How Much Can A Conversation Help You?

We love to talk and have a conversation with everyone around us, these connect us and can be healing too, for all those involved.

Though, in my personal experience and that of my clients, family and friends we just talk about the superficial stuff and take everything else for granted OR we think others won’t care.

I used to withhold and be shallow and superficial in my conversations, they didn’t take me far and almost cost me my life.

I felt alone, lonely, unwanted and a burden to my family and society, but everyone thought I was fine and just another moody teenager.

The day after my suicide attempt that withholding stopped and I opened up, I spoke to someone about my life and how I felt.

That conversation without a shadow of a doubt saved my life, I learned people cared and they’d do whatever they can to help… all that is needed is for us to open up.

Why am I going on about this?

This year I have made myself the commitment to be there for everyone I know and to make new friends.

Today a friend phoned me and asked me round so I went and we had such a great conversation that lasted for hours.

What was great about this conversation was the generosity and honesty of every word spoken, we just had a real and open conversation.

We didn’t pretend to be anyone else but ourselves, we didn’t have to mind our every word and openly would disagree with each other without arguing about it.

That honesty and openness opened a gate of compliments and kindness and love that you don’t see every day.

Here is what we fail to do in our conversations, we are (or can be) very stingy and inauthentic… these create blockages and barriers that stop the real communication and there is almost no real content to it all.

It was a great reminder of the magic that takes place when we openly, honestly and humanly talk to another person AND the connection it strengthens, and the feeling afterwards is so rewarding.

Talking about ourselves can be scary and awkward at first but over time it gets easier to openly talk about what is worrying us and our concerns, and problems.

I invite you to have more open and honest conversations with your loved ones, and please let me know how these enrich your lives. Give it a go.

Till next time, with all my love,

Jorge

What thoughts are you putting in your head?

Well, where can I start…

Daily we have conversations, these conversations include the ones we have with others and the ones we have with ourselves. 

We are communicative beings, talk and communicate is all we do.

We talk to express our needs. 

We talk to find out about others.

We talk to complain.

We talk to compliment. 

We talk to build and destroy. 

You get the idea.

So, this communication is processed and it has to be stored somewhere. 

I have no idea where it goes, though  (unfortunately), it is stored somewhere as our thoughts. 

Here is where things become a tiny bit more interesting. 

These thoughts act of food for our behaviours and emotions, to the point that they become our reality.

Let me exemplify this to you

Often I find myself having conversations with someone or even my partner and something is said that then is interpreted  (translated or converted) and based on past experiences we add meaning to it.

There have countless occasions in which my partner says or does something  (meaning well) and the thoughts I put in my head give them a totally different meaning.

You might remember me quoting one of the NLP presuppositions:

The meaning of communication is the response we get!!!

So powerful and so true.

The thoughts we store and hold onto are what shape our responses and therefore our reality, our lives and results.

Want to change your life for the better? 

Then, change your thoughts for more useful ones.

Till next time, with all my love,

Jorge 

You cannot NOT communicate

You cannot NOTcommunicate

We are always communicating, in fact, we communicate in ALL possible ways and always, whether we want it or not!

The presupposition “You cannot communicate”, I first learned when I was doing my NLP Practitioner Training a few years ago.

We are always in communication

If we are always communicating, then how do we do it?

There are three areas we tend to communicate: through language (verbal), non-verbal (physiology) and intonation (how we say things).

When we look at each one of these areas individually, we speak on a regular basis, we use the language we know to express our ideas, feelings, needs and wants. Though, sometimes we use the “wrong” word and the meaning of the whole sentence changes and we are misunderstood. Causing awkward moments and possibly costing us more than we anticipated.

Does it sound familiar?

The non-verbal aspect is what some people call body-language, what we are saying with our body, face, eyes, etc.

Just imagine you are having a conversation with a man/woman you find attractive, they ask you if you “fancy” them, your face goes beetroot red and you start sweating as you reply emphatically NO!

Would they believe you? Is your body in congruence with what is being said?

Are you “believable” enough?

Lastly, the intonation of the words we choose, if we say we are confident in a very low and shy voice, would we sound confident?

Next time you have a conversation I invite you try it out for yourself. Say things that are incongruent with your body language and with the way you say it. (Please, try this out in a safe environment, as it could potentially upset people)

Equally, reinforce what you are saying with your body and the intonation of what you are saying.

How can this help you?

If you are like me, I imagine you are wondering how this can help you?

We are social animals, even if you don’t see yourself as the social type of person, you are.

