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  1. 1. PSYC 126 PERSONALITY ENHANCEMENT Chapter 5 COMMUNICATION ESSENTIALS Communication Basics  Four basic forms of communication: reading, writing, speaking, and listening.  Communication – is the act of transmitting information and meaning from one individual or group to another. The goal of communication is to convey information, requests, questions, or ideas effectively.  Information received in writing is called written communication: letters, memos, electronic messages, note jotted on a scratch pad.  Other communication reaches you via face-to-face conversations or by telephone, voicemail, teleconference, radio, and television.  Spoken messages are called oral communication.  Speaking and writing both involve the use of words and are considered verbal communication.  Nonverbal communication, no words are used. Ex. When you smile as someone passes by, when you repeatedly glance at the clock, you indicate your concern about time. Communication Takes Two  Effective communication is a two-way process.  Sender: the originator of a thought, idea, or piece of information.  Receiver: the individual to whom the thought, idea, or information is transmitted.  Message: the thought, idea, or information  Forms of message: o A simple request o A piece of information o A thought or opinion o A question  Feedback: response; information returned to the sender that indicates whether the message is understood; may be verbal or nonverbal.  Communication has not taken place until the message transmitted by the sender is received by the receiver and the feedback comes back to the sender. Communication Skills Are Critical  The ability to communicate effectively is one of the most important skills you can possess.  Personal assessment, practice, and refinement are required to develop good communication skills.  Communication skills, including written and oral presentations, as well as an ability to work with others, are the main factors contributing to job success.  The challenge in today’s electronic world is to take the time to make our communications clear, concise, courteous, complete, and correct. Written Communication  The elements of a good written communication include good grammar, spelling, organization, and structure.  Most occupations require written skills. (e.g. letters and emails, research and preparing works, slide presentations and spreadsheets)  The ability to put your thoughts in writing is an important skill in your personal life, too. (e.g. letter of application for a job, personal web page)  While “text speak” may be appropriate for informal text messages and e-mails to friends, it is not appropriate for business letters or e-mails, including those that you send to your instructor. EFFECTIVE WRITING TIPS  Ask yourself: “What am I trying to achieve by this communication?”  Use correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation. “Text speak” is not appropriate for business letters or e-mails.  Organize your communication logically.  Get to your point quickly. State your purpose in the first paragraph of your message.  Make sure your message is clear, concise, courteous, complete and correct.  Present data to support your request, conclusions, or recommendations (where appropriate).  Avoid use of slang words.  Be clear about the feedback you want.  Choose an appropriate written communication method. An e-mail message may be the faster method, but a written document may better fit the circumstances.  Proofread your text even if the spelling checker says there are no errors. Misspelled words and punctuation errors detract from your message and convey a negative impression.  Ask others to review your work. It is difficult to spot errors in your own writing. Oral Communication  Newly-hired employees are expected to be able to communicate orally.  Many problems in the workplace are traced to ineffective oral communication.  Misunderstanding can also arise when you communicate verbally with family or friends, although they will probably be better able to infer your true meaning because they know you well or ask you to clarify what you said. DO’S AND DON’TS OF GOOD ORAL COMMUNICATION DO DON’T Speak clearly and courteously. Use um or ah as “fillers” between words. Avoid the overuse of the word “I.” Ba sarcastic. Think before you speak. Make personal attacks Say your main thoughts or points first and then elaborate. Be rude or pushy Apologize if you err or misspeak. Jump from topic to topic without a transition Consider your audience and Use meaningless phrases or
  2. 2. empathize with your listener. words—you know, like. Use positive language. Expect others to always agree with you. Use standard language and enunciate words properly. Use informal words or phrases known only to a select group. Show interest in the listener’s response. Cut off feedback. Nonverbal Communication  If your words convey one message and your nonverbal message communicates another, the nonverbal message will be stronger.  Everything about you communicates a message.  Hand gestures, body language and posture, facial expression, eye contact, and touch are all forms of nonverbal communication.  