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The Importance of Effective

Communication
Introduction

People in organizations typically spend over 75% of their time in an interpersonal


situation; thus it is no surprise to find that at the root of a large number of
organizational problems is poor communications. Effective communication is an
essential component of organizational success whether it is at the interpersonal,
intergroup, intragroup, organizational, or external levels.
In this chapter we will cover the basic process of communication and then we will
cover some of the most difficult communication issues managers face-providing
constructive and effective feedback and performance appraisal.

The Communication Process

Although all of us have been communicating with others since our infancy, the
process of transmitting information from an individual (or group) to another is a
very complex process with many sources of potential error.
Consider the simple example:

• Terry: "I won't make it to work again tomorrow; this pregnancy keeps me
nausious and my doctor says I should probably be reduced to part time.
• Boss: Terry, this is the third day you've missed and your appointments keep
backing up; we have to cover for you and this is messing all of us up.

Message to be sent
decode encoded by receiver
message received
some error likely some error likely)
In any communication at least some of the "meaning" lost in simple transmission
of a message from the sender to the receiver. In many situations a lot of the true
message is lost and the message that is heard is often far different than the one
intended. This is most obvious in cross-cultural situations where language is an
issue. But it is also common among people of the same cuture.
Look at the example. Terry has what appears to be a simple message to convey-she
won't make it to work today because of nausia. But she had to translate the
thoughts into words and this is the first potential source of error. Was she just
trying to convey that she would be late; was she trying to convey anything else. It
turns out she was. She was upset because she perceived that her co-workers weren't
as sympathetic to her situation as they should be. Her co-workers, however, were
really being pressured by Terry's continued absences, and her late calls. They
wished she would just take a leave of absence, but Terry refuses because she would
have to take it without pay.
Thus what appears to be a simple communication is, in reality, quite complex.
Terry is communicating far more than that she would miss work; she is conveying
a number of complex emotions, complicated by her own complex feelings about
pregnancy, work, and her future.
She sent a message but the message is more than the words; it includes the tone,
the timing of the call, and the way she expressed herself.
Similarly, the boss goes through a complex communication process in "hearing"
the message. The message that Terry sent had to be decoded and given meaning.
There are many ways to decode the simple message that Terry gave and the way
the message is heard will influence the response to Terry.
In this case the boss heard far more than a simple message that Terry won't be at
work today. The boss "heard" hostility from Terry, indifference, lack of
consideration, among other emotions. Terry may not have meant this, but this is
what the boss heard.
Communications is so difficult because at each step in the process there major
potential for error. By the time a message gets from a sender to a receiver there are
four basic places where transmission errors can take place and at each place, there
are a multitude of potential sources of error. Thus it is no surprise that social
psychologists estimate that there is usually a 40-60% loss of meaning in the
transmission of messages from sender to receiver.
It is critical to understand this process, understand and be aware of the potential
sources of errors and constantly counteract these tendencies by making a
conscientious effort to make sure there is a minimal loss of meaning in your
conversation.
It is also very important to understand that a majoring of communication is non-
verbal. This means that when we attribute meaning to what someone else is saying,
the verbal part of the message actually means less than the non-verbal part. The
non-verbal part includes such things as body language and tone.
Barriers to Effective Communication

There are a wide number of sources of noise or interference that can enter into the
communication process. This can occur when people now each other very well and
should understand the sources of error. In a work setting, it is even more common
since interactions involve people who not only don't have years of experience with
each other, but communication is complicated by the complex and often conflictual
relationships that exist at work. In a work setting, the following suggests a number
of sources of noise:

• Language: The choice of words or language in which a sender encodes a


message will influence the quality of communication. Because language is a
symbolic representation of a phenomenon, room for interpreation and
distortion of the meaning exists. In the above example, the Boss uses
language (this is the third day you've missed) that is likely to convey far
more than objective information. To Terry it conveys indifference to her
medical problems. Note that the same words will be interpreted different by
each different person. Meaning has to be given to words and many factors
affect how an individual will attribute meaning to particular words. It is
important to note that no two people will attribute the exact same meaning to
the same words.
• defensiveness, distorted perceptions, guilt, project, transference, distortions
from the past
• misreading of body language, tone and other non-verbal forms of
communication (see section below)
• noisy transmission (unreliable messages, inconsistency)
• receiver distortion: selective hearing, ignoring non-verbal cues
• power struggles
• self-fulfilling assupmtions
• language-different levels of meaning
• managers hesitation to be candid
• assumptions-eg. assuming others see situation same as you, has same
feelings as you
• distrusted source, erroneous translation, value judgment, state of mind of
two people
• Perceptual Biases: People attend to stimuli in the environment in very
different ways. We each have shortcuts that we use to organize data.
Invariably, these shortcuts introduce some biases into communication. Some
of these shortcuts include stereotyping, projection, and self-fulfilling
prophecies. Stereotyping is one of the most common. This is when we
assume that the other person has certain characteristics based on the group to
which they belong without validating that they in fact have these
characteristics.
• Interpersonal Relationships: How we perceive communication is affected by
the past experience with the individual. Percpetion is also affected by the
organizational relationship two people have. For example, communication
from a superior may be perceived differently than that from a subordinate or
peer
• Cultural Differences: Effective communication requires deciphering the
basic values, motives, aspirations, and assumptions that operate across
geographical lines. Given some dramatic differences across cultures in
approaches to such areas as time, space, and privacy, the opportunities for
mis-communication while we are in cross-cultural situations are plentiful.

You work in a Japanese company in the US. You have noticed that the Japanese
staff explains only the conclusion to Americans when they address a problem,
rather than discussin the steps to the conclusion. Also , the Japanese staff sends
reports directly to Japan without showing them to you.

Reading Nonverbal Communication Cues

A large percentage (studies suggest over 90%) of the meaning we derive from
communication, we derive from the non-verbal cues that the other person gives.
Often a person says one thing but communicates something totaly different through
vocal intonation and body language. These mixed signals force the receiver to
choose between the verbal and nonverbal parts of the message. Most often, the
receiver chooses the nonverbal aspects. Mixed messages create tension and distrust
because the receiver senses that the communicator is hiding something or is being
less than candid.
Nonverbal communication is made up of the following parts:

1. Visual
2. Tactile
3. Vocal
4. Use of time, space, and image

Visual:
This often called body language and includes facial expression, eye
movement, posture, and gestures. The face is the biggest part of this. All of
us "read" people's faces for ways to interpret what they say and feel. This
fact becomes very apparent when we deal with someone with dark
sunglasses. Of course we can easily misread these cues especially when
communicating across cultures where gestures can mean something very
different in another culture. For example, in American culture agreement
might be indicated by the head going up and down whereas in India, a side-
to-side head movement might mean the same thing.
We also look to posture to provide cues about the communicator; posture
can indicate self-confidence, aggressiveness, fear, guilt, or anxiety.
Similarly, we look at gestures such as how we hold our hands, or a
handshake. Many gestures are culture bound and susceptible to
misinterpreation
Tactile:
This involves the use of touch to impart meaning as in a handshake, a pat on
the back, an arm around the shoulder, a kiss, or a hug.
Vocal:
The meaning of words can be altered significatnly by changing the
intonation of one's voice. Think of how many ways you can say "no"-you
could express mild doubt, terror, amazement, anger among other emotions.
Vocal meanings vary across cultures. Intonation in one culture can mean
support; another anger
Use of Time as Nonverbal Communication:
Use of time can communicate how we view our own status and power in
relation to others. Think about how a subordinate and his/her boss would
view arriving at a place for an agreed upon meeting..
Physical Space:
For most of us, someone standing very close to us makes us uncomfortable.
We feel our "space" has been invaded. People seek to extend their territory
in many ways to attain power and intimacy. We tend to mark our territory
either with permanent walls, or in a classroom with our coat, pen, paper, etc.
We like to protect and control our territory. For Americans, the "intimate
zone" is about two feet; this can vary from culture to culture. This zone is
reserved for our closest friends. The "personal zone" from about 2-4 feet
usually is reserved for family and friends. The social zone (4-12 feet) is
where most business transactions take place. The "public zone" (over 12
feet) is used for lectures.

