We are bombarded with millions of pieces of information every day. If we were to be
made aware of every single piece, we would go crazy – our brains would explode!
Our brains know this so they sort through all the information and only show us what
they perceive is relevant to us.
The way the brain sorts through the vast amounts of information is by using our
Visual – sight
Auditory – hearing
Kinesthetic – touch/feeling
Auditory Digital -self talk
Olfactory – smell and Gustatory – taste.
The first four are the senses most commonly used and are called the Major
Representational (Rep) Systems. Taste and smell are known as the Minor Rep Systems.
Most people have one or two Rep Systems that they prefer although we all use all
the Rep Systems to a greater or lesser degree.
So why am I telling you this? When we understand our preferred Rep System, we can
maximise the ease with which we learn new things. Consider this – when you need
to learn something, do you prefer to be be shown how to do it (visual), told how to
do it (auditory), to do it yourself under supervision (kinesthetic) or to read the
instructions and then do it (auditory digital)?
The answer to this question will tell you what your preferred Rep System is.
This is important information when you think about our schools and our
traditional education system. Usually we are told or see the information on a
board or a screen. This is great for those who are auditory or visual
learners but what about the kinesthetic and auditory digital people? They are
missing out on the best possible learning experience. In an ideal learning
environment, all of the four major Rep Systems will be covered so everyone
has a chance to absorb as much information as possible.
Another way to engage the preferred Rep System is to use the language of that
Rep System. That’s right – each Rep System uses the words and phrases that light
For example, a visual person uses language such as ‘I see’, ‘Do you get the picture?’
or ‘Imagine this..’ An auditory person will say things like ‘I hear you’, ‘Sounds good’
and ‘That resonates with me’. Kinesthetic language is ‘I feel your pain’, ‘Let’s touch
base’ or ‘It feels right’ whilst an auditory digital person will use ‘I understand’,
‘On analysis, it would seem that…’ or ‘Statistically speaking..’
Which is your preferred Rep System?
This information can be utilised in many ways in life – in business and in our
personal lives. When we take the time to discover someones preferred Rep System
and use the language of that Rep System in our communications with that person,
we establish immediate and deep rapport with that person and it has been said that
anything is possible in the presence of good rapport. That’s right…
Bearing this in mind, can you see that it would be invaluable in a sales situation,
for example? Listen to the clients language and then reflect it back to them, light
them up, achieve brilliant rapport and make the sale!
In relationships also, if you speak to your partner in the language of their preferred
Rep System, they will feel that you really understand them and care about them.