“Genius is making complex ideas simple, not simple ideas complex”
Communication – It’s a two-way thing!
A person learns to communicate from the moment they are born. Babies learn very quickly to communicate their wants to those looking after them. Later, language is learnt and this makes communication on a much wider scale possible. As people develop to adulthood their communication skills are enhanced by experiences they have along the way; they learn what works and what does not! The way a person behaves with others will dictate the way they respond.
Believe it or not, you are not born with set behaviour patterns, behaviour is learned! If any of your behavioural patterns are not producing satisfactory results in your life you are not stuck – you can learn new patterns.
The way you behave with others can either help or hinder interaction. You will benefit greatly if you understand what type of behaviours you produce that help or hinder interaction through communication.
We are given two ears and one mouth for a reason and maybe we should remember this when communicating and use them in that proportion. However, you also really need to understand the visual signs of communication especially when you consider the chart below:
Components of Communication
Additionally, people will model themselves in a variety of ways when communicating, as below:
When a person is on send they display external behaviours:
Posture Gesture Eye Movements Voice Tone
Touch Skin Colour Muscle Tone Facial Expression
Lip Size Breathing Rate
When a person is on receive they take in information by:
They then filter the information internally using:
They experience internal responses:
- Words (internal dialogue)
Then they go to send!
Whenever you communicate you change the other person’s internal responses – so say it the way you want it – not the way you don’t want it!
When you consider that a belief is a view or judgement that a person holds that cannot be changed by information or reason, you will easily see that people can change their own beliefs and they often do. However, we are often hampered by having limiting beliefs like “I can’t draw” for example.
Beliefs like this are self-fulfilling prophecies, they prevent us from taking any action to improve.
If we change the belief from “I can’t draw” to “I am poor at drawing but I think you could teach me one thing that would improve my skill”; then we open up a world of possibilities.
Here is a list of empowering beliefs which, if you act as though they were true, they will work to your advantage:
- There are no failures in communication – only outcomes and feedback.
- Behaviour is high quality information.
- It is easier to change oneself than to change others.
- You are not your behaviour!
- Each person has the resource they need for success.
- The intention of all behaviour is positive – to believe otherwise is to make it so.
- The meaning of communication is the response that you get.
- The bad news is you cannot not communicate. This is also the good news!
- If you always do what you’ve always done you’ll always get what you’ve always got.
In conclusion, communication is quite simple, there are three channels we take in information, seeing, listening and/or feeling. Once we have taken in the information we process it internally turning it into language and using emotions. We all use all three channels when taking in and giving out information but not to the same extent. Most people have a ‘favourite’ channel. To be a good communicator you must understand this and deliberately match the channel(s) you use to the person with whom you are communicating.
This matching of channels is one of the keys to gaining rapport.