Psychological DISORDERS (Part 4b)

is such hard work!

PREVIOUS: Disorders #4a

SITE: ‘Somatization’ & Psych terms used as swear words

HUMOR: 35 Undiagnosed Medical Conditions of Disney Characters


PDs describe categories of ‘damage’ in adults who have long-standing problems establishing deep, meaningful, positive relationships with others. These people often show unusual, rigid or extreme patterns of thought, emotional reactivity, &/or impulsive behavior that consistently lead to problems for them & others

People with this mental/emotional dysfunction have a wounded core identity.
= At one extreme – some PD people assume they’re invulnerable & have a right to feel superior. They are insulated in their carefully built shell of defenses – and flatly deny having a wounded core

= However, most feel wrong, bad, not right, empty or simply ‘Not OK’ – in their basic sense of Self. The brain uses Self-concept as a guide for interpreting the world. How dysfunctional such people are depends on how intensely they act in self-defeating ways

Their sense of badness has a physical quality about it – it’s in their very bones or cells. They say they’ve always felt this way, that there was never a time where they felt OK, & they truly believe it. (C. ego state Post)

Transactional Analysis theory explains this sense of badness as coming from their WIC’s child parts (C1 or C0) – the most vulnerable aspects of personality. So their sense of badness is ego syntonic – meaning that it ‘makes sense’ to them on a gut level, with no inner conflict, as there are with neurotics. So the damage started very early, likely at birth (Co).

Using the Gestalt technique, if we visualize putting the Adult & Parents aspects of someone in 2 opposite chairs, & imagine the Inner Child between them, we ask “How do you feel about your IC?” Most people will have a fairly positive reaction. Instead, many PDs will say they hate their child – that it’s ugly, dirty, disgusting, full of needs ….. expressing the person’s ingrained sense of worthlessness (typical of many ACoAs!).

💚SIDEBAR: There is now a “Grand Unified Theory” of psychology (GUT) the relationship between psychology & neuroscience …..which clearly defines the field, & how the field relates to other disciplines (like biology & sociology)….
The 4 parts that make up GUT are:
1) the Tree of Knowledge System // 2) the Justification Hypothesis
3) the Influence Matrix  // 4) Behavioral Investment Theory (MORE….)  

Relational INFLUENCE Matrix
The Influence Matrix (IM) maps the dimensions on which people represent themselves in relationship to others.
It grew out of the Behavioral Investment Theory of social motivational & emotional processes, which is based on Attachment Theory. 

The Matrix makes 2 main points:
a. Humans are motivated by the need to be loved, admired & respected
b. They are equally driven by the need to avoid loss – being rejected, criticized or ostracized
(Freud’s Pleasure-Pain principal)

The green ovals on the BLACK axis suggests that people have a mental/ emotional picture of how valuable different types of relationships are, & tend to approach or avoid them accordingly.
💗EXP: Having ‘HI relational value’ can come from accomplishing 
something really hard that other people admire or love you for

✥ Personality Disorder Star (these 2 CHARTS)
Karen Horney’s 3 main NEEDS – ways of relating to others – exactly parallel the IM dimensions (above): Power is used to move against, Love for moving toward & Freedom for moving away. This means that there are separate pathways to deciding relational value

HOWEVER – People with PDs consistently act in ways that reduce the relational value of themselves & others – making their behavior patterns self-defeating, which cause everyone so much distress
EXP: PDs are grouped by the direction of MOVING –
• Against = Narcissistic – being hyper-competitive, constantly needing to demonstrate superiority over others (Steve Jobs)
• Away = Schizoid – a fundamental detachment, with a lack of emotional connection & responsiveness to others
• Toward = Dependent – desperately fearing abandonment, submitting to the will of others to avoid rejection, creating a need to caretake others

 The star shows how certain PDs are the opposites of other negative personality characteristics.
Cluster A people are extreme on the Freedom dimension of relating
Cluster B people are mainly selfish, competitive, manipulative & controlling
Cluster C people (especially Avoidant & Dependent PDs) are deeply concerned with affiliation – come here or go away – at any cost

Note that only 6 out of the 10 PDs are represented. The others tend to be combinations.
EXP: Borderlines (BPD) fluctuate between strong displays of dependency/ neediness followed by extreme displays of reactive hostility – described in”I hate you, don’t leave me” by Kreitman & Straus. They are less rigid than most PDs, with a weak or fragmented identity, & strong needs for all 3 (power, love & freedom), covering up a basically insecure Self (LO relational value).

