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Training to Foster Implicit Communications

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Research paper

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The crowd roars with laughter. The quick, clever banter invented by the two actors on stage seems planned, but it is not. The actors are performing a Harold, where each player invents a role for himself and a story unfolds before the audience. Underneath the apparent chaos, though, is a very simple concept that fosters spontaneity the concept of acceptance. Notice that in the above example, taken from Malcom Gladwells book, Blink, neither actor tries to pull the scene in a certain direction. Actor A initiates the situation and even points actor B in a certain direction being a doctor actor B decides that his counterparts leg is made of wood, and so on. The concept of acceptance means that no initiative is wrong in improvisation it must be adjusted to and incorporated into the scene. It is the singular unifying force that gives direction to the actors and allows comedy to evolve in the midst of apparent chaos. More importantly, it fosters unspoken, instantaneous understanding and interaction the art of implicit communication. To any military unit dealing with the complexities of todays battlefield, implicit communication, like that used by the comedy troupe, is a powerful tool. It is the very antithesis of micromanagement. Subordinate units, even individuals, are more able to take initiative within the commanders intent, and information flow is expedited up and down the chain of command, often without words. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the current conflict and accepted personnel staffing practices, many deploying units are unable to truly grow implicit communication. The cost is heavy it directly correlates to the units ability to perform its mission and can be measured in loss of equipment and personnel. Despite the difficulties of the current wartime requirements, the Marine Corps could better prepare its deploying units by taking simple measures to facilitate the use of implicit communication.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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