Tero Professional Development Blog
Adopt NLP: Make Bridges, Not Barriers
Friday, April 7, 2017
Have you ever been to a new city or maybe even a restaurant where you felt left out? As if it was an entirely new world where people dressed differently, talked differently, and acted differently. A different culture than where you came from. In those instances, it is tough to blend in unless you adapt to the environment to fit in. It was Charles Darwin who said this famous quote:
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.
This quote, along with the scenario described above, can be liked to our position as a leader, manager, salesperson, and really anyone and everyone. We need to adapt to our environment. Let's talk about that in terms of leading a group of employees or making a tough sale to a new client.
Someone who is having a tough time relating to their employee or client will have an infinitely more difficult time influencing an action and being understood. There is an invisible barrier between the two parties. Almost as if they are speaking a different language.
In Stephen Young's book, Micro Messaging, he talks about what it looks like to "speak the language" to be respectfully heard, valued, and taken seriously. Young talks about the research behind Neurolinguistic programming or simply NLP. The NLP process starts with teaching the skill to analyze the communication styles and behaviors of others. Then the process develops one's skill to effectively replicate selected traits of the other person.
This doesn't mean you should copy someone step-by-step and mimic everything they do. It is a subtle art of throwing in a similar gesture here, maybe a change in vocal pace there. Whatever can be done without completely changing who you are and your values.
Young adds that, "Effective use of NLP sets a stage of comfort and relaxation for the other person. The normal protective barriers get lowered, and you are more likely welcomed in."
Often times, we are quick to point out differences. How we walk different, talk different than someone. We will have a lot more success in our conversations with people by finding common ground and where we overlap.
We are ethnocentrically biased and believe how we behave is how everyone should behave. The more we can take a step back and bring our ego down a couple notches, the more successful we will become in our personal and professionals lives.
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