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Go on…..seduce me! I dare you.

Effective communication skills are highly valuable. They enrich our personal and social lives. In business it’s a matter of life and death.

This blog will show you how to gain almost instant rapport with whoever you meet whether in person or through writing using highly effective communication skills.

If you want to invest more time looking at Rapport Building then I highly recommend the book ‘Instant Rapport’ – Michael Brooks (no relation)



In recent years, much has been learned about the way the human brain processes information. The memories we have, the way we perceive experiences, are controlled by our visual, auditory and kinesthetic abilities.

Everything in our minds is there primarily due to what we see, hear and feel. Remember these three modalities, they are VERY important. Again, they are

  • VISUAL
  • AUDITORY
  • KINESTHETIC

These three modes combine in any learning or communication process. We use all of them to a degree.
However, research indicates that with the majority of us, one of those modes is more dominant than others.


Do you like to learn by watching, looking at diagrams or training videos? Probably you are more visually oriented.

Do you prefer to be told through the spoken word? Or are you the kind that likes to get his hands on the subject and starting doing, learning through a process of experimentation? Then you are probably more of an auditory or kinesthetic.

If this is true of us, it is true of the other person. What if you knew which kind of mode is dominant in the person you are talking or writing to? Could that help build rapport or in some way make your communication skills more effective? ABSOLUTELY!

Companies have spent thousands of dollars educating their salesmen to utilise this knowledge. The results? Dramatic!
How can you apply this very valuable insight? By taking special note of the words and phrases your prospect uses.

People often use expressions that indicate which modality they are thinking in at that moment. For example, “I see what you mean”, “I hear you”, “I’ve got a feeling about this”. When you hear these expressions, sit up, take note. They are sign posts pointing to that person’s modality.

So you have the sign posts, what do you do now? You respond in the same manner. Start using expressions in that person’s dominant modality. Why should this work?
Because words convey ideas to the other person’s mind. You start communicating on the other person’s wavelength. Just like two modems making an internet connection, your two brains start ‘hand shaking’. The effect is amazing.

Skeptical? That’s understandable. Just start, try it and you won’t be any longer.

Here is a true life experience.

A successful financial advisor read up on this subject and started employing the methods.

One day he walked into the office of a manager interested in a savings plan. The financial advisor noticed many artistic pictures on the manager’s office walls. He commented on them and gave an honest compliment.

The manager used expressions like “let me show you”, “you must see this”. The financial advisor immediately picked up on this and realised the manager was a visual.

When the time came for him to make his presentation, he started off by saying, “Let me first give you the big picture” and with that he pulled out a diagram. The manager immediately leaned over and started closely scrutinising the savings plan. From there on it went like a dream.

The rapport was established early on. The manager began to think “I like this man, I can do business with him.” A very good plan was devised which suited the manager’s needs well and both parties were happy – the manager with his plan, the financial advisor with his commission. A win win ending.
Don’t underestimate the power of communicating in the other person’s preferred mode.

Now, how can you apply this in your business? Do you write ad copy or sales letters? Do you do face to face selling or telephone selling?

Sprinkle your words with phrases from each mode and see how the prospect responds. If they respond with similar expressions, you have identified their mode.

Here is a list of words and phrases to help you identify a dominant modality:

VISUAL 

crystal clear / focused / flash / hazy / sight for sore eyes / up front / it appears to me / get a bird’s eye view / it looks like / in the mind’s eye / you get the picture / it’s clear cut / take a dim view / tunnel vision / the naked eye

AUDITORY 

rings a bell / all ears / certain overtones / harmonize / make myself heard / tuned in / that’s unheard of / to tell the truth / in a manner of speaking / gave him an earful / listen up / tongue-tied / described in detail / sounds like / just say it

KINESTHETIC

I’m conscious of / you can sense / she perceived / lay your cards on the table / come to grips with it / that’s a pain in the neck / pull some strings / hang in there / touch base with / it boils down to / start from scratch / that was under handed / hold on / you need to experience it / in a moment of panic

These lists are just to get you started. There are an abundance of signals out there in the way people express themselves.
You just need to “read the signs”, “hear the bell ring” and “grasp the meaning” behind the words your prospect is using, either in written or spoken form.
 

Rapport is almost priceless. Agreements, contracts, big business deals are often concluded between people because they sense a bonding between them.

Develop and practice these essential communication skills and your life and business will take on new vitality!

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Do or do not….there is no try

Do or do not…there is no try – Yoda, Star Wars Episode IV

Most will know the title of this, so how does it relate to you. Today, tomorrow, forever.

