The quality of communication depends above all on a relationship of trust between the interlocutors and the ability to empathize with people. It consists of the ability to listen.

Communication is “creative”; it is through communication that different understandings of reality first emerge. Because everyone, by communicating, has his own interpretation of reality, conflicts always arise. In life coaching, these conflicts are identified, classified and largely resolved.

In addition, the listener should understand that communication takes place on several levels. So what you say has a multi-layered message. In both private and professional life, it helps to be able to interpret the body language of the other person and to adapt to their language level to a large extent without losing authenticity. Humor can be used in a targeted manner, for example, to create lightness and composure in a conversation and to defuse conflicts.

Communication | Bees fly towards hive

Perceptions of reality

In “Communication as the Construction of Reality,” Paul Watzlawick, the founder of constructivist communication theory, writes that only communication creates interpersonal realities.

What one sees as true or real, the other sees as nonsense or unreal. Or, to put it another way, reality is first and foremost the result of communication.

This is counterintuitive at first, but it explains why there are so many (subjective) versions of reality.

This constructivist/creative view of things allows one to deal more positively with the concept of “normal/not normal” behavior because there is no predetermined (objective) world that is considered the only true one.

There is a sensory reality (first order) that we fill with meaning and purpose only by communicating. The result, however, is a second-order reality.


Being in love creates a rosy inner world, but excludes the ideas of those not in love. A smile brings about positivity in the smiler himself and in others. It is creative and includes others.

The green traffic light

The fact that we understand the light of a green traffic light (1st order) as a signal to cross the road (2nd order) is based on an act of communication. By stating some basic conditions that make functioning communication possible, Watzlawick creates an approach to this seemingly self-contained reality that results from communication.

What is real?

Watzlawick writes that we humans are continually engaged in patching and shoring up the shaky scaffolding that supports our everyday conception of reality. Sometimes we even distort the facts so that they do not contradict our view of reality, instead of adapting our world view to the undeniable facts.

Communication | Glass with goldfish



Conflicts in communication

People who reflect little do not know exactly where their personal limits lie: Self-assessment is lacking. As a result, conflicts arise more easily and escalate more readily. You don’t have to be a philosopher to be able to reflect. Awareness of feelings and thoughts and developing a new perspective is all it takes.

Important questions here are:

What are the disruptive factors? What roles do the parties involved take on in each case? How can the conflict be largely resolved?

Distinguishing between the different types of conflict (see diagram opposite) – is a useful tool. Of course, it is very tempting to put people into a certain category. But this is only a simplified representation of reality. After all, people cannot be assigned to just one specific, constant conflict type – depending on the context or situation, they may act differently each time. In addition, the conflict content (positions and interests) as well as the conflict reference (relationship to the conflict partner) must be illuminated above all.


Communication | 5 types of conflict

Communication – 4 messages

According to psychologist and communication scientist Friedemann Schulz von Thun, a person who communicates sends out up to four messages simultaneously. If he is aware of this, he can prevent misunderstandings and thus increase the quality of his conversations.

Four aspects play a role in interpersonal communication:

  1. Factual information (informed)
  2. Self-disclosure (says something about oneself)
  3. Relationship hint (says how you feel about someone)
  4. Appeal (what I would like you to do)


  • There is something floating in my glass of wine
  • I don’t want that in my glass of wine.
  • You can’t pour properly.
  • Please do it properly next time!

Authenticity and communication

Authenticity is shown in a synchronicity of speech and facial expressions/gestures. People consciously or unconsciously recognize when other people are not communicating intentions clearly because their body language reveals it.

The communication square creates clarity on these levels:

On the factual level the speaker should give understandable and relevant information, on the level of self-disclosure he should express his motivation. With regard to the relationship level, he should respect his counterpart and explicitly state what he wants to achieve on the appeal level.