Advanced Communication Skills – where do I get some of those please?!! Right here, right now, you can learn 9 advanced communication techniques to move you into the premier league of effective communicators.
Presupposition – done already!
Perhaps the most important advanced communication skill is the use of presuppositions. Instead of saying “try to improve your communication skills”, make use of what people mostly do – that is, to comply – and turn your request into a statement, not a question e.g. “as your communication skills improve, notice how you become more confident in your abilities”.
Double Bind – damned if you do and damned if you don’t
If you’re working with someone and come up against a brick wall, look out for double binds – the catch 22 of communication. Chances are they’ve limited their thinking to the point they believe they are going to fail, no matter what choice they make. Help people out of double binds by challenging their negative beliefs and creating other options or outcomes which aren’t so bleak.
Adjunctive Suggestions – the yes set.
Tagging a suggestion onto something that is undoubtedly true will make the suggestion more palatable, as the mind becomes more positively biased. “As you read this article, you can begin to see how your communication skill will improve”. Obviously you are reading this article, so the second statement MUST be true too.
Illusory Choice – yes yes not yes no.
Using illusory choice is a brilliant technique for kids and other challenging negotiators. Instead of saying “go to bed now”, how about saying “do you want to go to bed in 10 or 15 minutes?” They think they’ve got a choice but the reality is you’ve got them off to bed whatever they choose – that’s’ the illusion.
Nominalisation – a politician’s best friend.
Listen to a politician and you’ll find their language is peppered with nominalisations – words without any specific meaning and open to (mis) interpretation. Talk of “strategies”, “policies” and “inclusion” means nothing until you can hear, see or feel it. People use them when they want to confuse, or are confused themselves.
Embedded Commands – the carrot and the stick.
Unless in the armed forces, people tend not to respond to direct commands, and prefer to comply with a suggestion coupled with a compelling reason to do so. Instead of “listen carefully” you could try “when people listen carefully, people tend to remember more”
Your mind does a double take when it hears confusional language. “Wait” and “weight” might sound the same but have very different meanings. If you want to trip up the mind, the odd use of confusional language will do the trick.
Analogy, Metaphor and Story – once upon a time.
People tend to have short attention spans, and are more receptive to a different type of communication when their minds are wandering. This is the time tell a story, laying down a pattern for the mind to unconsciously digest and absorb until it makes sense… or I’ll eat my words!
Negative Talk – I will be positive!
Which is more effective “don’t move” or “stay still”? Usually the latter, especially if you’re aiming to save someone from the unseen speeding car. In order to think of not doing something, you have to think of the something first, THEN not think of it. “I must not eat the cake” is much harder than “I must eat the healthy apple”. Keep your communication positive!
Use these 9 communication tips and your advanced communication skills will deftly move you into the premier league of effective communication.