The SELF of Communication

As much as we want to categorise communication into modes or types or channels or media, the brain doesn't seem to allow for clear distinctions. Not yet, at least.

For simplicity's sake, I tend to introduce communication skills by their function, Speaking, Empathising, Listening and Facilitating (SELF). This way, we can focus on learning each skill in snackable form. The reality is, of course, that all of them are interrelated:
  1. Speaking - getting what you want other people to know across.
  2. Empathising - understanding from visual, verbal and vocal cues what the other person is feeling.
  3. Listening - getting what another person wants you to know.
  4. Facilitating - creating a space where communication is honest.
Whenever there is an interpersonal communication breakdown, you can now analyse the situation and ask yourself where is this happening? Is it in:
  • how you are saying it,
  • how you are interpreting the emotional signals,
  • how you are understanding it or,
  • how you are making the other person comfortable?
Test it out today.