Five years ago I published this piece about communication preferences and it’s something I still talk to my clients about today – knowing their audiences’ preferences is a key part of effective communication…
In the woods near where I live, the leaves on the trees are now displaying a beautiful array of colours. I always find autumn visually inspiring and it’s fun to collect leaves and compare the different colours and shapes. I also make some great pictures from them, attempting to communicate the beauty of the season.
As an NLP practitioner, I know that we all have different preferences for the way we communicate. For some of us, visual triggers are the things that we connect with most, for others auditory cues are most meaningful and for people like me, whose lead preference is kinesthetic, successful communication is all about the feeling it creates. That’s why, despite having a laptop and reasonable typing speed, I often write out my communications with good old-fashioned pen and paper first – I love the feel of my writing flowing from my hand and I can sense when it’s not working so well.
So why do our communications fail to address all three trigger areas? Although most of us have a preference, we can usually relate to all three at some level and including a mix in a communication is a good way to reach out to all our audience. You could consider using video, podcasts, interactive events etc. There are also some great ways to represent information visually through pictures and graphs, such as infographics. With better technology available and the influence of social media where immediacy can be more important than highest quality, it should be easier to use more variety in our internal communications. The question of quality is important to get right, because things need to look professional whilst at the same time being mindful of concerns about cost or ‘corporate-ness’.
The key, as with any piece of communication, is to be clear about what you want to achieve before you decide on the format or channel you will use. And, as always, the more you know about your audience, the better you will understand what is going to work best for them.
Do let me know of any great examples you produce or come across.
Until next time