Oh, it's all too easy to interpret what people say in the wrong way! Especially if we are in Meerkat mode ! But what can we do to make sure we understand and are understood?
There are four different different learning styles and ways to communicate. We can, and sometimes do use all four, but we each have our own preferred method. We use words or language that is comfortable for us. When we meet someone who uses the same style as we do, communication is really easy as are styles are matched. We 'click' or 'get' each other.
But if we are chatting to someone who uses a completely different style to us then sometimes there can be misunderstandings. We aren't on the same page. We may not feel a connection. We are mis-matched in the way we are communicating.
So what are the four styles?
People who are visual see things in pictures. They learn by looking at things. They use words and phrases like look, see, appear, "I see what you mean" Look at it this way." and How does that appear to you?" Have you got the picture? I didnt notice that. Can you imagine that?
These people learn by listening rather than watching. They use sound words. Are you listening to me? I hear what you are saying. That doesnt sound right. Tell me what you think. Why did you say that? What are you talking about?
This is all about feeling and kinaesthetic people learn by doing things and through experience. The use words associated with feelings or touch. I know how you're feeling. Im touched by what you say, or that can't have been a nice experience. I was gutted.
The processing us all important to Audio Digital learners, for them its about dealing with logic and the way we talk to ourselves. They will use words to do with thinking or understanding. What do you think about it? This is what I know. Do you understand me? It seems as if..." There is no logic in what you are saying” or “This does not make sense”.
Notice the different styles as you listen to people.
Once you notice that different people see, hear, feel or think, when communicating, you will also understand that if you know their preferred method you will be able to connect with them more effectively.
And equally, if we are communucating in different styles, we can end up feeling misheard, misunderstood, like no one is listening to us or seeing our point of view. Imagine a conversation between the couple who both feel like that. If say one partner is visual and the other auditory their language will be a mismatch. So their conversation will probably not be productive. Especially if they are in heated discussion.
But if we learn to take note of people's learning and communication styles we can use them to be better understood and to understand, by using their preferred style when we talk. Mirroring someones style really can make a difference. Try it and see.
Here are some examples of words in each of the styles to help you.