My understanding of communication is a process whereby individuals exchange some sort of information. It is very important to pay attention to each letter of this definition. the word "Individuals" implies that there are , at least , two sides actively involved in the process, none being more important than the other. The next word " exchange" indicates that both sides are at the receiving end with the aid of a feedback forming a closed circuit. The word "process" is meant to be an ongoing one.
Who am I ,then, to talk about communication? Well, it what I do everday. As a teacher, I am involved in this continuous process of exchange of information. The feedback I get from students is not less important than the message I pass on. However, this does not mean that they dictate what I do or say. It only means that I am in the continuous process of convincing them that I am acting in their best interest, and they ,on their side, have to demontrate that the methods I use is having an impact on their lives. It is a win-win situation which everyone seems to be enjoying and benefiting from.
The example above is a typical classroom situation. However, I am absolutely convinced that this model of communication can work elsewhere, especially in public speeches. As someone quite interested in politics and deeply concerned , I have been obseving and analysing statements being made by top ranking politicians and leaders. The question I often ask is this ” Are they really communicating? “
Watch some of these:
“Let noone has any hope concerning the new government. If this government falls, our coalition will come together to form another government and continue doing what we have been doing” ( a minister)
” I am not going to answer to your questions because you represent the interest of Swedish enterprises” ( a deputy)
” Everybody is to blame for the high inflation. We are all living beyond our means. We keep borrowing , and then we are surprised that inflation is so high” ( Prime Minister)
” All those people who participated in the demonstrations of 18th October and 3rd November are enemies of Latvia. They are not happy that we are progressing and developing. These are staged events ” ( a deputy)
A look at some of these statements shows a serious lack of consideration for the other side of the communication process. It implies that the speaker leaves no room for the receivers. It seems that these people claim to have the absolute truth without the obligation to explain their actions to their electorate. Another strange conclusion is that it is what the coalition decides that is important, not what the people want. This communication problem has been the biggest problem of this government, not its actions.
As the coalition is now dwelling on the composition of the new government, I hope it will keeps its ears open to hear what the other side is saying. I hope it will appoint people who can engage in harmonious closed circuit of communication.