Indirectness in communication


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This ppt gives an idea of what indirect communication is and its application in both formal and informal approaches

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  • Spurtika Paresh Arnab Gourav
  • Indirectness in communication

    1. 1. Indirectness in Communication Arnab Chakraborty(MBA Oil&Gas)
    2. 2. Contents• What is Indirectness in communication• Types of Indirectness• Motives for Indirectness• Indirectness needed in Business Situations – Bad news/Refusals – Persuasion• Conclusion
    3. 3. Excerpt from Alice in wonderland “Then you should say what you mean,” the March Hare went on.“I do,” Alice hastily replied; “at least–at least I mean what I say–that’s the same thing, you know.” “Not the same thing a bit!” said the Hatter. “You might just as well say that “I see what I eat” is the same thing as “I eat what I see”
    4. 4. Indirectness• Indirectness is often used in our daily communication as a major communicative skill to keep a harmonious interpersonal relation• Various motives if indirectness includes politeness, self-protection, humor, rejection or denial, etc.• Read the following : – “Frankly, I think you are boring” – “I’m terribly sorry, I’ve to leave you alone now”• According to Searle(1975) indirectness is defined as “those cases in which one illocutionary act is performed indirectly by ways of performing another”• In simple terms – indirectness is the means through which one meaning is conveyed indirectly through verbal or non verbal behaviors to achieve a certain goal , or the means in which one’s intent is revealed in a roundabout way
    5. 5. Types of Indirectness• Conventional indirectness – These are standardized to perform only those acts conventionally designated for certain functional purposes which are not assigned to them in their grammatical forms – “Can you please pass the salt?” exact wording – “Are you able to pass the salt?” Inappropriate and direct• Non Conventional Indirectness – Also referred to as “Hints” – These are the verbal/nonverbal cues that are ambiguous on either prepositional content or illocutionary force or both • “I have to study for an exam” – is an excuse for not accepting a movie invitation. Literal and intended meaning does not match
    6. 6. Motive for Indirectness• Indirectness for Politeness – Depends on social distance between the speaker and listener. – Need to feel accepted by other people• Self protection – Means of conveying denial, advice, humor, etc. – Save your “face” • “Could you possibly lend me your bike this evening?” – “Sorry I will use it this evening” • “Lend me your bike this afternoon” – “No I do not want to lend you my bike”
    7. 7. Motive for Indirectness• Indirectness for Humor – Helps in expressing our sincerity, generosity, and kindliness in a lighter way – Lubricates interpersonal relationship – Promotes one’s self restraint and creating a meaningful life • Customer : “is my dish ready?” • Waiter : “What have you ordered?” • Customer : “Fried snails” • Waiter : “Oh I will go to the kitchen and have a look, Would you please wait for a moment?” • Customer ( in anger ) : “I have already waited for half an hour !” • Waiter : “You know sir, Snails are slow in movement…” The two laughed
    8. 8. Motive for Indirectness• Indirectness for rejection and denial – Don’t show disagreement openly – Don’t give out any explicit expressions of rejection or denial • “How could I do that?” = “it is impossible that I should do that” • “let us go to the park this after noon” in response “I have classes this afternoon”=“I don’t want to go”
    9. 9. Business Situations needing Indirectness• Bad news : Indirectness cushions the shock and reduces harshness – Exceptions : When receiver might prefer frankness over indirectness or it’s a routine thing• Refusals
    10. 10. The General Indirect Plan• Using a Strategic Buffer – Raises the topic but does not indicate the rest of the message – Identifies the subject of the message but does not indicate overtly that the negative news is coming • Neutral Buffer • Positive Buffer – But be very careful about opening with a positive buffer• Setting Up The Negative News – Follow the buffer with an explanatory strategy before presenting the negative news
    11. 11. The General Indirect Plan• Presenting the Bad News Positively – Present it as positively as the situation permits and make sure negative message is clear • Can use 1st and 3rd person to present instead of 2nd person : e.g. – “Since you have broken the seal, state law prohibits us from returning the product to stock” – usage of 2nd person – “State law prohibits us from returning to stock all such products with broken seals” – usage of 3rd person • Linking negative news to a reader benefit : e.g. – Prefacing with “in the interest of fairness” or “for the safety of our guests” indicates the reader and our patrons get an important benefit out of our policy • Be certain that you are honest and clear
