If two people look at the same landscape from the top of a hill do they both see the same thing?

This is the classic Yes and No situation --- they are both observing the same  overall view however, what specific items they focus upon will affect what they perceive and be determined by their way of seeing the world in general.

What and How you see generates feeling s  which in turn generate actions:-- as an example in cartoons you may see a character walking along a street, not paying much attention and walking  smack into a plate glass window that looked like an opening-- the scene, even though you know it is not real creates a range of feelings-- anticipation of what is about to happen, horror when it happens, a physical feeling of the impact, a rush  of adrenaline and certain action result, your body jolts at the impact, feels the rush of that adrenaline then  probably laughter at the situation.

Imagine standing on a hill looking down on a town, some will notice the pattern of the road layout and the seemingly small cars dashing about like busy ants, someone else would notice the buildings, their age, colour, style and yet another would notice the colours, the trees and the amount of green space.  Each of those pictures is equally valid and true.

There is a phrase that I have come across that says “The map is not the territory” that, sort of, explains what I’m talking about--- we have all seen maps, they are accurate depictions of what is on the ground, they enable us to get from one place to another but a map alone conveys a very limited picture of the entire territory. The map shows little colour, no sound, no atmosphere. It probably does not tell you if you are looking at somewhere rich or poor, somewhere that is desirable to visit  or not.

We are all individuals, what we see is affected by what we set as our priorities and our interests---so in the same way that several people looking at the same scene will pick out different points of interest they will each feel differently about what they see too; that, then, will affect how they respond. Consider the range of interests your friends have, then think about people from different cultures, different age groups, different faiths and beliefs--- it is actually amazing that we manage to communicate at all--- but the fact that we see things differently enriches all of us—exchange of ideas and viewpoints lets us see the world through other peoples eyes—just remember that not everyone see the world through your eyes!

If you are interested in Neuro-linguistic-programming you have come across VAKOG but if you are in the majority of people this will mean nothing to you --- yet--- please stick with this—VAKOG stands for Visual, Auditory, Kinaesthetic, Olfactory and Gustatory—in other words the senses. We all in some measure  have a dominant sense and we use that sense  more when we are understanding / explaining how we experience the world around us.

Just to give a better understanding consider this :

Xyz says, “  I see the point of your argument but you need to look at things from my side too, I’m looking to the future and need to be sure there is a clear way ahead and a definite end point in view, I can’t see how anyone can set off on a course of action without this way of proceeding. You need to shape up and form a clear plan”

Look at all the references to looking, seeing, this is a very Visual person—they will understand what you are wanting put across to them better if you use pictures, diagrams, flow charts--- because that is how their brain processes information.

Similarly: ABC says “I hear what you are saying but it sounds like a flawed plan and I definitely don’t like the sound of your planned changes---- what you say just doesn’t ring true, it sounds like a recipe for disaster.”

Hopefully you have spotted that this is a person with an audio preference, easy to spot the signs once you understand the principle.

The point of all this is communication--- if you want to influence people you can do it far more effectively by communicating with them on their terms. If you are lucky you will find that you have a natural empathy with others, you will , from now on, be able to recognise the signs because empathy enables you to mirror the actions of anyone with whom you interact---you pick up on their body language, posture and  style of speech you then use that as your way of communicating. Often you will find that the people you get along with best are those who have a similar :”Style” to you.   I’m not suggesting that  you “become “ the other person—that would be creepy and quite disturbing—but by  being conscious of your counterparts features you can use them to improve understanding between you.

There  are many benefits, in all spheres of life, to developing these communication skills, ( personal relationships, teachers, salespeople, managers, sports coaches etc) I will be happy to teach on a one to one or group session—contact me for details.

© Martin Williams 2013/15/16