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TIN CAN COMMUNICATION - we should talk, but how? Strategic, mindful, reflective cards and practices for communication and kindness

Guidance and rules how to comprehend, process and learn from our interactions with each other - virtual as well as interpersonal.

Photo of Rozsa Simon
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Thanks to modern technology we are able to communicate and in a way also interact with each other - even in times of quarantine. But with the unfamiliar and abnormal situation of being at home more than usually, being together more than before and maybe working remotely, we are facing new challenges at the same time. If its the workplace, our relationships or in daily life, we are continuously in communication with other people. Yet this normal changed and with it new problems created, with even superficially simple situations holding treacherous pitfalls. We seem unable to comprehend the other person we’re talking to or working with. Conversation then frequently turns into confrontation, while we’re often left in the dark as to why and how. And exactly those confrontations result in stress, which is counterproductive trying to stay healthy and safe. Friedemann Schulz von Thun explains how communication psychology can help us all get on better, both in personal and more matter-of-fact situations. Based on his theory I would like to suggest, strategically designed mindfulness cards focusing on our communication and the challenges we are currently facing.

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The Art of Misunderstanding & The 4 Sides Model of Communication:

Did this resource motivate you to change your behaviors?

  • Yes

In what ways did you change your behaviors as a result of this resource?

Asked myself questions why do couples have now issues? why is it difficult to be single now? How do children react to the situation? How do "fresh couples" deal with today? How do old, traditional companies communicate?

Did you share this information with your network?

  • Yes

In what ways did you share this information?

  1. Online conversations, IG Story, Video Calls

Where are you getting information around COVID-19?

  • News: Digital
  • Social Media
  • WHO (World Health Organization)
  • Word of Mouth

What information do you feel you are missing about COVID-19?

Preventive means for communication related issues caused by social distancing

What populations or personas are not currently being addressed with today’s COVID-19 information?

People with depressions, "fresh copies", singles, people who live in a small space (one bedroom apartment/ studio), flight attendances, freelancer, low income people, people affected by domestic violence, introvert people, people with anger issues, traditional organizations/ companies

What is your current profession?

Design Strategist (Freelancer)

In what city are you located?


In what country are you located?



Join the conversation:

Photo of Cindy Thorngren

I like the example under the first link of
"There is something green in the soup" that's cute if we can change wording to concepts like my poor examples
"You are so far away" to talk about social distancing
or "I don't have any food to eat" to talk about ordering take out

Photo of Rozsa Simon

Thanks for your feedback Cindy Thorngren Yes, exactly if we apply the concept to other examples - as poor and simple as they seem - they could really help in our communication these days. E.g. "you are so far away" this is how I would "translate" it with the concept:

Factual Information: You are far away.
Appeal layer: I miss you! (your desire)
Relationship layer: I like to spend time with you. (your relationship to the person)
Self-revealing layer: I am sad that you cannot be here. (your motive, emotion)

Factual Information: You are far away.
Appeal layer: I should be there with you!
Relationship layer: You feel I don't want to spend time with you.
Self-revealing layer: You do not know that you are far away as well, and that makes you feel sad.

And you might answer: “I can't change the situation, you are so far away as well!”
... and voila - a misunderstanding, because you actually maybe want to say that you miss the person and would like to find another way to "meet and talk" to the person e.g. through a call or facetime.

How do you see the above interpretation Cindy Thorngren ? Would you like to try another example (maybe one that you experienced in the past where you know there was a misunderstanding)?

Photo of Cindy Thorngren

One could be on hand washing or sanitizer - Do you think I have germs? - Why are you washing your credit/card, phone, shopping cart.
Or - why do you keep stepping away when I try to talk to you? Had a neighbor keep moving toward me - could be combined with Why do you talk so soft? (ie people need to use their outside voice so peope can hear over the 6 foot distance)

Photo of Rozsa Simon

Hi Cindy Thorngren I like your ideas a lot. It would definitely open the dialogue between uncertain topics and would enable to provide accurate answers!

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