Difference between Life Coaching and NLP

Read this> If I wrote NLP coaching  VS  Life Coaching  would it make any difference in your perception? When was the last time someone told you – “did you read between the lines”? And I am telling you to read between the words.

The difference between NLP and Life Coaching … this has been one of the most common queries I have had to clarify in all my years as a researcher. Then until yesterday I finally decided “enough! let me write an article on this and next time when someone shoots me this questions I’ll share this article and save myself the drudgery.”

…and for those who wish to skip reading this entire article allow me to save your time. The difference between NLP and Life Coaching is the same as differentiating between vegetables and vegetable soup. There you go!  Abra ca dabra – mystery solved. Now live in peace.

Want more? …You aren’t done, are you?

Allow me to reintroduce these concepts my way – 1.NLP and 2.Life Coaching

  1. NLP  i.e. Neuro linguistic programming is a methodology of studying how  humans respond to their experiences by giving meaning in the form of language and behaviour (and the objective of this study is subjective).
  2. Coaching is a guided method facilitating the learners to self-enable in realizing their desired outcome. As per the requirements of the learner and as per the dexterity of the coach coaching models are selected to augment the process of enabling.

Bridging the terms we can may say that NLP is a methodology to study methods while Coaching is a method to guide a learner. If NLP is a subject then coaching is the utilization of the subject to guide someone. An NLP trained coach has the skill to derive NLP based tools to guide/coach a learner. Learning NLP has many reasons, one of them is life coaching.

NLP  has been influenced and developed from various other subjects:

General semantics by Alfred Korzybski, Transformational Grammar by Noam Chomsky, works of Gregory Bateson, Virginia Satir and Fritz perls, Hypnosis by Milton Erikson, Body work by Moshe Feldenkrais and psychology by William James.

Life Coaching as a profession emerged in the late 90’s empowering people with what works. Coaches applied various coaching models guiding people to get what they desire. Let’s have a look at a few areas where coaching is applied:

Life coaching For taking life decisions based on strengths and desires.
Personal coaching Usually means one on one sessions for guidance or skill development.
Career coaching Guiding individuals to make smart career choices.
Executive coaching As the term suggests coaching for top levels on the leadership ladder.
Business coaching Guiding people to make smart decisions related to business and investments.
Fitness  coaching For physical fitness and well being
Sports coaching This is where coaching began and today it’s a multi billion dollar industry. Thanks to sports we all have a coach to guide us in every area of our life.
Wealth Coaching The misconceptions revolving around wealth and richness needs to be clarified so that individuals may pursue what truly makes them abundant and fulfilled.
Image coaching Image consultants coach individuals to be socially skilled by improving on smart clothing communication and verbal skills.
Retirement coaching How to process a life when guaranteed salary is not coming in anymore? Hire for retirement coaching.
Spiritual coaching Big one! Seriously. I am not some guru to define this. Excuse me on this one. Google it.

This list is not exhaustive. The terminologies are debatable and boundaries of concepts overlap. This is where your main learning comes from this article – concepts are defined using language and language is open to interpretation. Now go back to the topic heading and read it again. Go back, scroll up. Did you note the difference? Its language and how you read, hear and sense it. With NLP we discover how we process language as we give it a meaning. Processing language is the most basic skill we all have, what few have is the courage to take responsibility of their ignorance and confusion rather than project it on someone else only to make things worse. So deprived are those who refuse to take responsibility of their own interpretations. Blessed are those who are in acceptance of their interpretations. The language of life is to each its own, it is what it is and giving meaning is a choice. Be smart, choose NLP as a model of processing your language. Learn with us how to strengthen your art of communication and becoming an influential speaker.

                              “My success depends on how many transferable skills I have

– Tariq m k

Nishith Shah


  1. December 20, 2015Reply
    Shikha Pandey

    Very informative and useful. 🙂

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