I’m often asked about the ‘commitment’ question in the Continue & Begin core questions. Is it really necessary to ask the “Serious or messing about” question? Isn’t it a bit in-yer-face? Well, there are two answers here.

Answer #1. No, it’s not necessary to use these exact words; the purpose of the commitment question is to embed a pledge, through a personal vow, that action will be taken. This ties right back to tentative self talk.You can use language such as “Are you committed to this?”, or similar; whatever works for you and (more importantly) your coachee.

Answer #2. I was fortunate enough to spend a couple of days with the remarkably gifted Frank Farrelly some years back when he was in his mid 70s. Frank influenced Richard Bandler in the early days of NLP so I was naturally intrigued to meet him. I practiced his Provocative Therapy techniques with appalling results. My ‘clients’ (fellow students) said I was just plain rude. Over lunch one day I asked Frank for advice. He told me his secret to provocative work; “Nick, always work with a smile, a twinkle in your eye, and an open heart!” The more I practiced the more skilled I became until I was delighted to discover I had successfully ‘modeled’ this small part of Frank’s huge repertoire. Hallelujah! That’s modeling for you!

So, would you like to get really good at Continue & Begin? Oh yeah? Really? (smile, twinkle, open heart) Well are you serious, or are you just messing about?!