NLP life coaching gets the results your client wants with a highly effective combination of NLP, the science of the language of the mind, and the art and technology of coaching. A skilled NLP practitioner can use NLP to reframe events, remove phobias and cause transformations in a variety of situations. Recently, Matt Brauning, Founder of Evolution Seminars and Certified Trainer of NLP, taught me a simple concept and technique which may help your NLP life coaching clients understand their behavior around promptness, scheduling and time management and how that behavior might be affecting their relationships, their business and their movement toward their goals.
The concept of a personal time line
In NLP terms, each person has a personal time line which you can elicit by asking direct questions of her unconscious mind. In your NLP life coaching session, if you ask your client’s unconscious to “point to your past” she may point right, left, behind her, diagonally, etc. If you say “point to your present” that may be directly in front of her, she may point to herself, etc. And similarly, if you say “point to your future” you will get another location on your client’s time line. In that way you both can see what direction her time line is running and where it is.
Interpreting the time line
If your client’s time line runs left to right or right to left, she is a “through time” person. You can expect her to be on time to her NLP life coaching appointments. She likes things scheduled, is punctual and expects other people to be punctual also. If you suggest “let’s get together for lunch” she wants to pin down a day and a time right then. Loosy goosy is not her style. If your client’s time line runs front to back, she is an “in time” person. For her, the only time that really matters much is right now. Planning isn’t important, promptness isn’t important, and keeping to a schedule is probably a challenge. She gets caught up in what she’s doing and loses track of time. If you suggest “let’s get together for lunch” to her, she’ll probably say “great, we’ll talk about it next week” because it’s uncomfortable to be pinned down to a particular day and time.
Using the time line in NLP life coaching
The two types of time line reflect both different client behaviors and different expectations of behavior in others. The differences can be a major source of conflict in relationships, and of struggles in meeting goals, particularly if they aren’t recognized. As an exercise in her NLP life coaching session, have your client physically reach out, grab the imaginary past and future of her time line, swivel it to the other position and click it in place. Ask if she notices any difference. It won’t stay there, but she will get a better understanding of the other time model. Coach her to see how her success and effectiveness are being hampered. Then help her strategize her way to success.
Dorine G Kramer
JTS Advisors Strategy and Accountability Coach