MSS #055: Mastering Communication Styles: A Deep Dive into VAK Preferences

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MSS #055: Mastering Communication Styles: A Deep Dive into VAK Preferences

27 Jan 24

MSS #055: Mastering Communication Styles: A deep Dive into VAK Preferences

27 Jan, 2024

Read time: 1.8 minutes

In a hurry? Jump to ‘Identifying Your VAK Style’ for a succinct 1.1 minutes read.

This edition of Saturday Solace explores the intricate world of VAK preferences. You may be saying “what on earth is that?” As you will discover, its about understanding how we describe the world and if you use the same approach as others around you.

I’ll provide you with tools to not only recognise your own style but also adapt to the styles of others for more effective communication.

What are VAK styles?

We tend to understand the world in one of three ways,

Visually (sight),

Audibly (sound)

or Kinaesthetically (touch and feel).

Occasionally people using Olfactory (smell) or Gustatory (taste) as their reference language, this does not happen often.

Sometimes we switch between one of the three main references, but often we have a strong preference, which will reveal itself when we speak.

Here are some simple examples you might commonly notice.

Notice the language of the other person and see if they are using a different preference to you, if so swap to theirs.

Identifying Your VAK Style

To harness the power of VAK in your interactions, it's essential to first understand your own predominant style.

Pay attention to the phrases you often use and the way you process information. Perhaps ask someone else for feedback, after you share this with them.

Here are some examples:


 - "Let's look at it from a different angle."

 - "I see your point."

 - "Can you show me?"

 - "That appears clear."

 - "From my perspective..."

 - "Picture this scenario..."



 - "That rings a bell."

 - "I hear you loud and clear."

 - "Let's talk it over."

 - "That sounds about right."

 - "I'm listening."

 - "Tell me more about that."



 - "That feels right to me."

 - "I can't get a grip on this."

 - "That touches on a good point."

 - "Let's connect on this."

 - "I need to get a handle on it."

 - "We need to come to grips with this idea."


Your VAK Communication Guide

Adapting your communication to match VAK preferences can significantly improve your interactions and level of connection:


Visual Communicators:

 - Use phrases like: "Imagine the outcome," or "See how this works?"

 - Incorporate visual aids and imagery in your explanations.


Auditory Communicators:

 - Engage them with: "Listen to this plan," or "This resonates with our goals."

 - Use tone variations and storytelling to capture their interest.


Kinaesthetic Communicators:

 - Connect through: "Let's walk through the process," or "Feel the impact of this change."

 - Emphasise physical experiences and emotional connections.


Applying VAK in Your Daily Interactions

Here are three tips how to use this knowledge.

1. Observe and adapt in meetings: Mirror the language style of your colleagues.

2. Be inclusive in presentations: Combine visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic elements.

3. Personalise your approach in one-on-one conversations: Align your communication style with the person you're speaking to.

You can apply this in any situation, over the phone, Zoom / Team’s calls, face to face or addressing a large team - being sure to use language that is inclusive for all three preferences.

Now you know this, you cannot unknow it - you communication skills and connection with others will always be better.

I love sharing this and other techniques with teams in my workshops - would your team benefit from this?

This Week's Challenge: Listen attentively to the language you and others use.

Identify both your own and others' VAK styles, and consciously adapt your communication approach.

Observe the impact on your interactions.


It’s very noticeable that those that are praised as being great communicators, are often the ones who listen intently to others.

Listen to others is not as simple as being quiet, it’s about:

  • Being curious

  • Not interrupting

  • Listening with intent

  • Observing body language and words

  • Noticing the language and words used - what this conveys

There is more we could explore on this, but if you want an illustrative master class, watch this video. Give it time, it starts off slow, it’s worth watching till the end.


Embracing VAK preferences can transform your communication skills. By identifying and aligning with these styles, you can improve understanding and influence in your conversations.

See you next week. If you haven't already, follow me on LinkedIn and hit the bell for daily posts on tips, insights and techniques.

Want more? 

When you're ready, 3 ways I can help you:

1. My book - Nuclear Powered Resilience

If you want to either build a high level or resilience or overcome a past trauma that is holding you back - check out my book.

2. Build self confidence and resilience fast - £48 training course

I have developed my book into a course to help you fully implement the benefits of my book.

Golden Resilience Habit

3. Work with me 121 - start with a FREE 15 minutes exploration session.

Let’s have an open chat and explore how I can help you and what is troubling you.

If we both think we can work together and I have what you need we can go from there.

Want to explore what else I do? including corporate speaking, coaching and workshops - say hello in an email and let’s explore together.

That's it for this week. Thanks for reading, really hope this helped. Contact me if you think I can help you further at [email protected].

Happy thinking.