Mastering The 5 Levels Of Communication


In your interactions, it’s important to realize that everyone communicates differently.

Talking to others helps you share your thoughts and feelings, building connections.

Communication skills come in different forms, depending on who’s involved and the situation.

Think of it this way: there are four main levels of communication – talking to yourself (intrapersonal communication), chatting one-on-one (interpersonal communication), talking in groups, and communicating with people from different cultures.

However according to psychologist Richard Francisco, there are 5 levels of communication refers to: rituals (repeated behaviours), facts (information), attitudes (beliefs), and feelings (emotions).

Knowing about these types can help you understand and talk to people in a better way and avoid misunderstanding.

Let’s examine deeply these different levels of communication.

What are the Basic Levels of Communication?

Psychologist Richard Francisco’s model identifies several levels of communication:

  • Rituals are regular acts or behaviours that have special meaning in a given culture or society.
  • Facts are Information and objective data exchanged at this level.
  • Attitudes are the main focus of expressing viewpoints, views, and beliefs.
  • Feelings include understanding and expressing emotions such as sympathy and empathy.

The 5 Levels of Communication


Verbal Level of Communication

Verbal communication involves expressing yourself through words. Consider regular dialogues that you have with friends, family, or coworkers. For example, verbal communication happens when you ask a coworker for assistance with a project or share with a friend your weekend plans.

In verbal communication, tone of voice and word choice are equally important. Consider yourself enthusiastically announcing a promotion. You may be speaking passionately and positively. On the other hand, you may use a more sombre and measured tone while offering a teammate constructive criticism.

Furthermore, listening is a part of verbal communication in addition to speaking. When you listen to someone actively, you focus on what they are saying, take in what they are saying, and react correctly. This may be asking clarifying questions in a business meeting or nodding in agreement when speaking with a buddy.

Verbal language allows you to connect with people, communicate information, and express your opinions. It is the foundation of human contact.

Physical Level of Communication

Your body language is how you convey yourself when you interact with someone physically. Consider your everyday encounters and how you employ nonverbal gestures, facial expressions, and body language. For instance, you can express warmth and friendliness when you shake someone’s hand and smile at them.

Another important aspect of physical communication is posture. During a job interview, for example, maintaining eye contact and standing straight can communicate professionalism and confidence. On the other hand, slouching or avoiding your eyes could be a cue of unease or disinterest.

Physical communication facilitates public communication and understanding of others’ feelings in social situations. When you’re speaking, someone crossing their arms could be a sign of disagreement or defensiveness. However, leaning in and nodding can also convey agreement and attention.

Physical communication involves more than simply gestures; it also involves occupying space. Sitting next to someone on a park seat, for example, could indicate intimacy or proximity, but keeping your distance could imply formality or control.

Auditory Level of Communication

Using your sense of hearing to comprehend and communicate is known as auditory communication. Consider how you hear other people when they speak and how you process noises in your surroundings. For instance, you use your ears to hear your friend’s voice and the words they are saying when you are on a phone call with them.

Auditory communication occurs in a variety of contexts in daily life, including following directions in a classroom, listening to music, and engaging in conversation at a lively gathering. Auditory communication occurs every time you focus on someone else’s speech or notice sounds in your environment.

An essential component of auditory communication is listening. It entails hearing what is being said as well as comprehending the context and meaning of those words. In order to remember the material, you attentively listen to the professor’s explanations during a lecture and take notes.

Moreover, spoken words are only one aspect of aural communication. It include nonverbal noises such as sighs, laughter, and voice tones. These audio signals enhance communication by offering more details about intentions, attitudes, and feelings.

All things considered, auditory communication is a necessary component of daily interactions since it enables you to establish connections with people, take in information, and make sense of the sounds around you.

Emotional Level of Communication

Emotional communication involves the expression and comprehension of feelings. Consider how you express your happiness, grief, enthusiasm, or irritation to other people. For instance, you express your feelings with words and tone of voice when you tell a friend about something that makes you happy.

Emotional communication happens in a variety of settings in daily life, such as rejoicing in a loved one’s accomplishments or offering support to a friend who is going through a difficult moment. Emotional communication occurs whenever you communicate your feelings, show empathy, or provide assistance.

It’s important to listen intently when communicating emotions. It entails paying attention to the feelings that underlie the words in addition to just hearing them said. For example, if a family member confides in you about an issue, you might listen to them with compassion and reassure them.

Nonverbal clues including body language, gestures, and facial expressions are also used in emotional communication. These cues aid in more realistic and vivid emotional communication. Without saying a word, a comforting embrace or a sympathetic glance, for instance, can convey a lot.

Essentially, emotional communication is a basic component of human connection that enables you to develop connections, share experiences, and provide support to one another during the highs and lows of life.

Energetic Level of Communication

When it comes to the energetic level of communication, you’re tapping into the vibes or energy that people emit. Consider those times when you walk into a room and immediately sense the mood or atmosphere. For instance, if everyone is laughing and chatting excitedly, you might pick up on the positive energy and feel uplifted.

Whether you realise it or not, energetic communication occurs constantly in daily life. You may have noticed that certain people seem to radiate happiness and confidence, while others seem more reserved or tense. These energy cues can affect how people react to you and how you engage with them.

Speaking in front of an audience or giving a presentation is a typical instance of dynamic communication. A speaker’s enthusiasm and love for their subject matter can enthral the audience and strengthen the persuasiveness of their message. However, a speaker who comes across as uneasy or uninterested may lose the audience’s interest.

Furthermore, dynamic communication encompasses group dynamics and even wider social settings in addition to individual interactions. For instance, everyone in attendance may feel and act differently during a game when the energy of the stadium is tangible.

