If you experience communication conflict with your spouse, friend or business associate, perhaps they are visual communicators and you have strong auditory or kinesthetic preferences. These differences may be the source of frustration and misunderstandings. Visual communicators have a natural ability to focus on visual detail, order, color and design. They need to “see,” visually, what you are attempting to communicate. They usually speak in a rapid tempo. Their clothing and accessories tend to be color coordinated and their work places are organized and attractive.
Aligning your “transmitting style” with their “receiving style” is the key to increasing the probability for greater rapport and understanding. This neuroscience principle has enormous implications in all human relationships. Everyone has their own unique and distinct preferences for taking in and processing sensory information, instructions, directions, requests and questions.
If you want good relationships, it’s important to identify the strongest preference for receiving information of the person with whom you’re communicating and then align your “transmitting style” to their “receiving style.”
Step I: How to Identify Visual Communicators
- Strengths: Seeing, watching and proofreading; quality control observations; design, graphics, photography and art; remembering faces and what was seen; paying attention to visual detail and seeing things other people may miss
- Irritations: Absence of visual media in information and requests from others; confusing visual material; visual disorder and clutter; unattractive environments; can’t find things; people who talk slower than them
- Enjoy: Email, movies, magazines, people watching, museums, art, nature, doodling
Step II: How to Connect with Visual Communicators
- General Strategies: Seek to understand the other person’s point-of-view before expressing yours. Allow people to complete their thoughts and expressions before asking questions and trying to “second guess” what they are thinking. Make no assumptions and stay in the present moment. Keep an open mind.
- Visual Environment: Select an attractive, clean and organized environment. Use flip chart, white board, sketchpad, colored pens, pencils and markers to present and record information.
- How to Communicate: Furnish visual information before and after all meetings and interactions involving progress reports, summaries, decisions, problem solving, instructions and directions. Visual information should be neat, attractive, organized and contain concise key points with a minimum of words. Use mind maps, graphs, charts, symbols and images. Employ flip charts and white boards. Even writing or drawing on a paper napkin during mealtime will help facilitate communication. Think: “What can I ‘show’ these people that will help them understand?”
- Employ Visual Language: Visual communicators use and prefer language like: Show me. Looks good. Draw me a picture. Look at it this way. I can’t see it. That’s clear to me. Things look bright and rosy.
In conclusion, it’s fast and easy to bond with Visual communicators using simple and powerful neuroscience tools. This brain-based approach aligns you with their visual preference for receiving information. The result is better relationships, greater understanding and shorter communication time. These neuroscience methods apply to intimate relationships, families, business and sales situations. How you communicate is as important as what you communicate. Most people only focus on what they are trying to communicate and then they are surprised when they don’t get their point across.
- Communicate on Their Wavelength: How to Connect With Auditory Communicators (brainpathways.net)