Event Date: 05/06/2015 (2:00 pm EDT - 3:00 pm EDT)
SARAH SHAFER: The dynamics of rapport: Using Neurolinguistics to Improve Communication, hosted by HRDQU, and presented by James Eicher. Today’s webinar will last around one hour. If you have any questions you can always type them into the question box. We will be answering questions as they come in live at the end of the presentation or as a follow-up by email.
A well respected author and consultant, Jim Eicher is a subject matter expert in the fields of sales, organizational strategy, leadership, and communication. During his career he held leadership roles at Booz Allen Hamilton, Anderson Worldwide, Symantec and Net App as well as the founder of cognitive management welcome, Jim, and thank you for joining us.
JIM EICHER: Well thank you so much Sarah and thank everybody for tuning in today. Good morning, and good afternoon to you. I appreciate you taking your time I know it’s tough to take any time from the day now. Some of us can’t even spell the word lunch anymore because it’s been so long since we were able to take one. So I do welcome everybody and I appreciate you tuning in here.
So, we’re going to spend some time talking about communication and specifically as it pertains to neurolinguistic programming And just a bit about my background those of you that are familiar with neurolinguistic programming or NLP, I actually went to the University of California INAUDIBLE in the ’70s, where John Grainger and Richard Dantzler and Frank Pusek were creating NLP. So I kind of got in on the ground floor and I have had various applications and years ahead just one plug in there, for those of you who are sort of interested in the background and the social aspect of the development of NLP there is a recent book by John Grainger INAUDIBLE NLP, which is kind of a fun read it gives you the whole background of how it was created. So thanks again for joining in.
Some of you might be familiar with the neurolinguistic communication profile model that you see on this page that we use in the assessment and if you’ve used this or you know about it, that will help today but it’s not necessary to have taken the NCP as we call it or have used it at all in terms of understanding the behavior today. The focus is actually if you have used NCP and which is a self-assessment of your communications file, according to this model it really answers the question okay what do I do now? What do I do behaviorally? How do I understand this? How I apply it? How does it work in different work situations? How can I just observe people and assess communication style as well as adjust communication style myself? So I do like to get a bit of a poll so people that are on the webinar with us how familiar they are with NCP. So if we could go ahead Sarah and launch the first poll and that has to do with how many of you have used or are familiar with the NCP. Take couple of seconds and select one or the other and we’ll go from there.
Okay so it looks like just about everybody here, this is good news, it looks like close to 90% of you are not familiar with the NCP. This will be the background for you. And a little over 10% are. So, that’s great because this will fit quite well into that and give you the background to see if you find it useful going forward. So, thank you very much Sarah.
By the way, that helps me calibrate in terms of as we go through the context how many of you may be familiar with the concept of NLP as well so INAUDIBLE super helpful here. So the next thing we do is, let me ask all of you a question out there. My guess is that some of you have had the experience of meeting somebody for a very short amount of time and you just kind of naturally get along with them, it’s easy to talk to them, you do things together, you have similar interests, things that normally might be a conflict with someone else in some other situation aren’t, so you kind of wonder hey this is working out pretty well. And then sometimes you meet somebody and in a very short amount of time you don’t want to be around them at all, it’s difficult to work with even though you’re saying you know I think we should get along we have the same ideas at least and philosophies. But it’s just not working out here. The basis of this concept and how it relates to NLP is the concept of rapport. Some of you might may be familiar with because it’s kind of one of those NLP terms that has gotten out into a lot of language and a lot of coaching of leadership and management and that sort of thing, but we’ll delve quite into a bit of what that is and how to recognize and how to develop it. So, let’s go ahead and have another quick poll here. How many of you are familiar with the concept of rapport?
Okay, great. Wow this is super interesting! We have close to 90% this time that are familiar with the concept of rapport. As opposed to the NCP. And rapport is one of those NLP generated terms like if you have heard terms framing and reframing and rapport and some of the other ones that have gotten so much out into the vocabulary of learning and development that people, even if they never heard of NLP, are familiar with. One thing that blew my own mind as far as how much it’s gotten out there is the fact that it’s INAUDIBLE seen the recent movie with Colin Ferguson, The King’s Men, there’s a whole section on them using NLP in their spy work. But that’s a very different discussion. So let’s go ahead and talk about how this is going to work. What do you want to do in any kind of interaction is what I call first contact with an individual. And all first contact operates on the following things: Always has imperfect information no matter how much you prepare, how much background you have, how much vetting you’ve done, you don’t know everything. And even if you do, it’s no replacement for the interaction that you have with somebody. So there’s always imperfect information. There’s always a potential for long-term relationships even if you think there is not because you never now in a network of individuals whether you’ll come across that person again in some other context. So that’s also in the background, and as much me wanting to work on it and as much as me feeling relaxed and rehearsed and things there’s always a little bit of short-term tension when you’re having the first contact with someone even if there let’s say a friend of a good friend and that sort of thing. So, this goes to the idea here that and they say, you only have one time to make a first impression. And the outcome that you want to have, according to this model, in your first impression is that of rapport. And that relationship and that experience you have when you start to connect with somebody. So, let’s talk about that a little bit more and some examples.
So I have a question for the group. You can go ahead and type in some responses. We have two columns here. Column A and column B. Each one’s got a pair of individuals in there with different kinds of nonverbal communication because that’s what we can do here with a picture and I’d Just like you to take casual look at them and ask yourself what are some of the similarities in the columns A and B and what are some of the differences? I group them together. Do you agree with my groupings? It’s not a right or wrong thing, and then I’ll talk about so what, who cares about this? So take a couple minutes and do that.
Okay, so, thanks. We have some good responses here. So, what are some of the things that people observe? Well, what you notice here is that there’s one of the key foundations in terms of putting INAUDIBLE to practice is this idea of mirroring. And mirroring can occur on a nonverbal level, on a verbal level, visual, tactile, that kind of thing so it goes through all the senses that are a critical part of the NLP model. So what you see here is that in certain situations, even if the facial expression is negative there is some mirroring here. The other thing too is you look at this and say you don’t have all the information, so you could look at this and you could draw some kind of conclusion that may not be correct in terms of what’s actually happening in this interaction here. But, more or less people have an intuition that if you look in column A, these people are probably getting along pretty well. That’s kind of the genuine thing you’re looking for. And in column B you have an intuition that there may be some conflict there or there may be some kind of disagreement. And what you’re seeing here, as you have an intuition naturally about mirroring, rapport, and what’s going on. And what we really don’t want to do in this and less than this hour or so is take what we call unconscious competence which is the intuition that you have about how people are getting along, how you are getting along with people, how to improve the communication, and you want to turn into what is called conscious competence. So that’s going to be two different parts here going from unconscious competence to conscious competence specifically as it relates to the NLP model and rapport that we are talking about now.
So let’s see how were going to go through here. First of all, we set the stage and talked about the first contact and the value of rapport. We are going to talk about the webinar outcomes, were going to go a bit more into rapport and relationships. There is a cycle to it in terms of communication steps. There’s teambuilding and a lot of other things you might be familiar with. We’ll talk about a couple of concepts called pacing and leading in terms of changing your behavior and fitting your style to improve communication and reduce conflicts INAUDIBLE individuals. Will spend some time talking about how this going to work a little bit of INAUDIBLE going forward.
So, what is critical with the model that particularly in the early slide of the NCP? Was understanding so much communication learning style is. So what we’re going to do here is we are going to learn not just with NCP but how I observe, listen, even if it’s over the phone, or even an email, or text or any other kind of thing, what is the person communication style what is a preference. Very critical part of rapport because when I talk about conscious and unconscious competence, what you’re having unconscious competence about when you’re developing rapport with people is that specially see this the salespeople because they tend to do it unconscious competence although a lot of them have had this kind of training before if they are able to pick up on the cues and the clues of how people think, what the communication is and match to be flexible to do that. So, that goes to the second thing where you want to have personal professional flexibility but it’s going to be in a very deliberate, practical step-by-step play that were going to talk about here. So that you can move toward mutually beneficial outcomes for you and whoever you are dealing with whether it’s family, whether it’s at work whether it’s on a sales call, supplier, working on a project team, trying to put in INAUDIBLE whatever it is that you’re doing, it will benefit them and then the other thing to do is that you want to interact with others and this is kind of one of those boulder claims, but I think all of you on the phone will actually have a sense of INAUDIBLE. Sometimes you understand how people even communicate better than they do, which quite transparently can kind of creep them out sometimes, but it’s very, very effective and powerful in terms of building rapport and reaching mutually beneficial outcomes for people. So let’s talk a little bit more formal definition of rapport. So forgive me for reading this here as we go forth so rapport is the state shared by two or more individuals whose behavior, thinking and values come into alignment regardless of the “content” of their desired objectives and outcomes. You have friends that you are 180 on your political beliefs, your religious beliefs, where you think a good place to live is, how to raise your kids, any kind of, whether you are a dog or cat person, things that you think would just like be complete showstoppers as far as getting along with people. It might even be her best friend, maybe you’re even married to this person. So, you don’t know. So rapport is very powerful in terms of it really has to do with thinking and communication styles that transcend the content of any particular individual and individual philosophy. Now the court here in terms of the practical conscious competence development of rapport in the NCP model or NLP model is you recognize with the communication, learning, and thinking style is and then you develop styles, fit, and flexibility to do that. Now, a lot of the stuff I’m going to go over in here you are going to actually recognize as things that you do but again a lot of times it will be unconscious competence in conscious competence and we are really going to refine that so you make it conscious competence most of the time. So a lot of you do this you recognizes style and flexible and fit naturally and we are going to improve that.
