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Communication and Communication Skills - Understanding Your Audience By Stuart Malkin

Response means “to answer” and that idea, in its purest form means a complete and honest answer, with all of the detail that constitutes a meaningful communication. Semantics teaches us that we must appraise our “audience” and determine the language level, detail level, maturity level etc. of the person(s) to whom we are speaking. Only then can we communicate effectively. An obvious example is communicating with a child vs. an adult ... language, speed of speech and even gestures and facial expression should vary, based on the audience!

And the most essential characteristic of essential communication is called “experience and reference function.” That means that we need to appraise the experience of the listener and, to the extent possible, modify our communication so that it fits the experience of the listener. If we are able to do this effectively, our communication, our responses and our feedback to the audience will be accurate, complete and meaningful to them!

The other aspect of this methodology, “reference function” applies to the specific uniqueness of the audience. A good example is a mother ... a mother is in a position to have a very special view of subjects such as “baby” or “pregnancy.” When discussing those subjects, for instance, no male is in a position to understand the essence of those subjects as well as a mother!

It is not practical or necessary to use this “audience appraisal” methodology in each of our everyday communication needs. But, clearly, to the extent that one does take into account such concepts concerning an audience, communication will be more effective. It will engender trust in the relationship.

As to feedback specifically, I believe that as much information as one can give in a communication will, obviously, produce a better communication. It will also encourage feedback back to the speaker, further enhancing the quality of the conversation. And, yes, that does include negative feedback, though I would personally sprinkle love and concern along with the negativity! Any method of achieving wholeness in a relationship will encourage trust.

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