Physics of Communication
Have you ever been in a conversation where it took a turn for the worse and you later looked back and said…”Oh shoot, I knew I shouldn’t have said X”?
Welcome to the physics of Communication, a topic we here at IFIOC often talk about and discuss in our training for Communication skills and Motivational Interviewing.
First lets look at the definition of Physics. According to Merriam-Webster.com, they define Physics as: a science that deals with matter and energy and their interactions.
Energy and their interactions, do you think when we communicate we are measuring energy and the interaction? Why yes! Each time we are in a conversation, we are in microseconds measuring the tone of voice, the intent behind the words, the words themselves, the body language and eye contact and putting that all together to formulate what that entire communication was really about.
So when someone says things like, “I’m fine it’s not a big deal.” The words say, “I’m fine, it’s not a big deal.” But maybe their tone of voice is sassy, and they are crossing their arms on their chest and not looking at you-which all signals they are not fine and it IS a big deal.
So what we start to learn in the Physics of Communication is that there are things we can almost expect or count on creating energy between two people that are communicating.
If person A, yells angrily at person B, it will most likely cause 1 of 2 reactions, either a timid, scared person B, or a reactive, offensive very angry person B.
There are situations in communication that we can almost predict or expect outcomes when dealing with the physics of Communication or the energy that is created behind our communication.
So let’s go back to that yelling example. Is person B an angry person naturally? Or did one form of communication from person A CREATE that angry offensive reaction in person B?
If you answered yes to the second question-you are correct! When we start to understand the physics of Communication, we start to understand how what we say in communication can cause reactions, or shifts in energy in conversations and communication. AND we can facilitate efficient and productive conversations by understanding the physics of Communication!
Next time you are in a conversation where the energy shifts into a direction that was not desired, think about what was said prior to that negative reaction. Just starting to become AWARE of the Physics of Communication helps you to be more mindful in communication.