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Communication for
Administrative Staff
Dr. Carol Waters
Director, Bi-National Center for
Leadership, Education, Research and
Public Service
Nature of Communication
Communication is not a Subject-Object
Mary Parker Follett, 1924, The Creative
Experience, presents communication
as a phenomenological activity
“Giving of Orders” in 1926 introduced
A novel concept: Good ideas do not
come only from the person in charge.
They may come from your staff!
Consider the “law of the situation”
Elements of Communication
• 1. Giving: speaking, writing (and don’t forget
– Body Language
• 2. Receiving: listening
• 3. Feedback
Who are you talking with?
Understand your manager’s style
Perfectionist –Wants order in everything
Chaotic – Check Frequently
Absentee—Use Initiative?
Aggressive—Delay meeting?
New—Use Tact, Anticipate
Participative—Build Ideas
Manner of Communication
Personal Face to Face
Written Messages
Third Party Messages
Body Language
Self-Respect & Confidence
Non-Verbal Communication
Body Language
Degree of Self-Respect
Degree of Confidence
Types of Communication
• Direct, brief, to the point
• Giving, receiving, exchanging
Give full attention to the person speaking
Make sure your mind is focused
Let the speaker finish before you begin to talk
Let yourself finish listening before you begin to
Listen to main ideas
Ask questions
Give feedback
Keep notebook
Emotional Intelligence
• Self-awareness – The ability to recognize your own emotions and
how they affect your thoughts and behavior, know your strengths
and weaknesses, and have self-confidence.
• Self-management – The ability to control impulsive feelings and
behaviors, manage your emotions in healthy ways, take initiative,
follow through on commitments, and adapt to changing
• Social awareness – The ability to understand the emotions, needs,
and concerns of other people, pick up on emotional cues, feel
comfortable socially, and recognize the power dynamics in a group
or organization.
• Relationship management – The ability to develop and maintain
good relationships, communicate clearly, inspire and influence
others, work well in a team, and manage conflict.
• What is your responsibility to your supervisor?
• What is your responsibility to your
• Follett, Mary Parker. 1924. The Creative
• Follett, Mary Parker. 1926. “The Giving of
• McNamara, Carter. “Basics in Internal
Organizational Communications”