Using the S.C.O.R.E. in practice – with individuals
To really get the best from the S.C.O.R.E. it needs to be more than a cerebral paper-and-pen exercise. Instead, lay the timeline on the floor and mark out Causes, Symptoms, Outcomes and Effects as spaces along it. Resources should be somewhere off the timeline.
The model will have more impact if the explorer physically steps into each location as they investigate it. This helps to physically associate the person into the state and frame of mind of each component of the model, making it easier to access all the information at each stage.
By walking through the sequence from Causes, through Symptoms and Outcomes to Effects, the explorer will begin to condition in a metaphorical sequence of moving from ‘problem’ to ‘solution’. They can step off the timeline and gather what they need from the Resource location any time it feels right.
The ‘Dancing S.C.O.R.E. Format‘ developed by Judith DeLozier takes this principle even deeper into the kinaesthetic realm, inviting the client to adopt the posture and movement that feels characteristic of each stage. By moving repeatedly through the sequence of postures from problem to solution, the client begins to internalise the direction of change ‘in the muscle’.
A skilled NLP practitioner will be able to make the process more effective by anchoring the ‘positive’ stages (Resources, Outcomes and Effects) as appropriate. You could also use embedded suggestion and hypnotic tonality in your questions to help the client associate more fully into
Using the S.C.O.R.E. in practice – with teams
If a management team wants to assess where they are now, and where they want to get to – or indeed if they want to draw a line under past failures and set some new objectives – the S.C.O.R.E. model provides a ready-made format. It’s best done with an independent facilitator who can guide the process without having an emotional stake in the content.
In my experience, most managers are not interested in the intricacies of NLP, but just want something that helps them to move forward. The S.C.O.R.E. model is well suited to the task because it is relatively jargon-free.
You don’t even have to make the concept of a timeline explicit – just arrange four flip charts in a line to represent Causes, Symptoms, Outcomes and Effects, with another flip off to one side for Resources, and you have an implicit timeline. As the team members move from one flip to another to record the information they get from each stage, they will unconsciously internalise the idea of progress along a timeline even if it’s never explicitly mentioned (I picked up this tip from NLP business consultant Colin Reeve).
This being the UK, you may also welcome some ideas on how to prevent a team problem-solving format that starts with examining ‘symptoms’ from turning into a morale-sapping whinge fest? Your introduction will set the tone for the rest of the session, so emphasise the desired end result of clarifying the desired outcome and identifying the positive consequences. The more you know about the values of the team, the more you can encourage their ‘towards’ motivation. If it’s a particularly ‘away from’ team, you can emphasise the consequences of not focusing on the desired outcomes and effects.
You can encourage a positive mindset before the session even starts, by asking participants in their invitation to come in with examples of what is already working well in the organisation or team.
If you would like to find out more, try these books:
How 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.
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