Well, I can see by the enormous amount of responses that I have received on this topic that it's going to be a barn-burner!
Let me see if I can get the ball rolling as I know many of you were busy getting ready for the annual tournament.
How does one develop congruity in communication? What IS congruity?
Congruity in communication menas that what your body and your mouth are saying conveys the same message.
In sarcasm, something many people have trouble with (and I'll explain one theory as to why in a sec), the TONE of what's said disagrees with the words being said. The phrase "Yeah, right!" can mean an agreement or act as one of the only times in any language where a double positive becomes a negative.
People represent their world through their senses. Some people are very visual - they make pictures in their heads of what is being discussed. Others are kinesthetic - they represent things via feeling them. Many MA people are highly kinesthetic, as are dancers.
Others are auditory. The auditory (hearing) sense is unusual in that some people are what are referred to as "auditory-tonal" - people who hear tones as opposed to words primarily, and "auditory-digital" people who hear the words and ignore the tone.
This is where many communications problems come into play. An auditory-digital person hears the words, "Yeah, right" and takes it for a statement of positive agreement, regardless of the tone used. The auditory-tonal person hears the tone and, to some extent, ignores the words. When they hear a sarcastic tone of voice, even if it's not aimed at them, they can become defensive and aggravated.
Both of these auditory types have their strong points and their weak points - points at which teachers have to meet them on to get the best results.
An auditory-tonal person will not learn well from a drill instructor-type Sensei. Why? Because the tone of the delivery, even if the WORDS are of praise, is anchored in a fear response.
An auditory-digital person, on the other hand, will hear a "Yeah, you're doing it right," delivered in a tired, slightly sarcastic tone, as confirmation of their being correct.
Complicated, isn't it?
Yes and no.
Learning to match your student's, partner's, co-worker's systems of communicating and internally expressing their world is a great way to improve your ability to get your message across.
I hope that this is a good starting point. If not - tell me and I'll take another angle.
Thanks for reading these ramblings.
Lee Darrow, C.Ht.