10 Tips for NLP Coaching on Zoom


NLP Coaching on Zoom has become a normalcy for many of us over the years. New coaches often ask me what my take is about NLP coaching on Zoom.

Nearly all NLP coaching techniques can be done over zoom if you are willing to either re-design or make some minor changes. There is nothing wrong with the client still doing techniques that require them to stand up or even walk around. There is really no requirement that says that you need to have the client in (perfect) view in order to do your work.

Tip #1: Building Rapport

You need to be aware that when any communication isn’t in person but on Zoom, it is easy to skip over building rapport. The truth is, more rapport is needed to create a connection. You could consider taking a little time to connect before the NLP coaching session starts. Find a common interest, and make a point of making the client feel relaxed and safe. It will be easier for them to connect that way.

Tip #2: Matching, mirroring, and cross-over mirroring

In NLP, we are usually trained to copy the person’s body language: match, mirror, or cross-over mirror. You can still do this on Zoom, based on the parts of the client and you that can be seen. You can for instance, match the speed and tonality of the voice, word choice and matching someone else’s preferred visual, auditory, or kinesthetic system. You can copy someones breathing.

Tip #3: Walking & Standing Patterns – Frame the Video

I often still do the walking and standing patterns on Zoom; it is a matter of taking some time to let the client adjust the video. Most of the time, I like the client step towards and away from the camera. Sometimes left or right. I usually explain what I am after and what we will be doing in this NLP coaching session. What specifically, I would like to be able to see on camera. And in a collaborative process with the client, we set up the camera angle. This usually only takes a few minutes. You can practice this yourself first, by using the selfie-video mode.

Tip #4: Walking & Standing Patterns – Audio

Technically, you don’t need to see the client. You can train your sensory acuity (taking in more information) in the auditory system. So by the sound of the client’s voice, you know what they are experiencing.

Tip #5: Limit Writing

One thing that is really disruptive during a Zoom coaching session is looking away from your client in order to write in what is in essence, an unseen notepad. This is already felt in a live coaching session as a brief lapse of rapport. or a disconnect This is doubly true in a Zoom session. I recommend only writing down a keyword here and there and spend time after the session turning these into complete sentences. Learning how to write without looking away as much also helps.

Tip 6: Anchoring

Next to kinesthetic anchors, which most of us prefer, you can adopt the habit to create non-kinesthetic anchors for NLP coaching on Zoom:
Auditory, for example, a word in a certain tonality, a tone, a few notes of music (jingle), etc.
Visual, for example, a logo, a photograph, an icon, a souvenir etc.
A combination of visual and auditory anchors.
You can still anchor spatially. Inside the Global NLP Training we teach spatial anchoring through the “Circle of Excellence”, which are a series of stacked anchors.

Tip #7: Self-Anchoring

You can let the client kinesthetically anchor themselves:
Anchor a particular gesture or motion of the hands.
Anchor on the knuckles.
Anchor an object, for example, jewelry, a chair

Tip #8: NLP Timeline Coaching on Zoom

Whether you have taken NLP training or not, we often refer to the past, the now, and the future as coaches. The best-trained coaches do timeline-based work or use a notation system for this. In NLP coaching, we do our timeline-based work as a conversation, a visualization or walking the timeline. However, you can also let the client draw the timeline and let them use their fingers as if they are walking it.

As part of Global NLP Training, we learn timeline-based work to design your own NLP coaching patterns, anxiety, goal-setting on a timeline, negative emotion, significant emotional events on a timeline, shame, grief, and core change work. All these patterns can be done using fingers, a pen, and a notepad.

Tip #9: Designing & Re-Designing NLP Coaching Patterns for Zoom

You can design and re-design your NLP coaching patterns to specifically work for Zoom by using:
Doing walking and standing patterns conversationally.
Doing walking and standing patterns by using a notepad and paper, and draw the walking path.

Tip #10: Creating a Safe & Peaceful Spot

You need to be able to associate the client to their strengths and positive emotions. You can do this through anchoring (consider a Circle of Excellence); you can do this through being able to associate the client in a positive strength. Some safe place you can quickly bring the client to if they were to hit a negative emotion for which you usually want to be in the room. I call this a bail-out anchor and use this in NLP coaching on zoom or anywhere for that matter to quickly shift the client out of a bad spot into a more positive state.

Of course, the above tips also work on Skype and not just NLP coaching on Zoom.