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  1. 1. COMMUNICATION AND PROFESSIONAL WRITING SKILLS <ul><li>LEARNING AREAS: It is expected that at the end of this Module, the participants should: </li></ul><ul><li>Learn how to work effectively with others as a member of a team </li></ul><ul><li>Learn how to manage themselves efficiently and effectively by: </li></ul><ul><li>Communicating effectively – both verbally and non-verbally; </li></ul><ul><li>Know to organise meetings </li></ul>04/27/11
  2. 2. TEAMWORK <ul><li>Teamwork is an essential requirement in all businesses. Teams are put together to reach a specific goal / s. With the generally accepted principle that two or more heads are better than one in any problem solving or planning situation, teams and teamwork are fast becoming the norm in most organisations </li></ul><ul><li>What is a team? </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;A team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they are mutually accountable.&quot; (Katzenbach and Smith, 1993) </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;A team is a group in which members work together intensively to achieve a common group goal.&quot; (Lewis-McClear & Taylor 1998) </li></ul>04/27/11
  3. 3. WHAT MAKES AN EFFECTIVE TEAM <ul><li>Clear objectives and an agreed purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Appropriate leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Balanced roles </li></ul><ul><li>Openness and honesty </li></ul><ul><li>Support and trust </li></ul><ul><li>Cooperation in conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Effective procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Regular review </li></ul><ul><li>Good communication </li></ul><ul><li>Sound relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Individual and team development and learning. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>04/27/11
  4. 4. ROLES IN A TEAM <ul><li>According to Honey (1994) there are four roles and behaviours within a team: </li></ul><ul><li>  Leader </li></ul><ul><li>Making sure that the objectives are clear and agreed upon and that everyone is involved and committed. </li></ul><ul><li>Bringing team members in by inviting their comments and soliciting their ideas. </li></ul><ul><li>Clarifying the team’s objectives. </li></ul><ul><li>Grasping the nettle by raising issues and problems that the team ought to face and tackle. </li></ul><ul><li>Listening to team members’ opinions and checking that they have been understood. </li></ul><ul><li>Steering conversations through to consensus decisions by encouraging team members to say what they really think and genuinely agree on a course of action. </li></ul><ul><li>In difficult situations, where a consensus cannot be reached or where time is tight, leading from the front by deciding what needs to be done. </li></ul>04/27/11
  5. 5. ROLES IN A TEAM <ul><li>Doer </li></ul><ul><li>Urging the team to get on with the task in hand. </li></ul><ul><li>Doers are action oriented. </li></ul><ul><li>Tend to be totally concerned with the task (the ‘what’) often at the expense of the process (the ‘how’). </li></ul><ul><li>They are impatient with waffle and tend to swing into action without thinking through things carefully or considering an alternative course of action. </li></ul><ul><li>Thinker </li></ul><ul><li>Thinkers are good at producing carefully considered ideas and weighing up and improving ideas from other people. </li></ul><ul><li>They rarely have the most to say. They tend to be the quietest members in the team. </li></ul><ul><li>When they speak, they come up with winning ideas and tend to be listened to. </li></ul>04/27/11
  6. 6. ROLES IN A TEAM <ul><li>Carer </li></ul><ul><li>Carers are people-orientated. </li></ul><ul><li>They tend to be alert to relationships within the team and to be good at cheering people up, easing tensions and maintaining harmony. </li></ul><ul><li>Carers therefore help the leader to counterbalance the doers and the thinkers in the team who tend to be task and not people-orientated. </li></ul>04/27/11
  7. 7. WHY DO WE COMMUNICATE <ul><li>To: </li></ul><ul><li>Have a more professional image </li></ul><ul><li>Improved self-confidence </li></ul><ul><li>Improved relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Less stress </li></ul><ul><li>Greater acceptance by others </li></ul><ul><li>Share and solve problems </li></ul><ul><li>Persuade </li></ul><ul><li>Inform, influence and interact </li></ul><ul><li>Educate, evaluate and entertain </li></ul><ul><li>To: convey: feelings, messages, information, information sharing, learning complaints </li></ul>04/27/11
