Not sure this is a communications pattern and anti-pattern. It may just be a negative way to communicate.

So I like to on occasion talk about communication patterns and the resulting anti-pattern. In this case I am not sure the behavior is a pattern rather more of a impact. An impact is communication that basically prohibits two interaction.

One-Way communication can be effective. Sometimes a leader will generate action based on one-way communication. John Kennedy did with his famous Berlin Speech and his man on the moon speech. One-way communication from a leader to followers is really effective.

So this is why I am not sure it’s a pattern. Its definitely a negative behavior. Just most likely it is a component of a number of anti-patterns.

When friends talk it is two way. One expresses an idea or a concern and then the other does something similar. Sometimes as in this picture it is over coffee. Laughing and sharing there is a bond and a connection.

One-way communication is normally initiated by one party with no return from the receiving party. IE you did something wrong. Again, leaders use this modality at times. The difference between a leader using the modality and something using it with you is the intent.

There are modalities of speaking that impact people. People who speak at you, not with you. People that speak with you not at you. A leader starts the speech with what they want to do to fix the problem, then talk about the problem. The One-Way message has a two way reality behind it. There is change with the One-Way communication on both sides. It is a leader saying this is a problem, let’s fix it. One-Way communication in its negative form really only goes to the recipient. The sender doesn’t offer or even often consider change as part of what they do. They, the sender, isn’t ever at fault. So its not a communications anti-pattern but probably a leadership anti-pattern.

You see when you receive one-way communication you always consider the source. If the source only uses one-way communication long enough, you begin to discard the source. Certainly there are acts of human kindness that we try to keep communication lines open. But the reality is when someone communicates one-way they aren’t communicating. They are simply talking to the space you once occupied.

I feel sorry for people that use this modality. First off because they are wrapped around themselves. They see only fault in others. That might in the end be the leadership pattern and anti-pattern. A leader sees potential in everyone. They see a chance to change ND therefore issue a message. That message goes out One-Way but the leader listens and modifies the message. They, focus on improving both the message and the problem itself. I am not sure what the anti-pattern is however. Just a really bad way to communicate.


Communications are my hobby