Let’s talk real quickly about how does this apply to you. I’ve already mentioned some of this so like rapport in the work life, management, leadership, customer and stakeholder relations, your personal life, so if anybody wants to have any examples, feel free to go ahead and type it in and I’m going to talk through some of them here. Now, of course in your work life, one of the things you can do is if you have rapport good rapport with your boss then obviously then your conflict situation is going to be minimized. You can have open, transparent conversations. The same thing if you work in teams. If you have good rapport with the individuals. And managing up and not managing down having good rapport and understanding the style and thinking style is important management leadership roles, Some of the research done is that good managers and leaders are flexible. They do have flexible style. They understand at least at the unconscious competence level INAUDIBLE people understand things learned, they explain things for them well, they know how to get close to people, have people feel comfortable with them, and develop this naturally as they go along. Good salespeople, good customer relations in terms of developing relationships with the customer, closing the sale, that sort of thing. Of course in your personal life any kind of reduction of conflicts, development of trust, is in a parenting environment is also very mean, very important and very, very valuable as well. So these are a number of the ways and it would be kind of get into what are some of the tactical things that you can learn. I’ll give you some really specific examples of from my own experience at work.
Okay so let’s talk about the process of establishing rapport. It would be great if you could give everybody you met the NCP sort of like, I can’t remember which movie it was I saw for a book that I just read, you know going out and he was giving somebody a survey and they go out with them each time so, different styles and that sort of thing. That would be sort of a nice environment to be able to do that and use the NCP to understand thinking and learning styles, but that is not a common situation. So the question is well, what do I do? How do I understand this? So let’s talk about the basics of the model. The basics of the communication style are each individual has a preference for either visual learning and communication auditory, so, it’s just how things look how they appear, and before jumping to some examples about that, look over the other stuff, so auditory, conversation, talking, listening, key part of music, key part of communication of learning styles, thinking styles, and kinesthetic and tactile, that could be a couple of things. It could be feeling things, emotions, that’s the kinesthetic equation, on the other side, it can also be tactile settings, those a lot of you know people who are kind of like sports fanatics like get up and do things like they are active and very physical, so that would also be more on that kinesthetic kind of sensory motor style here. So that’s the basis of the model. We’re going to refine a little as we go through here and coming back here then is the key thing in terms of developing rapport and the other skills associated with the other communication, recognizing communication and style and then fitting your style to the other person and being flexible enough to do that. That’s where you start to operationalize this idea of getting out of your comfort zone. Everybody’s got a comfort zone. So, that’s great, but, what can I tactically do to recognize it and get out of it? And this model is very good at saying hey, this is your comfort zone. This is how it’s different from somebody else’s. This is exactly what you need to do to get there.
So that’s where we are going with this. In terms of if you aren’t familiar with NCP, similar to two different things like INAUDIBLE or situation leadership ship in terms of trying to assess style and INAUDIBLE, but the basics of this model is it’s a cognitively based model, it’s really about how people learn and think and the behavior in the research behind it is very powerful and it’s actually applied more and more as you’re seeing different things with computer applications that we all use on our smart phones and stuff and speech recognition, all that kind of stuff, that’s all cognitive psychology and but applied now because the technology is powerful enough to do that, but NLP has the same cognitive basis, that sort of thing. So let’s start with an overview of the model. How do I recognize what someone else’s style is so I can be flexible and fit with their style and develop a rapport and get the outcomes that I need? There are four main categories that we’re going to go over for the remainder of the webinar. And the first one is habits of attention. Literally what you pay attention to and what other people pay attention to. Now one the things that is assumed as we go through this is you’re going to have to get out of your own head and be really, really good observer. So all of these depend on you observing others, listening to others, watching others, feeling what’s going on, having a sense of things, around these four areas. So the first one is habits of attention, the second one is habits of organization. How do people organize their thoughts? How do people organize their work? How do people organize how to present information? And as we go through this you are going to see some examples that sort of pop out at you as Tom Peterson said, flashes of the obvious switch for those of you right at this point, somebody will recognize that. It’s a very visually oriented statement, blinding flash of the obvious. And we are going to talk about language and metaphor also, because that is also a very powerful way to recognize style. And then last INAUDIBLE will go over those as well. But the main thing here is that cues are clues. So they are all around you, we’re going to point some of those out in the next several slides. So if we go on to the next one, so this one is habits of attention. It’s literally, as I said the NCP model looking at visual auditory kinesthetics so it’s literally what are you looking at or someone else whether they are paying attention to you or someone else listening to, and how are you moving about and how are you feeling? So, let’s think about it this way. One example that I talk about here is let’s say you’re a car salesman. So, I think some people at most point or another have bought a car or have been in a car, so you are standing in the showroom and you’re watching and someone comes in and they walk in and they stand about two, three, four feet from the car. Maybe their arms are folded, they look. They look, and they walk around a little bit and maybe they crouched down a little bit to get another angle, they stand back, and they look at it from a different position, they shake their head, maybe they go into auditory mode, they start asking about colors, what are the options on color. So and then of course you can probably think the visual INAUDIBLE of the automobile, not only are they concerned about how the automobile has the correct looks, but I guarantee you and some of you out there have already done this, in the five seconds or so that I’ve talked about it is you actually visualize yourself sitting in the car or the truck and how cool you would look inside of it. So, that’s a case where if you know what you’re looking for it’s very obvious this person has a probably a component of visual style of learning and continued communication. So that’s when we get to the auditory, so the auditory person, they go up to the car and of course they don’t just look at the car, they will open the car door, they will close the car door, before they get in the car, they will open it up again, they will go sit in the seat, and they will close the door, and then they will turn on the sound system, and then they will also do something that if you’re not prepared for this might be a little different, they will just sit in the car completely still and be quiet. Because they are listening to how soundproof the car is. And then what they want to do is they want to take it on the road because they want to hear how soundproof it is when it’s riding including the sound of the car itself. And so those of you who like quiet you probably going to be buying hybrid cars because the engine shuts off a lot of times. So this is the case where obviously you’ve got the auditory buyer, and they will start asking a lot of questions. Questions about the car, performance, about this about that, about that system, about that option, and this feature. And then what you have is you have the kinesthetic buyer. So what they’re going to do is there going to go in, and if you’re in an auto showroom and you just spent the last hour polishing the car on the showroom, this is really going to upset you just one of those things where instead of reacting with conflict, understanding the style, you go, hey I know how this person wants to buy this car. Because the kinesthetic person well walk in and they will touch the car they might put their hands on the car and walk around the car, entire 360°, with their hand or hands on the car to get the feel of the car. Then what they will want to do is they’ll want to get in the car and swish around on the seats and they will thump the dashboard and grab the steering wheel, and a shifter, get all comfy and get a good feeling for the space inside the car. So you see if you’re the car salesman, you just polish the car, rather than you get upset then you’re just going to go in there and say hi hey how would you like to get in and feel how this car is and the seats are really comfortable so how does that feel against your back and you know the steering wheel has a really good grip, gives you are really good feel for buying the car. So you can see by these examples how the style works in this particular way. So in other words here the first one first habit of attention, what are you looking at, what are you listening for, and what are you moving and feeling about?
