NLP Gems – [3] The meaning of your communication is the response you get

This is one of the core presuppositions in NLP. It drives you to accept full responsibility for results you receive in your communication. If you get a response you are not expecting, then only you can change the basis of your communication. Remember everyone experiences life through his or her model of the world. Richard Bandler maintains you should always go to the other person’s world first – I couldn’t agree more. If you communicate with other people using only your own model, your response may not be what you expect. Life like NLP, is all about results – if something doesn’t work, try something completely different. You don’t want to end up just communicating just to hear yourself? Communication implies looking for a response from another person. Shift and change the way you communicate until such time as you get the response you want. It’s the basis of all relationships, negotiations, sales and of course conflict.

Remember the last time you were convinced you were being totally clear about what you said, but the other party heard something completely different? Some people blame this type of incident on the other party’s stupidity or lack of understanding or whatever – but the fact remains that the communication attempt failed

We believe the best way to approach misunderstanding is to acknowledge the need to clarify and put things in such a way, that everyone gets the point and understands it the same way you do.

Once we understand the belief that the meaning of your communication is the response you get you can elect to become more influential by being responsive to feedback, and flexible enough to adapt to change. Beware of the egotistic notion that good communication is driven by facts, logic, correctness or even grammatical rigidity and perfection. Also avoid not making further sense simply because “everyone else got it”

So how DO you apply this

Reading poetry to your lover at midnight in the dark may seem to you to be romantic, however if their reaction is one of utter boredom, – you will have to face it, you didn’t get through!

Blaming or attempting to make them feel guilty for not “getting it” is not going to change your initial intended outcome – (you might well possibly achieve your secondary aim by making them feel stupid and guilty). Clearly you will need to back off under the circumstances and learn something from the feedback – then try something different – (just tell them you love them FGS.)

Communication may be a two way discourse but each party is 100% responsible for the response they get.

Many people misguidedly speak louder (often to foreigners:), get angry, or label their audience as “dumb, uneducated, naive, stupid, resistant, dozy”, or my favourite “difficult” and so on and wonder why things don’t go their way. Problem in those circumstances is that things are only going their way – others never discover what “it” is.

True skill lies in being able to communicate in two modes: yours and theirs simultaneously. Suspending judgement and observing the response you get as you communicate and adapting a flexible perspective is what sets great communicators, teachers, mentors, coaches, counsellors and speakers apart from the rest. These people take responsibility and ask – “what do I need to say and do to get my point across clearly?”

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