Course Number: Ed 510
Course Title: Communication in Education
Facilitator: Prof. Ophelia F. Julit
Discussants: Rowena A. Dichosa,
May Joy O. Paborada, Jona P. Lacsi,
Marni Hamili Dieron & Rey Jun Dieron
FIVE LEVELS OF COMMUNICATION
• Verbal Level of Communication
This level includes our selection of
words based an understanding of
meaning held by the recipient: there
are multiple definitions for most words
and few of us hold the exact same
meaning for each word. Different words
evoke different images, memories, and
meaning for different people.
The logic and reasoning of a statement
or argument (Aristotle’s logos)
influences the effectiveness of the
message being received.
To communicate more effectively, select
the “right” words and usage. Be clear
and concise. When possible, formulate
your thoughts to avoid rambling. This is
an art in itself.
Physical Level of Communication
• Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP)
brought to our attention the importance
of visual cues: eye contact, gestures,
movements, stances, breathing,
posture, facial expressions, and so on.
When used with integrity, techniques
like “matching and mirroring” a person’s
stance and movements (and words too)
can increase his or her receptivity of
• To communicate more
effectively, it’s helpful to
physically align with others,
connecting with them in form
Auditory Level of Communication
• The sound of our voice, including the tone,
range, and speed effects how our
messages are received and interpreted by
others. For example, fast talkers will find it
beneficial to slow their speech when
speaking to a thoughtful, introverted
person or risk being unheard. Also, how
we enunciate, inflect, and place emphasis
on certain words affects how others
interpret the meaning of what we say.
To communicate more
effectively, become aware of
various auditory cues, speaking to
others in a manner more akin to
their own ways (another form of
“matching and mirroring”).
Emotional Level of Communication
• Few people fully appreciate how our
emotional states affect what we
communicate and how the message
is interpreted by the recipient. In
rhetoric, Aristotle’s pathos
represents an appeal to the
• Are you more receptive to someone
who is positive and up-beat or
someone who is somber and critical?
Passionate and enthusiastic or flat
and boring? The speaker’s emotions
put the recipient in a particular state of
mind and influence how the listener
interprets what is said.
• To communicate more effectively,
become aware of your emotional state,
learning to pause and release negative
emotions before attempting to
communicate with others. Words
spoken in pride, anger, or fear are rarely
Energetic Level of Communication
• Also called the psychic level, this level
of communication encompasses a vast
range of unseen factors including a
person’s level of consciousness, the
frequency or harmonics of the message,
and other subtle energies. Some people
seem to have an “X-factor”—a unique
presence—that naturally imparts their
messages to others with greater
To communicate more effectively,
hold the highest intention for the other
person’s wellbeing. This requires a
unique level of mindfulness that is
generally cultivated through practice.
When we are centered within ourselves,
we’re more likely to access this psychic
dimension that holds great treasures of
insights into others, helping us
communicate with greater ease.
Bringing all the Levels of
• The verbal level is the content; it’s what
we say. The physical, auditory,
emotional, and energetic levels
represent how we convey a message.
These levels are interdependent, as
each level affects the other. For
example, our emotional state affects our
body language and our overall field
influences our emotional state.
• Simply becoming aware of these
various levels can be beneficial.
When we see the complexities
inherent in human communication,
we can become more patient in our
speech and more compassionate
towards others and ourselves.
•The Levels of Communication:
A Cheat Sheet
Nan Peck, Northern Virginia
• Using conventional messages to
establish rapport, to break the ice,
and/or to end a conversation. You
might hug, kiss, shake hands, bow,
smile, make eye contact, and face
one another. We exchange
pleasantries by using cliches.
• Clichés are overused expressions
that have lost their original
(content) meanings and have
taken on new relational meanings.
We expect phatic communication
at the beginning and end of every
conversation, regardless of our
feelings about a person.
• Examples: Hello. How are you?
I’m fine. How are you?
Hi. Paper or plastic?
Thanks for coming. Have a nice
• Using events, making
observations, offering knowledge
to others in a manner which can be
called chit chat or small talk. At
business parties, we rely upon
factual communication to network,
to schmooze, and to work the
• Factual communication includes
reporting what you’ve read in a
textbook, what you’ve studied for a
test, showing pictures of your
children, and exchanging biographical
information about yourself. Factual
communication is relatively safe and
most do this well.
