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Communication Skills The Process Communication: process of sending and receiving messages between people Verbal communication: sending messages w/ words Nonverbal communication: sending messages w/o words through use of facial expressions and gestures Communication is a two-way street Messages aren’t transmitted or interpreted as intended and confusion results Making an effort to improve communication skills can help you avoid misunderstandings Question: Describe a time when a failure to communicate appropriately resulted in a misunderstanding, conflict, etc. Barriers to Communication Unclear messages Misunderstandings Poor listening skills Language Culture Name other barriers to communication. The Messages You Send To express yourself clearly, you need to be aware of what you say and how you say it “I” Messages Say how you feel and what you think rather than criticizing someone else Three parts: “I feel…” (name an emotion) “when you…”(what behavior bothers you) “because…” (explain why it bothers you) Less likely to cause negative feelings Keep conversation reasonable Enable both people to stay focused on the underlying problem and to solve it together “You” messages can result in defensiveness and lead to an argument. Question With a partner, come up with a situation that could cause an argument between teens. Write an angry message about the situation and then translate the statement into an “I” message. Using the Right Tone Send messages with tone of voice Be aware of how your words sound Sympathy—use gentle tone Help—polite Body Language Body language—person’s posture, facial expressions, gestures, and way of moving Affects how others see you and how they react to verbal message Eye contact—direct visual contact w/ another person’s eyes Interest, confidence, friendliness, sincere Managing Image Portrayed Controlling body language Attending to your appearance Good grooming Avoiding Mixed Messages Mixed message—when your words and body language don’t communicate the same thing Cause confusion People won’t know whether to believe what you say or what they see Make sure your body language matching your words Question: Why might the nonverbal message be stronger than the verbal one when a message is mixed? How can people become more conscious of what their nonverbal messages communicate? Choosing Time and Place Be sure the other person is willing and able to listen Avoid times when emotions will hinder the message…consider listener’s emotions too Make sure the other person isn’t distracted Communication Styles Assertive—you express your ideas and opinions firmly and with confidence Aggressive—overly forceful and pushy Passive—keep opinions to themselves and give in to influence of others Active Listening Hearing—receiving sound waves Active listening—concentrating on what is said so that you understand an remember the message Helps strengthen relationship b/c promotes real understanding Techniques for Active Listening Keep an open mind Eliminate distractions Listen with a purpose Make eye contact Focus your attention Control negative emotions Don’t cut the speaker off Feedback Feedback—when a listener lets a speaker know that he or she is trying to understand the message being delivered. Interject when speaker pauses Ask questions Restate Show empathy when person is upset Dealing with Criticism Remember, criticism is often well meant Keep an open mind Consider comments that seem intended to help you Criticism that is spiteful or inaccurate: Ignore Don’t dwell on personal attacks Communicating by Phone Have to make more effort to express self more clearly Find convenient time Find convenient place Avoid disturbing others Leave clear messages Communicating in Writing Good writing and reading skills help you communicate with friends and family Essential for workplace Organize thoughts before you start Pay attention to the tone you use Keep it simple Check that you have made all your points Proofread Assignment Choose a particular communication skill and write a paragraph explaining it. Be prepared to share with class.