    12. 12. The General Indirect Plan• Offering an alternative solution – Help solve the reader’s problem – Showing concern maintains goodwill• Ending on a positive note – End with forward looking note – Shift the reader’s thoughts to happier things – End with specially adapted goodwill
    13. 13. Case Illustration• Case Definition : Refusal Request – Tact and strategy mark this refusal request in which an office manager turns down a text book author’s request – The author had asked for model email messages that can be used as examples in a communication guidebook. – The office manager reasons that complying with this request would take more time than he is willing or able to give
    14. 14. Opening with thestrategic buffer Your point ofTies in with request view explained At the samePresenting the bad time sets up thenews(refusal) Negativepositively news Offers alternative solutions Goodwill close off subject and pleasant
    15. 15. Indirectness in Persuasive Messages• Determining the persuasion : Planning the strategy involves 2 inter related tasks : – Considering your own goals for the message – Considering your reader’s needs and interests – Deciding upon persuasive plan – A special persuasive plan : it is the problem solution strategy which uses the common ground technique• Gaining attention in the opening – Beginning should lead to your central strategy – Attention is needed to get the reader in a mood to receive the persuasion – The opening of a problem-solution message describes a problem that you and your readers share
    16. 16. Persuasive Requests• Presenting the persuasion – Present the points convincingly – Convey points with convincing details – Selecting words for effect – Use logic and emotion appropriately and project an appealing image• Making the Request Clearly and Positively – After persuading, move to the action you seek – Place the request – Word the request for best effect – Do not use a negative tone • “I am aware that business people in your position have little free time to give, but will you please consider accepting an assignment to the board of directors of the children’s fund?” – Be positive • “Because your organizing skills are so desperately needed, will you please serve on the board of directors for the children’s fund?”
    17. 17. Persuasive Requests• End the message with the request or follow with more persuasion• Ending with reminder of the appeal is also good
    18. 18. Illustration(Inappropriate Direct Response)• Example-1: Direct and not appropriate Dear Mr. Willams:Will you please donate to the local junior Achievement program? We have set $50 as a fair minimum for business to give. But larger amounts would be appreciated. The organization badly needs your support. Currently about 900 young people will not get to participate in junior Achievement activities unless more money is raised. Junior Achievement is most worthwhile organization. As a business leader you should be willing to support it. If you do not already know about the junior Achievement, let me explain. Junior Achievement is an organization for high school youngsters. They work with the local business executives to form small businesses. They operate businesses. In the process, they learn about our economic system. This is good thing, and it deserve our help.Hoping to receive your generous donation.
    19. 19. Illustration(Indirect and Appropriate)• Example-2: indirect and appropriateDear Mr. Williams, Right now– Right here in our city—620 teenage youngsters are running 37 corporations. The kids run the whole show, their only adult help being advice from some of your business associates who work with them. Last September, they create plans for business operations and right now they are operating it very well. This May they will liquidate their companies and account to their stockholders for their profits and losses. To continue to succeed, junior Achievement needs all of us behind it. During the 13 years has been in our city, it has had enthusiastic support from local business leaders. Over 900 student’s are in waiting list, that’s why, as a volunteer myself, I ask that you help make program available to more youngsters by contributing $50. Please make your donation now by completing our online contribution form at you will be doing a good service for the kids in our community.Sincerely,
    20. 20. Conclusion• Its very clear that Indirect communication has a very important part to play in our day to day life.• Telling “no” is an art which is very important for everyone to master for which we need thorough understanding of Indirect communication• Indirect communication also has its application in various business scenarios and thus we need to practice it very carefully and apt applications are necessary