WATCH: There Is A Paradox In Effective Communication

Today, I’d like to talk about the ‘Paradox of Communication’. And if we think of a paradox as two contradictory statements, which are seemingly opposite, but in fact both true. They may be contradicted, but they’re both true. If we think of the paradoxes of Dr Dan Harrison.

The behavioural paradoxes that he’s developed. We can look at two traits, two behaviours that seem to be contradictory and opposing one another. But in fact, when they come together are synergistic and form a new more powerful behaviour. 



So, if we look at the behaviour of ‘Frank’, what we can see is someone who’s very forthright, directing to the point. And they value being honest and saying what needs to be said. However, they can come across, if they don’t have matching diplomacy. 


They can come across as ‘Blunt’. That means, they won’t be heard. They won’t be listened to properly because people will be finding it difficult. They’ll have their emotions stirred up, and therefore, won’t be able to hear what’s being said. But, likewise, if you’ve got someone who’s very high on ‘Diplomacy’, but low on ‘Frankness’. They can be seen as evasive, they can be seen as saying a whole bunch of stuff, but people will go “Well, what’s actually, being said here?” “What’s the point?”. And they may even find that the person is trying to hide something. So, they may distrust that person. So, high diplomatic People with low frankness can be perceived as not telling the truth or hiding something. 

“Forthright Diplomacy”

So, what we need is we need to be able to have ‘High Diplomacy’ and ‘High Frankness’. Giving us ‘Forthright Diplomacy’. Now there’s an interesting dynamic here with these paradoxes, is that if I’m very high on diplomacy and low on frankness, I’ll demonize ‘Frank’ people, I’ll call them rude and not like them. And, I certainly won’t want to have that behaviour myself.

“Avoids Communication”

They might then sort of go, “Well, I’ve said my bit, I’m not going to participate in this communication anymore. Just suit yourselves” or avoid the Communication. And, they’ll, therefore, say things that are ‘Evasive’. And, of course, if you’re low on both. You’ll end up in and ‘Avoids Communication’ situation. So, what I’d like you to do is. I’d like you to consider your own styles.


So, when it comes to Communication,

Stay Curious!



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Remember . . . Stay Curious!


With best regards,

David Klaasen 

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©David Klaasen – 2014