Conversation Skills: What’s your communication style?
October 17, 2019
Oh, poor E. Hi. James, from EngVid. You know,
people see the world differently. We all do. I mean, what sounds good to you may not feel
right for other people. And we also learn differently. What I want to do in this lesson
today is teach you how to communicate more effectively. I want to teach you the three
styles that people have when they communicate, how they communicate, and how you can use
these styles — understanding your own — to learn English more effectively. Let’s go
to the board and take a look, shall we? We’ve got Mr. E. He doesn’t seem to be so
good today. Professor E, or whoever this guy is with the funky glasses, right? Like a doctor.
Like Freud. “So how do you feel about it, Mr. E?” Mr. E says, “I don’t like how it sounds.
It just feels wrong.” I can’t see myself doing it. Now, each one of these things, they’re different
styles. There’s a word called “modalities”, which is a way of seeing or learning things,
right? Modes, models. Now, he’s talking about different ones. Sounding is for hearing. Feeling
could be your hands or your body — how does it feel? And seeing — your eyes. We’re going
to look over here, now. And I’m going to give you the titles or the proper names we say
when we talk about these things, okay? So when we talk about a person who is “visual”,
we mean they see — with their eyes, of course. But what we’re talking about is when they’re
thinking, they see pictures or movies. When you ask them a question, a picture appears
in their eyes right away. When you say “the large, black dog”, they see a dog, a large,
black one. They tend to be like me — they speak quickly. That’s why I’m slowing down
now. But you say something to me — I see a picture, and I want to get it out of my
head as quickly as possible because pictures are like a thousand words. Okay? Now, they like things to look good. Why am I
telling you this? Well, if you understand how these people think, you’ll understand
how to communicate with them, right? So a visual person likes things looking good. They
speak quickly, and they see pictures when they’re speaking. That’s why they speak
so quickly to you or rapidly. Okay? What about an auditory person? “Auditory” comes
from “audio”. You know, your MP3 player? You like music? That’s auditory — with your
ears. These people need clear speech. What that means is what I’m doing now is best for
an auditory person. They need to hear clearly what you’re saying or they don’t understand
you. It’s not such a bad thing. We should all be a little bit more clear in our speech,
especially when learning a language. They also need to manage sound level. What would
happen is if I’m talking and they’re talking and several people are talking, they’re the
people most likely to say, “Hey, guys. Shh! Calm down. Lower the volume.” Because they
can’t concentrate because they need that clear speech. Okay? And what’s the third thing we’re going to talk
about? Well, body. It’s called “kinesthetic”. Sometimes, that includes taste — delicious!
— and smell. Okay? These people need really slow speech because they feel with their body.
So the slow speech helps them to process the information, okay? They like to do things.
They are what we call “hands on”. They want to touch something or move something. They
understand things when they’re doing it. If you draw a picture like you would for the
visual person, it won’t make as much sense. And even if you just speak to them, they won’t
get it. But as soon as they touch it, they understand it. Okay? They like comfortable
environments, something that makes them feel comfortable. So in each category or sense, these people
like things to look good — the visual ones. These people like to make the sounds nice for
them. And these people like to be comfortable in their environment. The nice heat.
The right chair. Okay? How does this help you with your English?
Well, this isn’t a beginner lesson. What we want to look at is how people learn and how
we can speak to them so that your messages are understood more readily. Also, I’m going to
show you how you can use it to help yourself learn. Are you ready? Okay. So as I was saying, it’s important to
learn your style as well as someone else’s. How does it work for you? Well, look at Mr. E.
He’s saying all of these things. It “sounds”, “feels”, and “see”. What the doctor really
understands is “feel”. So this is appropriate speech for him. “Feel”, “to feel”. How does
it work for you in a classroom? Well, if you have an option, or if you’re watching videos,
you want to have someone who matches your style. When Dr. E and Mr. E are
speaking, “feel” and “feel” match. Does your teacher speak quickly? If you’re a
visual person, this is good because if they speak slowly, you’re going to get bored because
you’re seeing pictures, and the pictures are disappearing, and they’re still speaking. So
you’ll be like, “Come on! Come on!” Right? Now, if they speak too quickly and speak like
me all the time like this, too rapidly, and you’re kinesthetic or auditory — or they’re not
clear — you’re not going to get the information you need. So why am I telling you this? Pick
the style you need. When you’re studying, look at your environment. If you’re an auditory
person, pick something that has a neutral sound so the sounds aren’t bothering you, and
someone who speaks clearly. Okay? So someone who’s got a lot of stuff going on in the background
may not be the best teacher, especially on the Internet, to watch, right? If you’re visual,
if they use pictures to show things, this is good. They speak fast, right? You can keep up
with them. That’s good for you. And kinesthetic, the environment. They don’t like a lot of mess
or stuff around. So they have to be comfortable, pick someone who speaks very slowly. And you
should be comfortable in your environment. Nice comfy seat. Warm cocoa in your hand,
and you’re just relaxed. Those are the best ways for you to learn. Now, moving on from your learning style, why don’t
we go back to why we’re here — communicating with others. Now, here’s how this works. People
— we’re all different. So don’t think one person thinks in one style. That’s just silly.