  8. 8. TEAMWORK <ul><li>A high performing team merges these different roles together so that the strengths of one compensates for the weaknesses of another. This is why a mix of different people is more likely to be more synergistic and become a team rather than just a group of individuals. It is the leader’s role to facilitate and make sure that the roles are utilized constructively. </li></ul>04/27/11
  9. 9. METHODS OF COMMUNICATION <ul><li>What are the methods of Communication </li></ul><ul><li>There are different ways of communicating effectively however, it is important to know that you need an appropriate method to communicate effectively. </li></ul><ul><li>Verbal Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Conversations, meetings, phone calls, briefings, interviews, announcements, speeches, etc </li></ul><ul><li>Non Verbal Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Facial expressions, body language, posture, stance, seating position, presence, absence, actions, signs, symbols </li></ul><ul><li>Written Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Memo, reports, letters, proposals, minutes, contracts, programmes etc </li></ul><ul><li>Visual Images </li></ul><ul><li>Photographs, paintings, drawings, cartoons, videos, logos, charts, graphs etc </li></ul><ul><li>Multi Media [Information Technology] </li></ul><ul><li>Computers, TVs, Internet, Radios, email etc </li></ul>04/27/11
  10. 10. COMMUNICATION PROCESS/MODEL <ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Intended Feedback Perceived </li></ul><ul><li>Message </li></ul>04/27/11 Sender/Deliver Encoding Medium/channel Decoding Reciever/Audience
  11. 11. OBSTACLES TO COMMUNICATION <ul><li>  OBSTACLE 1: Different perspectives </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>If you put a statue of a woman on a table, with one person looking at it from the front and one person from behind, you </li></ul><ul><li>You just don’t seem to “see eye-to-eye” with someone about something </li></ul><ul><li>Frequent use of: “No, that’s NOT what I said!” </li></ul><ul><li>Emotions are running wild: there </li></ul><ul><li>Listen carefully to what a person is saying. </li></ul><ul><li>Listen with the view to UNDERSTAND, not with the view to RESPOND. </li></ul><ul><li>Give feedback to your listener: “Am I will have two different perspectives of what is seen – although both persons are looking at exactly the same object. </li></ul><ul><li>If we don’t learn to understand another person’s perspective, we risk unnecessarily arguing and disagreeing. </li></ul><ul><li>Your body language may show that you are turned away from someone, and that you don’t make eye contact with that person. </li></ul><ul><li>Make eye contact. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask questions, probe, and focus! “Please tell me more; I’m not sure that I understand”. </li></ul>04/27/11
  12. 12. OBSTACLES TO COMMUNICATION <ul><li>OBSTACLE 2: Listening with the view to respond, not with the view to understand </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>We think faster than we talk. This means that while someone is talking, your brain has a lot of “empty space” that is not being used at that moment. What frequently happens is that we use this “empty space” to prepare a response to someone, instead of using it intensely and in a focused way to try to </li></ul><ul><li>UNDERSTAND what the other person is trying to communicate. </li></ul><ul><li>You don’t make eye contact with someone. </li></ul><ul><li>Your body language may reflect aggression or irritation (folded arms, body turned away from the other person, tapping with your fingers, fiddling with your neck, leaning back from the person, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>You never ask: “Did I understand you right? You said…” </li></ul><ul><li>You know your mind is racing to find a response instead of attentively listening. </li></ul><ul><li>Use the “empty space” in the brain to concentrate on the other person. </li></ul><ul><li>Turn your whole body toward the person and look him/her in the eye. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask yourself: “Do I truly understand what this person is trying to communicate to me?” </li></ul><ul><li>Ask yourself: “What can I do to ensure that I truly understand what this person is trying to communicate to me?” </li></ul><ul><li>Realize that LISTENING is the most important communication skill. </li></ul>04/27/11
