December 8, 2022

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Communication models provide insight into communication pitfalls

What do you do with a text you have spent hours working on, but its message does not come across to the target group at all? Throw it in the bin and start again, or is there anything left to salvage? What if you learn to communicate well? Then at least this won’t happen to you in the future. That’s what communication models are for, right? Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Communication models don’t teach you how to communicate. It is too much of a challenge for that. 

However, communication models do give you insight into the pitfalls of communication. An important first step towards better communication. After all, communicating well is extremely difficult. Emotions, cultural differences, bias and even the medium you choose… they all play a role in how your message comes across. Try taking all that into account.  


The NLP communication model and the 5 axioms

Do you search for ‘communication models’ on Google? Then you quickly see that there is no shortage of models. Don’t worry: we are really not going to discuss them all here. However, there are two we would like to highlight: 


NLP communication model

Here the focus is on the senses. How your senses perceive a message determines how you react. With that, the model looks mainly at unconscious processes in the brain: the omission, distortion and generalisation of information. How you filter information determines how you think, and therefore how you communicate. 

You do the filtering of information based on:

  • Beliefs and values (which determine what information comes in).
  • Time and space (your senses perceive information relatively).
  • Language (do you understand what the other person is saying). 
  • Memories and the feelings you attach to them. 


The 5 axioms

This communication model states that you are actually always communicating, even if you don’t do so consciously. You don’t even have to respond to give a reaction. Is the relationship between sender and receiver not good? Or is the message not coming across clearly? Then there is noise on the line. What the sender says comes across differently to the receiver. Noise is actually always there, but a little is no big deal. Therefore, the goal should always be to minimize noise. 


Common communication pitfalls

Be aware of unconscious processes in your brain, know that you are always communicating and avoid noise… It’s quite a lot to consider when communicating. So what are these unconscious processes? And how do you avoid noise? First, consider bias. We often communicate based on what we know. That might be why your text mainly addresses men. Or people of your own age and ethnicity. Or there will be noise on the line because you write from your own expertise. For example, you use jargon that not everyone is familiar with.

These are common communication pitfalls that prevent your message from arriving as you intended. Understanding these pitfalls is a first step. But how do you avoid falling into them? Is there an easy way?

Most certainly! At Textmetrics, we have the solution for you. As text improvers, we know exactly which pitfalls there are. We developed the platform for text optimisation. A simple approach, for a challenging task. The platform gives you suggestions and advice that make writing more fun and more efficient. You write good, inclusive texts in understandable language, appealing to your entire target group.

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