At the risk of stereotyping, we will generalize and state that Americans and
Northern Europeans typify the noncontact group with small amounts of touching
and relativley large spaces between them during transactions. Arabs and Latins
normally stand closer together and do a lot of touching during communication.
Similarly, we use "things" to communicate. This can involve expensive things, neat
or messy things, photographs, plants, etc. Image: We use clothing and other
dimensions of physical appearance to communicate our values and expectations
Nonverbal Communication:
The use of gestures, movements, material things, time, and space can clarify
or confuse the meaning of verbal communication. In the above example,
factors such as Terry's tone, the time of Terry's call, will probably play a
greater role in how the message is interpreted than the actual words
themselves. Similarly, the tone of the boss will probably have a greater
impact on how his message is interpreted than the actual words.

A "majority" of the meaning we attribute to words comes not from the words
themselves, but from nonverbal factors such as gestures, facial expressions,
tone, body language, etc. Nonverbal cues can play five roles:

1. Repetition: they can repeat the message the person is making verbally
2. Contradiction: they can contradict a message the individual is trying
to convey
3. Substitution: they can substitute for a verbal message. For example, a
person's eyes can often convery a far more vivid message than words
and often do
4. Complementing: they may add to or complement a vebal message. A
boss who pats a person on the back in addition to giving praise can
increase the impact of the message
5. Accenting: non-verbal communication may accept or underline a
verbal message. Pounding the table, for example, can underline a
message.

Skillful communicators understand the importance of nonverbal


communication and use it to increase their effectiveness, as well as use it to
understand mroe clearly what someone else is really saying.
A word of warning. Nonverbal cues can differ dramatically from culture to
culture. An American hand gesture meaning "A-OK" would be viewed as
obscene in some South American countries. Be careful.
Developing Communication Skills: Listening Skills

There are a number of situations when you need to solicit good information
from others; these situations include interviewing candidates, solving work
problems, seeking to help an employee on work performance, and finding
out reasons for performance discrepancies.
Skill in communication involves a number of specific strengths. The first we
will discuss involves listening skills. The following lists some suggests for
effective listening when confronted with a problem at work:

• Listen openly and with empathy to the other person


• Judge the content, not the messenger or delivery; comprehend before
you judge
• Use multiple techniques to fully comprehend (ask, repeat, rephrase,
etc.)
• Active body state; fight distractions
• Ask the other person for as much detail as he/she can provide;
paraphrase what the other is saying to make sure you understand it
and check for understanding
• Respond in an interested way that shows you understand the problem
and the employee's concern
• Attend to non-verbal cues, body language, not just words; listen
between the lines
• Ask the other for his views or suggestions
• State your position openly; be specific, not global
• Communicate your feelings but don't act them out (eg. tell a person
that his behavior really upsets you; don't get angry)
• Be descriptive, not evaluative-describe objectively, your reactions,
consequences
• Be validating, not invalidating ("You wouldn't understand");
acknowledge other;'s uniqueness, importance
• Be conjunctive, not disjunctive (not "I want to discuss this regardless
of what you want to discuss");
• Don't totally control conversation; acknowledge what was said
• Own up: use "I", not "They"... not "I've heard you are noncooperative"
• Don't react to emotional words, but interpret their purpose
• Practice supportive listening, not one way listening
• Decide on specific follow-up actions and specific follow up dates
A major source of problem in communication is defensiveness. Effective
communicators are aware that defensiveness is a typical response in a work
situation especially when negative information or criticism is involved. Be
aware that defensiveness is common, particularly with subordinates when
you are dealing with a problem. Try to make adjustments to compensate for
the likely defensiveness. Realize that when people feel threatened they will
try to protect themselves; this is natural. This defensiveness can take the
form of aggression, anger, competitiveness, avoidance among other
responses. A skillful listener is aware of the potential for defensiveness and
makes needed adjustment. He or she is aware that self-protection is
necessary and avoids making the other person spend energy defending the
self.
In addition, a supportive and effective listener does the following:

• Stop Talking: Asks the other person for as much detail as he/she can
provide; asks for other's views and suggestions
• Looks at the person, listens openly and with empathy to the employee;
is clear about his position; be patient
• Listen and Respond in an interested way that shows you understand
the problem and the other's concern
• is validating, not invalidating ("You wouldn't understand");
acknowledge other;'s uniqueness, importance
• checks for understanding; paraphrases; asks questions for clarification
• don't control conversation; acknowledges what was said; let's the
other finish before responding
• Focuses on the problem, not the person; is descriptive and specific,
not evaluative; focuses on content, not delivery or emotion
• Attend to emotional as well as cognitive messages (e.g., anger); aware
of non-verbal cues, body language, etc.; listen between the lines
• React to the message, not the person, delivery or emotion
• Make sure you comprehend before you judge; ask questions
• Use many techniques to fully comprehend
• Stay in an active body state to aid listening
• Fight distractions
• ( if in a work situation) Take Notes; Decide on specific follow-up
actions and specific follow up dates
Constructive Feedback: Developing your Skills

"I don't know how to turn her performance around; she never used to have
these attendance problems and her work used to be so good; I don't know
why this is happening and what to do."
This manager is struggling with one of the most important yet trickiest and
most difficult management tasks: providing contructive and useful feedback
to others. Effective feedback is absolutely essential to organizational
effectiveness; people must know where they are and where to go next in
terms of expectations and goals-yours, their own, and the organization.
Feedback taps basic human needs-to improve, to compete, to be accurate;
people want to be competent. Feedback can be reinforcing; if given properly,
feedback is almost always appreciated and motivates people to improve. But
for many people, daily work is like bowling with a curtain placed between
them and the pins; they receive little information.
Be aware of the many reasons why people are hesitant to give feedback; they
include fear of causing embarassment, discomfort, fear of an emotional
reaction, and inability to handle the reaction.
It is crucial that we realize how critical feedback can be and overcome our
difficulties; it is very important and can be very rewarding but it requires
skill, understanding, courage, and respect for yourself and others.
Withholding constructive feedback is like sending people out on a dangerous
hike without a compass. This is especially true in today's fast changing and
demanding workplace

Why managers are often reluctant to provide feedback

As important as feedback is, this critical managerial task remains one of the
most problematic. Many managers would rather have root canal work than
provide feedback to another-especially feedback that might be viewed as
critical. Why are managers so reluctant to provide feedback? The Reasons
are many:

• fear of the other person's reaction; people can get very defensive and
emotional when confronted with feedback and many managers are
very fearful of the reaction
• the feedback may be based on subjective feeling and the manager may
be unable to give concrete information if the other person questions
the basis for the feedback
• the information on which the feedback is based (eg. performance
appraisal) may be a very flawed process and the manager may not
totally trust the information
• many managers would prefer being a coach than "playing God."

