Communication is more than it appears. Below the surface, there are features that provide us a deeper understanding of a dialogue and can help us mature in our relationships as we mature in our communications.
The first feature of communication is meaning. We live in a world of meaning, and the meaning of communication is different depending on the context. What might have meaning at home might not share the same meaning when we’re at work. Understand that the meaning of communication is constantly changing.
The second feature of communication is choice. The choice is both conscious and subconscious. The small fluctuations in our voice, the gasp we emit when we hear shocking news, and the way we choose to approach a situation are all choices we make whether we realize it or not. When we try and be conscious of our choices, it can lead to deeper communication.
The third feature is culture. Culture plays a profound role in how we communicate. It’s determined by our age, religious beliefs, and even where we grow up. Cultural differences add nuance to the ways you can communicate.
The fourth feature of communication is identity. Everyone has one. We all have some unspoken identity that is unique to us and can be different to different people. Your identity may be separate to a child compared to your identity to your spouse. Identities are always at play in every angle of communication.
The fifth, most common feature of communication is conversation. It is the most influential and significant, and we should pay attention to conversations with the people we care about the most. It is paramount that we are purposeful in how we approach conversations.
The sixth feature of communication is nexting. What is nexting? It’s similar to the idea of paying it forward, but in the context of communication, it goes back to the level of choice. What comes next? Nexting is creating meaning in what happens next in a given interaction.