Martin Messier

December 19, 2023

Using words that paint, sing and dance

When we're distracted, we may default to abstract language when we're communicating.

For example, we might say, "I think it's a good idea." When we communicate consciously, however, we're able to lean into the sensory power of predicates. Consider the shift when we say, "I see the potential in this idea."

This isn't just a play on words; it's about tapping into the sensory experiences that guide our thoughts and actions.

Predicates — these sensory-based words — are more than linguistic choices. They're directly connected to how we process information. Some of us process more visually, painting our thoughts in vivid imagery. Others process auditorily, resonating with the rhythm and tone of words. And then there are those who process kinesthetically, feeling their way through conversations with tactile or emotional cues.

To this day, it always baffles me when I align my communication with these sensory preferences. It's like tuning an instrument to the right frequency. Suddenly, my message doesn't just convey information; it resonates, creating understanding and connection.

Next time you're in a dialogue, don't just listen to the words, but to the sense they're wired to. Is it a visual masterpiece, an auditory harmony, or a kinesthetic dance? When you align your language with these predicates, you're not just speaking; you're connecting on at an unconscious level.

Keep in mind one of the most important lessons of the NLP canon: as Practitioners, we are just as interested in how something is said as in what is said.

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