Other factors get in the way of effective communication or feedback


sessions. Some of these reasons are:

• defensiveness, distorted perceptions, guilt, project, transference,


distortions from the past
• misreading of body language, tone
• noisy transmission (unreliable messages, inconsistency)
• receiver distortion: selective hearing, ignoring non-verbal cues
• power struggles
• self-fulfilling assupmtions
• language-different levels of meaning
• managers hesitation to be candid
• assumptions-eg. assuming others see situation same as you, has same
feelings as you
• distrusted source, erroneous translation, value judgment, state of mind
of two people

Characteristics of Effective Feedback

Effective Feedback has most of the following characteristics:

• descriptive (not evaluative)(avoids defensiveness.) By describing


one's own reactions, it leaves the individual fee to use it or not to use
it as he sees fit..
• avoid accusations; present data if necessary
• describe your own reactions or feelings; describe objective
consequences that have or will occur; focus on behavior and your own
reaction, not on other individual or his or her attributes
• suggest more acceptable alternative; be prepared to discuss additional
alternatives; focus on alternatives
• specific rather than general.
• focused on behavior not the person. It is important that we refer to
what a person does rather than to what we think he is. Thus we might
say that a person "talked more than anyone else in this meeting" rather
than that he is a "loud-mouth."
• It takes into account the needs of both the receiver and giver of
feedback. It should be given to help, not to hurt. We too often give
feedback because it makes us feel better or gives us a psychological
advantage.
• It is directed toward behavior which the receiver can do something
about. A person gets frustrated when reminded of some shortcoming
over which he has no control.
• It is solicited rather than imposed. Feedback is most useful when the
receiver himself has formulated the kind of question which those
observing him can answer or when he actively seeks feedback.
• Feedback is useful when well-timed (soon after the behavior-
depending, of course, on the person's readiness to hear it, support
available from others, and so forth). Excellent feedback presented at
an inappropriate time may do more harm than good.
• sharing of information, rather than giving advice allows a person to
decide for himself, in accordance with his own goals and needs. When
we give advice we tell him what to do, and to some degree take away
his freedom to do decide for himself.
• It involves the amount of information the receiver can use rather than
the amount we would like to give. To overload a person with feedback
is to reduce the possibility that he may be able to use what he receives
effectively. When we give more than can be used, we are more often
than not satisfying some need of our own rather than helping the other
person.
• It concerns what is said and done, or how, not why. The "why"
involves assumptions regarding motive or intent and this tends to
alienate the person generate resentment, suspicion, and distrust. If we
are uncertain of his motives or intent, this uncertainty itself is
feedback, however, and should be revealed.
• It is checked to insure clear communication. One way of doing this is
to have the receiver try to rephrase the feedback. No matter what the
intent, feedback is often threatening and thus subject to considerable
distortion or misinterpretation.
• It is checked to determine degree of agreement from others. Such
"consensual validation" is of value to both the sender and receiver.
• It is followed by attention to the consequences of the feedback. The
supervisor needs to become acutely aware of the effects of his
feedback.
• It is an important step toward authenticity. Constructive feedback
opens the way to a relationship which is built on trust, honest, and
genuine concern and mutual growth.

Part of the feedback process involves understanding and predicting how the
other person will react. Or in the case of our receiving feedback, we need to
understand ways that we respond to feedback, especially threatening
feedback.
People often react negatively to threatening feedback. This reaction can take
a number of forms including:

• selective reception and selective perception


• doubting motive of the giver
• denying validity of the data
• rationalizing
• attack the giver of the data

Following the guidelines to effective feedback can go a long way to limit


these kinds of reactions but we need to be conscious of them nonetheless
and be ready to react appropriately.
When we are on the receiving end of feedback we should be careful to avoid
these pitfalls. Try to keep these points in mind.

• try not to be defensive


• check on possible misunderstanding ("Let me restate what I am
hearing")
• gather information from other sources
• don't overreact
• ask for clarification

A Short Example of Effective Communication

Example:
Maria: My project coordinator, Judy, is in a slump; she's just not producing
her usual caliber of work. I need to find out what the problem is.
On the surface, it would seem that getting good information is easy. But like
other forms of communication, it takes planning and experience to develop
skills in this area
Key Techniques

Focus the discussion on the information needed Judy, I've noticed in the
past month that you've fallen behind on keeping the project schedule
current. I'd like to figure out with you what we both can do to get it back on
track.

Use open-ended questions to expand the discussion You've always kept


the schedule up to the minute-until about a month ago. Why the change?

Use closed ended questions to prompt for specifics "What projects are
you working on that take time away from your work on this project
(warning: closed ended questions are often disguised as open ended as in
"Are you going to have trouble finishing this project?)

Encourage dialogue through eye contact and expression This involves


nodding in agreeemnt, smiling, leaning toward the speaker, making
statements that acknowledge the speaker is being heard.
State your understanding of what you are hearing This can be done by
restating briefly what the other person is saying but don't make fun of it

"So it sounds like these phone calls have ended up taking a lot more time
than you or Jay expected; you think the three of us should talk about
priorities; is this your position?"

Summarize the key points; try to get some agreement on the next steps and
show appreciation for the effort made so far. "So let's call Jay right now and
set up a time when we can meet and iron this out; keeping the schedule
updated is a high priority and I'd like to get this settled by Wednesday.

A Planning Form for Constructive Feedback

Instructions: Before the feedback session, answer these questions:

• what is your purpose in giving the feedback


• what specific actions do you want to reinforce or correct? what are
the consequences of the action?
• what do you want to accomplish in this discussion
• what specific information do you need to learn; what questions do
you need answered
• what issues of timing, location, advance preparation, or other
logistics do you need to consider to get the most out of the discussion

Observe the basic principles of communication

• use open ended and close ended questions appropriately


• use eye contact, encouraging gestures
• focus on the situation, issue, behavior, not the person
• maintain the self-confidence and self-esteem of others
• maintain constructive relationships with your employees, peers,
managers
• use active listening techniques such as stating your understanding of
what you are hearing
• make sure you summarize
• lead by example

What pitfalls do you need to watch out for and how will these be
overcome:from your experience, what potential pitfalls will you need to
overcome in order ot achieve success in giving constructive feedback? How
will you overcome these pitfalls

Evaluating the Feedback Session

1. State the constructive purpose of your feedback


2. describe specifically what you have observed
3. describe your reactions
4. give the other person an opportunity to respond
5. offer specific suggestions
6. summarize and express your support

How well did the manager:

• focus on the situation,


• issue or behavior, not on the person
• maintain the self-confidence
• and self-esteem of the other
• maintain constructive relationships
• with your employees, peers, and managers
• take initiative to make things better
• lead by example

Three Kinds of Interviews

Tell and Sell:

• fits when judgment of superior acceptable to subordinate, when sub. has


ability to change and desired objectives are obtainable
• most effective for new employees
• objectives-communicate employee's evaluation as accurately as possible;
gain employee acceptance of evaluation;
• most important skill is persuasion
• can expect some defensive reaction
• can be difficult if inappropriate behavior is attractive to subordinate
• often ineffective approach

