Communication – The pile of coats technique

By February 17, 2018 No Comments

The complexity of communication

This is the process for when you are communicating with someone:

There is an abundance of opportunities to get it wrong.

Imagine you want to communicate to one of your employees that a customer has been in touch and they were not happy with the service that this particular employee delivered. So, in the diagram above you are ‘the sender’.

First, you decide the wording you will use to communicate the message. Will it be along the lines of ‘you shouldn’t have said…’ or ‘why am I getting complaints about…’?

Pitfalls galore for putting someone on the defensive.

Next, you decide on the channel to communicate your message. Do you make a phone call? Send an email? face to face? Again depending on the message you are communicating the channel you choose is key.

Then it is over to the receiver. They must decode your message. As part of this process they will use the filters that they have developed over the years that are intertwined with their beliefs and values. These filters can involve distorted thinking such as ‘blaming’: “It’s all someone else’s fault!”. Coupled with a possible belief (…not necessarily a true belief) that you are out to get them then we could be set for a fireworks display worthy of New Year’s Eve.

So they perceive your message and apply an understanding and then the finalé; their response! They are of the opinion that the company would collapse if they left and that that customer is always problematic etc. etc. So you have to contend with that.

Communication is hard to get right, maybe it’s best to get under a big pile of coats and just hope it all works out.

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