Last week Mikey picked the key principle for the week, Communication is the Response I Get . Today I will share my experiences and learnings.

This is blog entry Day 12 of my 30 day blog Challenge

4 Principles of Communication

1. Communication is inescapable

We are always communicating something. Even when we attempt to not communicate communicates something. There are a many channels of communications including  our words,  tone of voice,  through gesture, posture, facial expression and more.

People are not mind readers

We constantly receive communication from others over these same channels.

People judge you by your behavior, not your intent.

2. Communication is irreversible

Once you’ve communicated something you can’t take back – there is no undo option. As a result you are left with the consequence.

A Russian proverb says, “Once a word goes out of your mouth, you can never swallow it again.”

3. Communication is complicated

There is no such thing as simple or easy communication. There are so many variables involved. It is theorised that whenever we communicate there are really at least six “people” involved:

  1. who you think you are
  2. who you think the other person is
  3. who you think the other person thinks you are
  4. who the other person thinks s/he is
  5. who the other person thinks you are
  6. who the other person thinks you think s/he is

The words we use are symbols. When we communicate using words or the representing symbols, those symbols could mean totally things to the other person.

Similar to Murphy’s law there is a maxim called Wiio’s Laws:

  • If communication can fail, it will.
  • If a message can be understood in different ways, it will be understood in just that way which does the most harm.
  • There is always somebody who knows better than you what you meant by your message.
  • The more communication there is, the more difficult it is for communication to succeed.

These tongue-in-cheek maxims are not real principles however they humorously remind us of the difficulty of accurate communication.

4. Communication is contextual

There are 5 contexts in communication

  • Psychological context  is who you are and what you bring to the interaction. This includes your thoughts, behaviours, needs, desires, values, personality, etc., all form the psychological context.
  • Relational context  is how you react to the other person. For example, if you see eye to eye, if you are in rapport with the other person, generational gap between you and the other person.
  • Situational context deals with the psycho-social “where” you are communicating. For example, the way you communicate at a business meeting will be very different to the interaction at your home.
  • Environmental context deals with the physical “where” you are communicating. For example communication in an elevator, or at a loud concert, or in a hot sauna or in a blizzard.
  • Cultural context includes all the learned behaviors and rules that affect the interaction. For example in some cultures it is considered rude to make long eye contact with someone, or to not burp after finishing your meal or to discuss business matters without first getting personal and sharing details about your children and family.

My learning

At the start of this week’s principle I believed that I was a good communicator but boy was I in for a lesson. There have been a few incidences that challenged my communication touching on all four principles listed above. Sometimes I was left to consider if it was worth clarifying my communication with the other party because of what I considered as conflict of values, clash in principles and ideas.

When a breakdown in communication occurred I reflected on the process. I realised that my assumed competence in communication was a generalised one. For example, I was definitely weaker in respecting communication from a cultural context.

Conclusion

This week’s success principle has exposed the areas of communication that I must improve. It feels like back to the drawing board for me and take things a little slower.

What next?

It was my turn to pick the next weekly focus principle and I have picked the Leaders Predict  principle. For the next week I will apply this principle daily and report my observations and learnings.

Previous 30 day blog Challenge Posts:

3 Camera Confidence Tips

My Very First Video Log and Studio Setup Tour

Blog Writing Workflow – What is it and why is it important

Did you enjoy this post? If so, I would greatly appreciate if you commented and shared

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Peter Reginald

Skype: peter.reginald.com.au

Email: peter@reginald.com.au

“For business owners who have hit a glass ceiling, I deliver predictable transformation by improving and managing its processes.”

PS: If you would like to take part in these weekly principle challenges or the 30 day blog challenge then feel free to leave a comment below.Let me know in the comments below!

Sources

Four Principles of Interpersonal Communication by Donnell King

Header Photograph By Leeroy

4 comments on “Communication is the Response I Get – Final Day

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