We have many forms of social media that keep us busy (sometimes we are just busy being busy, don’t you think?).
Are we trapped inside our specialisms? Be that social groups, teams, pockets of knowledge, companies, organisations, universities, colleges, parliaments, media itself, banks, hospitals, schools, bowling clubs and more ? Are we in our own little tribe?
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking Fast and Slow) says we are ‘blind to our blindness’, we fail to see risks and opportunities that when we think about them later (oh hindsight) we know that we could have done things differently.
Why do we do this? What do you think? Communication between teams, societies (be those clubs or cultures) is patchy. Are we all too busy nowadays using social media to say what we want to say and not listening to what others are saying or even, not saying? Or are we reading between the lines to understand from our own reality? Is it just at work or is it also out there in society that we live and work in silos? Be those organisational silos (ivory towers/own realities) which Gillian Tett speaks of in her book ‘The Silo Effect’ or our own individual silos?
As a group or as an individual we like to fit others into labels, slots, or pigeon holes. We tend to understand from our own reality, from what we know and believe to be true from our own experience, or what we have learned from others in order to fit in (or not).
As human beings we do have an innate need to ‘get the world to fit’ to our own reality and many of us naturally seek out those people and those things that match our own reality. But do we listen and look at how people and systems interconnect with an open mind? Do we ask ourselves how people connect with us and to us? Do we examine parts of life we don’t want to talk about because they don’t fit with our reality, because we find them dull, boring or even off-limits?
Do we listen carefully to what other people say and check if what they say also fits with what they do? Do we check that what we say fits with what we personally do? Or do we dismiss people out of hand because they don’t fit with our reality?
I’m curious what you think about the above comments and how you communicate with other people. Please share or comment here and if you would like assistance or tips or suggestion on how to improve communication and understanding. Please contact me.
Contact me Rosie O’Hara via the Developing Works website, or telephone +44 (0)7796 134081, +44 (0)1224 900748, +44 (0)1309 676004.
Now I’m not writing this about the 14 linguistic distinctions – just about one of the Deletions which are known in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) as nominalisations – that means it’s a process word (a verb or a doing word) that’s been frozen in time and made into a noun (that’s a naming word).
Some examples – a word like ‘Relationship’
First it can have so many meanings – it can be a relationship with a significant other, with a friend, with a child, with a customer, with a client, with a work colleague, with a boss etc. And whatever of those it is, it can have completely different meanings to those people involved in the relationship (or not).
So when someone says ‘my relationship is not right’ – we really need to start asking that person questions, not assuming we know what they are talking about. After all we only know about the kind of relationships we are in, or the ones we have known, or seen from our perspective. If we assume and give our advice, the worst case scenario is that we can lose a friend or be blamed for giving advice that was well meaning, but they may not want that advice.
To find out more about what that word means for the other person, we need to turn that nominalisation into a process and find out what’s not right for the person who made the statement ‘my relationship is not right’. So we ask (carefully, with great respect and sincerity and in a kind of the ‘pass the salt’ tone) something like ‘how would you like to be related to?’ It might seem weird, but this will give you more to work with. It might bring up another nominalisation or other deletions, distortions and generalisations, but I only wanted to give you this as a taster. You will then find you have more idea of what the person means (and you could have been barking up the wrong tree) and their relationship and what also eventually happens is that the person who was having the problem has more idea of what it is they want in life.
However some clues to which words are nominalisations – firstly there’s the wheelbarrow mentioned in the title. There’s a kind of rule of thumb that anything you couldn’t put in a wheelbarrow (and sometimes it will be a very large wheelbarrow, so for example for a ‘crowd’, a ‘building’ etc.) is a nominalisation, so things like ‘fear’, ‘love’, ‘hate’ etc. and also words ending in the following –
-ance (compliance) -ness (happiness)
-iency (efficiency) -itude (gratitude)
-ful (painful) -ment (fulfilment)
-ship (friendship) -ence (difference)
-able (reliable) -ion (depression)
You can apply the kind of questioning I mentioned earlier; sometimes it’s not so obvious what the process word/doing word/verb is, sometimes we just need to think a little about how we will ask a question to get to the root or heart of the matter, so that we understand more about what the other person is annoyed or upset or aggrieved about.
So (the following are all examples you could use, there will be others) –
Compliance – How’s that not complied with?
or How would you like that to be complied with?
Happiness – How would you like to be happy?
Efficiency – How do we need to be more efficient?
Gratitude – How would like them to be grateful?
Painful – Tell me more about the pain?
Fulfilment – How would you like them to be fulfilled?
