A model is a way of seeing-observing, describing, studying, and
talking about something; it represents the actual thing.
Working with computers and modeling-clay designers will construct a small-scale
model of a new airplane to see how it will behave in wind tunnel tests
before they begin manufacturing. The model represents the plane.
When a communicologist designs a new communication model for a company,
a way of interacting that supports excellence,
rather than for say, quantity and fast production, he/she will test various rules, agreements, and
variables on test groups or in workshops, before teaching this new way of communicating to the
employees. The new way of communicating is referred to as a particular
Imagine if you will, the difference between the way employees
at the Rolls Royce Motor Company interact with each other vs. the
way employees do at any McDonalds. Seldom do fast-food employees clear with each
the beginning and again at the end of each shift; most stuff their upsets, withholds,
and the day's perpetrations and go home. A high tech
automotive engineer can't afford to drag upsets into the next day's
interactions—to do so virtually ensures costly accidents/mistakes.
Picture the difference in the honesty of a child who is cleared daily,
one who participates in the
parent-child clearing process each
evening, and, a child who goes to bed without verbally acknowledging the
good and bad things they've done that day, one who will drag those
incompletes into every interaction
they ever have—for life. Most parents teach their child to
deceive them—evidenced by the fact that most dating teens con
each other into deceiving both sets of parents so as to have sex.
Note: One feature of a communication model for employees
committed to excellence is that each employee is aligned with the
specific purpose of the organization (each is called upon often to recite it verbatim) and,
everyone has affirmed their awareness of the correlation between
personal integrity and outcomes. That is to say, all are clear that
their personal and professional integrity affects not only the prosperity, but the health and
aliveness of everyone. i.e. Spousal infidelity is tantamount to
sabotage; non-verbally condoning deceit by a fellow employee is a covert
way of thwarting the company's goals. i.e. All police officers know at
least one fellow officer who is involved in deceit' the alleged "good"
officer ignorantly votes to have it be that way for another 24
hours—thereby covertly thwarting their Chief.
Although the subject of communication
models is covered at the college/university level it is presented and
discussed by Professors/Instructors/Lecturers who themselves use what's referred
to as the
Adversarial Communication Model. I'm unaware of any college/university speech-communication
curriculum that requires a student to design, create, and demonstrate
proficiency with a
second communication model.
For example: A new couple have little or no history between them, therefore they have not accumulated many
withholds. Because there are
relatively few withholds in the space between them love "happens" (usually
the result of the body manufacturing certain endorphins, similar to
the drug MDMA-ecstasy). The love
that "happens" between couples who withhold thoughts from each other
(such as deal-breaking considerations) is referred to as emotional peak experiences,
as such the experience
of love can't
be recreated at will, especially after a significant argument or during a divorce. As
the relationship progresses, starting on the first date, they begin withholding various
significant thoughts from
each other; these withholds serve as barriers to the experience of
communication, of love.
Because prior mutually satisfying communications happened accidentally,
couples don't know how to recreate the experience of love at will through
clearings. "significant:" Any
thought which if shared verbally would trigger upset or anger. For a thought
to be significant one must consciously choose to withhold it.
Fleeting insignificant thoughts that don't frequently reappear are
not withholds. "verbally:" The word verbally reminds us that we are
always communicating our withholds; others don't know what's wrong,
they just know the relationship could have more moments of joyous
love, they are unaware that the thought they are
withholding from their partner is causing the breakdown in communication.
It's impossible for one
partner to have a significant withhold and the other have none.
The best we can do here is talk about
models. As you continue with the Teacher's Tutorial you will begin to notice your programmed childhood adversarial
communication model, the way of communicating used and taught to you by
parents, teachers, and clergy. The model used throughout our tutorials
is referred to
as the Intentional Communication Model, also referred to as a mutually satisfying
The adversarial communication model is used and
taught by speech-communication Professors/Lecturers/Instructors throughout the
nation’s universities and colleges. Specifically, it is used to
introduce undergrad students, including education majors, to the fundamentals and principles of
interpersonal communication. This model is therefore emulated by all
educators (school teachers) who teach using this way of
communicating, this way of interacting, with their students.
The adversarial communication model is
make-wrong, and eliciting, condoning,
forwarding gossip, and withholding certain kinds of thoughts. The
implied agreement being, to be better-than and to get ahead-at-the-expense-of-others.
The adversarial communication model is
easily identified when dealing with the legal system because it's
concerned with right-wrong, fault-finding, and blame.
It’s easy to tell that one is addicted to the adversarial communication
model because the person is addicted to arguing; they simply cannot "be
with" these paragraphs except that their mind automatically finds
something wrong with most everything. They are in fact, at-effect of
some different points of view; their points of view are so entrenched
that they automatically (usually non-verbally) shut
down the space for communication to take place. I say addicted because
it’s virtually impossible for the person to simply get (to be with)
A person stuck using the adversarial model is
unconscious; he/she cannot hear him/herself, so they can't instantly put
During an open discussion in a speech-communication class a student might
“Why doesn’t that jerk (referring to the university's Chancellor) fix the parking signs?” The
Sp-Com Instructor, instead of acknowledging the
irresponsible badmouthing make-wrong, will reply, “I don’t know, that’s least of his screw-ups
this semester, he’s too busy trying
to get more grants.” A more
appropriate response would be, “That doesn’t feel good.” “Have you told the
Chancellor that you’re trash-talking him behind his back?” The
Instructor would then continue
with, “One might easily assume that you are not educated; an educated
responsible person communicates a problem to the person
who can do something about it, else it's referred to as an irresponsible dump.
