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Six Step Cycle for Interpersonal and Technical Communications

Professionals have identified six steps which can be followed for effective interpersonal and technical communications among engineers and other professionals.
  1. identify context,
  2. define the problem,
  3. define the goals,
  4. generate alternate solutions,
  5. take action,
  6. iterate.
Six Step Cycle for Interpersonal and Technical Communications
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The value in this approach is that it balances technical and interpersonal communication and it can be iterated repeated as needed over the life cycle of a design development or project execution. Now let’s take you from what you know to what you may not know. That is, what you will do in engineering contexts when you are trying to establish intentionality and shape the flow of communication, as you head toward driving your communications rather than being driven by them during problem solving moments.

Six-Step Cycle

1. Identify Context: Establish rapport and understand the area of the space, face, and place spectrum in which you are interacting.

2. Define the Problem: What are concerns, issues—define what to talk about—primary technical, a balance of technical and interpersonal, or primary interpersonal. Include attention to interpersonal dynamics that may be obscuring technical solutions.
3. Define the Goals: What do you want to happen from the communication.
4. Generate Alternates: Explore alternates of more effective communication and behavior to create intentionality in the situation.
5. Take Action: Choose an action and follow through.

6. Iterate: Repeat as necessary to achieve holistic action follow through.

Table below summarizes the six steps to include related communication microskills and predicted results for each stage.

Six Step Cycle for Interpersonal and Technical Communications
Six Step Cycle for Interpersonal and Technical Communications


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