yourself – is this state useful? If not and you want to learn some tools to change this, why not attend my online workshop on Friday? I’ll be showing you some NLP tools to gently change this state into something more helpful. It’s free, and will only take an hour and a half of your time. You can find out more by clicking here.

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