Why Life Coaching Makes A Difference

If you are a high achiever; getting a life coach may not seem like the best of ideas. You may feel that a life coach may not give you much of a benefit. For almost all people, life coaches can make a difference. Join me as we take a look at how life coaching can make a difference, in your life.
I had the radio on downstairs at home. The radio was on a station which I don’t generally listen too, but was on. An advert came on which was presenting the station as the best choice because ‘getting up in the morning is always hard’, and the presenters can help you out of bed!
It dawned on me that many people have such a problem. Usually it is something to do with working in a job that has no satisfaction. I found it odd, because for me predominantly, I can jump out of bed on a Monday feeling inspired, and ready for action.
Like all people, even I have the times when I just don’t want to get out of bed. It happens to us all. We have tasks which don’t seem promising, and we feel like no amount of sound from an alarm clock will get us to feel enthusiastic about the day!
If you are a self starter, you probably can relate to the last few paragraphs. You may not need an alarm, but sometimes it is essential. There are times of the year when we can work day and night, while other days, even a few hours can seem like a drag. And this totally applies whether it is a dead end job or if you are like me, following your passion.
Here is where life coaching really makes amazing things happens, in your life. If you calculate those times when you simply scratched your head, and didn’t know what to do or if you just couldn’t take action on some things that were or are important, you will find it takes up a lot of time.
This is wasted time, and sometimes our best opportunities present themselves at those times. This is why many fail to achieve, because at those most opportune times, they just can’t take action.
Life coaching becomes a valuable asset in high achievers lives. And I feel it is because we become accountable. If you run your own business, sometimes you may go down a gear or two. But with life coaching, this seldom happens.
It reminds us of school days, where we felt that we had to do what we were told. Whether you were a top grade student or you didn’t know why you had to be there, you still felt an urge to take action, when told.
Now, a life coach is not going to discipline you. They are not going to get a cane out! But, we still are paying a fee, and if we are serious about becoming outstanding in our field of endeavor, we feel inclined to act.

Life Coaching and Personal Coaching The Crucial Role of Words on Our Health

We have slowly, but progressively learned that in the fields of physical and mental health, it makes for sense and sanity to restore the mind-body split of western science and medicine. Increasingly, we are discovering more of the systemic connections between what we do with our Life Coaching clients and how we talk to them.

As we enter the new century and millennium, medical interventions and technologies have provided us incredible advances in the healing arts. We now have tools and methodologies for interventions that verge on the miraculous. And yet these technological improvements so dazzle and amaze us that we can easily forget about some other equally miraculous things. Namely, those that occur in the domain of the human neuro-linguistics and neuro-semantics and how they play a crucial role in the healing arts.

We (the authors) have joined to write this paper in order to refresh our memory and thinking about the entire mind-body system and the marvelous human technologies available to us.

The Hard and Soft Stuff of the Human Experience

Near the beginning of modern psychiatry, Sigmund Freud highlighted the importance of language as a neuro-linguistic process and technology. In those primitive beginnings, he discovered that how our minds and bodies responded to the power of language. In searching for the words to express his incredible insight that language can have upon human experience, Freud (1935) chose to describe it in terms of “magic.”

“Words and magic were in the beginning one and the same thing, and even today words retain much of their magical power. By words one of us can give another the greatest happiness or bring about utter despair; by words the teacher imparts his knowledge to his student; by words the orator sweeps his audience with him and determines its judgments and decisions. Words call forth emotions and are universally the means by which we influence our fellow creature. Therefore let us not despise the use of words in psychotherapy.” (pp. 21-22)

A few years later, another giant of the twentieth century, although one whose influence has been far less extensive, wrote about the same dynamics. In doing so, however, he used his knowledge of engineering and neurology to express his understandings. Founder of the field of General Semantics, Alfred Korzybski (1933/1994) expressed his genius in describing the neuro-linguistic nature of language. He related language processing to the abstracting functions of the nervous system and brain, and demonstrated throughout his masterful work, Science and Sanity, how the very structure and form of our languaging, symbolizing, or mapping of the territory was a metaphor for the function of the brain.

This enabled him to sort and separate the hard and soft stuff of human experience, or as we might say today, using computer technology as a metaphor the hardware and the software programs that govern the overall gestalt of human experiencing, emoting, relating, etc.

Using this construction, we now know that we are symbolic creatures. We live our lives not only within the structure of our bodies with all of their marvelous systems, but also within the constructs of our symbols, institutions, laws, and doctrinal systems. And, at the heart of all of our operations is language the product of our nervous system and the cerebral cortex functions at the sub-microscopic level in terms of bio-electrical impulses, neuro- transmitters, message carriers, the exchange of ions charges, etc.

Yet at a higher level of operation, the operating of cell assemblages in the higher cortices, we operate by symbols, representations, concepts, beliefs, understandings, etc. It is here that language provides us a neuro-linguistic (coaching) tool. By it we create phenomenological maps of reality and then use those maps to navigate through life. It is here that words and language and symbolization provides us a semantic (meaning) medium in which we live. It creates a neuro-linguistic environment one that we cannot escape from and yet one that inescapably effects and governs our lives, and our health.

We want to here focus on the significance of this neuro-linguistic environment, how it affects our well-being and functioning, and how we in the health professions can develop greater skill and insight in using it as a technology for healing.

Environments: External and Internal

That our well-being and health is related to the environments within which we live is so obvious that we hardly have to mention it. As biological organisms, where we live, what we experience in our immediate environment plays a very significant part of our lives. An equally impactful environment that we seldom consider, however, involves our neuro-linguistic and neuro-semantic environment.

These terms refer to how our linguistics (words, language, the structure of our mental symbolization) and our semantics (meanings, higher level concepts, understandings and beliefs about ourselves, health, the world, etc.) not only operate at the immediate level of representation, but can become incorporated and instituted at higher levels. Words, language, and meaning, although strictly subjective, intra-psychic operations, can become externalised and made part of our actual, physical environment.

When we externalize our cognitive ideas, beliefs, understandings, paradigms, etc. into books, libraries, media, culture, rules, laws, etc., they begin to operate as a neuro-linguistic environment.

