Linguistic Clues to Influence


Build Your Influence, Build Your Business


Lesson Info

Linguistic Clues to Influence

The three linguistic clues to look for. So first of all, we need kind of an understanding of how language works in a very fundamental way. When we experience the world around us, we take in data so through our five senses, through what we see, what we hear, what we feel, what we smell and what we taste. Now, if I wanted to express to you my current experience, it would be very difficult and it would take a very long time for me to break down every single sensory data point that my brain just took in. Because, first of all, I'm only aware of like, 30% of what my mind is processing, and second of all, it would take so much time for me to say, "Well, first I saw this and then I saw that, "and then I heard the thing behind me, "and then that led to this sensation of, "and then it felt a little bit cold 'cause "the air in the room." It's just too much. And so we distill it down into different kinds of descriptive language. Specifically, we use metaphors and analogies in our speech to creati...

vely and colorfully express our experience. For me to re-present my experience to you, so all of this is presented to me and for you to understand it, I re-present it to you with my language. And the founders of something known as Neurolinguistic Programming, NLP for short, discovered that there's three main categories in which these descriptive types of languages can provide some insights. And it is visual, auditory and kinesthetic. Visual, auditory and kinesthetic. We refer to it as the V-A-K or some people refer to it as the VAK for short. So we're going to talk about these three columns of different types of ways people re-present their experiences and what that can tell you about them and then how you can find that influential wrapping paper for when you present your influential message. So the first one that we're going to talk about is visual. So we, in general, as human beings, we lean more towards being visual creatures. We just, again, we're predators so we rely on our eyesight in a lot of things. So people automatically will think, "Oh, I'm visual," when they first hear about the V-A-K. They just think, "Oh, I'm visual." However, just take a moment to suspend that initial knee-jerk reaction and wait 'till we walk through all three because you might realize like, "Oh, I think I'm actually more auditory, "I think I'm more kinesthetic." So let's see what some of these metaphors and analogies that we use for, that visual person might use. So this is an extensive list and if you have purchased the course and then downloaded your field guide, you have this list in front of you, so you can have this at any time and you can go through to, first of all, decide which one you are, and then, second of all, each time that you are profiling your mark and building an influential strategy, you can use this list to kind of check, "Oh yeah, they said this." Or, "Oh yeah, they said that." So, you have that at your disposal as well. So visual people say things like, for example, "I feel in the dark on this subject. "I'm left in the dark, he left me feeling in the dark." So obviously, that's a visual metaphor of, there is no light in this situation, versus if they understand something, then they might say, "Oh yeah, she really shed light on that for me." That's a visual metaphor, rather than the person saying, "Well, first she explained this and then she explained that, "and then I asked that question." It just takes too much time. So we shorten it with some of these metaphors. Another one that somebody might say is, "Well, if you look beyond the horizon of this project, "if you just see a little further, "I want you to see my vision." And in fact, if you watch the earlier segment, Arianna told us many times and you can watch the replay if you purchase the replay, is she said, "I want him to see that this isn't the best way, "I want him to," there's even something that you said that was like, confusing but it was a different word, I can't remember it at the moment, but right away, while you described it, I was like, she's visual. Instantly. And so, over the break, I know that you had an opportunity to go through these and tell me what you discovered about visual and descriptive words. So, I've always known that I'm very visual. And I guess we were talking about memories and things and I see it and then I describe it. Right. And even with what I do, I guess on the professional side, if I can't see what it's supposed to look like, in my imagination, I can't work with it at all. Right, perfect. Like I can't do anything with it. So then, if somebody is wanting to influence you, then they would want to incorporate more visual terms to get you to buy in and to take action. [Woman In Audience] Yeah. So for me being a kinesthetic person, I naturally lean towards kinesthetic phrases. But if I want to influence you, then I consciously will have to make the decision to lean more towards visual representations with my language or actually putting things out visually, so that you can see it, versus me, I might say, "But I feel it, don't you feel it?" And you're like, "No! (audience laughing) "I don't, I need to see it." So, go ahead and take some time to scan the list. We have another question? In some of our conversations, I wrote down a couple things she said, like, "Piece things together," which I thought was- Perfect. And then she also described, like, "A cold room is like an icicle," so that there's a visual thing. Yes, yes, exactly, how a cold room's like a icicle. Perfect, fantastic observation. The "piece things together," 'cause I'm sure somebody online might have caught that, is that can be visual in the sense that she's seeing the pieces form, verses a kinesthetic person when they say it, they might actually with their hands, kind of gesture towards them, just trying to, you know, piece it together, so then that might tell me, oh, okay, they're more kinesthetic. So there's some nuances and of course, I don't want you to worry about all the different layers, but starting off with that little covert mission of paying attention to the metaphors that she uses is a phenomenal way to really step up that observational skillset. So in the room right now, well, let's go through all three before we do the assessments, 'cause I want everybody to get a sense of what the possibilities are. So, visual people might say something like, "It seems a bit hazy to me," or "If you could just get some perspective on, "I'll tell you right up front, "Somebody was just showing off, "I see it in my mind's eye," they love the mind's eye, it's a perfect way to figure out if somebody's visual. Another way on visual people, to tell if somebody's visual, just different little things that you can key in on, is visual people tend to speak very quickly. They are also a bit more shallow breathers. Visual people process information very fast, they take in a lot of data at once and so, they actually kind of breathe a little bit more shallow, and as a kinesthetic person, I notice I pick up on that kind of a