How Does NLP Enhance Your Communication?

By Heather Cripps

We receive 2 million bits of information every second, through our 5 senses. The NLP Communication Model shows the pattern that human beings naturally use to delete, distort and generalise the information we receive.  Deleting information allows us to work with the information that’s more meaningful to us and not be overwhelmed by having to process too much information. We distort and generalise information we receive based on our experiences throughout our socialisation stemming from a very young age in our families and immediate surrounds to our expanded socialisation as we age and experience more of the world.

So, throughout our continual socialisation, we create an internal ‘map’ (which is often changing, progressing or evolving in some way). Everyone’s ‘map’ is different, owing to their own, unique socialisation and filtering systems. These maps either assist us or inhibit us from connecting with and effectively communicating with others.

Maintaining awareness of your own, ever-changing map and learning to read others’ is the foundation for successful communication. Another integral part of the foundation for successful communication is also to be aware of what you want to achieve from the communication.

Words are only 7% of communication and people’s response to it. Notice the tonality and the physiology as you are communicating. This will enable you to understand the other person better and maintain rapport.  You can impart all the information you wish, but if you haven’t built a rapport and the other person does not ‘understand’ you, the information may be lost or distorted.

Developing your sensory acuity and maintaining flexible behaviour enables you to meet a person in their perceived world or map’ and use the NLP system of language patterns to match (or mirror) their language patterns and consequently, maintain the rapport. Once you are comfortable with the level of rapport, you are able to pace and lead the communication; however, maintaining the rapport throughout the entirety of your communications is essential for successful communications.

Once you have the foundations, you may begin to build a rapport, using your sensory acuity and flexible behaviours, ensuring that you are in congruence in your communications. Remember, communication isn’t just about imparting information, it’s about using your senses to hear, see and feel what the other person is also trying to communicate through verbal and non-verbal channels (this is sensory acuity), in their own way and also connecting with them in a way that will enable your communication goals to be achieved.