About this Korzybski (1933/1994) wrote:

“[Anthropology], at present, is used in a restricted sense to signify the animalistic natural history of man, disregarding the fact that the natural history of man must include factors non-existent in the animal world, but which are his natural functions, such as language and its structure, the building of his institutions, laws, doctrines, science and mathematics, which conditions his environment, his s.r. [semantic reactions], which, in turn, influence and determine his development.” (pp. 38-39)

Consider the impact of this structural understanding about the world we live in. As a symbolic class of life, we do not just live in the world of material things and forces. We also live in a symbolic world. We live in an environment that includes

“… language and its structure, the building of institutions, laws, doctrines, science and mathematics.”

Now, given this almost invisible environment of ideas, how does it affect us? What influence does it have upon our nervous system, how we function, and wellness or illness?

Given his time and place in history, Korzybski immediately applied this to the First World War.

“Take for instance, the example of the World War! Would the man in the trenches have endured all the horrors they had to live through if it had not been for words, and neurologically speaking, because of the conditional semantic reactions connected with words?” (p. 334)

It was the neuro-semantic environment that created the reality of that war, as well as every war since. Words lead to that momentous catastrophe that destroyed so many lives. Words also can lead to modern day stress and “mental and emotional breakdown.” Yet we seldom think about it in that way. We seldom realize that words and ideas can lead to such catastrophic consequences. And because we do not, we therefore seldom even consider the idea that the solution may totally involve gaining control over our language.

What explains this?

Our unawareness of this may simply arise from the fact that we are all born into a world of words. We grow and develop in a neuro-linguistic environment and then take it for granted. We then experience human life as we do by the words and concepts that we generate. It operates as our invisible environment. We live in this symbolic environment that affects our very neurology like the proverbial fish in the water.

Yet if we live in a sick and toxic neuro-linguistic environment, the very existence and structure of our language can make us ill. It can undermine our health. And yet, we now know that the very structure of our language can play a horrendous part in the genesis of the stresses that we suffer and endure. In recent years, the cognitive psychologies and therapies have identified numerous cognitive distortions that feed and foment a poisonous way of thinking and living along with the “cure” of exchanging the cognitive distortions for more healthy and accurate ways of mapping things out symbolically.

Life in an Invisible Neuro-Linguistic Environment

To compound the complexity and nature of our neuro-linguistic environment, Korzybski also noted that we tend to “read unconsciously into the world the structure of the language we use.” (p. 60).

How does this complicate things?

We then assume that our worlds are “real.” We confuse our words, our ideas, our way of talking with the territory and forget that they are but symbols, maps of the territory. When this happens, our capacity for adjusting to the territory and predicting how things works becomes hindered and limited. In that we become just a little less “sane.” We become “unsane” (to use the term invented by psychiatrist P.S. Graven). Today we use the term “neurotic” (full of nerves and nervous energy). And, with the use of more and more “unsane” words and maps, our neuro-linguistic, neuro-semantic environment becomes less and less sane … ordered, meaningful, significant. It fits the way things are with less and less accuracy. Yet as the mind-and-body attempts to adjust in such an environment, psychological “stress” increases which then creates more tensions and physical stress symptoms in the organism.

In a neuro-linguistic environment, we live, breathe, and have our being according to the frames set by the particular language we use. In other words, the very form and shape of our words and language formats and structures our “reality.” As we take it for granted, we give power to the ideas, beliefs, doctrines, etc.

Realizing this, Korzybski warned that many, if not most “human problems” arise from the structure of the language, from our neuro-linguistic environments, and that we needed to develop consciousness of our language and languaging in order to take control of this very powerful and “magic like” force. To that end he developed General Semantics and from that later came Neuro-Linguistic Programming (Bandler and Grinder, 1975), and even more currently, Neuro-Semantics®.

Each of these fields seek to create and provide more powerful linguistic tools so that people can take charge of their neuro-linguistic mapping. In this way, we can generate the kind of languaging and language environments that will promote health and well-being.

Languaging For Health

First we need to learn to make the distinction between map and territory. Korzybski wrote extensively about this:

“A map is not the territory it represents, but, if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness. … If we reflect upon our language, we find that at best they must be considered only as maps. A word is not the object it represents…” (p. 58)

Upon making this distinction between these two levels, we next dis-identify and recognize the inherent unsanity in “the ‘is’ of identity.”

“… whatever we may say an object ‘is’, it is not because the statement is verbal, the facts are not.” (p. xxix)

“‘Whatever one might say ‘is’, it is not.’ Whatever we say belongs to the verbal level and not to the unspeakable objective levels.” (p. 409)

When we identify our words with the objective level, we confuse words and facts, language and actualities, and treat them as “the same in all respects.” This projects a false structure onto the world and disorients us in our adjustments to things. From this initial confusion, we have a powerful tendency to blame. Once we confuse a triggering stimuli with our neurological, emotional, and psychological responses, we then assume that the “cause” of our stress is “out there” and so we move into blaming. We fail to see our role and part in the process.

Yet the coping mechanism of blaming only increases the unsanity. The initial confusion of map and territory disorients us about the processes at work that generate our experiences. So we fail to adequately map the structure of the experience. Then, with the disorientation, and the mental map that “the problem” or “the source of the problem is the trigger out there, we try to make things better by accusing, judging, and blaming. Yet since we have little power to control things “out there,” we feel more and more insecure and dis-empowered. Attempting to adjust things in this way then increases the problem, especiallywhen we are “blaming” other people.”

To complicate things, we may then use another neuro-linguistic map, we may attempt to impose our rules, expectations, and desires on others by telling them what they “should” think, feel, or do. This, more often than not, does not work. And when it doesn’t, we make things even worse for ourselves (and them), by using another form of neuro-linguistic unsanity. We ask them “why” they won’t do what we “know” will improve their reality.

“Why not?”

“Why won’t you?”

