Understanding how sensory preferences influence our preferred language style can make a difference when it comes to message receptivity and audience engagement.
We experience the world through our senses – visual (seeing); auditory (hearing); kinaesthetic (touching/feeling); gustatory (tasting) and olfactory (smelling) – and our preference for one or more of these senses can be detected in the language people use.
For instance, someone who is visually oriented will often use words associated with seeing such as “I’ve got a clear picture…” or “I’m in the dark…”.
Someone who is auditory oriented will often use words associated with sound such as “That rings a bell…” or “I hear what you’re saying…”.
Someone who is kinaesthetically oriented will often use words associated with tactile or emotional feeling such as “I get your drift…” or “That speaks to my heart…”.
Someone who is gustatory oriented will often use words associated with taste or flavour such as “That’s easy to digest…” or “That’s hard to swallow…”.
And someone who is olfactory oriented will often use words associated with smell such as “I smell a rat…” or “That reeks of…”.
Being more attuned to someone’s sensory preferences in their style of language can help you to become a more flexible and effective communicator. Whether you’re in a sales conversation, team meeting or workshop, adapting your own language to reflect back the sensory expressions of others, will help you gain attention, build rapport and enhance understanding.
©Ros Weadman 2021 Ros Weadman is the founder of Marcomms Australia and author of “Brandcode®” and “The Reputation Equation”. Connect with Ros on LinkedIn or via www.rosweadman.com.