Navigating the Triangles of Communication: Strategies for Resolution and Connection

Triangles of communication can be detrimental to relationships, trust, and effective collaboration. By understanding the negative impact of triangles and actively working to avoid them, we can foster healthier and more transparent communication. When apart, it becomes even more crucial to prioritize direct communication, self-reflection, active listening, and empathy. By resolving triangles effectively, we create an environment where open dialogue thrives, relationships are strengthened, and conflicts are resolved constructively. Let us strive for direct and meaningful communication, even when physically separated, to build stronger connections and achieve greater success.

Josh Ether

10/5/20182 min read

Communication forms the foundation of our interactions, both personal and professional. However, there are times when communication breakdowns occur, leading to what is commonly known as the "triangles of communication." These triangles can create misunderstandings, conflicts, and strained relationships. In this blog post, we will explore the concept of triangles of communication, discuss why it is essential to avoid them, and provide practical strategies for resolving and preventing them, even when physically apart.

Understanding Triangles of Communication: In communication, a triangle refers to a situation where two individuals involved in a conversation unintentionally bring in a third person, either by seeking support or by venting their frustrations. This can lead to misinterpretations, gossip, and the formation of unhealthy alliances. Triangles of communication can weaken trust, damage relationships, and hinder effective collaboration.

Why We Need to Avoid Triangles of Communication:

  1. Miscommunication and Misunderstandings: Triangles can distort the original message, leading to misinterpretations and misunderstandings among all parties involved. Important information can be lost or miscommunicated, resulting in confusion and conflicts.

  2. Trust and Relationships: Triangles erode trust among team members, colleagues, friends, or family members. When conversations involve third parties without their knowledge or consent, it undermines trust and can strain relationships.

  3. Lack of Direct Communication: Engaging in triangles can become a substitute for direct communication. Instead of addressing concerns directly with the person involved, individuals may resort to venting or seeking validation from others, which hinders open and honest dialogue.

Resolving Triangles of Communication When Apart:

  1. Self-Reflection and Awareness: Begin by recognizing when you are participating in a triangle of communication. Reflect on why you might be engaging in this behavior—whether it's seeking validation, avoiding confrontation, or feeling unheard. Increased self-awareness is crucial for breaking the cycle.

  2. Address the Issue Directly: Instead of involving a third party, initiate a direct conversation with the person involved. Clearly express your thoughts, concerns, and feelings in a respectful and non-confrontational manner. This allows for open dialogue and the opportunity to resolve misunderstandings.

  3. Active Listening and Empathy: When resolving a triangle, actively listen to the other person's perspective. Show empathy and understanding to foster a safe environment for open communication. Seek to find common ground and work towards a resolution that satisfies both parties.

  4. Seek Mediation: In situations where direct communication is challenging or unproductive, consider involving a neutral third party as a mediator. This person can help facilitate the conversation, ensuring that all voices are heard and guiding the process towards a resolution.

  5. Establish Open Channels of Communication: Encourage a culture of open communication within your team, organization, or personal relationships. Foster an environment where individuals feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and concerns directly, reducing the likelihood of triangles forming.