  13. 13. OBSTACLES TO COMMUNICATION <ul><li>OBSTACLE 3 - Not bothering to check the quality of your own communication </li></ul><ul><li>Generally, we tend to blame others for breakdowns in communication. It is seldom that you hear anybody say: “I’m sorry; I think this whole misunderstanding is my fault. I should have communicated better!” Our modern society, in fact, is known as a “blaming society”, and this is just one more example of that. </li></ul><ul><li>If you ask anybody: “How should people treat you?” you will easily find long lists of to dos. It seems we instinctively know what is beneficial to us, and we sometimes demand this forcefully. The </li></ul><ul><li>REAL question to ask is this: “Do I do the things that I identify as the ways in which people should treat me?” Do I communicate as I wish to be communicated to? </li></ul><ul><li>You always seem to think that someone else has made the mistake. </li></ul><ul><li>You have seldom (if ever!) asked yourself: “How do people experience me and my communications?” </li></ul><ul><li>People just don’t seem to understand you when you communicate to them. (You may even think that the people around you are stupid and shallow!) </li></ul><ul><li>You never ask: “Did that answer your question?”, “Did I explain myself adequately?”, “Are you sure that you understand what you are supposed to do?” </li></ul><ul><li>Ask others how they experience your communication style. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask yourself what you think are your communication obstacles. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask yourself: “If I were that person, right now, would I really understand what I have just communicated?” </li></ul><ul><li>Ask yourself: “I wonder how I am coming across to this person right now”. </li></ul>04/27/11
  14. 14. OBSTACLES TO COMMUNICATION <ul><li>OBSTACLE 4 : Cultural differences </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>There are definite differences between a so called “Western” and an “African” perspective of life. These differences in cultural perspective are also expressed in the way that we communicate. </li></ul><ul><li>A “western” perspective is: more task oriented, hurried and competitive, “addicted” to planning and strategising , time-poor, less non-verbal, excessively individualistic. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Black/White” perspective </li></ul><ul><li>Eye contact: Whites think it is polite to look at a person in the eye. In traditional Black culture, it is impolite for a subordinate to look at an older person or a superior in the eye. </li></ul><ul><li>Look for apparent cultural differences between you and the person with whom you are communicating. </li></ul><ul><li>You may find that you more often have a communication breakdown with someone who is different from you in terms of race, religion, culture, home language, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Look for the use of discriminatory and biased language. </li></ul><ul><li>It is only natural to expect communication obstacles from these differing perspectives. We need to use our understanding of the previous 3 obstacles in order to deal best with this obstacle. </li></ul><ul><li>Be critical of your own prejudices and biases. </li></ul><ul><li>Constantly ask yourself: “Is this communication, with this person, hard for me because of this person’s culture, race, religion, and home language?” </li></ul><ul><li>Learn tolerance and acceptance of others’ worldviews. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>04/27/11
  15. 15. KEY COMMUNICATION SKILLS <ul><li>Active listening through listening with intensity, empathy, acceptance and a willingness to take responsibility. </li></ul><ul><li>Maintaining eye contact that is comfortable for the other person – remember staring is considered as being rude. </li></ul><ul><li>Using appropriate body language - attempt to give affirmative head nods and reflect an appropriate facial expression (i.e. interested / concerned / supportive / friendly, etc.). </li></ul><ul><li>Avoiding distracting actions or gestures like tapping on the table, picking on your clothes, sighing constantly, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Asking questions that will reflect a keen interest in what the person has shared. </li></ul><ul><li>If you are uncertain about what the person has just said, ask for clarity. </li></ul><ul><li>Paraphrasing to ensure that you have understood the speaker clearly. Try not to assume, regardless of whether you are convinced that you are right. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not interrupt the speaker by butting in or by completing the person’s sentences. </li></ul><ul><li>Not over talking. Communication is a two way process which requires dialogue. </li></ul><ul><li>Making smooth transitions between speaking and listening, by nodding, perhaps repeating important aspects made by the speaker, or saying things like, “Yes, I agree…”or “I would like to add to that point…” or “I see it slightly differently …” </li></ul>04/27/11