So the next component here that’s critical here is INAUDIBLE the refinement of the original model, the NLP model we put in the NCP is that you do have the orientation of being from attention the visual, auditory, kinesthetic, but taking in the left brain right brain work as well, you just don’t process information and visually, auditory, kinesthetic usually just do it in a serial or parallel way. So let’s talk about this here and I’ll give you some examples. So, to go through this chart here, if you are the serial thinker likes to do sequences one task at a time, a step at a time what you might call an analytical person, likes chronological order asked for detail, likes to complete a task before moving on. And then the parallel thinker, multitasks, things kind of go all over the board, they seem kind of scattered, they look at the teams, they talk about the bottom line, if they are visual they talk about the big picture, so if your boss comes in and wants the big picture, you know that they are visual and parallel thinker. So, we’re going to talk a little bit later about well what am I going to do in that case? So I can go over rapport and give my boss him or her what they want so to give you some examples here, in terms of organization, so a lot of times you look around and see how people’s desks are organized in that sort of thing so but another thing is again, not to get a little personal here but one of the fun things I have is I know if I were to walk into any of your homes, and I would go into the bedroom and open the sock drawer one of two things would happen, one is that the socks would be there, perfectly aligned by color in a sequence all folded together in order even maybe by size. Pretty frightening for some of you that are not left brain people out there. Some of the people of course I would be terrified to open the sock drawer. Because I know the socks that shoot out into some kind of explosion because all of them stuffed in there. So this is an example in real life how you organize things. And you see this with kids. Kids aren’t particularly serial as they’re growing up. So if you open the closet door, everything is in a complete pile or mess. This is the clean clothes by the way not even the dirty clothes. It’s a mess, so, if you ask, Johnny, can you find the blue stripe sock that you wore last Wednesday? They will be able to go into that pile and be able to pick it out. This is because neither style is right or wrong or good or better but each one is different in terms of how information is organized whether it’s organized spatially whether it’s organized visually, in a big picture kind of way, whether it’s organized in a very visual serial way like a Excel file. Like some of you out there right now are going gee, I love working on Excel. Some of you’re going oh my God that’s horrible. Some of you are looking at PowerPoint slides. Which is the difference between a serial visual, and parallel approach to things and course what you want to do is you want to learn how to do all of those things.
So let’s go into the next piece here. So the third habit of attention here and another one that you probably picked up on in this conversation tick is a word there what kind of word is tick? Tick is a kinesthetic word. But the language people use is also a reflection of their style and their thinking. So, if they want to see the bottom line, or they want to have a conversation, now if they are auditory zero they’re going to have a conversation, but they’re going to ask you tons of questions. So a lot of times they probably have a group of engineers, they tend to be serial whether they are auditory and ask a lot of questions or course you are an engineer into a lot of detail all kinds of drawings. Versus people talk about how they feel and they have to feel okay before they can make a decision and they talk about how things are churning in their gut that kind of thing. So, the language all around you also communicates what you’re particular style is. The thing about that, I was just looking down here so it’s not just the speaking it’s reflected in the email, it’s in texts, it’s very valuable information in terms of not the content that people are asking for because give you an example here, so I’m with the client and I’ve got two HR people, one is auditory and one is visual, so, what do I have to do? I have to walk in, I have to be able to verbally explain what it is that we’re trying to do, what are the outcomes and the benefits for them, and I have to have a picture I may have to have several pictures and not only do I have to have a picture I have to have it in a certain format. Do I know if this person is going to react more favorably to Excel or screen shot of an Excel file? Or are they going to want to see a flowchart on PowerPoint, or they want to see a set of bullets? All of this is that kind of stuff that if you use this information without attention can be in INAUDIBLE state.
