- Thoughts for inspired living

August 15, 2008

Second Language

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:52 am

There are a number of immigrants who live in our neighborhood and I’m always fascinated when I meet someone who can speak multiple languages. It’s even more impressive, if they had to learn the language to take advantage of opportunities in their new country. If you’re anything like me, you speak a few words in another language and that’s as far as it goes.

I got to thinking that I had training in another second language – the language of “other than conscious communication” as taught by Dr. Dave Dobson. It’s the language that transcends all cultures. Reminds me of a story . . .

Many years ago the owner’s wife of the company that I worked for asked me to speak to a group of limited means, diabetic women with high blood pressure who were pregnant. She did volunteer work for a number of charities and she thought I could be of help to these women. She also told me that most of them spoke no English. I asked her, “How am I supposed to be effective if they can’t understand me?” She said, “Oh, just do that stuff that you do and you’ll be fine.”

I went to the meeting center and was introduced in Spanish and they were told I spoke only English. There were raised eyebrows and some doubting grins from the participants. I began to communicate with the rhythm of my voice. I picked one person’s breathing pattern and timed my vocal rhythm to the rise and fall of her shoulders as she breathed. Within a couple of minutes, all 13 of the women were breathing at the same rate and all had closed their eyes. I continued this for about 15 minutes.

Later that afternoon, the boss’s wife called me and asked me what I had done. She said the news was fabulous. Most of the women had a decrease in their blood pressure and all reported feeling more relaxed than they had been in a long time. I told her what I did and she said, “You had to do more than that for them to get that type of result.”

The truth is I didn’t. I just spoke a second language.

You can communicate better with anyone you choose if you choose to pay attention to what they give you. You can breathe at the same rate as someone and gain rapport. You can match the speed of their voice when chatting and increase your connection. You can arrange your body in the same position as theirs and better serve the communication. The list is endless.

The universal second language is to match something that’s going on outside of someone’s conscious awareness. It will register. Most people are unaware of their breathing rates, vocal rhythms or body positions as they communicate. When you become aware and briefly match the piece of behavior they offer, you are shaking hands in a second language and penetrating all cultural barriers.

I could have made this all up but I didn’t. If you want more information on the art of subconscious rapport, pick up a book on NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming). It’s a start. But the best way to validate this second language for yourself is to put it to work and notice the connections you make.



Be Sociable, Share!