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Verbal & Nonverbal Communication

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  1. Verbal & Nonverbal Communication Chapter 9

  2. Verbal Communication • Language Must Be • Clear • Responsible • Culturally Sensitive • Congruent • Using Good language skills reduces defensiveness in a relationship

  3. Language Must Be Clear • Abstract Language is vague • False consensus (We think others understand our mental shorthand.) • Examples • You need to be more organized. • You need to back off. • You are so selfish. • We can talk about that later.

  4. Language Must Be Clear • Relative Language gains its meaning by comparison. • Examples • The restaurant was OK. • The movie was great. • We’ll be leaving soon. • Could you help out?

  5. Language Must Be Clear • Static Language implies that the person or situation is always the same. • Examples • He’s never happy. • She’s always giggling. • He gets angry about everything. • Fallacy of overgeneralization

  6. Language Must be Responsible • Avoid expressing opinion as fact. • Don’t commit the fallacy of causation. • You made me mad. • “You language” puts blame on the other person & causes defensiveness. • Use “I languge” instead. It takes responsibility for your response to the other person’s behavior.

  7. Language Must be Responsible • Three components of an effective I statement. • 1. Behavioral description. Actual description of behavior. (non-judgmental) • 2. Emotional description. How you felt when the other person did this. • 3. Consequence(s) the other’s behavior will have on your actions. • You should get a less defensive reaction.

  8. Language Must be Responsible • Soften serious consequences with a phrase such as “I’m worried that . . . ” or “I’m wondering if. . . “ • Examples: • I might not want to see you anymore. • I might not want to work with you.

  9. Language Must Be Culturally Sensitive • Monochronic cultures (individualist) value time efficiency. • Polychronic cultures (collectivist) value interpersonal relationships.

  10. Language Must Be Culturally Sensitive • High-context communication relies more on context and less on specific language to convey the message. (location, topic, goals of the conversation, history of the communicators) • Low-context communication is more direct and relies on clear, concrete, and explicit language.

  11. Language Must Be Culturally Sensitive • High context is preferred in most collectivist cultures • Japan values intuitive understanding. • Isshin densin or “traditional mental telepathy “ is prized. • Allows subtlety and “saving face” or embarrassment • Japan, Arab, and some Mediterranean cultures.

  12. Language Must Be Culturally Sensitive • Low-context communication is much more direct • Often, little attention is paid to context. • “Say what you mean, and mean what you say.” • “Don’t beat around the bush.” • Scandinavian, German and Israeli cultures are this way.

  13. Language Must Be Culturally Sensitive: How many words are appropriate? • Elaborate language (colorful, expressive, metaphors, similes, numerous adjectives); Arab/Middle Eastern/African-American • Exacting communication (clear & specific; states the facts & no more) • Succinct (Says very little & relies on context) Chinese & Native American; silence valued; A man of few words is wise. One who talks much may be dishonest.

  14. Language Must Be Culturally Sensitive • Goal of the Communication • Instrumental communication • Focuses on speaker’s goal; persuading, getting point across • Affective communication • Person oriented; focuses on building and maintaining good relations

  15. Gender and Communication • Problem-solving vs. empathy • Details vs. Big Picture • Asking for Help • Use of Questions