Posted by Anna Plesovskikh, Business Trainer, General Director of the FARMPROBEG Intersectoral Association
In my early youth, when I was only nineteen years old, I went to live in England for several months. I was motivated by a great desire to learn a language that did not go well at university (despite an in-depth study of the language in my specialization), as well as curiosity in discovering a new and unknown country, which I had previously seen only in films and on the pages of numerous novels. Then my fragile young mind first encountered both a language barrier and a striking mismatch of mentality on a national basis. After returning to my homeland, I began to notice that the mental-language barrier is not only and not so much a matter of belonging to any nation: after all, we can speak the same language, but at the same time not understand and not hear each other. In fact, the whole process of communication is a whole spectrum of coincidence or mismatch of patterns of thinking of different people. Is it possible to make this process manageable? How to effectively build communications? These and other important issues are dedicated to today’s material.
Have you ever said something obvious and quite natural for you, and in response from your interlocutor to get a wave of resentment and negativity? Surely it happened! Moreover, we all went through this story, which at least makes us wonder: what I did wrong, how to behave in such situations, how to prevent the occurrence of such reactions.
A very important point that must be eradicated from the very beginning is the guilt that often arises in us. For the first time I came across this awkward moment in kindergarten, when I did not want to join my peers’ game and directly expressed my desire. Cute and welcoming before this incident, the kids were suddenly offended and gave me a many-day boycott. I was sincerely perplexed: after all, I told the truth, but is truth and sincerity punishable?
This question haunted me for a long time. At some point, I began to feel guilty, and then it grew into a deep sense of shame. Later I began to experiment and observe. Another time, when the children who forgot this story invited me to play, and I didn’t feel like playing with them again, I said the following phrase: “Now I’m not disposed to play, but another time I’ll definitely join.” And lo and behold, it worked! Peers were not only not offended, but also began to show respect, asking me subsequently whether I am disposed to games.
Now back to guilt. Honestly, I dealt with this sensation for quite some time and already in adulthood. And I really managed to work out this topic when I accepted and realized how the communication process is being built.
So, how is the process of transmitting information? Imagine that you received any information. Let’s call it “information # 1”. You process it based on your experience, life beliefs, compare it with your attitudes and stereotypes, after which you form your own attitude and perception of this information. After that, you transfer this information to another participant in the communication process. When receiving information, participant # 2 goes through the same stage as you: processes, compares with existing stereotypes and perceives information. However, his perception can be completely different from yours. Thus, “information # 2” appears, which may well be not equal to “information # 1”. Through feedback, you can find out that your information is perceived differently and try to adjust the attitude of another participant to it. Nevertheless, if the attitudes of participant # 2 are strong enough, he will remain with his opinion and will transmit information to other participants in the process through his prism.
The described mechanism clearly demonstrates several important things. Firstly, in the process of communication, information undergoes a transformation, and therefore it is rather strange to feel guilty about the perception and reactions of another participant in the communication process. Secondly, feedback is important for understanding how the information you submit is processed. Thirdly, you need to be prepared for a mental barrier, due to which a completely different opinion will be formed from your position.
And here we come to the most interesting. Is it possible to control communication in conditions of divergence of views? When should you stop interacting? And when the situation is not hopeless and the mental barrier can be worked out?
First of all, it is important to assess the quality of contact with a participant in the communication process, to determine what attitudes drive him and what goals he pursues. If the opponent avoids contact or reacts aggressively, then all attempts to build communication, most likely, will be reduced to zero. In this situation, I recommend stopping the interaction and step aside. Perhaps after some time the opponent will re-evaluate, he will be able to open up to communication and you will be able to build communication.
If your interlocutor is open to dialogue, but insists on his position, then this can and should be worked on. First of all, before direct communication it is necessary to create a clear portrait of your opponent and determine why this position is important for him, what are his benefits and goals. Imagine yourself in his place: how would you act and what did you say? Try to adjust your goals in communication so that they do not resonate with the goals of the interlocutor. To do this, write your goals and goals of the opponent on a piece of paper: you will see that some of the goals overlap – this will become your key to building effective communication.
During the dialogue, it is important to use the active listening technique: it is necessary to listen to the interlocutor, and not to enter into a dispute or confrontation with him. After you listen to the opponent’s arguments, you need to concentrate in your answer to the coinciding goals in communication. Speak to them with the emphasis that you share these goals as well as your interlocutor. After that, thoroughly argue your position. Moreover, it is important to show openness and a desire to establish a constructive dialogue. Be confident and calm and you will see, it will certainly bear fruit.
In the framework of trainings on building effective communications, we are practicing in practice successful techniques for building communication. The next open training will be held in St. Petersburg on July 29 on the basis of the Federal State Budgetary Scientific Institution IT FMBA of Russia.
I will be glad to see you among the participants!
To apply, you must fill out a simple LINK form.