There is a need to map the connections of our language to the occurrence of experience. When we say language, we mean it in the broadest sense, which includes both verbal and non-verbal communication, such as facial expressions, body language, art, and any other actions that have symbolic intent. There is a need to “untie the knots of language” in order to see that whenever you say something, other communication is carried along with it (Zaffron & Logan, 2009). The other communication is called the “unsaid, but communicated,” wherein the sender can either be aware or unaware of it. You must take note that the unsaid is the most important part of language when it comes to elevating the quality of your performance. These unsaid, but communicated things include assumptions, expectations, disappointments, resentments, regrets, significance, and other issues, among other things. Have you ever experienced a time wherein you just know that another person is flat out lying to your face? He appears detached, disconnected, or even evasive. What he is hiding is unsaid, but it is still somehow communicated that something about what he is saying is off. Think about your entire group and how you hide things from each other. Consider the impact of the unsaid on your performance as a leader and as a group. The “unsaid, but communicated” is channeled through different ways, such as in what people say, how they say it, their gestures, tone, eye contact, and so on. If you pay attention to pick up the unsaid, it can be an overwhelming thing. It will show you the essence of who people are. However, it can be too much for us. Sometimes, we need to turn off our antennae just to make it through the day.
There is also an aspect of communication that writes our future, without us realizing it. It is the part of language that exists outside of our awareness. Zaffron and Logan call this the “unsaid and communicated without awareness.” This type of communication determines and shapes the messages that are possible, not possible, important, unimportant, relevant, irrelevant, appropriate or inappropriate and so on. We are unaware of this aspect; thus it becomes outside of our control. We need to find leverage on this part; otherwise the future (that is beyond our control) is written and cannot be altered.
The key is to become aware of what people are not saying, but are communicating. Most of the time, this process of awareness is like walking into a cave that is pitch black. It starts with people saying what they have been thinking. At first, this may seem uncomfortable. However, like going inside the cave, the further a person goes, the more the person needs a guide who knows the terrain of the unsaid.
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