Well, at what point do we really become accountable for our actions? At what point do we stand on our own two feet? When do we begin making our own way in life?

You may have different views on this matter. As a father, husband and a coach, I also have a view. Allow me to presuppose we are looking at this with different viewpoints. Please read this next statement three times.

“This is my map of the world, it is not THE map of the THE world, purely mine. You have your own map of the world.”

Having read that three times, I want you to ask yourself this question?

Do I have a map of the world?

Have I defined my map? Does my map change? Should it change? What do I do if it does change?

Questions like these and many more will come your way, you have to be prepared to know how to respond to these questions and be ready for the next. So how do you know, how can you prepare?

Ultimately you control all of the above. As soon as you can define the difference between right and wrong you begin to take accountability for your actions and decisions…it’s up to you to develop your ‘tools’ to enable you to better yourself and achieve what you want to achieve.

Here are a few of my favourite ‘tools’ to develop (be clear this is not an exhaustive list)

Behaviour: This is what you display to the outside world. Your thoughts manifested into actions, your actions and decisions creating the response you get from other people. This is made up of both conscious and sub-conscious thoughts. When communicating with other people and the outside world we want to portray a message, an image or an identity, however, whereas sometimes we create the response we want, many times we will not….how much of that do we actually control?

As a minimum if there are two people in the conversation then at least 50%…i believe you have more. I learned over time that the true measure of my communication is the response I get. Therefore to better the response I got, I chose to take more control and develop skills that we can all learn. Skills such as body language, non-verbal communications, modalities, the power of language and the effect it can have on those around us as well as ourselves.

Identities: As we grow, we develop a series of ‘identities’ toward aspects of our life. The first real identity that we become aware of is at school. Who we are, how we fit in, how we are different, are we leading or following in the group, how do we compare with our peers?

For example, are you good at sport? Remember back to physical education at school. Were you told you could play for the county and encouraged to do well or did you hear that you were behind and not as quick as the other kids or the classic what you lack in skill you can make up for in effort?

How do you think either of those influences would affect your performance and in turn complete your identity toward schooling. If constantly told you are good at football and yet you lose a game…you won’t question yourself first, more likely the game, other players or even the ref! If you were told you were poor at football you would be more likely to accept the result as you were ‘expecting it’…..identity re-affirmed!

Ability: Your skills, knowledge and application of both in repeat succession will lead to developing your ability. If you started to mountain climb today, I can guarantee you would make mistakes that an experienced climber would not. You need to learn in this way to become a better climber, you can’t just read or theorise about climbing you have to do it. You will tire quickly, and strain muscles because you begin climbing with your muscles and clinging to the mountain (or rope) using all your strength. As your knowledge grows, you begin to ask better informed questions, try more calculated moves till you realise you climb with your skeleton. It’s the frame that holds your body together, therefore when climbing, your straight skeleton will take your weight and save muscle use, meaning you can climb higher and longer. The same is to be said in life.

Dreams: Dream it, believe it, achieve it. Set your goals high and do not accept ‘You cant’ as that is other peoples limitations being forced on you. Just because ‘they’ may not be able to do something, they have no right to restrict your ability. For something to become a reality you have to first dream it….then as you begin to believe it, it starts to become more real….you start to verbalise it to yourself and then to others….then it’s closer than you realise as your brain now starts to find ways to make it happen. Goals are great, but conscious thoughts on achieving goals, can be sabotaged by sub-conscious thoughts of you not achieving goals in the past….so dream and dream big, set your sights and go get it.

And finally…

Application: When all is said and done. If I lit a candle in a room for of people and asked everyone to concentrate with their mind, concentrate hard and if we all believe we can make the candle go out with the power of our minds alone….we will be there for a long time! You have to get off your backside, show up (not just turn up) at every opportunity and keep going if you really want it. You have to apply yourself. Practice, practice, practice. Where was David Beckham when his friends were skulking off round the shop…he was kicking a ball against a wall, setting himself challenges and getting better and better…now in his late 30’s, still a professional football player…watch him during warm up or in training or out playing with his children. That discipline, that focus, that desire to be the best at what he is passionate about is as strong today as it has always been.

Once you defined what it is you want to achieve, you can begin the journey of developing your skills and knowledge. As you apply them you will form identities, values and beliefs that will drive you behaviour and ultimately shape the results you see in your life. It truly is, up to you. You can define, develop and deliver on what your map will be.

Now that is worth thinking about!

Applying You – You; Simply Better

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