LNCtips.com: Neurolinguistics for LNCs
Neurolinguistics is a fancy term for one's preferred method of communication. The words that we choose reflect certain communication preferences. Some of us are visually oriented, while others prefer auditory communication. A few of us like speech that incorporates kinesthetics (movement). Knowing the neurolinguistic choices of attorneys helps you communicate more effectively with them. I think I know the preferred method of communication for attorneys. See if you agree with me.
Let's look at some of the characteristics of each of the three types of communication. We all use a combination of the three methods, but we tend to relate to one method more than the other two methods.
* Visual. People who prefer visual communication like and pay attention to visual imagery - photographs, movies, magazines. They tend to think in images and visualize concepts in their minds. Those who prefer to communicate visually say things such as, "I see," " Let's look at this," and, "I can picture that." Ask directions from visual persons and they'll tell you what to look for. "Turn left at the first stop sign, go straight until you get to Home Depot. Take a right and drive until you get to the big pink building on the left." About 60% of us prefer visual communication. The best ways to communicate with visual people are with charts, graphs, emails, letters, and other visual information.
* Auditory. People who prefer auditory communication pay attention to the spoken word. They like the precision of words, and they like to talk. In fact, they problem solve by talking things through. Those who prefer auditory communication say things such as, "I hear you," "Speak to me," and, "Listen to this." Ask directions from auditory persons and they'll give you precise verbal instructions. "Go straight for a mile, then turn left. Stay on that street for three miles until you're at Seminole and Union Avenue. Turn right and drive for two blocks." About 30% of us prefer auditory communication. The best ways to communicate with those who prefer auditory communications are through conversations, lectures, phone calls, and voice mail.
* Kinesthetic. Those who prefer kinesthetic communication are conscious of their body, changes in movement, and gut feelings. They pay attention to emotions and moods. Those who prefer kinesthetics say things like, "That performance was very moving," "That was a tense meeting," and "I'm going to walk away from that idea." Ask directions from a kinesthetic person and they'll tell you by using hand signals, gestures, and pointing. Only a small number, about 10%, prefer this communication method. The best ways to communicate with people with a kinesthetic preference is through demonstrations, samples, mock-ups, and other things that they can touch.
Discovering a person's communication preference isn't easy when you're having a conversation because you're focusing on the conversation itself, not the specific words the person is speaking. However, you can get the hang of it with practice. Try tuning in to the conversations of your co-workers, friends, or family members. (It doesn't count when a kid is picking on her sibling and the sibling says, "Mom, she's touching me!") Once you've determined the other person's preferred method of communication, try to use the same style to enhance comprehension.
Which method of communication do attorneys prefer? My guess is that most prefer auditory communication. Civil case law seems to be fashioned around words that indicate an auditory preference. A medical malpractice case starts with a Complaint. Then there's a Summons and an Answer. Along the way, there are interrogatories (questions) and testimony at depositions. Attorneys attend hearings in court and file objections. Trials are auditory bonanzas starting with opening statements, the swearing in of witnesses, more testimony, closing arguments, jury instructions, and the verdict (the origin of which means "something said truly").
Of course, not every attorney prefers auditory communication. To discern the attorney's inclination, observe, listen, and get a feel for things, then use the attorney's preferred method of communication.