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The Core NLP Skills to Excel in Relationships and in your Career


If you are reading this it’s because you want to get ahead, you want to excel, you want more than to simply drift in your relationships and your career. You want to have more impact, and make a bigger contribution in your life. It’s commendable, and like any worthy endeavour, it’s going to require you have the right tools. That’s what this content is about. The key skills from NLP that you will need to develop your Emotional Intelligence and thrive in your relationships and career.   





  1. Self Awareness

Reaching the next level of performance requires you to know where you are right now. What your limitations are, what needs to change, what obstacles are in the way not just on the outside, but on the inside. How you are now is what got you to where you are now, which is great. But it isn’t what will get you to what’s next, in fact often it is what will stop you from what’s next. Growth and change require self-awareness, in fact, they depend on it. After all, how can you change something you don’t understand? How can you understand something you aren’t even aware of?


Let me provide just a few examples of internal obstacles:

  • Procrastination
  • Perfectionism
  • Overly critical self-judgement
  • Anxiety


With the skill of self-awareness, these are all processes that if understood, can be seen through, worked with, and ultimately resolved. The unique advantage to this is ceaseless and unimpeded growth and development. Which means more personal power and influence in the world.

Without the skill of self-awareness, these temporary obstacles become unnecessary lifelong impediments. Impediments that will sabotage your personal power, sabotage your relationships and the success you get to enjoy in your career.


  1. Self Management

Knowing what to do is one thing – actually doing, that’s another thing entirely. How many things do you already know that you should do? How many of those things would completely change your life for the better if you did them? Now, how many of those things are you actually doing?


All of these questions fall into the realm of Self-Management, (or Self-Mismanagement). Self-Management is the skill of walking your talk and closing the gap between what you know and what you do. Why? Because knowledge isn’t worth anything if there is no action behind it.


What you will find behind all inaction (or poorly executed action) is an unresourceful state and mindset. Trying to change your behaviours without changing the state you are in that compels them or the mindset that directs those behaviours is a wasted effort because the changes will only ever be short term. This means repeating (sometimes for a life time) old habits and patterns of behaviour again and again even though you know they don’t work.


You need to be able to manage your mindset and emotions first. If you have the self-awareness to know what to change and in what way to change it, and the self-management skills to execute those changes in mind and state, making behavioural changes is a piece of cake. Think about that list of things you ‘should’ do but aren’t, what if you felt confident and good about doing them? Would you do them then?   

  1. Self Motivation

Excelling in your relationships and career requires the motivation to do so in the first place. Maybe that’s obvious? But what isn’t so obvious is that motivation is an inside job. It doesn’t come from people, places or things; it comes from the skill of making meaning out of life. It comes from you.

Unfortunately, for most people, motivation is an external affair. In other words, they have no real idea of how to motivate themselves from within, so they are focused on what they have learned to derive pleasure and pain from. Is that true for you? When things are going well, you are getting praise, maybe a promotion on the horizon is motivation high?. Then when things go south, however, business takes a turn for the worse, that promotion is off the table, criticisms have been made, maybe a client has left for the competition, suddenly is motivation low?  Or perhaps it’s in reverse, and you are energised by things going poorly and have lots of motivation, but slack off when everything is sunny again?

In either case, all of these examples point to one thing – a reliance on the external world for motivation. All of these lead to the same thing – motivation (and subsequent results) that are up and down, motivation that’s hit and miss, motivation that’s focused on short-term pleasure/pain rather than long-term vision.

Developing the skill of Self-Motivation, on the other hand, is a different story. Self-Motivation is motivation that doesn’t depend on the external environment, rather it’s based on your highest values and intentions in life. It’s knowing what your purpose is and being connected to that. This kind of motivation isn’t up and down, it’s constant, and it only ever grows. Your energy may go up and down depending on your health and other things, but with Self-Motivation your resolve and commitment don’t waver with the trials and tribulations of life. What this means for you is feeling good about what you do, being committed and taking massive action, and experiencing greater success in your relationships and career.

  1. Interpersonal Skills

We live in a diverse and interdependent world. There’s no escaping your fellow human being, not if you want to be successful in your relationships and career. There’s also no escaping the differences between us and how they show up in relationships and communication. Being able to work with, get rapport, and have influence with your fellow human being is critical to your success.

Interpersonal skills are what enable people to want to follow your leadership, to feel good about relating with you, and to want to hear what you have to say because it matters to them. With strong interpersonal skills what you get is collaboration instead of competition, better results with more fun, and less work. In business what you get are clients who are loyal because they trust you, rather than customers who shop you around on price.

Interestingly, while Interpersonal Skills are so important and relevant to relationship and career success, we have close to zero focus on them in our education system. Leading to the following being true for most people:

Relationships and communication are hit and miss. Some people you probably get along well with, they just get you, others maybe you just tolerate, or they seem to just tolerate you. Some people listen to you; some people don’t unless they have to. The result being more work, more effort, fewer results, and less win win. This leads to customers, not clients, getting shopped around instead of being a trusted advisor. This means having a difference to make, and not being able to make it.


How can you train these four skills?

Reading a book, or attending a lecture isn’t enough. Just like you can’t learn to swim by reading a book, you can’t train these skills by hearing or reading about them. These are skills that need to be taught, demonstrated, and practiced with expert feedback. The best place to train Emotional Intelligence and these four skills is our NLP Practitioner Program. In fact, I transformed my life and my career with NLP and have since become it’s biggest advocate. 



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