About Chapter 4 Chapter 4 concentrates on the process of verbal and nonverbal co

About Chapter 4 Chapter 4 concentrates on the process of verbal and nonverbal communication and how our choices impact meaning. There isn’t a single, straightforward relationship between an idea and the words and actions we use to represent that idea. Our communicative choices are shaped by our personal interpretations. Effective communication requires us to think from the standpoint of our receiver as we select words and nonverbal cues to convey our message. In this chapter, students learn to identify effective versus ineffective verbal messages. Equivocal words, high-level abstractions, jargon, inflammatory words, and gender-based language often interfere with the intended meaning of a message. Such types of words can generate psychological noise in another communicator. Students learn how they can choose alternatives to those types of words. This reinforces the importance of making strategic choices regarding the entire communication context. Discussions of strategic ambiguity, ethics, and gendered speech patterns increase students’ sensitivity to several sets of choices regarding their language usage. Next, nonverbal communication is defined. Six key characteristics of nonverbal communication are introduced. Seven types (channels) of nonverbal communication are described: voice; appearance; face and eyes; posture and movement; personal space and distance; physical environment; and time. Plentiful examples of nonverbal intercultural differences are provided, reinforcing the ambiguity and culture-bound nature of nonverbal communication. A set of guidelines for improving nonverbal effectiveness enhances the utility of this chapter. In summary, this chapter highlights the abundant verbal and nonverbal choices communicators make and messages communicators receive. 1. Describe a misunderstanding that occurred because you or the person you were interacting with failed to use clear, unambiguous language. Explain how the miscommunication transpired. In your explanation, integrate terminology from the Principles of Communication and the Communication Model introduced in Chapter 1. How and when did you two figure out that you were assigning different meanings to an abstract word or phrase?Now, use suggestions from Chapter 4’s section about clarity to propose ways you could improve shared meaning in future interactions. 2. Do you agree that it is sometimes preferable to select ambiguous language? Is this ethical? Recall situations you’ve heard about in the news when ambiguous language was used in unethical ways. How can you determine when it is or is not ethical to use strategically ambiguous language? About Chapter 5 This chapter provides substantial opportunities to extend concepts taught in preceding chapters while teaching new ones. The chapter emphasizes the linkage between emotional intelligence and career success. One means of increasing emotional intelligence is to help your organization develop a confirming communication climate. The text draws from Gibb’s work, explaining the communication behaviors that lead to confirming climates: descriptive “I” language; problem orientation; honesty; genuine interest in others; respect; and open-mindedness. This is an ideal time to review intentional and unintentional communication and explore ways in which psychological noise may prevent persons from believing they are valued as employees or coworkers. As you teach students to construct and deliver concrete praise and appropriate criticism, you can review and reinforce skills from previous chapters, such as low-level abstractions, trigger words, and biased language. When you are teaching non-defensive responses to criticism, include a review of listening skills. When you are teaching negotiation, review the skill of paraphrasing. This chapter addresses current troubling workplace issues such as incivility, bullying, and sexual harassment. A link is drawn between these concerns and our use of confirming or disconfirming language. Moreover, it is the impact, not the intent, of behavior that influences whether behaviors are uncivil or harassing. Both involve conduct that is, from the recipient’s point of view, unwelcome. This section is also a place to underscore again that, however unintentional behavior may be, communication takes place when others attach meaning to and/or are affected by a coworker’s conduct. Realistic strategies for managing such disturbances are presented. In addition, a career tip addresses appropriate ways to communicate about spirituality in the workplace, reinforcing the need for sensitivity to the spiritual practices of all cultures. The segment on handling conflicts reinforces what was previously taught regarding cultural preferences for dealing with conflict (directly or indirectly). The chapter itself is an example of how most methods for managing conflict and negotiations taught in U.S. educational systems reflect the low-context nature of U.S. business cultures. Throughout the discussions of negotiation and conflict styles, this fundamental idea is bolstered: there are myriad choices and options when communicating at work. 1. Think of at least three times when you have responded defensively to criticism. What were the consequences? Based on your examples, try to determine which social situations or relational circumstances tend to make you feel defensive. Consider how you could use the guidelines from this chapter to respond more constructively to similar situations in the future. 2. Why do you believe that criticism is often so difficult for individuals to hear? Which listening skills from Chapter 3 can you integrate to improve your ability to respond more constructively to criticism? What strategies do you use when you give criticism to others? Do your strategies allow the other to save face
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