NEXT: Personality Disorders (Part 4c)


Psychological DISORDERS (Part 4a)



if I’m afraid of everything!

PREVIOUS: Psych Disorders (#3)

POSTs: EGO States – summary

SITE: Re. PSYCH terms used as swear words

HUMOR: Hollywood PDs, as “Cars in the parking lot”


They are a group of 10 PMES mental/emotional illnesses,
 consisting of maladaptive internal experiencing (Es) thinking (Ts) & behavior (As) that deviate from norms & expectations of the person’s culture. These PDs make it very hard for the sufferers to accurately understand or relate to people & situations.

To put this category in perspective, it’s useful to place them in the hierarchy of mental states – from Highest to Lowest functioning:
1. Healthy —-> 2. Neurotics —-> 3. Personality Disordered (PD)—-> 4. Sociopaths/Psychopaths —-> 5. Psychotics (who are not at all in reality) 

PDs are pervasive & inflexible (unlike neuroses), have an onset in adolescence or early adulthood, are stable over time (consistent, persistent), & lead to emotional distress or impairment of ‘normal’ functioning.
— PDs are about 15% of the US population, 10% worldwide
— They are usually chronic, & difficult to treat
— A person can be diagnosed with more than one personality disorder, usually from the same cluster. (Skodol, 2005)
— Identifying the specific PD a person has (Axis I of the DSM) can help clinicians identify the risk of suicide & other psychological problems (any on Axis II), which often accompany PDs

●  All human traits range from
healthy & adaptive <—> to unhealthy & maladaptive.
PDs fall into the orange & red sectors, because their damage effects 
every part of a person’s life, usually as a result of an ongoing traumatic childhood. They tends to severely limit success in school, relationships, social encounters, work…. 

OVERVIEW – Main Symptoms of PDs
a. Distorted thinking patterns (CDs)
b. Over / under – regulated impulse control
• Odd / eccentric behavior patterns
• In some cases, periods of losing contact with reality (dissociations)
c. Interpersonal difficulties
• Avoiding other people, feeling empty & emotionally disconnected
• Trouble sustaining stable & close relationships, especially with partners, children & professional helpers

d. Problematic emotional responses
•  Overwhelmed by distress, anxiety, anger & worthlessness
• Difficulty managing uncomfortable/painful emotions, especially without self-harming – so may use cutting, being promiscuous, belligerent, withholding, abusing chemicals… in order to ‘cope’ – but rarely harm others physically. There are exceptions in some, such as torturing animals & bullying

Based on descriptive similarities, PDs are grouped into:

A3 “odd, eccentric” types: socially awkwardness & withdrawal (MORE….)

These PDs are dominated by distorted thinking, & in extremes they go:
— from eccentricity to fantasy
— from being lonely to schizoid hiding
— from distorted thinking to delusion, to paranoia
— from projective identification to projecting guilt on to others…..

Paranoid (2%) “The world is hostile so don’t trust anyone, & deal with people by being angry & attacking.”
Schizoid – “The world is scary so I withdraw from it (people), & don’t show any emotion or other needs/feelings”
Schizotypal – “The world is too scary, so I withdraw from it (people), & being a bit crazy, I don’t think clearly”

B4 “dramatic, emotional, erratic” types
UNDER- controlled: People in this cluster share the pattern of little or no  impulse control & have trouble emotionally regulating  themselves. This can include failure to plan ahead, or to consider the long-term consequences of their actions. At the extreme they can end up getting  into trouble (like breaking the law), & hurting others.

Antisocial (3%) “You can’t trust anyone & life’s unfair, so I take advantage of people & do whatever I like”
Borderline (1-2%) “Relationships & life are very unreliable, so I frantically do anything to keep people around”
Histrionic (2-3%) “I must be the centre of attention, so I will be dramatic, flirtatious & highly emotional”
Narcissistic (1%) “I have always been told that I’m very important & the best, so I feel & act that way”

C 3 “anxious, fearful” types  
OVER- controlled: This group shares a pattern of social inhibition, a deep sense of inadequacy, & hyper-sensitivity to other people’s negative opinions. They’re afraid to try new things lest they embarrass themselves, & get ridiculed or outright rejected. They hold back around others, so can come across as uptight & snobbish. They lack spontaneity, since every action must be considered for its potential to cause themselves emotional pain (MORE….)

