COMMUNICATION Categories – Ways (Part 6)

to be listening to me!

PREVIOUS: Comm categories #5


CATEGORIZING Communication (Comm) cont.
6a. Re. Mechanical Networks  /// 6b. Re. Human Networks  

7. Re. WAYS to ENGAGE in comm
Level 1: Messages into the Ether
Snail mail, email & texting have some things in common. They’re sent out, & a response can sometimes take days or weeks. Since they’re not conversational (back & forth) there can be a high level of misunderstanding, possibly leading to hurt feelings, even fights.

Level 2: Back & forth Messaging
It’s conversational, but still done remotely (IM, text….). Such exchanges are more casual & direct, so confusion is less likely, since one or both can catch distortions or misses with each reply.
However, its bite-size style means it’s not well-suited to discussing complex issues.

Level 3: A Verbal Dialogue
Here participants get to express their opinions directly, plus adding a whole layer of implied info via Para-language. These can hint at excitement, pleasure, peacefulness OR annoyance, frustration, stress…. that are harder to detect in writing. A drawback is that they often require scheduling, but sometimes things need to be cleared up quickly via phone.

Level 4: In-Person Spontaneous Discussion
When something important comes up unexpectedly, we might decide to seek out the others person for a conversation. Spontaneous discussions can be  effective for problem-solving, getting an immediate need met or making a plan. Benefits come from adding a new level of mutual understanding & co-operation. But it doesn’t always work – discomfort with spontaneity, lack of privacy, the other person being too busy or not in the mood…. can get in the way.

Level 5: In-Person Scheduled Discussion
What makes this level special is the mutual agreement to set aside time.
Planning does not have to make the meeting Formal, but gives both parties time to think about the topic. Successful & dynamic interactions come from combining self-awareness, non-verbal intelligence & privacy, to ensure comfort & trust. (From )

VALUE: Observing admired leaders, we can see that good comm. judgment is very important to their success.
For example, knowing what
can be done at Level 2, versus what must be done Level 5 – & doing it – is a sign of sound leadership instinct, as well as knowing what to expect in personal relationships.

8. Re. PMES Categories
: Talking about anything of mutual interest – news, sports, weather…. It’s superficial but truly useful, allowing us to function among strangers without burdening them with TMI about our life.  It also helps determine whether someone is neutral, a potential friend or enemy

MENTAL: Talking about facts, helpful tips, ideas, non-controversial beliefs, plans & strategies, as in professional conversations. Unfortunately, some people go out of their way to be the ‘best’ at it, so that no one is smarter, wittier or more knowledgeable, & they never have to be wrong.

The distance between the first two levels is relatively short. Polite conversation can turn into a mentally stimulating one very quickly & then collapse back into small talk or none at all – without discomfort. Except for conversations with a controlling know-it-all, these two levels are safe.

EMOTIONAL: Here talk is about aspirations, fears, wants, needs & joys. Sometimes eyes well up, lips quiver, & the voice chokes. Other times those same eyes light up, heart pounds & words flow with joy, or fail from awe.

• The distance between #1 & 2 AND #3 is rather wide, because #3 requires intimacy, transparency, trust & vulnerability. Most of us are afraid of being wrong or looking foolish, & absolutely terrified of rejection.
Participating at this level opens us to possible rejection, hurt & being scarred. Over-all, this level is easier for women to navigate, partly expressing emotions is more socially acceptable, & because a portion of women’s Corpus Callosum is thicker than men’s, perhaps allowing more access across the hemispheres emotions to be verbalized  (MORE….)

SPIRITUAL. This is the hardest to identify & describe, not only because our culture is so secular, but because few people are willing to drop down into the level of faith – for themselves – much less to speak of it to others.
It melts away push-pull, give-take win-lose, me-you. There are no distortions from emotional mental or social games, allowing for the highest level of resonance, creating an energetic embrace that sustains & heals.

‼️ Understanding all these forms of comm allows us to identify & then choose which is most appropriate for any given situation.
It can be too easy to go down the path of least resistance, but that can get us into trouble, so it’s important to be more thoughtful about how & when we communicate.
It’s better to do it the right way – focusing on our goals & using whichever level will help us get there.