• this method encourages behavior focused toward pleasing supervisor


rather than best thinking
Tell and Listen Problem Solving

• fits same conditions as left • supervisor no longer judge,


• objective is to communicate but helper; not diagnosiing
accurately; give chance to respond and supplying remedies
• there will be defensiveness; listening • sup. must be willing to
skills critical; active listening needed; accept ideas for job
defensive behavior is reduced; if boss improvement
is effective motivator, can induce • must concentrate on
feelings of acceptance situation, not individual
• can be joint problem solving; • goal is to develop employee
• supervisor may change • skills needed- skillful
questioning; skillful
communicator
• employee will think
constructively if he
perceives opportunity to
influence process
• risk that subordinate may be satisfied • subordinate will likely feel
but with no plan to improve job some increased job
satisfaction; but superior
may sacrifice some control

• failure if subordinate doesn't


respond to this method

The Importance of Effective Communication Skills


for the Non-Sworn Police Employee

Rev. Dr. John E. Sims, Chaplain

The most important skill non-sworn law enforcement personnel can possess is the
ability to communicate clearly and non-threateningly to those people who come to
the police department. How we relate with the persons we are sworn “to protect
and defend”, as well as to fellow employees, speaks volumes about who we are as
well as our belief in what’s right and wrong. In effect, the attitude we take toward
others will be the primary way our community judges the success (or failure) of
community oriented policing. Getting along with others is the philosophical basis
as well as the practical application of any community-oriented policing policy.
Improving the verbal and non-verbal communication skills of non-sworn police
personnel should be an important consideration in every police department.

It’s obvious, isn’t it? The first contact the public has with law enforcement is, most
of the time, with the person behind the desk at the department. First impressions, at
this point, cannot be overestimated. By intentionally assisting the non-sworn
employee to present a non-threatening, non-challenging posture to the public,
we’ve gone a long way toward improving the understanding of the police in the
eyes of the community.

Yet, such an apparent truth oftentimes gets lost in the shuffle of everyday
administrative and patrol functions. Forgetting such an important fact obviously
isn’t intentional. Rather, it happens because of attitudes and stresses inherent
within the law enforcement profession itself. Given the nature of law enforcement,
it’s built-in to carefully examine and be aware of all persons; what they’re wearing
as well as general appearance. The stress of this orientation on sworn and non-
sworn staff has been widely documented.

For example, a young man comes into the department seeking to pay a traffic
citation. Perhaps this is the person’s first time in a police department. Perhaps he
assumes that the fine can be paid by showing up at the acting shift commander’s
desk. By the very nature of the job, law enforcement personnel make certain
assumptions based on the appearance of the individual; the clothing worn, the
general presentation of the individual, the tone and volume of the voice. If the
person is surly or uncooperative or exhibits a “chip on the shoulder”, then the
employee will respond accordingly.

Communication theory tells us HOW we say words is just as important as the


words themselves! Moreover, the body language we use, coupled with the words
we say, cause persons to react either positively or negatively towards us. When
persons come into contact with law enforcement, for whatever reason, it is an
anxiety producing experience. We in law enforcement should do all we can to
minimize as much stress as we can in those with whom we come in contact

There is a way in which respect for the individual can be maintained as well as the
integrity of the police employee. The way to accomplish this is by teaching active
and positive communication skills to police personnel. Every non-sworn employee
needs to know those skills that diffuse tension and calm those with whom we come
in contact.

Instead of only reacting to the anxious or defensive individual, we need to know


the techniques and skills that can dilute and calm the potentially explosive
situation.

For the non-sworn employee, this means staying calm and controlling our attitudes
and emotions towards people. The person who comes in anxious and defensive
needs to comprehend the police department as personable and respectful. If the
individual is demanding or haughty, personnel should be taught to stay in control
of their feelings and not react in kind. Our purpose is not to respond negatively, but
to make sure WE don’t return spite for spite and make the situation worse.

This doesn’t mean a milquetoast approach in dealing with the public. It DOES
mean that, by being aware of what “pushes our buttons”, we are in a better position
to control and dissolve any tension instead of adding to it.

Secondly, the non-sworn employee should be instructed as to the importance of


“body language” in communication. The posture of the employee says more than
words to the public. This is the dimension of professionalism sought by any
organization; a capable and efficient manner of doing business that soothes and
eases anxiety. It is not an external bravado that seeks to intimidate or control.
Persons who are nervous, for whatever reason, tend to focus on non-verbal signals.
The tone of the voice, the volume used in speaking and the speed or cadence of the
words influence how the public receives the message of the law enforcement
employee. If we improve not only what we say but how we say it, situations which
could be explosive can be defused.

The non-sworn employee is an underutilized asset in a department. These persons


are the visible one-on-one contact law-abiding citizens have with their police
departments. Improving perceptions should be one of the aims of community-
oriented policing policy.

There are excellent seminars and training opportunities available which teach the
interpersonal communication skills police departments need to improve their
perception by the public. Many department chaplains have the skills necessary to
effectively lead workshops in improving communication skills. Such training for a
department’s non-sworn personnel would be money well spent.
Communication and Stress:
Enhancing Communication Skills

Aadron Rausch
Purdue Univ. Dept. of Child Development and Family Studies
Communicating during times of stress is not always easy. Individual differences in
personality, communication styles and skills, and expectations all play a part.
Sometimes it is best to let issues rest for awhile before trying to communicate.
Other times, lack of communication can interfere with regular daily living. After
all, the family is a team and communication is essential for the farm and family to
function. In addition, without communication, individual family members may be
unaware of differing expectations and perceptions of the stressors in their lives.
For many farm families, stressful situations bring about issues not previously
addressed. For example, two-generation farm families may need to communicate
about equity and decision-making powers within the family. Often in two-
generation farm families, the older generation maintains a great deal of decision-
making power. However, in times of financial stress, younger generation family
members may feel the need for more equitable decision-making power. This
perceived inequality could lead to problems and miscommunication if not resolved.
Similarly, the family operates systematically with each member maintaining
different roles and responsibilities. However, often during stressful times,
individual differences and values may raise concern that can lead to strained
relationships.
For example, many women play the role of peacemaker in the family. However,
during difficult times, farm women report feeling a great deal of stress as they
maintain the role of peacemaker within the family. Similarly, often one family
member oversees the family and farm finances. This person may have vast
experience with operating the farm and family expenses, but in bad times, finds it
difficult to know what to do, or which way to turn. In this example, the family
member may feel as if it is his "job" to find a way out of the current situation on
his own. But, feeling backed against the wall, he may begin to resent the lack of
support or understanding by other family members. Thus, understanding individual
issues and perceptions of the same situations is extremely important.
In short, the lack of communication can lead to increased stress, strained
relationships, and problems. Conversely, effective communication can help farm
families pull together, understand one another, and cope with the short- and long-
term stressors.

Coping Through Communication


First, recognize individual communication styles and skills. Some people process
information internally. Once they have a clear understanding of an issue, they can
share their thoughts with others. Others process issues aloud, and talk through
problems to generate solutions.
Understanding individual communication styles may help family members to use
different communication strategies. Just as important to family functioning, are the
issues of when, what, and how to communicate, and with whom. For example,
should there be a set time each day or week to discuss important issues? Should
family members ask when there might be a convenient time to discuss concerns?
What do children need to know about family stressors? This last question is very
important.