More feelings and intentions are sent and received nonverbally than verbally. o Gestures. Many people use gestures as a normal part of communication when talking. o Body Language and Posture. The most way of sending or receiving nonverbal messages. o Facial Expressions such as a raised eyebrow, frown, yawn, smile, wink, wrinkled forehead, or slight sneer all communicate a message. Some expressions are readily visible, while others are momentary. A good listener constantly observes facial expression to interpret the message of the sender. o Eye Contact is a powerful form of nonverbal communication. Making direct eye contact conveys sincerity and a feeling of trust. Downward glances generally indicate modesty or an uneasy situation. o Touch is often called tactile (physical) communication. Adds an emotional impact to the message as well. When tactile information is used appropriately, it is more direct than many words. Used improperly, touch can build animosity, mistrust, and barriers. Personal Space  Important factor in nonverbal communication.  The space you put between yourself and others in order to feel comfortable is called your personal space.  “invisible boundary”  Be aware of your space requirements and respect the requirements of others.  Most people require 2-3 feet of personal space.  How close you normally stand to someone when you talk with that person depends on whom you are talking with and under what circumstances.  Personal space requirements are affected by environment, culture, status, and gender. BARRIERS TO COMMUNICATION  Ideal communication is straightforward.  What makes it complex and sometimes frustrating are the barriers that interfere with the communication process. o Word Choice. Use words your listeners will understand or define any words you feel may be misunderstood. Be careful when using unfamiliar words  Colloquialisms – words or phrases that are often used in a geographical area and more informal settings and most common in conversations. These words often have multiple meanings and are also called slang.  Jargon – specific language that is related to the work environment; is the technical terminology or characteristic words and ideas that belong to a specific type of work or filed of knowledge. It may be unfamiliar terms, acronyms, abbreviations, or shortened words.  Sexist Language. Using gender-neutral language (language use that aims at minimizing assumptions about gender) is ethically sound and appropriate. Speaking in a sexist manner may alienate your listeners and discourage them from communicating with you. o Confusing Messages. Clear messages create effective communication because they eliminate the need for requests for additional information or clarification. o Poor Channel Choice. Using the proper communication channel helps the receiver understand the nature and importance of the message. o Interruptions, Distractions, and Distance. Interruption may be due to something more immediate than the work at hand, such as an unexpected visitor, a telephone call, or an emergency. Distractions such as the slamming of a door, a siren, a conversation in an adjacent cubicle, or a noisy printer are all potential communication barriers. o Information Overload refers to an excessive amount of information being provided, which makes processing and absorbing the information very difficult. o False Assumptions or Stereotyping are major barriers to communication when people assume they already know what is about to be said. A stereotype is a generalized perception or first impression based on oversimplified beliefs or opinions about a person, event, group, or object. LISTENING SKILLS  The process by which we make sense out of what we hear is listening.
  3. 3. Barriers to Listening  Distractions  Thinking Ahead to What You Want To Say  Mind Moving Too Fast  Lack of Attention  Selective Listening Active Listening  Active listener makes a conscious effort to hear not only the words that another person is saying but, more importantly, to try and understand the total message being sent. Prepare to Listen  Focus on what is being said and block out what is not important at the time.  Prepare yourself mentally and physically to listen. Avoid Emotional Response  You cannot fully listen to points of view or process information when you are arguing mentally or judging what is being said before the person stops speaking. Critical Listening – separate facts from opinions  Fact – information that can be proven  Opinion – based on personal beliefs or feelings. POINTS TO REMEMBER:  The communication model includes the sender, the message, the receiver, and the feedback. All four elements must be in place for two-way communication to occur.  The forms of communication are written, oral, and nonverbal communication.  Common communication barriers include poor word choice, confusing messages, poor channel selection, interruptions and distractions, information overload, and stereotyping.  Listening is the process by which you make sense by what you hear. Hearing alone is not listening because hearing only means that you recognize that a message is sent; you may or may not be translating the information and trying to achieve common understanding between you and the speaker.  Common barriers to effective listening include distractions, selective listening, lack of attention, the mind moving too fast, or thinking about what you want to say.  Good listening skills include preparing to listen and avoiding emotional responses.  Active listeners concentrate on what is being said and listen with deliberate intention to understand the message. Active listening can clarify points of agreement and prevent disagreements.  Critical listeners can separate fact from opinion. Facts are statements that can be proven. Opinions are based on personal beliefs or feelings. Reference: Masters, L.A., et al. (2011). Personal Development for Work and Life. Cengage Learning Asia Pte. Ltd. Prepared by: Mrs. Maria Angela L. Diopol Instructor