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R. Frank Pucelik, Byron A. Lewis
Practical guide to communication and personality positive changeThis book is a guide to neuro-linguistic programming, providing a broad overview of modern NLP techniques. It will become a fascinating journey into the world of NLP for managers, psychologists and educatorsNow you have an excellent opportunity to learn from this book. Below you can read an extract from chapter 2 called “Posture and Body Cues”. If you’re interested in purchasing the book, please contact “Pucelik Consulting Group” office at:
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Posture and Body Cues
Although heredity plays an important part in creating the physical appearance we each display, psychologists have long recognized the relationship between personality (our model of the world) and our physical characteristics. Because these physical qualities are externally exhibited, they are communicative signals which can be useful tools in the process of demystifying.
"Mrs. McCulvary was my third grade teacher. I remember her well if not fondly. She was so skinny and tall, our nickname for her was ostrich, although that could also be because of the colorful "plumage" she sometimes wore. She always seemed to look down her nose at everyone, and she had a tendency to screech whenever she talked to us." The above description of the fictional Mrs. McCulvary is a good example of some of the characteristics often displayed by "visuals." It is not unusual for the habitual "visual" to be thin, although you will occasionally run across a very fat or obese "visual". They usually stand erect with their shoulders held up or back. People who are being "visual" will keep their necks straight and erect, matching their bodies. They often appear to "lead with their chin" when they walk, and their motions can be described as stiff or jerky. Habitual "visuals" will often have a smaller rib extension than individuals from the other categories, and they tend to breathe more into the upper portion of the chest. It is not uncommon for the "visual" to speak in a fast, clear or distinct way with a higher pitch than people operating from the other categories. Some of these postural and tonal behaviors can be observed in individuals operating out of the visual system even though their preferred system is not visual. This would include breathing and movement, although the visual body type and rib cage extension would most likely be demonstrated only by a habitual "visual.
Think of the image evoked by Santa Claus. He is always depicted as a soft and rather round man with rosy cheeks and a flowing white beard. When he laughs, his whole belly jiggles, and the feelings he elicits are warm and happy. The figure of Santa is an appropriate example of a "kino." The habitual "kino" generally has more flesh on his body than individuals from the other categories, although they tend not to be obese. When communicating from this modality, individuals will often demonstrate a rounding of the shoulders, and they sometimes bend slightly forward as they speak and listen. Their motions tend to be flowing and loose; how else would Santa get down the chimney! Habitual "kinos" often have a larger rib extension compared to the other categories. When operating from this modality, people tend to breathe into the lower portion of the lungs. The tonality of a "kino" might be generalized as having soft or airy qualities with a slower tempo and lower tone and volume than the other categories. Body: Brief Analysis. If you think in terms of the aspect of experience the habitual "kino" or "visual" is paying attention to, the structure of their bodies begins to make sense. When operating from the visual modality, a person becomes dissociated or disconnected from bodily experiences. This is because it is primarily the visual portions of the environment that command his attention. Physical demands such as hunger (or fullness!) often go unnoticed, and, though habitual "visuals" tend to be slimmer than people whose preferred system is kinesthetic, they can also become obese. Unlike the "visuals," habitual "kinos" are more alert to bodily needs and comforts, including hunger and eating, so their frames tend to fill out. Also, where a "visual" will wear sharp, well coordinated and tailored clothing, a "kino" is more likely to wear soft and comfortable knits and fabrics. Again, these are generalizations. We all have the ability to "be" any of the communication categories at different times. What is offered here are patterns of observable behavior, consistencies from which we can effectively predict specific styles of communication and portions of experience people are likely to be most aware of.
It appears that, at least in the United States and other Western cultures, the proportion of habitual "tonals" is small in relation to the other categories. Because of this, it is more difficult to make accurate generalizations about them. My experience with the few I have met leads me to believe that their physiques vary but tend toward the slim rather than the obese. When they speak, they maintain more control over the auditory portion of communication than most people do. In order to maintain this control over their reproduction of tonal aspects of their speech, they need to have a full range of breathing. They tend, therefore, to have larger rib cages than "visuals" and to utilize their lungs more fully.
A person who is communicating from the digital modality generally speaks in a clipped, crisp monotone. Since variations in tone are relatively unimportant to them, the habitual "digital" exhibits breathing patterns more like those of a "visual," that is, higher up in the chest. The digital system is based on language, a behavior which is acquired as a person matures. A "digital" person, like a "visual," is dissociated from his feelings. Since faculty with language comes somewhat later in life than visual, tonal, and kinesthetic abilities, it may be that a person becomes "digitalized" in response to some environmental situation. Most "digitals" that I have observed have physical body types similar to a "kino's". This suggests the adoption of the digital system as a means of coping (through dissociation) with feelings which may not be pleasant. One interesting characteristic which seems to correlate with a person's communication category is the size of the lips. This is especially true of the lower lip. You may find it interesting to match this phenomenon with your own observations. Visually oriented persons are often characterized by rather thin, tight lips. People operating out of the kinesthetic category usually demonstrate fuller, softer lips. "tonals" and "digitals" vary, however, the latter tending more toward thinner and tighter lips.
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