• Examples: I’m majoring in
I’m married with three children,
two sons and one daughter.
Did you watch the basketball
game last night?
What did we do in class last
• Offering opinions, ideas and
judgments to others. This is risky
business because the odds are that
others will reciprocate with their own
evaluations, which may be different
from yours. When people consistently
use evaluative communication, they
must be prepared for eventual
• Many U.S. Americans enjoy sharing at
this level and feel that disagreeing with
others is useful and invigorating.
Unfortunately, many of us don’t use
evaluative communication with a high
level of competence. It’s important to
consider the value of critical and
creative thinking, as well as the
relational meanings of messages that
• Examples: Of all my children, my
daughter is the better athlete.
I thought that movie was
excellent, particularly with the
I’m not convinced that your
argument is well supported.
I agree with you!
-involves sharing our emotions
and feelings with another. We are
sharing our very essence when we
allow others to know our heart. This is
risky business! Societies place
constraints upon the specific emotions
which can be conveyed (e.g., It’s
good to express love; it’s bad to
• We also have rules about when and
how feelings can be expressed
("That was the wrong time and
place for arguing with your
• Emotional intelligence involves
including self-awareness, self
control, flexibility and empathy.
I deeply appreciate your
thoughtfulness and generosity in
helping me earlier.
I’m so frustrated with you!
I wish that I hadn’t called you that
name. I hope that you’ll forgive
He called me! I’m so excited to see him
• Coming together with another in
an extraordinary way. Two
individuals who are gut leveling
experience a transformation
when they are sharing the exact
same emotion with the same
level of intensity.
• This is also called, "communal-level
communication." It’s as if, for the
moment, two souls merge into one.
Peak communication is rare, even
among close friends and family
• I love you. I love you too.
I’m so angry with you. I’m so angry with
you as well.
I’m glad that we were able to fight long
enough to get this resolved. Yes, I
feel exactly the same way, glad that
we communicated collaboratively.
I’m scared. I’m scared too.
THE 5 LEVELS TO COMMUNICATING
Level 1. Sending.
At this level, you simply send, transmit, or
share your message. Whether this is an
email, or a face-to-face conversation,
you simply sent your message. Just
because you sent your message, doesn’t
mean it was heard, read, or
understood. Where some people fail is
they send emails or give our orders and
think that was communicating.
• If you don’t care about whether your
message lands, or whether you have
buy in, or if there are any concerns, then
stopping here makes perfect sense. If,
on the other hand, you do care that the
recipient heard you or read your
message, understands what you want or
mean, and leads to some sort of
agreement or action, and has a level of
buy in, then you have more work to do.
Level 2. Receiving.
• This is where the message is
received. This is where an
acknowledgement helps. As the
sender, you can ask whether they
read your message, or if it’s face-to-
face, you can ask them to play back
what they heard.
Level 3. Understanding.
• This is where a lot of communication
conflict or breakdowns happen. You
don’t have to agree at this
stage. What’s important is to first make
sure the message is understood. If you
are the sender, then this is where you
want to really check that your message
is understood through playback. You
can simply ask the receiver to play back
what they heard.
• What you said, may not be what they
heard. If you are the receiver and you
want to practice your empathic listening
skills, this is a great place to say, “What
I hear you saying is …”, and check that
you heard the message as it was
intended. This is also a great place to
get any concerns on the table. It’s also
a great place to hear both sides, if there
is more than one side.
• Often there might seem like there
are multiple sides, but often this is
just different perspectives. This is
when people talk past each
other. A simple rule of thumb here
from a Covey standpoint is, “Seek
first to understand, then to be
Level 4. Agreement.
• This is a perfect place to practice
everything you’ve learned about playing
well with others. It’s the perfect place to
focus on wants, needs, and
concerns. From a Covey standpoint, it’s a
perfect place to seek the “win win”, or
find “the 3rd alternative.” From a John
Wooden standpoint, it’s the perfect place
to “agree to disagree”, if need be, and just
because you don’t agree, does not mean
you have to be disagreeable.
Level 5. Action.
• This is a great outcome for great
communication. It leads to some sort
of action or decision. This is a
spectrum of action from “now is not the
time” to “who does what when” with
increasing clarity. Sometimes the best
action simply is a decision that both
parties agree to.