The 7Cs of Coaching : A Personal Journey Through the World of NLP and Coaching Psychology book cover
1st Edition

The 7Cs of Coaching
A Personal Journey Through the World of NLP and Coaching Psychology

ISBN 9780815378204
Published August 5, 2019 by Routledge
218 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

In The 7Cs of Coaching, Bruce Grimley expertly explains neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) to the advanced coach and counsellor by asking a simple question: 'What is NLP?'. Inviting us on his personal journey, he provides the reader in this book with an insight as to how he coaches using his own NLP model as well as exploring the complexity of NLP as a practice and why it tends to polarise opinion in today’s coaching landscape.

Grimley insists that if the NLP paradigm is to find credible traction in the modern world, it needs to test its claims in the same way as other academic disciplines; based on his own research, this book does just that. Incorporating contemporary psychological understanding and neuroscientific research throughout, it provides a complete NLP model, outlining specific steps for the reader to follow in order to achieve excellence in coaching. It includes case studies, exercises and reflective questions which will encourage both novice and advanced coaches to explore the benefits of NLP, understanding and taking into account emotions and the unconscious mind in their practice. By analysing the NLP landscape, this book also addresses many issues which are shared by the broader coaching community such as differentiation from counselling, professional status and lack of a reliable empirical evidence base.

Ground-breaking and thought-provoking, this book offers a modern examination of NLP. Highlighting why NLP is still useful and popular, and exploring why it fills a gap in the market place for effective coaching, this book will be essential reading for all coaches in practice and training, coach supervisors and counsellors with an interest in coaching techniques.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Dr Lucas Derks;  Part 1; Chapter 1: What is Coaching?;  Chapter 2. Current Coaching Models;  Chapter 3: Sailing the 7C’s of Courage;  Chapter 4. The Evidence That Coaching Works;  Part 2;  Chapter 5: The Study of the Structure of Subjective Experience;  Chapter 6. P.E.A.S: A New Theory of NLP;  Chapter 7: Constructivism, Outcomes and Systems Thinking;  Chapter 8: The Politics of Coaching; Part 3;  Chapter 9: Development and Component Parts of 7Cs;  Chapter 10: The Psychology Behind 7Cs;  Chapter 11: Every book has a final chapter: Summary; Appendix;  Index 

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Dr Bruce Grimley is Managing Director of Achieving Lives Ltd and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. He is a Master Trainer with both the International Association of NLP Institutes and the International Association of Coaching Institutes. He is a registered Psychotherapist and a Director of the Neurolinguistic Psychotherapy and Counselling Association.


" This book gives an exciting account of the author’s long journey exploring neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and its connections to other conceptual frameworks for inducing behavioral change. I really enjoyed his fresh and inspiring approach to these important issues." – Dr K. Anders Ericsson, Professor of Psychology, Florida State University, USA

"There are countless books on NLP. But there are only a few that are aimed at readers who have already studied the topic and who focus not only on the methodology of NLP, but on its embedding in the broad field of coaching and psychology. Bruce Grimley succeeds in writing in a scientifically sound manner, yet at the same time excitingly and comprehensibly for a popular audience. He writes in such a way that the core of NLP (the HOW of communication, thinking and behaviour) experienced by the reader themself while reading. We recommend this book to all advanced students of NLP as well as to all those who are open for taking the effectiveness of coaching to a new level." – Ueli R. Frischknecht, Secretary General IANLP,, Switzerland

"This is an important and valuable publication that places NLP coaching in the contexts of psychology, counselling, psychotherapy, and academia. Bruce has picked up the mantle offered by Tosey and Mathison (2009) when they proposed that NLP faced three scenarios: entropy with NLP losing momentum, destruction through infighting or renaissance as a new model of therapy. Bruce very cleverly steers his way through the renaissance concept and offers a discussion that can only further the drive by some to encourage the credibility of NLP. Alongside, this is a window into Bruce’s own coaching practice through a model that NLP coaches can then adopt for their own practice. I look forward to this book being seen as a pivotal moment in NLP’s history towards greater academic and mainstream recognition." – Dr Lisa de Rijk. PhD, MSc, UKCP, RGN, Honorary Fellow UKCP, Author of Neurolinguistic Psychotherapy: A Postmodern Perspective, The Role of Brief Therapy in Practice, NLP Principles in Practice and The Clinical Effectiveness of NLP

