Understanding increases with deeper levels of communication. Let us look at John Powell’s 5 levels of communication.
The first level is the CLICHÉ level.
‘Hi, how are you?’ ‘Fine thanks!’
We speak but do not share anything about ourselves. The result is that we remain isolated and alone.
Then we come to the FACT level.
‘A great day isn’t it?’
We share facts but expose nothing about self. Couples living in isolation will communicate mainly on this level.
Thirdly we have the OPINION level. We share ideas and opinions, but nothing of our feelings.
‘The Cheetahs is the best rugby team!’
We then come to the EMOTION level. This is ‘gut level’ communication where I share my feelings, desires, hopes, etc.
Lastly, we reach the TRANSPARENCY stage. Here we share our hearts, the real me!
‘I need you’, ‘I feel so alone’, ‘I am afraid I might lose my job’.
This level requires a deep degree of trust and commitment.