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speak the right language to get what you want

Language improves connection

When working with leaders and managers on team development, sometimes they say to me “I feel like I am speaking a different language” and this can be true.

We are wired differently as we are using combinations of pictures, sounds, feelings and ‘non sensory’ which make up our internal representations of what’s going on in the world around us through filters like our senses.

We use descriptive words and phrases as patterns in our language which gives us clues as to the combination and what preference we have. This is so useful when developing relationships both in and outside work.

For example, someone who is more visually orientated will use visual related word patterns or phrases such as ‘look’, ‘see’, ‘vision’, ‘view’  or “let me see if I can remember’. If you were to detect and match that pattern you could respond to a person by saying “yes I can see that” or “that’s really clear to me” which builds rapport quickly.

For feelings, words or phrases such as ‘close’, ‘grasp’, ‘in touch’, ‘warm’, or ‘can you handle it?’ You may respond with, “yes, I can grasp that idea”, or “it feels right to me”.

For labelling or self talk listen out for ‘think’, ‘thinking’, ‘mean’, ‘share’ or ‘can you think this through?’ You may respond with “it makes sense”, “let me ponder” or “I know what you mean”.

For sounds, listen out for words or phrases like ‘hear’, ‘quieter’, ‘sounds’, ‘voice’ or “how does that sound?” You may respond with “it sounds a plan”, or “something is sounding an alarm in my head”.

With a little practice you can master this quickly, so when you are next at an event with a team or at a meeting, have a listen and start matching!

Let me know in the comments how you get on

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