cue, more effectively than say, an auditory person might not pick up on the breathing, so I'm trying to give you multiple cues to look at for all the different types of people out there so you can tell which type somebody might be. Also visual people, so they speak quickly, shallow breathing, they also respond very quickly, there's not much lag time between you saying something and asking a question, they respond very fast. So those are just some sort of other auditory cues you can use and visual cues to pick up on, if they might be visual. The next that we have is auditory. Aw, look at the cute doggie! (audience laughing) I love this picture, I wish all my slides had this picture. And so auditory people might use phrases like, "Oh, he's such a blabbermouth," or, "She gave me an earful the other day," or, "He hemmed and hawed, "but then he finally decided to move forward, "Who gives a hoot, "Double-talk, "And then he echoed back to me," rather than saying "He repeated, "he echoed back to me," that's definitely much more of an auditory sensation. And, "That's just unheard of," or, "Yeah, there was a resounding agreement over this." So all of these are very geared towards sound waves coming through and us picking up with our ears. Auditory people tend to repeat back what you say to them, because they need to hear it for them to incorporate it. They also tend to, their lips tend to move while they're listening because they're talking to themselves, they hear that inner voice while they're processing the information. And other cues, those are kind of the main ones, the easier ones to pick up on. The next one, which as I stated before, this is what I am. (audience laughing) Yeah, is kinesthetic and I'm pretty sure finger painting was my favorite activity in kindergarten. So kinesthetic has to do with the sensation of touch, of feeling, so some people may say, "Okay, but was about taste and smell?" What the founders of NLP found is that mostly that kind of loops into the kinesthetic sensation, so there's only three rather than your five senses. Six if you're just very spiritual. All right. So a kinesthetic person might say, "It hit me like a ton of bricks," that's a very clear-feeling sensation that comes along with that. Also, "a heated argument," rather than "a loud argument" that somebody else might say that's auditory. Somebody might say, "To get in touch with," or, which one, "To come to grips with, "I just had to come to grips with the fact "that this is the way it is." So these are general phrases that somebody that'S kinesthetic might use. Kinesthetics tend to process information a bit more slowly, generally speaking, so there is a little bit more of a pause between when a kinesthetic responds, because it's like they feel it and then they say what they feel, so especially compared to visual people. A visual person can almost overwhelm a kinesthetic person, 'cause the kinesthetic can't quite keep up, the gear is just a different gear. Other things about kinesthetics, is they use gestures quite a bit. If you notice, again, I'm just highly kinesthetic, so I'm a perfect example of a lot of these things. When I'm describing something, I use a lot of gestures, I paint the picture as if I'm painting what I'm seeing, so my hands need to be involved, I'm also Italian so that's just a genetic. Also, you'll see me refer a lot to this part of myself because I'm feeling it and that's just my way of expressing what's happening internally. Again, this is all subconscious, I've always done this. But it wasn't until I learned these things that I understood what that communicates to other people and how I can use it to my benefit and sometimes I might need to diminish it, and again, we'll talk about that when we discuss mirroring. So kinesthetics, I think that covers the bases with them. Common questions that I get, let me know if I'm being a Jedi again, is, "Are you one or the other or can you be all three?" Absolutely. You got it just right, you know. Absolutely, we are all three, we all say all of these phrases at some point or another. We just tend to be more dominant, especially once we kind of pay attention to our language more, then you'll be able to see like, "Oh, I actually think I am more visual, "I think I am more auditory." Same with the people that you interact with, is they just tend to lean more one way or the other. Again, as always, nothing right or wrong about any of those. This is what we are observing without any judgment. So, other questions from that? Well, I just want to read this comment from Lala who says, "Well, too bad that we all overuse these cliches, "so it makes it harder to tell," because a lot of people would say these examples, but that may not mean that they're necessarily falling into this category. Right, so, perfect point is that, you pick up information, like you hear a phrase, but then you don't want to jump to the conclusion right away. You want to see if a similar phrase comes back up. Because, for example, I know we have visual people in the room, I've heard many people say, "I've always say, I see what you're saying, "I see what you're saying." Me? I tend to, I've noticed, say, "I understand how you feel, I understand how you feel, "I understand how you feel." So it's communicating the same message, the same intention behind it, but it's how we're wrapping it with our language that creates the different feel and sensation. So I want to share one example just so you can get a sense of how this is used in the real world. What we're going to learn in session two is how to connect this during the connect section of how to adjust our own language, but I want to give you an example just to help you see where we're going. I was working with a client who hired me because, he had a great boss, he had a great relationship with this boss, and then that boss left and now he had a new boss and there just was this friction, I used the word friction. Kinesthetic! There was this friction between him and the new boss and he couldn't quite figure it out. And based on how he described the relationship with him and his boss, I noticed a few things. He used quite a few kinesthetic phrases, but also I noticed as he spoke, this is something that kinesthetics do, we tend to rub or touch something while we're talking. That's just part of our makeup. And he was constantly kind of rubbing his hands while he talked about this. So I checked in and I said, "Okay, I think he's kinesthetic, "so I'm going to use kinesthetic phrases with him." And I said to him, "It doesn't feel like there's a wall between the two of you, "like, it doesn't feel like it's that strong of a tension, "it just feels like, "you guys are figuring out your relationship "and the ground is a little squishy, "you know what I mean, "like you're still not sure where to step with him." And through his body language, through the significant shifts that we talked about before, he leaned in, his face brightened up and he goes, "Yes!" And it's because I was speaking his language. I adjusted my speech, now this was a kinesthetic situation, so it was kind of easy for me, but I adjusted my speech and it created