Avoidant (1-10%) Life is scary & rejecting, so I feel worthless & withdraw ”
Dependent (0.5%) “I am worthless & can’t cope with life, so I cling to others & do what they tell me”
Obsessive/compulsive (1-8%?) “Everything around me is chaotic, so I have to be in control of myself & everything in my life, by being orderly & a perfectionist”

Other PDs not in DSM IV
Cyclothymic: Mood swings from Hi to Lo, with evenness in between – not as extreme as Manic-Depression
Masochistic (self-defeating): A need to fail, deliberately putting obstacles in ones own way to induce 
frustration, grief, setbacks & suffering

Passive-aggressive: See POSTS
Sadistic: Deriving pleasure from harming or humiliating others, using aggressive, cruel, demeaning & manipulative behavior

NEXT: Personality Disorders (Part 4b)

Psychological DISORDERS (3c)


are just twisted versions of the True me!

PREVIOUS: Disorders #3a

SITE:   What is High-functioning Anxiety?



c. Transactional Analysis  – The IMPASSE
Def : 
A road or passage having no exit, as a cul-de-sac
A situation so difficult that no progress can be made. Deadlock/stalemate

In psychological terms, impasses are formed as Type 1, 2 & 3 developmental stages in childhood, during which script-decisions are made. Scripts – our unconscious plan for life /internal ‘story’ – are usually based on unmet needs & abuse. This causes inner conflicts between one’s Parent & Child ego states, & usually experienced by the child first as a personal failure – an internalized sense of inadequacy. Parents, wider family & society present, repeat & reinforce scripts – in some cases positive, but in most cases harmful. (See the Gouldings’ 12 script themes – similar to the ACoA Toxic Rules)
This shows the power & active participation of children in their own development.

As adults, we all carry a representation (model) of the world  & ourselves – where we belong, how we fit in, our work & how we do it, & where we’re headed. If the source of this model comes from a dysfunctional family, it will always fall short of dynamic, ever-changing reality – limiting our S & I growth.
An impasse (being stuck in some area of life) indicates a need for change in order to move forward. The different intensities of psychological disorders represent various stages & intensities of impasse. (MORE...)

CHART: 3 development stages of conflicts between inner Parent (P) & Child (C)
3rd degree impasse (Po-Co: Birth to 6 months, pre-verbal, even pre-natal)
These earliest conflicts are produced by the type of connection between mother & child, depending on how they relate day after day. They will be around the issue of survival, between: abandonment & engulfment, destroying or being destroyed, worth & worthlessness….

EXPIf the mother has an unhealed WIC – stuck in her own impasse – her wounds get communicated to the baby, day after day. If she is insensitive, controlling or brutal – the effect on the baby is predictable.
However – much more difficult to identify later on –  if h
er grown up Adult & Parent parts are used to activate, even improve her parenting style, without Recovery her behavior won’t have any affect on her little C1 ego state. No matter how she tries to cover it up, her deepest damage will unconsciously keep re-traumatizing the baby. 

A depressed or angry mother can ‘responsibly’ feed & look after her baby son every day, but he knows / senses his mother is emotionally bereft. He intuits (or is told) that he needs to take care of her – all focus must be on her instead of his own feelings & needs – OR ELSE she may somehow leave (die). So he feels unworthy to be taken care of & worthless for not being able to help her, which causes intense anxiety. So he slowly develops defensive patterns like people-pleasing / isolation / addictions…., which form his False Self.

As an adult, this earliest impasse continues as deep-seated conflicts in PMES forms such as muscle tension, psychosomatic complaints, immune disorders…. & expressed verbally in symbolic images, such as “I feel as if I’m in a fog, lost, cold & alone, there’s a wall up between me & everyone else” …. 

