The single biggest problem in communication is…

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw

Photo by mali maeder

Hello, Malcolm here, with my first ChangeMadeReal email.

How often do we think we’ve ‘communicated’ only to find that the party we thought we’d communicated with has no recollection of either: the act of communicating; or the contents of the message; or the nature of any agreement we thought we’d reached!

It would appear that this is a very common occurrence.

The illusion is invariably in the mind of the speaker. It’s delusional really.

I suspect that I sometimes ‘imagine’ I’ve said something using my mouth when in reality I’ve only said it in my mind (it sounds the same). 

Apparently I often start talking and walking at the same time, and fail to realise that the person I’m talking to (typically my wife) can’t possibly hear me – which is inexcusable as, having led a loudspeaker company, I understand sound pretty well.

Still, speech isn’t our only communication medium, and we can be just as deluded by gesture, body-language, and even text (beware the drunken pixie of autocorrect!).

I guess we (and the folk we are hoping to communicate with) have to adopt a ‘protocol’ that’s a bit like that used by the Internet. 

We must create flow-control – and acknowledge receipt of blocks of communication, thus confirming to the sending party that you, the receiving party, have heard (or seen, or felt) them. 

Whilst computers do this with ease, and tremendous speed and accuracy, it is significantly harder for us mere mortals. 

Imago Dialogue is one such protocol that can be used by humans. Whilst it is simple, it is not easy. It takes practice, and commitment!

It is something we are still learning and it is something Preeti will soon become certified in. 

However, I can assure you that it is most definitely worth the effort to effectively communicate – and to avoid delusion!

Let us know what you think?

And, if you’re wondering about the above image of chairs – they’re examples of how you might sit for an Imago dialogue!

Oh, and do yourself a favour. Switch off ‘autocorrect’.

Disrupted routine – or routine disruptions?

Unpredictable times. Fear and uncertainty may take front seat in our lives. 

Every one of us is affected by this tiny little monster called coronavirus – wondering about our own health, how we protect ourselves, how we protect others.  

We’re also subject to our governments making decisions that limit our freedom. Social distancing? Social isolation? 

Working from home, social distancing, or self-isolation are typical examples. 

Emotions may pop up out of nowhere, and for no good reason. We might feel trapped or anxious or … 

It’s true. There are many things out of our control. 

We might let ourselves drop into fear, or doom and gloom.  

However, it’s also true that we have choice in how we respond. Even in this unprecedented situation we can look at the glass half empty or half full. 

No matter what happens externally, we are in charge of what happens inside us.  

Consider Nelson Mandela in Robben Island prison, or Victor Frankl surviving a Nazi concentration camp. In their minds they refused to ‘give in’ to their circumstances – and they had to do this alone and unaided. 

So, how can we apply to our lives the lessons these exemplary individuals have shown us? 

We’re still a community. We connect with each other, albeit electronically. In addition we have a lot of tools available to help ourselves anywhere, anytime. 

We are a community, and we can share with each other what works for us. 

To get things going, you may want to reflect on the following: 

  • I wonder what good can come out of it …
  • I believe it is possible to …
  • Tools I use to influence the way I am feeling include …
  • I choose to focus on …
  • I can help others by …

Let’s also remember that we have a choice of being ‘in fear’ or ‘in our power’. 

Inspired? Would you like to share with us what you came up with? 

Respond to this email, and we will pass it on to the Change Made Real community. 

The paradox of this moment is that isolation is bringing us closer together the more we choose to help each other. 

Stay well, stay safe and see the glass half-full. 

With love