My island, your island - The secret of more effective communication.</span><span> 


My island, your island - The secret of more effective communication. 

Whenever people get together, they talk to each other, even if they don't say a word. Non-verbal communication through facial expressions, gestures, posture, movement, closeness and distance, but also through outward appearances such as clothing, jewelry and hairstyle make up the major part of communication (almost 60%). In this article, you'll find out what it takes to communicate more effectively and four simple steps you can take to improve your skills.

The actual content plays a subordinate role in communication (8%). The voice (34%) and the body signals (58%) play a much larger role. However, the interpretation and subsequent reaction to the signals happens mostly unconsciously. This is also the reason why effective communication is so difficult and often goes completely wrong.

The "Standard Communication Loops" - from Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) - shows how the various channels of perception as a stimulus, via the interpretation that takes place in the brain, to the conscious or automatic reaction, how our actions in general and communication in particular arise.

The perceptual system via the five senses

Perception is controlled by our so-called representational systems, i.e. our five senses. These include seeing (visual), hearing (auditory), feeling or touching (kinesthetic), smelling (olfactory), and tasting (gustatory). It is believed that each person has one or two preferred senses that strongly influence their perception as well as their verbal and nonverbal communication.

For better understanding, let's take a small example. My most preferred representational system is kinesthetic, that is, feeling and touch. If I assess a situation, it "feels good or bad." With people who are close to me, I "feel" comfortable. I choose my clothes less according to whether they are visually pleasing to me. Rather, it is important to me that the fabric "feels good" on my skin. I learn new things most easily when I can do them. In contrast, people who function very visually would be more likely to say things like "how does it look on you?", "do you see it that way too?", "now I have it figured out!". They judge situations according to whether they form a "coherent picture," they "like" a job, they certainly choose their clothes according to visual criteria, and they immediately notice when a colleague wears new glasses or an employee has shaved off his beard.

Noticing which sensory system employees, colleagues and the boss are most at home in helps them to immerse themselves in his or her world and thus understand him or her better. Or just not to feel unnoticed because the partner does not notice the new hairstyle. Side note to the men: If your partner changes from a long to a short hairstyle, "I'm just not the visual type" does not count as an excuse...

There is more...

As if getting it right wasn't complex enough. After the stimulus has arrived in the brain, the impressions are chased through a whole series of different filters. Our goals, values, abilities, but also our belief system, cultural background, religion, etc. significantly control how we interpret what comes at us from the outside.

If I have a filter that says that women are bad at parking, I will think to myself, "typical woman!" for every single woman who still blocks half the street after the fifth attempt to maneuver her car into a parking space. I didn't even see the ten women in front who parked without any problems. That is, my eyes have seen them quite. But since they did not fit into any of my perceptual grids, they did not make it into the shortlist of conscious perceptions. They remained unnoticed and therefore did not trigger any reaction - in this example the thought "typical woman! - is triggered.

Somewhat more technically, one could formulate it as follows. Every second about 11 million (!!!) impressions reach the brain via our sensory systems. There, according to our individual filter system, they are sorted according to relevance and then trigger a conscious or automatic reaction.

What does this mean now for more effective communication

The prerequisite for effective communication - and by this we mean a type of communication in which two people talk about the same thing - is that the interlocutors are able to establish a connection with each other. Sometimes this happens quite automatically. We then talk about the fact that someone was simply sympathetic to us from the very beginning. What appears to us to be coincidence is not coincidental at all. It simply has to do with the fact that this person sees the world similarly to you. They are, so to speak, sitting on the same island, or at least on an island not far away. The bridge needed to meet already exists. The problems in communication start where you sit on Sylt and your conversation partner sits on the Maldives. There is no bridge. Someone has to build one first. So here is my 1x1 to build good bridges even in rough terrain:

1. The inner critic has a break for now

Okay. You don't immediately like the man in the suit, sneakers and beard. "Surely another one of these hipsters" and the person has already landed in a drawer from which it is very difficult to get out again. Now you can agree on 100 topics in a conversation, but your judgment stands firm "is just a hipster". Prejudices build bad bridges.

2. Train your perception

Start by looking at people closely and listening to them carefully. The nonverbal signals (facial expressions, gestures, posture, gaze, skin flushes, etc.) and the voice (tonality, rate of speech, intonation) reveal a lot about the other person.

3. Listening instead of talking

Pay attention to the words the other person uses. That's how you find out which representational system they are most at home in. Also, if you just listen to people, they reveal much more about their goals, values, belief system, etc. than they think they do. Aside from the fact that you learn so much about the other person's island, they feel understood and that alone creates a connection.

Once you have practiced all this, preferably in a protected environment with family and friends, and automated it a bit, comes the real key to quickly build a connection.

4. Build a bridge

Start by adapting your expressive behavior to the expressive behavior of your conversation partner. A bit as if you were copying their posture, facial expressions, gestures, tonality, etc. This is not about pretending or even deceiving or manipulating the other person. It is only about using the knowledge about the part of non-verbal communication effectively in such a way that the bridge from Sylt to the Maldives is possible in a useful period of time. In NLP, this technique is called "pacing."

As with any technique that involves people, the same is true here: Stubbornly applied, it is simply a technique and your counterpart will realize that he or she is just your guinea pig. Used with real and genuine interest in the person behind the initial facade, it's a wonderful way to take your communication to the next level.

You might also like…

Analysis vs. reflection: and what it can teach you about yourself.
Communication in stressful situations - The four types of stress according to Virginia Satir</span><span> 
My Ally Vision
myALLY für 14 Tage gratis testen!

myALLY für 14 Tage gratis testen!

Zugang zu Hunderten von Videos für Deine körperliche, geistige und spirituelle Entwicklung, Live-Workshops und Kontakt zu Gleichgesinnten, wo immer Du bist. In einer monatlichen oder jährlichen Mitgliedschaft.

CHF 44.– pro Monat
CHF 319.– pro Jahr(du sparst 40% / CHF 200.-)

Starte das kostenlose Probeabo


A concentrated load of knowledge from our experts and many useful tips and tricks, conveniently delivered to your mailbox every month.

❤️❤️ We work on Ally.Vision with passion. Thanks for your support! ❤️❤️