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Mastering Interpersonal Communication CHAPTER 2

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LEARNING OBJECTIVES
After studying this chapter, you will be able to do the following:

1. Explain how meeting technologies can help participants communicate more successfully and describe the emerging role of social networking technologies in business communication 2. Describe the listening process and explain how good listeners overcome barriers at each stage of the process 3. Clarify the importance of nonverbal communication and briefly describe six categories of nonverbal expression

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Writing Technologies
Content Management

Wiki Site
Groupware Shared Workspaces
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A variety of writing collaboration tools exist, including group review and commenting features in word processors, multi-author blogs, and content management systems that organize and control the content for websites. Each of these tools addresses specific needs, but none offers quite the level of direct collaboration as the wiki. A wiki, from the Hawaiian word for quick, is a website that allows anyone who has access to add new material and edit existing material. Key benefits of wikis include simple operationwriters do not need to know any of the techniques normally required to create web contentand the freedom to post new or revised material without prior approval.
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Shared workspaces are virtual offices that give everyone on a team access to the same set of resources and information: databases, calendars, project plans, pertinent IM and e-mail exchanges, shared reference materials, and team-created documents.

Such workspaces are part of a larger class of software known as groupware: computer-based systems that let people communicate, share files, present materials, and work on documents simultaneously.
Both groupware and shared workspaces make it easy for geographically dispersed team members to communicate and collaborate.
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Productive Meetings
Preparation
Face-to-Face Meetings

Efficiency Technology

Virtual Meetings

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Meetings are a primary communication venue for todays businesses, whether they take place in formal conference rooms or on the Internet in virtual meetings. Well-run meetings can help to solve problems, develop ideas, and identify opportunities.
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Much of your workplace communication will take place in small-group meetings; therefore, your ability to contribute to the company and to be recognized for those contributions will depend on your meeting participation skills.

Unfortunately, many meetings are unproductive. The three most frequently reported problems with meetings are getting off the subject, not having an agenda, and running too long. You will help your company make better use of meetings by preparing carefully, conducting meetings efficiently, and using meeting technologies wisely.
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Purpose

Participants

Preparing for Meetings


Time and Place
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Agenda
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The key to productive meetings is careful planning of purpose, participants, location, and agenda.

Most meetings have either an informational or a decisionmaking purpose. Informational meetings allow participants to share information and perhaps coordinate action. Decisionmaking meetings involve persuasion, analysis, and problem solving. Try to invite only participants whose presence is essential. The more people who attend, the more comments and confusion you are likely to receive, and the longer the whole process will take. Even as you try to limit participation, be sure to include key decision makers and those who can contribute.
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Decide on the time when you will hold the meeting, and reserve the facility. For work sessions, morning meetings are usually more productive than afternoon sessions. Also consider the seating arrangements, and be sure to give some attention to details such as room temperature, lighting, ventilation, acoustics, and refreshments. If the meeting will take place online, you will need to consider a variety of other factors. The success of any meeting depends on the preparation of the participants. An agenda will aid in this process by putting the meeting plan into a permanent, written form. Distribute the agenda to participants several days before the meeting so that they will know what to expect and can come prepared.
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Meeting Technologies
Virtual Teams
Virtual Meetings Teleconferences Videoconferences Web-Based Systems
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Effective Listening Skills


Relationships
Product Delivery Opportunities Diversity
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Technology continues to create intriguing opportunities for online interaction, such as online brainstorming across organizations and virtual worlds such as Second Life. Throughout your career, effective listening will give you a competitive edge, enhancing your performance and thus the influence you have within your company and your industry. Effective listening strengthens organizational relationships, enhances product delivery, alerts the organization to opportunities for innovation, and allows the organization to manage diversity both in the workforce and in the customers it serves. Companies whose employees and managers listen effectively stay in touch, up to date, and out of trouble.

Conversely, poor listening skills can cost companies millions of dollars a year as a result of lost opportunities, legal mistakes, and other errors.

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Chapter 2 - 14

Types of Listening
Content Critical

Empathic

Active
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Copyright 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

The types of listening differ not only in purpose but also in the amount of feedback or interaction that occurs. Effective listeners adapt their listening approaches to different situations. The goal of content listening is to understand and retain the speakers message. You may ask questions, but basically information flows from the speaker to you. It does not matter that you agree or disagree, approve or disapproveonly that you understand. The goal of critical listening is to understand and evaluate the meaning of the speakers message on several levels, including the logic of the argument, the strength of the evidence, the validity of the conclusions, the speakers intentions and motives, and the omission of any important or relevant points. Critical listening generally involves interaction as you try to uncover the speakers point of view and credibility.
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The goal of empathic listening is to understand the speakers feelings, needs, and wants so that you can appreciate his or her point of view, regardless of whether you share that perspective. By listening with empathy, you help the individual vent the emotions that prevent a dispassionate approach to the subject. Avoid the temptation to give advice or judge the individuals feelings. Just let the other person talk.

No matter what mode they are using at any given time, effective listeners try to engage in active listening. They make a conscious effort to turn off their own filters and biases to truly hear and understand what the other party is saying. They ask questions, summarize the speakers message to verify key points, and encourage the speaker through positive body language and supportive feedback.

Nonverbal Communication

Support Words
Weaken Words Replace Words
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Nonverbal communication is the interpersonal process of sending and receiving information, both intentionally and unintentionally, without using written or spoken language. Nonverbal signals play a vital role in communication because they can strengthen a verbal message (when the nonverbal signals match the spoken words), weaken a verbal message (when nonverbal signals do not match the words), or replace words entirely. In fact, nonverbal communication often conveys more to listeners than the words you speakparticularly when they are trying to decide how you really feel about a situation or when they are trying to judge your credibility and aptitude for leadership.
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Categories of Nonverbal Communication

Facial Expressions

Gestures and Posture

Vocal Characteristics

Personal Appearance

Touching Behavior

Time and Space


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The range and variety of nonverbal signals is almost endless, but you can grasp the basics by studying six general categories:
1. Facial expressions. Your face is the primary site for expressing your emotions; it reveals both the type and the intensity of your feelings. However, facial signals can vary widely from culture to culture. 2. Gestures and posture. By moving or not moving your body, you express both specific and general messages, some voluntary and some involuntary. Many gesturesa wave of the hand, for examplehave a specific and intentional meaning. Other types of body movement are unintentional and express a more general message.

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Chapter 2 - 21

3.

Vocal characteristics. Your voice also carries both intentional and unintentional messages. Your tone, volume, accent, and speaking pace say a lot about who you are, your relationship with the audience, and the emotions underlying your words. Personal appearance. People respond to others on the basis of their physical appearance, sometimes fairly and other times unfairly. Grooming, clothing, accessories, styleyou can control all of these. If your goal is to make a good impression, adopt the style of the people you want to impress. Touch. Touch is an important way to convey warmth, comfort, and reassurance. Touch is so powerful, in fact, that it is governed by cultural customs. Time and space. Like touch, time and space can be used to assert authority, imply intimacy, and send other nonverbal messages. Keep in mind that expectations regarding both time and space vary by culture.

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Using Nonverbal Communication Effectively

When Talking When Not Talking

When Listening
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