Who’s on this episode?
Contrary to popular belief (ie. culture) the “Friend Zone” is not a good place to be. I tend to disagree. Friendship is essential to a full life. But sometimes friends can be confusing. This week, Jeff and DW sit down with Terra Kay to peel back the layers of relationships in our follow up to last week’s episode on intimacy. We’re looking at Powell’s five levels of communication and relating them to relationships.
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John Powell’s 5 Levels of Communication (we put counted from 1 to 5, instead of 5 to 1 on the episode. We are sorry.)
Level 5: Small Talk. This is surface communication, like “How are you?” as you pass someone on the street. There’s nothing wrong with it. It helps to break the ice, but if communication remains on this level, it can be frustrating. Authentic intimacy requires greater depth, and tough truths require much greater depth.
Level 4: Factual Conversation. This is when the conversation stays at a head level. It lacks feeling. At this level you might describe all the rational reasons why something is true for you, but not explain why you care so much or how it affects you personally. Again, facts are important in conversation. But including emotions takes communication to a new level.
Level 3: Ideas and Opinions. This is where authenticity and intimacy begin. You start to expose yourself at this level, sharing opinions and hopes that go beyond the factual. Its amazing how much ice is broken at this level, when we really hear each others hopes (and fears) and dreams.
Level 2: Feelings and Emotions. This is where tough truth is expressed, as well as exciting vision. This is when you describe why you feel the way you feel. You describe what is going on inside you, including feelings of frustration, anger, resentment, or happiness.
Level 1: Deep Insight. This is the gold of communication where you bring together facts, opinions, feelings and depth. You speak honestly AND kindly, clear about who you are but not needing others to agree. When you connect at this level with another person, or a group of people, you have really struck the gold of authentic intimacy.
Donald Miller released a Bible reading plan to go along with his book, Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy.