26. 03. 2020

Communicate purposefully with visualizations

In today’s world of work, where most complex topics are dealt with interdisciplinary, agile teamwork within pressuring time, purposeful communication is one of the most important aspects for project success!

For the dissemination of information, we mainly use our verbal capabilities. Through our body language, we naturally, consciously or mostly unconsciously, additionally give signals that need to be processed and interpreted.

However, we thereby only use a small part of our communicative potential.

Visualizing addresses the sense of sight.

This sensory input provides us with up to 80 percent of the information from the outside world and thus belongs to the most important and most researched senses. For example, we now know that about a quarter of the entire brain and 60 percent of the cerebral cortex are engaged in the analysis and processing of the visible world.

Bildüberlegenheitseffekt englisch

This enormous potential must also be used for our interpersonal communication!

By visualizing, we not only build bridges to a common understanding, but also accelerate the solution finding in a team. In addition, pictorial representations of thoughts or knowledge content can help us to take advantage of the picture superiority effect. This means that information will be kept better and longer if it is perceived visually!

Albert Einstein sums it up in one of his famous quotes: “If I can’t visualize it, I can’t understand it!”

Despite these plausible arguments, there are many reservations when it comes to reaching for the pen. We claim that what we put on paper must be like a masterpiece! Needless to know, few of us are blessed with the art skills of a Picasso or Rembrandt.

Astonishingly, this claim disappears when it comes to putting ideas into words. For good reason, no one thinks he must be rhetorically equal to Goethe, Schiller or Shakespeare in order to be understood.

With easy-to-learn techniques of visual representation, it is possible for everyone to visually articulate thoughts and thus support the communication process. The claim to beauty must ultimately give way to the pragmatic claim of comprehensibility and self-expression must give way to an effective exchange among one another.

by Stefan Schmechel
Enabling & Coaching


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