Re: Effective Communication (was Universal Translators)

David D. (
Fri, 08 Nov 1996 22:52:40 -0800

E. Shaun Russell wrote:
> On 08/11/96, David Musick wrote:
> >Effective communication is very difficult to achieve between humans.
>It is an art that requires much training and practice.

Effective communication also depends on what you want to communicate. You
can probably effectively communicate your hunger to most people on the

> I think a lot of communication stems from assumption.

Perhaps (?) 'a lot of _misunderstanding_ stems from assumption.'

> What *is* effective communication is fact-based discussion. However, if humans were to use fact-based discussion all the time, there
would be a tremendous lack of creativity in
> the human race. We're back where we started. What exactly is the
> definition of 'effective communication'? Sure, fact-based discussion is effective...but it gets very boring. There has to be some sort of
> equilibrium between fact and filler. There must be some way to say what we want to say while still keeping some sense of 'being human'
within our words. Any help or enlightenment as to *how* would be
appreciated! :~)

My experience has been that effective listening helps lead to effective
communication. That and asking questions. Also, as a thought experiment
listen to yourself and others, and interpret what they say literally.
This leads to many questions for definition of terms. "What do you mean
your 'job is driving you crazy?'" "By assumption do you mean 'taking for
And, it helps to sometimes ask stupid questions. I have been
surprised at how much I assumed. Sometimes even the most self-evident
'facts' (like humans should migrate to space, or dinosaurs once walked
the earth, or the highway is west of here or, in fact, just about any
statement using the word 'is'.)
How, though, do we effectively tele-communicate? >, *, and :-)'s
all help, but they are far from getting the job done. (Ever notice how
smiley faces are never written after something really funny? :->

Though some of us (perhaps most of us) can't read HTML enhanced text
within our email, isn't that the way of the future? The simple nuances of
boldface and italics go a long way to conveying the tone of the users
voice. (And color, font, layout, sketches, etc.)
But, of course, this is just email. Any suggestions for other
One last thing. I found the Neuro-Linguistic Programming stuff
really interesting. Made even moreso by the peculiar life of Bandler.

> >P.S. E. Shaun Russell, you wanted to start a thread on semantics. This is it

E-prime duuudddde!

David D.