Of course, what we then typically hear are lots of reasons, rationalizations, explanations, and history that supports and validates their refusal. Now they have become even more entrenched in their own neuro-linguistic environment. And we helped them. After all, we invited them to access all of the supporting frames as higher level states (meta-states) and that only solidified their resistance.

So we blame them some more!

And with that, we then solidify our own “Blame Frame” as our neuro-linguistic environment that gives meaning and significance to our experience.

Are Words Benign? Can They be Malignant?

We have provided this description of a common neuro-linguistic experience in order to highlight the power and neurological impact of words. So, what do you say if we now ask, “Are the words in the previous description benign?” Isn’t it clear that they are, of course, not? And what do you answer if we ask, “Could these words work in malignant and toxic ways?”

Given this, what can we do? How can we escape from them?

Does it not direct us to become conscious of our language and languaging, and the structuring that they create? Of course. Consciousness of our symbolizing empowers us to become mindful about our use of symbols and words. And that leads us to checking the usefulness, productiveness, and ecology of using shoulds, whys, etc.

Food For Thought

With this awareness of ourselves as neuro-linguistic and neuro-semantic beings living in neuro-linguistic environments and handling the technology of language, what does this mean in terms of health?

* What does it imply for health professionals in terms of carrying out the tasks of providing health care?

* How can we create a more healthy and health-producing neuro-semantic for our patients?

* What words and terms promote good adjustment?

* What words and terms increase unsanity and illness?


Neuro-Semantics (The foundation of Meta Coaching) is a discipline about communication, about high quality and masterful communication skills. Arising from NLP and the cognitive-behavioral sciences, we have identified seven critical distinctions for unleashing your best communication skills and performance and for mobilizing the resources for becoming the most professional and masterful communicator that’s possible.

These seven critical distinctions are based the extended Meta-Model (see Communication Magic, 2000) and on the Meta-States Model. With them you have the ability to make seven distinctions that replicates those that every masterful communicator makes.

– What are these key distinctions?

– What do they signify?

– How does one learn the distinction so that it’s intuitive?

The Seven Critical Distinctions of a Masterful Communicator

“Genius” in every area involves making distinctions, making finer and the critical distinctions which others do not. In the area of being a professional communicator, this involves distinguishing between the following-

1) Map and Territory

2) Person and Behavior

3) Meaning and Response

4) Sensory and Evaluation information

5) Frame and Feeling

6) Exploring and Asserting (questioning and telling)

7) Current and Desired state

Now when a person (perhaps coaching themselves) can clearly make these distinctions and use these distinctions as governing frames in communicating, it eliminates the major communication diseases. Do you know about those diseases? These create tremendous dis-ease in the process of seeking to understand and work out negotiations. Ellis and Beck in Cognitive-Behavioral psychology describes these as the ways to make yourself and others miserable.

– Confusion of words with reality

– Mind-reading and hallucinating

– Judging, judgmentalism, exaggerating

– Emotionalizing: minimizing, maximizing

– Personalizing: over-identifying, defensiveness

– Blaming, accusations, insults.

– Distracting, changing the subject, refusing to focus.

By way of contrast, the seven critical distinctions create the foundation for those powerfully profound skills and states that facilitate the very best of communication. These include:

– Sensory awareness

– Ability to be present in to the moment and focus on the now

– Stepping back into an observing or witnessing state that facilitates objectivity

– Getting the ego out of the way to be as “clean” as possible ( a key Personal Coaching ability)

– Staying open and receptive to feedback

– Flexibility to adjust to real-time feedback and making on-course corrections

– Thinking systemically and recognizing leverage points

– Exploring curiously to discover what is

– Seeking clarity in problem-definition

– Solution-focus thinking in creating forward moving

– Suspending meaning so there can be true dia-logue


“The map is not the territory” summarises the common-sense wisdom that a map never is the territory it is designed to represent. The menu is not the meal; the sex manual is not love making; the photo is not the person. These are different phenomenon. They operate at different levels and in different dimensions.

So simple, yet so profound. So simple and yet so easy to forget. How and when do we forget it? When we think (and feel) that what we think (our mapping), what we perceive, what we believe in, what we value, what we identify with, etc. is what is real. That’s the delusion. Yet it never is; it cannot be. At best it can be a good, useful, and fairly accurate map about it.

But when we forget, we identify. We identify map and territory. What I think about something is real, is the final word, is absolute, is beyond question, is unquestionable, etc. And this describes the concrete thinker, the absolutist, the pulpit pounding pundit who has “the answers,” the guru who demands blind and unquestioning obedience, the fundamentalist in any and every system (Christian, Moslem, Liberal, Conservative, Political, etc.).

Map is all of the stuff inside, from the way the outside world impacts upon your senses and sense receptors (eyes, ears, skin, etc.). Map is all of the ideas, beliefs, understandings, feelings, memories, etc. that you create inside about. We do not deal with the world directly, but indirectly. We interface with the electromagnetic spectrum as mediated through our sense receptors, neuro-pathways, brain cortexes, beliefs, belief systems, etc. Territory is the outside world, all of the experiences, words, events, and happenings “out there.”

The masterful communicator knows that all of our mapping is fallible and is, at its highest development, still our best guess. He or she also knows that the value of a map lies in its usefulness, lies in it being able to provide us some navigational guidance as we move through the world and experiences. Does the map correspond well enough so that we can use it to direct our thoughts and actions? Does it facilitate me having the experiences I want to have? To achieve the things I want to accomplish?

How well do you recognize that all of your mental mapping about things is just that, a map? How much is this your frame of mind? How quick are you to explore and ask questions rather than go into “deity mode” of telling, demanding, or giving advice? How grounded is your recognition that your feelings are functions of your maps, not of the world? How intuitive have you driven in this distinction so that you recognize that any and every emotion is the difference between your map of the world and your experience in the world?

These are questions that help us benchmark where we are in our own development of making the map/territory distinction and meta-stating ourselves with this as a premise for moving through the world so that it becomes our in-knowing (intuition) as we communicate.