Communicating with Children

What do we discuss with children? How do we know when children are old
enough to understand, or that they could actually benefit from knowing about
family stressors?
Children who lack information, but sense problems, often blame themselves or
take on adult roles to "fix" problems in the family. It is best to talk with children (in
language they can understand) about the issues that will affect them directly. For
example, there will be less money for 4-H or extracurricular activities. Explain to
children how these changes influence them and what will be different. Help
children understand that there are issues, but that the family is managing.

Communication and Support

Finally, there is the issue of getting help yourself. What if you have done all you
know to do, and still you feel overwhelmed? Talking to a professional about
financial management, feelings, or assistance can help to ease the burden.
However, factors such as individual personality, upbringing, and culture can
influence communication skills and comfort in sharing personal concerns. For an
individual who feels that personal problems should remain private, seeking outside
help may be virtually impossible.
Changing how you feel about getting help can be difficult, and at times frightening.
However, there are a wealth of resources in the community. Communicating with
others can often open doors and provide new ideas and support for coping with
multiple stressors.
Recognize reaching out as a strength rather than a weakness, and re-frame the
situation in your mind. Say to yourself, "If I needed water, I would ask if I could
drink from your well. If I needed food, I would ask to trade my labor for some
bread." Try to think of asking for help as a situation of bartering that you will one
day return.
Family and community, that's what it's all about. So look for the resources in
yourself, your family, and your community, and reach out and communicate

Effective Communication

Effective communication skills are essential for academic (not to mention other)
advisors. Providing information in a meaningful way serves as a basis for
decisions, which can have a profound influence on a student's entire life. Advisees
are not simply deciding what courses they will take or what they will major in;
they are also deciding, if only indirectly, their futures.

• Let your advisees tell their story first; do not interrupt their sentences,
offer advice, or give suggestions (unless asked to).

• Do not bring up similar feelings or problems from your own experience


and try not to give the impression that you want to jump right in and talk.

• Appreciate the emotion, voice intonation and body language behind his/her
words. Obviously, this is not possible through email, but there is nothing
wrong with a phone call or a personal visit!

• Establish good eye contact and use affirmative head nods and try to avoid
nervous or bored gestures and fight off external distractions.

• Listen carefully and check your understanding. Paraphrasing what


advisees have said or asking a question can help clarify meaning and
determine that you're on the same page. Ask yourself whether or not
advisees have asked the right questions. Too often, situations such as the
following occur:

o Student asks a question and the advisor responds. The advisor then
answers the question, but it wasn't really what the student wanted to
know-the student asked the wrong question. In such cases,
communication often fails, the student may feel embarrassed or
confused and therefore stop asking questions. As an associate, you can
help keep communication going-try to listen carefully to both what
your advisees say and what they do/how they react. Asking questions
and checking understanding are two ways to help keep
communication going.

• Use open-ended questions and similar techniques that enable you to


discuss topics with advisees rather than allowing only “yes” or “no”
responses.

• Talk to your advisees about their backgrounds and experiences, get to


know their interests and philosophies, what progress have they made toward
their goals, how do they hope to achieve them, and what do they plan for the
future. Such a discussion will provide you with helpful information, and it
will reflect your concern for advisees as individuals.

• Always keep notes about what decisions have been made and why. A
quick review before seeing students again will help you recall specific
details. This is another important way to demonstrate your interest in
students as individuals.

• Respect your advisees as people and show them that you respect them.
One way to do this is to make a sincere effort to do an effective job of your
advising. Another is to allow your advisees to open up about their feelings
and to be respectful and considerate regarding their ideas, choices, fears and
concerns.

• Encourage your advisees to make informed decisions. They are adults,


and, more importantly, they must live with their decisions. Help them to
understand how to get the facts about a subject (such as choice of major or
sophomore standing). Encourage them to reach out to faculty, staff, alumni
and fellow students and to seek out appropriate resources, prior to making
final decisions.

• Know enough to recognize when an advisee needs help. At times, you


may find that one or more of your advisees needs help beyond your
capability. In such cases, you need to realize your limitations, and know how
to make a referral to the advisor or other appropriate resource/office.

• Be available. If you expect to be able to truly help your advisees, you need
to be there for them. You cannot provide, even the most, basic support to an
advisee if the advisee cannot find you. Be sure to give your advisees your
email address, phone number or other way to reach you and your advisor.

And remember:

• Most communications have both an intellectual and an emotional


component. Listen for the emotional message. If the emotional part of the
message seems to be out of proportion or inconsistent with the intellectual
part, you may need to examine this discrepancy before a rational decision
can be made.

• Effective approaches to academic advising go beyond informing and begin


to involve some counseling skills including helping and empowering.

• Respecting advisees does not mean that you must agree with all of their
decisions. The advisor's role is to help them make realistic decisions. If
advisors have reason to believe that students will fail or are making a poor
choice, they should honestly discuss this perception with them.

Source: National Academic Advising Association (adapted from)

Active Listening

Active listening is a skill where the listener attempts to hear and accurately respond
to the feeling and content of the speaker's message. It shows that the listener is
trying to understand how it feels to be the other person and that they are important.
Active listening requires that you listen for the speakers main ideas and the
feelings associated with them. It requires that you ask questions to be sure you
understand, then restate what you have heard, so that the speaker can clarify any
misunderstandings.
You cannot fake active listening because it demands more than nodding your head
and saying "uh-huh" from time-to-time. It requires you to understand the person's
words and feelings and that you suspend judgment of what is said. Withholding
judgment demonstrates respect for the other person and helps to eliminate the the
feeling that they have been "put-down." Attempting to relate empathetically builds
trust and encourages individuals to talk more realistically about what is going on
for them.

Listening as an Associate
Advising is more than giving information, it is a communication interaction.
Advising usually involves two people who both deserve to be heard. The student
generally needs something from the advisor, so his/her needs take precedence.
Advisors need to have good listening skills to help improve and strengthen
relationships with advisees. These skills also increase the advisors value to
advisees. Listening enables you to more accurately assess a situation and can help
assure that you won't make a mistake.
An advisor's listening skills can also affect an advisees' feelings about being in
school and their self-esteem (no one wants to feel as though their thoughts,
opinions or concerns are unheeded). Good listening can also show that the
institution cares about them, that they can rely on someone who will listen and
help. Advisees tend to regard a good listener as more reliable and trustworthy,
authoritative, and able. It also assures that the advisees are in a situation where
they are treated with respect and as equals.
Here are some examples of active listening skills for associates:

• Let your advisees tell their story first; do not interrupt their sentences.
• Relax and try not to give advisees the impression you want to jump right in
and talk.
• Appreciate the emotion, e.g. voice intonation and body language, behind
your advisees' words.
• Establish good eye contact.
• Use appropriate facial expressions.
• Use affirmative head nods.
• Avoid nervous or bored gestures.
• Fight off external distractions.
• Periodically, check your understanding of what you hear, not what you want
to hear.
• Ask clarifying or continuing questions to demonstrate that you are involved
in what is said.
• Constantly check to see if advisees want to comment or respond to what has
been said to them.
• Take notes, if necessary, where certain facts and data are important.

Barriers to Good Listening by Associates/Advisors

• Judging what was said rather than listening for understanding; evaluating.
• Name calling; always find something of value in what the person has said.
• Analyzing, solving, or ignore advisees issues or concerns
• Changing the subject or redirecting the conversation.
• Assuming that communication has happened.
• Advisors have the power and backing of the institution, information and
experience.
• Advisors can think they know what is happening with students and therefore
not listen.
• Advisees can be afraid of bothering the advisor or embarrassed for not
knowing how to solve/identify a problem.

