Using NLP Meta Programmes to Motivate Your Coaching Clients Part 3, Internal – External

To read part 1, click here.
To read part 2, click here.

Imagine each Meta Programmes as a scale, with the most extreme example at each end of the scale. Some people will be extremely ‘internal’, others extremely ‘external’, but many will be somewhere along the scale and some may be totally neutral in the centre.

When you are coaching, you identify your clients Meta Programmes by listening for the language they are using to motivate themselves to achieve their goals and objectives. By matching their language, you will help them motivate themselves.

Highly internal people do not require anyone to validate what they are doing. They make decisions all by themselves and don’t need the input of others to do so.

When coaching your internal clients, it is vital you ask them what they would do as they don’t take guidance from others easily. Examples of this are saying, “How will you achieve this?”, “What do you think needs to happen?”, “I know you will do the right thing because you always know what to do to get things done.”

These are the people that don’t need any feedback from others to let them know how they are getting on. The most de-motivating thing you can do is keep asking them how they are doing!

They become motivated when their coach encourages them to make the decisions that they know are right for them. Highly internal people can find it difficult to take constructive feedback because often in their eyes no one can do things as well as they can.

Helping your internal clients understand that some people do require feedback to stay motivated is a valuable lesion for them to learn.

At the other end of the scale you have your external clients. These are the people who require feedback from others to keep them motivated. They want to show you evidence of what they have achieved from their last coaching session.

These are the people who become highly motivated when they have to check in with someone to show them what they have done.

At the extreme end of the scale, your external clients may require you to give them a list of things they can check off. These clients may come across as ‘needy’ but when you understand that this is the way they process information to become motivated, as a coach you will be less judgmental (not that you would ever judge, right!)

As their coach, you will highly motivate them by getting them to keep you updated on their progress. This may take the form of getting them to email or call you when they have achieved a goal or objective they set.

You can also encourage your internal clients to find people that will give them feedback on their progress. Helping them to develop the ability to know when they are on track without having to seek external validation is especially valuable when coaching business leaders because leaders can lose credibility if they are always checking that they are doing ok with others.

So to sum up, the skill of a good coach is to recognise the different ways that your clients motivate themselves, and speak to them in the different styles that work for them.

Fiona Campbell is a Senior Management Associate with PROTRAINING. She is an Executive Coach, NLP Business, Leadership Development and Communications Trainer and Author. Fiona has 25 years experience in the hospitality sector working with companies including Xerox and Yellow Pages.

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