How your preferred submodality impacts communication

Submodalities in communication

One of the most valuable lessons I learned from my mom and step-dad – everyone processes at different speeds.

You see, my mom was a very quick thinker with a wicked sense of humor. My step-dad, brilliant in his own right, was a much slower thinking, processing everything before responding. Unfortunately for my mother, that often meant going days without getting an answer or input on something.

My mom, as a quick thinker, was also not always long on patience!  But she learned.  And my step-dad learned to say things to let her know he was thinking about it, just not quite ready to answer yet.

While in the early years of their marriage this disconnect made for some very interesting times, as time went on, and they figured this out, it made for much smoother conversations. 🙂

They were married for just over 30 years when my step-dad passed away, and remain one of the sweetest love stories I have heard.  I remember my mom telling me that he was truly her soul mate, and she couldn’t imagine ever being interested in anyone else.  

And I attribute a lot of their happiness on them figuring this one key piece out.

Have you ever run into that? Where you are in the middle of a conversation and the other person seems to just, check out?  They don’t finish the conversation, leaving you frustrated, irritated, and feeling not heard?

Sure!  I think we’ve all been there.

And as you know, this can lead to some huge misunderstandings and breakdowns in communication.  On both sides.

Imagine being in a conversation and wanting to respond fully and appropriately, but not being ready to. Imagine the frustration in knowing you can’t give the other person what they want, and feel they deserve, because you are literally incapable. Imagine the feeling of inadequacy that could create.

This mismatch of communication styles isn’t comfortable for anyone. Particularly when you aren’t aware of it.

Being aware, and understanding, how people’s mind impacts their response time is a total game changer in communication and relationships. It can take awkward moments and smooth them out into simple expectations.

Knowing how your partner/colleague/friend thinks, and preparing yourself accordingly, can change your entire relationship!

What about knowing your own response style?  What if you get yourself in trouble by answering too quickly, not allowing yourself time to think everything through?

How would it change your world to know what your default is, and be able to change it to better serve you?  What would it mean if you were more in control of your responses, knew what to expect, and could explain yourself to the people you communicate with.

This is easy to do once you truly understand, and incorporate, submodalities into your life. By learning and understanding what clues people give about the way they process information you can know what to expect from them.

By discovering how you process information, you can identify opportunities for growth and make the changes you need to for stronger communication.  

Do you know what your preferred submodality is?  Here’s a quick test.

Think of a conversation you have had recently. Now, notice if you are making a picture of it, hearing it take place, or feeling your yourself having it.  This will give you a glimpse into how you tend to hold memories and information.

Let’s try one more.  Think of the last time you rode a roller coaster. Remember?  Do you see a picture of yourself riding it? Do you hear it?  Or do you feel yourself on the coaster itself?

Most of us use more than one of our senses to store information, but we tend to have a preferred sense. We call this a submodality.

Understanding what your preferred submodality is will help you to understand how you think. Now, remember, everyone has a preferred submodality they think in…and they aren’t all the same!

This is where misunderstandings and miscommunications happen. When we inadvertently assume everyone thinks like we do (well, don’t they?) we can get ourselves all twisted up.

Take a few moments and really explore how you think. Discover your inner world and how it impacts you and your thoughts.  For fun, ask a few of your friends and family these same questions.  Discover how they think, and notice not only similarities, notice the differences.

The differences are where real change can happen!

We do in depth exploration and practice with submodalities and how they impact your life in the Unforgettable Practitioner training.  To find out more and how submodalities can change your communications, schedule your free NLP Discovery Session here.

Tracy Hoobyar

About Tracy Hoobyar