NLP uses the term "congruity", meaning alignment or co-ordination among different parts of a given system. It is easily understandable that any system can function at its highest performance level when its all parts are congruent, namely, aligned with each other.

Typical examples of incongruity in a person can be observed for instance when he or she says "Yes, I totally agree with you", while shaking his or her head from side to side, or when he or she says "I am very confident" in a nearly inaudible voice. People who encounter such an incongruity in another person typically either feel confused or begin to decide (consciously and/or unconsciously) not to trust him or her.

We need to be congruent in our communication with others if we want to be effective and influential.

Interestingly, this communication term "congruity" has a spiritual meaning as well. Namely, the congruity exemplified above is defined as "simultaneous congruity", and this kind of congruity is usually one of the very prominent aspects of great spiritual gurus. But, these gurus also tend to show "sequential incongruity"; that is to say, they are living so intensively in "here and now" that what they say today may radically contradict what they said yesterday. On the other hand, "ordinary people" who may be missing "here and now" altogether may, ironically, be too obsessed with trying to maintain "sequential congruity".

(NB: The text of this page is a quotation from Guhen Kitaoka's training manual "Effective Communicator's Manual" with relevant amendments.)

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