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The Experience Of Being Understood
"The skills that link us to the world are those that are effectively used. Effective Communication is creation."
Communication is our way of being in the world. It is our link to each other, to all of humanity and beyond. It is the critical factor in determining the success of our lives, families, organizations and ultimately, our planet. It is important to distinguish that there is a vast difference between communication and effective communication.
Communication, simply, is the exchange of ideas and thoughts which we have already experienced. This means that communication as we know it is always about the past. It is like reissuing a book that you have already read. It may bring some enjoyment but it doesn't introduce anything new. On the other hand, Effective Communication has the power to transform both the listener and the speaker.
For most, communicating on a day-to-day basis is often more frustrating than rewarding. One reason for this is the lack of any one standard for communicating. The great majority of us are only communicating from one model or our own matrix, which is based on past programming. Communication at this level is a matter of luck. It works if the speaker and listener have the same model or matrix.
Effective Communication is also damaged by withheld communication, which is when you have an important experience, either negative or positive, of someone else that goes unshared. When people withhold they become angry, less loving, and isolated. This can severely affect their personal and professional performance. Culturally it can cultivate a silent rage that can affect our social system as a whole. When this condition occurs we must employ non-destructive methods to release this withheld communication - thereby decreasing stress and producing clarity, intimacy, health and improved performance. An unfortunate reality of our life is that far to many of us learned to communicate to make ourselves heard, known or right. This way of communicating results in the contributions of others being viewed as insignificant or even wrong. One of the indications that we have moved to a position of being an effective communicator is that we're not always communicating to make ourselves right. By giving oneself space to agree, communication becomes truer and ultimately more effective and beneficial to everyone.
There are three conditions vital to communication effectively, which in the Effective Communication Course we call "The Essentials Of Understanding". There essentials are: affinity, reality and communication.
Affinity is the degree of 'liking' or love one experiences for someone else. When affinity exists between people they want to be close to each other. Affinity creates a purpose for communication. Low affinity causes you to avoid a person.
Reality is that which exists in fact... the real things around you. Begin to look now at the things around you - the room you are in, for example. Notice the titles of books on the shelves, the expression on someone's face in a photograph, the way the light filters in through the window. When you look at it long enough you will see things that you had never seen before. The room is more real to you now than it before you consciously looked at it.
Reality is actually something that varies. The things we call real are real because we agree that they are there. Therefore, reality is agreement, which is the result of communication. People who agree on many things have a high degree of affinity and therefore a common reality.
Communication is the exchange if ideas, words, actions or objects between two points. It is impossible to communicate to someone you have no affinity or agreement with. These two things must be established or Effective Communication cannot happen.
Affinity, agreement (reality) and communication are essential to understanding. Together they create the experience of being understood. When one degenerates, they all do. The miracle of these three essentials to understanding is that when one of them improves, so do the others.
© Wilbert Alix
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