Enriched language in communication

“Enriched communication is the essence of motivation and commitment.” Sue Knight,  NLP at Work We have chosen three of the most important ways you can enrich your communication, appealing to the eyes, ears and feelings of your listeners with your choice of words.   1. Use sensory specific language: make an impact on all of the senses and engage feelings and emotions. Let your listeners hear the rumble of the gathering storm or leave a sweet taste in their mouths. 2. Adapt your language to others preferences: matching someone’s own style or sensory preference improves the chance of being understood. How can someone hear what you are saying if they what they need is for you to paint them a picture? 3. Appeal to all the senses if you do not know the preference: if you are communicating to a group or you do not know or cannot predict the natural preference, build in language that appeals to a mix of all the senses....

The power of rapport

“Rapport: a process of establishing and maintaining a relationship of mutual trust between two or more parties.” Genie Z Laborde We all know that communication is about more than the content level. Empathy and mutual understanding can do a lot to build the relationship level in any interaction. The word for this is rapport. It comes from the French and literally means to give something back. Being in rapport with someone can help in many situations – especially when you want to persuade or influence them. It does not mean that you always have to agree with everything someone says nor does it mean that you must slavishly copy their movements or body language. It does mean that you should aim to appreciate things from the other person’s viewpoint and show you are listening and understand. An element of matching and mirroring occurs naturally when you are in rapport with someone as shown in our photo. People unconsciously adopt similar postures, tones, gestures if they are on the same wavelength. To build rapport when it does not occur naturally, you can reinforce this physical matching and you can also allow space for the other person to express their opinions, beliefs and values without seeking to impose your own. How to increase rapport Increase your awareness of your own signals and the impact they have. By listening properly and honing your observation skills (even of things such as how someone is breathing or the small movements of facial muscles) you can learn to react in a way which shows you are “in-tune” with them and establish common ground to move...

The language of influencing

Achieve success or avoid failure? Do you work towards or strive to move away from something? This very powerful filter – away from or towards – influences our preparation for, and commitment to, goals and our subsequent likelihood of achieving what we want. Like all filters it needs to be taken in context. Neither of these patterns is intrinsically right or wrong but they do have consequences. Someone who is very strongly ‘away from’ may need some expectation of ill effects or pain to motivate them to act. The ‘towards’ pattern person is more likely to focus on achieving results. You can recognise this pattern in the language people use and motivate them by using their language. In the context of work goals for example decide if the person you want to motivate is towards or away from then choose the appropriate formulation: “We must fix the deadline to avoid missing the submission date for our proposal.” OR “Let’s agree the target date to enable us to get our proposal done and submitted in time. In the 1980’s Rodger Bailey created the Language and Behaviour Profile (LAB Profile). It was based on a set of patterns from NLP which themselves are based on filters identified in the work of Noam Chomsky (Transformational Grammar, 1957). We use these filters to let in certain parts of the real world, creating our own individual model of the world. The Lab Profile is set of questions that can be used in casual conversation or as formal survey for individuals or for groups . By paying attention to how people talk when they answer...

The science of influencing

If influencing others isn’t luck or magic – could it be science? Robert Cialdini has spent 30 years studying how people are influenced. His work is both compelling and ethical and proven by scientific methodology. In writing his book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, he spent three years going “undercover” applying for jobs and training at used car dealerships, fund-raising organizations, telemarketing firms to observe real-life situations of persuasion. The book also reviews many of the most important theories and experiments in social psychology. There are indeed proven ways to make you more successful in sales, marketing and in influencing others. To give you a taste, we summarise here Cialdini’s six key “Weapons of Influence” (to be used of course with integrity and “win-win” in mind): Reciprocity: people feel indebted to those who do something for them or give them a gift and they want to give something in return. The implication is you have to go first. You can give some information, a positive experience, a free sample, make a nice gesture, speak a kind word; all of these will help to encourage reciprocal “gift-giving” taking you closer to your goal. Social Proof: when people are uncertain about a course of action, they tend to look to those around them to guide their decisions and actions. They especially want to know what everyone else is doing – especially their peers. Tell people what others are doing (with testimonials for example) and they are more likely to act. Commitment and Consistency: people do not like to back out of deals. We are more likely to do something after we...