Neuro Linguistic Programming is a useful framework of tools and methods that helps us understand how the mind works.
According to the NLP communication model, the internal representation and processing of external events constructs my unique idea of reality that is distinct from your unique idea of reality. As each of us receives stimuli differently (some are more visual while others are more of listeners), our mental filters cause cognitive distortions. These then feed into fortifying our beliefs and convictions over a period of time.
We always have a mental map of our existence. Mental maps are our subjective personal perception of the world. Simply put – we are conditioned to accept the world as we are. If we are cynical, we will see conspiracies everywhere, all the time.
So how does a business communicator who may not have studied psychology, leverage the principles of NLP in her work?
Firstly, it is important to understand that mass communications can be effective only if they are delivered to the intended audiences in a wide variety of formats. An email is the most unimaginative communications tool but has become the standard because of the vulgar control it provides to the sender. The consumer of Comms may prefer a text or voice message, for instance or a sticky note on his laptop. But the originator’s obsessive desire to track and govern organizational communications sometimes makes it ineffective.
The consumer of Comms may prefer a text or voice message, for instance or a sticky note on his laptop. But the originator’s obsessive desire to track and govern organizational communications sometimes makes it ineffective.
Secondly, people attach meanings to everything and like to fill in the blanks. Yes, we are constantly judging everything and everyone. So, what remains unsaid could often negate the value and impact of what is openly shared.
Thirdly, labels do matter. One cannot underestimate the power of relatability. A leader who likes to communicate often, must use a style and language that the staff can easily trust and digest. That’s what gets labelled as ‘humane’ and ‘approachable’ versus ‘stiff and complex’.
Finally, everyone loves a good story that has characters and circumstances. As long as the story ends in hope or celebration, it will engage and inspire. If it’s a list of incidents and not a narration, it will not be retained or remembered.
It shall be gone with the wind!