Building Effective Communication Skills
The transfer of information among individuals.
The process of
communication: an interactional
process whereby one person sends a message to another
At least two
people must be involved
It is a process
The process is interactional
(i.e., not one-way)
ideas into message; receivers decode message into ideas
Primary means of
sending messages is language
sensory channel through which message reaches receiver
Noise: any stimulus that interferes with accurately
expressing or understanding a message
Context: the environment in which communication
The importance of communication
An essential aspect of everyday life
Quality of communication can affect satisfaction in
Nonverbal communication: transmission of meaning
from one person to another through means or symbols other than words
General principles of nonverbal communication
Frequently conveys emotions
Is relatively ambiguous
May contradict verbal messages
You open the door
and the Prize Patrol is outside. You
have just won the $20 million dollar Publisher's Clearinghouse Award. You are HAPPY!
You go to the
cafeteria for lunch and are about to bite into your salad when you see a huge
hard-backed cockroach crawling in the lettuce
..antennae waving. You are DISGUSTED!
You find out that
your pet cat of 19 years was run over by a Mack truck. You are SAD!
You find out that
your girlfriend/boyfriend is sleeping with your best friend. You are ANGRY!
You are walking
across campus at 2 A.M. You hear
footsteps and heavy breathing right behind you.
You are AFRAID!
You find out that
you and your instructor are long lost cousins.
You are SURPRISED! (Hopefully not disgusted or saddened!).
Paul Ekman and
colleagues have identified six emotions associated with distinctive facial
expressions: anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise
expressions are universally recognized but many expressions vary from culture
Display rules: norms that govern the appropriate display of emotions
regulate facial expressions to deceive others
Duration of eye
contact is most meaningful
High levels of
eye contact associated with attentiveness
High levels also
associated with effective social skills, credibility
Gaze is means of
communicating intensity of feelings, but not positive or negative
patterns of eye contact
Gender and racial
differences have been found in United States
Listening vs. Hearing
Hearing is passive, listening is active, intentional,
chosen, and requires internal and external behaviors to receive messages
At work we spend about 60% of our time listening.
Why do we receive so little training in listening skills?
After hearing a
ten minute presentation listeners retain about half what was said.
After 2 days,
another half is forgotten.
20% having erotic thoughts, 20% reminiscing, 20% paying attention to the
lecture, only 12% of those actively listening.
Intentions that promote good listening:
To Understand Someone
To Enjoy Someone
To Learn Something
To Give Help or Solace
This occurs when some other intention is
listen to make people think you are interested in them so you will be liked.
for signs of potential rejection.
Listening for one
thing and ignoring others.
4. Focusing on your rebuttal or the next
thing you want to say.
5. Pretending to listen so someone will
listen to you.
6. Listening to uncover vulnerabilities to
gain an advantage.
7. Looking for weak points in the speakers
reasoning so you can come out on top.
8. Checking only to see how the speaker is reacting to make sure you
produce the desired effect.
9. Half-listening because that is what a nice person should do.
10. Pretending to listen to be polite.
Blocks to Effective
Judging defining things as good or bad.
Mind Reading your assumptions
Stereotyping your widespread generalizations
Interrupting Interrupts flow
Comparing listening to make comparisons
Advising finding advice for the speaker
Rehearsing reviewing what to say next
listen to change focus back to
Filtering listening to what you want to hear and ignoring the
Dueling arguing for the sake of arguing
Derailing distracting to never reach a conclusion
Daydreaming being caught up in your own fantasies
Placating overinvestment in being nice and ignoring your won
an unacknowledged goal in the
becoming overemotional about a
particular word or statement that offends one
Blocks of Effective Listening
Paraphrasing stating in your own words
what someone has just said
It sounds like you are saying
As I understand you
What I hear you saying is
From your point of view
Clarifying asking questions to help you
understand the speakers message
Im confused, could you explain
Let me be sure I understand you
Could you repeat that?
What is that supposed to mean?
Feedback sharing your reactions to what you heard. It should be:
Ex. I get the feeling you are not telling
everything here. instead of, Youre lying. or Youre holdin gout on me.
Listening not just to the words, but trying to
understand what the other person is feeling and thinking. Getting inside the other persons frame of
Paraphrasing the speakers feelings, attitudes and
Empathic listening often communicates that you value
the other person and their experience.
I sense you are feeling
Good listeners listen with their eyes as well as
their ears, paying attention to non-verbal communication as well as verbal.
When non-verbals do not match verbal meaning we get incongruent communication
and double messages.
The way something is said, rather than what is said.
Tone and pitch of voice
Emphasis on certain words
Length and frequency of pauses
The other 55% is communicated by facial expressions,
bodily movements and gestures, duration of eye contact, and posture.
a zone of space surrounding a person that is felt to "belong" to that
Proxemics: the study of people's use of interpersonal space
show similar tendency, called territoriality
Size of personal
space depends on nature of relationship and type of situation
regulated by social norms; varies by culture
The use of
interpersonal space tells us about the nature of the relationship.
Women seem to
have smaller personal spaces than men
People of similar
status tend to stand closer together
space elicit variety of reactions
Signs of autonomic nervous system arousal.
Increased/irregular respiration, pupil dilation,
blushing, increased frequency of swallowing and blinking. What do they really indicate?
People tend to gesture less when lying, covering or
touching the nose or mouth when speaking.
Liars give evasive or indirect answers, overly detailed
or complicated explanations or defensive tirades. More slips of the tongue occur and more pause
words like ah, um, uh.
Effective Non-Verbal Communication
Maintain good eye contact, but do not stare.
Use your body language to communicate interest.
Speak clearly and modulate your voice.
Use touch appropriately for your culture.
Respect the personal space of other people.
Behavior for Effective Listening
Maintain good eye contact.
Lean forward slightly.
Nodding or saying, Uh huh, to indicate that you are
Keep your arms open.