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Nick Hindley

Norfolk County Council

Global Learning and Development Manager

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So NLP is shameful and coaches are a bunch of wasters, mmmmm


Hi Donald, on a recent question about training options you were very negative about NLP and then all coaches.

I would be very interested to learn what you define as good training and hear about some methods you approve of?

Many thanks.       


7 Responses

  1. It can be
    “So NLP is shameful and coaches are a bunch of wasters, mmmmm”


    I think the simple answer is…it can be and they can be

    and in my experience “is” in more cases than it should be.

    Not saying I agree with Donald but if you explore his argument (1 sided it may be) deeply enough you might see that he sort of has a point!

  2. But from which angle ….

    Totally agree Steve, I also share the same fears that coaching, NLP et al can be damaging and a fearful waste of money if offered by the wrong people.  However, I shall repeat my own experience.  My life coaching clients achieved their goals and I was proud to have played a part in that.  There are lots of ways of doing things and certain methods will hit the mark whilst others don’t.  I gain the impression Mr. Clark has not experienced life coaching on a personal level and is sneering at those who offer it and those who pursue it.  Which seems a tad biased since how can he make a valued judgement on only minimal (and one sided) facts? 

  3. Agreement is there now looking for the positive

    Hi Steve, that there are poor practitioners there is no question. I am seeking to find the good training and where we can find it and I am hoping that Donald will start us off with some excellent examples.




  4. How would anyone know?
    Looks like Donald has gone…

    1 thought did spring to mind…

    If someone had only ever experienced 1 coach how would they know if they were any good or not?

    Same goes for trainers…are most delegates in a position to say if a trainer is any good or not? I am guessing they are not judging in the same way as I would be judging so who would be right?

    I’ve witnessed some terrible practice over the years and the delegates seemed to be really happy and gave good feedback…training and coaching is a funny old world I think :-/

    PS: I could also add that I have witnessed some really good practice and the delegates have looked bored!

  5. Good practice

     First training…

    When training is grounded in evidence-based research and practice it can be life changing. Far too few trainers know enough about memory,learning and the research that should underpin their practice. Far too many are mired in faddish, non-empirical theories and practice such as Maslow, NLP, learning styles. Kirkpatrick and so on. I’ve spent 27 years in this profession and have learnt to distinguish between the charlatans, peddling old or new-age fantasies, and people who know a thing or two about learning.

    Now coaching…

    On coaching, I don’t dismiss all coaching, only life coaches. Here’s a post written over 2 years ago from my blog: 

    I still can’t get my head around the idea of Life Coaches (can’t believe I’ve capitalised those two words – twice). Who, while maintaining any sense of personal dignity, could treat their own life as some sort of training programme, subjecting themselves to this nonsense?

    Life coaches as like low life astrologers
    Is there anything more nauseating or narcissistic than the very idea, never mind the type of person, who sets themselves up in such a role? Are life coaches any better than low life astrologers, feeding a narcissistic desire to sell people the idea that you need them to shape your future? Who are these people? Who has the arrogance to describe themselves as being able to cajole another person into believing they need them to help direct their ENTIRE life?

    A ‘paid friend’
    Paying for a friend is undignified. Sure get advice on tax, the law, finance, but LIFE! It smacks of a deep seated need for a religious substitute, a higher power, who has the moral authority to give you a ‘sense of direction’. I suppose it does act as a sort of dating agency to match up those who feel the urge to pay for a friend with those with no concrete skills, other being paid to listen and ask reflective questions, a sort of escort agency for lonely minds.

    Whatever happened to friends, family or even self-reflection as providing advice? Get a life not a coach. 

    In general, on the whole snakeoil kick…

  6. Clutter


    I met a lady the other day who makes a very good living by going in to wealthy people houses and decluttering.

    To a minimalist like myself this seems absolutely bizarre to actually pay someone to throw your stuff out. I love throwing stuff out and consider myself an expert in chucking!

    Some people just can’t do "it" (cope with life I mean) …therefore need help and when the help is good its worth it for them. You or I are not the ones to judge if Coaching is the right decision for these people.

  7. Go for value

     The NLP question is easy to answer


    Its obvious that ex NLPers experience shame.  That is evident from responses on the web, including some on Donald’s blog.

    There is also obvious shame from NLPers who still cling to it.  They tend to say silly things such as; NLP authors state they are not doing science, therefore it is not pseudoscience.  When corrected on these facile statements, they obviously feel shame and humiliation, but due to cultish behaviour they then go on to repeat the next piece of salespitch gospel until they have to be put straight again.  Their only resort is to become increasinly vague and evasive about what NLP IS, or insist that all critics are ignoramuses because they are not NLPers.  The only conclusion from that is that NLP definitely IS pseudoscience.


    The coaching issue is a bit more complex.

    IF you can get a domain expert to "coach" you through a specific domain set of problems or designs, then sure you probably have a good coach.  In general that does not happen.  Domain experts tend to get hired for a bigger buck teaching rooms of people at a time. If you pay them enough to help you in particular, they will probably call themselves a tutor.

    People who class themselves as "Coach" are either legit sporting coaches (who have domain knowledge in a particular sport), or are totally ill equipt people who charge money for often ill-informed goal setting and flaccid project management.  

    The value in knowing about coaches and NLP is that its handy to know there is a lot of tricky crap out there to avoid. 






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Nick Hindley

Global Learning and Development Manager

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