Congruent Conversation

Carl Rogers wrote extensively about congruent communication. We become congruent when we express feelings that are consistent with our experience and our awareness. We say what we feel and feel what we say.

Rogers indicated that when we become congruent, it changes the conversation. Communication becomes more reciprocal and the other people in the relationship become more congruent. This increases the accuracy of communication and understanding is enriched. Everyone in the conversation is better able to function.

On the other hand, when no one expresses feelings that are congruent with their experience and awareness, the relationship will stay at a superficial level of quality, understanding will decay, functioning will decline and there will be dissatisfaction with the relationship. This observation is a key to organizational change.

It is normal for people in authority to believe that it is their task to act as experts and tell people what to do. The exchange is intellectual in nature and usually lacks congruence. The group becomes increasingly dysfunctional. In organizations dialog is the oxygen of change. A congruent person is a catalyst of congruent dialog and opens the path to change. Such a dialog is a system of mutual support in which everyone is able to learn and perform at an optimal level. High performance unfolds naturally.

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