"The meaning of my communication is the response I get." – NLP Presupposition #2

Have you ever had someone respond to what you said and misunderstand what you meant? You were sure what YOU meant, but they just didn’t get it. Then maybe the discussion deteriorated while trying to explain what you meant.

Well here’s a new perspective: the "meaning" of what we say only exists in the other person. It is their response that indicates the "meaning". That’s all that matters… how other people respond.

Other people are a mirror of what we are really communicating. We communicate on so many different levels: voice tone, posture, breathing, what’s on our mind, attitude, our history. Some times a particular word we choose has a vastly different meaning to someone else. Think of "problem". Ask ten people, you’ll get 10 subtly different meanings.

So the only real meaning is what the listener creates. If you’re committed to being an excellent communicator, you’ll focus on the response and realize other people don’t share your brain, luckily. If you get an unplanned response, thank them for giving you feedback and showing you what you just communicated. Excellent communicators know all that matters is the meaning others form. They vary until they get the response they desire.

The moral: communicate to get a response. Pay attention to the response. If your spouse is frowning, change your communication to get a smile. Realize the only real meaning is in their experience, your meaning doesn’t matter.
At the core of NLP are the "presuppositions". As a reminder, American Heritage Dictionary defines "presupposition" as "to believe or suppose in advance." NLP is a unique field in that at it’s core are a set of positive assumptions about how humans work. Tune in each week as I describe a presupposition. You may find that your view of the world shifts dramatically when you "try on" each of these presupposition.

An Exercise

Each time you say "hi" to someone today, notice their facial expression, voice tone, body language, their response. You may notice how people can make meanings inside from a simple 2-letter word. It’s mostly you’re body language, tone, facial expression, even your energy that convey most of the communication.
Next, notice how many possible meanings the other person could form from a simple greeting. Maybe they’ve had a bad day and a smile reminds them they aren’t happy. Hey, it’s their meaning! Can you honor them, allow them to form their own meaning, and vary your behavior until you get the response you intended?

Using your Inherent Excellence

Even one word from you, like "hi", can change people. Notice how powerful your words are. Are you taking charge of your Inherent Excellence, using your power wisely, or randomly letting words fly? Are you using your ability to read body language and other subtle clues?


One response to “"The meaning of my communication is the response I get." – NLP Presupposition #2”

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