Skill 5. Four Communication Levels

image Not all conversations occur at the same level of familiarity, content, and trust. There are four levels of communication—surface talk, reporting facts, giving opinions, and sharing feelings.

Level 1. Surface Talk—casual conversation of little substance or significance.
“What’s happening?” “Nice weather.” “Whatever.” “Hey, you.”
Level 2. Reporting Facts—stating factual information and data.
“My name is Randy.” “I’m married.” “It rained this morning.” “I was born in Nevada.”
Level 3. Giving Opinions—stating personal opinions and beliefs.
“I think travel is educational.” “I support the death penalty.” “The 49ers rock!”
Level 4. Sharing Feelings—stating feelings and emotions.
“I love you.” “I’m feeling abandoned.” “I’m excited to see you.” “I appreciate you.”

In any conversation, we communicate at a level we feel comfortable and safe. We usually begin at a lower level and transition to higher levels if we feel safe and are inclined to share. That’s why you don’t want to ever violate confidentiality. Once trust is broken in a relationship, it’s difficult to re-establish.

Be willing to share feelings. I know this might not be what you want to hear, but your willingness and ability to communicate at the feeling level, both as speaker and listener, will improve your relationships with others

Now return to the world and consider sharing more deeply with those you care for.

Skill: SHARE DEEPLY with those who matter.

Strength and honor.