You can recognise how a person thinks by listening to the verbal indicators they use in everyday conversation and then using this information to tailor the way that you communicate to them. Remember, people like people who are like themselves!

People think in 3 main ways:

  1. In Pictures (VISUAL)
  2. Hear Sounds (AUDITORY)
  3. Get A Feeling (KINAESTHETIC)
For example if we meet someone who makes decisions because “it looks right” and uses mainly visual words when talking, we will find it easier to communicate to and explain things to that person if we show him / her a diagram or by painting a picture in his / her minds eye.

If someone else makes a decision by “it feels right” then we want to talk about how he / she will feel when communicating to them. 
Listen out for the words that people use when talking because they will actually tell you how they think by the vocabulary that they use.

Here are some examples:

  • Visual thinkers will use words such as: See; Look; View; Appear; Show; Dawn; Reveal; Envision; Illuminate; Imagine; Clear; Foggy; Focused; Hazy 
  • Auditory thinkers use: Hear; Listen; Sounds; Make music; Harmonise; Tune in/out; Be all ears; Rings a bell; Silence; Be heard; Resonate; Deaf 
  • Kinaesthetic thinkers will use: Feel; Touch; Grasp; Get hold of; Slip through; Catch on; Tap into; Make contact; Throw out; Turn around; Hard; Unfeeling; Concrete; Get a handle

Your call to action in the coming week is to practise listening to your team. See if you can spot the preferred thinking styles and start to match their language.

If you want to know more, you can read about VAK in our FREE download article – Verbal Communication