If you remember, in Part 1, we started to look into a fav area of mine, EYE ACCESSING CUES. We looked at internal representation, the lead representational system as well as a load of other good stuff. I left you hanging with the promise that I’d explain the picture of the face and the strange set of letters that were strategically placed around the face (the more observant of you would have noticed that there’s something different about this face…can’t quite put your finger on what it is?…..I might tell you later…but first let’s get back into EYE ACCESSING CUES).
OK, so let’s start with a little exercise to emphasise the learning point here. You’ll need to sit in front of a mirror. When you’re properly focused and have stopped noticing spots and pimples that just weren’t there yesterday (where do they come from?), look at your face (particularly your eyes) and ask yourself the following questions:
1. How many windows does your house have?
2. What would your car look like in 15 years if you never washed it?
3. What does your favourite song sound like?
4. What would your voice sound like if you were Donald Duck?
5. What does it feel like to take a warm bath or shower?
6. What does your voice sound like when you talk to yourself?
Done that? OK, now do it again, but this time noticing which direction(s) your eyes move as you think of the answers.
(Before you get too excited, this exercise is just to notice that your eyes are moving; normally we only notice and identify eye patterns in others.)
So, what’s happening? My eyes are moving, but how does this relate to that other face and those letters you’ve shown us?
Well…I’m glad you asked…
…Each of those questions above caused you to either access a memory or mentally construct some experience. If your eyes did not move, you may have looked in a particular direction for only a nanosecond, or perhaps defocused looking out in front of yourself. This is generally considered either visual or auditory remembered as the memory is in your present awareness.
Now ask someone else these same questions using the face picture as your reference. You’ll have to face them directly and remember the chart is normally organised. It may be helpful to jot down your findings as you watch their eyes so you can review them later.
What happens when people’s eyes move?
Please note: The following eye movements are as you watch someone’s eyes and when we refer to a location, this is your left or right as if the person is in front of you.
Visual Construct (Vc) – Up and to your left would be accessing an image they need to construct a picture of because they either have not seen it before, or because the picture has been stored in the past and not the immediate recall zone. It’s nearly impossible to tell if someone is lying from eye patterns alone. Be careful if assuming that people are lying or making things up just because their eyes move to Visual Construct. It could be that they just don’t have the information readily available. For example, what did you wear two days ago? When you find the answer to this question, you may have to construct what clothes you have, use internal dialogue to ask yourself the question, you may have to remember what you did that day and even construct what you might have looked like in a certain outfit that day. So, your eyes may go more to construct although you’re not making it up. To identify if someone is lying, you would need to calibrate the whole person – physiology, eyes, tonality, etc.
Visual Recall (Vr) – Up and to your right would elicit an image they have seen or imagined before.
Auditory Construct (Ac) – Lateral and to your left would be accessing something they have not heard before, or they have to construct a sound or conversation.
Auditory Recall (Ar) – Lateral and to your right would be eliciting something they have heard before. This could be a conversation or sound, and it could be of themselves or someone else.
Kinesthetic (K) – Eyes down and to your left would access a person’s feelings internally (e.g. emotions) or externally (e.g. tactile feel of velvet or a cat’s tongue).
Internal Dialogue (Id) – Eyes down and to your right would access the person’s self talk or internal dialogue.
Practice makes understanding eye accessing cues easy. You can learn by observing people’s eyes as you ask them questions in normal conversations; start noticing how different people use their eyes, but be careful not to freak them out! Notice how some make big and obvious movements, while others make minimal moves. Reality TV shows, talk shows and unscripted interviews are great to use as a learning tool as they are usually spontaneous. Turn the volume down on the TV for a while and just identify where the person’s eyes move. This is a great way to become unconsciously skilled at making meaning of eye patterns.
There are many practical uses of eye accessing cues, too many to list here. However, here are a few pointers that I have learned along the way in the Learning & Development world and would also be useful in any face to face client based circumstance.
Incorporating Eye Patterns into Life
Using eye accessing enables us to communicate in a way that more effectively matches another person’s current thinking style. This would enable you to respond by matching their eye movement with your words. When you do this, you will have more useful questions and replies and so build a closer rapport.
Vr – Looking up to their right; it would be a clue to use more visual words and questions. Use visual aids; show them examples, slides, brochures, pictures, diagrams but be careful of ‘Death by PowerPoint’.
K – Looking down to the left; it’s a clue to use feeling words and questions. Let your students touch things or try them on or something they can thumb through; get them doing stuff.
Id – Looking down to the right; to use more logical, thinking, analytical words and questions. Use graphs, charts and statistics, you could use management theory models and hard facts and figures.
Ar – Looking laterally to the right; use more auditory questions and examples. Explain and tell them about it. Use and refer to sounds, conversations and ask what they’ve heard.
Now, this is a skill you can practice and get good at in quite a short space of time (it only took me 20+years LoL). If you don’t use it in a professional context or to build your communication skills…it makes a fantastic party trick!