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Four Sides of a Message

Posted on Dec 15, 2013 by in Facilitation & Soft Skills | 2 comments

The Four-sides model (“Hamburger Modell”) by Friedemann Schulz von Thun is in every German textbook on communication. It states that every message has 4 levels:

  • Factual information
    Facts and data
  • Appeal
    What the sender (speaker) wants to happen
  • Self revelation
    What the sender reveals about themselves – motives, values, emotions
  • Relationship
    How sender and receiver (listener) get along; what the sender thinks of the receiver

With these levels in mind we can have more constructive discussions.

Find the original article by Corinna Baldauf here. The diagram is adapted from this one in Wikipedia.


Did you know there are compilations of our 1-pagers? About Agile & Scrum, Facilitation and for Product Owners


  1. Hi Oli!

    Thank you for taking the time to tell us! Fixed now (So awkward…)

    All the best,


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