  16. 16. TYPES OF RELATIONSHIPS IN COMMUNICATION <ul><li>Conflictual relationship is a situation in which the parties recognize each other but are no longer able to work towards a win-win result and resort to verbal abuse and physical violence instead. </li></ul><ul><li>These types of relationships present a fundamental obstacle to effective communication. The other three relationships are often of an unstable nature, in the sense that a change in the relationship can be triggered by a relatively minor event – even just one word that is inappropriate at the time - and this can happen very quickly. </li></ul><ul><li>In the collaborative relationship the needs and positions of all the parties are clearly defined and understood and everyone involved shares the will to succeed, as well as information, equipment, accommodation and logistic arrangements, for example. </li></ul>04/27/11
  17. 17. TYPES OF RELATIONSHIPS IN COMMUNICATION <ul><li>The negotiative relationship has much in common with the collaborative scenario except that some needs and positions may not have been defined clearly enough and require discussion and trading to reach a mutually acceptable outcome. </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative and negotiative relationships can quickly become competitive relationships when one of the players needs to (or decides to) play a role different from that which was originally agreed upon. </li></ul><ul><li>This new role could also result in some form of overlap with the responsibilities of others. Another kind of competitive relationship occurs when a “new player” joins an established effort and expects to obtain rights, privileges and concessions from other players. Competitive relationships can, if not properly managed, quickly deteriorate into non-recognition, conflict and exclusion. </li></ul><ul><li>At this point, the concepts of credibility and trust become important. Without either of these, effective communication is simply not possible. Neither credibility nor trust is automatically and instantly given – they need to be earned. </li></ul>04/27/11
  18. 18. DIFFERENT CHARACTERS THAT CAN HINDER EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION <ul><li>Placater: The Placater always talks in an ingratiating way, trying to please, apologizing and never disagreeing, no matter what. </li></ul><ul><li>• WITH WORDS the placater always agrees. For example: “Whatever you want is okay. I am just here to make you happy.” </li></ul><ul><li>• WITH BODY the placater indicates a sense of helplessness. </li></ul><ul><li>• WHILE ON THE INSIDE the placater feels: “I feel like nothing: without him or her, I am dead. I am worthless.” </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Blamer: The Blamer is a fault-finder, a dictator, a boss and always acts superior. </li></ul><ul><li>• WITH WORDS the blamer always disagrees, and says (or seems to say): </li></ul><ul><li>“ You never do anything right. What is the matter with you?” Or, “If it weren’t for you, everything would be all right.” </li></ul><ul><li>• WITH BODY the blamer indicates: “I am the boss around here.” </li></ul><ul><li>• WHILE INSIDE the feeling is: “I am lonely and unsuccessful.” </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Computer: The Computer is very correct, very reasonable with no semblance of any feeling showing. He or she is calm, cool and collected, and is almost totally disinterested and tries to sound intellectual. The computer uses big words. </li></ul><ul><li>• WITH WORDS the computer is ultra-reasonable. For example: “If one were to observe carefully, one might notice the work-worn hands of someone present here.” </li></ul><ul><li>• WITH BODY the computer is stoic like a machine and seems to be saying: </li></ul><ul><li>“ I’m calm, cool and collected.” </li></ul><ul><li>• WHILE ON THE INSIDE the computer may really be saying: “I feel vulnerable.” </li></ul>04/27/11
  19. 19. DIFFERENT CHARACTERS THAT CAN HINDER EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION <ul><li>4. Distracter: The Distracter never makes a direct response to anything. Anything he or she says is totally irrelevant to what anyone else is saying or doing. </li></ul><ul><li>• WITH WORDS the distracter makes no sense and is totally irrelevant. </li></ul><ul><li>• WITH BODY the distracter is angular and off somewhere else. </li></ul><ul><li>• WHILE ON THE INSIDE the distracter may be saying: “Nobody cares. There is no place for me.” </li></ul>04/27/11