Dumping mind-clutter into our space here in this classroom was both invalidating and abusive.”
[It's not making the best use of the dumped-on person's mind.] “More
importantly, a responsible criticism would be, “I don’t like the parking
lot signs and, I’m unwilling to do what it would take to have them
repaired.” Or, "Anyone have any suggestions I could give the
Imagine the reaction if you told a potential mate, "BTW: I reserve the
option of withholding certain thoughts from you. Is that O.K.?"
happens to be the implied non-verbal agreement between the majority of
Educators also use
the Lecturer's Communication Model. A lecturer presents
information and assumes no responsibility for ensuring that each and
every student gets it. Responsibility as in: "Causing."
A Speech-Communication Instructor will assign
homework to undergrads and not follow up to ensure that each and every student does
it. In other words, the homework is not communicated with an intention
for it to be done. Professors lecture rather than communicate. They
assume no responsibility for ensuring that communication takes place.
Professors and public speakers simply dump information on the
audience. The speaker's point of view is that it's the listener's responsibility
to get it. This model is perfectly appropriate at the undergrad level, providing, the
insists, "Raise your hand the minute you don't understand something."
—else, the Instructor ignores what he/she knows happens when the mind is
confused or upset; a listener's mind gets left behind in the
presentation, still mulling over what was said earlier, The listener simply
can't be-here-now with the speaker's next sentence.
It’s understood that undergrad students have
accepted responsibility for learning. The problem with this is that
education majors have not been taught and can demonstrate how to co-create agreements with
students and parents. The skill has not been modeled for them by their
irresponsible to relate with say, sixth graders, as though they have made
an agreement to be in school and to learn. Most are going to school because adults
have manipulated them. Few are presented with a clear conscious choice—agree to attend school or not—therefore
some begin to drop out after seventh grade.
K-12 students need support in doing complete work, in honoring
agreements. They need to have modeled for them how, as potential
parents, to have their
eventual progeny do their chores and homework. Few parents are aware
that to send their child to school without the homework neatly done is
to thwart the person they are paying to teach their child; it's called
unconscious covert thwarting. The
parent's unconscious negative support-skills ensure that their child
doesn't get too smart. Smart students start supporting
their parent's health and integrity so as to function
at the level of excellence;
communication between parents would be mediated by their knowledgeable child
who is clear about responsibility, ergo
abusive-blaming, take-aways, make-wrongs, and how to clean up such
To preclude confusion I'll point out
now that we are going to be talking about three distinct ways that
military personnel relate with each other.
Military Communication Model
Military (Boot Camp) Drill Instructor's Model
Military Instruction Communication Model
If you refer to our
you'll see that my military background is about as varied and extensive as
it gets. Navy submarines and then UDT/SEALs. After that, commanding army
airborne infantry troops in Vietnam. My point is that I have
experienced lots of incredible schools and
trainings—Navy Basic Training (boot camp), Electricians School,
Submarine School, School of the Boat (one year of none-stop [no movies
or chess] studying the sub), UDT Training (Hell Week), Advanced Underwater Swimmers
School, Hard Hat Diving School, Army R.O.T.C. Training, Infantry Officer
Training, Jungle Survival School, and Parachute Training School—in other
words, I'm pretty familiar
with military Instructors.
There is no single military communication model.
There is a typical way of relating that is recognized and
understood throughout the U.S. armed services. It's also true that within
each branch of service (Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard), and within certain units
in a particular branch,
(Infantry, Medical, Finance, etc.), there are also
well defined and distinct models. Mostly these differences have to do
with leadership styles. i.e. Working in an Army Recruiting Station in
Minneapolis is almost like working for a real estate company, with the
exception of the uniforms. It's casual, almost no saluting and most everyone
socializes with each other.
What's also true is that at any given moment
throughout the armed services the superior always has the option of
bringing forth the authoritarian communication model with which most
civilians are familiar. The authoritarian model is sometimes used as a wake-up
call when familiarity has resulted in disrespect or mediocrity.
Most civilians are familiar with the Drill
Instructor's Model. Drill
Sergeants have their own communication model and for the most part it is
not experienced again in one's military career. The main distinction
between a Drill Sergeant's Model and a Military Instructor's Model is
that the former is abusive; it's characterized by abusive yelling,
screaming, insulting, etc. Drill Sergeants honestly believe they can't
produce the desired results without such abuse.
The Military Instructional Model varies very
little from branch to branch or unit to unit within any branch of service.
