One of the most important factors leading to success is to have good communication skills. These may not be oratory skills, but non-verbal hidden communication signals contribute much to the overall development of our social skills. Every great successful person we ever heard of was exceptional at communicating or at least, understood the signals behind body language and other communication channels.
Neuro Linguistic Programming or NLP for short, is a methodology that helps individuals develop communication skills by providing insight into how information is perceived. There are signals all around us, and our minds perceive the information based on our knowledge, experience and understanding of life. Our environment, past experiences and immediate stimuli have a major impact on how we process communication. NLP delves deeper into how the mind intakes information, thus helping individuals use this knowledge to communicate better.
Using NLP techniques and models, here are some useful tips to improve communication skills
1. Look out for hidden signals
Most of what humans communicate is actually not through verbal communication but through non-verbal signals. Ever notice, when discussing or debating with someone, the people sitting across cross their arms over their chest? Well, this is a sign that they have stopped receiving and accepting information and have resigned to disagree with the information that is being shared. In a negotiation or corporate presentation, this would give one the signal that communication is not going through in a positive manner, but is being perceived negatively and is not going to have an impact. NLP training helps you identify signals such as this, and explains how the mind processes various body language signs, and then coaching you to react in an appropriate manner.
2. Don’t Forget to Listen
One of the most important, and often underutilized, factors in communication, is listening. The greatest leaders know the value of listening, and that to really be able to communicate effectively, it is very important to intake information from the audience as well. Listening is a tool which needs to be highlighted emphatically.
Communication is two way, either through words or through non-verbal signals. Listening is the simplest and most direct form of understand signals from your audience.
3. Keep an Open Mind
In a corporate environment especially, sometimes conflicts can simply be solved by listening to the other person with an open mind. NLP helps you with techniques to listen in way that you process the correct information, and apply that with an open mind. Your ability to process information improves massively if you let it take in perspectives and ideas which are new to you. Always remember, communication give and take.
4. Get rid of “cop-out” words
Using NLP, you learn how to use language effectively. In our daily speak, we often tend to use words which just act as fillers or are “cop-out” words. Words like “try”, “but”, “might”, “like to”, among others, are words which don’t give a definite answer. These are mid-way words, that we use to weasel out of situations, in order to not answer in a definite way. In the long run, this gives out mixed signals, and gives us the leeway to not follow through with commitments and thus, not be seen as committed, sincere individuals. Good leaders never resort to these language crutches and are clear in their communication.
5. Be Clear in Your Messaging
In line with removing cop-out words, use language and words to convey a clear and concise message. Communication is simply conveying information from the source to the recipient, and if done effectively and efficiently, generates an impact. For the desired results, it is key thus to use the path of least resistance. As we know, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, so in your communication too, be as direct as you can.
6. Building Rapport with NLP
One of the most used concepts of Neuro Linguistic Programming is building rapport. Rapport can simply be defined as a an environment of mutual harmony between individuals. NLP training helps us learn to create rapport with people around us, thus creating a positive and open environment for communication.
7. Maintain Eye Contact
The quickest and first step to creating rapport is to have good eye contact. Creating a good rapport is a skill, and any information that is exchanged hits home all the more effectively if there is a pre-existing rapport. So, this is a great way to improve communication.
8. Perception Management
NLP coaching helps individuals perceive past events and experiences in a different manner. Techniques help to revisit the past, and look at events from different perspectives, and allows us to modify the feelings we have attached to them. This activity helps us be more empathetic and understand why people behave the way they do. This in turn, dramatically helps develop soft skills, as we become much more aware of how people are receiving information, and communicate in a manner that makes the maximum impact.
9. Adapt your Communication to Your Audience
Would you ever tell a 2 year old about aerodynamics? Probably not. Even if you did, you’d simplify the language, use gestures, pictures and representations of the concept you are explaining. The same is true for every time you communicate anything. Who you are speaking to matters a lot, and has a lot of impact on how the message will be received. Adapting your messaging and communication style is key for effective communication.
10. Be Genuine
Nothing falls flat worse than a fake feeling or false communication. To communicate better, you need to first be compassionate, sincere and genuine to the message you are conveying. That sincerity really gets through to the listener and goes a long way. So believe in what you’re saying, and it will have the biggest impact.
NLP techniques help individuals with some really effective approaches to improving communication and should really be looked into learn these crucial skills.
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