In efficient communication, can one word change everything?

100%, I’ll say yes. In efficient communication we can change the meaning of the message we want to express with a single word. Not to mention that the same message in a different tone or from another emotional state has a different meaning. 

For example, the word YET.

Think about something you can not do, creating a sad feeling when you think about it.

First, say it:

I can’t  (lose 10 Kilograms) , for example.

Sad feelings, no?

Now, consider the same situation and add the word YET at the end.

I can’t  (lose 10 Kilograms) , YET.

Different story, no?

Like magic, all the sad emotional feelings almost disappeared.

 That surprised me too in 2016 when I started studying NLP. The most important thing was to understand that we express what and how we think through words.

If we speak vaguely, without details, that’s also how we think. No structure, no beginning, and no end.

I wrote an article about the importance of having a rich vocabulary, and if you want to read about that, too, look here.

Let’s go back a bit. Do you know what’s more interesting? The results from our lives are like that, too.

How much detail do you give when you think of something you want? How accurately do you know what it’s going to look like? How exactly do you know how you’ll feel?

To challenge you, I suggest you read the following story about four people called EVERYONE, SOMEONE, ANYONE, and NOBODY.

At one point, an important thing came up, and EVERYONE was sure that SOMEONE would do the thing.

ANYONE could have done it, but NOBODY did it. SOMEONE got angry about it because it was something EVERYONE could do. EVERYONE thought ANYONE could do it, but NOBODY realized that EVERYONE would refuse to do it. And in the end, EVERYONE blamed SOMEONE, and NOBODY did what ANYONE could do.

How did it look to you? How do you think this short story applies to the real world?

Things get a little out of hand when situations like this have unclear wording. It is good that in NLP, a concept called a Meta-model explains how people express themselves in detail, and it connects the language with the experience. 

The Meta-model was the first tool developed by John Grinder and Richard Bandler. They created patterns after observing Virginia Satir and Fritz Pearls. They combined their own knowledge and published the first book about NLP, The Structure of Magic, in 1975.

The name Meta has been used because meta means over, and Meta-model means, in fact, over the language. In short, we can understand the language if we observe it.

Here is what the Meta-model is, in a short description: because our mind always wants to use as little energy as possible, humans subconsciously use this habit of sparing energy when communicating.

The Meta-model is categorized into 13 categories and we use generalizationsdeletions, and distortions when we talk. We presume others have the same knowledge as us, so we tend to give only a few details.

The advantage of this efficient communication method is that we stop assuming and shed light on how we express ourselves. By using the NLP Meta-model, we start asking clarifying questions, and situations from the story will rarely happen.

I will give you some examples from each category to better understand this model. For example, when you hear someone use the following generalization: “Only negative things always happen to me.”

You can easily ask:

“Always? Has nothing good ever happened to you?”

Or something casual, such as, “I must clean the house.”

The right question is:

Do you really have to? What happens if you don’t? What’s the worst that can happen if you don’t?

Another great example from one client in a coaching session I had:

“I am afraid of failure!”

with a simple question like: “What exactly are you afraid of?” or “What does failure mean to you?” or “Do you know somebody who failed?” “What happened to those people?” “What could 

they have done not to fail?”

Here, I’ve given just two brief examples of how most people use words in a misguided, unproductive way.

The last example of badnot efficient communication is very often met in romantic relationships.

“If you love me, you should have known what I wanted!”

With one simple question, the other person would have settled the whole conflictual situation.

The advantage is that with this NLP communication tool, such forms of expression can be understood by everyone to eliminate these blurs in expression. Not only will you be able to identify precisely what you want, but you will also be able to transmit this message correctly.

After you start using this tool, your everyday communication will change into efficient communication, and your message will be clearly transmitted to other people. 

Would such a skill be helpful in a world with more and more people?

Would such a skill be helpful in your romantic relationship?

Would such a skill be helpful in your work?

There are so many ways a person can be wrongly understood. Why not use the language always to get what you want?

One last little game to understand how different we can feel just by changing a few words. Think about something that has been on your mind for a long time: a dream, a goal, a task, or a project.

Than say it loud:

I should do this

then say it like this:

I must do this ….

repeat it:

I want to do this 

and in the end:

I should do this 

Did you notice the emotional difference?

You feel it yourself by doing this exercise, but it happens the same way if you use it with other people when you express your ideas.

In the NLP Practitioner course in English(here in Munich / München), we present many methods to achieve efficient communication and to work with all kinds of people, even the most difficult ones. You will get a superpower to de-escalate any conflict in your team at work and even in your own family. Additionally, we teach leadership skills so the people around you will always like to come to you.

Do you remember the story above, with the unclarities in the communication? Do you remember the examples I gave you? 

What kind of similar situation did you experience? Can you share it with me?

Additionally, if you want to read about my other project where you become one with the mountains, you can do it here!