Put What You've Learned Into Practice

• Consciously work at listening.


• Realize that it takes 21-30 days to change behavior.
• Make a 30-day plan.
• Make a commitment. Write down your objectives.
• Find a friend to work with you.
• Discuss the topic of listening with others.
• Observe others listening.
• Tell people that you are working on listening

Steps in Developing an Effective Communication Procedure

1. Write down the kinds of services provided, who provides them, and what
methods are used (e.g., in writing, by telephone, by face-to-face contact, in
group or individual settings).
2. Estimate the frequency of staff contact with Limited English Proficient
(LEP) or sensory or speech impaired individuals. Base the estimates on the
person's primary language, degree of impairment, and probable need for
different types of communication aids.

Methods of obtaining such estimates include taking a census of contacts


with patients and community members over a given period of time or using
demographic data on the service area (the U.S. Census information may be
found at your local library or on the Internet). Combining these methods will
probably result in the most realistic estimates.
3. Consult with persons with LEP, sensory impairments, and speech
impairments, or community groups or organizations that represent them, to
discuss:
o unique communication needs
o problems experienced in seeking and receiving services
o recommendations on how to meet communication needs
o situations in which only qualified bilingual or sign language
interpreters are appropriate (for reasons of confidentiality and
assurance of quality interpretation, especially in a medical setting,
family members and/or friends are not recommended as interpreters)
o sources of qualified bilingual and sign language interpreters
o effective methods of notifying persons of the communication
procedures and options available at no additional cost
o how to provide an equal opportunity for persons with sensory or
speech impairments, and for LEP persons to be aware of your
programs, activities, and services.
4. Determine how staff will identify the communication needs of individuals at
the initial point of contact. Community groups may suggest and assist in
translating key phrases, such as: "What language are you speaking?" or
"Where does it hurt?" (which can be read or shown to the client). Voice tapes
of key phrases can be helpful. Persons with sensory or speech disabilities
should be asked which communication methods and auxiliary aids they
prefer. This may involve different methods depending on the nature, length,
or complexity of the communication.
5. Identify staff who are truly bilingual, i.e., persons who with a high degree of
accuracy and fluency can communicate (speak and write) with equal skill in
English and a non-English language concerning the subject matter of the
health care services or information to be provided. If indicated by the
probable demand, make arrangements in workload or job functions so that
these bilingual staff can be released for interpreter duties as necessary
without adversely affecting their job performance or career advancement.
The method of assessing bilingual staff should be part of the procedure.
6. Make formal arrangements with individuals or organizations to obtain the
services of qualified interpreters when needed. This may take whatever form
is agreeable to both parties, such as a contract, a written agreement, or a
memorandum of understanding 2. Possible ways of providing interpreter
services are to use a telephone interpreter service or local educational
institution. It is important to provide a qualified interpreter, especially in
situations requiring medical terminology and explanations, and in situations
of stress for the patients. Unqualified interpreters should not be used by
providers before the LEP person or hearing-impaired person has been fully
informed of the availability of qualified interpreters and communication
options at no cost to the person. Having been so informed, the person may
elect to rely on an unqualified interpreter (children, family members,
friends) in a particular situation.
7. Develop, maintain, and routinely update a list of all bilingual persons,
organizations, and staff members providing bilingual services including
telephone numbers, addresses, languages available, conditions under which
the person(s) are available, hours of availability, etc.
8. Identify staff who will be responsible for implementing effective
communication with LEP and sensory-impaired persons. This may be a
single coordinator with back-ups, or all staff members, depending upon the
organization.
9. Write down the procedure or method to be used by staff to ensure effective
communication, including such topics as:
o how staff can identify the language used or the communication needs
of individuals on the telephone and in person;
o how bilingual/sign language interpreters will be provided during all
hours of operation (existing staff, formal arrangements, etc.);
o how appropriate information about a person's communication needs
and use of interpreters or other aids will be recorded and shared;
o how effective initial and continuing notice can be given to LEP
persons and to persons with impaired hearing, vision, or speech,
regarding programs, services, and activities, including the availability
of interpreters and other communication facilitating aids (without
charge to the client). Note that the regulation implementing
Section 504 requires that an agency/facility "that provides notice
concerning benefits or services or written material concerning
waivers of rights and consent to treatment shall take such steps as
are necessary to ensure that qualified disabled persons, including
those with impaired sensory or speaking skills, are not denied
effective notice because of their disability" (45 C.F.R. §84.52(b)).
o how a clear understanding of written materials relating to admission,
treatment, or other aspects of informed consent, including all
documents requiring a signature, can be reached with persons who
have sensory or speech impairments or who are not proficient in
English.
10.Regularly notify and train all staff on the written communication procedure.
Such a procedure will be effective only if they understand the reason for it
and how to use it. Management's task is to bring this about through training
and direction.

In planning for the costs of providing interpreter services, be


advised that recipients of Federal financial assistance from the
Department of Health and Human Services (this includes
Medicare, Part A providers) are responsible for providing
communication-facilitating auxiliary aids without cost to those
needing them.

Procedure for Communicating Information to Persons with Sensory


Impairments
The following is a sample procedure for effective communication with persons with
sensory impairments.
(Name of provider) will take such steps as are necessary to ensure that qualified
persons with disabilities, including those with impaired sensory or speaking skills,
receive effective notice--written material or other communication--concerning
benefits or services. Effective notice should cover for example, consent to
treatment, waiver of rights, authorization to dispense medical information,
handling of personal valubles, financial agreement(s), financial obligations,
assignment of insurance benefits, Medicare patient certification and payment
request.
For Persons With Hearing Impairments: Qualified sign-language interpreter -- For
persons who are deaf/hearing impaired and who use sign-language as their primary
means of communication, the following procedure has been developed and
resources identified for obtaining the services of a qualified sign-language
interpreter to communicate both verbal and written information:

(Insert the information for obtaining the services of a qualified sign-


language interpreter. The information should identify the staff person
authorized to obtain the interpreter, the information on the agency that
has agreed to provide the service, telephone numbers and hours of
availability and/or a list of qualified staff interpreters. Methods used
to train patient contact staff in the use of effective methods of
communication with Sensory Impaired persons should also be
included. Note: Family members and friends should not be used as
interpreters. The only case when this is acceptable is when the
patient/client has been made aware of the availability of qualified
sign-language interpreters at no additional charge and, without any
coercion whatsoever, chooses the services of family members or
friends).

If your agency/facility utilizes a Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD),


give an explanation of where it is located, how to operate it, and the telephone
number. If there is an arrangement for sharing a TDD, give an explanation of the
sharing arrangement, the telephone number and the procedures for borrowing the
device. If you are using your State Relay Service, give an explanation of how this
is used.
For Persons With Visual Impairments: Reader -- Staff will communicate the
content of written materials concerning benefits, services, waivers of rights, and
consent to treatment forms by reading them out loud to visually impaired persons.
Large print, taped, and braille materials -- (If any of these aids are chosen, in
addition to reading, this section should tell what other aids are available, where
they are located, and how they are used.)
For Persons With Speech Impairments: Writing materials, typewriters, TDD, and
computers are available to facilitate communication concerning program services
and benefits, waivers of rights, and consent to treatment forms.

