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Interpersonal Communication in the Workplace. Based on Chapter 7, Goodall and Goodall Lynne Dahmen. COM 2301: Advanced Speech. How do we make first impressions?. Perceptions (appearance, voice, language use) Schemata Person Prototypes Personql Constructs Scripts/phatic communication.

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interpersonal communication in the workplace

Interpersonal Communication in the Workplace

Based on Chapter 7, Goodall and Goodall

Lynne Dahmen

COM 2301: Advanced Speech

how do we make first impressions
How do we make first impressions?
  • Perceptions (appearance, voice, language use)
  • Schemata
    • Person Prototypes
    • Personql Constructs
    • Scripts/phatic communication
making positive impressions
Making Positive Impressions
  • Eye contact, smile, handshake
  • Clear speech
  • Proper titles/names
  • Make efforts to remember names (and use the name)
  • Respond clearly
  • Be positive
  • Be pleasant
  • Be aware of appropriate social distance
  • Don’t prolong conversations
types of peer relationships
Types of Peer Relationships
  • Information peers
  • Collegial peers
  • Special peers
what limits work relationships
What limits work relationships?
  • Rules
  • Policies
  • Cultures
n american ethical standards


Value the individual

Keep your word



Open to change

Take risks

Be creative

N. American Ethical Standards
self disclosure
  • Is it socially/culturally appropriate?
  • Is there an expectation of reciprocity?
  • Is this person trustworthy?
  • Is this information ok for public consumption?
  • Is it about/involve a third party?
rules for giving feedback
Rules for Giving Feedback
  • Own your opinions
  • Don’t apologize
  • Be specific
  • Target behaviors
  • Non verbal should reinforce the verbal
  • Avoid offering unsolicited feedback
dialectics for communication
Dialectics for Communication
  • Autonomy-togetherness
  • Novelty—predictability
  • Expressive-protective
ways to promote dialogue
Ways to Promote Dialogue
  • Focus on mutuality
  • Discover rather than disclose
  • Be more interested in access than in domination

Kellett (1999)

approaches to avoiding conflict
Approaches to Avoiding Conflict
  • Withdrawing
  • Accommodating
  • Compromising
  • Avoiding/postponing
strategies for managing conflict
Win-lose methods




Lose-lose methods




Win-win method

Confrontation--problem solving


Partial win-partial lose


Strategies for Managing Conflict
questions to ask about conflict
Questions to Ask About Conflict
  • Where does the conflict come from?
  • How is it being managed?
  • How are other people reacting?
  • How does it affect the organization?
  • Does it appear in other places in the organization?

(Kellett and Dalton, 2001)

sample progression of conflict
Sample Progression of Conflict
  • First meeting: We could always get along without a leader.
  • Second meeting: Absences in meetings
  • Third meeting: Lateness
  • Fourth meeting: Tension
  • Group divides….
  • What next?
myths about conflict
Myths about Conflict
  • Conflict is harmful
  • Conflict should be avoided
  • Conflict represents a misunderstanding or breakdown in communication
  • Conflicts can be resolved through discussion
functions of conflict
Functions of Conflict
  • Increases involvement
  • Provides an outlet for hostility
  • Promotes cohesiveness
  • Increases group productivity
  • Increases the chance of genuine commitment
conflict can avoid groupthink
Conflict can avoid groupthink…
  • Overestimation of power and/or morality of group
  • Group becomes close-minded
  • Group experiences pressure to conform
types of conflict
Substantive conflict

Opposition of ideas

Focus on content

‘opinion deviates’

Increases interaction

Affective conflict



Often over personal needs or perceptions

Minimizes interaction

Types of Conflict
dysfunctional management strategies
Dysfunctional Management Strategies
  • Do not say “communicate more”
  • Do not say “cooperate more.”
  • Do not blame the other person or the group.
  • Do not be too general
  • Do not attack the other person or persons
  • Do not avoid conflict
  • Do not extend conversation
managing interpersonal conflict
Managing Interpersonal Conflict
  • Talk with other members of the group to confirm your perceptions and conclusions.
  • Make a list of the specific behaviors you have observed as being disruptive.
  • Have some tentative suggestions in mind to present if needed.
  • Be prepared to listen carefully to the other person’s view.
  • Be prepared to use supportive communication behaviors.
  • Attempt to integrate the view of others when possible.
confrontation in groups
Confrontation in Groups
  • Be sure you want to confront
    • Put some time between the conflict moment and your decision making.
    • Examine the situation from all relevant points of view
    • Determine whether or not confrontation is appropriate for a commonsense perspective.
  • Set your goals
  • Select the right channel
  • Set the time of the confrontation carefully
  • Choose the location and setting carefully
  • Stay in the present tense
  • Personalize the confrontation
  • Be supportive
reaching conclusions
Reaching Conclusions
  • Compromise
    • Pseudo-consensus
    • Seek commitment to goal
  • Majority vote
    • Consider extending time
    • Can lead to resentment
    • Make sure minority view is heard
  • Arbitration
    • Seek neutral party, better outside group
culture in the communication process
Culture in the Communication Process
  • Language Differences
  • Social rules for communication patterns
  • Process of thought
  • Non-verbal behaviors
  • Concepts of time
cultural influences on decoding
Cultural Influences on Decoding
  • Cultural filters- ways we see the world through our own culture influences our interpretation of messages
  • Ethnocentrism—influences how we judge or accept others as either similar or like ourselves
  • Stereotypes--generalizations about people, particularly about their underlying psychological characteristics or personality traits
characteristics of intracultural communication
Characteristics of Intracultural Communication
  • Communicators share the same ground rules
  • Share cultural and NV codes
  • Implies judgments about the ‘proper’ socialization of the other person
  • Similar processes in encoding & decoding messages
  • Can lead to negative stereotypes
characteristics of intercultural communication
Characteristics of Intercultural Communication
  • Dissimilar encoding/decoding practices
  • Ambiguity concerning ground rules for communication
  • Miscommunication can occur on nonverbal level
  • Increased conflict
cultural divides low vs high context cultures
Meaning in message

Speaker responsibility for comprehension


Details in message

Meaning in context

Listener responsibility for comprehension


Details in context

Cultural Divides: Low vs. High Context Cultures
cross cultural stumbling blocks
Cross-cultural Stumbling Blocks
  • Assumptions of similarities
  • Language differences
  • Nonverbal misinterpretations
  • Preconceptions and stereotypes
  • Tendency to evaluate
  • High anxiety or tension
skills to improve communication
Skills to Improve Communication
  • Assume difference until similarity is proven
  • Take responsibility for communication
  • Withhold judgment
  • Show respect
  • Empathize
  • Tolerate ambiguity
  • Look beyond the superficial
  • Be flexible in your conclusions
skills continued
Skills (continued)
  • Be patient and persistent
  • Recognize your own cultural biases
  • Be flexible
  • Emphasize common ground
  • Send clear messages
  • Increase your cultural sensitivity
  • Deal with the individual
  • Learn when to be direct
intercultural communication competence
Intercultural Communication Competence
  • Describes ability to communicate effectively in intercultural contexts
  • Can be associated with various factors
other differences to consider in business
Other Differences to Consider in Business:
  • Recognition of time
  • Decision making strategies
  • Ethical and legal behavior
  • Corporate Cultural difference
  • Personal space
  • Relationship between social and professional lives
tips for oral communication
Tips for Oral Communication
  • Look for feedback
  • Eliminate ambient distractions
  • Rephrase ideas as needed
  • Use repetition and examples
  • Don’t ‘talk down’ to the other person
  • Use accurate language
  • Listen carefully and patiently
  • Clarify expectations post-discussion