Last night a gave a presentation to a group of Focus Seminar graduates entitled “Creative Communication”. It seems that every time I talk about communication I have some more insight of how to grow through effective communication so I wanted to share some of it with whomever takes the time to read this blog.

Based on a study of communication at the University of Pennsylvania in 1970 (Kinesics and Communication, R. Birdwhistle), the researchers determined that in communication, 7% of what we communicate is the result of the words that we say, or the content of our communication. 38% of our communication to others is a result of our verbal behavior, which includes tone of voice, timbre, tempo, and volume. 55% of our communication to others is a result of our nonverbal communication, our body posture, breathing, skin color and our movement. The match between our verbal and non-verbal communication indicates the level of congruency.

These research results has always astounded me when I think about the way that I communicate on a daily basis. Is also has helped me identify the areas where I run into conflict with my communication. It all goes back to the way that I filter and process events that are taking place around me. If we are not careful, we will filter and process the events based upon experiences of the past and the result ends up being less than desirable.

The illustration to the right represents how we process the information that comes into us from the outside. An event takes place and is observed through the five senses. The event is then taken through an internal process that can skew and distort the event itself. We then respond with communication and behaviors.

The first filter is the BELIEF SYSTEM. These are the generalizations about how the world is. Those beliefs that back you in a corner and fail at allowing you to see from a new point of view. This belief system contains the values that you hold in high regard. Beliefs are the assumptions that we hold about the way the world is that either empower or destroy our perspective. Beliefs are essentially our ability to create what we want in the world. In the process of working with someone’s beliefs, it is important to find out what beliefs cause you to do what you do. We also want to find out the disabling beliefs, the ones that do not allow you to do what you want to do.

The JUDGMENT filter is based upon the values we hold in high regard. This includes judgment of the event, person, and self.

As information is filtered through the belief system and judged, it is EVALUATED based upon the filter.

RESPONSES may create beliefs, or may just affect our perceptions through time. Some of our responses are unconsciously made based upon previous experiences. Our responses can be made up of the defense mechanisms that can get in our way. Our response puts us in a certain state. The state in which we find ourselves, will determine our emotional reaction and behavioral reaction.

What were some of your beliefs, judgments, evaluations or responses that get in your way of life?

1 Comment
  1. After going through Focus in 2008 my eyes were opened to the judgment filter. It was a freeing thing to recognize this and deal with it. Judgment is rampant in my line of work. Question- could you unpack judgments, evaluations, and responses a little further?