Principles of effective communication — part 2

May 11, 2017

The belief that one’s own view of reality is the only reality is the most dangerous or all delusions. It becomes still more dangerous if it is coupled with the missionary zeal to enlighten the rest of the world, whether the rest of the world wishes to be enlightened or not. To refuse to embrace wholeheartedly a particular definition of reality, to dare to see the world differently can become a “think crime” in a truly Orwellian sense as we get steadily closer to 1984. — Paul Watzlawick

Last week we introduced the theme of Paul Watzlawick’s fundamental book on pragmatics of human communication, discussing the first three principles. Let’s continue the discovery through the last two important strategies to consider in order to achieve success in our communicative style.

4. “Human communication involves both digital and analogic modalities.”

In the context of this book digital is not related to computers but instead refers to symbols — letters and words — which have been coded in a language we all agree on.

Analogic stands for the use of evocative language — analogies, metaphors or any other non-verbal communication such as gestures.

Both these modalities of communication are part of the act of communicating and therefore shape the meaning of it.

5. “Inter-human communication procedures are either symmetric or complementary, depending on whether the relationship of the partners is based on differences or parity.”

A “symmetric” communication reflects a relationship where the people involved feel and act at the same level of power, as equals.

On the other hand, a “complementary” communication — and relationship — shows a hierarchy where someone is superior — one up position — to the other — one down position- .

“The Art Of Communication Is The Language Of Leadership.” — James Humes

Now that we’ve acquainted ourselves with the basic principles of human communication we immediately see all the new possibilities of understanding — and misunderstanding- which have been unveiled.

A more conscious use of communication, invested of a good dose of strategy, can truly give the upper-hand in individual and professional relationships.

“Communication is a skill that you can learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life.” — Brian Tracy

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