"Bruce Grimley’s book could just as well be titled ‘Questions to Make You Think, for NLP Adepts and NLP Sceptics, Alike’. In the 21st century, professional coaches are free to learn and practice how they see fit – so why is NLP which started in the 1970’s still so popular? Bruce Grimley shows the international popularity of NLP and its application to coaching is due to the method of thinking and the practical creativity in the field of applied psychology. This book shows why NLP is too complex to be judged after just reading a few articles and books, and Dr Grimley’s book provides an excellent orientation for people without an NLP training. This excellent book will make you think and re-think what you thought you knew about NLP." –Lucas A.C. Derks, PhD, Founder and Director of International Laboratory for Mental Space Research

"In this book, Dr Bruce Grimley has tackled head on some of the many questions professional coaches and psychologists have concerning the use of NLP. He lucidly explains why he continues to use NLP in his professional practice and provides a text which is thorough and shines light on a modality that has been in use for over 40 years now. If you want to take your understanding of the professional use of NLP to the next level, you must have this book on your shelf." –Dr Karl Nielsen, President, International Association of NLP Institutes, and Professor, Universidad Central de Nicaragua (UCN)

"This could be a challenging read for some. As a long-standing researcher in NLP, I see this as a valuable text to open up an academic discussion about the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of where NLP is at. The strength of opinion is clear, and not everyone will agree with all the points made, and that is a good thing. The book offers the opportunity for the field of NLP to start talking at a different level and to make some decisions about how we can step up to the next level." –Dr Suzanne Henwood, Director, mBraining4Success

"This book is very suitable for a post-graduate-level audience. A very good, necessary and well-researched text." –Peter Schutz, PhD, NLP Trainer since 1989 (

"People are complex. To facilitate outcomes in a coaching partnership requires skills to match that complexity. Bruce’s book bridges the person and the ‘NLP how to’ of coaching in a practical, critical way. This is a book for the advanced NLP practitioner. It is available just at the most critical time, assessing coaching and asking serious and uplifting questions about NLP. A must read to master the thinking and validity of NLP. Altogether, a marvellous NLP book to read!" –Armand Kruger, MA(Psych), International NLP Trainer, Clinical Psychologist (South Africa), Author, Founder of NLP and Neurosemantics in South Africa and Executive Coach

"Textbooks can answer open questions and inspire. Those who are interested in the how and why of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and related methods should not let this book fall on the shelf. This book is recommended to all people, who deal with communication and change, to use the answers and suggestions contained therein professionally and privately to make our living world a little better." –Dr Franz-Josef Hucker, Psychotherapist (ECP) and Coach, Berlin, Germany

"Bruce Grimley has demonstrated his commitment to guiding the experienced NLP coach to best practices. With his professionalism and excellent writing style, Bruce offers many ways to best understand NLP and its techniques. It is our pleasure to recommend this book to our students and NLP community." –Rachel Hott, PhD, and Steven Leeds, LMHC, Co-directors, The NLP Center of New York, USA

"In The 7Cs of Coaching, Bruce brings his intellect and subtle humour to explore NLP and its relationship (both practical and theoretical) to coaching and other personal development modalities. Whether we are a novice or an expert in any of these fields, The 7Cs of Coaching helps inform us how to become even better." – Jeremy Lazarus, MA (Coaching & NLP), FCCA, FCT, Master Trainer of NLP, Accredited Master Executive Coach and Performance Coach

"Bruce Grimley is an unusual combination of a respected academic and an expert practitioner. In my 40 years’ experience of NLP coaching, including having founded a coaching school and serving as a founding member of several coaching associations, I’ve noticed that although most coaching schools teach a variety of theoretical platforms, they often discount NLP. But when it comes to practice, most of their graduates use a wide range of NLP techniques to get their work done. Dr Grimley’s new book is an exhaustive review of the scientific bases of modern coaching and how and what NLP has to offer and contribute to this field. As well as offering his own innovative model for NLP coaching, he has written perhaps the most thorough discussion and analysis of the relevant conflicts between the theories of psychological establishment, and the alarmingly positive results of NLP coaching. If you are a coach or psychological professional, this is so far the most authoritative book available about this controversial scientific revolution." – Brian Van der Horst, Founder NLP Institute for Advanced Studies, San Francisco and Paris, formerly Chief Facilitator, Europe, Integral Institute, Consultant at Stanford Research Institute, USA, Editor of New Realities, Practical Psychology, Playboy, and The Village Voice and Paris Bureau Chief, Integral Leadership Review