 2 degree impasse (P1-C1:  6 mths – 6 yrs)
Made up of Injunctions (authoritative orders) carried by feelings /emotions. They become internalized, often through non-verbal comman
ds, at a time when the child has only a basic grasp of language. Script-decisions made are around basic theme about the child’s identity, such as: “Who am I? // Am I important? // Don’t grow up // Don’t feel”….. Later on, it’s much harder to remember how these issues developed, so the person usually doesn’t know they’re stuck back there

 1 degree impasse (P2-C2 : 6+ yrs old, when they can understand language)
The struggle here is between what the child should & should not do, what behaviors are socially acceptable or not. Internalized verbal
instructions (counter-injunctions) will be things like: “Please others // Always try hard // Be a good boy or good girl // Never get angry”….. These are more accessible to awareness, so later on it’s easier to remember who gave them & in what form.

BREAKING the Impasse – options
When the Bad Parent is so strong that it keeps the messages in place, the person gives in & continues to live by the original ‘rules’, keeping the Healthy Child bound. HOWEVER – 
a. When the person’s Wounded Child refuses to go along with its Bad Parent’s messages & is finally allowed to get angry, it liberates the Healthy / Free Child
b. The Bad Parent’s injunctions are agreed with, but the Healthy Child’s needs are ‘redefined’, often in humorous terms. Then both sides win.
EXP = Parent voice: “You’re crazy”
Child: “I may be crazy, but I’m never boring!”:)

NEXT: Disorders #4a

Psychological DISORDERS (Part 3a)

as some people I know!

PREVIOUS: Disorders #1

SITEs: “Why being neurotic could actually be a good thing”

⬆️ IMAGE designed & assembled by DMT

– now called “depressive or anxiety disorders”, are a group of mental dysfunctions which do not interfere with a person’s ability to think rationally or function day-to-day, but definitely cause distressing anxiety.
Freud said they’re a result of an extremely painful experience earlier in life, which was never processed consciously (rape, witnessing a traumatic death, attacked by a person or animal….)
Jung added they’re cause by a conflict between conscious concerns (like obligations) & unconscious content (unacceptable thoughts, wishes, emotions….)

Trait Neuroticism (TN) one of the 5 personality components of OCEAN. All vertebrate animals – including humans – have a “negative affect system” to avoid negative/punishing situations. TN includes individual differences in sensitivity & activity of this system, ie. how painful someone’s emotions are & what kind of responses they have to upsets (affect=emotion)

People high in TN are more likely to develop depression & anxiety, especially when exposed to ongoing stressful living conditions without having the skills to process their distress in a safe, validating interpersonal environment. They can either avoid the disturbing person/situation, or shutdown from frustrated needs & losses. AND they can either turn their pain in on themselves, or turn it on other (S-H or attack).

Karen Horney in “Our Inner Conflicts” said neurotic needs move us:
Toward others: those who seek affirmation & acceptance from others -needy, clingy, looking for approval & love
Away: those who are hostile & antisocial – aloof, cold & indifferent
Against: those who are also hostile, but with a need to control others, often described as difficult, domineering & unkind

• Scientific studies have found a correlation between a specific human gene & its corresponding allele pair and neuroticism. These cell components help to control the amount of serotonin released into the body, which when delivered unevenly, will continue to stimulate surrounding nerve cells, causing neurotic symptoms (anxiety)

• Not surprisingly – a 1998 study of over 9,500 UK residents found a higher number of neurotic disorders among poorer people. It’s possible that genetic factors predispose an individual to anxiety & neurosis, with outside factors triggering the symptoms.(MORE….)

IMP: Neurotics have a consolidated identity (not fragmented – being mostly in touch with reality), are well aware that something’s wrong (unlike PDs & psychotics), & can use ‘normal’ defenses (like CDs).

• With neuroses (n.), only a part of the personality is effected.  A person confronted with their feared issue (big dogs, snakes, airplanes, clowns, public speaking, visiting family….) will inevitably have an intense desire to avoid their specific issue. But their way of dealing with it is maladaptive, ie. the response ultimately moves the person away from their long-term needs (feeling safe) & goals (achievements).

✰ The main symptom is excessive anxiety, along with one or more physical manifestations (tight muscles, palpitation, headaches…..not based on illness), & may include anger & irritability, co-dependence, compulsive self-defeating behavior, low self-esteem, obsessive harmful thoughts & perfectionism.

