NLP And Communication Revisited

by : andrewhansen1

One of the major contributions NLP has made to personal development and life enhancement is its applications to communication both internal and external. NLP offers many practical techniques to allow us to engage in more meaningful interactions with those around us by limiting many of the barriers to effective communication.

This article will look at some of the ways NLP can enhance our communication skills specifically with others, and in doing so enhance the quality of our lives.

Called Neuro LINGUISTIC programming for a reason, NLP is focused on the language patterns involved in the way we communicate with ourselves and others. Language patterns, specifically the words we use and how we use them have a profound effect on our experience of every day life. When we have an experience of any kind, then we give a label to that experience, the label, or the words we use BECOME the experience.

For example, you return from a day at Disneyland and someone asks you how it was. You might answer it was awesome, fantastic, thrilling, scary, exciting, fun, heart pumping or crazy. Whichever word you choose to describe the experience, IS the experience. Say you chose 'scary'. Really the word 'scary' isn't anything, it's just a combination of letters.

But at the same time scary is a feeling, a set of thoughts and mental imagery that is associated to that combination of letters.

Think of this: Imagine if you didn't know the word scary? For some reason it had been omitted from your vocabulary, or you'd never heard it said as a child. Would you know how to be 'scared'? It's reported that some small island nations don't have a word for 'war'! Imagine how that affects their way of life!

Words cause chemical reactions in our minds. The things we say or hear said to us, particularly the words that they are said in, cause us to feel certain ways about things and react in certain ways to certain circumstances.

How do you answer when someone asks 'How are you?'? Do you mindlessly reply 'Fine' or 'Ok'. How do you feel when you say that? How do you feel after you have said it?

What if you replied 'Phenomenal!', 'Really Superb', or 'Fantastic'? Do you think you would feel differently? Two people can have the same experiences day to day, but one can label them 'ok' and one can call them 'Awesome' and as a consequence one person will FEEL awesome and one will physically feel OK.

Do you see the power of words yet?

If not, think about it in a more external communication type context. Say someone has just given you their opinion on something and you reply 'I'm not sure I agree'. Do you think this would make the person feel differently to if you said 'You're WRONG'.

Both replies have indicated the same meaning: you don't agree with them, but the words used create dramatically different reactions and so greatly influence the interaction between the two people. Ok, ok you get it, words influence how we feel.

NLP holds the key to many communication issues such as this.