  20. 20. TYPES OF COMMUNICATION <ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>People in managerial roles have many opportunities to communicate with others. </li></ul><ul><li>Communication can be classified in the following different ways. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Intrapersonal Communication: When people talk to themselves, communication takes place within the brain. It embraces their thoughts, experiences and perceptions during a communication event. Behavior responses on all other levels of communication essentially begin on intrapersonal level. On this level, the individual forms personal rules and patterns of communication. Intrapersonal communication encompasses: </li></ul><ul><li>• Sense-making e.g. interpreting maps, texts, signs, and symbols </li></ul><ul><li>• Interpreting non-verbal communication e.g. gestures, eye contact </li></ul><ul><li>• Communication between body parts; e.g. “My stomach is telling me it’s time for lunch.” </li></ul><ul><li>• Day-dreaming </li></ul><ul><li>• Nocturnal dreaming and </li></ul><ul><li>• Many others... </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>04/27/11
  21. 21. DIFFERENT CHARACTERS THAT CAN HINDER EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION <ul><li>Interpersonal Communication: Interpersonal communication is also referred to as dyadic communication, or communication between two individuals. This type of communication can occur in both a one-on-one and a group setting. This also means being able to handle different people in different situations and making people feel at ease. Gestures such as eye contact, body movement, and hand gestures are also part of interpersonal communication. The most common functions of interpersonal communication are listening, talking and conflict resolution. Types of interpersonal communication vary from verbal to non-verbal and from situation to situation. Interpersonal communication involves face-to-face communication in a way that accomplishes the purpose and is appropriate. </li></ul><ul><li>Small Group Communication: Small group communication is an interaction process that occurs among three or more people interacting in an attempt to achieve commonly recognized goals either face-to face or through mediated forms. This is sometimes included in the interpersonal level — the most obvious difference is the number of persons involved in the process. The small group may be a family of three talking at supper, or a meeting of an organization with just a few members. </li></ul>04/27/11
  22. 22. DIFFERENT CHARACTERS THAT CAN HINDER EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION <ul><li>Public Communication or Public Speaking: The speaker sends messages to an audience, which is not identified as individuals. Unlike the previous levels, the speaker is doing most, if not all, of the talking. </li></ul><ul><li>Mass Communication: Mass communication occurs when a small number of people send messages to a large anonymous and usually heterogeneous audience using specialized communication media. It represents the creation and sending of a homogeneous message to a large heterogeneous audience through the media. </li></ul>04/27/11
  23. 23. SEVEN SINS IN COMMUNICATION <ul><li>Management guru Stephen Covey differentiates listeners as those listening with the intent to reply, and those listening with the intent to understand. Because listening is so vital to workplace success, it is important to take note of the seven “sins” that get in the way of good verbal communication (Dan Bobinski: The Seven Deadly Sins of (Not) listening): </li></ul><ul><li>Sin #1: Filtering </li></ul><ul><li>• This is when a person’s mind is sifting through another’s words and tuning in only when he or she hears agreement. Commonly, a Filterer replies to someone else’s statements with “yeah, but….” </li></ul><ul><li>Sin #2: Second Guessing </li></ul><ul><li>• Someone who is second-guessing usually misses important details because they are too busy (a) imagining someone has hidden motives for saying what they’re saying, and (b) trying to figure out what those hidden motives might be. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>04/27/11
