You Have Something I Need

Image result for dwight schrute communication memes

I like to start all of my communication trainings with these words, “Why do we communicate with people?”  It is usually met with a variety of answers and once everyone has had a chance to share I respond with,

“Yes, all of these are correct answers and at the foundation of these answers is the idea that we, as humans, have a need to be understood.”

Though there are several ways to communicate with people that is unidirectional, the majority of our communication involves an active exchange of words between two or more people that invites people to thoughtfully share, engage, and respond to information.  When we enter into engaged communication it is important that we are reminded of why we, personally, communicate, and also that the other person has that same foundational need to be understood.  What is important to note here, is that this is a NEED that cannot be met on our own and can only be fulfilled by another.  Even demonstrated here, in this very blog, you see, YOU HAVE SOMETHING I NEED.  Even as I communicate these words, I have the need for people to understand that which I am communicating- and only YOU can do that for me.

That puts us/me in a very vulnerable situation, doesn’t it?  

However, we can help other people to fulfill our need by having a deeper awareness of ourselves and by becoming skilled communicators.  There are several assessments someone can take in order to gain some self-awareness when it comes to communication styles including but not limited to:

* MBTI *Social Styles  *Human Metrics *TTI
*Thomas Killman Conflict Handling Modes * Strengths Finder *Tuckman Assment for Group Dynamics

I think it is important to make a note that just because we “score” higher in one area or another does not indicate or translate to us not being capable of acting in ways that are different than what feels most comfortable for us; which, in many cases, are how these assessments work in order to assess our default way of acting, being, and engaging.

It is important that we carefully consider and thoughtfully evaluate who we are as communicators broken down into 3 major areas:

  1. Body Language: What does our body look like when it is comfortably at rest? Slouched shoulders? Crossed arms? Crossed legs? Tilted head?
    What does our body look like when we are agitated, frustrated, depressed, worried?  Clenched fists? Head down? Furrowed brow? Tightened Lips?

  2. Listening: Are you actually listening to what someone has to say or are you generating responses and reactions to what is being said?

    Are you practicing in active listening skills to engage the information being shared or are you focused on sharing your point of view and a story of relativity to make them feel connected?

  3. Words and Tone: Does your tone match the words you are verbalizing?  Do you use passive aggressive words and tone in order to try to communicate feelings and/or needs?

    Are you comfortable in using words to communicate your wants and needs?  Do you have knowledge for what your wants/needs are in the moments that you are using words and tone to communicate?

These thoughts and ideas on getting to know ourselves as communicators only scratch the surface of how important it is for us to recognize the value  in self-awareness and increasing our ability to communicate.  This is the first part of a four part series on communication- the next three parts will go over Body Language, Listening, Words and Tone.


For more information on Communication and Conflict Resolution Trainings you can visit: or e-mail


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