Three basic levels of communications exist. In this article, I will share an overview of the three levels of communications and then suggest the importance of using Level 3 Communications as much as possible.
The three levels of communications are:
- Level 1 – Intellectual
- Level 2 – Emotional
- Level 3 – Intellectual/Emotional
Level 1 Communications
Intellectual communications are very common in technical roles such as accounting, technology and engineering. It is a very important communication technique as it focuses on the practical side of any situation. When communicating intellectually you are communicating facts, figures, statistics, and processes.
Level 2 Communications
The emotional side of situations is also important to consider. There are many situations where the primary focus should be on the emotions involved such as some conflict resolution scenarios. Many times, the other party simply needs an empathetic ear. When you communicate emotionally you are communicating feelings, desires and sympathies.
Level 3 Communications
In most life situations, you will be most effective if you communicate both intellectually and emotionally. This is the core of what I call Level 3 Communications. At this level, you are communicating facts, figures and other intellectual information, but you are also considering the interest and concerns of the receiving party.
Level 3 Communications also allow you to listen effectively as you are focusing on the emotions of the other party and not just the words they are saying. It is important to remember that, in general communications, more than seventy percent of the meaning comes from the tone and body language of the communicator. Tone is often a reflection of emotion, as is body language. If you can learn to read facial expressions, tone of voice, and other subtle hints, you will be able to communicate with your work partners more effectively.
In the end, you will find the greatest effectiveness by combining intellectual and emotional communications into what I can Level 3 Communications. While I cover this in much greater detail in my Communicating IT book, seminars and audio program, this should get your thinking started in the right direction.