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What is Communication?


What is Communication?
Can anyone define it? The act of expressing yourself in a way that you are quickly and easily understood

How do we know that good communication has


Good Communication
Effective communication (what works) happens

between two people when the receiver interprets the message in the same way the sender intended it. Each of us needs to share thoughts, needs, and feelings, and we do it by communicating.

Process of Communication

Source: Why to communicate?

What to communicate? Usefulness of the communication. Accuracy of the Information to be communicated.


The process of transferring the information you want

to communicate into a form that can be sent and correctly decoded at the other end.
Ability to convey the information.
Eliminate sources of confusion. For example, cultural

issues, mistaken assumptions, and missing information.

Knowing your audience.

Verbal Communication

Channels Face-To-Face meetings,

Telephones, Video Conferencing.

Letters, e-Mails,

Written Communication Channels

Memos, Reports.


Listen actively, Read information carefully, Avoid Confusion, Ask question for better understanding.

The audience or individuals

to whom we are sending the information.

THE INFLUENCE FOR RECEIVER: The prior knowledge can influence the receivers understanding of the message. Blockages in the receivers mind. The surrounding disturbances.

FEEDBACK: Good communication needs feedback. The person sending a message listens for feedback while talking to tell whether the message is getting through and making sense to the receiver. Feedback can be:
Verbal Reactions and Non-Verbal Reactions.

Positive feedback and Negative feedback.

1.Various Cultures (Corporate, International,

Regional, etc),
2.Language, 3.Location or Place (Restaurant, Office, Auditorium,

Room, etc). 4.Situation

Communication Goals
To change behavior

To get and give Information

To get action

To persuade

To ensure understanding

Most common ways to communicate


We need to improve communication... as

70 % of our communication efforts are: misunderstood misinterpreted rejected distorted or not heard 6 people talking in a 2 people conversation!!

Common Communication Errors:

Finishing others sentences Preparing our response before someone has

completed speaking Multitasking while listening Filtering content or meaning based on the speaker Speaking for others (we)

Distortions in Communication

Avoiding Misunderstandings

happen when we dont communicate clearly. Both sender AND receiver have a responsibility to clarify messages to avoid misunderstanding. Often we are communicating a message that is a bit different from the one we are trying to send. Sometimes our unconscious (not at the top of our minds) feelings are shown in nonverbal behavior. It is important that we are aware of all the messages we are sending.

Being Effective as a Communicator

Sending - send a message clearly and accurately to

the receiver. Be SPECIFIC (detailed) when youre telling someone something. Send the same message verbally and nonverbally. Example: Jacks mother yelled at him for not putting away his clothes. While she was yelling at him, she was smiling at the same time. Jack was confused by this message and didnt know what to do

Receiving - How to hear and correctly understand a message someone is sending us. What does it feel like when youre talking to someone and you can tell theyre not listening to you? What does that look like? Again, its all about non-verbal cues. What does it feel like when you dont think you are understanding what someone is telling you?

Key Principles of Effective Communication

1. 2. 3. 4.
5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Make sure body language, words and tone are aligned. Maintain appropriate eye contact Improve voice quality Listen actively; it builds the block of good understanding and communication Pause for effect: give time for explanation, evaluation and development of thoughts Summarize all keys points. Empathize with the receiver of the message Keep it simple Repeat if necessary Be confident

Essentials of good communication

Knowledge Spontaneity in conversation Level of conversation Organising your thoughts
Participating in discussions

Body Language Show vs Tell Being a good listener Listening vs hearing

How to be an active listener

Set the stage Ensure mutual understanding Understand body language Suspend judgment Behaviors that hinder effective listening
Act distracted (look at your watch!) Tell your own story without acknowledging theirs Give no response Invalidate response, be negative Interrupt Criticize

Techniques to improve listening skills

Restate what was said in your own words

Pull together the main points of a speaker

Challenge speaker to think further, clarifying both your and their understanding

Two basic types of questions

1. Closed questions:

Get a one-word response and inhibit thought.

Questions begin with who, when and which Invite unique thought, reflection or an explanation. Questions begin with how, what and how come (not why!).

2. Open-ended questions:

Practice Questioning

Rephrase the following closed questions to make them open-ended: Are you feeling tired? Isnt it a nice day? Was the last activity useful? Is there anything bothering you? So everything is fine, then?