Friendship – How would expect a friend to be?
or Tell me more about being friends.
Difference – How do they differ?
Reliable – What is someone like you can rely on?
Depression – How does that depress you?
This kind of thing is really useful, what is also useful and helps you avoid the pain of misunderstanding and misinterpreting and losing friendships, preventing the onset of World War III at home, getting to the core of a problem at work is thinking in this way:
Notice how you form your own reality, pay attention to what you are saying to yourself – this will make you more effective and successful. Also think about what you say to others, if you are not clear, if you use lots of nominalisations (and some cultures and organisation do, all the time) how will others understand you?
Always be in rapport (so point your body towards the person, match or mirror their posture, use their words), soften your voice, softer tones and phrase questions in a more acceptable way.
“I wonder exactly what you mean by that…”
“That’s interesting, can I ask you ……”
Think carefully about what you say and listen carefully to what others say and train your intuition to recognise patterns, know when there is information missing, when it’s useful to clarify meaning or open choices. Where the conversation is based on a relationship (of whatever kind) – be careful, very, very careful with the Meta Model – if not used with care it becomes a task-based process. For example if someone says “I liked that” asking “How specifically did you like it and what exactly did you like?” may not be appropriate in certain circumstances and I can think of a few!
Taken from ‘No More Bingo Dresses’ published MX Publishing 2010 more details please click here.
If you’d like to know more faster, please contact me Rosie O’Hara the Developing Works website, or via my Coaching Website tel. +44 (0) 7796 134081 (What’sApp as well), +44 (0)1224 900748, +44 (0)1309 676004. And please comment on this blog too.
Ever stopped and thought about the things you say to yourself either every day or on a frequent basis?
Phrases such as –
He’s a pain in the neck
I must have a hole in my head
I keep getting it in the neck.
They’re stabbing me in the back
I need a break
And have you noticed how sometimes these things manifest themselves in reality
How you have a sore neck, sore shoulders, a headache, back ache and you do get a break, but not the kind you were thinking of getting?
One of the NLP Operating Beliefs is –
The mind and body are one system
Mind and body interact and influence one another. It is not possible to make a change in one without the other being affected.
Therefore if we consistently talk about a problem, even if we say we don’t believe it’s a real problem, over time it will manifest itself as a problem in our bodies. And the reverse is true, sometimes the physical pain is our body telling us, ‘hello, you have a problem, listen to me your body, pay attention and do something about it.
The busy person who falls badly for example because they were rushing around doing too much and ‘bang’ they have an accident. The body’s way of saying ‘pay attention, give me some time.’
I once worked with a client who came to me about controlling his anger. His language was full of phrases such as ‘I see red all the time,’ ‘I get hot under the collar,’ ‘my blood boils,’ ‘my boss gives me smouldering looks.’ I suggested for his next session he write down all the phrases he used or thought about in respect of anger and come back with a list of the phrases. He phoned me and said there far too many and he just got even angrier and very hot thinking about them.
We did eventually work together on changing how he thought and what he said.
Recently I bumped into someone I hadn’t seen for a while and I asked; ‘How are you? How’s things?’ Immediately their shoulders slumped, their head moved slightly down and forwards and they give a little apologetic laugh. It was all actually very slight and the reply I got was ‘oh, I’m just plodding along.’ They hadn’t really needed to say much their body posture said it all (to me).
‘Just plodding along?’ I queried in a ‘pass the salt tone of voice’ with great respect, no shift in tonality.
‘Yes,’ they replied and shrugged. It was like what I would call an ‘Eyeore experience’ believing other forces in the world were in control of this person. What the LAB Profile® calls a Reactive pattern waiting for something to happen to make them move on. ‘Oh well, that’s the way it is, you have to go with the flow,’ shoulders down, air of resignation. The Eyeore character (Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne originally) does this, he reacts. That’s the way things are, things happen for a reason, what can you do?
I found the ‘just plodding along’ response a little disturbing, particularly because this was at a business networking event. This person owns a business, being in a ‘reactive’ mode can mean that people believe in chance and luck, and that the current state of affairs is caused by outside forces, greater than the person is. When having or being stuck in this pattern people may spend a great deal of time in apparent inertia. At times they don’t seem to ‘get started’. They can operate with extra caution and study situations endlessly before they do anything. There are of course situations where this extra caution and studying is useful, i.e. if we need someone to analyse something but the worst case scenario is that nothing happens.
