Think about what is the best learning mode for you.
- Are you a person who remembers more if you hear what you need to learn?
- Are you someone who learns best through visual learning – reading, watching a film, or seeing pictures of how to do something?
- Are you someone who learns best if you have a hands on approach and someone assists you as you try something new?
In addition I am more likely to speak in the mode in which I am most comfortable. For example if I am a visual person, then I might say, “I SEE what you mean.” Or I might say “This explanation is not CLEAR to me.”
If I am a more auditory person, then I might say, “I HEAR what you’re saying.” Or I might say, “That SOUNDS just right for me.”
If I am a more touch oriented person, I might say, “I GET it.” Or “I keep BUMPING into a problem when I try to do this.” I might also say, “ I have the solution right at my FINGERTIPS.”
Most people are capable of moving between modes and using visual sometimes, auditory other times, etc.
Being aware of sensory modes of communication helps in an assertive negotiation. Notice the other person’s mode of communication. Once you have determined if the person to whom you are speaking is more visual, auditory or kinesthetic (touch as primary sensory modality), then try to match the mode they are using.
Note: This moment of agreement came about quite quickly because you discovered what sensory modality is the most comfortable for Bob and talked to him in the mode in which he is most likely to feel understood. He may not have any idea that you have used this method of communicating, but you are saved from a prolonged discussion.
Your desired results can be easily achieved if you stay in awareness of the sensory modality employed by the person with whom you need to negotiate.
Speaking up for yourself is most effective if you are connected with the other person rather than in a tug of war with them. Observing others and determining what mode is the most frequently used by them will help you in your efforts to speak up. Using the comfort mode of the other person adds to his/her feeling of connection with you.
A great book on this subject is: The Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense at Work by Suzette Elgin, PhD.
Another useful, although out of print, book is Frogs Into Princes by Richard Bandler.
Let me know how paying attention to sensory modes of communication affects your assertive interactions with others.