Communication Tip:

Originally written by Kerry for tutorial reference material, rewritten for Communication Weekly (presently not online).

Talking vs Communicating

During the first hour of a two-day Communication Workshop for Educators (presented by Werner Erhardest, The Forum) Werner asked each of us 250 participants to stand and share our definition of communication. With few exceptions most everyone had a different definition—some declared it to be "love," or "God," or simply "everything." —all of which gives rise to George Bernard Shaw's quote, "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."

For our tutorials I have overly simplified the definition of communication. I say that communication is measured by the results. You can tell when communication has taken place because problems are resolved and all concerned feel good upon completion. I call this the mutually satisfying communication model.
* Conversely, when talking takes place supposedly unintended problems persist; thereby revealing that there is an unacknowledged lie holding the problem in place.

As you can see this definition is easily understood; you might not agree with it but you'll never forget it, and, you'll be able to successfully convey it to another.

For example: If your child has been misbehaving then this alleged unintended problem persists because you have become stuck talking, doing your imitation of communication. Your child is doing his/her best to let you know that they are not in-communication with anyone, that there's something (an incomplete left over from an earlier less-than-satisfying interaction
** or there's a withhold) in the space that needs to be verbally acknowledged and completed. "Alleged" intention refers to the fact that we are always manifesting our intentions; it's just that often we get something other than what we thought we intended (and so we blame, in this case, the child).

* More about communication models.

** Most always it's a dramatization of unacknowledged abuse.  For example: Earlier the father yelled abusively at the son and the father has yet to acknowledge the abuse. i.e. "I get that my yelling at you today didn't feel good." In this case pouting, attitude,  misbehaving/thwarting is the only way the child knows to restore the experience of love that was.

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Check back occasionally for minor edits (last edited 6/2/17)


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