Re. traumatic events – without psychological & spiritual help at the time of the originating stressor (rape, severe accident, death of parent, best friend, classmate….), the unconscious suppresses unbearable emotions, & sometimes even the memory of the event. Whether the person remember or not, their nervous system continue to experiences it as it did originally, becoming an ‘invisible injury. This makes dealing with their specific fear very difficult, while others parts of their life function relatively well. (MORE…..)

Neurotic reactions can be seen in one or more areas of ones life 
Beliefs: (‘verbal cognitions’), rigid & deeply protected theories about ourselves in the world, developed to justifying our actions/reactions
Defenses: trying to manage the tension between conflicting internal goals, & filter unacceptable ‘stuff ‘ out of full consciousness, but doing so at significant cost
Emotions: generally are either over-regulated (suppressed & not expressed) or under-regulated (hyper-sensitized & over-expressed)
Habits: automatic or ritualized patterns of visible actions used to alleviate anxiety & provide a sense of security
Relationships: adopting rigid styles of dealing with others, or having extreme reactions when not getting the connection they want/need

NEXT: Psych Disorders #4

Psychological DISORDERS (Part 1)

just a little ‘off’!

PREVIOUS: Communication (#1)

POSTs: Principles of Character 1 & 2

SITEs: STARLING: online educational videos, community support, and evidence based tools – to help improve mental health


PERSONALITY: A pattern of relatively permanent traits & unique characteristics that give both consistency & individuality to a person’s behavior.
TRAITS contribute to individual differences in behavior, consistently over time, & across a variety of situations.
CHARACTERISTICS are unique qualities of a person that include temperament, physique & intelligence.

SOCIAL INTERACTIONS are based on a person’s level of healthy character or disorder, & can be looked at from 3 points of view:
• Inward-facing perspective – the Self judging itself (self-concept)
• Outward-facing perspective – the Self judging other people
• Inner-outer: Introject judgments about the Self, but from the perspective of others

BEFORE looking at the various degrees of psychological disorders, we need a look at what mental health is – to use as a comparison.

O.C.E.A.N. traits:
Openness to experience, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, & Neuroticism
These BIG FIVE are dimensions of character (CHART) which represent the most important qualities shaping our social interactions. Extensive research shows these qualities have biological origins & are remarkably universal. One study that looked at people from more than 50 different countries found that these 5 traits accurately described personality from Germany to China. (Descriptions). Traits are rated on a scale from most to least. (People at the extremes)

ACoA reminder: Most of us think that our usual way of being is our actual personality (who we were born as) because it’s how we’ve been since childhood. However – anyone growing up in a very damaging environment forms a False Self as protection, in response to their environment. It’s the FS, a combination of the PP & the WIC, which houses the different disorders. With a lot of FoO work, most can be improved if not totally healed, but not all wounded people are willing to go thru the process needed to Recover.

HEALTHY – According to Otto Kernberg, someone is mentally healthy if they have a well-organized personality, which functions reasonably well because their reality testing is mostly intact. Such people have an integrated sense of Self, with an accurate Self-to-Other concept, allowing them to hold opposite feelings about any person (& themselves) – at the same time – without changing their realistic opinion of them. Everyone is experienced as a consistent ‘whole’, even tho they have both positive & negative qualities. NOTE: This does not mean they like everyone!

Thomas Fuchs (U. of Heidelberg) states: “Narrative Identity* implies a continuity of the personal past, present & future – essentially based on the capacity of a person to integrate contradictory aspects & tendencies into a coherent, overarching sense & view of themselves.”
*Narrative Identity = forming an identity by combining life experiences into an internalized, evolving story of the Self that provides them with a sense of unity & purpose in life.

UNHEALTHY –  However, people with a fragmented sense of Self cannot easily do this.  (This is not about multiple personality or schizophrenic dissociation).

Instead, their minds store separate split-off images of others as being either all bad or all good at any given moment, rather than as a single cohesive personality who has many different aspects.
So they don’t understand that their own experience of someone has changed – depending on the circumstance of their interactions, but actually believe the person has somehow changed. This prevents them from holding a consistent sense of Self & others across time & situations.(Object Relations Theory)
EXP: If you smile & are friendly to me, you are a totally good person – in that moment – who I like & feel safe with. If at some other time you hurt my feelings or ignore me, you are then a totally bad person – in that moment – & so I absolutely don’t feel safe with you.

