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This is one of a
articles in self-improvement Lesson 2 - improve your
This improvement depends on progress freeing your wise resident
to guide you (Lesson 1).
This article describes how to use an observable trait of human nature to
help you communicate effectively with adults and kids. The article assumes you're familiar with...
the intro to this
nonprofit Web site and the
premises underlying it
the communication skill of
How Do You Experience the World?
In 1975, linguists Richard
Bandler and John Grinder published The Structure of Magic - an
exploration of why some psychotherapists were notably more successful than
others. Their theory became known to clinicians and the public as
"Neuro-linguistic Programming" or NLP.
Part of the NLP
theory was that all people instinctively develop a preferred way of
perceiving and representing the world - usually sight, sound, or touch.
Studies suggested that when therapists noted which way an adult or
child saw the world (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, taste, or smell) and
intentionally chose communication to match that way, therapy was
consistently more effective.
This idea was clinically exciting and controversial, and spawned a range of
research, publications, workshops, programs, and several international
training and accreditation Associations.
How can you tell which of these preferred perceptual modes a person (like
you) has? The words and phrases that we each use to think and speak provide
the answer. For example:
People Say Things Like...
People Say Things Like...
(Touch-oriented) People Say Things Like...
"That really touches me."
"I'm itching to..."
"Well, scratch that idea"
"I'm aching to try that!"
"He's a pain in the butt!"
"He rubs me the wrong way."
"So what were you feeling?"
"She was pretty rough."
"I can't swallow that (idea)."
"You make me sick!"
Note that some people may use taste-terms to describe their world
("What a delicious idea!"), and others may use smell-related words and
phrases to color their thoughts and speech ("That really stinks!")
Do you see yourself in one of these people-types? Do you feel
typical kids and adults unconsciously use preferred sensory ways of
describing their world? Which of these types best describes each of your
parents? Each grandparent? Mate? Siblings? Child/ren? Best friend? Boss?
You don't need to be a therapist to use this idea to improve important
communications and relationships.
Start by studying
here. As you do, work to develop the foundation skill of personal
awareness - in
Grow aware of which type of person are YOU - visual, auditory, kinesthetic,
or other. Option - ask people who know you to verify your opinion
("Do I use visual terms a lot?) Note that there is no "best way" to
view the world, so this is not a competition.
Then - if you have trouble relating well with an adult or child, notice what
their preferred way of viewing the world is. If it's different than yours
("I'm auditory, and she's visual"),
try using the same kind of words and terms as that person does as you
speak and write. This can seem phony and artificial at first, and may slow
your responses as you search for the right type of language. The more you
practice this tip, the more automatic it will become.
By itself, using this tip will not magically improve communication. Added to
the other Lesson-2 skills and tips, it can help to increase your
satisfactions. Incidentally, note that normal
can have preferred ways of expressing themselves, just like people. So watch
for chances to use this language technique when your
has dialogs with other subselves!
This article is one of a series of
tips for more
effective communication. Based on linguistic studies in the 1970s and 1980s,
it proposes that all kids and adults unconsciously choose a preferred way of
experiencing and describing their world - visually, auditory, or
kinesthetically. The studies suggest that noticing an adult's or child's
preference and intentionally using words that match it can raise
studying and applying Lessons
The unique guidebook
2nd ed., 2010) integrates the key
Lesson-2 Web articles and resources in this nonprofit Web site, and provides many practical resources.
Pause, breathe, and recall why you read this article. Did you get what you
needed? If not - what
you need? Who's answering these questions - your
(capital "S") or