The Core Values of Communication

Mr. Gustavo Páez, Principal of International Programs at the Western Australian International School System (WASS), shares the core values of communication and how WASSers can improve this essential skill.

At WASS, the students are shared with the focus on effective communication, reflecting not only on the ability to transmit ideas and express them in multiple languages but also on the ability to identify that the message was received appropriately by the recipient. Anyone can communicate but few are able to do so effectively, and that is the point of reflecting on this core value.

Communication is a skill that is acquired over time and involves a level of observation and reading of the receptor’s reaction, as well as the use of a clear and convincing vocabulary, as well as control of body language.

Learning to be an effective communicator is a necessary skill to demonstrate intelligence in the construction of ideas and problem-solving. I invite you to explore and practice this skill and core value by modeling clear examples of what we seek to convey as an appropriate interaction strategy.

I share Julie Fogh’s article “What are communication core values? These are the habits and aspirations of how we want to communicate – what’s truly important to us – how we want to be seen and how we want to feel, as well as how we want others to feel when we communicate with them” from July 2020. 

We have communication core values as individuals, within families, within social groups, and with our jobs, both on a team and organizational level. Generations can have different core values. Countries and cultures have unique core values. Often we don’t think much about them until they start to show their edges in contrast to one another. For example, you may not realize your family’s value of not interrupting or speaking out of turn exists until you are in an environment that suddenly encourages you to interrupt others or cut in. Communication core values have to do with everything from what is polite or rude within a family, to learning the rhythm of how a story is told, to your sense of humor. How your own personal communication core values “land” in your environment is where things get complicated – especially for anyone outside of the mythic norm (a term coined by Author and Activist Audre Lorde). 

At a time when our identities feel fragile, and as we are actively in a space of redefining corporate culture to fully embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion, we wanted to spend some quality time really diving into communication core values on a personal and societal level.

We believe that defining and examining your core values is key to better understanding your current behavior and that this exploration gives you options for ways you might want to change and grow.

Let’s talk about how values become behavior, and how to change and adapt that behavior. Let’s break down some of the more complicated core values to get really visceral and specific about what we mean. Let’s show how fluid they can be, and talk about strategies and tools. And even get into how they can be used as a foundation for figuring out a “personal brand” that is actually a reflection of you.

Western Australian International School System

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