"The book by Bruce Grimly tries to connect the academic critical approach with the pragmatical value of NLP – practice-based evidence vs. evidence-based pr actice, etc. This artificial antagonism is not very helpful, and the book proves that it is possible to benefit from a more holistic approach.

The idea of the continuum coaching-counselling-psychotherapy as well as the basic assumptions that there are more similarities than differences in the spectrum of psychological interventions/influences is also very modern, and it emphasises more the importance of proper rapport and patients/ clients beliefs vs. the value of a specific method/technique. The method is certainly important, but we all know that each intervention is based on the relation.

The book responds to the needs of the modern society which needs ‘practical psychology’ with predictable outcomes achievable within weeks/months. It has a different role and function than the long-term psychotherapeutic process. The 7C concept can be very useful for practical implementation, mostly because of its simplicity and clarity.

Bruce Grimley optimistically promotes the notion of concentrating on the well-functioning human being that can fully realise his/her potential and strive for excellence and self-fulfilment rather than concentrating on fixing pathology only. I highly recommend the book for everybody working in coaching and counselling." –Dr Hab Alicja Gałązka, Professor, University of Silesia, Poland and Trinity College, London, UK

"NLP needs this book. Like an ancient swordsman facing overwhelming odds, Bruce Grimley enters academia to take on both the legitimate and the illegitimate criticisms against NLP. As an NLP scholar, he engages the academic battles over what NLP is and its credibility. He explores NLP’s relationship to both therapy and coaching. In doing that, he pushes through to reveal the transformational wonder of NLP as a change model. Observing this personal journey into NLP and coaching, I found myself feeling amazed, frustrated, delighted, informed and many other states. Since my experience has been very different, I find some of his conclusions questionable. It’s a good read and an important contribution to the academic acceptance of NLP." –L. Michael Hall, PhD, Executive Director, Neuro-Semantics

"Bruce’s reputation as a fearless, balanced and academically robust appraiser of NLP is cemented by this volume. His deep knowledge of psychology and extensive NLP practice allows readers to gain an understanding of how the theories, techniques and evidence for psychology and NLP are intimately related. He also identifies why this often confused and at times dysfunctional relationship has needed a good family therapist for some time – a role he effectively embodies throughout this book. A timely and rewarding read for psychologists, NLP practitioners, therapists and coaches alike. –Dr Phil Parker, PhD Researcher in Psychology of Health, Lecturer in MSc Coaching, Master Trainer of NLP and Designer of the Lightning Process

"This is a book that every NLP trainer will want to read and re-read as soon as it is published. It explores questions about the epistemology (how we know what is going on) and the methodology (how we describe what we do) of NLP and also places NLP within the history of similar attempts to help people transform their lives, such as coaching and psychotherapy. It overviews the attempt to create a scientific field out of NLP, and while not entirely certain of the success of that venture, it offers an important contribution to it. Dr Bruce Grimley writes in such a way that any student of NLP, indeed anyone curious about NLP, could learn from his work, and anyone interested in personal change would benefit from his structuring of the field. Bruce’s non-partisan work is a credit to the basic presuppositions of NLP and to his own clarity of thinking. I look forward to a time when every NLP practitioner will read this, and I will use it immediately in my teaching of NLP Trainers." –Dr Richard Bolstad, Author of RESOLVE: A New Model of Therapy and NLP Trainer

"Dr Grimley’s Book navigates the difficult territory between academia, theoretical understanding and practical application. The use of NLP in the coaching arena continues to grow, and this book provides a wonderful explanation of why this is so. It provides those who seek a more thorough explanation of the place NLP has in the coaching and personal development world with some challenging observations, while at the same time providing practical guidance and critical analysis. This book is sure to be required reading for coaches and all those interested in the detailed analysis of NLP from a psychologist’s perspective. This book will certainly be on our required reading list as was Dr Grimley’s previous book."–David Woolley, RGN, RMN, NLP Trainer, Executive Coach and Training Director Skills24 Training

