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Better Communications by Creating Rapid Connections!
on October 2, 2000
This book is one of the simpler and easier to understand of the many books that introduce Neuro-Linguistic Programming techniques. It is also a little more original in that it does not simply repeat the ideas of Drs. Richard Bandler and John Grinder word-for-word as so many of these books do. The author has studied under Dr. Bandler (as have I) and is a Licensed NLP Master Practitioner.
If you already know NLP, you can skip this book.
If you do not yet know NLP, this is a good introduction for those who have trouble making in-person connections.
NLP is based on observations of how people open themselves up to receive communications from others. Basically, we each have thinking habits that mean we consider subjects in different ways and sequences. When we come upon a way or sequence that is different from ours, we close up and pull back. When we come on one just like ours, we feel relaxed and open, and the message sinks in both consciously and unconsciously. Students of perception estimate that the words you use are less than 25 percent of the communications that are received from you. Your body motions are the primary means of communicating. Your intonation is also important (take time to sound pleasant).
The author focuses on the fact that impressions are formed in the first 10 seconds or so when we meet someone. He encourages us to open ourselves up physically (hands open, coat unbuttoned if you have one on, relaxed), look the other person in the eye, beam (like you are shaking hands), say Hi! with a positive attitude, and lean towards the person. These are universally interpreted as being genuine indications of interest that are perceived by the other person's subconscious mind, and the other person will almost always respond in kind.
There are three primary modes that people use to process thoughts (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic -- both emotions and physical feelings), and remembered and imagined versions of each one. The book contains clues (such as eye movement and choices of verbs) to understand the person's preferences. You are encouraged then to be sure to include those modes. This advice was the weakest point of the book. Dr. Bandler has shown since developing NLP that equally emphasizing all of the modes works even better, so the author would appear not to have worked with Dr. Bandler in some time.
Finally, you are encouraged to mirror and match the behavior of the other person (from breathing to posture to gestures).
The key points of the book, then, can be summarized as a positive attitude toward the other person, synchronicity in actions and locating commonalities, using the correct conversational modes, and emphasizing the sensory preferences of the other person.
The other major weakness of this book is that it does not do enough to help the shy person to get themselves into the mood to do all of these things. Tony Robbins (another former student of Richard Bandler's) has a good technique you can use, which is to remember the most fabulous first meeting you ever had with another person before you step forward to meet the new person. Your mind and body will still be jazzed by the favorable memory, and the viewer will perceive that high level of excitement.
I would like to give the author great credit for his photo. His years of expreience in fashion and advertising photography show off to advantage. He mimics listening to someone with great interest. Look at the photo to get a sense of how someone's posture and expression can affect you.
After you have absorbed these lessons, consider how much your attitude determines the reactions you get from other people. If you are afraid to meet them, that will show. If you are delighted to be with them, that will also show. If your message is important to you, you should take a little time to dress up your attitude and responsiveness if you want to really be dressed for success. Ask yourself if you would really want to listen to you when you do not take the time to be an interested communicator. If not, now may be a good time for a change. You, too, can be irresistible -- when you want to be. Also, be aware that the person who seems so interested in your may simply be a devoted student of NLP. Keep probing for trustworthiness!