Saturday, January 24, 2009

Why breakdown in communication happens?

"The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said." - Peter F. Drucker.

One of the common frustration in communication is that the intended message is misinterpreted by the listener unintentionally. Here are some of the various reasons that may be the cause:

  1. The wrong manner of tone used in conveying the message

  2. The body language in congruence with the words being said

  3. The messenger's limited choice of words used to describe the experience

  4. The preconceived assumption by the listener

  5. The different sensory preference between messenger and listener use in interpreting experience.

  6. Lack of rapport between the two parties

  7. Different cultural background

  8. Different level of education
For what ever the reasons it may be, tension may appear in the relationship which can crack the trust between the two parties or all those involved.

I first became aware of the technology of NLP from the book "Awaken the Giant" authored by Anthony Robbins. I am a great admirer of his work which have helped many people to create sustainable change. Thats the reason , I took the course in NLP conducted by master trainer Dr. William Horton from NFNLP. One of the presuppositions that I'd learned is that the meaning of your communication is the response you get. How liberating that statement was for me. To me, it meant, if people was not responding in the manner that I wanted them to, I have conveyed the message ineffectively.

I felt a sense of empowerment because now, I began to take responsibility how to choose my response rather than reacting to the situation. Practicing flexibility in my approach has brought about a more positive outcome. It dawned on me then, my focus now is on the other person and not about wallowing in frustration. It has helped me a lot in communicating with my children. Just the other day, Ryan (eldest son) was folding his arms and fuming with frustration. When he displays this behaviour, it is difficult to get him to do anything else. I decided to create a rapport with him and so I too folded my arms make the sound of frustration. I pretended to look away from him and later at the corner of my eyes, I caught him making a little smile, from then on I began to talk to him,

Next time when you are faced with this frustrating situation especially with difficult people, focus on creating rapport first before saying anything. Don't just believe what I say, try it out and let me know the outcome.

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