wonder why you feel an instant rapport with some people and
not with others? One reason is our communication style.
How we take external information in from this world is through
our senses: what we see, hear, feel, taste and smell.
We also generate internal images, sounds and feelings and use
a fourth system called the auditory digital system which is
thinking things through and making sense out of things.
interesting thing John Grinder and Richard Bandler - co-founders
of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) - discovered is that
most people generally tend to favour one or two of these systems
over the others, just like some people are right handed and
some are left handed. We all use all of the systems
and can use different ones in different contexts, but we do
tend to favour one or two most of the time.
some people tend to be more visual, using words such as picture
this, let’s see what happens, can we look at this and focus
on it. Visual people tend to breathe shallow, hold their
bodies erect and with their eyes up. They tend to speak
very rapidly because a picture is worth a thousand words and
their voice is trying to keep us with their internal images.
They also tend to be neat and well organized.
people breathe from the middle of their chest. Their
eyes tend to move from side to side and sometimes they cock
their head to one side as if they are listening intently.
They learn by listening and love to talk. They are sensitive
to peoples’ tone of voice but may be tone deaf to their own.
They use words like that sounds good, I hear what you’re saying,
let’s tune into this and really discuss it. Their voices
are often melodious and pleasing.
people typically breathe from the bottom of their lungs and
often move and talk more slowly. They may like to lean
forward or stand close or touch people when talking or listening.
Their eyes may often move downward and to their right (that’s
where “that down right good feeling” came from). They
tend to use words such as that feels right, I can grasp that
and feel connected, let’s get in touch with what that means.
digital people often talk to themselves and spend a lot of
time making sense out of things. They like to do things
in sequence and will study things in great depth. These
people may not respond so much to what they see, hear and
feel as to the labels they give these perceptions. They
tend to not trust their basic experiences - they trust the
words that describe their experiences instead. This
gives them their cautious look as they look for the perfect
description. They use words from all the categories
but the two they use more are, “that makes sense” and “I know
what you mean”. They also will use more neutral words
like think, decide, process, and understand. They will
often look down and to the left.
which system a person uses and then matching our words, speed
of voice, breathing, etc., to that same system, will make
the other person feel like you are “speaking their language”
because your message more closely matches the way their mind
works and increases understanding. It gives you the
ability to go more fully from your map of the world to their
map of the world. The fascinating study of the different
ways people internalize information can help you build more
successful communication and responsiveness.
Nygaard is a Certified Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Trainer,
Time Line Therapy® Master Trainer and Hypnotherapy Trainer.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org