Chapter Blog

Exec Coaches Reveal NLP Techniques

Executives are getting great results from coaching that employs Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), a technique featured in the latest issue of Choice, The Magazine of Professional Coaching.

Of Choice’s eight features devoted to teasing out what NLP is and how it is being used by coaches, two are penned by our very own ICF Metro DC board members, President-Elect Carol Goldsmith and Community Outreach Director Freddi Donner. Another was co-written by our sold-out January presenter, Teri-E Belf. And yet another by a popular speaker from our 2012 Capital Coaches Conference, Jayne Warrilow.

NLP was developed in the 1970s by Richard Bandler and John Grinder with the intention to find ways to “help people have better, fuller and richer lives.” Over the past four decades, NLP has become a powerful tool in the coaching toolkit as a way to “quickly reproduce excellence.”

In her piece titled “Using NLP in Coaching,” Freddi provides us with an insightful primer on how coaches can improve their efficiency and effectiveness through the use of NLP. Freddi tells us how NLP in coaching gives us powerful resources that we can use to “quickly identify gaps for our clients” and use to help them “move to the desired state effortlessly.” She adds that NLP skills can help you and your clients “acknowledge, manage, test, and move through any limiting thought patterns.”

And you’ll be sure to get a positive ROI on the time you spend reading Carol’s piece called “Return On Experience (ROX).” In it, she offers immediately-useful insights on how to use ROX to tap into experiences clients have had and to capitalize on what they don’t think they already know, for instance self-modeling a success of their own, rather than someone else’s. Carol shows us how the NLP criteria for defining a well-formed outcome has provided her with useful questions and a checklist for precisely framing goals.

To see the rest of Freddi and Carol’s terrific articles, check out the December 2012 issue of Choice.

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Roller Coaster Goals for 2013

Carolyn Thompson, ACC
Partnership/Sponsorship Director

It’s that time of year again!

Are you ready to set goals for 2013? I have always looked forward to goal setting. It keeps me focused and moving forward in a positive manner on a definite path. This year, however, I have a whole new way of thinking about my goal-setting, thanks to a class I took when I all I was looking for were CCEUs in order to renew my ICF credential.

When was the last time you were at an amusement park? Did you ride the roller coaster or watch people riding the roller coaster? I can’t remember the last time I rode on a roller coaster, but I used to love them. The anticipation of the adrenaline rush as the cars clunk slowly up the chain ramp to the very top before they are released to follow the path set by some creative roller coaster designer who figured out the best way to get our hearts beating and our breathless lungs screaming for dear life, even knowing all along we will arrive safely back at the start.

Do you watch as the riders fly down that first, and usually longest, hill? Some people are holding tightly onto the safety bar with their eyes clenched, and others are laughing with joy. Many people put their arms up in the air to feel the full thrill of the ride. Which are you? Are you holding onto things because it’s the pattern you are accustomed to or will you throw your hands in the air and see if the safety harness really works?

This brings me to my goal setting. Many of us have learned the art of SMART goal setting, and, in fact, I wrote about it in 2012. But now, instead of my goals being entirely about what I am going to accomplish this year, I am going to challenge myself to let go of something that I am holding onto, like the safety bar on a roller coaster. An idea, a predisposition that something is the way it is because that’s just reality, is really not true. It’s my reality because I believe it, but maybe there is a new even better reality out there that I haven’t discovered because I am so engrained in my truths.

My goals will still be SMART (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely), but for the first time, they will also be about something I am NOT going to do instead of a milestone to hit. Which is a milestone in itself, right?

Think about what you can let go of this year…and enjoy your goal setting!


The course was led by Janet Sernack, CEO of ImagineNation. You can connect with Janet via LinkedIn at

Carolyn Thompson, ACC, is director of Dixon Hughes Goodman’s Human Resource Solutions Group.  She is frequently called upon by national news organizations such as The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, CNN, and MSNBC among others to contribute content on a variety of topics. She is a member of the National Speaker’s Association and speaks on a national level about a variety of HR related topics. Carolyn is author of TEN EASY STEPS TO A PERFECT RESUME, TEN STEPS TO FINDING THE PERFECT JOB, and TEN SECRETS TO GETTING PROMOTED, available on

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Presentation Proposal Deadline Nears

Do you want to make a presentation at the 2013 Capital Coaches Conference?
If so, there are ONLY A FEW DAYS LEFT before the submission deadline!
Our theme for 2013 - Exploring Possibilities, Getting Results.
The deadline for submitting a proposal for the 2013 ICF DC Metro Chapter annual conference will be here soon.  We are looking for great presenters with interesting topics!  Is that you?  Do you know someone who gives workshops and could be a good addition to our conference offerings?
The Program Committee is looking for sessions for the following conference tracks: Self Development, Client Development, and Business Development.  Please spread the news about the RFP and support your colleagues in their growth as coaches.  Download the RFP from the home page of the Chapter website now ( ).  You don’t need to be a chapter member to submit a proposal.
Contact Mary Miller with questions at or 434.242.7181.  Thank you for giving your time and energy to make the annual conference a success.  And, many wishes for a joy-filled and successful 2013 to everyone!
~ Mary Miller, CCC Co-Chair

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