Talking about Making Sense with Words

Ideas. Insight. Inspiration.

Talking about Making Sense with Words

March 13, 2009 Persuasion 4

We’re talking about words, but I don’t have a lot to say.  Today, the meaning of my words is found in the sense they represent.  In this second part of a three part series on making sense with words, I’ll try to be a man of few words as I break words down into four groups. 

My challenge to you is simple.  Spend a few hours paying attention to each sense in turn, and notice the words people choose and use to express the sense they are making.  Then, if you can see your way clear to it, it would feel great if you come back and tell us what you’ve observed!    

Seeing The World – Visual language  

Consider the language of sight.  It is the language of light and dark, of color and hue, of shape and appearance. Is that clear?   A person with a visual preference is likely to use visual words.  

Hearing The World – Auditory language

The language of sound speaks of volume, tone, pitch and timbre.  Does that ring true for you?  A person with an auditory preference is likely to use words that refer to sound. 

Feeling The World – Kinesthetic Language 

The language of feeling speaks of sensation and emotion.  Can you grasp the implications of this?   A person who prefers feelings is likely to speak with the words of sensation and emotion.  

Experiencing the World – Abstract language 

There’s a fourth category of sensory language, and it lacks common sense.  It turns out that some people, at least some of the time, speak more in the abstract instead of making sense for others.  Their words lack sensory color, tone and texture.  Their words literally don’t make sense, other than the sense that others make of their words.  This is often the preferred method of expression used by professors and scientists.  When used wisely, it can have inclusive and even hypnotic effect.  But mostly, it’s just boring as can be to listen to. 

Coming next week, I’ll talk about how to use the sense we’re making of sensory language to deepen your connection with others.  Then we’ll put it all together for the job seekers and talk about how to build connection in an interview, and for the lovers as we explore the use of your voice in flirting  (interviews and flirting are not that different!)  

As always, your comments, examples and stories are welcome and appreciated.  Have a great weekend.  Tell someone about my blog!  I’ll tweet you later…

Be well,



4 Responses

  1. Mateo says:

    Wow, Rick… I’m definitely going to work with this one.

    I am really getting a lot from your blog lately. Many thanks!

  2. Vicki says:

    It always amazes me how much I realize I don’t know about myself, my friends and my family when you point out things like this… Now I wonder which category I fit into.

    • Vicki,
      Hopefully, you don’t fit in a category, and have the behavioral flexibility (requisite variety, remember from class?) to adapt to whatever situation you find yourself in. My idea of you is that you are very resourceful, and have the ability to pay attention to any particular sense when it makes the most sense!
      Thanks for your comment, come back and comment again!

  3. shari says:

    You are brilliant!!

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