Interpersonal communication
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Interpersonal Communication

“I see communication as a huge umbrella that covers and affects all that goes on between human beings. . . How he manages his survival, how he develops intimacy; how productive he is, how eh makes sense, how he connects with his own divinity—all are largely dependent on his communication skills.” –Virginia Satir

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  • The process of conveying feelings, attitudes, facts, beliefs, and ideas between individuals either verbally or non-verbally in such a way that the message intended is received.

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  • What you mean to say

  • What you actually say

  • What the other person hears

  • What the other person thinks s/he hears

  • What the other person says about what you said

  • What you think the other person said about what you said

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Communication/Feedback Loop

  • Step 1: The Idea

  • Step 2: Encoding

  • Step 3: Transmission

  • Step 4: Receiving

  • Step 5: Decoding

  • Step 6: Understanding

  • Step 7: Feedback

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One- and Two-Way Communication

  • One-way communication is communication without feedback—also referred to as passive listening

  • Two-way communication—key element is effective feedback

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Nonverbal Communication

  • More than 65% of the message is conveyed through nonverbal communication

    • Nonverbal communication can reinforce the verbal message

    • Nonverbal communication can replace verbal messages

    • Nonverbal communication can contradict the verbal message

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Nonverbal Communication

  • Facial Expressions and Eye Contact

  • Vocal Qualities

    • Paralinguistics—the study of vocal cues such as pitch, rate, tone, fluency, etc.

  • Gestures and Body Movements

  • Touching

    • Ken Blanchard—”When you touch, don’t take.”

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Nonverbal Communication

  • Personal Space

    • Intimate distance—reserved for close friends and loved ones

    • Personal distance—where a friendly conversation would take place

    • Social distance—reserved for impersonal or businesslike interactions

    • Public distance—reserved for speaking to a large audience

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Nonverbal Communication

  • Physical environment and territory

  • Clothing and personal appearance

  • Silence

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Verbal Communication

  • The words and language we use to convey information

  • The way we use words is as important as the words we use

  • Semantics—the study of meaning and changes of meanings in words

  • Assumptions—to accept as fact without any evidence of proof (to assume makes an “ass” out of “u” and “me”)

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Verbal Communication

  • Self-Concept—The single most important factor affecting our communication with others (see Chapter 2)

  • Emotion-Packed phrases—by choosing emotion-packed phrases, we set a roadblock to open, direct communication

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Gender and Communication

  • Masculine and Feminine styles of communication

    • Males tend to talk more about events, facts, achievements, etc.

    • Females tend to talk about relationships, feelings, people, etc.

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  • Selective listening—hearing only certain parts of the conversation

  • Attentive Listening—paying attention and focusing on the words that are being said.

  • Empathic listening—listening with the intent to understand

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Barriers to Listening

  • Psychological Filters—prejudices, past experiences, hopes, and anxieties

  • Hidden Agenda—our special interest or grudge—we influence the conversation to support our hidden position

  • Preoccupation or lack of interest

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Styles of Responding

  • Evaluative or Judging—the receiver makes a judgment about the motive, personality or reasoning of the sender

  • Criticizing—can be constructive or destructive

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Constructive Criticism (Feedback)

  • Emphasize behavior rather than personalities

  • Refrain from using “You” messages

  • Focus on actual observations rather than judgments

  • Do not criticize when you are angry or upset

  • Concentrate on sharing ideas rather than giving advice

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Styles of Responding

  • Advising—responding by offering solutions

  • Supportive—shows the receiver’s intent to reassure, comfort or minimize the intense feelings of the sender

  • Questioning—receiver wants to probe the sender

  • Understanding—receiver is seeking to fully understand what the sender is actually saying

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Active/Empathic Listening

  • In active listening, you see the situation and the message from the sender’s point of view—this includes the sender’s feelings, passion, importance, etc.

  • In active listening the focus is on the other person not simply his/her message or the words they are saying

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Steps Toward Active Listening

  • Develop a posture of involvement

  • Make use of “door openers”

  • Keep the other person talking through minimal encourages

  • Respond reflectively

    • Reflect content, meaning, feeling

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Person-to-Person Communication

  • Carl Rogers’ Four Components of Active Listening

    • Genuineness

    • Acceptance

    • Empathy

    • Unconditional Positive Regard