Newsletter 41 : 23 september 2010
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Welcome to our latest newsletter. We like to offer a change from other newsletters which can demand an awful lot of reading.
I never even thought about whether or not they understand what I’m doing… the emotional reaction is all that matters. As long as there’s some feeling of communication, it isn’t necessary that it be understood.
You can play a shoestring if you’re sincere.
John Coltrane, jazz saxophonist, born 23 September 1926
This challenging human drama by Improv Everywhere messes with your feelings (dur 3:57)
Another of the principles which we recommend leaders bear in mind when they communicate
The outcome of any communication is what we intend it to be
Last time we talked about the principle that the meaning of a communication is what the recipient makes of it. We can only understand what someone says to us in the context of our own experiences and attitudes. We cannot import the other person into our minds. We used the example of the then prime minister Margaret Thatcher who was widely quoted as saying “There is no such thing as society”. Although her apologists to this day insist she was quoted out of context and she meant something else entirely, the message that most people got was “There is no such thing as society”.
What this week’s principle says is that, even though consciously she intended to communicate something other than the message many people picked up, actually, at bottom, she really meant to say what everyone thought she said. Unconsciously, she wanted to communicate “there is no such thing as society”- and it’s important to remember she was unaware of this; consciously she elaborated a more complex message and genuinely communicated it. But her unconscious message got picked up anyway.
It is a deep principle of relationships that our partners show us what is unconscious in our minds, and the principle that ‘the outcome of any communication is what we intend it to be’ is a specific case of this.
For the first in a brand new series we visit the fascinating Central Station of Antwerp (dur 4:01)
Get a sense of proportion with this site by Cary and Michael Huang which cleverly illustrates the relative sizes of everything from subatomic particles to the local galactic supercluster.
All contributions welcome.
If you have been, thank you for reading.
Kay and Jeremy
Compiled by Jeremy Marchant . added 11 february 2015 . image: screen grab from Huang site