“It is not the voice that commands the story, it is the ear.” Italo Calvino

The last post I’ve made was intitled “the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place”, it has been published through different channels and received a good amount of participation from the readers, to whom I’m thankful.

What can be seen from the feedbacks is that the communication has a lot of different aspects to be taken into account, and due to this complexity it is difficult to entirely embrace.

By simplifying and grouping the contributions to the discussion, it came out  a further analysis which I feel deserves to be shared.

First of all I read that the communication is perceived in a number of different ways, it may be packed in the Instructions format or in the informational one, into a “command” mode or a feedback; the aspect that is perceived by everyone is that every time a sender and a receiver get in contact the communication happens and we cannot do anything else.


It exists, moreover, the optimal shape of the communication, the one that completes with the feedback phase, which is the one that ensures that the receiver GETS THE MESSAGE,  regardless if it has been delivered through a passive or active message, an assertive or imperative message, just to mention few.

I’m happy to have a lot of you guys to realize that the so famous “communication problem” in reality is an issue related to the quality of the communication itself, it is not related to the quantity; too much quantity plays additionally against us because in such cases the receiver is likely to filter out the extra informations he is provided with.

Bye Bye Message.


What make the communication weak is that everyone, when receives the message, adapt the content to his own way to see the world around.

Moreover, when the communication is poor of referential indexes it reaches more people, but the message is strongly adapted by everyone. On the contrary, when the communication is full of clear and measurable references stimulates the resistance in the receiver and also in this case the objective is not reached.

Should I say “we have to be more focused” I’ll probably find a a good number of follower, but everyone will try to focus on his own priorities. If I say something more specific, like “we have to focus more on the spring sales in the London area” more people will reject the message because it is not adherent to their strategy or they do not feel to be directly involved in that objective.


The sum of these weaknesses explains why the sender of the communication has a low capture rate, despite of the personal belief to have communicated in the right way.

Even if this may be acceptable in a marketing campaign, it is not sufficient when we are dealing with the resolution of a problem that may sensibly impact our future. This is the point on which I did want to open the discussions that I’m currently deepen here.


I like the fact that there are replies which support the thesis “ the communication alone is not a solution”, it may contribute to the result but not by itself. It needs to be reinforced and supported by the behavior of the sender, it has to be understood by the receiver, sometimes it has to be not-negotiable and has to be enriched by penalties and/or prizes. Moreover it has to be short, concise, exhaustive and must be able to catch up the interest and the desired behavior in the receiver. It is a lot, maybe too much!

Much better to look for a short and concise message, accompanied by solutions to be applied within the processes, so we don’t have to rely only on communication to change other’s behavior. In this way we can guide others by behaving correctly as first, and then implementing the measures that let the processes to be done only in the correct way, like a Poka Yoke approach which means distraction-proof is, otherwise the story will be always commanded by other’s ear, not by our voice.








One Response to ““It is not the voice that commands the story, it is the ear.” Italo Calvino”

  1. kazania online June 30, 2014 at 5:40 pm #

    I think this website has some rattling superb info for everyone :D . “We rarely think people have good sense unless they agree with us.” by Francois de La Rochefoucauld.

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