😟 As a way of coping, the brain compartmentalizes traumatic experiences to keep us from feeling too much pain (physical &/or emotional) – creating dissociation. It can show up as a detachment or spacing out. A part of our attention is missing, so we don’t recognize what we’re thinking or need, & often don’t notice or hear things in our surroundings, or right in front of us all the time. But fundamentally – what’s missing is a connection to some or all our emotions.
SITE: Help for Organizing your mind

NEXT: Personality Disorders (Part 2)

COMMUNICATION Categories (Part 6)

to be listening to me!

PREVIOUS: Comm categories #2 

QUOTE: “A man’s character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation.”
Mark Twain


CATEGORIZING Communication (Comm) cont.

7. Re. WAYS to ENGAGE in comm
Level 1: Messages into the Ether
Snail mail, email & texting have some things in common. They’re sent out, & a response can sometimes take days or weeks. Since they’re not conversational (back & forth) there can be a high level of misunderstanding, possibly leading to hurt feelings, even fights.

Level 2: Back & forth Messaging
It’s conversational, but still done remotely (IM, text….). Such exchanges are more casual & direct, so confusion is less likely, since one or both can catch distortions or misses with each reply.
However, its bite-size style means it’s not well-suited to discussing complex issues.

Level 3: A Verbal Dialogue
Here participants get to express their opinions directly, plus adding a whole layer of implied info via Para-language. These can hint at excitement, pleasure, peacefulness OR annoyance, frustration, stress…. that are harder to detect in writing. A drawback is that they often require scheduling, but sometimes things need to be cleared up quickly via phone.

Level 4: In-Person Spontaneous Discussion
When something important comes up unexpectedly, we might decide to seek out the others person for a conversation. Spontaneous discussions can be  effective for problem-solving, getting an immediate need met or making a plan. Benefits come from adding a new level of mutual understanding & co-operation. But it doesn’t always work – discomfort with spontaneity, lack of privacy, the other person being too busy or not in the mood…. can get in the way.

Level 5: In-Person Scheduled Discussion
What makes this level special is the mutual agreement to set aside time.
Planning does not have to make the meeting Formal, but gives both parties time to think about the topic. Successful & dynamic interactions come from combining self-awareness, non-verbal intelligence & privacy, to ensure comfort & trust. (From )

VALUE: Observing admired leaders, we can see that good comm. judgment is very important to their success.
For example, knowing what
can be done at Level 2, versus what must be done Level 5 – & doing it – is a sign of sound leadership instinct, as well as knowing what to expect in personal relationships.

8. Re. PMES Categories
: Talking about anything of mutual interest – news, sports, weather…. It’s superficial but truly useful, allowing us to function among strangers without burdening them with TMI about our life.  It also helps determine whether someone is neutral, a potential friend or enemy

MENTAL: Talking about facts, helpful tips, ideas, non-controversial beliefs, plans & strategies, as in professional conversations. Unfortunately, some people go out of their way to be the ‘best’ at it, so that no one is smarter, wittier or more knowledgeable, & they never have to be wrong.

The distance between the first two levels is relatively short. Polite conversation can turn into a mentally stimulating one very quickly & then collapse back into small talk or none at all – without discomfort. Except for conversations with a controlling know-it-all, these two levels are safe.

EMOTIONAL: Here talk is about aspirations, fears, wants, needs & joys. Sometimes eyes well up, lips quiver, & the voice chokes. Other times those same eyes light up, heart pounds & words flow with joy, or fail from awe.

• The distance between #1 & 2 AND #3 is rather wide, because #3 requires intimacy, transparency, trust & vulnerability. Most of us are afraid of being wrong or looking foolish, & absolutely terrified of rejection.
Participating at this level opens us to possible rejection, hurt & being scarred. Over-all, this level is easier for women to navigate, partly expressing emotions is more socially acceptable, & because a portion of women’s Corpus Callosum is thicker than men’s, perhaps allowing more access across the hemispheres emotions to be verbalized  (MORE….)