If you don’t believe me, we do it that often that if we aren’t talking to someone we talk to ourselves! And boy, do we do this all the time or what?

So, going back to the benefits of knowing how to communicate effectively, which has been the main and core message of this blog are:

  • Enhancing and improving communication: being congruent with your words and actions.
  • Establishing rapport in half the time: when you are in alignment with your words and actions people feel comfortable around you, they start to get to know you, like you and trust you way faster than when you aren’t congruent with what you say and what you do.
  • Improves intuition: the more you practice communicating congruently, the easier you can “read” people, you learn to listen to people, what they say and how they say.
  • Improves your listening skills: I am sure you have heard the phrase; we have 2 ears and one mouth for a reason… well that becomes more apparent when we learn to communicate better.
  • You are more present: when you know and realise you are always communicating, whether you want it or not, you start to be more present in your life, your communications and for people, giving you results and relationships you never thought were possible.

Becoming a better communicator isn’t difficult it takes practice and commitment.

I hope you have enjoyed today’s post and please let me know in the comments box of any experiences you’ve had when you’ve communicated effectively or when you weren’t congruent with what you were saying.

Till next time, with all my love,

 

Jorge

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You’ll Never Guess What Happened To Me Today…!

You’ll Never Guess What Happened To Me Today…!

 

We are constantly being triggered, all the time, by different events, people, memories; pretty much anything.

But, what happens when you are unaware of these triggers?

What is a trigger?

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Before I go any further, I will explain what a “trigger” is, it is a stimulus that gets a “reaction” from us.

For example, if we hear a song we used to listen decades ago, that song has the potential to make us relive those past experiences; it is that powerful.

We are surrounded by these triggers, some we are conscious about and others, well, we aren’t as conscious, which means they affect us and we don’t know about it.

When we aren’t aware of these triggers, we don’t know how they affect us or what is causing that reaction; so, there is nothing we can do about it.

On the other hand, things change when you know what “triggers” you; you have choices as to whether you react to them or not!

You’ll never guess what happened to me today…!

You probably got it!

I was “triggered” by someone…

How did it react???

At first I did my very best to avoid saying anything, I don’t feel I have to tell everyone that their actions or words have an impact on me and in me.

Things do change, however, when after a while your body starts to respond to these triggers.

It is at this point I choose to let the other person know what is happening.

That is exactly what happened today.

I was on the phone speaking to someone, his voice loud and gets to you, that is by-the-by BTW; this person also uses very negative language, which doesn’t resonate very well with me.

I should also add I am this person’s client and therefore I feel and believe my opinion matters, especially if I am paying for a service.

So, we were on the phone for over 30 minutes, this person gave me all the possible negative scenarios; as an individual I care more about options than “problems”.

Then, I started to get a headache (I never do!), my body was tensing up, I was grinding my teeth and my voice was being raised gradually as the conversation continued…

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I stopped and said: are you open to feedback?

He said yes!

So, I said: could you please use a different language when you speak to me, you have no idea how such “negativity” affects me and I feel I should tell you as we do business together, and it is the least I can so this relationship isn’t affected by it.

His response?

I am sorry (in a non-apologetic manner), and very little was accomplished.

He continued to apologise saying he can’t change the way he is.

To which I replied, you do not have to change, on the contrary, I don’t want you to change, I want you to know how the language you use at times affects me; and you never know, other people may feel the same way too, they just don’t say it, they aren’t as honest as I am!

The reason I share this with you today is because it doesn’t matter how much you work on yourself or the amount of personal development you do, there will always be things that “annoy” you and “irritate” you.

I was relieved I shared my “emotions” with this person because that way he knows how to best communicate with me next time. Had I not told him the way I felt I would have continued to dislike interacting with him, “hating” every second spent together and ultimately the relationship would have suffered and/or ended.

I will be sleeping very well tonight because I did what was best for both parties, I expressed my concerns and the way it was affecting me.

Do I feel bad for sharing my thoughts?

Absolutely NOT.

Why?

It would have cost me much more in the long run; it could have manifested itself in so many ways I don’t want explore and these ways go way beyond the mental aspect, they could have the potential to affect me physically in the future too.

Even to this moment I still have a headache from that conversation because I let it go longer than it should have gone.

So, just imagine what years and years of neglecting these triggers can do to you physically and mentally?

I hope you have enjoyed today’s blog post, don’t forget to like, comment and share.

With lots of love,

 

Jorge

Is Communication More Important Than Language?

Is communication more important than language?

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Today is the last day of a NLP Practitioner training I am delivering here in Southampton, England.

