Once up a time, we communicated not through verbal language, but with gestures and signs. Our ancestors made modern language, becoming the pioneers of modern civilization. They created cultural movements so huge that they created ripples greater than tsunamis. These waves take us to this very moment – the technology era. Now, you may be labeled as out of date if you do not tweet, update your status, tell the world where you are or place your images online.
Now, we have BlackBerrys, iPads, Androids and other gadgets that even my mother could never imagine they would exist in her lifetime. We have a much better lifestyle than our Palaeojavanicus ancestors. However, our advanced way of life may deter us from the lessons of history, as the way we communicated in the past remains valid today.
High-tech gadgets in our hands help eliminate the need to communicate in the ancient ways – using pictures, symbols, sounds and movements in conversing with people. As a result, some of us may forget to further develop our interpersonal communication skills based on visual, audio and kinesthetic (V-A-K) preferences.
These three communication traits basically resemble the functions of our eyes, our ears and our body.
When I try to find out why some of my colleagues face challenges in communicating with their clients, I simply use the V-A-K tool to help me sort out the answers.
In many cases, I realized that some of the best performers in the communication world succeed by talking to their clients using the same channels. When they see clients who prefer visual communication, they dress neat and look well-presented. On other occasions, when they meet audio oriented clients, they speak in well-arranged tones using carefully selected words. To their kinesthetic clients, they use incredible body language in presentations.
It is important to identify which mode of communication is preferred. However, if time is short, a simple question may help you out, such as, “Do you prefer watching TV? Listening to the radio? Or walking in the park?” Although, a more thorough investigation should be carried out in order to best interact with the people you talk to, you may find many other tricks from dozens of books and trainings that are available for your reference. The simplest way is to get to know you first. Find out whether you communicate visually, auditory or kinesthetically.
As an ex field officer promoting behavior change across the archipelago, my life was saved many times because I used the right channels to communicate. I know that using V-A-K tools will not solve all your problems, but I think you will agree that your perceptions towards dynamic and engaging leaders, such as President Obama, would be different if that individual moved like the infamous Briptu Norman, spoke with Udin Sedunia’s tone, and was as stiff as Frankenstein.
V-A-K tools are an important part of effective communication, as proven by our Stone Age