Serious hat tips first...

Let's just start with a declaration.

We love Michael Grinder. The bloke is an absolute legend. And this chunk of learning comes directly from his brain. Here he is:

Looks like a lovely bloke doesn't he? That's because he is. Now the fact is that he's an absolute genius, written eleventy-trillion books, and he's American...and you'd think that'd be an open and shut case to dislike the guy. But you can't.

So do everything you can to get across his stuff. Buy his books, watch his stuff on YouTube (couple of links in the extra goodies) you'll be better for it. Four and a half decades' worth of intense study into the area of non-verbals...that's what we'll be basing this module around. Learning from the master.


According to Grinder all people, in all cultures, use the same four points of communication.

  1. One-point communication - you look into your own space (reflective)
  2. Two-point communication - you look directly at the other person (personal)
  3. Three-point communication - you use a visual/object to direct the conversation to
  4. Four-point communication - you look outside the space

When it comes to separating a person from the behaviour, it's critical we use 3 point communication. Too often we use 2 point communication...the personal channel. Most commonly known as eye contact. And that's why it ends up going personal instead of staying about the work.

There are a number ways you could use three-point communication:

  • use a whiteboard
  • use a book
  • look at a document
  • get the person active/writing
  • draw a diagram

Or of course, you could physically walk to the "thing" that is in object, a document and making THAT the centre of the conversation will help to separate the person from the behaviour.

It sounds so simple right? And it is.

Extra Goodies: 

Lordy we have something special for you.  Michael Grinder ripped out this video to show you some non-verbal patterns when the original Tough Stuff book first hit the shelves. The quality and sound are a little grainy, but the content is special. Enjoy. 

Here's another one where Michael demonstrates six wrong ways to make a right impression. It's very cool.