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NLP and Communication

How much do you believe this is a competency you can develop with practice? If you want to develop even more your communication capability please read below. My intention for this blogpost is to give you some information that will help you increase your persuasion capability by focusing the attention of your interlocutor that might show resistance to your ideas, towards your desired direction/objective.  Many people I interact with in my professional capacity desire to become better and more elegant in using persuasive language in order to increase their influencing capabilities. The language we use has a major impact on our neurology and how we feel.

As a leader you might want to really pay more attention to how you use this powerful instrument you have at your disposal to create optimum impact on your counter parties. As with every technique you use when influencing people make sure you are in rapport with them first (i.e. you have their unconscious response) and you know your positive intention for the interaction! NLP and Communication

Some Technology

One of the technologies that I use to help people create generative change is NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming). I have been studying much with the co-creators of NLP, Dr. Richard Bandler. Richard is a very impressive change agent and I’d like to share with you one pattern I observed him utilise. There are very many trainers, coaches that have modeled Richard and created variations of this pattern. NLP and Communication

Take a moment and think about the impact the phrase below has on you:

“You have coordinated the task force well BUT I am not satisfied with your overall performance on this project”.

And now change the sentence a bit:

“I am not satisfied with your overall performance on this project BUT you have coordinated the task force well”.

What is different for you when you hear these two phrases?

What about the next one:

“The issue now is not how well you have coordinated the task force BUT how well can we ensure consistent high levels of performance at your division.

This means we start at the top; the leaders “go first” where they want people to follow as most of the people do what you do and not what you say. So let us go through the various performance criteria we have designed and assess your performance in accordance with those items, shall we?” NLP and Communication

The language pattern I propose to you today is: “The issue is not A BUT B and this means…

When to use this pattern?

You can use this pattern when you want to re-direct the conversation to a different topic. Maybe during a meeting when the discussion shifts to a direction not relevant for the outcome or when you maybe face conflict and you want to move away from that topic. The issue is not the examples I give you BUT how many situations in your business can you influence by improving your communication and persuasion skills and that means practicing the patterns regularly until they become your second nature and help you become an even better leader, isn’t it? NLP and Communication

Some people use the word “BUT” frequently. I want to direct your attention to it so that the next time you use this word are aware of the effect it might have on your interlocutor. The word “BUT “ cancels things out. If you say:

  • You have coordinated the task force well BUT I am not satisfied with your overall performance on this project“. Where do you think the attention of the person will go? Yes, on the second part of the phrase and in some cases it will probably activate the defenses of your interlocutor…
  • You did not do well in this BUT you did well in that“: the attention will unconsciously shift towards the second part. If your intention is to help your counterpart realise there is more in her that she is currently showing in her performance and there are things she did do well then this pattern will help you guide this person unconsciously in this direction.

Some examples.

Of course there is much more in communication than this pattern but this is a good step forward. Think on what your intention for the message is and use the “BUT” word accordingly. Work your own examples and see the difference in the results! NLP and Communication

Here some more examples:

  • The issue is not about the high number of conflicts in your division BUT what and how your senior managers are communicating the strategy to their departments. How good are they at this?
  • The issue is not how many examples you read now BUT how easy it will be for you to use this pattern. This means you are already becoming a proficient communicator”. NLP and Communication

How to Start?

Start not with the most challenging situation but find those situations you feel comfortable to begin with: maybe at home (“The issue is not how well you did in math today BUT how you are not showing yet this level of performance at other important topics, so what can you do now to replicate this performance at history and spelling?). You will see the power of this language pattern as you put it into practice more and more. So, for the next few days notice how you focus your attention on this pattern and use it. The more you use it, the more a natural process will become for you. Remember, to increase your efficiency as a communicator, know your positive intention for the message you want to convey, build rapport and pay attention on what and how you use language. Leave people and business in a better place that where you found them, every day! NLP and Communication

About Mind Tools

Mind Tools provides NLP Practitioner and NLP Master Practitioner Trainings and Certifications. We educate you according to the renowned, latest and highest standards set by the Society of NLP. We will train you thoroughly in all the corners of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and some extras we learned from Richard Bandler directly.

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