The transfer of a message (idea or physical symbol) from one viewpoint (person or group) to another with the intention of duplicating the message.
For real and effective communication, the message intended and sent is the message received. When we say, “Please pass the sugar,” and we get salt, this would be a “miscommunication”.
There are 6 elements in effective communication:
- Be present – the ability to be fully present with ones full attention on someone or something, with focus and an absence of mental or physical distraction
- Observing – this is the capacity to observe what is there (real) and is a form of acknowledgement. It is allowing the other to BE and you are acknowledging their reality by simply observing.
- Delivery – the skill to get the communication clear. It involves delivering the communication with the appropriate force or energy considering the distance, situation and subject. It comes naturally and is not formatted, scripted, read, or quoted from another source.
- Acknowledgement – a simple response to another’s communication: it includes “yes”, “I got it”, “ok” or “that’s right” or other clear signals of acknowledgment. This completes this cycle of communication as it affirms the others existence, the fact they said something and you acknowledged them
- Getting your questions answered – having answers to questions is another form of acknowledgement and completes another cycle of communication. It is a demonstration of the others attention, intention, duplication and understanding. Without it the cycle remains incomplete and confusion exists. Get your questions answered!
- Handling communications difficulties – if the answer to the question is another question, this is expression of frustration or feeling there is a difficulty. This could be a clue that the “other” isn’t present and you are getting an automatic response, you pushed one of their buttons, or something else is unclear. This needs to be handled to complete the cycle of communication and move on to the next cycle
Communication occurs as a cycle which begins at a cause point, projects an idea across a distance, with the intention of it being duplicated at the other end, and then is acknowledged. An example would be: “do dogs bark?” with the response “yes” and the acknowledgement of “thank you”. When the cycle of communication is not complete there is confusion and it increases the probability there will be more incomplete cycles and hence increases the confusion. Attention to the elements of the cycle of communication and its completion can remove the confusion and keep it from reappearing.
Applying and completing all the elements and cycles of communication reduces or eliminates confusion.
Your freedom to effectively apply your abilities will increase as your communication achieves clarity .
Gary Eyring, Karen Tuff, and Jim Thiemens
The Open Organization
2600 2nd Avenue, Suite 1206
Seattle, WA 98121
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