Reflections on authentic communication

Following a special training given by Yiftach Sagiv, Professor and Trainer in Leadership & Communications at BSL, I felt like sharing a few thoughts on authentic communication.

The way you communicate is not the result of your culture nor of your language.  Rather, it is the result of the style you adopt – by choice or by default.  Do you have heated discussions or conflicts with your friend, your mother, your neighbour or your brother?  Do you wonder why your best friend sometimes does not understand you?

Effective communication is all about your ability to speak to your partner, your team, your lover, colleague or father in such way that they will understand you.  Adopt the style of communication that best fits their style and you will get them to understand you.  For example, if you ask a French person a question in English, you only get a blank stare and no answer.  The trick is to speak not only their language, but also their style – their communication style.  How do you learn this?  That is what the course on effective classroom interaction was about.

Learning an entirely new language is usually a long-term undertaking, but the end result is enormous satisfaction because you discover that you can speak to people in their own language and, what is more, they understand the words that you speak.  If you now also figure out the communication style they have, and you speak to them in the tone of voice and mannerism that they can identify with, then suddenly they not only understand your words, but they can understand your intention or meaning and agree with you, cooperate with you, and even respect you for your points of view.  Inter-personal synergy becomes a lot more likely if you can adopt the communication style that your partners in business, your family members, or your colleagues speak.

Learn this new communication style that is verbal as well as non-verbal, and you will feel that satisfaction that comes from mastering a new language.

The course “Effective Classroom Interaction” will be offered again at Business School Lausanne.

Olivier Brenninkmeijer PhDOlivier Brenninkmeijer PhD

Associate Dean, BSL

5 thoughts on “Reflections on authentic communication

  1. I’m impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s equally educative and entertaining, and let
    me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head.
    The issue is something which not enough men and women
    are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy I came across this during my search for
    something regarding this.

    • Thanks for your feedback, 3d printers, we are glad you found our blog an interesting and thought-provoking read :). The subject of Authentic Communication is indeed a large one and we’ll address it in our future blog posts too.

    • The response is much appreciated, thank you!
      I have learned that communication is by nature a two-way interaction with someone who responds. This can be a human, but may also be another life form. In contrast, authenticity is not two-way, it is merely with yourself.
      Both can be learned, both can be taught, but obviously the authenticity is far more subtle and profound than communication. The latter can be considered a rather technical back-and-forth of information, data, sound, movement or just energy. Authenticity, however, is not technical, it is intentional. You can intend to be authentic, to be real, honest and clear about what you want or what you represent. Once you bring the two together – authentic communication – you create a dynamic moved by intention.
      Imagine you think of writing a compliment to a friend who just accomplished a beautiful task. You first need to compose the words, the sentences and then write them on a pleasant surface, a nice letter or a nice virtual card, for example. Being authentic means that your intention is truly to say that you find your friend’s accomplishment beautiful and that this deserves to be said. You intention is the motive for the communication. Your sincerity with which you draft the words for that compliment reflect what you truly wish to say and what you believe befits the recipient. With this in mind, your compliment becomes authentic.
      Learning to communicate in different styles, as described in my earlier blog, is best achieved when the intentions to be well understood are sincere. Obviously, any form of communication can also be abused by mischievous intentions (power games, for example), but inauthentic behaviour is eventually and always found out by the other parties in the communication. It pays to be true to your intentions, even when you speak a different language or in a different style.

  2. Thanks for this inspiring content. I really enjoyed it lots.
    What you have done is actually really inspirational.

    This is really great content. I would like to use your style to improve my own content on
    my blog.

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