COMMUNICATION Categories – Types (Part 2)

I GET ALONG BEST with people who get me

PREVIOUS: Comm Cat. #1

QUOTE: “A man’s character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation.”  ~ Mark Twain


CATEGORIES of Communication (Comm) cont.
1. Re. CONTENT (in Part 1 a & b)

2. Re.
AVAILABILITY to self & others
The Johari Window works best for groups because it allows for self-awareness & useful feedback. It can also be used to track the growth of an individual, in their progress towards intimacy in 1-to-1 relationships.

Even when we decide to take the risk of being open with others, doing so fully is much scarier & more complicated than most will admit. The chart shows what people know or don’t know about themselves, & what they reveal or don’t reveal to others.

NOTE: I = the individual, & O = the other person (not the group)
The size of each section increases or decreases as relationships change.

GREEN: Initially, what is known & shared with others will be very small. Naturally, the larger the Open section, the better the communication.
ORANGE: Characteristics that are un-known about ‘I’, both to oneself & to the group or to ‘O’
RED: What is un-known to ‘I’, but visible to most others. With ‘I’s’ courage & the right kind of mirroring by others, ‘I’ can become more self-aware
AQUA: What is known to ‘I’ but not to others, & stays that way until trust develops, allowing ‘I’ to gradually reveal more & more about oneself

3. Re. FORMS of Comm.
a. Verbal – using words to deliver an intended message. While it’s still the most successful form, this makes up only @ 7-20% of all human comm! Effectiveness depends on clarity, grammar, vocabulary & writing style, plus the skillful use of the other 80%
— Written: brochures, contracts, formal business proposals, handbooks, memos, press releases…..
— Oral: face-to-face or phone, voice chat, video conferencing …. Can be either Informal, such as the grapevine & rumor mill, arguing a topic…. or Formal, such as conferences, debates, lectures….

b. Visual Aids: Use of color, drawings & illustrations, electronic media, graphic design, typography….
Graphs & charts usually reinforce anything written, or can replace it altogether.

c. Para-language (Non-verbal/gestural) : Physical ways to convey thoughts & feelings. The way something is said – expressing approval, interest or lack of it. (MORE….)
It includes emotion, intonation, pitch, style of speaking, stress, tone, & voice quality & touch. Some research estimates tone of the voice accounts for 38% of all comm, 55% is from body posture & gestures, & only 7% from the actual words used.

EXP: Shortcuts • shrugging = “I don’t know”
• looking away = “I’m thinking” OR “I’m lying / withholding”
• holding a hand up = ‘stop / back off’
• crooking a finger = asking someone to come closer
• wagging a finger = saying “naughty, naughty”
• tapping or patting = “Hello / Pay attention / I empathize / “Poor dear”…..
• laughing = “I agree/ identify”OR “I think that’s ridiculous”
• tone of voice = pleasure at seeing someone, OR displeasure / anger about something…..

Other FORMS can also express one’s personality, social status & taste :
Aesthetic comm & creative expressions – dancing, art work….
Appearance, & style of dressing/ grooming
Space language – owning paintings & landscapes
Symbols – any religious or ego-building images
(From: Bright Hub Project Management)

Synergy means that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts – so inter-actions between them create new connections. The result is not just another ‘part’, but the most catalytic, empowering, unifying & exciting outcome.(CHART)

LOW-Trust: These interactions are expressed thru defensive, over-protective & often legalistic language – used to ‘covers all the bases’, to indicate escape clauses & qualifiers (if…then) – in case things ‘go south’

MIDDLE: This is ‘careful’ Comm, used by average/normal people, who have respect for each other, & want to avoid the possibility of ugly confrontations, so they’re polite rather than emphatic or confrontive. They might understand each other intellectually, but are not likely aware of their own underlying patterns & assumptions, so aren’t really open to new possibilities available from connecting with others

HIGH: Synergy allows interactions with creative solutions offered by others that are much better than any available at the lower levels. Here all participant know it, feel it & enjoy the outcome – practical, emotional &/or artistic. It means that 1+1 may equal 8, 16, or even 1,600. The possibility of truly significant gains & improvements in such relationships are so real that it’s worth the risk to let oneself welcome the unknown. 

NEXT: Comm Categories #3

COMMUNICATION Categories – Content (Part 1a)

the better I can do

PREVIOUS: Dealing w/ disputes #3

SITE: Barriers to effective Communication & Skills needed

DEF: Communication is the process of passing info & understanding from one person to another – which includes any behavior that results in an exchange of meaning.
 • It’s the sum of all the things one person does when he wants to create understanding in the mind of another.
• It is a bridge of meaning, involving a systematic & continuous process of telling, listening & understanding.

ACoA Communication (comm)
IF we are being appropriate – we will comm. differently in different situations. So –
➤ the way we verbally play while watching a game together is not how we behave in a religious setting
➤ what we eventually confide in a good friend is much greater than what we let out at first
➤ things we tell our mate aren’t usually things we tell co-workers
➤ things we say at work may not be appropriate for our children to hear. (Posts: Relationship Continuum)

It’s sad that many of us say we yearn for emotional connection & yet adamantly push it away – spending much of our time —> gossiping with, monologuing / pontificating at, or chit-chatting about trivial or pointless topics.

🚩While these are used by most people as a type of social glue or social currency – it is also typical of what passes for communication in alcoholic & other narcissistic households. Nothing ‘real’ is ever spoken of – how people feel or think, what drives their behavior, what their true Self motivation might be…..

So – at the other extreme are the emotionally starving ACoAs who desperately want to be heard. They’ll take any opportunity to “go deep”, as in spilling TMI to whoever will listen. This kind of sharing is necessary BUT belongs in 12-Step meetings, therapy & a daily diary. The alternative is to not talk at all.

In fact, many ACoAs are notoriously reluctant (refusing) to make light conversation, meaning : the ‘normal’ sharing of mutually interesting but not earth-shattering experiences tastes & opinions. Actually it’s the WIC who has no socially appropriate boundaries.

Careless over-sharing is a mistake – there is a time & place for the ‘heavy’ stuff. We way we want to be accepted, but then act inappropriately. Keeping things light in many situations makes us much more approachable & likable!

It’s true that healthy relationships – whether private or public – are based on some degree of Emotional honesty. And at the deepest level is the realm of Spiritual communion – with oneself, others, nature & Higher Power. (4 Qs to Ask Yourself Every Day).

However, as powerful & precious as the Emotional & Spiritual levels are, they’re too intense & raw to sit with for too long, at any one time.
1. If our tendency is to get heavy too fast with another person – we need to learn boundaries – with our Inner Child! It’s not appropriate to assume someone is a ‘friend’ & jump into telling our deepest thoughts & emotions (suffering, complaints…..), which is almost always about our S-H & dysfunctional family history.

2. In general, most people are simply not equipped emotionally to go ‘deep’ at all, & it’s not fair to spring such comm. on someone without their consent, or on those we know can not handle it. It’s disrespectful to others (our narcissism) to inflict our intensity on them. (from C. Gilkey)

NOTE: Small talk is appropriate – from time to time – to keep things on the surface when with acquaintances, or with people we know have very little depth. It is also not a substitute for
meaningful conversation with ’emotional peers’, no matter their age or level of self-awareness.

We need to learn that we are in fact fundamentally like everyone else – we share the same needs & desires, & even many times similar experiences. It counteracts our suspicion & isolation.
We also need a break from our own emotional intensity, which will help to balance us. And we may even learn something new!

NEXT: Comm. Categories #2