A person is not his or her behavior. What we do differs from what we are. In this, we are more than our behaviors. Our behaviors are expressions of our thinking and feeling, expressions of our states, understandings, skills, development, contexts, environment, and many other variables. In this our behaviors develop over time from incompetence (at the time of birth) to various degrees of competence and perhaps even mastery in a certain number of areas. Our behaviors at 2 years old, 13, 23, 37, or 65 are just behaviors and reflect our learning, aptitudes, discipline, interests, etc. at that time.

Our behaviors also are always and inevitably fallible. What we do is a function of how our aptitudes, talents, strengths and weaknesses, opportunities, and learnings come together in any given context and time to express ourselves. This is performance. It leads to achievements or to the lack of achievement. This is the area that we call self-confidence, confidence in what we can do, in our skills and competencies.

What we are, well that’s a very different question and dimension. What are we? We are a class of life that’s semantically governed. Without the kind of instincts that animals have, we have room to define what to do and how to be. We are not born knowing how to be, how to live, how to function. We have to learn; we get to learn. Using our mind to learn is the human instinct par excellence.

What else are we? We are a class of life that has the ability to reflect on ourselves and to create conceptual frames that we are a highly reflective beings who inevitably (and inescapably) reflect on ourselves, our states, our thoughts, our feelings, our experiences, our history, our future, our origin, our destiny, our values, our meanings. It is this reflexivity that gives us a special power, the power to transcend our state, our moment, ourselves, and to construct a whole set of frames, an entire matrix of frames.

This describes one of our biggest challenges in life-coping with our reflexive mind, managing that reflexive mind. The problem is that if we don’t manage our higher mind well, we can get into a spin. We can reflect back on ourselves with anger, fear, distress, worry, etc. and then reflect on our anger-at-our-self with more anger, fear, stress, shame, guilt, etc. Do that layer upon layer, and we can create self-sabotaging as our way of moving through the world.

Do that when you are simply trying to gather information as you communicate, and we can set ourselves and another into a spin. It depends on what we meta-state the other with. Meta-state self and/or other with suspicion, fear, anger, hate, judgment, etc. and watch communication become a fight, become distortion, become mis-understanding, become ugly and hurtful.

No wonder this person/behavior distinction is critical for becoming more professional as a communicator. I am more than my behavior; you are more than your behavior. Behavior is behavior and always fallible and therefore always game for correcting and adjusting. Talking about behavior is not talking about who we ultimately are. Yet, if we don’t make that distinction, we will feel that we ourselves are being attacked. And that will elicit defensiveness, judgment, yelling, closed-mindedness, self-righteousness, counter-attack, and escalating responses.

It is the person/behavior distinction that enables us to step into the state of being un-insultable so that we can defuse someone who has “lost it” and has become judgmental, blaming, accusing, etc. We become more professional and more masterful to the extent that we can manage our own state, stay focused on the issue and separate issue from person.


This distinction is best expressed in the NLP premise, “The meaning of your communication is the response you get, regardless of your intention.” And the rest of this premise is, “We never know what we have communicated. We never know what the other person ‘heard.’ It is only in the response of the other person that we can begin to discover what the other person ‘heard,’ the meanings that the other generated, and therefore the meaning that was inadvertently co-created (communication, the communing of meaning).”

Because Neuro-Semantic is about the meanings (semantics) that get communicated and programmed into our body (neurology) and the meanings that we then act out or perform, meaning is a phenomenon of the mind-body system. It does not exist outside in the world. In this, meaning is not externally real. It does not exist “out there.” You have never walked down the street and stubbled over some meaning that someone dropped. It’s not that kind of thing.

Meaning is a construct, a construct that occurs within a mind-body-emotion system, and a construct that only arises from how we link and associate things, and then reflexively apply to ourselves as our frame-of-reference or frame of meaning. So meaning is an inside thing; response is an outside thing. These differ radically as they occur in different dimensions.

That’s why a person’s response begins to give us some clue about the meanings that must exist in the other’s mind. So we explore further. What did you hear? What does that mean to you? And if we discover that the other has constructed meanings that we did not intent to transmit, we can ask if we can try again. “Sorry, that’s not what I was attempting to say. I’ll give it another try.”

This meaning/response distinction also means that another person’s response is not the same as the meanings you give to it. The other’s stressed tone of voice is just a response, what meanings we give to that is our meanings. It may correspond to the other’s meanings, it may not. If we don’t suspend our meanings, and if we don’t ask, we won’t know if we are just hallucinating.

When we automatically and quickly attribute meaning to the responses of others we are coming from our maps of the world and so we are hallucinating what it means to us. We are not communicating. We are not giving the other person a chance to transmit his or her meanings. We are jumping-to-conclusions and perhaps confusing map/territory and then assuming that the meanings we create is what the other is saying or doing. This is a great way to create confusions and distortions and to completely ruin relationships.

To avoid that we have to use the meaning/response distinction to our advantage and do one of the most challenging things for us meaning-makers to do, namely, suspend our meanings and explore with the other from the state of refusing to over-trust our meanings. This is what those most masterful at communicating do. They know that they don’t know. They know that the greatest seduction in the world is that of coming from our meaning constructs (our matrix) and seeing responses through our filters.

They also know that this is the formula for being blind and deaf to others. That’s why just witnessing responses and distinguishing responses from meaning is so important for staying in the game.


When I took my first NLP training with Richard Bandler, a refrain was repeated over and over. It went like this, “If you’re going to be a professional communicator, you have to distinguish sensory based information and evaluative based information. If you can’t do that, you will make a mess of the communication enterprise.” This was my first introduction to the Meta-Model that maps out how to sort out the inner mapping of a meaning-maker so that we can ask precision questions and meet the other person at his or her map of the world, instead of at our map.

Sensory data occurs as information and events impact our senses and sense receptors and at first is outside of our conscious awareness. By the time it comes into awareness, we have the “sense” of seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, and tasting that information and so we can representationally track that information to the movie screen of our mind. That’s when we begin to make our inner movies as we bring the world inside our mind and re-present it to ourselves. This also was the stroke of genius from NLP, that we think in the sensory languages of images, sounds, sensations, etc.