"Another well-researched (and well-referenced) book by Bruce Grimley. I found it to be very readable and educational. As always, his writing style gets me thinking and carrying out further research of my own. I don’t always agree with his conclusions, but that’s why I enjoy reading his material! It shows me an alternative ‘map’ and gives me pause for thought to either challenge or strengthen my own models." –Joe Cheal, Learning and Development Consultant and NLP Master Trainer

"Bruce has an innate curiosity and stamina to bridge the NLP attitudes, practices and body of knowledge with the myriad approaches and scientific findings of the last decades. Since no one yet has a definitive understanding of the mind-body process and communication mechanisms, this book is a step further in exploring the human experience, posing important questions to the fields of both psychology and NLP and with Bruce offering his own model for consideration. I commend this book to all those wishing to take their NLP journey further and deeper." –Catalin Zaharia, MD (Psychiatry), BSc (Bioengineering), Vice President of European Coaching Federation and ECP-certified Psychotherapist (NLPt)

"While recognising both the strengths and weaknesses of NLP, Grimley clearly shows how the anti-academic stance of the founders and their followers prevented NLP from emerging as an established methodology and developing more robust theoretical and conceptual understanding. NLP has always recognised the importance of self-responsibility, but the field has yet to take on the responsibility for carrying out research that can support its further existence and to reassert its identity as a system of pragmatic knowledge. This book takes a step in the right direction by providing the links to locate NLP sensibly in the wider fields of psychology and coaching, and it stands as an invitation to the field of NLP to develop leadership, responsibility, coherence and a clear commitment to research." –Dr Brian Cullen, NLP Trainer, Professor at Nagoya Institute of Technology, Japan

"Bruce Grimley demonstrates and shares his deep knowledge and understanding of NLP. He writes with enthusiasm about a subject he clearly feels passionate about. This is a book that can at times challenge your ‘map of the world’ as far as NLP is concerned and is throughout a thought provoking read. In the writing of his ‘informative journey’, he successfully shares his experience in creating a professional and ethical way of working with coaching clients and adds to the canon of valuable NLP-related writing." –Paul Birch MBA, BA (Hons.), Registered UK Council for Psychotherapy, NLPtCA-accredited Psychotherapist (Dip. NLPt.), Chair NLPtCA

"‘If what you are getting is not what you want, do something different,’ says an NLP adage. But for over 35 years, many NLP books and trainers continue preaching the same assertions over and over, as if it was a dogma, supporting their assertions based on casual observations, but not through a rigorous research methodology. This book is a clear departure from the traditional self-help NLP book. It is fresh air desperately needed within NLP practice, especially for those of us who want NLP to evolve and have a presence in the academic and scientific fields." –Juan Francisco Ramirez Martinez, EdD, Coordinator of the Masters Degree on NLP, first in its class worldwide, and Licensed Psychotherapist, MCC by ICF

"As incisive as he is expertly insightful, the coaching psychologist Dr Grimley pulls no punches about ‘what works’ (or not) in coaching with NLP. The quality and depth of change that clients are hoping for requires breadth and depth of skill, creative elegance and ethical, compassionate professionalism. Here, Bruce Grimley provides the best all-round model that we have seen in years—written with energy, precision and humour. This is exciting reading with plenty of fresh ideas for professional practitioners of NLP, neurolinguistic psychotherapy and related approaches." –Sian Lloyd, MBA, MA (Jungian and Post-Jungian Studies), Dip.NLPt. UKCP-registered Constructivist Psychotherapist and Clinical Supervisor

"In his new book, Bruce truly disturbs the NLP-ers’ current understanding and interpretations not only of NLP but also of reality. He offers new insights and theories, and above all acts as a critical and transformative human being worth both listening to and hearing. The book inevitably involves as many questions as answers—an ongoing process with readers continues!" –Dr Tatjana Dragovic Andersen, Doctoral Coach at University of Cambridge, UK