Most Army Instructors
sound like and relate like most Navy Instructors. An Army rifle
Instructor or parachuting Instructor or a Navy electrician
Instructor follow pretty much the same format and have nearly
identical teaching styles.
The Military Instruction Model is very
simple. The Instructor verbalizes what they are going to present. They
have you read the sentence they just verbalized. They then present the
subject matter verbally with graphics and hands-on models/equipment. They then verbalize what they
presented. They then review/recapitulate for you what they presented.
They then test you to see if you got what they presented. Most every
class begins with a pop quiz. They teach you how you will be tested and
then test you. All instructors grade pretty much the same; few assign homework. It is virtually impossible to
graduate from a military school without having the exact skills they
want you to have and knowing what they want you to know, and with a high
degree of certainty that you can immediately assume the duties for which you have
What's also true is that an
develops. When one falls behind, as I did a few times, it became
clear that to fail is to hurt the Instructor's chances for promotion
(read pay raise). This commitment to have each other
The main reason for bringing up the Military
Instruction Communication Model is to affirm that it is possible to
communicate subject matter to a measurable standard, no excuses no
reasons, and, without being abusive or sounding like a Drill Sergeant.
It is possible to combine what you've learned
with what works in the military. I've done it and so can you.
It's well known that military educational
classes, at least those taught to service personnel below senior
officers (Majors and Colonels), are taught at a 6th grade reading
level. This means that the manuals and handouts are written to ensure
comprehension by an average sixth grader. On the other hand, verbal communications
between instructors and students, from my experience, are not far removed from the
vocabulary used by most public school teachers. In other words, normal
What I'm getting at here is that the military
cannot afford to have a submariner who doesn't understand the physics of
buoyancy, water and air pressures. A tank driver must know not only how
to drive a tank but also they must have a working knowledge of vehicle
maintenance, computer operations, communication systems, tactics, and
the physics of gunnery, trajectories, and
ballistics. Military personnel operate some of the most sophisticated
electronics in the world. These submariners and tank commanders are 18 &
19 year-old high school graduates.
What then is the difference between the
military's teaching communication model and that of our public school
systems? The answer has to do with intention and responsibility.
After all, school teachers and military
instructors alike attended the same high school speech classes and
for that matter most all have met the same college
speech/communication curriculum requirements.
Military students are communicated with
from the point of view that it's the Instructor's responsibility to
teach. Military Instructors are graded and promoted based upon their
teaching skills measured by the number of failures against successes.
A failing student is handled from the point of
view that the Instructor has a communication problem, not the
Instructors themselves are not allowed to fail, such is the
coaching by their superiors; it's just not allowed to get that bad.
The Instructor intends for all qualified
students to pass. A student who does not pass is given an
opportunity to retake the class with close tutorial supervision.
Also, an Instructor's immediate
superior and an Instructor Trainee sit at the rear of the classroom.
The Instructor's presentation is critiqued by both after each class.
Most importantly, military instructors have accepted
for each student to learn what is presented. No excuses, no reasons.
Obviously my point is that "No Child Left Behind" can be done
but not if it continues to be implemented using
the prevailing adversarial communication model.
Ah, but you say, "I can't force my students to
. . . " or, "Parents would never . . ." or an endless number of reasons
and excuses guaranteed to produce more of the same.
My sense is that if we put you in charge of your
school to get the job done, you'd find a way to
ensure that every willing parent-child team passed the SAT scores.
Predictably, you'd have 70% dropouts but the those who graduated would
not be among the nation's 25% that require remedial courses as college
The foremost barrier to getting the
job done is reasonableness. One either gets the job done or
they have their reasons.
Students who complete the homework not only recreated your intention, but they created
it for themselves. Your job is to create the students recreating your creation through to
completion. That is a mutually satisfying communication model.
The Intentional Communication Model is modeled throughout the tutorial.
Its premise is that intention equals result; the way to discover your
intentions is by observing the results you've been producing using your
leadership-communication skills. If the results aren't what you
envisioned, then you were unconscious at the time. Read: (Imitation
Some of the agreements used with Intentional
You must be willing to communicate openly,
honestly, and spontaneously, to communicate all withholds, through
to mutual satisfaction.
You must be willing
responsibly, zero blame.
You must be willing to communicate a problem
to the person who can do something about it; also when presenting a
problem, offer a solution.
You must be willing to communicate an upset
to the person with whom you have the upset; you may first clear with a third
person about the upset for coaching on how bring about a mutually
If someone is badmouthing another, ask
if they have communicated what they are saying about the absent
person to that person, if not, ask, "Would you be willing to? Also,
"Please let me know when you have." It is unethical to elicit
(verbally/non-verbally support) badmouthing gossip.
You must be willing to keep your word, to
honor your agreements.
Most importantly, you must be willing to
communicate. i.e. You cannot control another, keeping them
incomplete by shutting down communication. What works is, "I don't
want to talk about it now—I'll talk about it first thing tomorrow
Notice the use of the word "willing." These
are co-created by all concerned. Your responsibility is to interact with
those who are willing to communicate responsibly.