Yet all of this is very, very different from evaluative data. While both occur in the mind, we first make sensory representations and then we make evaluations about it. This is the meta-stating process of stepping back from ourselves, in our mind, and bringing other thoughts and feelings to it. In doing so, we abstract at a higher level as we draw conclusions, make generalizations, create distortions, make decisions, invent beliefs, set intentions, etc.

You can tell that you or another has jumped a logical level to the evaluative level if you cannot put the terms, words, phrases, or language on a table. We can put the referents of sensory words on the table, or in a chair, or in a wheelbarrow. Chair. Dog. Green grass. Man with large nose. But we cannot put the referents of evaluative language out on the table. Good, bad, brilliant, disappointing, rude, nice, mean, beautiful. As evaluations, these things are creatures of the mind.

This is where the Meta-Model comes in as a tool for creating specificity, precision, and clarity. We use the linguistic distinctions to bring our high level evaluations down to the representational screen. With the precision questions, we step back down from our matrix of invented reality and back into sensory life.

Yet this is the challenge. Most of us are so easily seduced and hypnotized by evaluative language and do not make the sensory/evaluative distinction. Someone says, “He’s mean. He blasted that waiter.” And we’re off hallucinating and inventing our meanings about what those non-specific words means. In this, there is no “meanness,” no “rudeness,” no “kindness,” no “hurtful,” “healing,” out there in the sensory world. These are words from the evaluative world of mind. And unless we ask, “What do you mean by this word?” “How do you know that it is this X?” we are not communicating, we are in a hypnotic trance or we are imposing our trance on others.

Whenever we accuse someone of being defensive, hypocritical, incongruent, loving, sensitive, intuitive, or ten-thousand other things, to be masterful at communicate we need to immediately feel the lack of precision, the inability to track those words directly to the theater of our mind, and begin to explore with Meta-Model questions. If we don’t, we will be seduced into a story. And to the extent we go into that trance, we are creating more and more mis-understandings and distortions, putting us further and further from clear communication.

Without this sensory/evaluative distinction we become poor communicators and great mind-readers. We can then even impose our judgments on others and never have a clue that that’s what we’re doing. With the best of intentions of trying to understand others, we are actually not seeing them at all, but seeing them through our filters. Our judgments then come out in a most subtle way, a way that may make it almost impossible for the other to push away those impositions.

That’s why the kindest and most compassionate thing we can do with our loved ones is to drill in this distinction between sensory/evaluative data so that we stop imposing our maps and judgments on them. Doing so is not a loving thing.


As the sensory/evaluative distinction occur inside us and differ at different levels of experience, so also the frame/feeling distinction. This is what makes both of these distinctions difficult to catch and takes training to develop this intuitive knowledge. They occur within and we can jump the levels in a nana second. In fact, if sensory/evaluative is tough to catch, the frame/feeling distinction is probably even more challenging.

Frame refers to our evaluative judgments, understandings, beliefs, decisions, history, values, criteria, and so on and it is from these higher frames in our matrix that create our feelings. Emotions as the “moving” (motion) “out” (ex-) of a response as our motor cortex is activated by our evaluations. That’s why an emotion is the difference between our mapping of the world and our experience of the world. We feel movement and motion in our bodies given the ideas, beliefs, and understandings in our mind in relation to how well do the ideas work in the outside world.

Frame and feelings relate systemically. Generally, our frames create our emotions. Yet the circular nature of a system with interactive elements means that our emotions also can influence and even create our frames. Yet they are different phenomenon. Feelings are mostly expressions of our frames. That’s why just because we feel something, that in itself is no reason to act on it and certainly not to obey it. The frame may be toxic, distorted, or wrong.

Feelings are mostly symptoms of our frames and indicate that we may need to update or change the frame or update and enhance our skills in relating to the world as we navigate some arena. And while symptoms are important as information signals, they differ from the cause, the frame. Because our emotions reflect the difference between our mapping and experiencing of the territory, all of them are right. They rightly weigh the difference. They are also relative, they are relative to the mapping and the experiencing. Yet because our mapping may be off and our neurology (health, skills, competencies, environment, etc.) may be off, emotions invite us to explore, to discover what’s creating the difference.

The danger is setting a frame of believing in our emotions and thinking we have to “be true to them.” That was the big mistake during the 1960s with the emotive therapies. They made emotion primary rather than secondary. An even bigger mistake is to assume that “if we feel something, that’s evidence and proof that something is real.” Believe that and you will become a slave of your emotions and every emotional experience will become so loaded semantically, that you can come to believe in all kinds of crazy things.

If we do that we can become more professional as a communicator. If we don’t, we can kiss it goodbye because we will personalize things, emotionalize (assume that we have to obey every feeling that we experience, and that if we feel something, it’s must be so), minimize, maximize, exaggerate, and be driven and tormented by other cognitive distortions.


When it comes to communicating, there are dozens upon dozens of things we can do with words. Yet the two major categories are exploring and asserting. We explore by asking questions, being curious, wondering, just witnessing so that we can seek first to understand. We assert by giving advice, telling, making definitive statements, feel certain, close the mind to other possibilities, and push our way through.

In the exploring/asserting differentiation, the second feels much more powerful. We feel powerful when we are taking a stand and asserting. We feel strong when we are telling someone something, giving advice, teaching, preaching, and informing. We are taking our model of the world, the maps and meanings we have created and we are imposing them on the other. And, true enough, there are times for this. There are situations in which we even get paid for this-as a lecturer at a University, a teacher in a classroom, a consultant with expert advice to offer, etc.

The other side of this distinction feels much weaker. When we are just asking questions, just exploring, seeking to gather information, and seeking to understand, we are coming from a place of openness and emptiness. We are not certain, not sure, not absolute, not definitive. And yet, questioning operates in the brain in a way that’s a hundred times more powerfully. This is due to the nature of the brain, it is “the ultimate answering machine.” Put a question to a brain and it has a compulsive need to come up with an answer! Place a question in a brain, especially one that it cannot answer, and the brain will primarily go into over-drive seeking an answer.

