Friday, 10 January 2014




Match the sequence, the predicates, the key words, common experiences and content chunks

Technique 1: Parrot phrase

Whatever the other person says, give him back the same words, in the same sequence and the same tone.
Do Not Paraphrase. Use the exact same sequence of words because distortion of words would distort what he wants to say.  When you distort the sequence of words, you distort that person’s values.
For example, If a person X says - “I would love to have a chat with you this evening and maybe we could go for a film later”. Do not say – “Okay , let us go for a film .“.

 That will break the rapport . If you keep doing this, over a period of time , the person would feel completely non-understood by you as you are not grasping the whole value of her words.
The person X wants to have a chat with you first and then , maybe, go for a film - meaning , she would want to go if she is done with chatting . If you just focus on the last part of the sentence and ignore the first as irrelevant, that person would feel alienated by you and probably hurt.
Instead, use parrot phrasing. Repeat the same words in the same sequence. Say –“Okay ! I get it.  You would love to have a chat this evening and then maybe go for a film. ..hmmm “
That would make the person feel well understood.

If you do not agree with her , you can state your own perspective, after parrot phrasing her words.

In the above example-- If you have other plans for the evening . Say --“Okay ! I get it.  You would love to have a chat this evening and then maybe go for a film. ..hmmm……Though,, I am pretty keen on watching the film.. Shall we go for the film first ?  I have heard the film is really good. We could chat after that . What do you think?  “

The technique used in this sentence is that - You make your own statement after you parrot phrase the other person’s statement and then, after stating your perspective, you again parrot phrase to make the other person feel that she has been heard.

This technique would ensure greater co-operation than directly disagreeing with the other person.
Avoid using But - as Buts usually are perceived as direct disagreement.   A But is taken as sharply intrusive in personal space. If the other person hears a But, s/he may shut himself off before listening to the remainder of your perspective. .

In the above example- Instead of saying – “But, I want to go for the film first “-- Use words like  - Though, However – words which are less  sharply obtrusive on individual space.

If it is a long conversation, keep parrot phrasing the other person’s words to make that person feel she/he is being understood. Then, even if you do not agree with that person’s views , he/she is likely to co-operate with you because he/she feels that her views have been given due respect.
Counsellors use this technique very often to get their clients to reflect on their own views and agree to new ideas .

Technique 2--Match the Sentence size
If the other person speaks in small sentences, do not use long sentences and if the other person speaks in long sentences, do not brief up your sentences.
If that person uses small sentences and you use long sentences , that person would lose you half way, and simply not follow your conversation. So, your effort would be wasted.
If that person uses long sentences, and you use short sentences—then, that person would feel that you have not explained enough when you use short sentences with him/her. Hence, he will not give adequate importance to your views. Again your efforts to explain would be wasted.
Hence it is better to use the same sentence size as the other person so that your efforts to  communicate , get you the required  results.

Technique 3-Use the same key words
Some people have definite key words or tag words, which they use repeatedly For example, some people ask again and again “ Do you understand ? I mean…” or “ …………., You know…!”
Use the same key /tag words while talking or listening to the person.
For example, while listening --Say “ I understand . I know what you mean .
While talking , say “Do you understand ? I mean…” or “………. You know !”

Use them in a way that you do not make it apparent that you are doing so.. For example, you can use them at greater intervals than that person does ; so, he won’t notice consciously that you are using his tag words. But, his subconscious would respond to you better.

Technique 4-Match the overall picture perspective
 Some people focus on the big picture and some on the details. In other words, some people have a global perspective, while others have a micro perspective.
Both perspectives are equally important in different contexts. For example, you would need a global perspective to make an outline of a new project, but you would need to focus on the details i.e., have a micro perspective while implementing the project.
Different people focus on different pictures while making conversations. This causes miss-understandings in communication, since one person is talking from a holistic perspective while the other person may be focussing on the here and now.

 If that person focuses on the big picture and you keep giving detail, s/he will lose interest soon. If the other person focuses on details and you give the big picture, s/he will feel that there is not enough information.

So, be aware of the general nature of the person before trying to explain anything to him/her. If the person focuses more on the long run, i.e. has a global perspective - show him the long run picture. Do not bore him with details of the here and now , as that will make him/her lose interest in your conversation.

Give him/her the broad idea of the outcome you want him to achieve  and allow him to use his own strategy to get that outcome. Do not give him step by step instructions as he may not be able to follow your way of doing things. Allow him more independence at work to get the maximum output from him.

On the other hand, if that person focuses on the details, do not speak of the whole big picture. Explain to him the details of the here and now, and leave the conversation there.
If you give him the big picture, he may get very confused as he will try to fill each aspect of that big picture with details - which will become too much for his mind to handle .

Give this person step by step instructions. Do not give much emphasis on the big picture as that will get this person confused and may motivate him to shirk work.

The same people may use the global perspectives and the micro perspectives in different situations of their lives. So, whether you choose to use the global perspective or the micro perspective would depend on which perspective that person is using in the specific context in which you are in with him.

 If you use rapport building techniques, in a few minutes , you would know which picture perspective he is using , and you can continue your subsequent conversation accordingly. You may find a dramatic change in his ability to receive your communication, if you use the same   perspective that  he is talking from.

Technique 2: Match common experiences

When people first meet, their relationship often starts with matching common experiences, common interests, beliefs, values, ideologies and associations.

People who have common interests to talk about get along better with each other, and naturally co-operate more . So, in general conversation, find out the issues which interest the other person, and start your conversation along those lines.

Once you have established rapport, you can steer the conversation along the lines which you desire. Once the person starts trusting you, and feels that you are making efforts to participate in his/her interests, s/he would feel respected. Then, to maintain that feeling of being respected, s/he would like to remain in rapport with you, and thus , would  participate in your interests .

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