Communication is Redundant

This week I thought we would explore an important NLP presupposition…Communication is Redundant.This may be a bit confusing, but as we examine it a bit closer it is likely something you are already familiar with.

We are always communicating. In fact, it’s impossible to NOT communicate. Whether verbally or nonverbally we are always communicating something to those around us. We are always communicating with ourselves, through our thoughts. The very essence of being human requires that we attach meaning to things in our world, and assigning meaning means we are, that’s right, communicating.

The presupposition that communication is redundant is useful to always keep in mind. It is easy to think we are able to be deliberate with our words and communications. It is common to be intentional with what we tell people and wonder why they react differently than we anticipate they will. We often assume we are being clear in our communications, but we neglect to assess if we are being congruent. If we are not congruent with what we say the person we’re communicating with can usually pick up on that.

Let me demonstrate. Think of a time when you were involved in an email communication and something went wrong. You thought the other person was upset, they felt offended by something you said, something went wrong in the communication and there was a misunderstanding. I’m sure you can come up with an example, most of us have had this experience. Maybe it was even with someone you know well, or are close to.

The issue often is because of this precise presupposition. When we communicate via email or text we are losing over 90% of our communication avenues, leaving the person on the receiving end unable to form an accurate reaction to our communication. It’s because of this lack of information that so many misunderstandings happen in our current communication channels.

Let’s take a look at this from another angle. Think of a time when you’ve had a personal interaction with someone, face to face, and had some form of a miscommunication. You heard what they were saying, but maybe you didn’t believe it. Something just didn’t quite “ring true” for you. Can you think of a time like that?

What was likely happening was an incongruence between verbal and nonverbal communication. The words were saying one thing while the facial expressions and tone of voice were saying something else.

If people were able to be congruent in their communications, and to be responsible for what they were communicating to others, imagine the improvements we would see in our relationships.

This week what would happen if you were aware of this fact? Would your interactions be more clear if you were responsible for how your communication comes across to others? Would it be easier if those you communicated with were responsible for their communications? Take a moment and think of some recent interactions that could have been improved by more clear and congruent communication. See if you can notice times during the course of the next few days that would be easier if you are able to keep this thought in mind…all communication is redundant.

As we explore these presuppositions and more you are likely noticing some changes in your experience of things. Maybe you are a little mellower, your relationships are a little easier, or you are feeling a little less stressed. Maybe you’re experiencing all three.

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