How communication works? When one person begins a verbal dialogue with another, a communication cycle has begun. Just speaking a language does not indicate communication. A person can stand in the middle of the room and speak out loud, but if no one is around to hear him or dialogue with him, there is no communication taking place.
How Communication Works?
A speaker and subject are required for real communication. When studying the effectiveness of an interaction, in order to measure the impact of each participant, you can reverse the roles of the speaker and subject.
When the speaker is delivering a speech to a large group of people, the term “subject” then becomes the term “audience” – indicating a larger group. You can still measure the effectiveness of the speaker in the same way.
The communication cycle at work
The concept of a communication cycle is part of the central foundation of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) since the communication cycle is centered on the feedback and the subject.
The main principles of the communication cycle are:
How a speaker behaves externally. This behavior initiates thoughts and ideas, as well as emotions on the subject. All of these responses are known as the internal response of the subject.
When the subject responds to what is said or done, they formulate a verbal or nonverbal expression. This is known as external behavior.
When the subject displays external behavior, they initiate thoughts, ideas, and emotions in a speaker. The speaker reacts to that and external behavior is on display. And so the communication cycle is started once again.
So as demonstrated here, the communication cycle is comprised of two parts – the internal response and the external behavior. The internal response always comes first before external behavior.
Essentially these two components are reliant on each other during a dialogue. An internal response from the subject cannot happen without the external behavior of the speaker.
The subject’s internal response is further comprised of two parts – the mental process and mental-emotional state.
A subject’s mental process arranges the ideas in order to prepare to give feedback or response. Their mental-emotional state is made clear by the quality of the person’s mind once they received the stimuli.
How does internal response affect external behavior?
Your internal response not only involves the way your mind formulates a verbal response to previous input but also your ideas and emotions. You may choose to withhold the full scope of your internal response in your external behavior.
As an example, a middle-aged man walks into a computer store to purchase a new laptop. The much younger salesclerk delivers his best spiel pushing the mid-range and higher-end laptops highlighting a whole host of features about each model.
After the young salesclerk continues his spiel for a half-hour, the middle-aged man informs the salesclerk, “That’s not what I’m looking for.” The salesclerk continues his sales pitch until finally, the middle-aged man decides that he’s going to “think about it” when he gets home and leaves the store without purchasing anything.
Of course, this baffles the young salesclerk. He felt he did a good job showing the man almost their entire stock of merchandise in the store, and yet the man left without purchasing anything.
What was missing from this exchange?
We have to assume that the salesclerk presented his sales pitch in a polite manner and spoke to the customer with respect to the laptop models and their features that the store had available. So the only conclusion left is to surmise that the young salesclerk didn’t elicit feedback from the customer.
From the customer’s perspective, he was likely overwhelmed by the volume of laptop models the salesclerk brought out for him. At that point, his mind completely shut down to new information and he left the store without making a purchase.
If the salesclerk would’ve asked the customer what he was looking for in a laptop, perhaps get an idea of how the customer would be using the laptop, he would’ve been better equipped to pitch a laptop model that would meet his customer’s needs. The interaction between them would’ve been much different.
This example shows that the salesclerk made the mistake of assuming that he knew what his customer wanted and needed, without asking the customer himself. To have expert knowledge is certainly valuable, but engaged communication goes even further, especially when trying to close a sale.
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If we examine the communication cycle, the salesclerk didn’t adjust his external behavior because he based his internal responses only on what was verbally expressed by the customer during the interaction.