In this unit we deal with communication, the different levels of communication, and how to train communication.
Communication is something very complex, but at the same time an activity we do like breathing or sleeping. We don’t think about it. It is so natural to talk to each other, isn’t it? Why spending time to analyze it? Why should we care about it? That’s for the linguists, we may argue. Is it?
We not only have a communication with others, we also, and I say primarily, do communicate with ourselves. We could call this process inner communication, and accordingly communication with others outer communication. The truth is that the two levels of communication are interactively linked to each other. One feedbacks the other.
Once we are in the professional sphere, especially at the top level, we may suddenly become aware of how subtle communication can be and how important it is. We may experience to what extent communication impacts on productivity, time management and not for the least on our emotional well-being, our relationships in the company, and of course also our customer relations.
And then, with that sudden insight we may want to join some seminar about communication. A seminar will provide us with lots of information about good and efficient communication. We see what we have done wrong before, we nod silently, we grasp the importance.
Yet we have difficulties to implement our knowledge on the daily stage of our professional life. Why is that so? Because theory and practice are two different pairs of shoes. In seminars, we usually gather knowledge. It’s a bit like going to school again. Seminars are good and useful to convey us professional knowledge. Yet for human skill training, seminars are not very effective because human skill training concerns our attitude, our daily behavior, our inner mindset. This has little to do with knowledge. It rather concerns self-knowledge. And self-knowledge cannot be taught but is gained through observation and interaction.
Human skill training is similar to pilot training: its most effective way of doing is through simulation. That is why we have done all the group work, the interactive plays in the seminar. Now you do your follow-up. However, you can still continue the inner part of communicating, the communication with yourself, what we call inner communication.
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