It may be that you have different Neurolinguistic styles. While we all use our senses, everyone has an unconscious lean towards one channel over another. This is called Neurolinguistic Programming or NLP. We don’t just use this preference when taking in information, it also influences the way we organize it in our heads, and how we communicate that sensory information to others around us.
Understanding the concepts of NLP can help anyone understand why it’s easier to get along with some people more than others. It breaks down into three categories:
1. Preferred Sensory Modality
2. Preferred Thinking Style
3. Preferred Mode of Expression
Preferred Sensory Modality
Visual: When people with this preference think about something or listen to someone, they make “movies of the mind.” They are most influenced by charts, videos and other visual media.
Auditory: The preferred communication methods for people with an auditory preference are conversations and phone calls. When they think, they mentally “rehearse” by repeating words and sounds until they have them committed to memory.
Kinesthetic: A person with a kinesthetic preference likes demonstrations and models. They like to “walk through” what they’re learning, and rehearsing or practicing new tasks is the ideal way to retain knowledge.
Preferred Thinking Style
While many tasks require a combination of skills, most people have a preference of how to organize their thinking. This is why some people find a detail-oriented occupations such as accounting easy, and a “big picture” strategic planning job difficult — or vice versa.
Serial: These (usually left-brained) thinkers tend to pay close attention to detail. They like to focus on one task at a time and do things in a logical order
Parallel: Normally right-brained, parallel thinkers, they pay attention to the big picture. They are good at multi-tasking.
Preferred Mode of Expression
Visual: When it comes to work output, they prefer to show others written reports, charts, and photos. They express themselves verbally with statements such as, “I can see that.” and “That’s a bright idea!”
Auditory: They favor verbal feedback, phone calls, and explaining their work to others. This mode of expression is characterized by people who say things like, “That sounds like a really good idea.” and “Everything clicked with that project.”
Kinesthetic: Movements and feelings are important to people with a kinesthetic preference, as well as models, mock-ups, and physical tasks. Example phrases include, “I can get in touch with that idea.” and “Let me sit on that idea for awhile.”
Why Is This Important?
The connection or relationship one has with another person is called rapport. Research shows that building rapport by matching communication styles is key to successful communication.
Consider the following two rules of communication:
1. “Does my way of expressing match your way of sensing?”
2. “Does your way of expressing match my way of sensing?”
If the answer to both is “yes,” you’re likely to have rapport. But if the answer is “yes” to only one questions, communication may not be as effective. Worse yet, if the answer is “no” to both rules, then conflict is probable, and it’s necessary to develop communication versatility by increasing your ability to operate in other modalities.
One way to have more effective communication skills training is the use of the principles of NLP. It will help individuals and teams increase motivation, productivity, trust, learning capacity, and interpersonal skills.