by Jerome Dechant
July 31, 2011
Communicate - to transmit information, thought, or feeling so that it is satisfactorily received or understood.
What is necessary for communication to occur?
There must be more than one aware being so that a transmission (giving and receiving acknowledgement of receipt,) can take place.
There must be something the one being has which the other being doesn’t have.
There must be a means by which, or through which, what the one being has, can be had by the other being equally.
There must be acknowledgement by the receiving being that what the one being had, is now had by both beings equally.
There must be a means by which each being can know that what is had by both is the same for both. This is effective communication.
So, as an example:
A sort of communication: I have an apple and I am able to give the apple to you and you are able to receive the apple and acknowledge receipt of it. When I have a physical apple and give it to you I no longer have the apple, ownership was transferred to you. But with communication, it is different in that, when I give ownership of the apple to you, I maintain ownership of the original apple, and you obtain ownership of the original apple so that after I’ve given it to you, we both have ownership of the original apple. Once you have the original apple, it remains the original apple, so long as it is not modified in any way. The original apple is therefore cloned and can be perfectly cloned indefinitely.
If you’ve ever played the game where you have a circle of people and a first person whispers something into the ear of the person next to him/her, and then that person whispers the message into the next person’s ear, on and on around the circle until eventually it returns to the ear of the first person, you will know that often what the first person receives after the message has gone around the circle is not the same as what he/she started out saying. Why is that?
There are contributing factors to that occurring.
1. Whenever something complicated it communicated, the likelihood that it will be distorted when it is passed along to a 3rd party is increased equal to the level of complexity and the amount of information that is communicated.
2. The number of times the complicated information is passed along increases the disparity between the original message and the following messages proportional to the number of iterations or transmitters and receivers involved in the process. (This is an example of an analog type of degradation of information.)
3. If the communication contains information in a language not everyone in the circle equally understands.
1. Keep the communication short and simple. The simpler the communication, the more likely what is communicated will remain the same as it passes around the circle.
a. What this means is, if a lot of complicated information must pass round the circle, it is best to break it down into short simple segments, and only pass along the next bit of information when the prior bit of information has successfully made it round the circle intact.
2. Instead of communicating the short simple segments to one person at a time, communicate the information with as many people at once as desirable, then receive acknowledgement from everyone simultaneously that each one has received the information successfully.
3. Instead of using an “analog” model to communicate information which is communicating audibly in the example, use a “digital” model which is like passing a written note around the circle,) to communicate information. (using the digital model, the exact same information put in, is the exact same information put out. Using the “analog” model, the exact same information is degraded through the copying process.)
Effective communication requires a completion of the circuit so to speak. That is to say, the one providing the information must be satisfied that the one receiving the information has received the information and comprehends it fully. While the digital method insures the presented information remains the same; that is only one part of the communication process. Without completing the circuit, there is no communication.
With this understanding, it can be understood this blog is not an effective means of communication because the circuit is incomplete. The information is presented, transmitted, but whether it is received or received as intended is uncertain. So this blog is more a sharing of information than a communication. Without the feedback loop, you as the receiver of the information cannot be certain whether your interpretation of what is provided is the same as was intended when it was presented. You can only be certain of that by completing the loop. Even if you believe you’ve fully grasped the information, without acknowledgement and confirmation from the source, you will have a degree of uncertainty with regard to the information. And, uncertainty is not a firm foundation to build upon. What I’ve just written not only has to do with this blog but with every bit of information you’ve ever read where you have been unable to or didn’t even try to complete the circuit of communication.
The problem with mass media, as I see it is this incomplete circuit. It is impractical and possibly even impossible to complete the circuit if the only one you can confirm and or acknowledge receipt of the information is the one who presented it in the first place. But that isn’t really a problem so long as there are others who have confirmed and therefore completed the circuit of communication. In the same way the original apple is cloned indefinitely, through the completed circuit process, anyone who has completed the circuit and owns the original apple, can serve as the recipient of acknowledgement and therefore complete the circuit.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about with regard to completing the circuit in a communication, try this:
Start talking to someone, or listening to someone, then before their thought is completed, stop listening, or stop telling them what you were talking about and then see how that feels. Notice what sort of reaction you get from the other person too. The feeling might actually be very familiar to you because this sort of thing happens all too often. You might not have been aware of how this feels until now. You might come to realize you have many unfinished communications, many incomplete circuits with no way to complete them all.
Communication difficulties arise out of not understanding sufficiently, the communication process and the necessity to always complete the circuit.
A simple little “Thank you,” or “Yes I understand,” is enough to complete the circuit. Any sort of acknowledgement like these examples works. There are other forms of acknowledgement that are not verbal or audible, for instance a nod or a smile or a body gesture can complete the circuit. If you want to promote effective communication, do your part to complete the communication circuit. You will be helping yourself and anyone you interact/communicate with. You will find those you communicate with appreciate you more. This is a fact whether you or they are aware of it or not.
Results of incomplete communications:
Wars, divorces, frustration, anger, withdrawal and resentment to list just a few.
“Communicate” and “community,” are very similar words. Without effective communication, there is no real sense of community. No common unity. If you want to promote common unity, promote effective communication. You can be the emissary who starts the ball rolling, who completes the circuit with a simple little nod or word.
Find out for yourself how powerful an emissary you can be.