Back in the day, I was very interested in NLP – neurolinguistic programming. I did not do any certification courses on the subject, but I believe I read quite a number of books about it. One thing that I found useful in all the books I read is the fact that we need to pay attention to the words we use when we communicate with others. Sounds easy, right?
According to NLP, people have two tendencies: auditory or visual. They prefer using one of these senses when they are communicating with others. For example, you start talking to your spouse about how you struggled back in high school, and your spouse responds to you saying something like “Oh, I see,” even though you did not visually show anything to your spouse. Now, let’s imagine that you complained to your colleague about how your boss treated you, and your colleague responds to you saying, “Yeah, I hear you what you say.” Both your spouse and your colleague use words such as seeing or hearing to explain that they understand what you are talking about. But instead of saying, “I understand,” they prefer using sensory words.
There is nothing wrong with being an auditory or visual person. In the end, each person is different, with different habits. Variety is what makes the world a beautiful place. Sometimes though, problem may arise when you talk to an auditory person with visual cues and vice versa. Let’s go back to your spouse and colleague. Your spouse is obviously a visual person. Let’s say you’d like to express to your spouse that you would like him/her to wash the dishes in a certain manner. In that case, it would be better for you to visually demonstrate how you’d like the wishes to be washed. You may naturally want to give your spouse only verbal cues, but bear in mind your spouse may not be that good with hearing things:)
Sometimes it is fun to notice the communication patterns between two parties as an outsider. One may be saying, “I don’t see why you did not like the birthday cake I bought for you,” while the other one may be saying “Didn’t you hear/listen when I told you to buy chocolate instead of orange cake?” 🙂
Of course, a lot of other elements are needed for successful communication. I just think that paying attention to and using the word choices of the parties we are communicating with can help our conversations a great deal. What do you think?
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