Are you speaking the same language as the other person you are communicating with today? Really, this is a serious question. No, I’m not talking about English vs. other Foreign languages (however, this is a subject for a later blog post!).
I’m asking about using the same representational system language so others will understand you and get the real message you are sending. Okay, so what are representational systems? These are the ways your brain prefers to think. There are five different systems – which three are primary.
The three primary systems are visual, auditory and kinesthetic. The other two are smell and taste – which are not used as often – yet are in play in some professions such as taste for chefs. A chef will understand the variations of taste and can accurately express their thoughts regarding the taste of food.
To match the language of others you must study the visual, auditory and kinesthetic languages and practice using the words for each group. Practice is a key part of learning to speak the same language as others.
An example of this information is visual thinkers. Visual thinkers use words such as “I see the big picture.”; “the vision of the future is clearing up for me.”; “Let’s look into…”; “This issue is cloudy for me.” If you look into the words used you will see the visual language. Then when dealing with type of thinker you want to use visual words so they can see the message in their minds clearly.
Auditory thinkers use words like hear, sounds, clear as a bell, I like the tone of this, it’s music to my ears. As you read this you will hear the tones and rhythm of the message and it will music to the listeners ears. Use the same language and your message will ring true.
Kinesthetic thinkers are the doers and touchers of the world. They grab things, handle issues, get in touch with others, hang on to ideas, play the game, and hit the home run or carry the ball. These people are the ones that need to hold on to things in order to get it. Once they get a handle on the issues they can carry on.
Okay, there is the crash course on the three primary representational systems and the words that each will use. The key is to get the other person talking and then listen for word patterns. Then use the same pattern as you reply and you will be in rapport. Then you can discuss any topic with objective understanding. Learn to speak the same language and watch your effectiveness in communication increase.
Did you see Saturday’s comic section and the Dilbert strip in particular? I was thinking how funny it was and then I realized that most people would not understand the deeper meaning. Okay, let me explain. This is all about the human operating system and was uncovered by the team of Bandler and Grinder. They named the technology Neuro-Linguistic-Programming or NLP.
NLP shows how the brain works and how people use certain triggers in their everyday lives – including such basic functions as communication, interaction with others, decision making and problem solving. In some European countries this system is being used in all departments of corporates to improve communication and understand decision making at all levels – not to mention just plain old personal development.
Now about the Dilbert cartoon this weekend and particularly the statement in the next to last frame about “…manipulating the puppet strings…” which can be misunderstood. It is true if a person does not understand NLP or even basic behavioral styles – then they can be manipulated by others. The key is always the intent of the other person. Personally, I have been using both NLP techniques and behavioral style factors for years. Not to manipulate others… because my intent is to gain rapport and trust, which leads to open and objective dialogue with others. When I match the other person’s style and preferences, the barriers or natural resistance to open dialogue is welcome.
Back to the Comic strip story line, the punchline was based upon people understanding the match – mismatch differences. First, the matchers look for common factors to connect with making other matchers feel good. Matchers look for sameness in describing things and can have some issues with problem solving – since they do not automatically see problems or differences from the norm – they are looking for sameness.
Second, the mismatchers on the other hand can be seen as real problem people. They are not actually the “bad” person they get labeled as by others. Their issue is their brain looks for differences, mismatches or exceptions to the rule. They are mentally conditioned to see the exception or different issue – in every situation, statement or person. This people are usually labeled as troublesome or difficult to get along with by others (the matchers!). Actually, these people are great problem solvers and can isolate an problem or exception immediately.
Finally, learn to recognize the traits of people. Are they matchers or mismatchers? This will give you a hugh advantage in understanding the actions of others – and how to gain rapport with people. If you are pure matcher or pure mismatcher, then the ability to flex to others becomes more difficult. Yet, it can be done if you use discipline in your communication and choose to do the right thing in your communication with others.
Understanding the human operating system is one of the systems that we use in our coaching process for leaders and sales people. We explain the fundamentals and model the use of the system in the coaching process. If you want to learn how to gain rapport with anyone, build trust with your team (or customers), and be able to communicate effectively with everyone – call us today and learn how to use this process.