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Shifting time in a first coaching session


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Shifting time in a coaching session can be incredibly useful.

Most coaches do an introduction session of 15 minutes or longer, for the client to decide if they want to hire a coach. More importantly, if they want to hire this particular coach specifially.

Often when people struggle with more complex problems, they do not show up at the NLP Practitioner certified coach’s doorstep until they have seen everyone else. From their friends to their doctor, to a psychologist. So when someone sits down to talk to you, they assume you are like everyone else. The client may draw the wrong conclusion, that you will offer them the same services and, worse yet, the same poor results.

Shifting the time in a coaching session from the past to the present

A good tool to use, and one of the basics in NLP Timeline Coaching is to shift the client from the past, in to the present, to the future. It is the past where a client gets stuck in their thinking, and in also in their therapies. Reliving over and over, what they so desperately need to forge.

How do you shift a client to the present time?

1. Start talking in to present tense,  focus on what is going on right now. What makes you so different as a coach from all the others they have seen in the past. Break the mold, if you have to.

2. What are the sessions with you going to be like today!

3. How will the future with you as a coach be different. (Talk in future tense..)

4. Talk about their future, with you as their coach either in it or having been in it as a result of reaching for instance a goal (or resolving a problem.)

What are other benefits?

Additional benefits of linguistically moving someone out of the past to the present and future are:

1.  The past is where the problems are, the future is where the possibilities are.

2. In order to find solutions, you have to pace and lead the client into the future anyway.

3. Achieving goals can be done by performing tasks in the present, and knowing what needs to be done in the future.

4. If the client knows what is in their future, how can they not want to do whatever it takes?

5. You project yourself as their coach in their more optimistic future, which is good for your coaching business.


I would recommend any coach or NLP Practitioner to train in NLP Timeline Coaching. Simply, because it is one of the most effective coaching tools around. I find myself, especially dealing with significant emotional events of a clients past, to do Timeline Coaching. Time and again do I see people change using these coaching techniques, whom have been in other therapies for decades without any result. The power of these tools are incredible, which is why we teach NLP Timeline Coaching as part of the NLP Master Practitioner and Life Coaching training.

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