Informational vs Emotional Receiving

From a totally unrelated Hacker News discussion thread, I got a link to a quite enlightening display of how communication can be received in different ways. It reminded me of the German book “Miteinander Reden 1” by Friedemann Schulz von Thun that we’ve read in school many years ago. As such the topic wasn’t completely new to me, but I think the focus on “emotional” vs informational communication highlights a common situation of miscommunication.

ยป Splain it to Me

My main take away from the article is, that we can try to do “better” on either side. When you’re trying to communicate information, don’t assume the other side is data processing unit, but try also to connect on a social/emotional level, by actively agreeing on shared views. On the other hand, if everyone seems to be coming for you, try to push your social games and emotional responses aside and see the actual data communicated.

Side note: I quite like the quote from Goethe in regards to the Hanlon’s Razor:

Misunderstandings and neglect create more confusion in this world than trickery and malice. At any rate, the last two are certainly much less frequent.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Communication is hard and it’s multi-layered. No discussion is just purely informational or purely based on social games, but once you know that your spoken words aren’t always received in the way you intend to, it might become easier to react and clarify when you notice a miscommunication.

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