Just loved your post!
On 20 Jul 96 at 7:36, Michael McMaster wrote:
> Robert talks about the added complexity of body language, etc.
> These are all communication domains that are non-linear and cannot
> be made sense of in a reductionist fashion. That is, you cannot
> say, "the body language meant x, the verbal meant y and the tonality
> meant z". More, the interpretation of each is non-linear.
Yes! If we think of multiple "channels" for communication (words, tone,
body), and the sub-channels in each, we cannot look at only one in any
meaningful way. Communication is the sum total of those channels
operating, and interacting dynamically with the other person in real time,
in a synergistic way. Communication, is in a sense a gestalt, where
meaning is pieced together, or emerges.
What perplexes me is that this seems so obvious or self-evident to me, but
it seems to be uncommonly recognized. Our folk sayings about communication
are pretty much all linear. Most of us have heard the rubric about xx% of
communication is non-verbal. One thing I find difficult, though is finding
the proper words to describe communication without making it sound linear.
> the act of receiving itself is non-linear. As someone else
> demonstrated by the "I didn't say she loves me" exercise - meaning
> is created after some whole is judged to be received.
I'm not sure about this one. I would say that meaning is extracted, or
created in successive approximations, but I don't know if I like that
much. Hmm....we know that people have an innate perceptual tendency
towards closure, and in communication will fill in the missing information
to attempt to perceive something as WHOLE. I don't think meaning is
created after some whole is judged to be received. Perhaps the notion of
meaning after wholeness is linear in and of itself.
Robert Bacal, CEO, Institute For Cooperative Communication
email@example.com, Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
"Robert Bacal" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <email@example.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>