Communication Skills


• Words Mean Different Things to Different People. • The Initiation of a Message Provides No Assurance It Has Been Received. • Communications Often Become Distorted as They Are Transmitted.

Why is Communication Important?
• Everything a manager does involves communication. • Effective communication skills can lead to problems for the manager. • Communication of content • Supportive communication

Communication of Content
• Channel choices
• • • • • In person Telephone Email Written Third party


Supportive Communication
• A focus on processes. • Two categories:  Coaching: giving advice, direction or information to improve performance… focus on abilities  Counselling: helping the person understand and resolve a problem themselves by displaying understanding… focus on attitudes

What Is the Interpersonal Communication Process?
• Communication • Sequential Steps
• • • • • Encoded Transmitted Decoding Noise Feedback

Exhibit 3-1: The Communication Process Model


Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills
• Avoid Barriers to Communication. • Send Understandable Messages: Effective communication. • Actively Listen. • Utilize Non-verbal Signals. • Give and Solicit Meaningful Feedback. • Adapt to Diversity of Communication Styles… try multiple channels

What Are the Barriers To Communication?
• • • • • • Frames of Reference Semantics Value Judgments Selective Listening Filtering Distrust

Attributes of effective communication
• Problem oriented not person oriented “I don’t like the way you dress for work.” “You are not very professional.”


Attributes of effective communication
• Congruence versus incongruence • Mismatch between what one feels/thinks and what one says “I’m disappointed that we didn’t reach our target and that we aren’t getting our bonuses.”

Attributes of effective communication
• • • Descriptive versus evaluative Avoid judgment How: 4. describe objectively; 5. focus on the behaviour and your reaction not the other’s attributes; 6. focus on solutions “You screwed up”

Attributes of effective communication
• Invalidation: • Superiority • Rigidity • Indifference • impervious • Validation: • Respectful • Flexible • Two way communication • Identify areas of agreement

Attributes of effective communication
• specific not global “you never ask for my advice” “You are lazy”


Attributes of effective communication
• Conjunctive not disjunctive
• Lack of equal opportunity to speak? • Extended pauses? • Who controls the flow?

A continuum…


Attributes of effective communication
• Owned not disowned
• Use of “I statements” not “you or other statements”

“I’ve heard that you…”


Attributes of effective communication
• Two way not one way
• Listening by responding


Exhibit 3-2: Guides for Giving and Receiving Feedback Criteria for Giving Feedback 3. Make sure your comments are intended to help recipient. 4. Speak directly and with feeling. 5. Describe what the person is doing and the effect the person is having. 6. Don’t be threatening or judgmental. 7. Be specific, not general (use clear and recent examples). 8. Give feedback when the recipient is open to accepting it. 9. Check to ensure the validity of your statements. 10. Include only things the receiver can do something about. 11. Don’t overwhelm the person with more than can be handled.

Exhibit 3-2: Guides for Giving and Receiving Feedback

Criteria for Receiving Feedback 3. Don’t be defensive. 4. Seek specific examples. 5. Be sure you understand (summarize). 6. Share your feelings about the comments. 7. Ask for definitions. 8. Check out underlying assumptions. 9. Be sensitive to sender’s nonverbal messages. 10. Ask questions to clarify.


How Do You Receive and Understand Messages Accurately?
• Listening
• Active Listening
• Sensing • Attending • Reflecting


How Can You Utilize Nonverbal Cues?
• • • • Visual Tactile Vocal Time and Space


Exhibit 3.3: Means of Nonverbal Communication
Components Image Facial Expressions Eye Movements Posture Gestures Examples Clothing, hygiene Frown, smile, sneer Looking away, staring Leaning in, slumped Handshake, wave Meanings Communicated Values, competence Unexpressed feelings Intentions, state of mind Attitude Intentions, feelings

Touch Pat on the back Gentle touch on an arm Approval Support and concern


Exhibit 3.3: Means of Nonverbal Communication
(continued) VOCAL
Components How things are said Vocal intonations Examples Loudness, pitch, rate Rhythm, pitch, clarity Meanings Communicated Different meanings, e.g. Sarcasm, disapproval

Body closeness Furniture arrangement 0 – 2 feet Large pieces far apart Feelings of intimacy Formal and serious


How Can You Adapt to Diversity of Communication Styles?
• Differences in Communication Styles
• • • • The Socializer The Director The Thinker The Relater


Cultural Differences


Gender Differences


How Can You Facilitate Communication with Diversity?
• • • • Assume Differences Emphasize Description Empathize Treat Interpretations as Guesses