The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

The green stuff

After a long workday, Jack had cooked a soup for both of them and they were enjoying their meal. That is until Jane asked what the green stuff in the soup was.

Jack had been slightly anxious that she might not like the soup and hearing her question immediately concluded that she was asking about the green stuff because she didn’t like it.

Taking a look at the situation using the communication square allows a view of the complexity of their exchange.

Jack was hearing on the self-disclosure facet that she didn’t like the green stuff. On the relationship facet, the information was for him that Jane saw him as a bad cook. And on the appeal side, he assumed that she invited him not to cook that soup anymore. He wasn’t paying attention to the fact facet.

For Jane things were different. She had never tasted capers before and wondered what they were. In her case, the information she was sharing via the relationship facet was that she assumed that as a cook he knew what they were. On the appeal side, her message meant that he should tell her what they are. And though the self-disclosure facet she was telling him that she didn’t know what the name of the green stuff was. In terms of the fact facet, she was sharing with him that she didn’t know what they were.

A perfect setting for a misunderstanding.

One that can easily lead to a conflict if neither of them makes themselves aware that the story, they tell themselves also influences how they understand the content of communication they are being offered.

That is where using the communication square bot only helps to analyze what someone else is saying, but instead to verify what one is hearing.

Listening can be an as complicated exercise as speaking.


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