this rapport within an instant. Now, if he was visual, then I might have said something like, "You know, it seems like you guys "are just trying to figure out "where to walk in this relationship, "like, you're kind of walking in the dark, "you know, you can't quite see what he's seeing." And I might have gotten, if he was visual, I might have gotten a "Yes!" So again, it's the same message, but I'm wrapping it with the language, the wrapping paper that works for him. So, let's take a little poll of the people in the room, let's start with you, on, which one do you think, based off of what you've heard or if you have questions, do you think you're more visual, auditory or kinesthetic? I think I'm more visual, but I'm looking forward to observing myself because I do think that kinesthetic is a strong secondary, so I'm really looking forward to checking to see if I'm actually visual or am I kinesthetic, 'cause there are a lot of things that resonate, and I say resonate, with me, with both of them, and it was also interesting when you said, visual learners sort of answer quickly. Because in some of the questions earlier in segment one, I noticed I answered very quickly and then you had talked about introvert, answering slowly and I thought, well, I was just trying to reconcile a lot of that so it's really fun to start looking at all of these little pieces and then look at the big picture and sort of figure that out so I'm excited. Exactly, I find that that's constantly the back and forth that happens when we're in the observation or intelligence-gathering mode of influence, is you go back and forth from focus to one thing, to the big picture, you focus on one thing, compare it to the big picture and see if the pieces fit. It's constantly this sort of, in and out which I think is a fun mind game to play throughout this. So you're absolutely right in that process. Yes, and how about yourself, I know we've already talked, but go ahead. I'm visual, primarily, but I also have a lot of kinesthetic, like you were just saying, how you say, I understand how you feel. I say, I see how you feel. Okay. Which is sort of. Yeah, I'd still go with visual on that. Visual's definitely primary, though. Yes, awesome. But there's some kinesthetic, a lot. Great, and Chris? Not to be a pain, I have a question. I wonder if it's possibly circumstantial, like based off circumstances, 'cause I'm obviously kinesthetic, like I get gut feelings and I go based off of the feelings with people and everything else. But if I'm remembering something, if I'm describing a memory, I close my eyes, I visualize it and I describe the visual sensation of what was going on, I don't go with feelings when I'm going that way. Right. So when you're talking to somebody, I'm wondering if it can be circumstantial? Yes, when we're talking about, thinking about a memory, it's highly unlikely that you're not going to process visually, because that's just one of our dominant senses. Okay. However, my question would be, is when you describe that, if you are kinesthetic- Yeah. Do you describe the visual because you're describing what you experienced, what you saw but are you also attaching kinesthetic flowery words with it? Like, you see this beautiful place and all these people and it made me feel, or, anything along those lines? I'm thinking of a specific event, just recently I had to tell a story and it was purely visual. Okay. But again, I know that based off interaction, I'm definitely kinesthetic, I have to move, I have to touch, you have to move things together, feel the pieces fit into order. Right, right, yeah, it absolutely can be so perhaps when I interact with you, I might see more of the kinesthetic and I might adjust my own communication to be more kinesthetic to connect with you. Okay. But if you're more visual in other scenarios, that's fantastic and wonderful, as an influencer, if I'm trying to influence you, I may not see those other aspects. Or if you know somebody for a longer time, you'd then, kind of, paint that picture of them. Yes. Okay. And I will say, this is one thing that I've noticed with myself and if this helps people out there, then feel free to use this technique: When I engage people in conversation, and if I am in, either just a curious mode, I want to get to know this person, or, if I'm trying to gather influential intelligence and keep them engaged, keep them talking, 'cause that's how you get information, is let them do the talking, is while they're telling me a story, I view it as a movie. And so then, if I don't have clarity around the picture, then that's how I know what my next question is. Like, if they say, "Well, back in high school, this happened." Then I may think, "Well, where was high school? "Was that in the country, was that in the city?" So that's my next question, "Well, where did you go to high school?" And then they may tell a story about when they were on the football team, well, a piece that I am missing in that picture was, "What position did you play on the football team?" So, that's how I personally know how to keep people engaged and keep asking questions, is I'm filling in the pieces of the movie that I'm seeing. That's one way that my brain does process visually, I still do tend to communicate much more kinesthetically when I personally am re-presenting something. It makes perfect sense. Yes, I know. Kidding! Yeah, another question. Earlier, during lunch, Chris had described laughter as a mechanism for helping people relax, so I sort of heard, like, mechanism! Yes. And so is that, like, on the kinesthetic? Yes and relax, and relax. Right, right. Rather than, oh, it's difficult for me to find other ones, but if a visual, to make people feel good, that's the only thing that comes to mind, but that's kinesthetic. But he could have, I'm sure that there are other phrases for them to have a good time or I don't know. I'm seeing the same light. Yeah. [Woman In Audience] The beautiful sound of the laughter or something along those lines. Yes, yes. There would probably be more audio phrases. Right, right, but he chose that relaxation and tension, are definitely more kinesthetic-leaning. Fantastic on taking notes of your little spy mission, your little covert mission, that's great, phenomenal. And then, how about yourself, visual, auditory or kinesthetic? [Woman In Audience] Visual. Visual? Okay. And what makes you draw that conclusion? Um, it's sometimes hard for me to describe something in the words because I process everything in images. Okay. And there is a lack of words and looking at the phrases that you suggested, I use a lot of them, it looks like observing, images, imagine. Great, perfect, fantastic! And then how about yourself? [Red-Haired Woman] I'm kinesthetic. Yes honey, you are! A thousand, zillion to billion. (audience laughing) And what I find interesting is you have a background as a chef, that's working with your hands; you also make custom jewelry, that's working with your hands. You being visual, are a photographer, like, isn't that interesting, that even our hobbies and our professions can be potentially an indicator of visual, auditory or kinesthetic?

