Sunday, July 7, 2013

Learning To Speak A New Language In Ten Days!

My DNA, upbringing, education, life experiences, mindset, personality, fears, hopes, beliefs, values, present state of mind, and many, many other things, act as filters through which incoming information flows. So. When you say, “I TOLD you what I believed/ thought/felt. You just didn’t listen, did you?” I ask, "Really? Was that the problem?"

The old saying, “I say what I mean and mean what I say,” is good, as far as it goes. The problem is that it doesn’t go far enough, because I define and experience the words you are using differently than you are intending. If you want to communicate with me, then I suggest that you discover how I am defining and experiencing the words you are using and, either use different words, or let me know what you mean by them. But this is only the beginning of learning to speak my language.

We are not only communicating with the spoken word but with how the words are being spoken, and with the behaviors that are accompanying our words.

Paying Attention People are constantly giving us “tells” as to how they wish to be communicated with by how they communicate with us. Whether it is being romantic with our lover, caring for a friend, teaching a child, or making a sales pitch, we can expand our fluency and effectiveness by paying attention to the individual’s preferred method and style of communication: his tone of voice, posture, level of energy, breathing patterns, discovering if he wants to see things (visual), hear things (auditory), or feel things (kinesthetic), and everything else about him that is “communicating.” The closer my style of communicating mirrors his style, the more effective I will be.

Practice Once I begin noticing how he wishes to be communicated with, I need to start practicing this new way of communicating with him. At first it may not feel authentic because it is not “spontaneous,” but the more I practice the more it will become a habit of mind for me with this person. And if I think, “Well, I am just not that way,” I need to counter this thought with, “How important is the outcome of my communication to me, here?” If I want and need to be “heard,” then I will begin studying this person’s unique “language” by discovering his “tells,” and then incorporating them into my communication strategy.

Maybe you have never thought of communication in quite this way. However, you have intuited its wisdom. Parents know that each of their children must be communicated with just so. When you design a pitch for a project you want to undertake, you ditch the PowerPoint “Because the boss doesn’t like them,” you start out with the big picture rather than details, because “vision” is his brain’s default position, and etc. With each individual we wish to communicate, we somehow know there are a few adjustments to be made in how we go about getting our message across. What I am suggesting here is that you take what, up until now, has largely been a subconscious practice, and make it conscious so you can hone your linguistic skills. Believe me Skippy, if you pay attention, you can be speaking fairly fluent Monte in 10 days or less! 

Copyright, Monte E Wilson, 2013

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