Zacharias 🐝 Voulgaris

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The Value of Intra-Personal Communication and How It Relates to Inter-Personal Communication


The Value of Intra-Personal Communication and How It Relates to Inter-Personal Communication

Lately I've been thinking a lot about communication, as I was working on a video on the topic, for the Safari Books Online platform. My focus was on how it applies to Data Science, but my contemplation covered other aspects of the topic. At one point I was pondering about how good communicators operate, people like Elon Musk, who without saying too many words, they are always able to get their message across and make it relevant to their audience.

Then it dawned on me. It’s not just the external part of communication, which involves the interaction with other people, but also the internal part. You can think of it as a simulation of sorts that we all carry out in our minds, oftentimes without fleshing it out in complete language structures. This intra-personal communication may involve all kinds of data, including things that may be amorphous at first, such as feelings and impressions. How we tackle that data and structure it, in a way that is compatible with our more structured (conscious) information, is not easy. Perhaps it’s more of an art than a science, but it’s definitely worthwhile.

Intra-personal communication is essential as it is closely linked to understanding what the other people have communicated to us. These audio signals (or text day, if it’s written communication we are dealing with) have to be internalized before they can be of value in our thinking patterns. What views of ours do they challenge? Is there a common ground between the angle they represent and our perspective? How can we bridge any gaps and find some other view that is closer to the truth, or at least compatible with both the other person’s view and our own? These are questions that may feature heavily in our internal communication.

Without intra-personal communication we may end up reacting to things, instead of participating in a dialogue (like certain people do on Twitter). If the information we have in our possession is incomplete, it is bound to remain this way, since it will not be “fertilized” with new information that may enable it to achieve a better generalization and a broader application domain. Subject to subjective truths, it may remain relevant to just ourselves, instead of transcending our perspective and growing more interpersonal and more applicable to a group of people.

Perhaps if we all pay more attention to this more subtle aspect of communication we’ll be able to foster ideas that transcend our world-view and come up with ways to create new products or services that can benefit the whole. We may not become great orators necessarily, but at least we may make the world a bit sweeter, by turning the pollen of data into the honey of useful information.

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