Procedure for Communication with Persons of Limited English Proficiency


The following is a sample procedure for effective communication with persons of
limited English Proficiency.
Policy:
It is the policy of (name of provider) to provide communication aids (at no cost to
the person being served) to Limited English Proficient (LEP) persons, including
current and prospective patients, clients, family members, interested persons, et al.,
to ensure them a meaningful opportunity to apply for, receive or participate in, or
benefit from the services offered. The procedures outlined below will reasonably
ensure necessary steps that persons with Limited English Proficiency or impaired
speaking skills receive effective notice--written material or other communication--
concerning benefits or services. Effective notice should for example cover consent
to treatment, waiver of rights, authorization to dispense medical information,
handling of personal valubles, financial agreement(s), financial obligations,
assignment of insurance benefits, Medicare patient certification and payment
request. This information is communicated to LEP persons in a language which
they understand. Also, they will provide for an effective exchange of information
between staff/employees and patients/clients and/or families while services are
being provided.
Procedure:

1. The (provider) will designate (employee name and/or title) to be


responsible for implementing methods of effective communication with LEP
persons.
2. (employee name and/or title) will:
o maintain, and routinely update a list of all bilingual persons,
organizations, and staff members who are available to provide
bilingual services, and
o develop written instructions on how to gain access to these services,
i.e., contact persons, telephone numbers, addresses, languages
available, hours available, fees and conditions under which the
person(s) are available.
3. In order to ensure effective communication and to protect the confidentiality
of (client/patient) information and privacy, the (client/patient) will be
informed that the services of a qualified interpreter are available to him/her
at no additional charge. Only after having been so informed, the
(client/patient) may choose to rely on a family member or friend in a
particular situation. The choice of the (client/patient) and presence of an
interpreter will be documented after every visit.

Learn what makes relationships work...and how to make them work for you!

The ability for you to successfully build effective working relationships is the key
to success in today’s complex business environment. The challenge is discovering
how to work in a positive way that fosters the achievement of organizational goals.
The first step is being aware of the differences among people and being willing to
accept these differences as positive forces within an organization. It all starts with
you. This seminar will prepare you to become a conscious communicator who
depends on consistent, respectful and credible relationships to achieve results.

Who Should Attend


This seminar is designed for people who want to enhance their relationships or
who want to improve their communication skills at work in order to achieve their
goals.

How You Will Benefit

• Define the fundamental competencies needed to achieve solid work


relationships
• Develop flexibility in actions, thoughts and feelings to better handle any
situation
• Identify and accept personal and professional responsibilities in
communicating effectively with others
• Identify and avoid communication mistakes such as misinterpreting others
• Learn how to build rapport and achieve trust
• Investigate emotions and how they translate into workplace emotional
intelligence

What You Will Cover


Defining Components of Effective and Ineffective Workplace Relationships
What makes relationships work?
What makes relationships fail?
Identifying Communication, Perception and World-View Process
What is communication ? Is it the process of creating shared meaning?
What is perception, how is it formed, and what is its role in forming effective
relationships?
Worldview and perception—values, beliefs, attitudes and how I see others
Investigating Emotions and Emotional Intelligence
What is Emotional Intelligence and what role does it play in communication
and relationships?
What role do emotions play in the workplace?
Building Better Relationships with Ourselves
Self-awareness... self-esteem...self-concept... self-fulfilling prophecies
Identify and avoid communication mistakes such as misinterpreting others or
acting like you’re listening when you’re not
External Relationship-Development Tools: Creating and Maintain Trust,
Believability and Honesty
Why we need trust and believability
What gives and takes away trust and believability
How to get, recover and maintain trusting relationships
Developing And Showing a Positive Attitude
Finding and communicating a positive attitude
Building positive can-do relationships
Analyzing Communication and Thinking Style Preferences
Communication differences and flexing
Strong and trusting relationships built on flexing communication styles
Assessing and Sharpening Verbal and Nonverbal Behaviors and Skills
I can’t read your mind—I can only respond to what I see and hear
Find out if the messages you’re sending are the ones you really want to send
Troubleshooting verbal and nonverbal hazards

Gain the skills, insights and competencies required in all negotiations—in


every industry...at every level.

Whether it’s allocating resources for a project, funding a new initiative or


establishing a supply chain for a new product or service, negotiation is inevitably
at the heart of the process. But few people understand the structure, techniques and
approaches available to them as they seek to positively influence an outcome.

This hands-on seminar gives you a step-by-step guide to effective negotiation—


from establishing a formal planning process to prioritizing issues. From mastering
persuasion techniques to identifying the communication styles of effective
negotiators. From breaking deadlocks to negotiating as part of a team. From
recognizing and using leverage to adjusting your strategy to the media used in the
negotiation.

Who Should Attend


Executives, managers, salespeople and top-level deal makers who are responsible
for negotiating the best possible terms of an agreement for their company.

Note: This program is not intended for labor union negotiators on either side.

How You Will Benefit

• Know when—and when not—to negotiate


• Develop an effective plan and strategy for any negotiation
• Know what behavior to adapt at each stage of the negotiation
• Adjust your communication style to achieve desired results
• Successfully apply the principles of persuasion to any negotiation situation
• Effectively negotiate face-to-face, on the phone or through e-mail and other
media
• Recognize and counter the most common negotiating ploys
• Move from “no” to “maybe” to “yes”

What You Will Cover


Introduction to the Negotiation Process
Explain the business importance of taking a win-win approach to negotiation
Describe what influences the negotiation process
Planning the Content of Your Negotiation
Determine alternatives to a settlement before negotiating
Learn about the importance of using a negotiation planning guide
Negotiation Stages
Chart the course of a negotiation through its five stages from both the content
and relationship
Identify the causes of resistance you may face during the negotiation process
Communication Styles
Determine your style of communication
Adjust your style to get the results you want
Persuasion
Apply the structured persuasion model to improve your ability to convince
others of your point of view
Planning a Strategy for Negotiation
Consider various dynamics that impact the negotiation process
Use of space, time and environment
Negotiating with a Team
Explain how to organize, control and effectively manage a team
Negotiation Ploys and Tactics: Measures and Countermeasures
Why you need to know ten key negotiation tactics

Managing conflict is the key to career success in today’s changing workplace!


In today’s workplace, issues such as increased team interaction and a shifting
organizational structure are creating new conflict areas. That’s why it’s essential
that you develop the communication skills to effectively handle conflict in a wide
variety of workplace situations. And because conflict management is so vital for
career success, you need to learn these skills now, and AMA’s intensive three-day
seminar is designed to help you do just that.

Who Should Attend


Business professionals who want to develop more flexibility in responding to
conflict—and want to manage it in ways that build better relationships and
opportunities for mutual gain.