How different with a statement or advice. Because every brain already has answers, because we have already mapped out some meanings, the meanings as the ideas we literally “hold in mind,” also operate as a defense against contrary ideas. Because our minds like to know and has a vested interest in what we already know, it will automatically eliminate ideas that doesn’t fit. So to tell someone something that doesn’t have easy access in elicits the ego-defenses so that the ideas (even if they are great and brilliant ideas) can’t get in.

Obviously, in communicating, to commune meanings, to work through meanings (dia- “through,” logos, meaning), and to share and expand meanings, exploring and asking questions provides a tremendously more powerful approach. That’s why master coaches and communicators ask questions. Out of the gate they ask questions. They even ask questions about their questions. They explore meaning, significance, intention, etc. They assume little and massively explore. And when they assert, they can feel the difference.


The final distinction required for becoming more professional and masterful as a communicator is the current/desired state differentiation. This is the ability to look at ourselves and others and to recognize two temporal dimensions, now/then.

Current state asks such questions as: Where are we now? Where are you now? What’s currently going on? What are the challenges, problems, constraints, pros and cons, etc. of the current situation? This is the ability to be present, to come into the now, to acknowledge and accept whatever is for whatever it is without needing to defend, argue, rationalize, or use any other ego-defense mechanism. Obviously, to do this takes a lot of ego-strength-the strength to accept what is without caving in or going into a fight/flight type of response

Desire state is the other time dimension, the dimension of imagining, envisioning, and creating a future that we can then move to. We elicit this by asking, Where do we want to go? Where will we go if we don’t make a change? How will we get there? What’s involved in the journey? What resources do we need? What are the steps and stages along the way? How will we know when we get there?

In current state we need problem solving skills, and the ability to create a well-formed problem. Without that, we may be solving a pseudo-problem. Without that, we may be trying to work on a mere symptom, a paradox, or the wrong problem. In desired state we need to create a well-formed solution and to use the precision questions to clearly define what we want.

This distinction keeps problem and solution separate and empowers us to clearly define both so that we can think and communicate strategically as we develop the plans, tactics, and resources for making a dream come true. This distinction enables us to then synergize our away-from and toward motivational energies so that we build up a propulsion system and not suffer from a out-of-balance motivation strategy where we only are pushed by aversions or pulled by attractors.

Summary: Rising up to your highest Communication Excellence

– How well developed are these distinctions in your repertoire of communication frames?

– Which one of these master keys for communication are you best at?

– Which one of these master keys are you the weakest in?

– What plans do you have for learning and drilling them into your response style?

– What kind of Life or personal coaching have you had or will you have to unleash your potentials for masterful communicating?

Keep Your Sanity With A Mindful Life Coach

We should always keep in mind who helped us get to where we are. All of us can probably remember a teacher or coach in our lives who made a huge impact on our youth. Perhaps it was a football coach who spent an hour after practice helping you learn how to tackle, or the English teacher who worked with you after class to get your college admission essays right.
No matter what you do or your fields of interest, you need a coach. Yes, everyone needs a mentor, although many people see life coaches as a negative thing. They have too much pride and feel that they need to portray the “I don’t need any help I can do it on my own attitude.” That attitude will lead anyone that harbors it to failure.
I don’t care what you do or how you do it, there is someone out there who is better or can think of better ways to do what you do. What I mean is that everyone can improve any aspect of their life.
No matter what it is there are always negatives to work on and positive things to focus on. That is what mindful life coaches are there for, to offer advice and support in areas that need improving.
Mindful Coaching?
If your objective is to get your professional and personal life in order, then you should hire a life coach. An ideal skilled and professional coach will give you the self-esteem needed to achieve peace of mind and your goals. Ingredients for success require:
* The ideal amounts of finances
* Career
* Relationships
* Emotions
* Spirituality
Be Mindful of Mindfulness
You might be wondering exactly what mindfulness is and how a mindful life coach can help to achieve that state. The strength in life exists at this exact moment.
Taking clear action at this immediate point in time can empower you to achieve your goals in life. A mindful life coach helps you to achieve mindfulness or being more attentive of every single moment in life.
When you are able to achieve this goal, then you can enjoy several benefits. For instance:
* You can better handle emotional and mental hardships
* Enjoy more appreciation and serenity in your life
* You can be linked to your personal essence
According to mindfulness, life includes numerous paths. A mindful life coach can help us to avoid the poor choices that would disturb our human spirit.
These problematic paths can cause us to feel uncertain, helpless, or baffled. However, with a mindful life coach, travelers can have a better knowledge of their self concept, or who they are, allowing their instincts to guide them along the right path.

The Best Life Coaching Strategies – Revealed

Life coaching can be helpful for anyone. Whether you are in the pits and need to reshape your life or if you are already successful and want to take your life to even better heights life coaching can be the answer.
Most people shy away from life coaching because they have a hard time admitting they need help. Everyone always likes to think that they have everything all figured out. Let’s face it – everyone needs help. The sooner you can commit to improving yourself the sooner your life will take form.
Do You Know The Power of The Law of Attraction?
One of the most important life coaching strategies of all involves the law of attraction. Many of you have already heard of this law before, but few actually understand what it involves. The law of attraction refers to the idea that life is how you imagine it, and so if you find yourself constantly thinking about and living in negative imagination every day, then you be drawing negative people and things to you.
However if you were to suddenly step into the present, come to terms with what is happening in your life right now, and forget about dwelling on the past or the future you could change your life. If you were to make a conscious choice to simply be clear and present to that which is occurring in your life right now, then you could be attracting positive people and things into your life.
It is believed within this, and most other life coaching strategies as well in fact, that every event, situation and relationship is here for us to evolve. And that when we take the time to put our attention on the opportunity within our current experiences, we are then able to create positive intentions for our future.
In other words, rather than thinking back to past relationships or events or thinking what may be in the future, think of and focus on what you have now and how you can learn from your situation. Every situation can have a positive outcome or lesson. See it and use it.
The Benefits of Life Coaching
Life coaching strategies help you to do a number of different things. Namely they can create joyful experiences in your life each and every day, develop action strategies to meet and exceed your life fulfillment goals, clear your current blocks and get a deeper connection with yourself as well as others. Life coaching strategies also eliminate any self-defeating behaviors and perspectives that you may currently have.
These strategies are not necessarily easy to employ full-time in your life right away. But with some awareness and effort it will become easier. If you need to, hire a life coach. They can help you stay on track. Life is one incredible journey, don’t waste it focusing on negative things.

