The personal development field is awash with grand claims and new hope. I regularly see advert offering workshops where the attendees will learn to make a six-figure annual income from coaching, and therapists claiming life-changing work for a mere £10,000. Everyone was, of course, trained by the best and have travelled far and wide in search of the arcane and secret knowledge.
A good game is to do the following – “I was trained by the best, and here is my testimonial from them that says how great I am…but I don’t really rate them any more. I am better than that these days…” Kill the king, become the king.
Yet for all the claims that are made, I see so little evidence. I’ve long said, “Don’t claim expertise, demonstrate it instead” but I see very little of this ever happening. I often ask the “make a 6 figure income” people to show copies of their bank statements that demonstrate their own success in making 6 figures from coaching. They never do of course. I just get accused of trouble making. I also receive emails demonstrating some innovative use of the English language as my parentage is challenged.
Extra-ordinary claims require extra-ordinary proof, and to be frank, I don’t see what the problem is asking people to prove what it is that they are claiming to be able to do.
To NLP trainers, therapists, and coaches, who basically portray themselves as some God-like entity that can command the use of words so powerfully that oceans will part, the dead will rise and the universe will adjust itself to conspire in the client’s best interests for evermore.
All I ask is for some of the tiniest pieces of evidence.
It shouldn’t be difficult to do – just point a video camera at the next daily miracle and post it onto YouTube.
But this is where the excuse machine kicks in. “Confidentiality” they claim. “I can’t do that because I need to protect the confidentiality of the client.” Nonsense, I will claim back. I honestly believe that most “therapists” will use the “confidentiality” clause to protect themselves, not their clients. They are embarrassed to be seen on camera. Why is this, I wonder?
I’ve been filming sessions for years without a problem. Curiously, when I released the Pragmatics of Change DVD set (one of the recordings is available here for free), the most common question I got asked was, “Did you have the client’s permission to film them?” The question was often asked with an accusatory tone. In all cases, I reply with the following, “No, we had to use hidden cameras” and sit back and wait. Clearly, I don’t make friends easily.
When I advertise for filming, I am nearly always over-subscribed with volunteers and I am always grateful to people who do volunteer for filming. After all, I must be realistic in that such sessions aren’t entirely altruistic and that such work helps me financially, as I sell a finished commercial product from these sessions.
My point here is that in reality people are very willing to have sessions filmed, and most of the time in a modern change work session, the sessions are content-free anyway. Occasionally the sessions stray into areas that would not be appropriate to publish and so we don’t release those.
The other thing I notice is just how many trainers won’t work with genuine clients when they are teaching – they most commonly work with workshop trainees or people already known to them. Basically, people who already know what to do and know what to say, after all, no one wants to “lose face” in front of an audience.
Ahhh…maybe that is what it is. It is all about saving face, rather than backing up their incredulous claims.
So miracle workers with a Google Adwords account or NLP newsgroup account, here is my request, buy yourself a little video camera and film your next miracle session. Let’s see you in action.