This blog post was featured in the Huffington Post on June 07, 2017.

I just learned something valuable from a trainer in Israel, Esti Harlev, about open vs closed communication. I want to share it with you.

Have you ever experienced the following , someone is telling you something and you kind of close up. Do not want to continue the conversation, it is too painful to continue, it generates an emotional negative collateral reaction.

Or in another situation the words the other party uses make you excited and willing to continue the conversation and contribute to the discourse.

I have had this experience thus I was interested in what Esti had to tell me.

It all has to do with energy.

Some words cause energy to flow, this is open communication. Some words cause energy to get blocked. This is closed communication.

Which one is which?

Open                                                                        Closed

Happy                                                                      want to

Sad                                                                           need to

Hurt                                                                          must to

Love                                                                          have to

Think about the words someone uses and note how does it make you feel.

The same words, if you use them, makes the other party feel the same.

Imagine the other party tells you “ I must do that…” How do you feel? He just closed the conversation. There is no more to say or if you say anything it is a push back and there will be conflict.  The same is true with the words “I want to “ I have to “ or I need to “

When someone says “I am sad” or “hurt” it is like an invitation to ask them why they are sad, or hurt or unhappy. The conversation is open.

How about the following words or expressions, are they open or closed?:

“The problem IS…”  or “ THE solutions IS..” versus , “ I have a different opinion…” or “ I have been thinking …” or “the potential improvement point is… “ “ I suggest….” Or, how about “ I think…“?

How about: “you are..” , “you did ….”?

If you analyze the words we use in western society, I suggest, they are mostly of the closed communication variety. I think it is due to time pressure. In modern society time is a precious commodity. Not enough time to discourse.  We want to get to the bottom of the issue and conclude the discussion as soon as possible. Time is money and money is the king.

Not strange we are stressed.

 

Just thinking,

Ichak Kalderon Adizes