Improve Your Communication Skills Through The Power Of NLP
It happens all the time. Two people are having a simple conversation around a meaningful topic, and it just explodes into an irrational lack of understanding.
This is where having effective communication skills matters in both personal and business matters. The ability to share and listen to other people with respect and dignity takes practice, focus, and intention.
Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a known practice which can help ease the communication burden. Learning these skills, which involve sensory perception, use of language, and responses to life experiences collectively, can provide a huge paradigm shift within a person.
Yet there are those times — many of them — where the link between effective and ineffective ways to confer meaning and messages to people simply breaks down. No matter how hard someone attempts to simply make a point and let it be, the recipient or “hearer” of the message will take it the wrong way.
People learn how to react and respond when communicating with other people by learning, observing, and listening.
“Through my experiences, I know business people want to become better communicators,” Mike Bondrant, founder of the iNLP Center, said.
Where, then, do communication breakdowns occur? Here are three possible ways:
Non-verbal responses. If you notice someone’s body language when talking, then you’ll be able to understand whether he or she is actually paying attention. These non-verbal cues provide a lot of information which can leave another person simply in the dark. Not looking someone directly in the eyes, putting both hands on your hips, or crossing your arms across your chest are ways which can subconsciously send a rejection slip to the other person talking.
Lack of attention. Let’s put this in a business setting. You are having a meeting with either a client or boss. This is nothing unusual and happens pretty regularly. The other person comes in filled with a lot of anger, resentment, or rage. They start going off on their issues left and right. So, it’s time to check the phone, look at the time, check email, and take notes on where you’re going for dinner with a friend or your partner. Just do anything so you’re not present in the moment with the other person.
Emotional disconnection. A person is not fully invested in a conversation. In other words, he or she could simply care less about whatever the other person is talking about. There’s no emotional connection taking place. It might be a lack of empathy, no interest or passion in the subject matter, or simply an “I don’t care” emotional state. Without some sort of emotional component to the conversation, it usually falls by the wayside.
Taking the structures connected to NLP, how might these three examples change?
Verbal responses. A person is more equipped to intuitively interact. They are more likely to speak up for themselves in a responsible, respectful way. The exchange of words happens at a higher level of connection. Saying to the other person, “Yes, I understand” or “Can you clarify your words a little more for me?” actually provides cues that you do care about the conversation taking place.
Complete engagement. Sensory awareness — being totally connected to what is taking place inside you — provides an open door to let an individual go “all in” around communicating thoughts and meanings. The whole body is engaged. There is no “checking out” taking place at all.
Emotional connection. All of a person’s emotions and feelings are totally connected to the communication process. Communication skills and abilities are at a higher state. Giving emotional responses and reactions, from a healthy place within a person, allows him or her to engage in a higher level of connectivity.
In your own life, professionally and personally, there will be times of difficult communication between people. We are all human and, well, it’s going to happen.
There are ways and techniques which, when learned and applied, can help all of us approach life situations in a healthier, better way. Neuro-linguistic programming is one such path. Developing healthier communication skills takes time, yet the effort reaps many rewards both now and in the future.