Sunday, March 14, 2010

NeuroLogical Levels in Sport same in Corporate and Individuals

One of the most useful NLP models for capital “C” coaches is that of NeuroLogical Levels. Both coaching and modeling frequently need to address multiple levels of learning and change in order to be successful. According to the NeuroLogical Levels model (Dilts, 1989, 1990, 1993, 2000), the life of people in any system, and indeed, the life of the system itself, can be described and understood on a number of different levels: environment, behavior, capabilities, values and beliefs, identity and spiritual.

At the most basic level, coaching and modeling must address the environment in which a system and its members act and interact—i.e., when and where the operations and relationships within a system or organization take place. Environmental factors determine the context and constraints under which people operate. An organization’s environment, for instance, is made up of such things as the geographical locations of its operations, the buildings and facilities which define the “work place,” office and factory design, etc. In addition to the influence these environmental factors may have on people within the organization, one can also examine the influence and impact that people within an organization have upon their environment, and what products or creations they bring to the environment.

At another level, we can examine the specific behaviors and actions of a group or individual—i.e., what the person or organization does within the environment. What are the particular patterns of work, interaction or communication? On an organizational level, behaviors may be defined in terms of general procedures. On the individual level, behaviors take the form of specific work routines, working habits or job related activities.
Another level of process involves the strategies, skills and capabilities by which the organization or individual selects and directs actions within their environment—i.e., how they generate and guide their behaviors within a particular context. For an individual, capabilities include cognitive strategies and skills such as learning, memory, decision making and creativity, which facilitate the performance of a particular behavior or task. On an organizational level, capabilities relate to the infrastructures available to support communication, innovation, planning and decision making between members of the organization.

These other levels of process are shaped by values and beliefs, which provide the motivation and guidelines behind the strategies and capabilities used to accomplish behavioral outcomes in the environment—i.e., why people do things the way they do them in a particular time and place. Our values and beliefs provide the reinforcement (motivation and permission) that supports or inhibits particular capabilities and behaviors. Values and beliefs determine how events are given meaning, and are at the core of judgment and culture.

Values and beliefs support the individual’s or organization’s sense of identity—i.e., the who behind the why, how, what, where and when. Identity level processes involve people’s sense of role and mission with respect to their vision and the larger systems of which they are members.

Typically, a mission is defined in terms of the service performed by people in a particular role with respect to others within a larger system. A particular identity or role is expressed in terms of several key values and beliefs, which determine the priorities to be followed by individuals within the role. These, in turn, are supported by a larger range of skills and capabilities, which are required to manifest particular values and beliefs. Effective capabilities produce an even wider set of specific behaviors and actions, which express and adapt values with respect to many particular environmental contexts and conditions

As an individual we are a whole system within a system. As an individual on a sport team or in a corporate office we are whole system within that system. The magic happens when there is congruency which means the neurological levels are aligned. As an Optimal Performance Coach my work involves ensuring there is congruency in this alignment in individual players, teams in sport, coaches, management and in the corporate world.

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