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Input and output and something in between by Laura Spicer

Voice specialist Laura Spicer explains how NLP can help you be better understood

I am often asked what NLP is and what I do as an NLP consultant and Voice Coach.

As with any tool that has myriad uses, it’s difficult to describe in few words. How would you describe what a car is to someone who’d never seen one? You could say it’s to get you to the shops but a car has many other useful functions. You could mention others, like taking your kids to school, but a car is for so much more.

I am old enough to remember when computers first became available to the public. I asked someone who had one why I might find one useful. He told me I could keep phone numbers on it and I wondered why that was an improvement on my Filofax.

NLP has such a broad application that it impacts every aspect of every moment of every day. I wouldn’t have survived the difficult challenges of the recent years without it. And I also wouldn’t have had as much fun and joy either. I can’t imagine how anyone copes without it! I sent both my children to learn from Richard Bandler once they were 18 and I knew it was the best thing to prepare them for as healthy, happy, productive and successful a life as possible.
One model that has been found to be useful in NLP is something called ‘chunking’. A big chunk is something which is more abstract and inclusive and a small one more specific. Woman is a smaller chunk description than People.

So the title of this article is one big chunk description of what NLP does . Data is inputted from the outside world through the senses. Even a so-called sixth sense is informed by what has been seen, heard, smelled, tasted and touched. Output refers to our behaviours.

And we call some of what happens in between thinking.

The way we speak (‘output’) can convey a huge amount of information to a listener. The words you choose are crucial. There is a difference when somebody says they feel happy or they feel ecstatic! But there is much more to it than ‘just’ the words themselves. In fact, research says (though please take the statistics with a healthy pinch of salt!) the words only convey 7% of the message. Right now, you are reading my words but if you were listening to me saying them you may get a lot more information from my voice quality and tones and tunes. And if you could see me too, then you would have more information again.

I called a friend today and all she said was ‘hello’ but I knew immediately that she was in a hurry and stressed. Just from the way she said that one word! Did she mean to convey that? Perhaps, but again, perhaps not!

One of my roles is to help people to convey their message in the way they want it to be heard. If they are giving a talk at work and want it to inspire the team, are they using their tones and tunes as effectively as possible? Actually, it is simple to learn how to increase your success rate massively in all verbal communications by learning how to use your voice more elegantly.

When I woke up this morning I thought to myself “I need to get this article written” and I began to feel anxious. I am so glad I caught myself before I suffered for long! I changed my internal voice tone to sound relaxed and changed the words in my head to “it might be fun to write this article” and abracadabra! I started to feel motivated instead of worried. Simple, but amazingly effective! I hope it has been fun to read as it has been to write and that your interest is piqued enough to want to find out more…

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