Is it possible to use NLP to start writing better professional emails?
NLP, positive communication, even over email, is essential to me. Now I am not talking about that you need to force yourself to be positive, joyous, and celebratory when someone hasn’t been doing their job, fulfilled their responsibilities, or simply failed to be kind. I am talking a normal email with day-to-day information, requests, or planning.
A crisis email
A staff member of mine sent me a series of emails the other day, with the subject line: “I need help” and “I am stressed.” She needed an audio file that was in my possession that she needed for something important and stressful. There was no “hello,” “please,” “have a good day.” etc. For a moment, the email irked me a little, to be honest. I just had a lovely evening and was settling for bed; I was tired and now requested to help someone. Yet, there was no courtesy whatsoever.
Mind you; I knew I was over-reacting. She is actually a very kind and compassionate human being, one of my closest friends, and someone I can rely on in and around the NLP training. This wasn’t even just stress speaking. Her internet in Mexico has been down for a week, and she has to sit on the curb of a juice bar in the heat near her Airbnb. To make matters worse, there is a hurricane coming that will likely knock out the power. And at this moment, she needs this audio file of grave importance urgently. She couldn’t Whatsapp me, as the screen of her phone was broken. So I knew she was treating email as WhatsApp as if we were texting each other.
So I decided to consult auntie google if there was any research on this.
Scientific research in the field of writing emails
There was a study done in New Zealand, looking at emails from two different companies. One company full of conflict and turmoil, the other a well-oiled positive place to be. They discovered that emails were one-liners in the negatively slanted company, like the one I got: “He can not open the audio file, can you send it to me? I am stressed out.”
Rather than how the positively slanted company would state it: “Hello Nikkie, I hope you enjoyed yourself with your family. Did you say hi? He can not open the audio file. Can you send it to me? I know it is late; you know this stresses me out; I would really appreciate it, though. Have a nice weekend and a good rest!”
Tip #1: Using NLP to improve communication over email
Before you send an email, think of the emotion you want to elicit in the other person. It is helpful to think of 1 or more emotions, maybe an order in which you want feelings to occur when they read the email. Think of emotions like comfort, joy, safety, flow, gratitude, curiosity, etc.
It also helps you put yourself in the emotional state you pick as you write the email.
We call this: eliciting an emotional state. The result of the emotion you elicit in another person when communicating is how they verbally and non-verbally communicate with you.
Tip #2: Using NLP to improve communication over email
Step into the shoes of the other person. You would see what they would see, hear what they would hear, and feel what they would feel. You would be them, have their day, their life, their level of intelligence, emotional intelligence, have their pain, resilience, and coping strategies.
From this space, you communicate with the other person.
We call this the 2nd perceptual position. Looking at the world through someone else’s eyes or perception.
Tip #3: Using NLP to improve communication over email
Match someone else’s language and use their “tone” to reply to the email they just sent you. You can use the words they use, have the same length of sentences. Etc.
In NLP training, we call this: building rapport. By matching and mirroring someone, you create an unconsciously perceived sense of trust, connection, a sense of “we are the same, and speak the same language.
Tip #4: Using NLP to improve communication over email
Consider any email exchanged as a former of “behavior.” Every behavior has a positive intent, even destructive behavior. Ask yourself the question: “what is the positive intent that motivates my/their behavior in this email?” With this in mind, you read, write, and answer your emails.
In NLP training, we teach the presupposition: “There is a positive intent motivating every behavior.” At Master Practitioner or advanced levels for the online NLP training, we offer we teach how this positive intent can be discovered more easily.
Tip #5: Using NLP to improve communication over email
The art of story-telling! If you want someone else to understand how you experience the world, you need to put their mind literally in your shoes. You do this by describing what you see, hear, feel, smell and taste.
We call this a “4-tuple.”
Stay tuned. Next week we will offer 5 more tips to improve communication over email using NLP.
Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationship – Marshall Rosenberg, Phd.
We are looking for a former student who has expertise about writing better emails who wants to write an article for this website?