The key to being able to communicate in the most efficient manner is to understand how the person you are communicating with interprets the information. Most importantly, as the information is interpreted the actual reality is created. In short, each person has their own representational systems in which they favor. Each representational system utilizes one or more of their five senses. Through these senses their reality is created. Once you understand which representational system(s) the person uses you can effectively communicate with ease as they are “telling” you how they communicate!

Listening Accessing Signals

Visual – representational system experienced through sight

Understanding signal: “I can picture it, just can’t describe it.” “I see what you mean.” “It looks good to me. Describe it to me.”

I can picture it, just can’t describe it. I see what you mean. It looks good to me. Describe it to me. Auditory – representational system experienced through sound

What did it sound like? That sounds good to me. We should talk about it. I know what you’re saying. I hear you.

Kinesthetic – representational system experienced through feeling

It just felt so good. We will be in touch. I am comfortable with him. It feels good to me. It was so uncomfortable.

Olfactory – representational system experienced through smell (the olfactory system (sensory system used for olfaction) more commonly known as the sense of smell)

This stinks. It smells so good. It has an overbearing odor. It’s so fresh and clean smelling.

Gustatory – representational system experienced through taste (the gustatory identifies the flavor of substances such as food and other items through taste)

It has a rich flavor to it. It needs something to make it better, as it is so bland. This is way too spicy. The juiciness is great.

Eye Accessing Signals

Below illustrates how to identify the person’s representation system through their eye movement. The illustration shows based on the eye  movement how the person is representing their reality and thinking.
eye position

According to emeritus professor of psychology at UCLA and author of Silent Messages Albert Mehrabian, PhD we relate to people in three ways: verbally (with words), vocally (tone of voice), and visually (body language).

Dr. Albert Mehrabian of UCLA showcased in his seminal study of communication, 55% of the message one sends in a face to face conversation is through their body language, while the words themselves only represent 7%. [1] Taking this into consideration gave me valuable insight into understanding what the differences were between the individuals, as well as the common characteristics each possessed. I also began to research a well known female in the field of body language, Tonya Reiman. She reiterated the importance of sending positive messages with body language. Reflecting upon techniques such as mirroring and smiling creates a sense of familiarity and attractiveness to all that encounter it. [2] Incorporating this knowledge with Dr. Milton Erickson’s research gave me a distinct advantage in my pursuit.

Dr. Milton Erickson was a hypnotherapist who studied human interactions on such a minuscule level, which proved to be invaluable. He learned the  importance of body language, mirroring another person’s posture, breathing patterns, tonality, facial expressions and gestures can expedite the process  of rapport and trust. Being able to communicate with them at a level outside of verbal communication worked on the subconscious part  of the other persons mind.

This leads them to believe based on the signals from their subconscious mind that this person is alright, likeable and someone they could trust.  “While the words work on a person’s conscious mind, the physiology is working on the unconscious mind.” [3] Being able to communicate on  this level is much more efficient and eliminates the time constraints and possible hesitations as their mind is telling them and reaffirming to them  this person is okay. Remember that the subconscious mind is always there listening, while the conscious mind is always there, though not always listening.

Maintaining eye contact is a dominant characteristic. When one does not make eye contact it makes them appear timid and lacking confidence.  As psychologist Ann Demarais, Ph.D. and founder of executive coaching firm “First Impressions” stated, “People normally make eye contact 70 to  80 percent of the time. If you fall below average, you come across as shifty or lacking confidence. People who make less eye contact often aren’t aware  of it, so ask a friend if you’re unsure.” [4]

I realized not all communication was verbal. Once I saw this, I began to dig deeper and deeper, identifying the differences the various influencers  had and how the people surrounding them responded to their physical demeanor. Note, it was unrealistic to eavesdrop on each groups conversations,  so I had to pay close attention to their non verbal communication and body language.

I took this information learned from the elite international training program, books, case studies, examples, interviews and real life observations and  made a conscious effort to incorporate these hand selected mannerisms and characteristics into myself. Through this valuable information, I decided I  would implement certain characteristics and mannerisms prior to a meeting and gauge the feedback from others. After each meeting I then added an additional characteristic and mannerism I wanted to expand on to use in the following meeting. From there I was able to continually build from the  previous time (momentum, little by little). Once I saw immediate results, I determined that if I could master these mannerisms and characteristics,  I could train myself to be charming and likeable to anyone I encounter. But most of all I would have the “it” factor, that I desired so much.

The biggest challenge is incorporating the various information at once, when you are have not been paying attention to each behavior in the past.

I decided to break all of the information down by chunking it, so it was not as overwhelming to learn. This also made it much more realistic for me  to master. One of the best things about chunking is you can track the feedback on a much smaller scale. Being able to track the feedback enables you  to get a more detailed understanding as to what is working most effectively for you. This is only possible as you are focusing on and incorporating  only a couple of mannerisms and characteristics at a time.

I committed myself with a very strict discipline to continually improve and a crystal clear understanding of my objective. Through this unwavering  commitment, I was able to accomplish my goal of having the “it” factor mastered.

[1] Dr. Albery Mehrabian of UCLA’s study on human communication

[2] Site: Link:

[3] Unlimited Power p. 210 Anthony Robbins Simon and Schuster New York, New York 1986

[4] Spirit Mag: Southwest Airlines Air Magazine Ann Demarais

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