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Schulz von Thun

The four-sides model (also known as four-ears model) is a communication model by Friedemann Schulz von Thun. According to this model every message has four aspects, though not the same emphasis might be put on each. The four sides of the message are fact/content, self-disclosure, relationship, and appeal.

Thun

Fact/ Content:
What are the facts?

                      Self – disclosure:
What does he want to say?

What does that say about him?

Appeal: What does he want me to think or do? How does he want me to feel?

Relationship: How does he talk to me?
What does this show about our relation?

What does he think of me?

Self-disclosure:
On the layer of the self-disclosure the sender reveals himself. This message consists of conscious intended self-expression as well as unintended self-revealing ones, which are not conscious to the sender. Every message can be used to interpret the personality of the sender. The self-revealing ear of the receiver can hear, which information about the sender himself is hidden in the message.

Fact/ Content On the content layer the sender of the message transfers data, facts and statements. It is the task of the sender to send this information clearly and understandably. In the response of the receiver, the sender can see, whether he has presented the matter in line with the criteria of truth, relevance and completeness.

'Relationship
'
The relationship layer shows the relationship between the sender and the receiver. Depending on how the sender communicates (way of formulation, body language, intonation...) the receiver feels appreciated, respected, pushed away, despised or else.

Appeal

Stating something, also means trying to have an impact on something. In each message there can be an appeal, wanting the receiver to do something or leave something undone. The attempt to influence someone can be less or more open or even fully hidden (manipulation!).

=Example =

The following example is about two people having a different understanding of a common prejudice.

A man (sender) makes a comment about a woman: „This woman is blond“.

A woman (receiver) hears this message.

==Sender: ==

Content:

The woman's hair is blond.

Self-disclosure:

I don´t like blond women. I think blond women are stupid.

Message:

„This woman is blond.“

Appeal:

Look how stupid the

blond woman is! Just like you!

Relationship:

You are blond as well. You must be stupid as well.

==Receiver: ==

Content:

The woman's hair is blond.

Self-disclosure:

You don´t like blond women and that makes you uncomfortable.

Message:

„This woman is blond.“

Appeal:

You should find a new wife!

Relationship:

You think I am as stupid as her.

=Example =

A man says to his wife: “We should go out for dinner tonight”

==Sender: ==

Content:

I want to have dinner in restaurant with you.

Self-disclosure:

I enjoy spending time with you. 

Message:

“We should go out for dinner tonight”

Appeal:

Let’s go to a restaurant!

Relationship:

You don´t need to cook tonight. We can enjoy an evening together.

==Receiver: ==


Content:

You don’t want to eat at home.

Self-disclosure:

I am a bad cook. I am not good enough.

Message:

“We should go out for dinner tonight”

Appeal:

I will not prepare dinner
tonight!

Relationship:

You don´t like my cooking. You think I’m a bad cook

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