Friday, February 15, 2008

NLP Tips: 1. Communication

I just finished reading Develop Your NLP Skills (3rd edition)by Andrew Bradbury and am going to capture some of the interesting NLP tips in a series of posts (this one being the first).

NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) is a methodology and collection of tools to aid in communication and personal development. Because NLP claims to be based in science, I thought it would be up my alley, but I found it to still be a bit too fluffy. But I did learn some interesting things that can definitely help in my personal interactions and in my work as a coach.

The first thing I want to highlight is a very basic concept on communication, but useful to keep in mind.
Many people view communication as:

I Think > I Speak > You Hear What I Say > You Know What I Mean.

This isn't exactly right because communication involves some amount on translation and decoding. In reality communication is more like:

I Think > I Encode > I Speak > You Hear > You Decode > You Think You Know What I Mean.

Communication isn't easy because we have to translate our thoughts into words and then hope that they're "decoded" as we intended by the other party. Sometimes, communication is a bigger problem with the people closest to us.

Since we've had many years of interaction and communication with them, we expect our immediate family and friends to know how we "encode" and what we mean when we say X, Y, or Z. We believe that they've been "decoding" our communication for so long that they can read our minds.

But we have to remember - they don't have the perfect decryption key, and even if they did, it would be hard to do in real-time and under emotional conditions. A communication breakdown becomes even more frustrating because we think they should know what we're talking about (because they should have superior decoding abilities for dealing with us).

This NLP perspective on communication definitely made me think about how I encode my thoughts and why clear communication is difficult (especially with the people closest to us).
  • Does this perspective bring up any observations you've had on communication?

1 comment:

GS said...

My thought on communication: Don't try to "communicate" when you're upset. Walk away, take 10 deep breaths, and then if necessary - write a note :)