No one’s all of everything, you know, 100 percent. But what we’re looking at is what
words do you hear them use very regularly. If you want them to understand you better,
it’s best you use those same words when you’re speaking to them. If I’m always saying, “It
doesn’t look good to me. I mean, you haven’t really shown me anything, and I just don’t
see it”, I’m a visual person. Speak faster, and use visual words. That will communicate
to me we understand each other. If you use auditory words like, “Doesn’t sound right.
I’m not hearing it. Doesn’t ring a bell”, it’s like we’re speaking different languages.
And you don’t want that, especially if you’re learning a new language.
All right? So I didn’t make the words too complicated
because I want you to use vocabulary you already know. But listen for, you know, “see”, “hear”,
“feel”. These are common words. And I’m going to teach you a few more
on the board in a second. But let’s look at some useful phrases, okay?
Now, when you want to give an idea when you’re teaching, it’s a very good thing to try to use
as many of the styles as possible because you have different students. So right now,
I’m going to speak a little faster because I don’t want to make you visual people bored.
But then, I’m going to slow down a bit to make sure the auditory and kinesthetic people
understand what I’m getting at. All right? So when you’re giving ideas or teaching, you
could say something like this, “I’m going to demonstrate how to do it.” And you’re telling
someone, “I’m going to do this physically.” So for the people who are kinesthetic, they
will go, “Okay.” And they will be ready to go, “Okay. Now, grab the bottle. Pick it up.
Pull it. Okay.” They understand. All right? Now, if you’re talking to a visual person,
you’re going to say something like, “I want to illustrate”, because that tells my brain
— “illustrate” is drawing. And my brain will get ready to take a
picture and draw. Okay? And what about “articulates clearly”? “Articulate”
in English means “to speak”. “Articulate” is to show through speech. So, “I want to
articulate these points to you” — “I’m going to tell you.” Speech. That’s
part of the listening set. Okay? So when we’re talking about giving ideas or
teaching, here are some handy phrases to use. So you can use all of them, but at different
points. “I’d like to demonstrate how we’re going to do this. Now, before I do that, I
want to clearly articulate that you should have all the things with you. Okay? And you
know, just to illustrate my point, when you don’t have these things, you can’t do the
job.” I’ve used all three to communicate to all three styles of people. Nice, huh?
Let’s move on. What’s the next one? How do you say you like it? When I say to
you, “You know what? It doesn’t really feel good.” You can say, “It feels right to me.”
You’re communicating — even though you don’t agree, you’re telling them, “I have the same
kind of idea you have on this situation.” All right? So I can say, “It feels right to
me”, “It sounds right to me”, or “sounds good to me” or, “It looks good.” In each one, I’m
communicating to each style, and I’m telling them, “I understand you. Because you said
‘feel’, I’m saying ‘feel’.” Right? “How do you feel about it?” “I feel pretty good.”
Proper response to proper question. “How does it look to you?” “Well, the way I see it” —
proper response to proper question. Okay? Cool. And the last one, “being careful”. When you
want someone to be careful or to take their time when they’re doing something, here are
some useful phrases. “Take one step at a time” — literally one step. Steps are small, and
you’re saying, “Be careful. Don’t run. Take steps.” That’s a physical thing. So if you’ve
got a physical guy who’s like, “Yeah, yeah.” You go, “Hey, let’s just take it
one step at a time.” All right? How about this, “word for word”. That’s auditory.