Life Coaching: Definition and Benefits

Life coaching is a form of support that helps the person in his or her decision making capacity, be it on the professional, personal or emotional level. It strives to empower the person and push her towards sensible life decisions. Without imposing anything or forcing you to radically change your day to day life, life coaching can bring many a positive results. Life coaching is meant as a guidance and not as a ” follow or else ” method. Let us make an analogy to help you better understanding what life coaching is about: the woman is lik a tree, the stronger its roots, the more it will be able to grow tall and strong and realize its potential. That’s what life coaching is, it strives to make your roots stronger, to empower. It helps you realize and achieve your strongest desire by telling that, after all, you could become all you want to be. Life coaching can thus be seen as a form of accompaniment leading to action. Without trusting blindly, if you feel at ease with somebody professional and respectuous, this person could become your coach. In fact, a coach is a person who possess the experience you are still lacking, quite simply. Life coaching emphasizes life situations that we wish to change or improve. People resorting to life coaching can learn amongst other things to identify their fundamental values and organize their life around those values, transform obstacles draining their energy, doscover o rediscover their forgotten dreams or their passion, feed their spiritual needs and move towards a job that can fulfill them. Life coaching uses tools and methods from various fields favoring and encouraging reflection and thinking through pratical exercises. Life coaching is for everyone who want to be the master of their own destiny and who wish to arm themselves with all the tools they need toreach their true potential, in line with their desires, be it on the personal or profesionnal level.

Life Coaching for Women at Work

More and more professionals today are tired of the frenzied, highly demanding age we live in – the constant pressures brought about by the wish to succeed, be financially secure, fit and healthy, sociable, a good wife and parent. Career women, in particular, have to cope with the sometimes very emotional challenge of juggling family and work demands trying to maintain a work-life balance, which if not achieved can be extremely detrimental to their physical, mental and emotional health. There is a decreasing acceptance of an all-absorbing job; people are interested in a higher quality of life. Life where you have more time for yourself and your relationships, with more energy to invest in emotional, physical and spiritual well-being

As reported by the British Journal of Administrative Management, coaching ‘takes a holistic view of the individual’ ensuring that work, corporate values, personal needs and career-development are made to work in synergy and not against each other.

However, what started as a corporate client service has now become a valuable tool for any individual wanting to improve their life. It is quite feasible to imagine that having a personal coach will become an accepted norm.

Borne out of the competitive pressures of today’s economy, as well as the struggle to find balance in the frantic pace of modern life, personal life coaching is now rapidly attracting devotees worldwide. CEO’s, entrepreneurs, professionals, people in career transition and many others grappling with life issues are all turning to this new tool to guide them through life’s difficulties and help raise them above the ‘fog’ to the clear heights of peace and self-satisfaction.

Whilst Coaching supports all aspects of life, its ultimate aim is to achieve harmony and balance within the individual. For career women this means establishing a work-life balance that satisfies all the levels of emotional and professional needs. It’s about working to live, not living to work.

Work-life balance is a self-defined, self-determined state of well-being that a person can reach, or can set as a goal, that allows them to manage effectively multiple responsibilities at work, at home, and in their community; it supports physical, emotional, family, and community health, and does so without grief, stress or negative impact. For those striving to enjoy this type of life, coaching is an indispensable tool.

Women at work can recognise when they are suffering from an imbalance. Symptoms such as constantly being tired, feeling like you’re running uphill all the time and getting nowhere, feeling like you have no choices, no control; when life seems to be happening to you instead of you feeling that you’re managing it; when you can think of more things that aren’t getting done than are; when you see more negative in your life than positive.

Coaching is a powerful, collaborative relationship between the coach and a willing individual, which helps that individual through the process of discovery, goal setting and strategic action-planning to help realise an extraordinary result. It is also a body of knowledge, a technology and a style of relating that focuses on the development of that person’s potential.

Most people spend considerable time planning their annual holiday but how much time is spent planning a far more crucial journey, one you don’t get a chance to revisit if things don’t work out the way you hope? How much time do you spend mapping out where you want to go in life?

Just as Olympic sports men and women rely on their talent, determination and coach to give them the best chance of reaching Gold, your Coach can make you a medallist in life.

In the security of this collaborative alliance with your coach you will reach clarity of purpose, identify goals and develop a plan of action. You will establish an understanding of what is really important to you in life, take charge and realise your priorities. Put simply, coaching is about helping you to create and work towards the grandest version of the greatest personal vision you have; to achieve success – success being the continuous realisation of a worthy goal or ideal.

Written by Gerard O’Donovan Founder of Noble Manhattan coaching Ltd

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CEO of the European coaching Institute

Europe’s leading executive coach

Are Life Coaches The Psychiatrists Of The 21st Century?

