6.1.10 Physiology

NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) emphasises non-verbal physical expressions as they play an important role in our communication and understanding of other people. These expressions can include body language, gestures, facial expressions and tone of voice. By paying attention to these non-verbal cues, we can gain a deeper insight into a person’s thoughts, feelings and experiences.

Body language is a crucial part of non-verbal communication. It includes posture, movements, gestures and body position. For example, a person with open and relaxed movements can signal confidence and ease, while a person with tense and restricted movements can signal uncertainty or discomfort.

Facial expressions are another important part of non-verbal communication. Our face can express a wide range of emotions such as happiness, anger, surprise or fear. Paying attention to facial expressions can help us read and understand how a person is reacting to a given situation.

Voice is also an important indicator of non-verbal communication. Pitch, tempo, volume and timbre of the voice can all convey different emotions and meanings. For example, someone with a calm and balanced voice can signal confidence and authority, while someone with a loud and tense voice can signal nervousness or anger.

NLP emphasises observing and paying attention to these non-verbal physical expressions to gain a more complete understanding of a person’s communication. By reading and interpreting these signals, we can better personalise our own communication and create a deeper connection and trust with other people. It can also help us detect any incongruities between a person’s words and their non-verbal expressions, which can give us valuable information about their true thoughts and feelings.

6.1.11. Examples of non-verbal expressions
In situations where the models act as excellent middle managers, verbal and non-verbal communication is completely intertwined. We talk about congruence between verbal and non-verbal communication. What the models say verbally is completely consistent with what they show non-verbally. Both support the overall communication and the message they are trying to communicate.

Often hands and arms are used to position/locate the different verbal statements at different angles and distances from themselves, the sizes of the statements are shaped by the hands, and timelines and processes are illustrated by the movements of the hands and arms.

Corresponding parts of non-verbal communication are occasionally brought into play, as described below.

Here are three examples:

1) While the model is saying: “I love moving people from A to B”, the modeller moves his/her hands very clearly from right to left, showing where A and B are.

2) While the model explains how she collects, processes, analyses and then puts together and uses information during a problem-solving meeting, she shows the process non-verbally with her hands in front of her, how the individual elements are initially placed and then how she moves them around, reassembles them and finds a good joint solution to the challenge that was discussed.

3) While the model explains the process of how he has introduced a new shift planning, he shows with his head, body, arms and hands where he is on the imaginary timeline. A timeline that runs about 30 cm in front of him, from his left side to his right side.

6.2 Act & ask: Act and ask questions to everyone involved

6.2.0. Laugh

Humour plays a remarkable role in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and has a profound impact on communication, change and personal development. In NLP, we recognise that laughter and joy have a unique ability to connect us on a deeper level with other people. When we laugh together, it creates a special kind of connection and trust that is essential for an effective coach-client relationship.

Humour also acts as a natural icebreaker, reducing tension and resistance. When faced with challenging topics or situations, a well-placed joke or funny observation can bring relief and make it easier to deal with and explore them. It creates a positive and relaxed atmosphere that allows for openness and honesty, which is essential for effective NLP sessions.

One of the most notable benefits of humour is its ability to promote creativity and flexibility in our thinking. When we laugh, endorphins are released in the brain, improving our mood and giving us a sense of wellbeing. This opens up new perspectives and solutions, which is especially important in NLP, where we seek alternative and effective ways to deal with life’s challenges.

Humour also serves as a powerful stress-reducing method. When we laugh, it reduces our stress levels and allows us to tackle situations with greater ease and clarity. This is crucial as NLP work often involves helping clients deal with and overcome stressful situations in their lives.

When teaching NLP techniques, humour is also a valuable resource. Presenting complex concepts or techniques in a fun and easy-to-understand way helps to improve learning and memory. When we have fun and feel happy, we are more likely to remember and integrate the knowledge we receive.

Through humour, we can also create positive states in people. When we laugh, we release endorphins and feel happy and relaxed. This creates a beneficial influence on our thoughts, behaviour and results. In NLP, states are crucial to our ability to take action and achieve our goals, and humour is a natural way to create positive states and attract desired behaviours.

Finally, humour is a gateway to connect with our unconscious resources. Some NLP techniques use humour, metaphors and analogies to reach deeper into the unconscious mind and bring valuable insights and changes to the surface. This opens up a deeper understanding of ourselves and our reactions, which contributes to our personal growth and development.

However, it’s important to remember that humour should be used with care and respect for the individual. What is funny to one person may be offensive to another. As an NLP practitioner or trainer, it is crucial to be aware of the client’s reactions and only use humour in a way that is appropriate and supportive of their process. When used with care and sensitivity, humour can be a powerful way to create positive change and deeper connection in NLP work.

6.2.1. Your voice – Your tool
Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) tools can be used to improve communication and influence through voice.

Variation in pitch plays a crucial role in conveying emotions and messages. Do you speak with treble or bass? Do you vary your pitch between your own treble and your own bass. The different pitches of your voice can be used to express different nuances, where a high pitch indicates enthusiasm, optimism or surprise, while a lower pitch can signal seriousness, authority or calmness. Consciously controlling and adapting your tone of voice in line with your message strengthens your communicative effectiveness.

The speed at which you speak directly affects the perception of your message. Speaking slowly can be used to create thoughtfulness, emphasis and clarity. Conversely, a faster speaking speed can be used to express enthusiasm, energy or a sense of urgency. Being aware of and adjusting your speaking speed allows you to convey your message more accurately.

The volume of your voice plays a role in projecting confidence and authority. A higher volume can be used to express confidence and dominance, while a lower volume can create a more intimate atmosphere. It’s essential to strike a balance to avoid appearing too aggressive or too restrained.

Clear pronunciation and clarity of voice are essential for effective communication. Avoiding mumbling, precise pronunciations and correct articulation ensure that your message is understood correctly by listeners. Paying attention to clarity and pronunciation can strengthen your ability to communicate clearly.

Expressiveness through voice modulation adds life and engagement to your communication. Variation in tone, emphasising specific words or parts of sentences can help convey emotion and highlight important points in your message. Monotone can seem monotonous, while excessive modulation can seem intrusive. Balancing expressiveness is key to effective voice expression.

It’s important to mirror the person or people you’re communicating with. To do this, you can use all of the above voice tools. Good communication with many people, just like communication with one person, is entirely dependent on mirroring the person or people you’re communicating with.

These aspects of voice communication, when used consciously, can significantly improve your communication skills and help you achieve desired reactions from your listeners.