We talk with various types of people every day. Whether we are under duress or floating in a bubble, we still engage with people; whether we are silent or loud, we still manage to convey the meaning we want others to perceive. Eventually, we still want to change our circumstance using effective communication. However, do we really know the levels and principles of communication, or do we settle for ignorant bliss?
Communication is a science, since it has systems and processes that aid us in understanding social norms. However, most people consider communication as natural and trivial compared to other heavier Sciences (engineering, physics, chemistry medicine, etc.). I know some people who have lesser awareness of communication levels and principles while having simple conversations, serious professional meetings, conflict management and regular interactions. This ignorance to communication principles will lead society into a chaotic mesh of information gathering and dissemination- even simple conflict resolution would be difficult without a good grasp of communication principles.
In the new era of digital media, I’ve noticed that what matters most to millennials, is the means to express themselves. They engage in social media more than in analyzing the emotional quality of their messages or “posts.” In the Principle of Multidimensionality, emotional quality is necessary to clarify the content and relationship levels among involved persons (Watzlawick et al, 1967). If we only engage in social media, then we could not perceive the non-verbal communication- which for me, is more symbolic than verbal communication. The principle of multidimensionality depicts balance of verbal and non-verbal to form and maintain relationships.
Another Principle which caught my attention is the Principle of Symmetrical or Complimentary Communication. Here we see the difference between communicating with our superiors and with our colleagues. As students and young adults, some of our conversations revolve around our colleagues, but let’s not take for granted the elders, parents, teachers and authorities that we have to respect. At some point in life, we will be the ones given the respect. Since we are still young, it is only right and just that we give respect through polite conversations with our superiors.
We communicate every day. We build and sustain relationships every day. Knowing the levels and principles of communication is only five percent, the rest is based on our personality and how we handle our emotions in a situation or circumstance.