The energetic level of communication is essentially about observing the subtleties of people’s messages and vibrations, which can significantly influence the dynamics of relationships and encounters.

Francisco’s Model of Five Levels of Communication

The five levels of communication in Francisco’s model go from the most fundamental to the most complicated. Between safety and higher risk, as well as between less and more trust, we progress through these degrees.

Level 1: Ritual

Francisco’s five-level communication paradigm defines Level 1 as a “Ritual.” is a group communication. This level involves recurring acts or behaviours that are significant to a specific group or culture.

Consider any routines you may witness in your own life, such as greeting coworkers with a “good morning” when you get to work or shaking hands with new people. By establishing social norms and expectations, these rituals foster a sense of familiarity and community among the group.

More formal customs and ceremonies, such as religious rites, graduation ceremonies, or marriage rituals, might also be considered rituals. Frequently, these occurrences entail particular behaviours or patterns that represent more profound significance and principles inside the society.

Essentially, within a community or civilization, Level 1 communication rituals are used to maintain common intercultural communication traditions, respect, and strengthen social relationships.

Level 2: Extended Ritual

Level 2 is “Extended Ritual.” This level incorporates increasingly intricate and sophisticated forms of communication within a cultural or social framework, building upon the fundamental rituals of Level 1.

Extended rituals can involve more elaborate organisational communication, and they frequently involve ceremonies or activities with deeper symbolic implications. Extended rituals can take many forms, such as official ceremonies like coronations or inaugurations, religious festivals, or cultural celebrations.

Whether honouring historical occurrences, enforcing community ties, or marking momentous life stages, these rituals frequently fulfil crucial societal roles. They call for group engagement and frequently elicit intense emotional reactions from individuals involved.

The transmission of values and beliefs between generations, the development of social integration, and the formation of cultural identity are all greatly aided by Level 2 communication through prolonged rituals.

Level 3: Surface

Surface-level communication is when the exchanges stay at the surface level, with no real emotional or intellectual depth.

Surface communication encompasses a variety of interactions, such as polite small talk, casual small talk, and quick conversations on everyday activities, current events, and the weather. These discussions usually don’t go above the surface and don’t cover more in-depth or important topics.

In social contacts, surface communication is useful as it helps build rapport, preserve social relationships, and promote more seamless interactions in daily situations. Nevertheless, it frequently falls short of the richness and content of more profound or personal kinds of communication.

Level 3 surface communication offers a structure for polite conversation and social engagement, but it might not foster a deeper comprehension or emotional bond between people.

Level 4: Feelings About Content

“Feelings About Content” involves investigating the emotional reactions and perceptions related to the content being shared. At this level, people share their thoughts, feelings, and responses about discourse in addition to discussing its obvious concerns.

When talking about a recent project at work, for example, people could express their satisfaction with the outcome, their frustrations about obstacles they faced, or their joy about reaching milestones. These emotional reactions reveal information about how people understand and process the conversation’s substance.

Level 4 communication recognises and validates each other’s emotional experiences, which promotes greater empathy and understanding between participants. It makes people feel more comfortable being honest and open, which promotes real connection and support from one another.

Level 5: Feelings About Each Other

“Feelings About Each Other” digs deeper into the attitudes and feelings people have for one another when they communicate.

At this stage of communication, the discussion moves beyond the topic at hand and explores the emotional dynamics among participants. People talk about how they feel, think, and feel about each other, based on their rapport, trust, and interpersonal relationships.

In a team meeting, for instance, Level 5 communication can entail expressing gratitude for a colleague’s contributions, recognising the value of their support, or resolving any stress or conflict that may be present in the relationship.

Level 5 communication helps people become more self-aware and empathetic by helping them consider their own feelings and comprehend how they affect how they connect with other people. Additionally, it encourages direct and honest communication, which makes it possible to resolve disputes and build stronger bonds with others.

Level 5 communication fosters mutual respect, strengthens interpersonal bonds, and creates a cooperative, encouraging environment that is favourable to productive dialogue and wholesome relationships.

Two More Common Levels Of Communication

Interpersonal Communication

All five of the communication levels we previously covered fall under the levels of interpersonal communication, which is defined as exchanges between you and one or more other people.

Interpersonal communication occurs when we engage with people at work and home by influencing how we move through different social environments, both personally and professionally. Communicating with others involves exchanging concepts, data, feelings, and meaning both verbally and nonverbally.

Interpersonal communication includes written correspondence, nonverbal clues, verbal expression, and careful listening. All of these factors work together to enhance our overall social skills and effectiveness in interacting with others.

Intrapersonal Communication

Intrapersonal communication is the communication we have with ourselves, whereas interpersonal communication is the interaction we have with other people.

The internal conversation we have with ourselves, or the inner dialogue that we have in our heads, is referred to as intrapersonal communication.

Intrapersonal communication takes place when you think, write in a journal or notebook, read, listen, dream, and even converse with other people. Both conscious and subconscious processes are included.

Self-awareness, self-regulation, self-observation, self-reflection, impulse control, and intrinsic motivation are all included in the category of intrapersonal communication abilities.

Our perception and understanding of ourselves, or our self-concept, are shaped by this internal conversation.

It is essential to develop intrapersonal communication abilities since they reflect our level of understanding and self-awareness.

How to Win Friends & Influence People (Dale Carnegie Books) 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Games People Play

Sleight of Mouth: The Magic of Conversational Belief Change

The Structure of Magic, Vol. 1: A Book About Language and Therapy 


What is communication competence?

Effective message delivery, comprehending others, and navigating social relationships are all parts of communication competence. Together with dynamic, flexibility, active listening, verbal and nonverbal skills, conflict resolution, cultural competency, and ethical communication are all included.

It takes constant self-awareness and practice and is necessary for establishing connections and accomplishing goals.

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