Speaking effectively means knowing how to communicate a message. The word communication comes from the Latin communico, and it has to do with the way a thought is transmitted from one person to another. So when we talk about communication, we need to bear in mind the means by which a message is transmitted, such as a voice, a gesture, or an email, and the object being transmitted, such as an image.
Interaction, on the other hand, is something more advanced and involves people engaging in a dialogue. Interaction is not limited, as it is in communication, to providing information, but it expects and waits for a response from the other person, whereby each person has the ability to influence the other. The functioning of interaction has been the subject of scientific studies, and follows precise rules, because it responds to brain stimuli. In a commercial negotiation, for example, if you know the different ways the human brain reacts, you can choose the right words based on the reactions the other person’s brain will have in that situation.
The true scientific field that studies human interaction is known as HCE or Human Connections Engineering, and it is a scientifically proven method which interlinks the five typical intelligences of human beings. It may seem like a complex structure, but in-depth study can stimulate our curiosity to gain a better understanding of the way these five intelligences work and interact. According to the HCE method, each of us has five intelligences (strategic, behavioural, environmental, linguistic and emotional) and each intelligence is divided into 15 aspects or characteristics.
During an interaction, all of these aspects come into play as different variables, and this is why the results of any encounter can be so diverse. Let's imagine that two people meet at a train station. It is raining and they are forced to enter a dull waiting room with neutral colours and meagre furniture. The environment that these two people meet in will greatly affect the way they both speak, not only in their choice of words but also the gestures they make. If, on the other hand, they decide to meet in a cosy tea room with light wooden furniture and plants that warm the general atmosphere, their speech will be more fluid and their conversation is more likely to go in a positive direction. This example can help us understand the basic principle of the HCE model: every single aspect counts; the outcome of an interaction derives from the combination of many factors that affect the result. However, while it does follow a scientific process, HCE is based on a flexible format that changes according to the situation. Choosing to hold a meeting in a train station, rather than a tea room, can be strategic with respect to the response you want to obtain. There is such a thing as the perfect place, or the ideal situation, but it is essential that you always plan according to the features available to you at any given time.
So the HCE model is a very effective tool for getting to know and for learning to understand people. We should always start with ourselves, following the HCE method means sharpening our awareness and nurturing our communication skills, so that we can influence the discussion in any given interaction, in the hope of making the world a better place. In fact, all too often we are called upon to make a choice, but we are unprepared and unaware of what is happening around us. We then learn the implications of our unconscious attitude when we realise, too late, that the decisions we made were wrong. So, the benefit of following the HCE method, is that it gives us the opportunity to make conscious decisions, so as to reduce the margin for error. The quality of our life undeniably depends on the quality of the choices we make; if they are the right ones, we will enjoy their positive effects in the days to follow, but if we take a wrong turn, it is unlikely that we can turn back time to repair the damage. Knowing that the quality of our choices is more important than the quantity, we need to recognise the importance of choosing well. When Obama was asked why he always dressed the same, he replied that he had more important decisions to make than choosing what to wear. Choosing what to choose is an excellent demonstration of the next concept of how human behaviour works.