Crush Communication Complications in 4 Steps

Crush Communication Complications

Have you ever said something small and trivial to someone and they reacted furiously? As Communication Modelthey stormed out the door, you wondered what was wrong with them?

You somehow pushed their buttons and you’ve no idea why.

What you said meant something specific to them – only you don’t know what the meaning was.

Model of Mind

The Model of Mind, brought to us by Richard Bandler and John Grinder, explains that this happens because of the way we process information.

We take in around 2 million bits of information per second (bps)  – through our senses.

Our brain can only process about 138 bps.

What happens to the rest of the information?

The brain filters it out. Only the important stuff (according to our filters) is absorbed. We get an internal picture (brown polygon in the diagram). This internal picture is a representation of the meaning we make of the external event (the Star in the diagram).

Filters are like a standard measure. If the external event fits into your standards – the internal picture will be a positive one. If the external event is not acceptable, the internal picture will represent that.

The external event and the internal picture are TOTALLY different!

On top of this – my internal picture and your internal picture are also different – even when we are looking at the same event.

This is why communication is so difficult!

So when he finally pops the question – your internal picture is of you sinking in his arms. His internal picture is of you with your arms in his sink.

Once the internal picture is established in the brain, you react emotionally  (STATE in the diagram). It shows on your face and body (PHYSIOLOGY in the diagram) and then you behave in a certain way (BEHAVIOR in the diagram).

Communication is Complicated because only the external event, your physiology  and your behavior are visible to others. The filters, the internal picture and  your state are not visible.

How do we Crush Communication Complications?

You talk about the filters, the internal picture and the state and how they link to the external event and your behavior.

For example: When you sit on the couch instead of helping me, I feel angry and frustrated because in my family my Dad always helped, and then I withdraw and don’t talk to you.

Of course you can use it for positive communication as well: When you notice I’m down I feel cherished because that means you care and then I want to hug you.

Here are the 4 steps to crushing complications:

1) When You… :  Here you briefly describe the external event. Don’t belabor the point. It’s more important to spend time on the internal events – the picture, the filters and the emotional state.

2) I Feel…: There are over 400 words in English to describe feelings. Become aware and excellent at naming your feelings.

3) Because…: Here you talk about what the external event means to you. This may describe the filter or the internal picture. The meaning you make of it talks to whether the internal event is acceptable to you or not.

4) Then I…: Here you describe how you behave in reaction to the meaning you make of the external event.

When you do this, the other person is much more likely to understand you.

To understand the other person, you ask questions that will give you information about their internal picture, state and filters.

Simple?

YES!

All it takes is practice.

Don’t wait until something hectic is going on, rather practice on simple, every day things.

This way when you need it , you’ll be able to Crush Communication Complications.

Let me know how it goes!

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

About Kirsten Long

Coach. Toastmaster. Prison-worker. Wife. Mother. Friend.

This entry was posted in Communication, Life Mastery, Relationships. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Crush Communication Complications in 4 Steps

  1. Olaf says:

    “Yes, I know you understood what you think I said, but you don’t realise that what you heard is not what I meant!” That generally sums communication up in today’s hectic world, and especially in the high-pressure work environment, where the emphasis is on getting “it” done right now, and very few people take the time to actually find out if they have understood all the facts or the specifics of the job. It leads the the question: Why is there never enough time to do the job right, but always time to do it over?

    • Kirsten Long says:

      Hi Olaf,

      Haha I love that and so true. We are a strange species! Of course your question is truly pertinent as well. we do have to put in some effort to communicate better – it is worth it in the long run.

      Hope all is well over there,
      Take care
      Kirsten

  2. Kim says:

    Thank you for all your wonderful articles. I, specifically, found the “Magic of Motivation” download very helpful. You put things in a way that is easy to understand and organize it in a way so that it is easy to apply in real life. Even if I’ve read similar information elsewhere, I get a lot out of your articles. Love the journaling work that is suggested. I, actually, just came across your blog 2 days ago and just want you to know that your work is much appreciated. Thanks, Kim

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