As the LAB Profile® patterns rarely appear in isolation when this Reactive pattern is coupled with Away From, recognising what should be avoided and got rid of, what they don’t want, then people will only respond to negative situations. Goal focus can become a problem they will see things getting worse, when in fact a little work and perhaps research and another option or way of doing things might be available. Add to this inertia, focus on what is wrong the pattern of consistently being convinced, that is the need to re-evaluate every day makes the person sound or become sceptical. Along with at times the habit of being lost in the detail nothing happens, shoulders slump and the ‘just plodding along becomes not just a phrase but a habit.
Do you want that habit or something different? Contact me for help, tips, suggestions, coaching 01309 676004 or 01224 900748.
8 Make small concessions, one at a time, and always get something in return – give nothing away for free.
9 Trade concessions using “If…then…”
10 Build clear and unambiguous agreements by asking “What if…”
11 Make the process enjoyable – if the task is stuck change the subject. (The person with the most flexibility in any interaction will get the best result.)
12 Resolve deadlock by finding out what the other party’s concerns are and understanding the concerns.
13 You cannot negotiate a complaint; ask for what you want.
14 Written numbers appear more real than spoken numbers. This is an illusion.
2 Always take time to gather information along the way, to consider and reflect, and allow the other person time to finish what they are saying and to consider and reflect. Hurrying will achieve nothing.
3 Invite the other party to put down the first marker, and then wait.
4 Never accept a first offer, especially if it’s claimed to be the final offer.
4 Aim high and ask for what you want simply and in assured manner.
6 Maintain your position by using a restriction; this can be practical, financial or something you believe to be true.
7 Avoid goodwill concessions, these actually make things harder.
Another 7 next week!
1) Address the person by name.
Even in an email and start with a greeting, so Hi, Hello, Good Morning, or even that to some people outdated Dear. Why you might ask? Well the person then feels like a person and not a thing. Plus at times being addressed by your First name in a short, sharp email can come across as a rebuke (55% of the people you are communicating with are predominately Visual) – they see and what they can at times see is Fred blah, blah. And even not in emails when your colleague or significant other is deep in thought addressing them by name, means it opens the file in their head that switched the part of their brain on that says ‘oh a communication with me’. How many times have you been interrupted when deep in thought?
2) Make sure they are on your page
Make sure you are both on the same page, both thinking about the same thing. This burning question or thought in your mind my well not be the most important thought in their mind. (We can only concentrate on seven plus or minus two things at a time and there are thousands it not millions of things going on in and around us (consider how many bits of information your body itself needs to keep you standing or sitting). So you’ve started with ‘Hi Fred,’ and instead of saying something like ‘I noticed at the other day your priorities have changed’ (because Fred’s priorities from the other day will be different today unless he’s a slug intent on eating your lettuce and Fred will have no idea what you are talking about). Say Fred on Wednesday I noticed you were doing such and such, last year when we spoke you told me you weren’t going to do that anymore, has something happened to change your priorities.’ In all kinds of conversations this really works and saves endless hassle on both sides. (It also saves Fred from telling you his wife is having an affair, when actually what you mean was he had said he was going to try out contact lenses.) Also more here on Words (and Wheelbarrows)
3) Have Rapport
The best way to communicate with another person is to first synchronise yourself with some aspect of their behaviour (match/mirror/pace it) and then change yourself (to leading the conversation). However, it is important to check that the other person wants to go where you are leading, so you need a “shared outcome” or you aren’t going to get to where you want or need to be. You can also ‘meet them at their bus stop’, in them in their reality (that’s a little like when we all complain about the weather). Talk at their pace, keep at an appropriate distance from them, not in their space, smile and at least point your body in their direction.
4) Believe in yourself
If you don’t believe in you, no one else will do and being congruent so your head and how you feel being in line with what you are going to say works best. If you need some help with confidence, find a good NLP Trainer or the like who will help you with this, by means of a simple technique.
5) Have an outcome in mind
What do you want from this interaction? Just to get to know them? Just to introduce yourself? To get their details? Will you follow up? Whatever you do you are selling yourself, people come back to people they like and trust.
6) Listen to what they say
Listen and repeat back some of their words, not what you think they said. Be interested, if you’re not interested in what they are talking about, you will know someone who will be and you want them to be interested in you. Surely you do, or do you want them to tell someone else, ‘yes I met so and so and they don’t listen.’
7) Smile and remember to say good bye
As you move on and tell them how much you enjoyed speaking to them.
Curious about more please contact me +44 (0)7796 134081, +44 (0)1224 900748, +44 (0)1309 676004 or take a look Developing Works to find out how this would work for you individually or for your team, or to employ the right people for your company.