I have something to share with you. I hope you can see it for yourself. Hear what I have to say. Get a feel for it. For those of you who think that this smells fishy I know it will leave a sweet taste in your mouth.
What I want to talk about is the way that we share information, understand each other and build (or destroy) rapport through the use of, and understanding of, predicates.
Predicates are a part of our grammar system (or sentences) that states something about the subject. Being sensory beings we use our senses to relate to the world around us. Touch, smell, taste, hearing, and eyesight are all essential to the way we relate to our world and thus we use their language to express ourselves.
Although people use all of their senses it is very common to have dominance in one or another. I, for example, consider myself a very visual person. I am good at visualizing and creating mental images. This comes out in the language I use all the time and in every situation.
Consider the language in these three paragraphs. Imagine we are having a conversation about a new house Im considering buying. You may find one paragraph is more comfortable to you than another.
- Theres a house I like the look of. I can just picture myself living there. I can see how the dcor will match my furniture. I have my eye on the huge yard. I can really visualize how it will look when the garden is established.
- Theres a house that feels good to me. I sense myself living there. Im in touch with how the dcor will match my furniture. I have a good feeling about the yard. I can really anticipate how it will feel when the garden is established. Theres a house that speaks volumes to me. I can hear myself living there. The dcor strikes a chord with my furniture. Ive heard the yard will be beautiful when the garden gets established. Sounds delightful!
Did you relate to visual, tactile or auditory? Very different predicates. In the real world we would likely throw a few various senses together and the paragraph would become something more like:
- Theres a house I like the look of. It feels really good when I think about living there. I can see how the dcor will match my furniture. The yard sounds good and I can almost smell the fragrance of the garden once its established.
Becoming aware of these differences in predicates can make a huge difference in rapport building and both business and personal relationships.
Imagine a disagreement that went along the lines of:
Youre not seeing my point of view!
Well, you never hear what I have to say!
Cant you just look at it through my eyes?!
It sounds to me like youre just not listening!
Of course there is going to be problems here. These people just dont see things in the same way! Theyre not hearing each other.
How much more likely the issue would be resolved if the first person complained Youre not seeing my point of view! and the other rejoined with No, but cant we look at it another way?
An awareness of this in sales, mediation and good personal relationships is very helpful. The potential is immense.