Conflict + Communication

The function of communication

We are semantics nerds. We love communication, taxonomies and categories and how structures of thinking, feeling and acting become manifest in our communication skills.

Communication skills are always in the top 5 of all organizations training course requests. This shows a high perceived need in employees, that something is not going right with communication in organization. 

While structured communication is part of our “business agility”, unstructured offline communication, or human interaction is part of this line of research.

Research shows, that we are in 75% of the times not really focusing on what we are doing. The results of not being present and conscious listening can be seen in the amount of conflicts, or misunderstandings and false assumptions we experience during a day. 

Our special interests involve the “why” individuals are using language. The main differentiation is:

  • communicating to confirm own perception
  • communicating to learn new things

However, to make things more complicated, we also have two distinct types of using content in communication, so we have to use two different kinds of listing styles:

  • with some people we need to listen to what they say
  • with some people we have to listen to what they don’t say

In addition to content of communication, we need to understand the function or meaning of communication as well as the conditions under which the communication happens in order to understand it.

What is a conflict, and how can conflicts be solved

A conflict is basically simply an imbalance of information, or a conflict in information flow. This means that conflicts can only occur if there are differences in information on at least two sides. If all sides have the same information, we have a condition of total alignment. To reach this state, we not only have to understand what, how and why we say something, but also what we don’t say, how we don’t say something, and why we don’t say something, but should.

The goal of our communication training is to elicit the missing pieces for everyone to reach alignment, while at the same time reflecting on the invisible aspects of communication and our responsibility for them. The biggest problems in communication are not the visible aspects, the things we say, but the invisible aspects of communication, the things we don’t communicate, how we don’t communicate and why we don’t communicate, but should. 

Language and communication is tricky business. Even the old philosophers eventually had to admit: “I cannot speak the truth, without telling a lie at the same time.” [Nietzsche]

Fortunately we can explain and prevent this phenomenon today with “balanced communication” and “quantum mechanics of multiverses.”

Since every change produces good and bad, also every communication produces “truth” and “lie’s” at the same time, depending on our perspective. We help you and your teams to understand the phenomenon of ambiguity, to become effective communicators and avoid misunderstandings and false assumptions already when they occur for the first time, and not after miscommunication caused damage. 

Related Information:

Communication and the smallest meaningful piece of information

Communication in problem solving processes needs to follow strict rules to be most effective. The rule is that not only do all “what” and “how” aspects of a problem need to be collaboratively be agreed upon, but also the “why” component of any thought, feeling or behavior. 

While the “what” and “how” aspect of a problem are often visible, the “why” aspect remains invisible and unknown. 

We help your workforce to become more aware of the sensitivity of information and how to understand the “meaning” of an information first, before acting upon it. In a way, we teach mental impulse control, to understand a problem first, before trying any solutions. At the same time we encourage employees to try out solutions in order to understand the problem better. 

We call this: “agile communication” for “agile adaptation,” or “pseudomorphing,” until the true meaning of information has been understood, we continue 

Perception problems are the biggest problem in any problem solving process. While “user stories” of a SCRUM process offer (theoretically) information without gaps and contradictions, human interaction does not. 

Human communication is full of ill-perceptions which lead to second best choices and second best solutions. 

Talk to us, if you want to understand where your organizational perception problems are – which are communicated through your organizational culture – and how to change them. 

User Story