“Listen, let’s go over this word for word.” You could be reading a book or something,
right? You could be reading a book or a paper or even saying — someone says something,
and you go, “Hey, what did he say? I want word for word.” Once again, they’re telling
you — remember, auditory? — they’re saying, “Be clear. I need to hear each word, or I
need to see each word or I won’t understand.” And finally, the visual. “Look closely.” Now,
to be honest with you, 60 of people in North America and 60 percent of English speakers are
visual. Partly in the First World, I would say, it’s because we are hit all the time
with television and Internet. So the visual ones you’re going to see are maybe a little
bit more helpful. But they’re useful because each of us change modes or styles depending on
the situation we’re in. So you should learn all of them. All right? Now, here are some words for vocabulary you
may not know. “Dim.” When there’s a lot of light, we say it’s very “bright”. But when
there’s not a lot of light and you’re in a dark room, you say it’s “dim” because there’s
not a lot of light. When you have a “dim” view of something or someone, it means you
don’t have a good view of them; you don’t really like them necessarily. “I have a dim
view of drugs.” It means I don’t like them. I don’t like how they seem to me. “Dim”
— not a lot of light, not clear. “Clear” — almost the exact opposite. “Clear”
means it’s easily understood. So when someone says to you, “I have a dim view of you” — “I
have a bad view of you. I don’t necessarily like you. The light isn’t good on you.” When they
say, “It’s clear”, it means, “I understand.” “Is that clear?” “I understand, sir. Got it.”
“Great.” Clear. Easy. Like a good picture. An “insight”. See the word “in”? “In”, you
know — and “sight” is the ability to see. When you have “insight”, you have an understanding.
“John, what’s your insight on this particular problem?” “Well, boss, I think –.” He’s saying,
“What understanding do you have of this situation?” “He has no insight”
— no understanding. How about this one? “Vocal”. You’ll hear vocal
— [sings]. You think it’s speech. It kind of is, but we use it for people who speak
their mind a lot. “He’s not very vocal” or, “He’s very vocal” means they speak their mind.
They tell you what they’re thinking. “Is he vocal?” “Not really.” Okay? I’m very vocal.
That’s why I’m doing this. Otherwise, there would be no lesson. “Tone” — it’s for music. But we usually use
it to say something like this, “I don’t like your tone. I don’t like the way you’re speaking
to me.” In other words, “I don’t get a good feeling about how you’re saying words.” “I
like his tone” — I’m happy about the way they’re speaking or what
they’re saying. Cool? And the last one, “hear”. You’re going to go,
“James, hear.” My hearing. Hear is similar to “understanding” or “insight”. You go, “I
hear you.” “I understand you.” Right? No one says, “I don’t hear you” because it means,
“I physically have no ears, and I can’t hear what you’re doing.” When I say, “He doesn’t
hear you”, it means, “He doesn’t understand you.” Or, “yeah, yeah, you can stop.
I hear you. I understand you.” Cool? Now, the last one is — remember, kinesthetic,
we were talking about — “firm”. “Firm” means “strong” or a good hold. When I have a “firm”
understanding, it means I really understand it; I have a good understanding. All right?
“Cold” — “He’s just cold.” It means they’re not nice; they’re not receptive; they’re not
friendly. Okay? And “grasp” is to understand. See, we have “grasp” here, here, here, and
“insight”, and they’re all about understanding. “Did you grasp what I’m saying? Can you grasp
what I’m saying?” Did you have any insight? Are you hearing me?” Okay. Three different
ways of saying same thing. You like that? Good. So I just want to say this before we disappear
because I’m feeling sorry for my Mr. E. No. 1, everybody has a different way of using
their style. It won’t be one style all the time. Please remember that. We switch styles
depending on situations. No. 2, no style is better than any other style. People usually
think visual people think faster because they see pictures, but they also can make mistakes
because they’re quickly going through things, while the kinesthetic person takes the time
to take it in and understand it. Right? Cool. Now, if you can take these hints and remember,
listen for the words people are saying, and then try to match the words. That will give
you what we call a “bonding”. There’s another word, but that’s for another time. Try to
use these phrases to get your ideas across. Okay? And you know, see how it works for you.
Anyway, I’ve got a good feeling you’re going to use these just right. But hear me out before
I disappear. I want you to go somewhere, okay? Because I want to finish off the lesson. Unfortunately,
I’ve got to go. All right, E, are you ready? So I want you to go to www.engvid.com, “eng”
as in “English”, “vid” as in “video”, where you can learn about conversation skills, vocabulary,
and many other interesting topics. Cool. I know you hear what I’m saying. Anyway, I see
it’s time to go. I’ve got to jet. Take it one step at a time. Anyway.
Have a good one.