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Friday, June 1, 2012

To communicate you must first understand.

Seek to understand first, then to be understood. Seek to understand the gray between extreme views and how understand the views, feelings and beliefs of others.

By now you should know that there is no right or wrong, only your perception of the world and things around you. In communication it is essential that you understand the perceptions of others to even begin to develop a dialogue, much less teach, understand or persuade.

Name calling, closed minds and fixed inflexible beliefs may have their place, but not if communication and understanding is your goal.

Liberal, conservative, right, left, right, wrong, moral and immoral change over time.

To the Romans morality was vital to their society, but not the same moral system of understanding we have today. The value of life and meaning of death change. Perceptions of age as wisdom may give way to age as an obstacle that need to be pushed aside for youth to advance. Social values such as public responsibility for education or health care or public safety may shift over time, between groups, between individuals and according to the greater needs of a society.

To communicate we need to understand these changes, the variety and diversity of opinions and perceptions in our audience, and how to have whatever we are saying understood and accepted.

There are many ways to do so. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is only one of these social models for understanding an individual, group, audience, market or society. Demographics are a tool, if properly applied. Understanding the codes and proofs help as well. But the real mastery comes from critical and understanding thought and exploration.

This does not mean attack and criticism.

"Seek first to understand, then be understood" 
(Stephen Covey, 7 Habits of Effective Living")

To defeat an enemy, or befriend a stranger, the formula is the same.

You must first understand them. 


Anonymous said...

I believe it is true that when we first talk to someone we want them to understand stand us and our side of view, but sometimes name calling over the internet can fail when the other person doesn't hear your tone of voice when you say things to them and think of it as something completely something different.

-Teresita M. Campbell

Joshua M Matul said...

The comic made me laugh, the formula to understanding someone and the way communication works is great.

Nick D. said...

This makes me consider the importance of thinking before speaking. Sometimes humans will rush and assume things without having sufficient evidence. I know I am guilty of doing it occasionally. This also makes me think about the significance of listening. If we don't listen well and understand, the conversation can become a humdrum monologue.

jcdaniel62 said...

Lets see.... The guy on the right is mad, 'cause he's poor, 'cause maybe he spent what little money he had on those expensive nice white Nikes. You can tell he's poor 'cause he's got patched up blue jeans, and a hole in his shirt. He's yelling 'cause he wants the guy on the left to listen to his plight. However the guy on the left doesn't really want to hear about it, that's why he's trying to politely walk away. He doesn't want to know, and why should he? He's doin' just fine, you can tell 'cause he's wearing a tie, so he's probably got a good paying white collar job. He's also carrying a book, so he's probably educated, which makes him smart enough to know, he needs to get the hell away from that guy. He may be smiling but you tell he's thinking... "Look at this guy, elbow sticking out of the hole in his shirt, hair all messed up... he needs a haircut. Get a job you loser!, and quit complaining to me about your problems."

Looks like hes about to give him the thumbs down.

This is what I see, I understand everything just fine. I don't wanna have an open mind 'cause that's how things fall out of it. I dont need my thoughts runnin' off, just 'cause I left my mind open. And no ones gonna tell me how and what I should think...

Did I miss the point?

jcdaniel comm101 BC550

Art Lynch said...

No right or wrong JC...a creative story that works as well as any. The intent was to show anger vs. reason, with the guy shouting the angry one, while the other guy has his briefcase and because of critical thinking has his stuff together. Your story is better...mine is kinda dull.

Anonymous said...

Funny how working and handouts got into that story. I saw nothing of the kind in the post or the cartoon. i understood it is about understanding others and not jumping to conclusions (like the Nike statement).

jcdaniel62 said...

Wow... you guys are fast, My little story was just me being flippant and silly. I do get the actual gist and motive of the post.

Aaahs just funnin'.

I know all too well that perception is everything really, and that even though it's in our nature to see everything from a position of self-interest, real understanding comes from seeing all perspectives, and perceptions.

The phrase walk a mile in their shoes comes to mind.