How You Will Benefit

• Understand what’s really involved in conflict


• Gain an awareness of how your feelings, attitudes and behavior work
together in response to conflict
• Communicate more confidently to build relationships and clarify
misunderstandings
• Create a climate that encourages the expression of true feelings and goals
• Increase efficiency and productivity—model openness with individuals and
teams
• Reduce stress by learning to manage conflict

What You Will Cover


Understanding Conflict
Gain a deeper and broader working definition of conflict
Use conflict as an opportunity to build better relationships and collaborate
effectively with others
Assessing the Conflict
Identify the origins of a conflict
Differentiate between positions and interests in a conflict situation
Outcomes—Your Road Map to Constructive Conflict Resolution
Establish outcomes as the first step in your communication strategy
Develop a step-by-step procedure for setting and achieving outcomes
Identify Conflict Resolution—Styles and Strategies
Identify the thinking and behavior of your predominant interpersonal style
under calm and stressful conditions
Develop effective strategies in responding to different styles
Your Emotions—The Starting Point for Managing Conflict
Develop more awareness of your emotions
Learn to identify different emotions
Identify and understand how your emotional triggers work
Criticism
Self-criticism
Responding to criticism from others
Offering criticism to others
Building Trust and Demonstrating Understanding
Determine what kind of listener you are
Demonstrate skills to build rapport
Overcoming Conflict Through Improved Communication
Differentiate among the four communication styles
Use guidelines to achieve assertive communication
Set goals to achieve desired verbal and nonverbal communication style
Putting It All Together
Reference a six-step conflict management model
Experience analyzing a real conflict situation
Activating Your Will, Directing Your Energy—Your Personal Action
Commitment
Describe ways and list next steps to move beyond wishing for change by
activating your will
Develop an action plan to become a better communicator and skilled conflict
manager

Gain recognition, build stronger work relationships and deliver high-value


results for yourself and your organization

Leaders appreciate when employees take the responsibility to communicate new


ideas, innovations and better ways to get the work accomplished. But taking on the
challenge of sharing your insights is not an easy task. The key to expressing
yourself in a variety of professional situations is knowing how to use adaptive
communication effectively. This seminar offers practical strategies for informing
and influencing others—no matter where they fit in the organizational chart.

Who Should Attend


Employees, managers and executives who want to build the communication skills
that encourage dialogue throughout the organization and between different
departments and levels.

How You Will Benefit

• Gain recognition by showing managerial effectiveness, leadership and


creativity
• Create new opportunities for yourself within your organization
• Break down the barriers that stand between team cooperation and
organizational effectiveness
• Reduce frustration by building cooperation between different silos
• Enhance productivity by gaining support and commitment
• Build espirit d’corp and productive workplace relationships

What You Will Cover

• Gaining and exhibiting self-esteem


• Targeting your message by knowing your audience and linking your
message to their needs
• Building team commitment and ownership
• Interpersonal techniques for influencing up, down and across the
organization
• Building compelling and persuasive business cases
• Constructing an informative, attention getting project update

Capitalize on combined strength for increased productivity.

How do you and your boss view success? Do the two of you handle pressure, stress
and conflicts in similar ways? Learn how to team for better decision making and
problem solving. Turn management into a mutually beneficial and productive
force.

Through role-play and real-world exercises, this seminar provides you with the
skills to take specific actions to negotiate and reduce these “gaps” and more. You
will be able to take charge of the relationship and gain additional accomplishment
to maximize performance achieved by you, your boss and the greater organization.

Who Should Attend


New to mid-level supervisors and managers and everyone who has a boss will
benefit from this course.
Note: Administrative professionals interested in creating a working partnership
with their boss should register for Partnering with Your Boss.

How You Will Benefit

• Anticipate and effectively deal with competing interests and conflicts


• Increase motivation, morale, recognition, confidence and work satisfaction
• Be able to communicate insights and ideas more clearly
• Become more proactive vs. reactive
• Get increased balance of support and direction
• Create an effective two-way interaction and enhance project workflow
• Build mutual trust and confidence
• Understand shared expectations, objectives and goals

What You Will Cover

• What you and your boss contribute to the job situation


• The mutual benefits of working collaboratively and how to take advantage
of them
• Identify expectations, communication goals and “gap”
• How, when, what to—and what not to communicate to your boss
• READ your boss’s distinct styles and “negotiate” for the style that
complements yours
• How to praise upward and handle conflicts and help your boss and your
department succeed
• Develop an action plan to improve performance and get the authority to get
the job done
Understand how emotions affect your job performance—and learn practical
techniques to manage them!

Through videos, individual exercises, small-group discussions, self-assessment


instruments and skill-practice sessions, you’ll examine the link between emotions
and stress in your daily life and learn the behavioral practices that can help you
productively manage your emotions. You’ll leave the seminar with strategies for
smoothing out the emotional roller coaster rides—so you’ll feel more satisfied at
the end of the work day.

Who Should Attend


Office staff, sales and customer service professionals, managers and supervisors
and any employee who is experiencing intense emotional/stressful situations at
work.

How You Will Benefit

• Understand the connection between emotions and workplace stress


• Maintain your emotional composure on the job and maximize work
relationships
• Effectively express your emotions through assertiveness communication
skills
• Create work environments where emotional honesty and emotional energy
are accepted
• Learn how to balance the physical, mental and emotional aspects of life
• Control your emotions and achieve positive interaction in teams and work
groups

What You Will Cover

• Understanding stress: cause and effects of stress... personal stress and


lifestyle assessment...an altruistic look at stress: perception is reality
• A closer look at feelings and emotional well-being: perception and defense
mechanisms at work
• A balanced account: paying off emotional debt
• Characteristics of emotional health
• Emotional intelligence: raising your EQ
• Communicating or controlling? Balance or ballistics?: understanding
assertive communication...turning problems into projects...developing three-
part assertiveness messages
• Rituals: managing emotions and stress

Managing conflict is the key to career success in today’s changing workplace!

In today’s workplace, issues such as increased team interaction and a shifting


organizational structure are creating new conflict areas. That’s why it’s essential
that you develop the communication skills to effectively handle conflict in a wide
variety of workplace situations. And because conflict management is so vital for
career success, you need to learn these skills now, and AMA’s intensive three-day
seminar is designed to help you do just that.

Who Should Attend


Business professionals who want to develop more flexibility in responding to
conflict—and want to manage it in ways that build better relationships and
opportunities for mutual gain.

How You Will Benefit

• Understand what’s really involved in conflict


• Gain an awareness of how your feelings, attitudes and behavior work
together in response to conflict
• Communicate more confidently to build relationships and clarify
misunderstandings
• Create a climate that encourages the expression of true feelings and goals
• Increase efficiency and productivity—model openness with individuals and
teams
• Reduce stress by learning to manage conflict

What You Will Cover


Understanding Conflict
Gain a deeper and broader working definition of conflict
Use conflict as an opportunity to build better relationships and collaborate
effectively with others
Assessing the Conflict
Identify the origins of a conflict
Differentiate between positions and interests in a conflict situation
Outcomes—Your Road Map to Constructive Conflict Resolution
Establish outcomes as the first step in your communication strategy
Develop a step-by-step procedure for setting and achieving outcomes
Identify Conflict Resolution—Styles and Strategies
Identify the thinking and behavior of your predominant interpersonal style
under calm and stressful conditions
Develop effective strategies in responding to different styles
Your Emotions—The Starting Point for Managing Conflict
Develop more awareness of your emotions
Learn to identify different emotions
Identify and understand how your emotional triggers work
Criticism
Self-criticism
Responding to criticism from others
Offering criticism to others
Building Trust and Demonstrating Understanding
Determine what kind of listener you are
Demonstrate skills to build rapport
Overcoming Conflict Through Improved Communication
Differentiate among the four communication styles
Use guidelines to achieve assertive communication
Set goals to achieve desired verbal and nonverbal communication style
Putting It All Together
Reference a six-step conflict management model
Experience analyzing a real conflict situation
Activating Your Will, Directing Your Energy—Your Personal Action
Commitment
Describe ways and list next steps to move beyond wishing for change by
activating your will
Develop an action plan to become a better communicator and skilled conflict
manager