There are millions of students world-wide enrolled in psychology degree programs at this very moment. Spending years of their lives learning basic structures and principles of how the human mind processes feelings and events. Do all people actually fit into the framework of a set standard?
A fairly new phenomenon is starting to sweep across the globe, Life coaching. This reasonably new form of coaching ties its roots to executive coaching. The basic aim is to help realize, time-line, and achieve your personal goals. Sounds simple enough to do on our own, doesn’t it?
When you take into consideration the normal work load of an up and coming professional and then add to it the daily stress of everyday life, some aspect of his/her life will suffer.
This is where our life coach can become useful. Unlike psychologists, sociologists, and other degree holders, life coaches try to find the answers from within the person.
There are four self-accreditation bodies that are internationally recognized: the International Coaching Council (ICC), the International Coach Federation (ICF), the International Association of Coaching (IAC), and the European Coaching Institute (ECI). Each of these is privately-owned and is not monitored by an independent supervisory board.
They do, however, all follow the same industry standard. Mentoring, behavior modification, and goal-setting, are the core values of their teachings.
Many successful persons in the business world are believers in the positive affect that life coaching offers. We employ coaching strategies into most aspects of our daily lives. It can be as simple as a plan for the supermarket, progressing into something as intricate as a 10-year plan for our future.
In most psycho analytic professions, the past and why we are who we are is the main focus. Life coaching, on the other hand, looks into the clients’ future and tries to help them become the person they want to be.
The main plan of most life coaches is to ask their clients questions and teach them how to find the answer from within themselves. The majority of coaches believe that the persons they mentor have the tools to achieve their individual goals, but are focusing too much energy in the wrong places.
To simplify all of this into easier terms: imagine yourself as a car and your life coach as your steering wheel, you are the one in control of how fast or slow you go. Does that make sense to you?
Now, think of your career, your family, your goals, your successes, and your failures, as the road that lies ahead. Every road that we drive on always has hills and some bumps, but the majority of us always make it to our final destination just fine.
This is where a good life coach comes in handy again. It’s a good idea to have someone in the passenger seat when the road in our life comes to a fork. Do you turn right or do you turn left? Your mentor is there to help you understand what lies down each of those roads, but to let you make the decision for yourself which one to take.

The Benefits of Having a Life Coach

Life coaching is a relatively new title to an old trade and many people do not know what a life coach can do for them, so I am going to list the benefits of having a life coach in this article. Let me start this off by saying that one of the secrets of highly successful people is that most of them use, in some form or another, a coach to help them get to where they want to be in life or in business or both. A coach, mentor, advisor or whatever title you want to call them, can help you identify goals and can motivate you to make those goals a reality for your future. Here are the benefits of having a life coach:

Setting Goals. One of the primary focuses of a life coach is that of setting and reaching goals. One of the main reasons people have difficulty manifesting success in their life is simply because they have no idea what their own idea of personal success really is. It’s like a businessman with no business. Without any source of direction, how can a person expect any quantifiable results? A life coach can use questioning to isolate what is most important to their client and once that goal or goals are isolated, then the life coach can help “reverse engineer” that goal to come up with a workable plan that can be put into action.

Clarity. A life coach can help you clarify your present condition and your future directions.

Action. Success rarely manifests itself. Knowledge and ideas are great to have, but they also do not manifest success in and of themselves. Action is what creates success in life. The reason why many intelligent and knowledgeable people do not experience the level of success that they desire is because they are slow to act on or apply the knowledge that they have. A life coach can help their client make decisions much more quickly and reduce costly delays and provide better quality action with less risk.

Motivation. Even the best experts in the world utilize coaches, consultants, and personal advisors because there is a strong psychological factor of accountability when another person has oversight on your progress. Actors, models, even bodybuilders have personal trainers who make sure they are keeping up on their program to reach their intended goals and this acts as a powerful motivating force for them. Such is the same with life coaches. They motivate their clients towards their goals and they make them accountable for maintaining their program and sticking to it.

Support. A life coach will listen to your story without evaluating, criticizing, judging, or offering solutions. They will lend their support for you through the toughest of times as well as the best of times.

Overcoming Challenges. We all face certain roadblocks in our lives that need to be overcome for us to achieve measurable success. A life coach can help their client brainstorm for possible solutions to complex challenges that need to be deal with.

Life Balance. A life coach can improve the ratio of work versus play in your life to achieve an optimal balanced ratio of both which will lead to reduced stress levels and a better quality of life.

Consulting. Most life coaches specialize in some aspect of expertise such as entrepreneurship, health and fitness, or stress management. The knowledge that they possess as a consultant can be invaluable to their client if they require the use of such skills.

Confidentiality. Although life coaching is not therapy or counseling, ethics dictate that the same rules of client confidentiality apply to coaching sessions. Therefore, what is discussed between a client and a life coach is strictly confidential.

What Is Life Coaching?

Are you wondering what is life coaching? It is becoming increasingly popular and something that you may want to consider for yourself.
First, it is important to differentiate this from things like therapy and counseling.
Focus of therapy is primarily in healing by addressing emotions, behavior and disruptive situations by looking into the past to find out how a client behaves in a certain way. According to Wikipedia, therapy is the attempted remediation of a health problem, usually following a diagnosis. Counseling is more treatment of everyday problems.
Life coaching is about looking into building a future. It is about achieving goals that you set for yourself. If could be in different areas like making more money, seeking happiness in life, excellence in sports, professional excellence and many more.
Problem is that although people want to achieve great things in life, sometimes they find it difficult to self assess, develop a plan and take action for themselves. Uncertainty creeps in and confusion seems to reign. This is where life coaching helps.
The life coach works with you to work on your goals and develop the plan required to achieve it. The coach encourages and if required gets a little tough on you to ensure your progress. The coach becomes a sounding board. You will be amazed at how much you already know but just could not organize and look at it in a way that it can deliver good value for you.
If you decide to get life coaching, then you need to evaluate carefully to ensure that you get a life coach that is not only qualified but also best suited for the life coaching area that you are interested in and you can relate to.
Shortlist first by identifying those who work on your specific area of interest. You may want to call those who have attended their life coaching programs for feedback. Find out where the coaching sessions will be held. Distance of the location may be a deciding factor if the sessions are face-to-face. Fees, of course, is the other factor.
Even if a life coach can fit all your other requirements, the chemistry between the two of you is important. Most coaches also provide a free introductory session. Make use of this session to see if there is good fit between the two of you. Is this a person that you feel knows the stuff and someone that you will listen to? As your sessions will be one-to-one, if you cannot seeing yourself working together with this person, it is better not to select this life coach.
Life coach aside, once you decide on life coaching, it is important that you become committed to its success. You need to be open and dig deep into issues. It may get uncomfortable but it is difficult to achieve great things without getting out of your comfort zone. You need to follow through on the actions. Whether the life coaching will succeed or fail will ultimately depend on you.
Now that you know what is life coaching, decide if this can help you. If it can help you but the cost of having a one-to-one life coach is high, then look into alternatives of how you can still get life coaching.