From the author:
The landing approach communication - a perfect metaphor
Since many people do not seem to understand that others do not understand their “self-evident” emotions, I am always happy to tell the following story: Imagine you are the captain of an Airbus A750 with 380 passengers and you are approaching Munich Airport. The air traffic controller in the tower sends you a message with the following words: "Take the south runway coming from the west!"
What do you think, what will the reaction in the tower be if you just say "Got it!" send back? Well, I'll tell you that. The response will be that the air traffic controller urges you to do exactly what you understand, in what may not be socially acceptable terms.
What exactly did you understand?
Why? It is quite simple: because, as the transmitter of a clear message, this absolutely unspecific information has no idea what exactly you have understood as the recipient of it!
However, he must be absolutely sure that you understand exactly what he sent. You obviously understood something ... but what exactly?
"Roger that!" or "I understand!" it just means that you are reporting back that something has arrived with them. The technology and the transmission channel obviously worked. But what exactly did you understand?
I therefore strongly recommend sending what your flight instructor taught you: “Roger! Runway south coming from the west! ” If you report this back, the air traffic controller knows that you have understood his message correctly.
He will have a quick respite and what is even more important for our subject: He will not have to send you any more questions!
Correct understanding saves lives!
Do you notice something? In aviation, it is vital that the sender of a message can ensure that his statement has arrived technically and in terms of content. Only if the recipient confirms the message word by word, it is ensured that this has arrived.
A misunderstood or incomprehensible message can cause two aircraft to collide. The military is similarly communicated. For a soldier it is self-evident to repeat the command received.
Misunderstandings with serious consequences
When a tank commander informs his gunner: "enemy tank at 11 o'clock", the gunner repeats the message and immediately points the cannon at the target to be fought.
A misunderstanding could quickly have serious consequences, as in the aviation industry. The same is also the case in sea navigation.
Intelligence in the subconscious
Our subconscious mind is more intelligent than consciousness. He seems to know that misunderstandings are a normal phenomenon in communication.
Therefore, it will not be happy until he gets the feedback, that his message, his emotion, was also understood as he sent it.
The important message at this point: The same is true when dealing with the emotions of others! For our brains there is no self-evident!
Especially when we find it difficult to address emotions directly and also like to think: “Why should I address something that everyone can see?”, We should simply be aware that the subconscious mind cannot recognize what we think . We have to tell him. We always have to tell him, "Hello, I understood exactly what you sent."
Why people do not come down!
Emotions work in the same way. This is the reason why people who are upset about something do not come down when the only feedback they get is a blurred “I understand you”. So let's say:
I tell my participants in each seminar what I am describing to you when it comes to recognizing the emotions of others. I also give them the tip at the beginning of our training sessions to simply consciously omit the “but” when sending emotions or acknowledging the emotions of others.
Omit the "but"
Easy? As if it were that easy! We humans are creatures of habit and nothing is more difficult for us than to put off habits or even behavioral mechanisms. When I experienced this for the first time years ago, I felt no different! Most participants only notice this “but”, which they speak almost reflexively, only when the group becomes clearly restless and somewhat restless.
Of course, those who are not on stage now listen much more closely and notice the “but” very well. In the next step, the participants then try to actually omit the word, but occasionally fall into a kind of shock, because its use is so automated that they simply do not know how to proceed without it.
Please praise not relativize!
With a little creativity they then resort to “however”, “whereby” or “nevertheless” and only now realize as they speak that these are also relativizing or adversative conjunctions.
In other words, words that have exactly the same disastrous effect as the “but”. If I then simply give them a little help with the tip instead of saying "and", something like death will surely come up: "Darling, I can understand that you are angry and yet we have to talk to each other!"
Language is used without reflection
At this point, both the trainer and the participant normally need a break and a sip of water! Is it not incredible how automated and unreflected we use language and do not notice what we do with it?
By the way: If you actually want to illuminate or relativise what you said - no matter what it was - you have to use the "but" of course! It is only counterproductive when it comes to expressing and recognizing emotions.
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German edition: ISBN 9783965962101
English version: ISBN 9783965962118 (Translation notice)
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