Communication: The 4MAT Process

In this week’s Prescription for Success I’m going to share with you a  bit of a different take on communication.

I’m  going to give you overview of the 4MAT Process which  is something that gives you a framework for understanding the way that people and organisations learn and communicate.

How would it be for you if you could engage all the learners that you talk to, if you could engage people by talking, training and motivating them by using this framework? Would that be something that would work for you? I think it is. Watch the video and try it out for yourself.

The 4MAT Process was something that was originally developed by Bernice McCarthy in the 1980s following a lot of research on communication, and her big picture statement is that most people engage in all types of learning however most have a preference for one particular type of learning.

I’ve been trained to use the 4MAT process and I use it my NLP Training. It consists of four main headings.

The Why – So that gives you the meaning and the connection with the subject.

The What – Gives you concepts and details.

The How – Give you skills and the ability to practice and do exercises.

The What If – It just enables you to refine to use your learnings/discoveries and think about how you might use them in the future.

If I think of something I don’t know much about like a bumblebee or instance I can talk about it using these headings so I’ll have a go and it’s a bit of fun that we do on the course.

EXAMPLE – The Bumble Bee

WHY – Why is it important to learn about bumblebees? Because bumblebees are something that we see in the garden and you might look at them and think well “What’s that doing? Where is it going? and What’s it for? What is the purpose of a bumblebee? If you actually knew what the purpose of a bumblebee was and all about the bumblebee then your whole life would be totally enriched and you’d be able to talk to children and your clients about bumblebees if needed.

WHAT – What is a bumblebee… a bumblebee is something that’s probably about the size of a large marble only elongated, and it looks fluffy and it’s black and yellow, and it’s got wings and it makes a buzzing sound. I’m sure there are lots of different sorts of bumblebees depending on where you live in the world and which area you live in the UK.

HOW – How are bumblebees useful? I think bumblebees are useful in the sense of they cross-pollinate plants. When a bumblebee goes into a plant then the stamens put pollen onto the bumblebee, and then the bumblebee goes into another plant and cross-pollinates that. So, it’s useful for the propagation of plants and then if plants are being propagated then animals can eat plants and its useful for the whole of our population.

WHAT IF –  What if you knew more about bumblebees? Would that enhance your life? Would it help you to discover more about those sorts of insects? well if anyone in a pub quiz said to you well “What’s the purpose of a bumblebee?” then you’d be able to answer that wouldn’t you?

So you can see how you can use this process to discuss a chosen subject. You can design your training, and conversations with people using the why, what, how, and what if method and 4MAT process designed by Bernice McCarthy,

This is just an overview of the process when I train I use the format process all the time and it’s really useful. I also teach people how to use this tool in more detail on my  NLP courses and it’s really useful tool for organising the way people communicate and learn.

Try it out for yourself and let me know if you want to know more about it, come on the course if you want to practice using it.

So that’s me a bit of a longer Prescription  today but at least you know more about bumblebees –  if you want to get in touch with me here’s the link and I’ll see you next week.

Dr Bridget – Keeping Buzzy