What happens before and after the communication event?


Published: 11 Jun 2018

2018 Communication

Adding depth to human interactions by thinking about the pre and post part of the communication interaction is part of my own work that took the longest time to figure out.

Communication can be complex – and it is not a one size fits all. Much of communication is built on assumption and inaccuracy. So once I understood that different people given exactly the same scenario to deal with will always tackle it differently, it moved me forward exponentially.

In a recent full day event I put four case studies forward to the class to hone and practice their skills in communication.

What interested me was that out of five groups, four of the groups considered what the case study was – literally, and then devised an answer. The answers they provided were in fact correct according to the teachings they had learned during the day. However, the fifth group considered what may have happened before the event and what might happen afterwards. I was really taken aback by this as usually groups do not figure this part out.

Here are the case studies:


A member of staff who you inherited from the previous owner has much lower standards than you would expect. You have tried telling her how you want things done, but it doesn’t seem to stick for very long. What communication methods can you use to make this right, stop feeling frustrated, and get the quality work you want?



A friend you have known for a year, always makes you feel worse when you leave than when you arrived. She is a gossip and says mean things about people you know. She often points out your ‘faults’ and how you could do things differently? You have started to make excuses to not see her.

What would be better options?



Someone in your life is often condescending towards you, even in front of others, and in public places.

What communication methods could you use to address this, and how/why do you think they would work?



At work there are often days when it seems really chaotic and stressful. This is because some people in your department have no follow through, things get missed through ‘busyness’, are late (causing implications for others or the client), are relayed wrongly, or forgotten altogether.

When this happens to you as a result of someone else. What would be your plan?


Well? What would you do? Have you ever experienced any of these situations? Chip in on the conversation.

Watch this space………

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