Recently I have been fascinated with communication most namely in the field of Neuro-Linguistic Programming(NLP). This came about when I was listening to Tony Robbins “Unlimited Power” and he said something that really hit home for me. “The quality of your life is directly proportional to the quality of your communication.”
Think about this quote for a second. Think about situations (relationships, interviews, business meetings, family) that could have gone in a different direction had the quality of the communication been better.
This brings me back to NLP. We have five basic senses: visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory and gustatory. In NLP, these are referred to as representational systems or modalities. For each of these we have finer distinctions called sub-modalities that define the quality of our internal representations. The three sub-modalities that we use in communication are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Bare with me here!
Think about how you tend to communicate. Do you communicate in pictures? Do you communicate in sounds? How about communicating with feelings? Think about how you start conversations. “I feel like…” “I see what you mean..” “I hear you..”
For myself I communicate visually. I describe pictures of what I see and what I have seen. Now think about this. If you communicate in pictures (visually) and you are speaking to someone that speaks in feelings (kinesthetic) do you see some potential challenges in this communication? Of course, but you being the proactive communicator (by reading this) you can listen to how this person is communicating and you can adjust to their sub-modilaity and establish rapport with them.
This isn’t meant to be manipulative. Lets talk about this in a personal sense. Many relationship arguments occur because of the lack of rapport between the two person’s sub-modalities. Have you ever said to yourself, “I love my husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend but I just don’t feel like they understand me?” It is most likely due to the fact that there is a difference in the way you communicate. Its not that they don’t understand you, its that they see the world on a different canvas or in different sounds or in different feelings than you do.
The next time you get into this situation be the proactive individual and listen to how they see the world and prefer to communicate. If you adjust to their form of communication, you will start to see that the quality of your communication will improve. Don’t we all just want to be understood?
So if you want to improve the quality of your life, learn about how you communicate and how others communicate and start to be aware of how you can improve the quality of your communication by adjusting and adapting to the sub-modialities of others. Good luck!