So this one is a little bit more challenging to explain on the webinar, but, let me see if I can break this opportunity for you. There’s a couple ways you can do this. The next time you’re watching TV, particularly if it’s a live show, not so much a rehearsed thing, but a live interview. An interview is great if you could have a favorite interview show go ahead and watch there. Or you can set yourself in a coffee shop or something like that and observe other people. And what you are going to see is as people talk and pause, because this is where this happens, cognitively people say a phrase, say a sentence, and they will pause, and a lot of times when they pause they do something like hmm, let’s see, and their eyes will move a certain way or you know, I like what I heard, and then their head our eyes will look another way, or, they will talk about or express well, this is the way that I felt. And what you are going to learn is their eyes or their head movements are moving but they are not moving in a random pattern. In the old days, we recognize this through research using EEGs but now you can do cool things like PET scans and stuff to see how the blood is flowing in the brain and all, that kind of stuff, but, generally speaking people are either observing outside of their head or in their head, they tend to be either they are making pictures or talking to yourself, and I just want to show everybody that’s okay that you talk to yourself, it’s just a problem if you don’t know who is answering back. And the other thing is people have internal feelings and emotions about stuff. So this internal dialogue this internal visual imagery, the movie in the mind, that sort of thing, this is also characteristic of how people think and learn, and one of the easiest ways when you learn how to do this is you just watch people as they are talking and see how their eye moves. So, let me decode this chart a little bit. The V here is for visual so generally speaking if the eyes are looking up, you are accessing visual images, and if you were to hook somebody up to a PET scan you would see that going into neurology the occipital lobe in the back of their head are bright because they have more blood and having more neural activity. The other thing is that if the eyes are moving side to side or sometimes a little bit straight ahead or down or to the right. The A is auditory, they are accessing some sort of internal dialogue, or conversation you probably net people heavily with visual memory, you net people heavily really good auditory memory, they remember every conversation, it’s just a tape rewinding in their head and their eye movements will communicate that and a lot of times and people are emotional or feeling, they will be looking down at the right or down straight ahead to get in touch with their feelings. The interesting thing, too, is if you watch athletes, particularly those that need to perfect balance as part of they are doing, they will generally be looking down to kind of get in that state of balance. You will very rarely see somebody trying to balance very difficultly and have their head fly up into the air and look straight up. That kind of sounds kind of silly when you think about it that’s because you don’t see it very much and you tend to see the gaze going that direction going there. So this is the nonverbal, the interpersonal way of recognizing communication style, all four of these are important in terms of recognizing style, and then, as we move into this here next couple of sections, in terms of getting your style in a conscious competence way to build rapport.
We have a poll here, so, let me summarize and attach this to a work situation. You have habits of attention, organization, you have language and metaphor and eye movements, you’ve been put in charge of managing a large project for your organization what is the first thing that you do? Just looking at this slide here and asking this question it should make a lot of sense. And we are going to start connecting reality here right now. Most of you here want to visualize that project plan. Given a plan, I want to see. A lot of what we use is POAP, plan on page I’ve got to see that, that’s more the big picture one, those of you who are out there projects you know what I’m talking about, big picture you see in an Excel file gives them the main checks of time, When the project is going to start when it’s going to end, key milestones, that sort of thing, I personally hope never to use Microsoft project it’s sort of a dis there I apologize for that. That is an extreme example of a visual project plan that’s very left brain very INAUDIBLE oriented. Those of you have used project. See so you can see this in your day-to-day life, so visual connection there, plan on page. Now auditory, you want to talk to people you want to sit down have some conversation to the key stakeholders, how do I get in touch with them? Let me make some connections set up some meetings, have some calls. So right away you can see what somebody’s style is. Like, I am naturally auditory. But over the years what I’ve done is, if I go in and I have got a partner or a project lead who is visual, I’m not going to walk in and ask him how it’s going. I’m going to walk in with a plan on the page, I’m going to put it down in front and I’m going to talk in a more visual reference on what to do next, what are the deliverables, that sort of thing. They want to see the deliverables they don’t want to talk about it. Some people want to talk about it, they want to think things through that helps them. And then 15% INAUDIBLE, you generally, when I say feel anxious about your responsibility it’s not in any way negative. It’s that usually it’s an anxiety that motivates you to get out and start getting things done.
Okay, so, what you have here is the rapport cycle. All four phases and it’s 2 x 2 around relationship and intended outcome. And so your starting point here is on contact and this goes right back to the beginning of the webinar and the first contact we are developing rapport. Once you have established rapport with individuals it is easier to start the next phase of this which is you are starting to sort things out if you use the Tuchman model sort of phase where you started to sort out, talk about the differences, if you work on a project plan you work on DRP engagement you might have had a fit gap analysis, that’s the sorting phase here. And it’s always good to have rapport before you go to the sorting phase because you are talking about what the gaps are and the fact that it’s probably going to cost your client twice as much as they thought for you to fix it. So, rapport is very, very helpful there. Then you go to the agreement which is, okay, we got the SOW, to create your deliverables, once you get agreement, then you can start the next phase which is the verifying which is also the implementation phase as well. So, like I said in a project contract, that is kind of a cycle being developed here. So let’s go on here and look at the other applications. So Jim, now that I know that style, certainly more than I knew a half hour ago in terms of how people process information, how they think, whether it’s in detail or a bigger picture format, so what do I do? In order to develop rapport and problem solve with people, there are three areas I want to talk about. There’s mirroring, the other one is called formatting and chunking, chunking is another word that has kind of come out of the NLP universe and it’s out there, and then how you create value and practical applications with people.
