Person-to-Person Communications: Models and Applications

Misunderstandings and unintended offenses are just some of the ways person-to-person communication can go wrong. When we communicate with each other, we run great risks. Analyzing information flow using the Satir Interaction Model, we gain insight into the elements of the communications process, and we come to a new understanding of how it can go wrong. In this fun and interactive program, we explore how our communication system works — and how it doesn't. We'll emphasize communication under stress, where the most expensive failures occur. And we might just change how some of us send and receive interpersonal communications.

Core message:

Person-to-Person Communications: Models and Applications

Person-to-person communications can get tangled up in knots at times. Is this knot made with one string? Two? More?

  • Person-to-person communications are complex
  • Problems that do arise are difficult to fix
  • Preventing problems is easier than repairing them
  • We have little control over how others interpret what we communicate
  • For best results, prevent problems by changing our inner processes

This presentation is based on an interactive talk presented to BOSCON 2001, the regional conference on quality sponsored by the Boston Section of ASQ. It was honored as Best of BOSCON, on the basis of participant feedback. Here is some of what participants wrote on their evaluations:

  • It really made me think about how I react in stressful situations, and it will affect how I respond. If only everyone I work with had attended the same talk…
  • Critical in interpersonal communications in hi-tech industries
  • Thank you!
  • This will be very useful when dealing with the folks back at the office. Thanks!

Program structure and content

Brief outline:

Whichever format you elect — presentation, seminar, workshop, or clinic — we'll be doing some actual communication. So we begin with introductions. We'll introduce ourselves to each other, and we'll introduce the ideas that we'll be talking about.
Examples of problem communications
A system as powerful as the human communication system can fail in a rich variety of different ways. We'll look at some of them — from a humorous and provocative perspective.
What do we mean by communications?
One problem that can arise in person-to-person communication is the failure to align the meanings of words. So let's agree on what we mean by communications.
A model of interpersonal communications
Analyzing information flow using the Satir Interaction Model, we gain insight into the elements of the communications process, and we come to a new understanding of how it can go wrong.
Sources of defects
We'll use the Satir Interaction Model to explore how communications failures can so easily arise. This is a fun and interactive illustration that never fails to amaze.
Once we understand how communications failures arise, we can easily see how we can limit their occurrence and impact. These interventions are simple and straightforward.
One of the most difficult situations we face at work is saying no to power. We all face this one eventually — even people at the top of the organization. By understanding the dynamics of saying no, and applying the communications models we learn here, we can devise more effective and respectful ways to say no to power.

This program is available as a keynote, workshop, seminar, breakout, or clinic. For the shorter formats, coverage of the outline below is selective.

In this fun and interactive presentation, we'll explore how our person-to-person communication system works, with special emphasis on its failure modes. We'll emphasize communication under stress, where the most expensive failures occur. And we might just change how some of us send and receive interpersonal communications.

Learning model

Understanding how we communicate is not enough. We must have access to what we know in the moment, when we're deeply involved in problematic communication. That's why we use an experiential approach in which participants actually get out of their chairs and do things. The doing itself becomes practice and heightens understanding and retention.

Our approach is unusual. Far from the dry, laptop-driven format of most corporate presentations these days, the program is highly interactive and experiential. Not only is the method effective as a training tool, it's lively and fun.

Target audience

This is one program that brings benefits to everyone. There's no need to segregate participants by profession, by specialty or by "org chart level" — in fact, this program gives your organization a way to bring together people from diverse parts of the organization.

Program duration

Available formats range from two hours to one full day. The longer formats allow for more coverage or more material, more experiential content and deeper understanding of issues specific to audience experience. But even in the shorter formats, participants regularly report that they had fun and learned a lot.

Public Events for this Program

Here is a currently scheduled public event for this program:

Embassy Suites by Hilton Jacksonville Baymeadows, 9300 Baymeadows Road, Jacksonville, Florida, 32256, USA: January 15, Monthly Meeting, Northeast Florida Chapter of the Project Management Institute. Register now.

If you would like to observe this event to help you evaluate the suitability of this program for your organization, please rbrenERXqYmHcKdRIigqFner@ChacICcdfTDnkhuKnxRXoCanyon.comcontact me to inquire whether VIP admission is possible.

Follow Rick

Send email or subscribe to one of my newsletters Follow me at LinkedIn Follow me at Twitter, or share a tweet Follow me at Google+ or share a post Subscribe to RSS feeds Subscribe to RSS feeds
The message of Point Lookout is unique. Help get the message out. Please donate to help keep Point Lookout available for free to everyone.
Technical Debt for Policymakers BlogMy blog, Technical Debt for Policymakers, offers resources, insights, and conversations of interest to policymakers who are concerned with managing technical debt within their organizations. Get the millstone of technical debt off the neck of your organization!
More articles about person-to-person communication!
What People Say About Rick's Programs
  • "Rick is a dynamic presenter who thinks on his feet to keep the material relevant to the group."
    — Tina L. Lawson, Technical Project Manager, BankOne (now J.P. Morgan Chase)
  • "Rick truly has his finger on the pulse of teams and their communication."
    — Mark Middleton, Team Lead, SERS
Ebooks, booklets and tip books on project management, conflict, writing email, effective meetings and more.
If your teams don't yet consistently achieve state-of-the-art teamwork, check out this catalog. Help is just a few clicks/taps away!
Go For It: Sometimes It's Easier If You RunBad boss, long commute, troubling ethical questions, hateful colleague? Learn what we can do when we love the work but not the job.
52 Tips for Leaders of Project-Oriented OrganizationsAre your project teams plagued by turnover, burnout, and high defect rates? Turn your culture around.

Member National Speakers Association