Logical levels

The Logical Levels method is an approach that, due to its structured framework, can serve as a guide for discussions on behavior and behavioral changes. The Logical Levels describe various logical planes on which people process information and generate behavior and communication. Behavioral change is, therefore, interconnected with the higher logical/neurological levels of competencies, beliefs, values, identity, and meaning.

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Application of Logical Levels in Coaching

In discussions about behavior and behavioral change, the Logical Levels model serves as a guide. With trained „coaching ears,“ you can identify the level at which your conversation partner is currently active. Additionally, the model can be used as an internal checklist to recognize on which levels resources are present and activatable and on which levels barriers may exist.

We approach the application of this tool from the coaching perspective, referring to „coaching ears“ and „coaching questions.“ Listening and asking questions are essential components of a coaching process. The coach attentively and consciously listens, seeks to understand the coachee’s world, and utilizes coaching questions to help the coachee gain a more accurate self-image. The „coaching ears“ and „coaching questions“ thus interlock like small gears, complementing each other harmoniously. The „coaching ears“ provide clues about what we can hear in this tool, and the „coaching questions“ provide hints on how we can accompany the coachee on their journey on the Logical Levels.

The Levels of Logical Levels

  • Environment

    Definition: The context in which something happens, including other people.

    Coaching Ears: Statements describing environments, places, other people, and general external sensory impressions (visual, auditory, tactile/kinesthetic, olfactory/gustatory).

    Coaching Questions: Where exactly? With whom exactly? When exactly? How does it look there exactly? Can you describe it more precisely? What are others doing exactly?

    Changes in the environment can be brought about, for example, by taking different paths, visiting different places, or associating with different people.
  • Behavior

    Definition: Observable actions, communicating, interacting with the environment.

    Coaching Ears: All descriptions of actions, including communication, thinking, and emotions, can be considered behavior.

    Coaching Questions: What exactly are you doing? What exactly are you thinking then? How exactly do you feel then? Have you reacted differently before? How do you want to behave?

    Changes on the behavioral level are complex and usually interact with the levels above. Simple behavioral changes, such as operating a new coffee machine, are purely at the behavioral level. Changing habits and routines are typically a process over an extended period with frequent repetitions.
  • Competence

    Definition: What a person already knows. Competency fields include expertise, self-competence, social competence, and method competence.

    Coaching Ears: Descriptions of one’s abilities, sometimes on a conscious level („I am good at this,“ „This comes easy to me“), often on an implicit level.

    Coaching Questions: What exactly did you have to learn for that? How did you learn it? What exactly would I need to learn to be able to do that too? Can you teach me that? What else could you learn?

    Changes on the competence level are often achieved through classical training, practice, and learning.
  • Beliefs

    Definition: Beliefs represent what people believe about the world. The scale of conviction can range from unsure to absolutely certain.

    Coaching Ears: „If… then…“ „It is so:…“ „Always, never, all, nobody…“

    Coaching Questions: „What is particularly helpful for you?“ „What could you question again?“ „How would it be if it were different?“ „How would someone with a different perspective see it?“ „How can you use this thought?“

    Changes at the belief level can have a lasting impact when they update the worldview and enable new actions.
  • Values

    Definition: What is important to a person and motivates them.

    Coaching Ears: „The most important thing is…“ „It makes no sense without…“ „For me, … is important.“

    Coaching Questions: „What do you achieve with it?“ „Why is it important to you?“ „What larger goal is behind it?“ „What does it bring to your life, to others, to the world?“ „What contribution do you make to yourself or others?“

    Changes at the values level are often achieved through classical training, practice, and learning.
  • Identity

    Definition: What a person thinks about themselves, who they believe they are, and what they identify with.

    Coaching Ears: „I am someone who…“ „I am not like this“ „As a [role], I see it this way“ „I have this side“ „I tell myself“ (Which side is saying something to which other side?)

    Coaching Questions: „Who are you in this role?“ „Who are you in this moment?“ „What title/nickname could you give yourself in this moment?“ „What other sides do you have regarding this topic?“

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