NEXT: Psych Disorders #1

COMMUNICATION Categories – Focus (Part 3)

get my point across?

PREVIOUS: Dealing with conflict #2 

⬅️ Designed & assembled by DMT


CATEGORIES of Communication (Comm) cont.
3. Re. FORMS of Comm.  /// 4. Re. SYNERGY levels

5. Re. WHO the participants are
a. Intra-personal comm – mental conversations with oneself, silent or out loud. It’s a form of thinking, where we consciously pay attention to certain information, to process & analyze a situation. This strategy is particularly useful when we need to make important life decisions, or deal with a conflict.

EXPs: To-do lists, journals, inventories, assignment notebooks, calendars, any kind of reminder to finish a project, congratulating yourself on a job well done, planning…. and “Positive self-talk” to encourage & improve self-esteem

In biz: An exchange of info among departments. Frequent, in close proximity & only deals with internal issues

b. Inter-personal Comm – only between two people, & is more often face-to-face. It can be impromptu or planned, & its purpose is to share / exchange information, feelings, experiences, plans….
EXPs: Conversation between you & your BFF, a text message from mom, a meeting with a boss or teacher, explaining something to your child…..
SUBDIVIDED into: Assertive (strong but not harsh), Non-assertive (weak, disrespecting self) & Aggressive (angry, hostile). (MORE…..

c. Small Group Com –  takes place within private grouplets or work teams, where everyone is encouraged to participate in discussions. The purpose is to provide info that’s of common interest to the members, or to get the opinions of each participant – to arrive at a decision, solve a problem, plan a project or event, discuss a result….
EXPs:  a family dinner, hanging out with friends, a class discussion, a football huddle or post-game review, executive committee meeting….

d. One-to-Group Com – involves a speaker to inform, persuade or motivate an audience – a spiritual teacher giving a sermon, a candidate giving a campaign speech, a football coach giving a pep talk, a college lecturer….

e. Mass Comone or more people directing a message to a large audience at the same time, often made up of members not in the same location, & who have a wide variety of characteristics. It can be provided electronically such as TV, internet, newspapers, PHS announcements…. 

OR it can be a live event (rock bands, opera in the park, political rallies or protests, Billy Graham Crusade…. in a huge space). In such cases the person(s) on stage needs to have special skills & charisma to hold the audience – voice, posture, phrasing & timing, relevant info, media material, props …. Communications going out to the public can be: making requests to support a cause, to donate time & money, or may offer some benefit, such as – health education, spiritual guidance, emotional release, call to social activism…..

a.   Known to Unknown
Starting from info which the listener already consciously or subconsciously “knows” & accepts, & them moving into a clear explanation of new or unknown info.
Using this order indicates that the speaker understands the other person or group’s real-world experiences, & is going to present possible answers or solutions to deal with the current situation or problem. This helps to form a Yes Set” in the listener’s subconscious, which encourages a tendency to accept that the speaker’s ideas & suggestions are correct,  worth taking seriously, & acting on.

bGeneral to Specific
This approach starts with an overview of the big picture & general category to be discussed. It allows the listener to know what’s being dealt with. Equally important is that it allows for a wide variety of possible items to be included, without identifying which one. EXP: Seating  / Law Suits / Emotions / Cars / Animals (cat, bird, hippo….) …..

Then gradually more details are added, giving the listener time to absorb what’s presented. It’s like gradually moving down a funnel, which limits & curbs the amount of info given at each level.

c. Simple to Complex
This comm. structure is the reverse of Point b. It requires the speaker to fully understand the ‘whole’ as well as its components, in order to lead the listener gradually toward an action goal or understanding of a big ‘concept’ in small increments.

It counters the assumption that the listener already know the issue being discussed. Unless addressing an educated person or group with highly specialized knowledge, it is necessary to describe each part, adding & linking pieces in logical order, building up a picture of the topic.
EXP: It’s not helpful – or fair – to tell a child: “Be good”, without first identifying ‘good’ characteristics & behaviors.  (MORE….)

NEXT: Levels of Comm #4

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