Read People in a Simple Way

Xperience Growthblogposts

One of the cornerstones of communication is your ability to connect with people. This article will give you a simple and easy way to increase the connection that you purposefully create with people. What you get from that are deeper connections, better influence, which can translate to more sales in the business world and enhanced relationships in your personal world.

In a way, you’ll learn to read people even better and more quickly. With that knowledge, you can more effectively build rapport with folks enhancing your connection with them.

This works in the same way that love languages work. Over 30 years ago Gary Chapman introduced the idea of love languages and defined it as “how to express heartfelt commitment to your mate.” The premise is simple. We all have general ways in which we prefer someone to show their love and appreciation to us. When someone shows love in the way in which we prefer it, we feel it. When someone shows us love in another form, it’s like a foreign language that we don’t fully recognize.

Chapman realized that couples were not speaking the same “love language” to each other and therefore felt disconnected. When people begin to show love to their partner in their partner’s preferred manner, that partner feels a greater connection. The relationship is better able to flourish.

Like the preferred way of receiving love, our mind has a preferred way we make sense of the world. The 4 systems or styles that we use are visual, auditory, kinesthetic and auditory digital.

We all use all 4, however we have one that we prefer to use. It’s how we naturally process information and how our mind digests and thinks through information.

The 4 mind language styles

Visual leaning people tend to see things in their mind really well. They want things to look nice, usually tidy. They will memorize through seeing pictures and the world around them. They likely will have trouble remembering verbal cues and will not be easily distracted by noises. They have an opinion on how things look.

Auditory leaning people access their hearing to retain information. They will often want to repeat things back to you and like learning in steps. They are people who still like to talk on the phone and usually like music. They want to be told how they are doing if they are doing a great job. They want to hear what you have to say about things.

Kinesthetic leaning people are more tactile. They like to touch and feel things. Typically they talk on the slower side. They learn by doing and walking through things. They will want to know what something feels like – either through the touch of what they feel about it.

Auditory digital leaning people talk to themselves. They usually are constantly repeating what they hear in their mind to make sense of what you say and how to respond back. They are the people that will talk through things to help them understand it. Because this way of processing is derived from the other systems, they will likely show different signs in the other three.

How to tell which is someone’s preferred

This is very simple. Ask someone to tell you something – really, could be about anything.

I was teaching this framework recently and asked a participant what he loved about this home. He immediately said garage with a lot of energy behind it. I asked him what he loved about it. He started telling me about how he likes to use the tools in his space and at one point used the phrase “hand-in-hand.” In less than 30 seconds I knew – and the rest of the participants knew – his preferred style is kinesthetic.

When you meet or talk with someone, listen for the language that they use to tell the story. Do they use a lot of visual words and phrases, auditory words, talk about tactile things and using their hands, or do they seem to be piecing their thoughts together as they talk to you? When you can pick up on how they talk about something, you’ll have a good idea about their preferred style.

You can ask questions based on the descriptors above if you want further confirmation.

Use someone’s preferred language

Here’s the cool part. Once you know if someone prefers visual, auditory, kinesthetic or auditory digital, you can begin to use language that corresponds with their style. It’s amazing to see and feel the connection that you can create when you intentionally use the language corresponding with their preferred style with them.

In the training I taught, after finding out the volunteer participant is kinesthetic leaning, I did something fun. I said “If I could show you what this looks like, would you want to see more?” (Yes, it’s a nothing sentence as I said it out of the blue.) Of course, he was confused since I didn’t really say anything. Then I said, “okay, well then, if what I say sounds good would you want to hear more about it?” Again, he just shook his head in bewilderment. Then I said, “well then let give you something that you can grasp and if feels good would you want to learn something more concrete about it?” He responded with “Yes, that would be awesome. I’m interested.”

In none of those sentences did I actually say anything of substance, In the third, I used words and phrases that correspond with his preferred language – which is kinesthetic. My very patient volunteer didn’t react to the first two, yet when I used his preferred language he responded positively – even to a sentence that literally had no substance.

The bottom line

I asked the participant at the end of the call how connected he felt to me, since I was building rapport with him through the use of his language. He said “very.” I had never met him before.

And that’s the power of being able to read how people operate and then – like using your partner’s love language to express your love – you can use the other person’s language to develop a deeper connection with them.