Once again, you’ve experienced the importance of rapport and various ways to gain it. This chapter focused on detecting a speaker’s preferred sensory modality and matching it to establish rapport.
There used to be a common misconception that a person was visual, kinesthetic, auditory – just one particular mode. This is inaccurate – so avoid that mistake. While people have preferences in their modalities of perception and thought, everyone does all of them. Which one someone prefers in a particular moment can and will usually change with context. So it’s important to pay attention in the moment.
As a refresher, here is the material on how the choice of predicates (sensory words) can reveal someone’s sensory modality as they are speaking. It’s well worth going through this again, and even playing a few recognition games.
Representational Systems Indicators
Excerpted from the NLP Comprehensive Portable Practitioner Program, Manual Section 1, pp 4-6:
The process words (verbs, adjectives, adverbs) which people use to communicate about their experience can give a clear idea of their model of the world). If you pay attention to this information, you can alter your own behavior (in this case, your choice of words) to “match” their process words in order to acquire increased understanding of how they are representing their experience to themselves. Indicators reveal what part of an experience is most relevant to the speaker at a particular point in time. If you want immediate rapport and trust with someone, one of the things you can do is to “match” them, speaking in the same kind of process words in which they are speaking.
How Words Reveal Representational Systems
”I see what you are saying.”
“That looks good.”
“That idea isn’t clear.”
“I am hazy about that.”
“I went blank.”
“Let’s cast some light on the subject.”
“Get a new perspective.”
“I view it this way.”
“Looking back on it now, it appears differently.”
“An enlightening (insightful, colorful) example.”
“I hear you.”
“That rings a bell.”
“It sounds good to me.”
“Everything just suddenly clicked.”
“Listen to yourself.”
“That idea has been rattling around in my head.”
“Something tells me to be careful.”
“I can really tune in to what you’re saying.”
”It if feels right, do it.”
“Get a handle on it..”
“Do you grasp the basic concept?”
“Get in touch with yourself.”
“I have a solid understanding.”
“I am up against a wall.”
“Change your standpoint.”
“You are so insensitive.”
“I have a feeling you’re right.”
“I am boxed in a corner.”
“He is under my thumb.”
“They really put the screws to me.”
|view||lend an ear||concrete||fume|
|glimpse||chatter||relaxed||with a nose for|
|see at a glance||orchestration||grope|
Unspecified Process Words
If a person represents his/her experience visually, then they will speak in visual predicates. Many of us speak in the same predicates as others, thus we find ourselves “matching” one another, deeply absorbed in conversation; and yet there are times when we “mismatch” and wonder what we said that “offended” the other person. Herein lies one difference between those people who are able to establish rapport and trust and those who do not.
Predicates which do not indicate any of the sensory input channels are UNSPECIFIED. That is, they are unspecified as to just how the process is being represented or executed — whether in pictures, smells/tastes, feelings, or sounds. Some examples of unspecified predicates are:
think learn change consider
know nice trusting remember
understand intuit respect believe
When presented with such words there are several options for determining how the experience is being represented. One choice is to ask, “How, specifically, do you think (know, understand, learn)?” This will elicit a verbal response richer in process details, or a nonverbal behavior (eye scanning pattern) which will specify the sensory representational system being used.”
The most obvious benefit you’ll experience is the ability to achieve deep levels of rapport as you step more into other peoples’ worlds. We’ll be referring to more uses as we move into the next section.