Your relationships are forged through your communications and communication occurs at both the conscious and unconscious level. Many of the conflict situations that you experience within your relationships are established through imprecise communication and you are using inexact and inappropriate approaches to the way you communicate without even knowing it.
People like people who are like them. That’s the basis of rapport and the simple reason why your dearest friends are the ones you chose to be closest to you. When differences occur, then the stage is set for a conflicted performance. So how can you get in control of the responses that you get and become ultimately flexible in your communication to build stronger and more productive relationships?
Flexibility in the conscious use of language is one of the key learning topics that we teach during our Enhanced NLP Coach Practitioner Certification Training. We spend a couple of days really getting to grips with language and how to use it with volition and purpose, it’s really great fun to play with!
There just isn’t space in this brief blog to tell you about everything, so in this part I’m going to focus on just one thing that is the cause of many relationship clashes!
Consider this scenario:
Husband comes home after a hard day at the office to be greeted by his loving wife who has also had a hectic day in work:
Wife: Hi, welcome home, how has your day been?
Wife: Anything exciting happen?
Wife: What did you have for lunch?
Husband: Oh, the usual.
Wife: How was the traffic?
Husband: What about you, how was your day?
Wife: Well, it didn’t start well as the milk was off so I couldn’t have my porridge as usual so I had toast instead. That reminds me, we need to get some more butter, I like the olive oil based one best. Then I had to run for the train and it was jammed, I ended up sitting next to this lady who told me about her kids, they are doing really well and both at University in London, she was so proud it was lovely. Then at work I had a big presentation this morning and it went really well, that NLP course in presenting that I took really paid off, I’m so please that…
Husband: I’m just going to get a shower.
I’m sure you have identified the problem here. Two people communicating at very different levels of detail. Imagine the frustration and even hurt that each one felt as they failed to receive the information that they wanted. The husband in this example communicates at a very abstract level, thinking only about the big picture. In NLP we call this high-level chunking of language. The wife is a detail person and is very specific in her language, this is low-level chunking of language. Is this scenario ringing any bells for you?
You may have experienced this phenomenon in a corporate setting. You know, when the top team sets out the big picture for the company without any tangible specifics and the people who make things happen have no clue how to put the big picture into practice and so the vision goes nowhere! Everyone in the business asks, ‘Yes, and what does that mean for me on a daily basis?’ and nobody has the answer to offer them. There is no effective communications between the big picture thinkers and the detail people and so business performance and therefore profitability suffers as a consequence.
The first part of the solution to adding flexibility to your communication is to learn how to firstly recognise when you are communicating with a big picture or a detail person and then how to adapt your own chunk level to match theirs, building rapport and creating a strong connection on which to build and nurture the relationship. It’s a simple concept and makes a massive contribution to great communications. In NLP, we call this topic The Hierarchy of Ideas and the practical exercises you will experience during your Enhanced NLP Coach Practitioner Certification Training are really fun!
If you want to create stronger and more productive relationships then learn how to chunk your language, we will show you how.