Often, people can’t make a clear distinction between NLP and coaching. As I see it, it’s due to two reasons. First, a large number of NLP techniques can be used as support techniques in coaching. The second reason is that many NLP schools expand their portfolio with coaching training without clear distinction from NLP.
NLP is a much broader methodology and it can be applied in many different areas, and in many different ways. It is a methodology that deals with identifying, describing and applying successful strategies from one person to another or from one area of life to others. It studies how people react to personal experiences and how they give meaning and importance to experience through language and behaviour. Therefore, its applications are interesting in any area of personal development (including coaching).
On the other hand, coaching is a structured method of communication, that allows a client to identify the most important goals and personal values, and define appropriate strategies. It supports the client to take action steps to achieve the desired result.
NLP vs. Coaching
NLP deals with the identification of successful strategies. Some of those strategies (techniques) can be used in coaching as well. Coaching doesn’t have to be associated with NLP, and vice versa.
NLP is a methodology that studies strategies (techniques, methods) while coaching is a method (strategy) that is used to support the client to get the desired outcome.