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rapport building
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Rapport Building Using Predicates
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Rapport Building Using Predicates

I have something to share with you. I hope you can see it for yourself. Hear what I have to say. Get a feel for it. For those of you who think that this smells fishy I know it will leave a sweet taste in your mouth.

What I want to talk about is the way that we share information, understand each other and build (or destroy) rapport through the use of, and understanding of, predicates.

Predicates are a part of our grammar system (or sentences) that states something about the subject. Being sensory beings we use our senses to relate to the world around us. Touch, smell, taste, hearing, and eyesight are all essential to the way we relate to our world and thus we use their ‘language’ to express ourselves.

Although people use all of their senses it is very common to have dominance in one or another. I, for example, consider myself a very visual person. I am good at visualizing and creating mental images. This comes out in the language I use all the time and in every situation.

Consider the language in these three paragraphs. Imagine we are having a conversation about a new house I’m considering buying. You may find one paragraph is more comfortable to you than another.

  • There’s a house I like the look of. I can just picture myself living there. I can see how the décor will match my furniture. I have my eye on the huge yard. I can really visualize how it will look when the garden is established.
  • There’s a house that feels good to me. I sense myself living there. I’m in touch with how the décor will match my furniture. I have a good feeling about the yard. I can really anticipate how it will feel when the garden is established.
  • There’s a house that speaks volumes to me. I can hear myself living there. The décor strikes a chord with my furniture. I’ve heard the yard will be beautiful when the garden gets established. Sounds delightful!

Did you relate to visual, tactile or auditory? Very different predicates. In the real world we would likely throw a few various senses together and the paragraph would become something more like:

  • There’s a house I like the look of. It feels really good when I think about living there. I can see how the décor will match my furniture. The yard sounds good and I can almost smell the fragrance of the garden once it’s established.

Becoming aware of these differences in predicates can make a huge difference in rapport building and both business and personal relationships.

Imagine a disagreement that went along the lines of:

“You’re not seeing my point of view!”

“Well, you never hear what I have to say!”

“Can’t you just look at it through my eyes?!”

“It sounds to me like you’re just not listening!”

Of course there is going to be problems here. These people just don’t ‘see’ things in the same way! They’re not ‘hearing’ each other.

How much more likely the issue would be resolved if the first person complained “You’re not seeing my point of view!” and the other rejoined with “No, but can’t we look at it another way?”

An awareness of this in sales, mediation and good personal relationships is very helpful. The potential is immense.


Street Talk

Thanks for this, Heather. I like to paint a 3-D, full color, surround-sound kind of picture when I write and this is an excellent tip!

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Patty, being aware of this will certainly allow you to tap into a wider audience. People connect with your writing without even realising why if they 'hear' or 'see' what you're saying!

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Heather, Delightful! Wonderful ending... blessings, Cynthia

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Hi Cynthia! Thanks for stopping by. Lovely to see your smile, as always.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thanks! I practiced your article today...

  
  about 8 years ago

Got to the word predicate and all of a sudden I had the urge to walk on glass, lol Good article

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Shawn! I'm sure there's more to that comment than I'm understanding! lol.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Yes, I was terrible in English class

  
  about 8 years ago

Shawn I was wonderful in English class and I still don't know all the grammatical terms and their uses. I looked up the word 'predicate' to make sure I had it right before writing the article. Now my kids are coming home with grammar questions and it horrifies me. Be kind to yourself! I doubt shakespeare knew it either! lol

  
  about 8 years ago
C4rmen  

You make a valuable point here Heather. Picking up on the way someone else relates to the world is instrumental in communicating effectively. I know I have to keep checking that I am listening for this cue. Thanks for such a wonderful write up on this fact :)

Reply
  about 8 years ago

C4men, yes, another thing to work on. Even as I was writing this article I was realising how little I pay attention to these things. It's helpful though if one needs to consciously build rapport or negotiate a point.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Communication goes beyond just speaking words and your article proves it is the content of the words.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Oh Yes Joseph. Very much so. Our words only 'mean' how the other person perceives them!

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Nice article and information Heather

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thank you Kevin.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Heather great article, I often wonder when reading some of the articles of the many I follow if I'm not reading something into their writing. Some articles give me a feeling that the author was feeling a bit morose, or despondent, or ill, or happy and i have thought that ones mental state at the time if it is not shown in ones writing. Often Linda has said how she can feel my mood from my articles and I thought it was "because I write from the heart" well what I'm reading from your article that this could easily be true, that a mood could be read from an article. Your analogy about an argument hit home, right in the heart area. So many times the odd disagreement in our house either fizzles out because of the way one answers the other and then just as easily it develops into a good stand up, again simply because of the way a sentence was said. Ones mood at the time must have an influence on how you answer, or for that matter when you write an article. This is a very interesting article for me to read at 4am and to think of a reply, considering you have me now analyzing an incident in our house yesterday where I said something and everyone thought I was cross, whereas I was just feeling a bit despondent and probably it came across in my speech and misinterpreted as aggression. Interesting more of these though provoking articles please.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Rob, everything you say is true. I was talking about the dominant sense that we perceive our world through (sight, sounds, touch or feeling... not so many people dominantly smell or taste their world). It's interesting that you get a 'feeling' about others while reading their articles. You 'write from the heart'... the centre of 'feeling' or 'emotion'. My analogy 'hit home' (a feeling as you were 'hit') in the heart area again. Now, for example, if it was me I would likely 'see where others are coming from' in their articles, and I just write about what I 'picture in my mind'. All this doesn't have much to do with our moods but rather how we express the mood we're in. Does it all look good or does it make you feel sick at heart? Thanks for stopping by... and get some sleep my good man!

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Just got up, I find this subject so interesting that I am as we speak researching a bit further on the subject. Perceptions of "feelings" or "the where from" are depicted in how we write and talk and for that matter behave, am I right? It has woken so many thoughts within this head of mine, a few of the articles I have found talking about body language and expressing oneself as a manner of perceiving if the person talking would fit in with a business when interviewing them opens so many doors to perceiving a feeling or mood and for that matter a personality. Wow what a subject. (don't worry I am a 4am riser every day, my body clock set for my profession)

  
  about 8 years ago
Lemuel  

You have described predicates very well in this article. A person creative enough in using these tools can easily express himself and build rapport. nice featured image.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thank you Lemuel. It was funny how challenging I found writing the second and third examples. Makes me think about how I present articles and how easily some of my audience may be relating (or not!).

Reply
  about 8 years ago
Al4256  

Shrewd observation with interesting applications.

Reply
  about 8 years ago
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