Building relationships through effective communication
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One of the biggest wounds that shows up in all relationships – whether that be relationships in business, relationships with family members, intimate relationships or everyday relationships; is the feeling of not being heard or the feeling of being misunderstood. I don’t know about you but there have been times where my spouse has been communicating to me, trying to get their message across and it’s just not registering with me! It’s frustrating for me, but I also know it’s frustrating for my wife Corina as she’s not getting the outcome she’s looking for.
Some of you may know I’m on some extended travel with my family right now, and it’s been great so far! But when traveling with anyone, and having such close extended proximity to each other… add in the minimal distractions we’re experiencing from normal everyday life like business trips, daily work or even if my wife were to go for a night out with her girlfriends, the importance of having effective communication with each other is so important to us right now to ensure we all have an amazing holiday. These recent experiences have reminded me of the different communication modalities all people have, and so this week I wanted to share with you a video from ‘The Vault’ where Corina and I are discussing which communication style we each are, including some real world examples we’ve experienced together in the past, as well as some conscious strategies we continue to use, multiple times a day, to ensure we’re having a harmonious relationship. Although we filmed this quite a while back, and I’m feeling nostalgic watching back, we may have a few less character lines (lol), but the message here is just as relevant to me today as it was back then.
The great tool I’m talking about is called the VAK Model, we didn’t create it, we found it somewhere, it’s awesome – it talks about the different ways that people like to receive or give information:
- Visual – I like to do things quickly and promptly with speed and repetition
- Auditory – the more slow paced the more we’ve make it a little more of a steady pace to it
- Kinaesthetic – very slow paced very touchy-feely very much just want to be present with what they’re feeling
Just so you know, about 60% of the world are visual, about 30% are auditory, about 10% kinaesthetic. There’s no good or bad, no right or wrong. Really important you get that.
Very early in our relationship, we identified that my prime modality is visual and Corina’s in auditory – and so from there we’ve had to consciously adapt our behaviours to ensure effective communication and to build our successful relationship and marriage. Please be sure to watch and listen to the above video, to find out more about this model and learn how you can build great relationships throughout your own life interactions through effectively communication.
The VAK Model is a really important tool that we use literally every day, five times a day we use this in our relationship. So I want to get you thinking – could there be some other people that you’re in a relationship with – customers, clients, your family, you could use this tool with?
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Read The Full Transcript
[Corina] Welcome back it’s Corina and Scott here. One of the biggest wounds that shows up in relationships is the feeling of not being heard or the feeling of being misunderstood. I don’t know about you but there have been times where I’ve been communicating either in past relationships, with Scott or somebody else, where I’m trying to get a message across and it’s just not registering with the other person and it’s frustrating for me as an individual because I’m not getting the outcome I’m looking for. Sometimes it’s frustrating to the receiver because, like Scott says, I’m just speaking gibberish at times and the truth is sometimes when we have some extras tools it can really help us make communication easier. The benefit of it being easier is that it feels freer and as a consequence you’re not having those frustrations show up anymore. So we have a great tool which is called the VAK model which Scott’s going to teach you about right now.
[Scott] I love the VAK model and it shows up in our lives everywhere, you know Corina will talk about her frustration of not being heard or her frustration of not getting her message across and trust me as a man I feel the same thing sometimes because sometime’s I’m thinking what the heck are you talking about? Or one of my favourites is didn’t we already had this conversation like five times before? And so the VAK model… we didn’t create it, we found it somewhere, it’s awesome – it talks about there’s different ways that people like to receive or give information.
There’s Visual people, there’s Auditory people and Kinaesthetic people – V.A.K.
A visual person is someone who’s fast-paced, who uses a lot of quick words, who speaks with their hands like I’m speaking to you now, who uses words like “do you see what I mean?” “do you get the picture?” “is that clear to you?” and they like to do things in a hurry.
Now an auditory person is someone who’s a little bit slower paced, they have some more tone and rhythm to the way they speak they often like to use a lot of words and like to read things and like to really get all the information to it and they use sounding words they use words like “are you listening to me?” “does that sound like it makes sense to you?” “can you hear what I’m saying?”.
Then of course there’s kinaesthetic people who, well frankly they’re just they like to just sit with their feelings for a while and if you’re a visual person like me a kinaesthetic person could drive you crazy because a kinaesthetic person likes to really go on their intuition, they like to go on their instinct, they like to just be present with their feelings and thoughts before they move forward and it’s a very different way of communicating than someone who is really a visual person or someone who’s an auditory person.
So that’s the VAK model;
- Visual – I like to do things quickly and promptly with speed and repetition;
- Auditory – the more slow paced the more we’ve make it a little more of a steady pace to it;
- Kinaesthetic – very slow paced very touchy-feely very much just want to be present with what they’re feeling.
