The NLP S.C.O.R.E. Model (Part 1: the basics)

If you would like an easy-to-use coaching and problem-solving model that you can also use with teams, read on. The S.C.O.R.E. model is part of the NLP toolkit, but you can still get good results with it even if you don’t have any NLP experience.

Even if you are trained in NLP, you may not be familiar with the S.C.O.R.E., as it’s not taught in every school, but it’s definitely worth knowing about. And if you are already know the S.C.O.R.E. (arf arf), you may be interested in some tips I’ve picked up for getting the best from it in practice, and you will definitely want to know how it can be transformed into something still more powerful through an appreciative, solution-focused frame.

Origins

Robert Dilts states in the Encyclopedia of Systemic NLP and NLP New Coding that the S.C.O.R.E. model originated in 1987 when he and the late Todd Epstein noticed that they were intuitively using a more effective method than their advanced NLP students for mapping out problems and designing interventions to get to solutions.

As they examined their own problem-solving process to find how it differed from that of their students, they found that they were viewing any problem situation as having these five components:

Symptoms: these are the immediate signs that tell you there is a problem
Causes: which may be the antecedent conditions that gave rise to the symptoms, the intentions behind behaviours giving rise to the problem, or current constraints
Outcomes: your desired result or goal, where you want to get to
Resources: the qualities, capabilities, reserves and help that you can bring to bear on solving the problem. These can be past, present or future.
Effects: the longer term, systemic and higher level results of the outcome

You can arrange these elements on a time line like this:

NLP SCORE model

 

Sample questions to clarify each component

Symptoms:

  • What’s not working?
  • What do you want to change?

Causes:

  • What are the underlying causes?
  • What’s stopping you from fixing this?
  • Who or what is benefiting from not fixing this?

Outcomes:

  • What do you want instead of the problem?
  • Where do you want to get to?

Effects:

  • What will it do for you/your team/your organisation/society for you to attain your goal?
  • How will reaching your outcome change things?
  • What will you learn from it?

Resources

  • What skills/money/equipment/contacts do you have that will help you to solve your problem?
  • Have you faced a problem like this before? How did you solve it?

Generally you would start with the Symptoms. After that you can go in any direction. There is no set order or prescribed length of time to be spent in each component – let your interest and intuition, and your calibration of the client, guide you as to when to move to another component, and which one to move to.

Next: Part 2 – how to use the NLP S.C.O.R.E. model in practice when coaching teams or individuals.

If you would like to book a S.C.O.R.E. facilitation session for your team, call me on 0844 284 6372 or email at andy@coachingleaders.co.uk.

© Andy Smith and Coaching Leaders Ltd 2008 

If you would like to find out more, try these books:

NLP SCORE ModelHow To Work With The SCORE Model by Andy Smith

If you would like an easy-to-use coaching and problem-solving model that you can also use with teams, this e-book is for you. The S.C.O.R.E. model is part of the NLP toolkit, but you can still get good results with it even if you don’t have any NLP experience.

This book gives you some tips I’ve picked up for getting the best from the SCORE model in practice, with individuals and teams. Download it instantly from your local Kindle store.

Note: this e-book is in Kindle format. You can easily read it on almost any other device (computer, smartphone table) by downloading the free Kindle reader app from Amazon.

NLP Coach Companion SCORE Model

The NLP Coach Companion: what to do and when to do it by Neal Anderson

From the publisher’s description: “Neal Anderson has brought together a rich selection of NLP tools and approaches and shows you how they can integrate in a coaching conversation. He expands on the SCORE Model developed by Robert Dilts and Todd Epstein and presents it as a framework to structure a coaching conversation.

Neal shows you how following the natural process of change gives you an effective system to help people overcome limitations, produce results, increase focus and reach goals in their personal and professional life.”

Paperback – order it from the Amazon store for your country

2 comments

  1. More on the NLP SCORE model

    […] ← The NLP S.C.O.R.E. Model (Part 1: the basics) The NLP S.C.O.R.E. Model (Part 2: Using the S.C.O.R.E. in Practice) → […]

  2. Linda Valen

    Thank you for these tips on SCORE!

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