Back to Course

MindBridge NLP Coach Certification Training

0% Complete
0/0 Steps
  1. 1 - Introduction to NLP and Professional Life Coaching
    8 Topics
  2. 2 - Fundamentals of Influential Communication
    5 Topics
  3. 3 - Characteristics of Excellence in Communication
    2 Topics
  4. 4 - a. Identifying Thinking Styles
    1 Topic
    1 Quiz
  5. 4 - b. Rapport
  6. 5 - a. Values Clarification
  7. 5 - b. Submodalities
  8. 6 - a. Anchoring Techniques
    2 Topics
  9. Managers as Coaches
  10. 7 - Clarifying Communication
    5 Topics
  11. 7 - a. Power of Questions
  12. 7 - b. Intake- Initial Pre-Coach Session
  13. 8 - Criteria
    3 Topics
  14. 8 - a. Perceptual Flexibility - Perceptual Position Quiz
    3 Topics
  15. 8 - b Well Formed Outcomes
    3 Topics
  16. 9 - 3 NLP Techniques Demonstrations
  17. 10 - Identifying Mind Maps
  18. 10- a. Meta Program Psychometric Quizzes
  19. 10 - b. Key Meta Program Patterns Explained
    7 Topics
  20. 10 - c. NLP Coach Session Demonstration
  21. 10 - d. Evaluation Forms -Outcome Coach Session
  22. 10 - e. Evaluation Video of NLP Coaching Demonstration
  23. 11 - NLP Coaching Sessions
    2 Topics
  24. 11 - a. Evaluation of Demo - Categories of Experience
  25. 11 - b. Directionalizing the Session
  26. 12 - Insights and Just for the fun of it!
Lesson Progress
0% Complete

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand… they listen with the intent to reply.”  Stephen Covey 

Hearing is Not the Same as Listening

Listening is something we all feel we do well, but like any skill it needs to be practiced and developed to get the best from it. When we are young we learn that we can hear what someone else is saying and soon the skill of listening transfers from a conscious process, one that we are aware of, to an unconscious process, one that we take for granted and on which we do not need to concentrate. The trouble with unconscious processes is, as we learn in NLP, our brains distort, delete and generalize information all the time when we are moving it from our unconscious to the conscious mind. Over time, as we have taken the skill of listening for granted, we have begun to distort our ability to properly listen. 

When another person is talking they may say something that we have an opinion or belief about and we will unconsciously start forming a counter argument… creating pictures, sounds and feelings about what they are saying and also about what we are thinking. Rather than actually listening, we are evaluating what they are saying and/or we are thinking about something not even related to what the other person is saying.

Highly developed listening skills are a core requirement of effective communicators. There are distinct levels to listening that we need to be aware of and develop if we are to have communication excellence.

Levels of Listening
  • Distracted – not present, physically, mentally or emotionally. This isn’t really listening!
  • Cosmetic – social listening, focusing on day-to-day activity… “how are you? How was your weekend?” The focus is on small talk or surface structure, not necessarily attending to the meaning behind words.
  • Conversational – listening from the perspective of ‘how is this relative to the relationship.’  
  • Attentive – attuned to the other’s language, identifying key phrases, words, emotions. Listening to the words being used and assessing how the person is expressing their feelings. Examples: I was annoyed and he was frustrated, she was angry, he was happy.
  • Deep – tuning in to the body language, tone, pitch and what isn’t being said and what is not being said, focusing and staying present with the person in their situation. Quieting your own thoughts and agendas to make space for the other person.

When a person is listening from the ‘deep’ perspective they allow the conversation to explore their experience in greater depth and scope, without fear.

Herein is the difference between hearing and listening. Hearing is a physiological process, it is passive and physical. Listening is a cognitive process, active and mental.

Obstacles to Deep Listening

Most listening obstacles are listener-centric that is, directly or indirectly caused or influenced by the listener.

  • Rapid thought – we can understand speech rates of up to 800 words per minute, but the average person can only speak at up to 150 words per minute, so out minds tend to fill the gaps in.
  • Content or message overload
  • Laziness / boredom and ‘pseudo listening’
  • Cultural barriers – corporate or personal
  • Personal insecurities
  • Physical, environment and distractions
  • Internal dialogue and mental distractions
  • Defensive listening – mentally challenging or disagreeing with the speaker, without saying anything to them.
  • Assumptions by the listener
  • Selective listening – only picking out the parts which interest the listening.
  • Seeking to look good by asking clever questions, giving impressive facts, recalling times when you did something better and bigger.
  • Giving the other person advice, ideas, suggestions or solutions to the subject that you are discussing. Bear in mind that if you do, then they will be your solutions, not theirs.
  • Attempting to control the conversation.
How to improve listening skills

Becoming an effective listener requires practice and developing an awareness of what is happening inside of you when you are listening to others.

  • Prepare beforehand – get ready for your managing, coaching or mentoring. Set time aside before the meeting to prepare for it and clear your mind in readiness.
  • Instead of attempting to pick up every point, listen for key words or phrases.
  • Learn to understand what internal dialogue is occurring within you; are there any triggers or themes?
  • Know that you do not have to respond to the person straight away, capture the theme or essence and come back to it when appropriate.
  • Maintain focus on the person from the state of curiosity – when you feel your listening veer off, bring it back.
  • Hear the speaker out before you step in. Don’t argue, judge or interrupt, just listen!
  • Be aware of non-verbal cues and clues – facial expressions, tone, pitch, body language and movement.
Tools to aid listening and the relationship

Silence – however strange it may seem, the use of silence is a powerful tool for communication excellence. Most people are uncomfortable with silence and the temptation is to fill the silence. Learn to let the person fill the gap. 

Reflection – when a person uses key words or phrases, or repetition of these, they do so often for a subconscious reason. You can identify these and repeat them, this signals to the person that you are both listening and have recognized that what they have said is important to them.

Backtracking – replaying to the person what they said, using their words and language, primarily to demonstrate progress in the discussion.

Clarifying – demonstrating an awareness by using examples or exploration of what the person has shared.

Body language – being able to recognize the person’s body language and subtly mirroring it back to them. This demonstrates empathy and presence without expressing it verbally.

There is concern over the use of paraphrasing in communicating. Paraphrasing can lead a person to use their own words to interpret the other person’s meaning. In doing so they may well misinterpret the meaning. This can influence the other person to express something not representative of what they mean, or cause an impact on the relationship between you and others.

Another consideration is to coach the person and not the issue. Many people will, through their questions, try to ‘solve the issue’. Using the coaching model is about helping the person to identify some of their own ways forward; options and approaches to resolving their situation. So we need to ‘tune in’ to what the person is saying about behaviors, language, relationships, confidence and competence.

The good news is that whatever unconscious habits that we have developed over the years, we can change simply by making them conscious for a while and improving them. So, make an effort to listen to people, really make an effort. It will make you a better communicator and greatly improve your relationships!

* The YouTube videos below are not required, but are worth watching
The Power of Listening
Something Extra for Your Interest

When done please take the time to reflect on the lesson and post a comment or question below. What was your reaction to the videos? What insights did you gain? What questions arose for you?

Also, consider responding to the comments of others to start a dialogue.

After you have posted your comment hit the Mark Complete Button and move on to the next lesson.


  1. The importance of Attention Listening } the other persons language, key phrases used, words, emotions, feelings expressed is all well and good BUT there is Deep Listening which is paying attention to body language, the tone and pitch as well as what is not being said. While staying present with the other person and quieting our own thoughts.
    William Ury Video was very good. Enjoyed.