Sunday 26 August 2012

The meaning of the communication is the response that you get

One of my all time favourite NLP presuppositions (beliefs it's useful to try on) is "the meaning of the communication is the response that you get." 

It's a favourite because it's got me out of so many holes with others and has done so time and time again. Why? Because, if someone isn't understanding what I'm saying, it shifts any responsibility from those on the receiving end of my communication back to me. Which is great because it then means I can do something about it. So long as I'm blaming the other person for being for example slow, awkward, tired, arrogant, or any other judgement I'd like to make about their inability to understand what I'm saying, then I can't do anything about changing the situation. If I accept this presupposition then in order for this person, or in the picture above - the whole room, to understand what I'm saying I'm going to have to change what I'm doing because it's clearly not working. 

I often use the example of wanting to open a closed door - I can keep pushing on it to open, I can shout at it to open but until I realise I need to pull it to open it I'll be getting nowhere. It's the same with people - you just have to find out how their door opens.
Next time you're having problems communicating to someone remember it's your responsibility to change what you're saying to improve their understanding. Other posts in this series on NLP will provide more clues on what changes you might wish to consider.

Alison Smith
The Purchasing Coach
Sowing the seeds for effective communication in purchasing teams

This post is part of a series introducing some NLP tools and techniques that can significantly improve your stakeholder engagement, communication and team working.

Bored team picture source: via Alison on Pinterest

Door pushing/pulling picture source: via Alison on Pinterest

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