Coaching: Best Case and Worst Scenario Thinking


Best Case and Worst case scenario thinking is a factor important to identify in a client. It is one out of many metaprograms Global NLP Training teaches as part of their NLP Master Practitioner and life coach certification course. Wonderful tools, to identify how a client sorts information, and helps you to figure out how they operate.

Best case and worst case scenario thinking, pertains as to how the client looks at the future. What are the expectations they have?

Worst Case Scenario Thinking

A worst case scenario thinker, considers what can go wrong, what is the worst case? Patterns can be distinguished in clients if they sort for this pattern. Some people however can think worst case in some areas of their life, and not in others. But there is a level of predictability as to how someone prefers to sort most of the time. It is a tendency.

It would be easy to assume that worst case scenario thinking is “negative” thinking. I don’t think it is, it is better to qualify it is a a reverse positive thinking. If done in the right way that is, lets face it some people love to complain and think in doom scenarios. However, if the intention is to plan and prevent for things going wrong then this is an extremely good thing. Mitigating risks and dangers, ┬ácan be extremely helpful in life. This is something you can coach a client on, with the expectation of things having the ability to go wrong. You can set tasks, and planning to prevent this worst case scenario taking place. This gives the client of a feeling of control, being in the drivers seat of their car of life.

Now problematic in a client is if the worst case scenario thinking isn’t realistic. Doom scenarios that aren’t likely to happen. It comes close to coding like a limiting belief, that can be harmful. In this case, it is important using the meta model of NLP to debunk the self created myth of doom. The danger often is, that a worst case scenario thinker assumes they are more realistic than others. This may not be the case, so be sure that you are aware of that as a coach.

Best Case Scenario Thinking

Though best case scenario thinking appears to be more inline with the underlying structure of happiness, and the teachings of NLP based coaching….this can be deceiving. The best case scenario does offer the possibility for a client being more willing to step in to change, and create positive futures. However, there is an underlying danger here too! Again when the best case scenario isn’t realistic, looking at the world through rose colored glasses. By not considering risk and problems, it may allow the client make some giant mistakes. Stepping into places of change, and possibilities, without carefully considering the ecology of their actions. Like quitting your job to lead a life of passion and owning your own business, without realizing that a life coaching business is a BUSINESS. That needs to be built and rent is due at the end of the month.

It prevents a client to create a solid structure of life, where any potential problems are less likely to occur.

Conclusion: the bottom line is to carefully assess in best and worst case scenario thinking, if the thinking is realistic. And to make sure that regardless of how the client sorts, adequate steps are taken towards positive action. The type of action that does allow us to move forward in to change, and creating well formed outcomes. But doing so in a way, that we are prepared for whatever the future may bring. Building stronger foundations. In that sense, a well trained NLP Practitioner or better yet NLP Master Practitioner can help the client put a program like this together. By shifting the client into a place of what is possible AND solutions that increase the chances of success.

How do you sort? Are you a best of worst scenario thinker? And how does this affect your ability in coaching and as coach?