2. 3.


Adding colour to communication

Images Describe,

relive Show, dont tell Use audiences senses

Sight Sound Touch Taste Smell

Basics of Effective Communication

Learning all communication styles is important in

order to avoid communicating in less effective ways and in order to recognize those styles in others so as to be able to deal with them. People are not difficult. They only seem difficult to the extent that we do not have the skills to deal with what they bring to the table. It is our lack of knowledge that makes the situation difficult.

Passive, Aggressive, and Assertive



Passive Communication

Allowing our own rights to be violated by failing to

express our honest feelings. The goal of being a passive communicator is to avoid conflict no matter what. Little risk involved very safe. Little eye contact, often defers to others opinions, usually quiet tone, may suddenly explode after being passive too long.

Examples of Passive Communication

I dont

know. Whatever you think. You have more experience than I. You decide. Ill go with whatever the group decides. I dont care. It doesnt matter to me. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. . . NO!

Aggressive Communication
Protecting ones own rights at the expense of others

rights no exceptions. The goal of the aggressor is to win at all costs; to be right. Does not consider actions a risk because this person thinks they will always get their way. It is risky in terms of relationships Eye contact is angry and intimidating; lots of energy; loud and belittling; never defers to others, or at least does not admit to; manipulative and controlling. Often uses violence or verbal abuse.

Examples of Aggressive Communication

I dont know why you cant see that this is the right

way to do it. Its going to be my way or not at all. Youre just stupid if you think that will work. Who cares what you feel. Were talking about making things work here.

Assertive Communication
Protecting your own rights without violating the rights of

others. The goal of the assertive person is to communicate with respect and to understand each other; to find a solution to the problem. Takes a risk with others in the short run, but in the long run relationships are much stronger. Eye contact maintained; listens and validates others; confident and strong, yet also flexible; objective and unemotional; presents wishes clearly and respectfully.

Examples of Assertive Communication

So what youre saying is. . . .
I can see that this is important to you, and it is

also important to me. Perhaps we can talk more respectfully and try to solve the problem. I think. . . I feel. . . I believe that. . . . I would appreciate it if you. . . Let me understand your thoughts on this


My way or the high way: The Aggressive Approach

You must Because I said so You always/never.

There is nothing subtle to the aggressive approach. The following are the common behaviours :

Blaming, accusing Intimidating body language Demanding, ordering Raised voice Harsh, personal language Verbal browbeating

The Appeasing way: the Non Assertive Approach

Uhif thats the way you want to do, thats fine with me. I dont know if I could do that. Ill talk to him soon about that problem; Ive been really busy. I am sorry to ask you. I hate to bother you. May be thats a good idea Behaviours: Soft voice Overly agreeable, no point of view expressed Avoidance Withdrawn body language Sounding unsure Beating around the bush Sounding hopeless and helpless

The subtle but aggravating: The Passiveaggressive approach

I knew that wouldnt work. If thats the way you want it.. How could you even think of that? When was the last time you helped me? The problem with Joe is.

Behaviours: Appears to agree but really does not agree Tells others but not the source of concern Makes subtle digs and sarcastic remarks Keeps score and sets conditions Nonverbal message contradicts the verbal massage Holds back expressing concern or providing assistance Criticizes after the fact

Straight and positive: The Assertive Approach

Yes that was my mistake. As I understand your point.. Let me explain why I disagree with that point. Lets define the issue and then explore some options to help resolve it. Please hear me and then work with me to resolve my concern. Behaviours: Takes responsibility Listens actively Takes initiative Speaks up, is direct and constructive Shows sincerity Is solution focused Assumes confident voice and body language Addresses concerns directly to the source Requests needs

Task 1
Write a short dialogue between three people displaying all four approaches of verbal communication. Your dialogue should be set in a context which must be clearly explained. You have 15 minutes ONLY, to plan and to write. Each group member MUST have an equal share of dialogues (non-verbal cues count for passive style)


Watch your body posture practice using an open,

assertive body language and voice Think before you speak Take a few seconds to make sure you are conveying the right message and in the way you want to convey it Dont apologize if its not warranted Remember it is ok to say no Remember everyone is entitled to an opinion, and dont try to convince others beyond a limit.