A Communication Model

There are two different roles to play in forming the energetic  connection we call communication:
The Planner
The Keeper of the Truth

What role we play depends on who we are communicating with. Men are the Planners when communicating with their personal  relationship but are the Keepers of the Truth when communicating with their children. The boss at work is always the Keeper of the Truth while the employee needs to be the Planner no matter what the gender may be. Communication needs both a plan and the truth to be successful.

The first step is to discover the needs/wants of the Keeper. This discovery may involve a process that might take some time to complete. Its not easy to tell someone what you need. It might take some clarification especially with more deeper needs but even superficial needs are sometimes difficult to share with someone you have little trust developed with. 

Once the needs of the Keeper are somewhat clear (use encouragement to help the Keeper), the plan becomes more obvious or aleast a good start can be made. The plan is a proposal to the Keeper about how both of them can help each other to get what is really wanted accomplished. So in listening and caring about the Keeper, the Planner makes known not only what he wants but also how the needs he understands canbee met as well. Patience from both is crucial for success. When the process is working, the energy from the communication is powerful. When its weak and there is a temptation to quit, there isn't enough engagement with because of time constraints or avoidance. With successful communication the power and energizes people to continue.  When people think they are communicating but really are arguing, they both will feel the energy drain and grow weary of the process.

Needs must be shared so they can be met. Sacrifice is not part of communicating. Happiness comes from the effort made not sacrifice. It takes some maturity to share needs. Maturity only comes by facing fears. Its not age but what has been overcomed in the accomplishments in life. I stopped using mood alterning substances because I realized the numbing of fears made transforming them into assets of maturity more difficult. Maturity along with patience is crucial to communication success.

When the Planner shares his/ her ideas there is hope thaty it will be enthusiastically received and that both will want to follow the plan. If this isn't the case it only means that the discovery process has not been fully accomplished. There are needs that have not been revealed as of yet. It is at this point that patience is needed allowing a return to the discovery in search of what the Keeper really needs. It is important that no one give up. Learn more about the needs of the Keeper and she/he will feel the Planner's love. The real power of love can't be missed in the presence of this caring. The Keeper begins to feel understood in this process. Objection to the plan is a real opportunity to come closer which often produces affection. You can succeed; just don't give up on yourself or the other.

The evaluation of the plan is meant to be helpful not critical or a place to get even.  It is wise to begin by letting the Planner know what you like about the plan. The more good that can be found in the plan the more encouraged the Planner will feel and the more open to what needs to be changed. There is always something positive to say even if it is an appreciation of the effort being made to communicate. Evaluating the plan helps the Keepeer to become clearer about the needs as of yet unmentioned in the beginning edition of the plan. It is a very good thing for the Keeper to change what the needs are as it reequires a greater courage to be clearer about them, something the Planner can appreciate especially if he remembers that this is a process. The changes mean that the Keeper is beginning to let go and not 'keep' the needs inside any longeer. It means that the truth is beginning to come out in their communication. When the Planner is not attached to his original idea he can understand better what the Keeper's needs are and what is most important to her/him. Attachment to the original plan makes the Planner inflexible, a big roadblock to the process of coming together. Getting it right means connecting to each other's needs not magically or solely guessing and doing all of it on your own. When we communicate or connect to someone it produces the energy that moves the communication to a place that love and caring for each other has inspired.

Sacrifice (compromise)  our needs and consequently, losing touch with what they are, is replaced by the hard work of engaging in this process. If a Planner wants his needs to get met, like acceptane, he/she will be grateful to the Keeper who is getting clearer and more accurate about the needs involved.  One senses the caring and understanding as the other listens and begins to understand what the needs are. The truth awakes as they make the effort to discover each other. 

Its a huge mistake to think you already know someone you have been with a long time. We are all changing constantly. communication ends assumptions.Don't try to figure someone out. Be happy to make the effort to get to the truth through communicating. Appreciate the Keeper's willingness to be real with you and refuse to play the game that you know her so well. People often tell others what they think they want to hear,Trying to please someone is a way to avoid the vulnerability involved with communication. Your interest in each other will only grow in time as you follow the changes in each other. A plan that involves the needs of both people will be joyfully followed. A poorly communicated plan produces resistance. Mis-communication can provide an opportunity for intimacy as the couple works through it together.Intimacy is an endless process not an arrival. Rarely do two people understand each other initially. The Planner must realize that in this process the Keeper builds enough trust in him to reveal herself. Its an even greater risk for her if she has not had success in communicating honestly in the past. 

In our culture parents are often unaware of their children's needs. They often lack the time committment to communicate or leave this task to the other parent which produces an unbalanced familiy. The absent parent finds himself left out of the relationship with his children. Children who don't feel understood will go elsewhere to get this basic need meet. They may grow increasingly resistant if a parental committment doesn't ocurr. The ensuing accting out behavior may make the situation even more confusing to the parents.  Panic must be avoided and the communication must be re-established, maybe with the help of a pastoral counselor. When communication is not re-established with parents the problem is bound to extend into the adult years with multiple relationship failures thus making it difficult to trust again even with a loving person.

When there is not enough communicating, one person might think that they have to do it all. This is panic mode will produce anger. Anger could be a wake up call for the couple. The lack of effort of the past could end in an effort to work out the conflict. It is always a mistake for the Keeper to tell the Planner what to do. The Planner is easily intimidated by the Keeper's anger and might compound her mistake by placating her and follow her plan. The value of the anger is it provides evidence that the communication is failing and may therefore signal a return to the discovery process. A by product of anger is often an indirect statement of needs: 'you don't pay any attention to me' can be translated into 'I need attention'. Until the fear in the anger is alleviated, the other must continue to help the communication whether it is the Planner or the Keeper. If one can turn down reacting to the other communication is possible. The Planner must turn away from any guilt that is being triggered while the Keeper must stay clear of shame. If both aren reacting its best they take a time out.

When the Keeper of the Truth gives honest feedback to the Planner they develop a  shared plan together. The Planner is putting both of their needs together in a shared vision. The Keeper is letting the Planner know where his plan is succeeding and failing. Eventually they will produce a plan they both will joyfully follow. 

I am happy to help apply this communication model to any situatin you might find yourself in. Please call or text me with your questions.  Emails are always welcome.