One of the ways that we can make communication go more smoothly is to become aware of the dominant sensory perception of the person with whom we're conversing. It may sound like a lot of effort, but it's actually pretty easy to do with a little practice. We need only listen to the way other people phrase things in terms of senses, and use similar expressions to respond.
Take, for example, the following sentence: “Look, I see what you mean, but what I’m picturing is something a little different.” This person has used visual terms – look, see and picturing. If you notice the person using visual words frequently, you can conclude that he or she is visually-oriented.
Another example: “Listen, I hear you, but this sounds to me like it just won’t work.” This person is likely more auditory, as is evidenced by the use of listen, hear and sounds.
You might encounter someone who speaks this way: “I feel you, and I’m really touched by what you did, but we’ll have to connect at another time.” Feel, touched, and connect are known as kinesthetic terms, having to do with contact.
The benefit of phrasing your responses in those same terms is that it builds rapport. People will always respond better when they feel truly listened to. In addition, we like what is similar to us, and our subconscious mind will perceive someone using the same kind of vocabulary to be like us. Finally, others will understand what you're saying more clearly because you are, in essence, speaking their language.
Some quick examples of what you might hear and how best to respond:
You don’t want to spend so much time or effort on this that you miss the point the other person is making, but it can be a very valuable technique, with both personal and professional relationships.