What you want to do here in terms of developing rapport is, and there has been a lot of studies on this, videos studies, and all kinds of things, of individuals is that you want to intentionally mirror. Everybody unconsciously mirrors. Like I said, just going to a coffee shop, watch people interact. You will see leaning over at the same time, laughing at the same time, touching at the same time, lifting up their forks at the same time, their cups at the same time, so they are unconsciously mirroring each other. So, what you want to be able to do is, and I want to make a point there is a difference between mirroring and mimicry. You don’t want to do exactly what the other person does, because if they become conscious of it it’s kind of insulting and manipulative. What you want to do is both of you feel relaxed. What you tend to do is mirror, pick a couple of things from this list. On the left side you’ve got kind of visual things you could see the facial expression, hand/arm gestures, eye movements, head movements. Voice tone, breathing, that sort of thing. You will notice a lot of times people talking in tone. One person starts to talk in a low tone and the other person automatically starts talking in a low tone, too. And they don’t even think about it. They just kind of mirror each other. And on the other side you’ve got tempo, how fast or how slow, those of you who travel a lot you really see a lot of these differences. Here’s the thing though, if you go to a different country, they seem to mirror what they’re doing. It doesn’t matter what INAUDIBLE you use, it’s mirroring activity. The pacing them or matching them, that will create the rapport. So, these are different indicators, these are actual intentional behaviors that you can do. I usually try one of the things which is auditory, tempo, because if you are talking a lot slower, or a lot faster than somebody, it really disrupts rapport. Any of you out there that have had the experience with the call center, and they are either speaking much faster or much slower it’s really difficult to establish rapport INAUDIBLE communication and, but if they have the exact pace, even if it’s the same accent, even cadence of voice, then it’s a lot easier to establish rapport here.
I’m going to talk about pacing and leading here. In terms of the next piece which is formatting. So, I did talk about okay, you can establish rapport through mirroring, that sort of a body thing that you do with individuals, this is if you do stuff, you’ve got clients, you have got bosses, you have subordinates, you work on teams. How can I format my stuff so it will fit somebody else’s style? Well first of all, conscious competence. You got to recognize the style. But let’s assume at this point after 40 minutes you can do that, and so, what you want to do is you want to find out what works for this person. So visual INAUDIBLE charts, photos, memos, email, anything graphic, anything visual. If there were more left brained it’s more texty. If they are right brained it’s more flowcharts, visuals, graphics, those nasty graphics marketing people who are usually good at making the cool pictures, that sort of thing but then you go to the project manager and the project manager might want to see an Excel file. So you just have to know what those differences to be able to to translate the information to the format. The next thing is auditory, stories testimonials, music, discussion, phone, anything verbal, conversational again a lot of times people like to be very linear when you talk, bullet points, bullet one, bullet two, bullet three, bullet four, that’s different than hey, let’s sit back and chew this over, kinesthetic word but auditory context it’s kind of free-flowing brainstorming. Brainstorming is very different than INAUDIBLE problem solve things like that. Kinesthetic gesturing models and demonstration, people that common terms walk-through. One of the things I do on projects is I call wall walks. You combine visual, take posters of plans and put them on walls and have people talk them through and walk around and touch stuff and put up Post-it notes. See that way you get all senses in there and communication style, so you can build rapport with everybody. That’s sort of the ideal ways that you can do this. INAUDIBLE is there a way that you can make something seen, heard or something felt? And I do always recommend the wall walk. Because it does feed into all styles.
There’s the formatting part of the communication output which is the visual, kinesthetic, and auditory formatting, but then you have to chunk it. And in order to do this is that, so if you are going to put visual information out there, is it going to be big picture, graphics, that kind of stuff, or is it going to be like the other extreme like an Excel spreadsheet? Same thing, auditory, bullet points or kind of brainstorming conversation. And the same thing with kinesthetic, if you do a wall walk, people are literally walking, touching, and doing things, but it has linear secrets to it. That’s different than hey let’s go have a teambuilding activity and do a ropes course or something like that. So again, the key question there is can I make something big or small? Can I make something detailed? Or more conceptual? That’s what you want to be sensitive to working with those people.
