The Culture Is Important

In 1964 Marshall McLuhan published ‘Understanding Media:The Extensions of Man’.He argued that the form of a medium influences the perception of a message itself.From that derives the popular term ‘the medium IS the message’.In everyday life this can be understood by seeing how the culture of a work place;sporting team or personal relationship is instrumental in determining outcomes.Often the culture,( of communication,direct or indirect,open or closed,fair or unfair,respectful or devaluing,fullsome or sparse,immediate or delayed etc.,) is set by the leadership,chief executive,coach,selector,or dominant partner.Hence,the emotional tone in an organisation,team,or relationship can feel safe or unsafe,blocked or unblocked.

In a personal relationship,if the culture feels unsafe,problem solving is difficult to achieve because of a lack of trust and negative assumptions about the real intentions and motivations of the other person.Engendering a safe culture is a worthwhile exercise.This can be done if regular and authentic compliments and appreciation are frequently exchanged to give a backdrop of connection.Time set aside for talking and sharing is important.In this way communication can be checked and clarified and agreements reached to satisfy needs.If one or or both people find it difficult to talk for various reasons,there is still great value in sharing activities together to allow a connecting energy.These activities can be simple;for example walking or cycling together,engaging in a shared hobby or course of some type, or planning a future holiday or project etc.In general it is worthwhile to attend to the medium or culture in a relationship first before expecting the most positive outcomes from problem solving.

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