Speak Their Language

By Shawn McQueen, Mentor for Two-Brain Group Coaching Course

This is the fifth and final installment of our series that is intended to help you be more effective communicators. If you missed part 4, check it out here: Ask Better Questions.

What are the reasons we communicate?

To be happy, to express our opinions, to feel better. 

What is the purpose of communication? 

By communicating, you feel good. 

And you know how you always want to share when something good happens to you?

That’s because it makes you feel even better to share it, it expands it. 

We want to amplify our good feelings.

Another purpose is to create a new result. 

Why do you want to create a new result? 

If you create a better result, guess what? You will feel better!

Can we communicate in a way that makes us feel good and others feel bad? Of course.

To help this, we must learn to:

Speak their language.

Our goal with communication is to not only ensure we feel good, but the other person (or people) feel good!

Human beings have five senses that enable us to communicate to the world. The 3 we use most often to communicate are: 

  1. Auditory = ie: sounds
  2. Visual = ie: sight, gestures 
  3. Kinesthetic = feelings, emotions, or motions

Out of those 3 we typically develop a preference. It varies based on the state, mood, or circumstance someone is in. If you take note of someone’s preferences, you can immediately enter their world. And if you match styles, you’ll be able to create rapport and better connect with them. 

Let’s unpack each of these a bit further:

How would you connect with a person more auditory in nature?

They’d be a bit more articulate with their words, they’d speak with more resonance in their voice.

They’d be more selective with their words because it’s not only what they say, it’s how they say it. 

They are way more in tune with words, the way they sound are important, even gestures that accompany specific words are more important. 

How would you connect with a person more visual in nature?

They use phrases like,

“Picture this..”

They may speak louder, faster and use gestures. 

Or could even say… 

“They way I see it is…” 

They have a picture of how they see something in their mind and they are communicating it with words. 

How would you connect with a person who’s more kinesthetic in nature?

This person is a bit more feeling oriented. They’ll talk slower. 

They really weigh things.

They say things like,

“It feels good to me, but do you have a more concrete example?”

“I need a better sense of it…”


I’m all three people, aren’t you? 

My preference depends on what I’m doing. 

Speaking of “speaking their language,” there is a great relationship book titled “The 5 Love Languages” in which you learn we each have a dominant love language. 

The 5 Love Languages are: 

  • Words of affirmation
  • Physical touch
  • Quality time
  • Acts of service
  • Gifts

Now we each have a top 2-3 and within those, a dominant love language. 

What could this look like in our coaching based environments? 

Words of affirmation = 

Sharing a genuine and sincere compliment. 

Letting them know what you admire, appreciate or enjoy about them specifically. 

Giving them recognition for something they did well.

A written card expressing your gratitude for them. 

Physical touch = 

*Disclaimer – it should go without saying but keep this professional. 

A hand on a person’s shoulder, a high five, a hug, a pat on the back. 

Quality time = 

In a group setting this could be making a deliberate attempt to make each person feel like the only person in the room for a period of time. Your undivided attention. It could even be grabbing a coffee with someone for a goal review session!

Acts of service = 

Holding the door for someone, grabbing them a warm up weight when it calls for it, grabbing them clips since you’re by the bucket or even help putting their equipment away. 

Gifts = 

This one’s a bit trickier but still could go a long way if you do it right. 

Maybe it’s buying someone a Fit-Aid, their own athletic tape, jump rope or weightlifting belt. These are small examples that go a long way for people. 

A great communicator recognizes that everyone’s a bit different and you can’t communicate to everyone the same way. 


You’ve read about communication pitfalls, plenty about how and where we can all improve within this critical life skill of communication that will certainly make us better, more impactful leaders on the coaching floor. Now it is time to put in the reps. 

  1. Start small, pick one of the skills we’ve discussed, possibly your weakest area and begin to work to make strides. 
  2. Assess your confidence, development and progress in this area over the next month.
  3. As you feel better in that area, move to another and start over with that one. Basically, rinse and repeat!

How much better can multiple areas of your life be in 30, 60, 90 days with a little extra focus on improving in this area? 

I’d love to hear your successes and progress! Email me: shawn@twobraincoaching.com

Until next time.

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