Personal or Business, relationships drive our life force.
Relationship building with some people is really easy and with others it’s really hard and sometimes even feels completely impossible. Why is that? What makes some people a pleasure to connect with and others a coming together to avoid at all costs? The answer is really very simple, it’s you!
Surprising? Yes, possibly! Have you ever thought to yourself, ‘It’s not me, it’s them, they are impossible to communicate with’ or ‘There’s just something about them I can’t relate to’? The inner reaction is just to avoid the person and in some situations this is fine, although you may be missing out on a really inspirational conversation. Other times, for example, at work, this can be a problem if the person is your boss or a colleague you work with closely.
So let’s do a bit of NLP thinking to find a quick and easy solution to your relationship challenges. Firstly, there are two very important basic presuppositions we should consider and reflect upon for a moment:
Respect for the other person’s model of the world.
We all process the world around us differently, deleting, distorting and generalising the information which enters our neurology via our five senses in a way that is unique and personal to us. To build a relationship with anyone, understanding and respecting that this internal processing is happening in a way that differs from our own is very important and the first step to connecting in a meaningful way. Remember, respect does not mean agree.
The meaning of any communication is the response you get.
We are all responsible for our own communication. When someone misunderstands something that we have communicated, the buck stops with us as the owner of the communication, it’s not the other persons fault that they have received the message in a way that varies from our intent. This may be hard to hear and very empowering. Once you are able to take full responsibility for your communication, you embrace control and personal power.
Accepting and adopting these two simple presuppositions enables us to think more positively about relationship building. Moving on from the starting line, we can now accelerate towards mastering communication.
Understanding how another person likes to receive information is the first hurdle. The way to create a deep understanding is simply to listen to them. What language do they use consistently? Do they use visual language, painting pictures as they speak or auditory language with a resonance that sounds good to them? Do they talk in terms of their feelings or perhaps they speak in a very logical and analytical way? Notice the pitch, tone, tempo and timbre of their voice. Is their voice high and fast, or low, slow and gravelly? Do they speak in terms of the big picture or do they like to talk in detail about things? Can you hear any idiosyncratic words, favourite words and terms that they use frequently? All of this information, just by listening.
Now watch! How do they hold themselves physically? Do they use their hands when they speak? Do they smile a lot or blink a lot or tilt their head in a certain way? Notice everything about their physiology.
As you approach the finishing post, rapport is key. Now you have all of the information you need to build deep rapport. Rapport is a process of matching and mirroring and done well, creates an almost magical state where your communication is accepted uncritically at the unconscious level. Rapport is a process of responsiveness, not necessarily liking. People like people who are like them. So, match and mirror everything you have noticed about the person, the physiology, the voice and the language patterns used habitually and you will find that quite astonishing levels of communication follow.
Personal relationships run much deeper. When communication between couples breaks down, we need to take our NLP thinking to the next level. Challenging relationships often come down to a mis-match in relationship values i.e. what is important to us about a relationship. What a personal believes about the relationship, negative anchors and unfulfilled deep love strategies tumble into the melting pot to create a divide. Here, NLP relationship coaching is the effective answer and the question is, ‘Is this relationship worth saving?’
Building strong and lasting relationships is key to success in all areas of our lives and with a little NLP thinking, we can all reach the winning line first.