Is it Time for a New Model of Communication?

Is it Time for a New Model of Communication?

Remember when you started to present, were nervous and told to imagine you were ‘in a glass box’. Or another one was to imagine the audience in the nude!

Oh please! I could not be more against these strategies if I tried. 

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. We have been influenced by strategies such as these and the linear model of communication (known as the source-message-channel-receiver model) for too long. 

Did you realise that the SMCR model was only first published by David Berlo in 1960 and, while interesting, it has led us astray. 

Let’s look at it from a different perspective. If you actually consider that each of us breathes and breathes in the air around us, there is a big chance you have just breathed in some of the air of every person in that room (OK, not very Covid safe, but that’s living). And if you consider that the same air circulates around the world, there is every chance you are breathing in atoms of the same air breathed by Jesus and Buddha and Allah. We are not separate and the more you attempt to make it so, the more you lose the plot.



So, going back to the sender/receiver model, it is important to get rid of these terms out of your vocabulary. Instead, realise that you are two or more people in communication with responsibilities all around. 

The Ancient Romans were right on key. They recognised that an audience had as much responsibility as the orator and they did that in what the Ancient Romans called Acclamations (more on that in my Gravitas Masterclasses). Both had things to do and movement to say. Both were presenters and both were listeners.

How is that working for us in the virtual world do you think? 

Not well is my answer.

We need to take action to find more connection, not more distance. As ridiculous as it may sound, it would be a more appropriate to engage with a model that looked more like this:

Here are some steps to rebuild your connection: 

      • Touch people. Easy ones are to shake hands or place your arm on their arm.

      • Get close to people

      • Smile and laugh

      • Look at them

      • Nod

      • Ask questions

      • Watch to see if you have lost connection

What I've been up to...

So thrilled to be selected again this year. Three years in a row, what an honour!


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About Me

Dr Louise Mahler is a body language expert. With a focus on study of the mind-body relationship and business applications; providing practical inspiring improvement to global leaders.

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