This looks back to the beginning here kind of bookends, and so what you can see here is you’ve got three pieces of the model here you’ve got how you attend and take in information, visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and then once that information gets into your head or your noodle to use a technical term, and how you process it. How you organize your thinking, materials parallel details, conceptual. It’s not right or wrong. It could change all the time. Going back and forth a lot of times but reality of work is things do need to switch. They need to get detail in a conceptual and they are executive summary which we always called the big animal pictures where the people at the top and so what you’ve do is you got to instill all the detail in a nice simmering bowl when use your visual as well and that goes to your output what kind of output do they want? Do they want to see some slides? Do they want a handout, that sort of thing. That’s kind of the summary of the model here. A couple of quick examples of application. So, one is teamwork. Another one is conflict management. Another one is on the phone. If you are building a team with the information that you have now, the higher command they go to with these questions and ask yourself what is your style? What kind of information do you prefer and how do you organize your thinking? And you want a simple diverse team that has as many of these styles as possible. That is the ideal and don’t always have the flexibility of picking in this case, but you want to have a diversity of style. You want to have people who are visual thinkers, auditory, kinesthetic, detailed, big picture, because they will facilitate getting the most comprehensive problem solving on your team regardless of what it is you’re trying to do whether it’s something in engineering, and healthcare, with the school system, it doesn’t matter. But that will be the optimum team here.
Conflict: There’s another NLP term here and that has to do with anchoring. Some of you might have heard of that. Generally speaking a conflict is triggered by what is called a negative anchor. Anchors can also be positive, which mitigates conflict as well. Some examples of anchors are words phrases, a color, a song, a tone of voice, flowers, a particular smell, company logo. So what it is it people have a behavioral response to this. And marketing people in particular have studied cognition for quite a while now. Also people in design and ergonomics, they have a pretty good idea about why they spend the time putting together a particular image, or put a logo on something because it makes an anchor for somebody, reminds them of something visually when you try to create a positive experience, that’s what branding is all about. If I can create a positive, emotional response, to this image or this smell, say if I’m selling cologne or perfume, then I have established rapport with this individual and in the business context, you know, translates into a sale. On the other hand, under certain tone of voice, it’s negative for people. They look at a particular image and it’s negative, and that sort of thing. And that’s what you want to avoid in terms of conflict. I always want to kind of feel out and listen very carefully watch people respond to in terms of negative, positive, and then I try to avoid those negative things, words, phrases, pictures, colors, whatever it is, and accentuate the positive. So, again, it’s common sense, but this gives you a structure and a pattern to make a conscious competence.
I just want to kind of ask you before we wrap up here, just think to yourself what are some of your positive anchors and what are some of your negative anchors. I’m a coffee drinker, so, first thing in the morning, the smell of good coffee is great, it’s a really positive anchor. It’s just those simple things. Negative anchors can be all kinds of things, the tone of voice, we all have our own positive and negative anchors at work so it’s very important to understand not only what yours are but other peoples as well when you interact with them because they will either help facilitate rapport or it will nix it.
Okay, let’s go to the last piece here now an application, it’s on the phone. Now when you are on the phone with somebody, and this is for those of you who are auditory, this is going to be like second nature. For those of you who are more kinesthetic, particularly visual, he might be like huh? Again, your comfort zone is around your style here. So when I talk to people I always want to talk about how things look, how things sound, and how things feel. And you know some people say oh hey they are uncomfortable feelings, I don’t want to talk to somebody, let’s say I’ve got a client on the phone, and I know I’m kinesthetic I’ll talk about an approach to solving the problem, I’ll say how does it feel? Does it feel OK? Does it feel all right? And they go, yeah yeah that feels great. How does it sound? Or if you want to be neutral, this is sort of an expanded NLP training kind of thing but it would be like use words that are neutral like does that make sense? And whatever sense they make sense and just kind of put it in there. So that’s a little bit about how you can use stuff on the phone.
So let’s take a couple of minutes and wrap up here. And this is the process that you go through kind of visual and serial. Not to be to kind of high-level, big picture. So what you got here is you diagnose style, develop style fit, it’s very important to identify needs and outcomes the business objective, the deliverables, whatever it is that defines success for the individual that you’re working for or yourself. And then develop flexible responses which hopefully you’re even able to do now after you are understanding at a conscious level the differences in style. So let’s wrap up with the key learning points. Rapport over time equals trust. Instant rapport or getting rapport with somebody is good, but it’s the first step. But if you kind of deconstruct here people that you trust are people that you have rapport with over a long period of time and in a lot of probably conflict situations that you have worked through. And that is kind of the context to define trust and rapport over time. So, hopefully listening to this, for some of the benefits that you understand yourself, your client, and all the stakeholders want, and you will at times understand better than they do. In other words, a lot of people don’t know that they are primarily visual, auditory, kinesthetic, but you have enough cues now so you can recognize that pretty quickly. And you can facilitate their learning by understanding that. The second thing is that practice conscious competence now that you understand what these patterns are in terms of communication style. Develop your rapport around some of the tools like chunking and formatting and language and metaphor. The more that you do this the easier it will be and the more flexible that you’ll become. It might be particularly if your way out of your own style, comfort zone, it will be a little bit challenging, but, my approach to this is it’s remedial. The more that you practice it the more that you are aware of it, the easier it gets. And it does become second nature after a while. Then it kind of slips back into the unconscious because you’re just doing it all the time. So with that, Sarah, I will turn it back over to you.
