My blog post today is titled ‘Communication’. But it’s also to be taken as an exercise. I mentioned before that we sleep even though we are awake, only sometimes do we actually do something with complete presence. So I want you to improve your communications skills by observing other people, how they communicate. The method I use is to break communication down into three branches:
- Visual, is what you can see (When someone uses words like “I see what you mean” or “Look!” or “You’re not seeing me eye to eye”)
- Auditory, is what you can hear (When someone uses words like “Listen to me” or “I hear what you are saying” or “That sounds OK”)
- Body/Kinesthetic, is everything else, usually related to the body (When someone uses words like “I feel like..” or touch themselves or uses bodily language or body sounds like SIGHs).
When someone communicate, they may quickly move between these modes. But if you catch the current mode, then, for that instant, that is the mode they are communicating in, you should match that mode to communicate effectively.
One example of when using different modes will create poor communication is the argument between a couple:
Wife: “You don’t undersand what I feel!”
Man: “You don’t see what I am saying!”
Probably their marriage consultant would say something like:
Counselor: “You both are not listening to my words!”
If only the man or wife had switched mode they could have avoided having to go to the counselor (which didn’t help either).
Man: “I feel the same as you do”.
Wife: “I see!”
Man: “Looks like we worked it out, huh”
Wife: “I will definitly listen more to you.
Man: “I hear you”.
Invariably, the couple had argued for hours and hours, until one of them switched mode onto the same kind of communication.
Another example is when I tried to teach three people how to meditate, starting with relaxing and taking a big breath.
First I said: “Take a deep breath, and listen to the air as you breath in and out”. Only one person got it.
Then I said: “See your chest move as you breath in, breath out”. Then a second person did it, one person remaining.
Lastly I said: “Feel the air rushing in, and out”. Finally all three got it.
The next time I said simply all three methods at once:
“Take a deep, long breath, listen to the air enter your body, see your chest expand as you breathe in, and feel the air rushing in, and then breath out, feel your body relaxing, see your chest go in and hear the air escaping….”
That made the message universal and effective.
Now practice this knowledge – in your live conversations with other people!
Note that this principle also applies to learning. Some people are dominantly visual, while some are auditory. And this can also change due to mood and time of day. When you learn something, try to differentiate your main way of receiving information, is is seeing, hearing or touching?
Stay awake – also during daytime. and. pay. attention. to. details.