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Use Mirroring for Effective Communication

Part 6 of 12 from Communication Dance

(continued from last week…)

Types of Matching

One example of pacing is social customs. When you go to church, shouting profanities at the top of your voice during the sermon is probably not high on the list of acceptable behaviors. Beating up someone you work with just for fun, throwing rocks at someone’s car in the parking lot are also probably not a good pace for appropriate behaviors. Having a food fight at a restaurant with other customers probably would not be well accepted in those restaurants. Nowhere are things like lying and stealing recommended practices in business dealings.

Beating up someone you work with is not appropriate. But if you are someone who is into martial arts or boxing, beating opponents in a match is what you are supposed to do.

Psychology Of Nonverbals
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Letting children run wild through a crystal and china shop would not be acceptable, but on the playground or at the beach when they are having a good time, letting them run is great. Even the way you make love is pacing of acceptable customs and behaviors which you and your partner both agree on for your mutual pleasure.

Success in nearly every endeavor you have is helped or harmed by your relationships with others. Pacing can be thought of as a process of mirroring. If you are with someone who is copying your every move, you would probably find it extremely irritating. But when your words, expressions, level of intensity, body language, postures are similar, your interaction feels comfortable and it feels effortless. Your communications improve.

Mirroring Appropriately

Mirroring another person is taking on a few of these communication traits intentionally to create rapport. This is much different than waiting to see if it happens by accident.

Courses in listening are taught worldwide. A large part of being an effective listener is paying attention to how the other person is using their voice tone, rate of speech, body language, etc. and then you mirror or you pace his or her tones and behaviors.

If someone is excited and you are animated and enthused in your interactions with that person you’ll make a much better connection than if you are passive, droopy, laid back, cleaning your fingernails, staring out of the window and yawning as they are trying to talk to you.

If someone is quiet and reflective, being loud and overbearing is not the way to create rapport. Matching the intensity of a person’s current state is one of the places where communication and connection begins.

Some fields of psychology tell you if you’re dealing with an angry person you should stay relaxed, be calm, be very logical, speak quietly in a rational manner. If you follow this advice I can promise you will probably be highly successful helping that person who is already angry get even angrier. You need to pace/mirror the intensity of the communication, while not getting caught up in the mood. This is key. If they are highly intense, your intensity of interaction needs to match or come close to theirs. Don’t get swept into their emotions, just mirror the intensity of the response back to that person. When they experience your passion, your understanding, you will have a bond.

(to be continued…)

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Set Your Teenager Up to Win
Do you ever have difficulty communicating with your teenager? Do they ever lack motivation for doing important things like school or helping out? Would you be interested in knowing how to overcome barriers between you? Here are core concepts to assist your teen in moving successfully through their teenage years, from Dr. Larry Iverson, in “Set Your Teenager Up To Win — The 7 Attributes Crucial for Teen Success”. Learn the central components that give teens a positive and healthy self-concept. Understand how to get your child to talk with you. Learn to understand their nonverbal communication signals. Know how to build trust and connection with your teen, and when it’s important to let go. Know how to avoid most of the “terrible teen” syndrome where they don’t want anything to do with you or the family.