25: Context is Everything

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Anything from a stomach ache to how much sleep you got the night before will impact how you communicate with, and are perceived by, others. This is the “context”, or the circumstances surrounding your message. To be a great communicator you need to understand a few key things. Context is Everything

Communicating is connecting. It is sharing and receiving information that will lead to a greater understanding and bringing you closer to others. In turn, this will bring about greater self-awareness which is key for anyone who wants to be a great communicator.

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Let’s look at the different types of context;

What you’ll hear in this podcast:

  • Physical context – the actual space you are in, your experience of that space, and how that experience affects you
  • Temporal context – the expectations that people have of you based on past experiences, setting up the expectation of what type of communication will occur (i.e. their expectations)
  • Social psychological context – a fancy word for the balance between people’s emotional states and their personal relationships
  • It is important to not “vent your mood” onto others
  • Cultural context – every single one of us belongs to a culture, and that culture reminds us of itself on a daily basis. Disrespecting someone’s culture, whether you mean to or not, is the quickest ways to offend them and this makes communicating difficult.
  • When you are aware of these various types of contexts you can be a great communicator
  • Intrapersonal – your mindset and where you are at that day (your inside voice)
  • Interpersonal – the process by which you convey information & your past experience
  • The physical context also informs what kind of communicating you will use or what language such as non-verbal communication
  • Relationships are mutually defined (you teach people how to treat you)
  • You either contribute to or contaminate a relationship

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