So that’s the model [Corina] and so I have a funny story about how the moment where we really got each other’s modality and by modality I mean the prime way that you used to communicate if that’s your visual like Scott, so that’s his modality, I’m auditory so I like to hear thing so that’s my prime modality and there was this particular moment in our relationship where we really got what is the favourite way that each of us likes to communicate and basically one time Scott was in the shower and I was talking to him but he had the towel over his head and as he was drying his hair and I was talking to him he’s like what what are you saying and I’m like you just heard me, you’re literally a metre away from me, even though you have a towel on your head I’m right in front of you and I swear, I don’t know if this is true but as a visual person,[Scott] it’s true, [Corina] he would say to me I didn’t hear a word of what you said! We laugh about it now but at the time it was so frustrating and I just couldn’t get why he couldn’t hear me because as an auditory person I can actually hear Scott from the other side of the house and I never have to see him to be able to communicate with him.
Whereas Scott would like to look at me, face to face, be at least somewhere in his visual space so that we can communicate effectively with each other but it wasn’t until we have that moment which was a real defining moment for us that we worked out okay he actually prefers, his modalities is visual and mine is auditory and so if we’re going to communicate more effectively with each other I had to learn what my own modality was, Scott knew his and as a consequence now that we know each others we now step into each other’s shoes and so I know if I want to communicate effectively with Scott I’ll walk up to him so he can see me when I communicate with him and I want to face him every single time. Sometimes I’ll forget and I’ll go into the habit of speaking from far away and he’ll realise that I’m just in that habit and he’ll come to me so it’s a great tool where either one of you can take responsibility for stepping in the other person’s shoes but first you have to recognise where you are at and then you have to recognise who the person it is that you’re communicating with. What’s their modality?
[Scott] I think you said that beautifully it’s not about which is the right modality to be in because if that was true well we’d all just be visual [laughter], that’s what I think. It’s about what modality am I coming from? What modality is my spouse or my partner coming from? And it’s about trying to be in their modality as much as you can and it’s about when they maybe forget to do that in your modality, you just adjust to that. So I mean literally, classic real-life example we’re sitting in our back garden right now, my office where I work with my staff is literally just all over here and our house is over here and Corina because she’s auditory, it’s nothing for her to yell from the back of the house all the way out to office over here and say “honey your lunch is ready” and I’m like man that’s so rude why doesn’t she come out and look at me and tell me what she means while we can see each other? But it’s not rude of course it’s just that she has a different style.
So this is a really important tool that we use literally every day, five times a day now we use this in our relationship; there might be some other people that you’re in a relationship with – customers, clients, your family, you could use this tool with.
So, a simple exercise for you: go to work out right now for yourself, are you visual? Are you high paced, quick with your words, do you use your hands, do you use visual words? Are you auditory? Are you someone who likes to use a lot of words and have a lot of talking and maybe a little slower a little more deliberate and a little more methodical? And you like to use those sound words like are you listening to me, can you hear that? Does that make sense? That bell rings for me, or are you one of those very, very touchy-feely, warm loving people that everything has to be kinaesthetically decided?
Just so you know, about 60% of the world are visual, about 30% are auditory, about 10% kinaesthetic. There’s no good or bad, no right or wrong. Really important you get that, but I’d love you to go do a simple exercise right now. Number one workout which one of you, and if you’re not sure ask your spouse they’ll probably know or ask your best friend and number two maybe go work out what your spouse is and if you don’t know and you can’t guess, you know what there’s a great way to get everything you want and that is to ask and say to them, listen honey, if I was to communicate to you what would be the best way? Would it be if I used lots and lots of words or would it be if i was high-pitched and high paced and using lots of hand gestures and so on, or would it be if I was slower paced and if I was more in that feeling space while I was communicating to you? And just not an exact science, but go have a feel and a play with working out where are you and where is your partner at? And then maybe just see how it shows up and it’s kind of funny because I mean I would say that we know this tool, but it still shows up a lot would you agree with that? [Corina] Definitely.
[Scott] You know at least a couple times a day we get the opportunity go oops, hang on, that was a visual thing, that was an auditory thing, that was a kinaesthetic thing. It ‘s a simple tool, go do that it’ll be a lot of fun. [Corina] and we’d love to hear your stories, or see your stories if you’re Scott, [Scott] I want to read them. [Corina] So jump on our Facebook link which will show up on the screen and post your stories. Share them with us and share them with our other members. Cool, so with that thanks for watching, we’ll be back soon but for now go to live deliberately, be good – have fun!
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Scott Harris is a leading Australian coach, mentor and speaker, with 20 years of experience working with individuals, businesses and audiences around the world and supporting them in creating phenomenal success; financially, physically and emotionally.
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