Say What You Mean: Professional Communication Skills for Librarians


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Excellent interpersonal communication skills are not just a requirement on every job announcement--they are vital to succeed in today's library! Attendees will learn how to use different communication styles to interact effectively with people across several library settings. A variety
of interpersonal communication topics will be covered, including: basic communication skills, direct vs. indirect communication, conflict management, and professional relationship maintenance.

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  • Bobtail squid
  • 1. An information source, which produces a message. 2. A transmitter, which encodes the message into signals 3. A channel, to which signals are adapted for transmission 4. A receiver, which 'decodes' (reconstructs) the message from the signal. 5. A destination, where the message arrives.
  • Environmental Noise: Noise that physically disrupts communication, such as standing next to loud speakers at a party, or the noise from a construction site next to a classroom making it difficult to hear the professor. Physiological-Impairment Noise: Physical maladies that prevent effective communication, such as actual deafness or blindness preventing messages from being received as they were intended. Semantic Noise: Different interpretations of the meanings of certain words. For example, the word "weed" can be interpreted as an undesirable plant in your yard, or as a euphemism for marijuana. Syntactical Noise: Mistakes in grammar can disrupt communication, such as abrupt changes in verb tense during a sentence. Organizational Noise: Poorly structured communication can prevent the receiver from accurate interpretation. For example, unclear and badly stated directions can make the receiver even more lost. Cultural Noise: Stereotypical assumptions can cause misunderstandings, such as unintentionally offending Jews by wishing them a "Merry Christmas.” Psychological Noise: Certain attitudes can also make communication difficult. For instance, great anger or sadness may cause someone to lose focus on the present moment. Disorders such as Autism may also severely hamper effective communication.[11]
  • Did you get feedback? If you can't did you identify your audience to anticipate feedback?
  • 1. PASSIVE COMMUNICATION is a style in which individuals have developed a pattern of avoiding expressing their opinions or feelings, protecting their rights, and identifying and meeting their needs. Passive communication is usually born of low self-esteem. These individuals believe: “I’m not worth taking care of.” As a result, passive individuals do not respond overtly to hurtful or anger-inducing situations. Instead, they allow grievances and annoyances to mount, usually unaware of the build up. But once they have reached their high tolerance threshold for unacceptable behavior, they are prone to explosive outbursts, which are usually out of proportion to the triggering incident. After the outburst, however, they feel shame, guilt, and confusion, so they return to being passive. 2. AGGRESSIVE COMMUNICATION is a style in which individuals express their feelings and opinions and advocate for their needs in a way that violates the rights of others. Thus, aggressive communicators are verbally and/or physically abusive. Aggressive communication is born of low self-esteem (often caused by past physical and/or emotional abuse), unhealed emotional wounds, and feelings of powerlessness. 3. PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE COMMUNICATION is a style in which individuals appear passive on the surface but are really acting out anger in a subtle, indirect, or behind-the-scenes way. Prisoners of War (POWs) often act in passive-aggressive ways to deal with an overwhelming lack of power. POWs may try to secretly sabotage the prison, make fun of the enemy, or quietly disrupt the system while smiling and appearing cooperative. People who develop a pattern of passive-aggressive communication usually feel powerless, stuck, and resentful – in other words, they feel incapable of dealing directly with the object of their resentments. Instead, they express their anger by subtly undermining the object (real or imagined) of their resentments. They smile at you while setting booby traps all around you 4. ASSERTIVE COMMUNICATION is a style in which individuals clearly state their opinions and feelings, and firmly advocate for their rights and needs without violating the rights of others. Assertive communication is born of high self-esteem. These individuals value themselves, their time, and their emotional, spiritual, and physical needs and are strong advocates for themselves while being very respectful of the rights of others.
  • 1. Don't fight back 2. Listen actively 3. Ask for details and clarification 4. Find as much common ground as possible x. Ask what s/he thinks will make the situation better 5. Ask if they're willing to hear additional information/suggestions 6. Create an action plan
  • 1. Watch for explosion warning signs 2. Check in regularly, to make sure that everything is okay. 3. Give them time to think about it, reflect on it, and then respond (perhaps in an indirect medium)
  • 1. Don't take the bait 2. Keep your cool. Remind yourself that you're better than the bad behavior 3. Very calmly explain that the passive aggressive behavior is unhelpful and destructive 4. Turn the tables by asking for a solution. 5. Don't let down your guard – look for long-term behavior, not words.
  • - More direct, more projection, more energy -
  • Say What You Mean: Professional Communication Skills for Librarians

    1. 1. Say What You Mean: Professional Communication Skills for Librarians Cliff Landis
    2. 2. Bonnie Bassler
    3. 3.
    4. 5.
    5. 6. Communication Basics
    6. 7.
    7. 8. Communication In Action
    8. 9. Feedback
    9. 10. ACTION STEP! Know Your Audience
    10. 11. Noise
    11. 12. Miscommunication
    12. 13. Adjusting your communication
    13. 14. Direct vs. Indirect Communication Styles
    14. 15. DIRECT INDIRECT <ul><li>Use clear, definitive statements.
    15. 16. Participate actively in meetings.
    16. 17. Make their points with conviction.
    17. 18. Are comfortable telling others what to do.
    18. 19. Use words like “should”, “have to”.
    19. 20. Tell others why their ideas should be adopted. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask a lot of questions.
    20. 21. Quietly observe in meetings.
    21. 22. Offer suggestions for consideration.
    22. 23. Like to get others involved in discussions.
    23. 24. Use words like “maybe”, “possibly”.
    24. 25. Ask others to consider their ideas. </li></ul>
    25. 26. Using Direct Communication
    26. 27. Using Indirect Communication
    27. 28. ACTION STEP! Know Yourself
    28. 29. Conflict Styles
    29. 30. We all disagree
    30. 31. Aggressive
    31. 32. Passive
    32. 33. Passive Aggressive
    33. 34. Assertive
    34. 35. Aggressive Passive- Aggressive Assertive Passive I win, you lose I win, you win I lose, you win I lose, you lose
    35. 36. ACTION STEP! Identify your Conflict Style
    36. 37. Conflict Management
    37. 38. Discomfort =/= Conflict
    38. 39. Aggressive
    39. 40. Passive
    40. 41. Passive Aggressive
    41. 42. Assertive
    42. 43. Other Resources
    43. 44. Bummed out yet?
    44. 45. Professional Relationship Maintenance
    45. 46. Being wonderfully human...
    46. 47. 5 Love Languages <ul><li>Words of Affirmation
    47. 48. Quality Time
    48. 49. Receiving Gifts
    49. 50. Acts of Service
    50. 51. Physical Touch </li></ul>
    51. 52. Am I meeting your needs?
    52. 53. Professional Communication: “On Stage” and “Off Stage”
    53. 54. Kryss On Stage
    54. 55. Kryss (and Cliff!) Off Stage
    55. 56. Communicating Effectively
    56. 57. Wrapping Up... <ul><li>Know your own preferred communication styles.
    57. 58. Know your recipient's typical communication style.
    58. 59. Identify the context of the communication.
    59. 60. Review the communication from the recipient's perspective.
    60. 61. Pay close attention to feedback, and use it to adjust your communication. </li></ul>
    61. 62. QUESTIONS?