Mr. V.K.Talithaya is the President of Primacy Industries Limited an Export Oriented Unit at Mangalore. He is an HR professional both in Public and
Private enterprises. He has served with distinction in organizations such as Steel Authority of India, Metallurgical & Engineering Consultants, Deccan Herald group of publications, Kinetic Honda Motors, Bharat Electronics Ltd., Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. A thinker and practitioner, known for his transparent and solution based approach for long term benefits. His areas of specialization are Human Resource Management, Transactional Analysis, Communication and Neuro Linguistic Programming.

Saturday 21 January 2012

Mind your language - 2. Communication begins in the mind

2 – Communication begins in the mind
By V. K. Talithaya

Communication is a complex process. Whatever we communicate has been composed in the mind. But the mind works on the basis of data supplied to it. What is the source of data for the mind? The mind gets data through the five perceptual windows – or the five senses – which see, hear, feel, taste or smell and inform the mind. In fact the mind functions purely on the basis of data supplied to it. The mind does not make any difference between the reality and the “reality” it constructs based on the data fed to it. The more data we supply the mind the better it composes.

Most of us use predominantly one or two of the perceptual windows. That is why some people love to listen, while there are some who would not hear, but would prefer to read or see. There are people who want to touch every piece they see in the display shelf, there are those who want to see the things in detail. These are the individual preferences.

A good communicator uses all the perceptual windows well to provide data to his mind. Novelists use language in such a way that as you read the novel you see, hear, feel, taste and smell. See how all the perceptual windows are used in the following piece:

You are walking gently in the garden. The garden is lush green and beautiful. You see long lines of mayflower on both sides of the road. The flowers which have fallen on the road look as if a red carpet is laid for you. In the far distance you see roses of different colours. As you walk along, you notice that the sun is bright. Here and there in the shade of trees you see and hear people chatting. You keep walking. As you approach a lonely corner of the garden you sit on a bench and remove your shoes. Slowly you step on to the grass. You feel the softness of the grass under your feat and you also feel little cold because of the moisture in the grass. The hot sun makes you squint and you feel the warmth on your body. You are enjoying your walk. Suddenly a couple of children run into you yelling and you are woken up from your thoughtful mood.

As you seriously read through the passage, as far as your mind was concerned you were in the garden. Though the words are written, and are transmitted to your mind through the visual window (seeing), since the mind operates based on data provided to it, through the passage, you felt as if you really were in the garden. A simple example is when visually the picture of something tasty is shown the mind may respond by salivation of the tongue. Therefore, if response is what we want, we need to provide data to the other person’s mind also. We can do so if only our mind is trained to collect data through all the perceptual windows.

You can check how good you are in each of the perceptual windows. Close your eyes. Take a couple of deep breath. Sit relaxed. Now, first, listen carefully to all sounds/noises in the room. Take a couple of minutes listening. Open your eyes. Check if you have listened to all the sounds/noises. Have you listened to your breathing? Have you listened to the others breathing? Have you listened the silence? Now do the same thing for feeling (touch). Check if you felt everything – the pressure on your hips from the chair you are sitting, the pressure from your watch strap, weight of the garments you are wearing, the weight of the spectacle you are wearing and so on. Similarly, now sit relaxed. Look around the room you are sitting. See as many things you can see. Note them in your mind. Now, try to recollect the things you have seen. Most likely your list may come to not more than 70 to 100. Now, think of the things you omitted – the dots and spots on the walls, the individual designs and pictures on the curtains, the separate pieces of buttons on the shirts and skirts of people sitting with you, and so on. 

Why did you not hear everything that could be heard, not felt everything that could be felt, and not seen everything that could be seen? We process the data we receive and represent them after deleting, distorting or generalizing them. In other words we edit the data before we represent them. How we do this and how we can take advantage of this unique facility in us will be the subject of our next piece. 

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