SPIRITUAL. This is the hardest to identify & describe, not only because our culture is so secular, but because few people are willing to drop down into the level of faith – for themselves – much less to speak of it to others.
It melts away push-pull, give-take win-lose, me-you. There are no distortions from emotional mental or social games, allowing for the highest level of resonance, creating an energetic embrace that sustains & heals.

‼️ Understanding all these forms of comm allows us to identify & then choose which is most appropriate for any given situation.
It can be too easy to go down the path of least resistance, but that can get us into trouble, so it’s important to be more thoughtful about how & when we communicate.
It’s better to do it the right way – focusing on our goals & using whichever level will help us get there.

NEXT: Comm. Levels #3

COMMUNICATION Categories (Part 5)

what the rules are

PREVIOUS: Comm. #4

SITE: “….How Relationships influence Behavior”

⬆️ Image designed & assembled by DMT

CATEGORIES of Communication (Comm) cont..

6b. Re. Human Networks  (biz, academia, military, even family)
The form of an organization’s comm. networks dictates the method & speed by which ideas flow between managers & employees. Their efficiency can be tested on the basis of : Nature of task, Leader emergence, Group satisfaction, & Speed of work

a. RELATIONSHIP (channel):
FORMAL Networks
This is when one group member has access to more comm. channels than any other, & so tends to process more info than others in that group, which is disbursed to others based on status & hierarchy.
EXP: The boss needs to address any negative grapevine comm., or the rumors can become fact in the minds of employees

Wheel  – the most centralized form, where all info flows from the leader, & other members have little or no comm. link with each other. Here, the boss deliberately controls comm., making sure his/her wishes reaches everyone

Chain (scalar): People comm. in a set sequence, via the line of command….. proceeding from A to B, B to C ….. or in reverse. This type is slow but carries the most authentic communication

Here all group members have access to the same number of comm channels. Info is comm. by any person on the hierarchy scale & can be accessed by other employees. Research has shown that decentralized networks or organizations perform better, & have more satisfied members than centralized ones.

Circle – Here the info is shared equally among all members. Each person gives & receives info from two or more others in the network

Star – Comm. revolve around a central point. Each person in the outer branches of the star passes on a message to a central authority, who then distributes it to the other participants. A must for groups or for teamwork, but can limit or inhibit ease of comm. between members

Inverted “V” – Here subordinates are allowed to comm with their immediate superior, as well as with that boss’s boss – but limited

Common (Free-flow / All-channel)the most decentralized type of formal comm., where everyone is connected to each other, so info can flow freely from anywhere in the organization

Usually deals with interpersonal, horizontal comm. Traditionally it was considered a potential hindrance to effective performance, but that is no longer the case. However, leaders of modern organizations see it as an important way to ensure effective conduct in employees

Informal comm. is via the grapevine, represented by sociograms. Grapevines are important since they are a large part of daily comm. Friendship, usage & efficiency are 3 important parts. It can be as a:

Single strand
Info flows from one person to the next, until it reaches everyone ….. but is generally a less reliable or accurate way to pass on the message. However, it can be used to pass on some urgent or emergency news

Gossip Chain
There is generally a central person who looks for, finds & then passes on info to all other members in the network directly (water cooler, lunchtime…..), often used when the topic is not related to the job

Probability Chain
Here info passes randomly from persons to persons – used when the info is interesting but not important

Cluster Chain
The most common type of informal network – where a person who is source of a message passes info to a pre-selected group, from which a few individuals repeat it to other selected groups – until the whole network is covered, like a telephone tree.

b. MEDIAWritten, oral & gestural. see Part 2

Vertical comm. – Info is passed between different levels of the organizational hierarchy. Orders moves down from the top through a formal chain of command, to the place where it will be implemented. Responses & collected info flow up to the top for review & decision-making

Horizontal (lateral) Comm. occurs between any two parts of the organization at the same level – between 2 people, divisions or departments – allowing for greater degree of informality. The purpose is to co-ordinate the activities of the various units of the organization

Diagonal – Sharing of info among different structural levels. This term was introduced to capture the new comm. challenges associated with new organizational forms, such as matrix & project-based businesses.
EXP: It could involve higher level management with a lower level to indicate a shift in objectives, as well as the following dialog about how best to achieve the new goals.