Minding The Bigger Picture of Communication
Communication is rarely about an exchange of information only. There’s usually more being communicated. Regardless of the content or detail of whatever is being communicated, the process of communication often about much more. It may be about collaboration, trust, credibility, confidence, the relationship, or plenty else. So, it’s important to pay attention to what’s really happening in a conversation beyond the obvious dialogue, otherwise you might miss the underlying (and probably the most important) takeaway.
Here are a few things to consider when looking at the process of communication instead of the content.
- Every word you speak will not be retained by the other party so consider what you need them to remember.
- The words heard by others will not be heard in isolation. Most of the time, people have some other thoughts about the topic, a different agenda, or emotional investment in what is being discussed.
- Your dialogue may send others on a new train of thought or trigger an emotional reaction.
- The tone and tenor of the conversation can give insight into whether dialogue is more collaborative or combative.
Understanding the process of what is occurring during a conversation will help you formulate a more complete picture of what is really going on. Don’t neglect it by solely focusing on the details of what is being exchanged.