Lost Messages

Human beings are social. We have developed social qualities as an instinct for survival and improvement, a main element that stands out. Our development has been influenced so much by this element that our body has created what is known as mirror neurons, crucial for understanding in our own flesh what the others feel.

Have you ever wondered why certain people energize us simply with their presence? Or why do we often avoid certain people because we consider them "toxic"?

Human beings are constantly transmitting feelings in each of our interactions; it is something that we can’t avoid. This brief introduction leads us to today’s topic of reflection, the messages that we lose due to how we interact.

Nowadays most of our communications are carried out in virtual forms (emails, social networks, chats), followed a second stage by telephone calls, being direct communication the last form of communication. Some people even spend days without interacting with another human being physically.

To put it in perspective, when interacting the human being only transmits 10% of his message verbally, 20% by the tone of our voice, and the remaining 70% physically. Therefore, there is a lot of information lost if our form of communication is virtual (even though today there are emoticons and GIFs to be able to express ourselves in different ways).

Therefore many messages that are transmitted could be called "fragmented" since not all of the information is being transmitted. If we follow this analysis, the greatest case of danger is when our message is received by someone who has not known us in person, the person with whom he interacts, when they don’t know the mannerisms and ways of talking of each other.

Not being able to interpret in a certain way the 90% missing, creates the possibility of any kind of conversation to be misinterpreted.

The counterparty may think that the content as negative when in fact it was an encouraging message, and the person who sent it does not know the other party took it as something negative because there is no direct interaction between the two, which ends up enlarging the snowball of misunderstandings. One part takes the message in the wrong way, reacts badly by sending a different message than expected, the original sender receives the answer, gets confused because that was not what he meant, puts themselves in a defensive posture, and the misunderstanding continues to worsen until someone decides to see the messages with another point of view or the relationship is totally damaged.

When we send an email, write a text message, post a comment on social networks, we don’t have the knowledge of how the other person is receiving this message, we can’t tell if they are angry about it, afraid, happy or sad, we can assume it by our knowledge of them, but it is not clear what is happening if we don’t see their facial expressions.

In the work place, many international companies can see the difference in the efficiency of a team that works remotely with a team in the same conditions but that has never met at least once to get to know each other. So much time and resources are wrongly invested due to these small problems such as cooperation being affected, tasks are done twice, delegation of responsibilities in a wrong way where nobody ends up doing the tasks, etc.

In our personal relationships it is the difference between having an excellent day by having received an encouraging message in the morning or a day of constant stress for problems with a relationship that we value.

How can we aim to avoid these potential risks when most of our communications are virtual?

In the work environment, a face-to-face team building meeting is highly recommended. In certain cases it means a heavy investment of money since it requires travel and hospitality costs, but if this manages to avoid the aforementioned problems, it would be a practical way to start the project, increasing the level of motivation of the members and continuous support.

Another simple way is the use video conferencing. Group telephone calls are effective, but it means 30% of the total. Video conferences will not develop the personal relationships that could be achieved and the optimal results, but at least parts of the message will not be lost.

Our advice for personal relationships, where the use of WhatsApp style messages are abundant, is the use of video calls to be able to further deepen our personal links, to ask questions and make comments of relevance, think and share meaningful things since most of the conversations now a days have memes or full of gossips.

Every interaction leaves an impact on the other part, this can be positive or negative. It is sad to know that many of our discussions are due to the limitations that we self-place on ourselves in certain situations. It is true that many of these means of communication can’t be avoided, they are necessary since it is impossible to meet face to face at all times due to economical or logistical reasons, but this does not mean that they can’t be sorted out if they are really important.

Confusions can be avoided if we make an effort and know where we are losing those messages.

Now that we know that this may be happening to us right now (it may even be happening to me as you read this article),

What are you doing to make it different? What are you doing so that your message is not only 10% of what you really mean?

Feel it!!!

#emotionalintelligence #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealthatwork #personaldevelopment #workenvironment #humanresoruces #re_creandote

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