Sunday, August 31, 2025

What is "cogental©" communication?

Always be willing to give credit to ideas that can be attributed to another. I heard a sermon which included a profound and probing question. I do not recall the pastor mentioning the author, but perhaps because I was so deeply moved, I likely just missed it. The question comes from Andy Stanley's (son of Internationally known, Charles Stanley) book, The Best Question Ever ...
In light of your past experiences, your present circumstances, and your future hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing for you to do?

This question may have originally been meant as an attempt to describe the path to wisdom, but understood with a more narrow focus, provides profound implications in how this intentional communication impacts our interactions with others. Cogental© communication is the means by which we express our past experiences (memories), our current circumstances (emotions), and our future hopes and dreams (wants and needs) with empathy. This is a reality based mode of relating to others. It goes further in that it encourages us to listen to others with empathy - as they express their memories, emotions and wants and needs.
The word "cogent" [ co·gent /ˈkōjənt/ ] is an adjective which means 1) convincing or believable by virtue of forcible, clear or incisive presentation; telling, and 2) to the point; relevant; and pertinent.

The concept of "cogent" appended with the suffix "al" ( relating to ) produces the new word, "cogental©" as it states a deliberate, compelling, convincing, relevant and clear expression of the psycho-social-physical-economic-spiritual condition of the communicator. In order to communicate with others, we must first have a grounded understanding of ourselves. Unless we are able to take a non-judgmental survey of our memories, emotions and wants and needs ... we will find it increasingly difficult to listen to others as they attempt to express themselves from such a healthy vantage point.

Cogental© communication goes further than Marshall Rosenberg's "Nonviolent Communication" by defining the expansive realms of human existence which are both internal and external. However, it does acknowledge the we need to move away from a restitutive mentality to a transformative model. As we continue this journey together, we seek clarity and relevance. Feel free to let me know as this becomes especially helpful and meaningful to you.

Stanley, Andy (2004). The Best Question Ever? Colorado Sprins, CO: Multnoma Books pg 187
Rosenberg, Marshall B. (2003). Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life. Encinitas, CA: PuddleDancer Press