SARAH: All right, great, thank you so much. And, we do have about five minutes for a live Q and A. So attendees why don’t you go ahead, if you have any questions, go ahead and submit those now into the chat box. And while we wait for those questions to come in, let me share a little bit about the program that is the foundation of today’s session. And that is the Neurolinguistic Communication Profile. You can review this set for 30 days risk-free. And we are also offering a 30% discount and you will receive a coupon code in your email after the session. And if you would like to purchase this set or review it, please visit HRDQstore.com.
All right, great, we do have a number of questions coming in, and it looks like our first one is coming from Adam: When presenting, should you try to incorporate all three styles to accommodate your audience?
SARAH: Great question. In the ideal situation, and when you’re doing any kind of training or presentation, is yes. You always can’t do that, but, you should have visual, and I like to have my material visually formatted in a couple of ways. Usually I will start with PowerPoint, but I like to have some charts and stuff as a backup, you have to have good conversation and work that in there. Have a period for Q and A. This is all kind of straightforward stuff, but if you miss a little bit, the other thing too is what about the tactile part? Visual is IN audible complication and electronic has gotten, people like to touch stuff. So maybe now they’ve got their smart phone or their iPad or something, but that’s way push stuff out in “soft copy” so that they can hold their iPad or something and look at it. I also make handouts as well. So, a lot of times you can’t do all of this, but in an ideal world you can do this, the technology is getting better, for example, maybe you’ve had an experience with Telepresence or some version of Telepresence. You know that really answers the question of how do I get that visual component? And tactile actually but they can watch people move they can see facial expressions, you know their emotions, but you can have 100 people in Singapore and another hundred in New York and that. And so, yeah, that is a long way of saying yeah go for that that’s important.
SARAH: All right, great, thanks. And our next question is coming from Jeff: Recognizing that this takes practice, what would be the average time for the normal person to achieve rapport?
SARAH: Well, I’m assuming you are talking about it not as an unconscious competence because that could be instantaneous depending on who you’re meeting. But, at a conscious competence level, and if you know this stuff, it takes a couple of minutes. So, what I do is if I don’t know somebody, and I can’t see something or hear something right away, I kind of try to cycle through a few things. Like I throw some bait out there, certain visual bait and auditory bait, and some tactile bait and see which one they respond to. So sometimes that can take half a minute or minute before I get a response, and then I say oh okay, will they have responded to this slide that I showed them now I’m going to go down the spatial path or hey they just want to sit down and talk about this and it will go that way. It usually takes a minute or two when you’re deliberately conscious about it.
SARAH: All right, great, thanks. And I think we probably have time for just one more. This one is coming from Diana: Will my style change at work versus at home?
SARAH: Great question. Okay, yes. Generally speaking, your style at home and at work are different. They aren’t radically different, and that’s because the context that you are in at home or at work is different. There are some basic patterns I don’t have time to go into all of it but generally most of us are more emotional at home, particularly if we have kids or pets or that sort of thing. And more tactile in that sort of stuff ask you what went down in that kind of thing kind of fall out of the style that work is demanding of you during the day. So, there’s kind of a shift that you’ll see here. A lot of times at work, it’s learned style at home it tends to be a little bit more what your natural predisposition is.
SARAH: All right, great, thanks. Okay, Jim, that’s all the time we have. Would you just like to add any final thoughts before I go ahead wrap up this session?
SARAH: I just want to thank everybody for their time, for hanging in there till the end. I really appreciate it. I hope this has been useful and feel free to contact HRDQ if you have any other questions and I’ll see about answering those and helping you out anyway that I can. So again, thanks very much for your time, take care and enjoy the new learnings.
SARAH: All right, great, thanks again. If we didn’t get time to answer your question, you are going to receive an emailed response to those answered questions from Jim probably about midweek of next week. So, we appreciate your time and we hope you found today’s webinar informative.
Have you ever felt like you “hit it off” with someone- maybe even after knowing him or her for just a short period of time or discovering that you have very little in common with that person? Still, you just sensed you would get along, despite the reasons why you shouldn’t.
Now turn it around. A friend introduces you to someone they just know you’ll love. Or you meet someone that you expect to like immediately. Yet you’re surprised when you dislike them right off the bat- or you’re indifferent to that person, at best.
Participants Will Learn
- Identify the sensory-based preferences of others (e.g., visual, auditory and tactile)
- Pay attention to both the big picture as well as the small details when communicating with others
- Develop flexibility to improve communication with others
- Anticipate, address, and eliminate conflict- before it occurs
- Listen to others to get a better understanding of who they are and what they want
Who Should Attend
- Organization development professionals
- Human resources professionals
- Supervisors and managers
A well-respected author and consultant, Jim Eicher is a subject matter expert in the fields of sales, organizational strategy, leadership, and communication. During his career, he held leadership roles at Booz Allen Hamilton, Andersen Worldwide, Symantec, and NetApp. He was also the founder of Cognitive Management, training and consulting with worldwide clients such as Xerox, Reuters, Sony, Simon and Schuster, Amdahl, and Nortel.
In addition to the Neurolinguistic Communication Profile, Jim is the author of the highly acclaimed book on management communication, Making the Message Clear as well as the assessment tools The Leader-Manager Profile, Post-Heroic Leadership: Managing the Virtual Organization, and Rapport: Matching and Mirroring Communication.