...and don't get me started on the chickens...

Anonymous said...

How can you understand a person if You're just ignoring them? There is no communication in that area. Sure you can pretend that you understand the person who is trying to communicate, but when they ask you question, you turn around and ask them the same question that they asked you. So basically you did not comprehend on what was being said and it takes a question to get you back on subject, and that is when debate begins, and then there is no good communication because a lack if understanding and not listening.
-Havasha Reed

Anonymous said...

When someone does not understand you, it feels like you're invisible, as if you do not exist. I believe that when you understand someone and can relate to them that makes you and that person's communication so much better, and it brings so much more reality to knowing and acknowledging the fact someone for the first time in your life know who, what, when, and why a certain aspect or thing was talked about.

-Havasha Reed
COM 101

Michael Jones said...

I agree that you must understand before you can be understood. However, most people forget that there bias sets their arguments and beliefs. If you take a moment to listen (the number one rule in communications - thanks Prof. Lynch)you will be able to explain yourself and be heard with more precision.

Linda B said...

This was very informative, and the thing that hit home the most is that there's no right or wrong. Its just our perception of the world around us, hence we should always understand before we seek to be understood. Next time I find myself in an arguement over something, i'm going to drop some knowledge on them based on this.
Linda Ndenga.

Anonymous said...

The first point that caught my attention, is that people need to ignore age when it comes to wisdom. Just because one may be older in age, does not mean they are wise. Wisdom stems from many things, such as experience and education. In the work place and in society in general, young people feel they have to constantly prove themselves to others, whose close-mindedness does not allow them to respect the young person, no matter how wise the kid may be.
I agree with Stephen Covey's quote, you cannot just expect others to understand you, if you do not try to understand others.

Angelina Gomez

Maura Goldberg said...

Open mouth, insert foot - been there, done that...probably once too often. I've learned that you do not need to agree, but need to be open to listen to the other person's perspective. People experience all types of hardships, cultures, upbringings, life changing events etc. We have no way of knowing what has happened in their lives or what they can be going through or where their ideas/opinions/morality stem from. I.e. If someone was NEVER exposed to any type of religion in their upbringing or surroundings, how can you expect them to believe that organized religion exists? If someone was raised without moral influences why would they feel lying/stealing is wrong if they have no moral compass? Maura GOldberg COM 102-6002

Anonymous said...

I think this is a very important point being made and a very important mentality that a lot of people should really take while engaging in debates, arguments, and even everyday interactions. Everybody's brain works differently from one another's and deserves to be understood from their perspective before beign deemed "right" or "wrong" by anybody. Whenever my friends fight, I always try to help and udnerstand both sides of their argument... Sometimes they get made at me for "giving them a chance" or "taking sides"... but really, it's about understanding everyone to better understand why conflict is happening. If only some of the higher-ups thought like this....

Sabrina S. Garcia
Com 101 #4049

Anonymous said...

This is pretty well said. If we take the time to understand where a person is coming from, instead of jumping to conclusions, then we can have meaningful conversations with people. It would end a lot of the arguments and fights that go on between people or groups. Communication is important for any relationship, rather professional or personal, to be successful.

Chris Smith com101 sec4049

Cameron Rand com101 4044 said...

The commic is pertty funny, but the meaning behind it makes me think above other peoples view points besides mine.

Anonymous said...

My main goal for taking this class is to become a better listener. It seems the older I get, the more close minded and judgmental I become. To actually listen and understand the other side is vital to my education and to my progression as a human being.

John Williams
COM 101 Sec 4049

Ana Tinta COM 101-4080 said...

I really like this post because, it is very ture. "There is no right or wrong, only your perception of the world and things around you." --very true!

Anonymous said...

I liked the comment that states, "seek to understand first, to be understood." Like in a debated argument, a person has to understand how the other person view things to understand themselves.

Anonymous said...

I liked the comment that stated, " seek to understand, then to be understood. A person should understand another person's views before their views could be understood.
Brianna Dirden