I remember reading a book on Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) a few years ago and like most books that I read that are supposed to “improve myself”, I pretty much forgot everything that I read (which is generally why I avoid reading such books). However, I do have one take away from the book…which is that how a person uses language unconsciously projects the learning style.
If they say “I hear you”, they’re an auditory learner.
If they say “I see you”, they’re a visual learner.
If they say “I feel you”, they’re a kinesthetic learner.
I probably fall halfway between auditory and kinesthetic on this scale, but that’s not the point I’m trying to make here. Rather, what interests me is what we can learn about a person by a high level deconstruction of their speech.
Here are some phrases I use quite often:
“Play it out.”
“How should we play this?”
“What role should I play?”
I then go execute on those instructions.
What does that say about me?
I am an excellent actor that can play a wide variety of roles that don’t necessarily jive with my actual persona.
For example, my social media personality could not be more different than my real-life personality. Online, I’m the total embodiment of Kristofferson’s “Silver Tonged Devil” where in real life, I generally play everything pretty straight…except when I need to act.
I wonder if my love of movies is a reflection of how I view the world. The movie character lacks awareness of his/her role in the entirety of the story…yet the audience, by being outside the scene, is given the opportunity of objectivity that the character isn’t able to access. I suppose I’m the lead character in the story of my life…however, much of the way I view the world I reside is from the detached eye of the audience and not just from the first person.
With detachment, the motivations of others become much more recognizable and there is a clarity of intent that belies their words. Intuition allows me to both act in the scene and observe outside of it…with the “observer” being able to coach the “actor”.
My twin abilities at acting and perceiving have allowed me to dodge people and situations that could have harmed me. They’ve also allowed me to identify and take advantage of extremely beneficial opportunities. In actuality, easily my most valuable (and totally life-changing) professional relationship had its genesis in my ability to detect an extremely minor communication incongruity and to act effectively upon it.
For these abilities, I am blessed.