Training Communication


Introduction

Communication is something rather 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, 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 corporate 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 wellbeing, our relationships in the company, and of course also our customer relations.

And then, with that sudden insight we may want to join some or the other 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, reflection, introspection — and interaction.

Human skill training is similar to pilot training: its most effective way of doing is through simulation. However, I recommend you to start with the inner part of communicating, the communication with yourself, what we call inner communication.

Why Training Relationship?

Usually, in my training seminars, I try to help participants improve their relational qualities and skills and build willingness and capacity to cooperate happily and productively in a team.

Why is teamwork important? Teamwork is but a form of relationship.

Today more than ever before tasks are divided into different specialized areas and competencies. Yet these different areas as for example the departments in a company must interact with each other in order to fulfill the requirements of the whole unit, the company.

That is why teambuilding capacities are very important.

Relationship is based on communication. Communication is the beginning of all relationship. To build our relational abilities, we need to strengthen our communication skills.

Just communicating, without caring about the quality of the communication is not enough in the professional sphere. We need effective, productive communication and often it also has to pass cultural borders or differences. Therefore it is not enough simply to have pleasure in communicating, but we must develop insight in the importance of highly effective communication and at the same time train the skills to achieve it.

Communication is an art, but this art can be learned, and trained.

There is no success without effective communication, but also the capacity, through communicating with people, to organize and motivate them. Thus, communication is the very basis of management!

Inner and Outer Communication

Communication is first of all communication with yourself. Relationships are based upon how we relate to ourselves.

We can distinguish inner and outer dialogue or communication.

The usual inner dialogue we maintain is the dialogue of our inner voices, which is why it is also called voice dialogue.

For most people this process is something rather unconscious. The inner dialogue is a method designed to render conscious our self-talk and use turn our inner chatter into major benefits. The inner dialogue especially —

  • develops awareness about our daily inner voice dialogue;
  • develops self-knowledge;
  • develops the skill to influence positively our inner dialogue;
  • trains the ability to lead the inner dialogue consciously;
  • leads to the integration of conflicting goal settings or wishes;
  • creates inner harmony;
  • leads to more creativity;
  • helps us to realize our true potential.

To practice the inner dialogue, the following technique has shown to be useful:

Please sit back and relax. Try to focus inside without forcing yourself to receive a response. Be just aware of your self-talk.

Now if you feel something, please write it down on the back of the page of this printed-out article. In the beginning our inner voices are not very audible, or almost inconceivable. If there is only a kind of impression or light that you see, try to describe it equally. Please center within yourself and shut off a bit your contact to the outside world.

First Impression of the Inner Dialogue

Jot this down in a few seconds …

We can advance now a bit and get in touch with specific entities or energies that we carry in ourselves. We carry basically three entities or energies in our personality —

  • Our inner child;
  • Our inner parent;
  • Our inner adult.

— Our inner child is the voice of our emotions and our creativity. — Our inner parent is the voice of our caring and helping nature. — Our inner adult is our rational mind and mental analyzer.

Our goal is to create a flexible balance and positive interaction between those inner entities so that we can act appropriately in every possible situation. This is so because every situation needs another response. If we tend to respond always with the same inner entity, let’s say with the inner adult, our behavior tends to be one-sided and inappropriate with regard to the manifold situations life presents us every day. Power is in flexibility, not in rigidity.

Please try now to contact your inner child. Try to perceive the voice in you which wants you to break out of formal relationships or situations, which wants you to play, which seeks adventure, which is young and exciting and which wants you to try new solutions, even fancy ones. If you perceive some hint of a voice, some thought, some idea, just write it quickly and spontaneously down — without thinking about it …

First Contact with my Inner Child

Jot this down in a few seconds …

Now please try to get in touch with your inner parent, the caretaker, the nurturing part of your nature. It is the voice in you which wants to give advice and is protective.

First Contact with my Inner Parent

Jot this down in a few seconds …

Finally, let’s try to get in touch with our inner adult. This is the voice in you that wants the rational solutions, that sometimes cuts off emotions, that often belittles the inner child or ridicules it (namely each time you find a new idea or behavior ‘silly’ or ‘too daring,’ etc.). It’s very useful for you to identify this voice in you. Once we are clear about our inner entities, they enter into a kind of flexible and mutually empowering interaction which is very beneficial for our communication and team-building skills.

First Contact with my Inner Adult

Jot this down in a few seconds …

Now we are ready to enter the next phase, communicating with others. For building awareness about outer communication, I have developed a training method which I named RICCA.

RICCA

What is RICCA all about? RICCA is an abbreviation for —

— Relation — Interaction — Communication — Cooperation — Association

There is a gradational direction from relation till association.

Relation is the beginning of a relationship. Once we are related to each other, we begin to interact. There is interaction between the members of a relation. They namely interact in order to communicate, to have communication. Successful communication results in cooperation and, as a result, association is brought about.

We see now that the structure of a communication process from the beginning to the end is in fact nothing but the process of the business relationship, in its various steps or phases.

RICCA gives us useful hints for the understanding of efficient, elegant and fruitful relating and communicating. Awareness of the RICCA process is a conditio sine qua non for improving our teambuilding skills.

RICCA provides a frame of reference for understanding how relationships are formed, and how they develop if not interfered with by voluntary or involuntary impediments. It is the explanation, but also the solution, and as such a new form of awareness training.

RICCA is building awareness about the very roots and the process of communication.

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