The single biggest problem in communication is…

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw

Photo by mali maeder

Hello, Malcolm here, with my first ChangeMadeReal email.

How often do we think we’ve ‘communicated’ only to find that the party we thought we’d communicated with has no recollection of either: the act of communicating; or the contents of the message; or the nature of any agreement we thought we’d reached!

It would appear that this is a very common occurrence.

The illusion is invariably in the mind of the speaker. Delusion really.

I suspect that I sometimes ‘imagine’ I’ve said something using my mouth when in reality I’ve only said it in my mind (it sounds the same). 

Apparently I often start talking and walking at the same time, and fail to realise that the person I’m talking to can’t possibly hear me – which is inexcusable as, having led a loudspeaker company, I understand sound pretty well.

Still, speech isn’t our only communication medium, and we can be just as deluded by gesture, body-language, and even text (beware the drunken pixie of autocorrect!).

I guess we (and the folk we’re hoping to communicate with) have to adopt a ‘protocol’ that’s a bit like that used by the Internet. 

It helps to use flow-control – and acknowledge receipt of blocks of communication, thus confirming to the sending party that you, the receiving party, have heard (or seen, or felt) them. 

Whilst computers do this with ease, and tremendous speed and accuracy, it is significantly harder for us mere mortals. 

Imago Dialogue is one such protocol that can be used by humans. Whilst it is simple, it is not easy. It takes practice, and commitment! A little guidance can also help.

It is something we are still learning and it is something Preeti will soon become certified in. 

However, I can assure you that it is most definitely worth the effort to effectively communicate – and hence avoid delusion!

Let us know what you think?

And, if you’re wondering about the above image of chairs – they’re examples of how you might sit for an Imago dialogue!

Oh, and do yourself a favour. Switch off ‘autocorrect’.