There is a well-known statistc going around which says that only 7% of a message is in the verbal content, 38% is in the vocalisation (tone, tempo, etc.) and 55% is in the body language. This might seem to imply that it doesn't really matter what words you use as long as they are more or less appropriate.
No such luck.
These statistics only apply when there is conflict between what you say and the way you say it (like saying "yes" whilst shaking your head to signal "no"). In the rest of your face-to-face communications - when you *aren't* mismatching your signals - it is actually very important that you choose your words with as much precision as possible - and this book shows you how to do just that.
In the early days of NLP, Leslie Cameron-Bandler developed what are known as the Meta Programs - Proactive/Reactive, Towards/Away From, etc. From a high of around 60, the number of active meta programs has now been halved. Rodger Bailey has identified just 13 of these which are particularly relevant to business communications, and these have become the basis for his 'LAB Profile' and what he calls 'Influencing Language'.
In this book Shelle Rose Charvet does an excellent job of describing the basic features of the LAB Profile (i.e. how to determine a person's current status in each of the 13 meta programs) and how to communicate more effectively by using the corresponding language patterns.
When I reviewed the first edition of this book I was greatly impressed, with only one significant reservation. That qualification has been cleared up in the 2nd edition, and new material has been added. The result is a book that every student of human communications needs to have on their shelf, not just to read it the once, but as a valuable reference work you'll go back to time and time again.
Because although the two books are not addressing *exactly* the same area, Ms Charvet's "Words that Change Minds", first published in 1996, can readily be seen as a precursor to the later book.
Although it is usually referred to in connection with Rodger Bailey's LAB Profile work, this book is in fact based on a subset of the "meta programs", or mental filters, first identified by Leslie Lebeau (formerly Leslie Cameron-Bandler).
What makes this book so valuable is that instead of simply describing the meta programs on a purely theoretical level (as many previous authors had done), Ms Charvet places each one in a very practical context. She tells us not only the basics of each meta program but also such practical details as:
- what questions to use to elicit a person's position on any of the meta programs discussed
- how to identify what meta program positions are best suited to a given job
- and how to frame a job or product advert so that it "speaks to" the optimum audience
There is also a wealth of anecdotes from real life that illustrate the meta programs at work - like why the US was never comfortable as members of UNESCO, why a single word undermined one of IBM's big advertising campaigns, and why a Jewish mother might recommend chicken soup because "it couldn't hurt".
And on top of all that, the book is written in an enthusiastic, flowing style that makes reading it both easy and enjoyable.
Highly recommended for *anyone* who wants to understand the practicalities of how language works.
Shelle also tells you the kind of language to use to reach particular kinds of people - useful in sales, negotiation, motivation and deciding who to hire for a particular job. The book is chatty with a good sense of humour.
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