Making Communication Effective: 4 Language FiltersBy: Steve Brunkhorst
Language is a challenging way to communicate. It allows us to share our thoughts and feelings by describing our personal views of reality.
Yet language is not reality. It is merely a limited system of symbols, signals, sounds, or gestures that belong to a specific culture or group. It only describes a personal map of the actual territory. We might have a great message to share. Yet there are other important factors to consider if we want to make our communication effective.
In addition to the content of our messages, language conveys feelings. Our voices are colored with emotion and attitude. Add the subtle nuances of pitch and loudness, intonation, rate, facial expression and posture. Now we have a complex pattern of behavior with the power to influence our listeners.
Without those additional nuances available in writing, the selection of words and sentences must do all the work. They must be chosen carefully. Whether our messages are spoken or written, the job is still unfinished.
Our language must pass through the filters of emotion, culture, situational context, and personal beliefs. These filters will influence the listenerís perception and interpretation of our message resulting in either acceptance or rejection of our ideas.
Well-chosen language can touch the heart and soul, find a common ground, tear down walls of division, and foster powerful new alliances. It can be an extremely powerful success tool.
Language that ignores the listener's emotional state, culture, current life situations, and personal beliefs will miss its mark. Instead of building trust, it will distance us from those who could become friends and allies.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Eloquence is the power to translate a truth into language perfectly intelligible to the person to whom you speak."
Choosing our messages carefully, and remembering these language filters will help us develop that eloquence, and will make our communications more effective. We will obtain improved results in both our careers and personal lives by engendering trust, building rapport, and creating positive new relationships.
© Copyright 2004 Steve Brunkhorst