  24. 24. SEVEN SINS IN COMMUNICATION <ul><li>Sin #3: Discounting </li></ul><ul><li>• This sin occurs when a listener lacks respect for a speaker. What the speaker is saying could be 100% dead on correct, but a Discounter will either internally or publicly scoff at what’s being said, for any number of reasons. The sad thing about Discounters is that they often miss the solutions to the problems before them, simply because they don’t like the source. A milder form of discounting occurs when content is brushed off just because the person speaking is not a good speaker. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Sin #4: Relating </li></ul><ul><li>• A Relater is someone who continually finds references from his or her own background and compares them to what the speaker is saying. Relaters often appear self-centered, as everything they hear is publicly compared or contrasted to their own experiences. </li></ul>04/27/11
  25. 25. SEVEN SINS IN COMMUNICATION <ul><li>Sin #5: Rehearsing </li></ul><ul><li>• This sin blocks much listening as it is simply waiting for the other speaker to finish what he or she is saying so the rehearser can start talking again. While someone else is talking, the rehearser is thinking about how to say the next sentence.  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Sin #6: Forecasting </li></ul><ul><li>• Someone who takes an idea from the speaker and runs light years ahead of the topic at hand is forecasting. Forecasting can stem from being bored with the subject matter, or simply because one’s mind automatically thinks ahead. </li></ul><ul><li>Sin #7: Placating </li></ul><ul><li>• Worst of all listening sins, placating agrees with everything anyone else says, just to avoid conflict. </li></ul>04/27/11
  26. 26. COMMUNICATION STYLES <ul><li>Every time a manager speaks, s/he chooses and uses one of four basic </li></ul><ul><li>communication styles: assertive, aggressive, passive and passive-aggressive. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Passive Style : Passive communication is based on compliance and hopes to avoid confrontation at all costs. In this mode, people do not talk much, question even less, and actually do very little. They usually have a low sense of self-esteem, and have a difficult time recognizing their own needs and knowing how to meet them more appropriately. They internalize discomfort rather than risk, upsetting others. This style tends to result in a lose-win situation, and results in feelings of victimization, resentment, and a loss of a sense of control. </li></ul><ul><li>Aggressive Style : Aggressive communication always involves manipulation. Managers adopting the aggressive style create a win-lose situation. They use intimidation and control to get their needs met, and they are disrespectful and hurtful to others in communications. They have the underlying beliefs that power and control are the only way to get needs met. They operate from a real sense of inadequacy and may have a lack of empathy for others. </li></ul>04/27/11
  27. 27. COMMUNICATION STYLES <ul><li>Passive-aggressive Style : Aggressive communication always involves manipulation. A combination of styles, passive-aggressive avoids direct confrontation (passive), but attempts to get even through manipulation (aggressive). The passive aggressive people incorporate elements of both of the previous styles. They try to use procrastination, forgetfulness, and intentional inefficiency rather than being direct in their communications with others. This style of communication often leads to office politics and rumour -mongering. </li></ul><ul><li>Assertive Style : The most effective and healthiest form of communication is the assertive style. It’s how people naturally express themselves when their self-esteem is intact, giving them the confidence to communicate without games and manipulation. </li></ul>04/27/11
  28. 28. BEHAVIOURS THAT SUPPORT EFFECTIVE LISTENING <ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Maintaining relaxed body posture </li></ul><ul><li>Leaning slightly forward if sitting </li></ul><ul><li>Facing person squarely at eye level </li></ul><ul><li>Maintaining an open posture </li></ul><ul><li>Maintaining appropriate distance </li></ul><ul><li>Offering simple acknowledgements </li></ul><ul><li>Reflecting meaning (paraphrase) </li></ul><ul><li>Reflecting emotions </li></ul><ul><li>Using eye contact </li></ul><ul><li>Providing non-distracting environment </li></ul>04/27/11
  29. 29. BEHAVIOURS THAT HINDER EFFECTIVE LISTENING <ul><li>Acting distracted </li></ul><ul><li>Telling your own story without acknowledging theirs first </li></ul><ul><li>No response </li></ul><ul><li>Invalidating response, put downs </li></ul><ul><li>Interrupting </li></ul><ul><li>Criticizing </li></ul><ul><li>Judging </li></ul><ul><li>Diagnosing </li></ul><ul><li>Giving advice/solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Changing the subject </li></ul><ul><li>Reassuring without acknowledgment </li></ul>04/27/11
  30. 30. COMMUNICATION SKILLS <ul><li>END OF MODULE 1 </li></ul>04/27/11