As a trainer of NLP and various other modalities, and as a Coach and Therapist I am particularly interested and fascinated by communication and language.

Before I fully go into this blog, I want to take the opportunity to say that effective communication is much more than speaking properly and using the best words to describe any given situation. English isn’t my first language, yet it hasn’t stopped me from communicating effectively nor has it been the reason why I might have miscommunicated in the past.

That having been said (deep sigh!), I can start this blog.

In NLP we have some “mantras” or sayings which we call The Presuppositions of NLP. What this means is we take them and treat them as law to enable us to look at things and situations from a different light.

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There are two of these presuppositions that come to mind:

  1. The meaning of communication is the response you get, and
  2. You cannot not communicate.

You see, they might seem quite cryptic and almost have no meaning; though, when you break them down their meaning or core message is so powerful.

If we take the first one, the meaning of communication is the response we get.

I invite you to revisit a past event where you had a conversation with someone (anyone would do nicely BTW), and that conversation went wrong, totally pear-shaped!

What went wrong?

What did you do?

What did you say?

How did you say it?

I am not accusing you of anything, I promise! (Or am I?)

By asking this questions what I am aiming for you to do is to start noticing how there are many elements involved at the time we communicate with other people.

Things like, the time of the day, the time of the month, our current state, our financial situation, whether we are hungry or in a hurry; these factors can influence the how we come across to others, this then is transferred to our physiology (some people call this body language!), the tempo and speed of our voice, and at times they can have a direct or indirect impact in the choice of the words we use at the time.

If we take, for example, “body language” (I am sorry, I am laughing at this moment – I built this image of headless bodies running around talking and doing their day-to-day tasks), we can then see how the use of our height, hands, feet can play a huge role when we speak to others, we may come across as friendly or unfriendly, as an ally or as a threat.

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It has been said in the past that 55% of our communication is that non-verbal “stuff” we say or don’t say when we have a conversation with colleagues, friends or children. The rest, 38% is how we say things and only 7% relates to the words we use (choose to use really!).

These 3 things should be aligned and in congruency when we speak, so the words we say should match how we speak them and what our bodies are saying too.

To illustrate this, just imagine having a conversation with a child asking him or her, have you washed your hands? And, they respond by say yes, nodding negatively and their hands are covered in dirt? Would you be satisfied with that answer, when their bodies don’t match what has been said?

Looking at the other presupposition, you cannot not communicate (a double negative, oh dear! – BTW I don’t think we have these in Spanish! – phew), what this is really telling us is We Are Always Communicating, whether we want it or not – even in our sleep.

So, now let’s look at the linguistic side of communication.

We are very familiar with phrases like “negative self-talk”, “positive language”, “clean language”, “sexy language” – aka, dirty language (sorry, I couldn’t resist) and, we also have what we call “ecological language” in NLP (this means how the language used can have an impact in our environment, both internal and external).

Language is much more than words and sentences succinctly and beautifully put together, it is much more than the artful skills we have been told people like Shakespeare, Wordsworth and many others possessed in the olden days.

To me, and let me clarify it, this is my bias; language is how we make people feel, how we make ourselves feel.

If we use negative language and negative words, there is a change in our psychology and mindset, even in our physiology, it disempowers us and, can take us down a path we might wish we never visited.

On the other hand, when the language we choose to use is positive (did I mention that we have the choice?), the results, well, are obvious, these words are healing, empowering, energetic, heartfelt and they will have the potential to transform lives, create results and move us towards our final destination, happiness (The Promised Land!), or whatever goal/outcome we are working towards.

If, to what we just touched on, we add action, planning and dedication; we will have a winning formula to accomplish whatever we set our minds to. The LoA (aka Law of Attraction) would be many times more effective because the use of our language fuels and inspires our biggest asset, our brain.

Positive language, positive self-talk can most certainly drive our psychology to get the results we want in our lives.

So, I wonder, if I may ask, how is your language impacting your life and the lives of those you meet? How is your language affecting your outcomes and goals, and whether to take action or not?

I am curious to know, please feel to share with me if you can. You can comment below or send me a pm or email (oh, and don’t forget to share J).

Till next time, BTW, feel free to suggest what topics you would like me to cover, if I am able and it is a subject I am knowledgeable about, I would be delighted to give my (biased) opinion.

With all my love.

From my heart to yours,

 

Jorge

 

PS, email me on jorge@lifecoachsouthampton.co.uk if you wish to share how your language is affecting your outcomes or how it has affected your outcomes.