Class Description

Learn the art and science of influence from Sharí Alexander. In Build Your Influence, Build Your Business, you’ll learn observation and communication techniques that will make you more persuasive and influential, in work and in life.

Influence is not coercion or manipulation – it is skillful communication that conveys ideas and elicits action in the most effective way possible. In this class, you’ll learn conversational persuasive techniques that forge strong business connections that are essential for persuasive communication. Sharí will help you develop effective ways to assert your authority and ensure you are heard and understood without losing the admiration and respect of your listeners. You’ll learn eye opening observational techniques that will help you decode influential signals that you have missed in the past. Then, she will walk you through the essential influential process that will help you close more deals, motivate groups, and build stronger relationships. Sharí will also help you hone your observation skills and more accurately read and assess others.

Watch Build Your Influence, Build Your Business and forever change the way you communicate.


Stephanie Platero

The course is really great! Shari does an excellent job expressing some of the complexities by providing examples. Super knowledgeable, articulate and her presentation is very interesting. If you are using the Creative live "live, on air" while watching this, the ads for creative live are really distracting. I used to watch a lot of the courses by RSVPing and investing my time to watch the presenters in its entirety (the benefit of RSVP'ing and being a user) but the ads have gotten worse and actually skip to various parts of the presentation and you lose out on some of the content. I assume this is to encourage buying the course but makes it so difficult to follow and be engaged.