Sometimes we do not listen to someone else, because of a simple reason; Something in the message triggers us and makes that the content of the message gets lost whereas the attention gets focused on all those futile things around it. This is a pity because communication is the oil of the organizational motor; insufficient communication will make the engine slow down.
The purpose of communication is to exchange content in order to adjust or take the right actions, but often such an exchange is overruled by interference. If you decrease the interference you increase the content, or at least you make way for exchanging more content.
It is possible to improve the quality of the communication by taking the lead, for example by signaling interference or another barrier that make that the content of the message doesn’t get processed. If you do not listen to your opponent, it will be very likely – when it is your turn to respond – that your message gets lost too.
There are various tools, methods and models that help you in this communication process. One is the concept of “Core Qualities. ” Core Quality is a language oriented tool that can be used in communication to signal potential interference.
The idea of Core Quality is that you concentrate on your own or your communication partner and look for qualities. This is done in an indirect way, In fact you do not focus on this persons’ quality but on something that annoys you. Life is like that; we signal problems and errors more easily than (core) qualities. But if you want to learn and to improve communication you must get over this flaw.
Let’s say that you categorize your opponent as “arrogant. ” This is your reason that you discard his information because you do not listen to people who are arrogant.
This is however not a (positive) quality, in fact it is quite negative. This is one of the great things about core qualities that it will urge you to look for positive sides in people. This is already where Core Qualities improves communication, because simply by improving the climate. We all know that positive thinking is powerful, but how do you get to this positive side (by training this positive muscle).
Behind arrogance hold a certain quality, for example confidence. The models shows then that a positive opposite of arrogance is the challenge of the core quality. If confidence is your core quality, modesty is your challenge. Too much modesty is your allergy, the last element in the model.
This allergy is often a trigger for interference. You meet someone, you are in a meeting and instead of listening you get engaged in an emotional conflict, wondering “what an …. ” But remember, the other person will think likewise. So you must get over this flaw. And besides you want to learn. That’s always a good motivator.
Core Qualities will help you. The concept was invented by Daniel Ofman and here is some more information on the subject:
http://www.zenska-mreza. hr/prirucnik/en/en_read_management_leadership_6.htm or: http://www.ofman. nl/39.htm
© 2007 Hans Bool
Hans Bool writes articles about management, culture and change. If you are interested to read or experience more about these topics have a look at: Astor White or sign-up for our newsletter .