Back in the more immature years of my adult life I would go into an emotional funk for days at a time in which I stayed as silent as I could both publicly and personally.
In looking back at those moments I felt as if I didn’t want to communicate with anyone. I was just ruminating.
On what, I don’t really know?
I don’t remember getting anything out of those bouts of what, in looking back, was some form of mild depression.
After a couple of days, it would either just go away or I would decide it was time to come out of it.
I specifically remember, though, at those times I definitely didn’t want to communicate… with anyone.
Yet, what I’ve realized in the years since is that human beings cannot not communicate. Even the silence I was hoping to maintain communicated something to those around me.
In those moments those around me were forced to place meaning on my communication. I gave up control over the message and meaning of my communication.
Once I came upon that realization, I decided I would never give up control of the meaning of my communication ever again.
In that journey of personal communication growth I came to believe there are three primary contexts of communication in which we get to influence the world.
I call them The 3 Levels of Leadership Communication.
It all starts with “self-communication” as Level 1 Communication.
We can’t communicate with anyone until we first communicate with ourselves as we internalize the communication we want to have with another.
We are the only person with whom we communicate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, every year of our life.
It’s vital we master Level 1 Communication – Self-Communication.
The two other levels of communication we must master are:
- Level 2 Communication – 1:1 Private, Direct & Candid Communication
- Level 3 Communication – Group/Public Communication
Mastering Level 1 and Level 2 are the minimum communication skills for personal happiness no matter what someone’s professional life may be.
Level 1, Self-Communication is the foundation of personal growth, fulfillment and happiness. It creates one’s level of self-esteem and self-worth from which all else derives.
Level 2, 1:1 Private, Direct & Candid Communication may be the number one thing that gets in our way of having positive, productive relationships throughout our life.
A significant portion of the stress and strife in our lives stem from our relationships. Many of us can point to individuals within our families that have conflicts between each other that never, or only get resolved on someone’s deathbed.
Depending on someone’s aspirations for personal and professional success will impact his or her need for mastering Level 3, Group/Public Communication.
Whether the fear of public speaking is truly the greatest human fear, even greater than death, or not, it is something that a significant majority of people struggle with speaking in public.
For those with professional aspirations, mastering Level 3 Communication can absolutely make the difference.
Level 3 Communication is the level of communication that can separate someone from the pack.
It’s at this level where an individual can make powerful impressions.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be using this space to go deeper into each of The 3 Levels of Leadership Communication.