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Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) in a Digital World


Over the past years I have lived in a digital world, particularly in relation to building relationship and business using social media.

Seeing as NLP has been a key part of my success, and having re-connected with my chums at The Coaching Room, it got me thinking, “How has NLP helped me in this new digital world?”

As such, in this series of articles about communication I do my best to pull together every tip, trick and technique I’ve learned along the way.

Whether you spend much time on social media, or are simply looking for a bundle of skills to help you communicate more effectively in everyday life, this is for you.


To warm us up, maybe I could throw out a load of principles that I’ve been operating on, to get us started:

  1. When you engage someone’s attention, you can move them towards an action

  2. To engage someone’s attention you need to ‘talk their language’ – this is deeper than VAK thinking (Visual, Auditory, Kinaesthetic) 

  3. Everyone who pays attention within a public environment can be accessible to you also

  4. Whether someone was moved by you will be evidenced in their response toward you

  5. You cannot know the ever growing map of the territory, if you accept this you can transcend the need to attempt to

  6. The map you build will provide safety for you to take action in your communication

  7. You are not alone. Everything you say and everything you do will become part of the map of the people paying attention

  8. You will never know a complete picture of ‘who’ paid attention to ‘what’

  9. You can only do your best – and your best is the achievable simply through the desire to continue to improve on the attention to detail you provide to a given situation

  10. Your outcomes in a given situation may have to be non-linear i.e. more dialectical in nature, being formed from the relationships you have

  11. Perception is reality, and your ability to alter perception is within your control – and through the altering of perceptions you will change people’s responses

  12. The environment in which you live will set the context for all of your communication, and the methods which you have available to do so

  13. Everything we do is a symbol of ourselves – we reflect who we are and what we think, in every moment.

All in all, you cannot not communicate but you can fail to influence the people around you unless you know how to. Whether you are communicating on or offline, we can still break it down into it’s component parts.


Seeing as at the end of this article there is a full explanation of the model, I won’t go into all the detail here, but in essence:

Something happens, it goes through a process of personal bias, and then depending on what we then experience ‘on the inside’ we respond.
In brief, and straight out of the books on Buddhism…
[Perception – Response]

This is the base from which the world operates, and if there is only one thing you take away from this series may it be this one – the perception and response mechanism is what will determine ‘what happens’ within our worlds.
You’ve heard the word ‘karma’, right? Well, in Tibetan Buddhism they see the usual ‘cause and effect’ view of that word to be a little limited. Instead, it is described as ‘perception and response. Karma is perception and response.

NLP is a super powerful set of tools that helps you ‘get into that linguistic/perceptual system’ and understand a) why you are responding in any given way in a situation, and b) helps you to understand other people’s internal processing better, and in turn enables you to communicate more effectively with them.

Tools, Tips and Techniques

When I started learning NLP, over 20 years ago, I remember being hungry to get my hands on just about everything I could that could supercharge my skills.

All these years on, having taught digital marketing to over a million people through blogs, videos and events, I realise how communication has changed through the world increasingly going digital. And yet, based on the essential process of there being a ‘perception’ and a ‘response’ it is the same as it has always been. As such, my intent is give you a set of skills to use in everyday life. No fluff, no pushing sales. Just skills.

For transparency sake, I do want you to buy from us though, and want to earn your trust so you’ll be happy to do so.

Ok …

Now, let’s do something both unusual and radical.

Take a look at the paragraph you just read once more. There is a lot ‘in there’ – in other words, the intent behind what I was writing was very strong. I tend to write in this manner quite naturally, but often it may need the hands of a skilled copywriter to do so.

Do you see why?

I am a) positioning my expertise and popularity (‘a million people’), b) telling you things have changed, which may well mean there is a gap in your skills, c) telling you that I won’t be fluffy or pushy, and then d) telling you very clearly that my intent is that we work together through The Coaching Room.

Whether you are writing an email, making a comment on a Facebook post of a mate, or speaking with someone face to face, you are communicating.

The effectiveness of this communication is what I want to help you improve. To tighten up your language, to sharpen your intent, to drive emotion and to pull together your own way of being so that people gravitate toward you even more, if you want that.

The 3 Basic Tips

The first tip is this: Pay attention.

Whenever you are doing something, do it.
The enemy, the devil, is the drifting, floating, distracted mind. When you pay attention in the moment, you can be fully engaged. Without this, you are ‘off’.

And the best way to pay attention is to simply notice when you are not paying attention, and to bring your mind back to the present moment. Feel your body touching the surface of the seat, feel your feet on the ground. Be in the room.

This is a big ask, and the one that is so often forgotten.

The next tip is this: Know your intent.

Sometimes there is no intent behind your actions at all, you can just ‘see what happens’.
But if you know there is an intent, or if there isn’t an intent, you have greater insight into what is going to drive your behavior in a given circumstance.

The next is this: See what is in front of you – not what you want it to be.

In other words, you will have to be honest as to what is happening instead of creating a cloud of positive around a situation as it makes you feel better.

Now, here is the thing …

Each of these is directly in your control to alter. It is not dependant upon anyone else. This is all you.
With that understanding comes great responsibility, you are in charge of your future as much as you want to perceive yourself to be. But remember, you are not alone, so other people are essential journeymen and women on the quest to take over your world (note this language is very intentional).

The digital world is different to the real world in one main way – you can test and measure ‘things’ much faster than you can in the analogue world. Digital clues, signals inform you of the responses you get in any given circumstance, and en mass.

Let’s say you leave a funny comment on a Facebook post. Was it really funny? Well, if you get 20 likes and your comments usually only get an ‘acknowledgement’ of a single like, then you know it may well have been. This is the difference between telling a joke to a friend, who laughs, and standing on stage and having the whole room in hysterics.

The map has gotten bigger. And my intent is to broaden your mind, remove your paper thin armor, and assist you finding the you that you want to be.

Are you ready?

Please let me know in comments below and see you next week.

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