§ A reactionto something that has happened or how we feel
§ A reflectionof what we are thinking or feeling
§ An attempt to communicate
When we deal with other humans, it is almost as if they were an onion, consisting of many different layers, from the biology/genetics at the core that makes each of us unique. The layers build from the values that we develop in early childhood, through attitudes/beliefs and feelings to the external behaviour.
The challenge in any human interaction is that often we only see the outer layer of the onion – the behaviour – we do not necessarily see the causes that may lay ‘beneath the surface’.
This is why when communicating with others we need to use empathy and try to understand things from the other person’s point of view. It is important to avoid the trap of assumptions and truly consider the ‘basis’ of the person: who they are, what they like, how they like to communicate. We need to:
§ Look beyond the immediate behaviour of the person – seek out meaning and feelings behind words and actions
With thanks to Debra Alcock-Tyler from whom I learned this concept