Gary 'Smiler' Turner's Blog

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Friday, 7 May 2010

Casting A Spell

Have you ever wondered what is actually going on inside your head when you are communicating? That every time you speak to someone you are actually painting pictures, sounds, feelings, even tastes and smells, inside their mind? Have you considered that every time you communicate you are trying to influence them?

In our minds we can only make representations in terms of the five senses – that’s all we’ve got. Even self talk is an internal sound. So when we are speaking we are ‘casting a spell’ in the other person’s mind, creating a representation from the five senses.

Even the origins of the word ‘spelling’ come from magic, that you are ‘casting a spell’.

So if I ask you to think of a freshly cut lemon, I’m sure you have an image. And that image will have qualities, like the size of the image, its location, the angle you are viewing it from, whether it’s a movie or a still, how focused it is, and so on. And some of you may have feelings, and even tastes and smells attached to the thought too. Maybe even some sounds come through, or a little self talk too. If you vividly imagine a freshly cut lemon, with all its juice, its taste and smells, the sharpness on the tongue – then I may even have influenced you into salivating.

Every time we speak this is what we are doing – creating representations in peoples minds. And you can’t help but do this. So think about what you saying, and how it will be represented.

Think about a negative, such as ‘don’t think of a tennis ball’. You have to think of a tennis ball in order to not think of a tennis ball. This has particular relevance in teaching, coaching and leadership and I’ll blog on this, and its effects at a later date. Do you actually want to create a negative representation in that person’s head?

On a forum I recently was told that the poster ‘wasn’t trying to influence me’. I chuckled to myself, because that is what we are doing every time we communicate, whether in the written words, the way we the words, and our physical body language.

So the next time you speak – what spells are you casting?

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