Empathy and Rapport to Develop Effective Interpersonal Communication

Mission Statement

 

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Mission Statement

The human being thrives for companionship and to live where culture and society can gather. This is only possible when good communication happens.

 

Genesis relates that men, in the primeval times of history, came from everywhere to Babylon, to construct the tower of Babel on an effort to build one big society. There was one language, and few words, and they all worked together until there came the confusion of the tongues, they could no longer communicate and people dispersed. This is not a Biblical or religious point of view, but an understanding of a sine qua non factor intrinsic to the existence of society: communication.

 

Dr. Noam Chomsky, Professor of Linguistics at MIT, theorizes that human language has both a “deep structure” and a “surface structure”, and that the only differences between languages lie in the surface structure, while the deep structure is common to all languages. For me, this is the starting point of communication and I highlight below a few of its subtle aspects.

 

Situational, environmental, relational, and psychological contexts are important factors to be aware of,  and should be carefully handled in order to develop and achieve a successful interpersonal communication.

 

We must be careful when sharing cultural similarities, or, when is the case, recognizing the possible cultural differences – of what we say, how and when we address others, and to realize that once it is done, it may eventually be mended, but it cannot be deleted. Attitudes, body language, tone of voice are also integrative factors of communication. In some cultures, e.g. the Italians, we can say that they talk with their hands; most of the Western world believes in eye contact as an asset of operative communication, whereas in other cultures it could be considered, at least, unbecoming.

 

To my understanding, all these factors are part of Chomsky’s “deep structure” and can be summarized in two words: empathy and rapport, the good basis to find the common language to address an effective good interpersonal communication.

 

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