COMMUNICATION • Multi-dimensional • Channels – different pathways between sender and receiver. • Encoding – selecting symbols to represent intended meaning. • Decoding – deciphering symbolic content into intended meaning. • Noise – disruptions both internal and external to the sender/receiver; 1. Physical, 2. Semantic, 3. Systematic
WHAT IS COMMUNICATION? • A multi-dimensional process of successfully transmitting a message from a sender to a receiver. • Success can vary between zero and 100%. • Generally, the higher the success, the higher the effectiveness of communication.
SYMBOLIC INTERACTION • Human interaction is completely symbolic. Specific words are without meaning, except for the meaning people attribute to the words (i.e. Cool!). • Mead believes that all communication takes place through a symbolic language. • An interaction of gestures that communicates meaning to the “other.”
GESTURES - A gesture is the phase of the act that causes a response from the other. • Two Types of Gestures: • Sign - gesture with one meaning. All other animals communicate with signs ONLY. • Symbol - infinite meaning. Humans communication almost exclusively with symbols.
Role-Taking is an ability to put self into the other, to interpret the meaning of a gesture. Two Types of Role-Taking: • Projection - projecting a meaning onto the other’s gesture. • Stereotyping - using one identifiable characteristic of the other to interpret meaning the other’s gesture.
The Basic Communication Problems:inherent and inevitable • Miscommunication – originates in the sender and involves the improper selection of symbols (encoding) to represent the intended meaning. • Misunderstanding – originates in the receiver and involves the improper decoding of symbols in the message. • Defensiveness – present in both the sender and receiver. If the sense of SELF is threatened the communication shifts away from the issue toward the protection of self. • The three combined account for over 90% of all conflict.
NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION • Transmitting a message without the use of verbal or written symbols. • Formal – involves signs not symbols; sign language, third base coach. • Informal – involves symbols not signs; body language, facial gestures. • Non-verbal communication carries over 60% of the meaning of verbal messages.
BODY LANGUAGE – Physical gestures of the body that convey a message to the other. • Emblems – body gestures that can completely take the place of words. • Popular – have the same meaning in more than one culture. (e.g. Shaking head for NO) • Multi-Meaning – Means one thing in one culture, but something different in another. • Unique – Means one thing in a culture, but carries no meaning in any other.
FACIAL EXPRESSIONS –GESTURES OF THE FACE THAT CONVEY MEANING TO THE OTHER. • Eye Contact – conveys willingness to engage in communication and the level of intimacy, sympathy, and empathy. • Tie-Sign – a gaze that implies connection between the sender and the receiver. • Smile – passivity, affection, happiness, unease, etc. • Frown – introspection, sadness, etc.
PROXEMIC BEHAVIOR –MANAGING THE SPACE BETWEEN OTHERS TO CONVEY A MESSAGE TO THE OTHER. • Edward Hall • Four Zones of Proxemic Behavior • Public – 12 to 25 foot zone • Social – 4 to 12 foot zone • Personal – 18 inch to 4 foot zone • Intimate – inside 18 inches
PROXEMIC BEHAVIOR • Erving Goffman • Personal space – elliptical aura surrounding the self • Stall – a space generally occupied by only one person • Use – space that not in use, but still claimed for future use • Sheath – objects that are in contact with the body • Turn – a space that symbolic represents the person • Eye contact – a gaze that conveys a desire to move closer.
Communication Improvement Techniques • Brainstorming – A process designed to stimulate divergent thinking. • Divergent thinking calls for increased originality, cognitive flexibility, and associative thinking skills. • Brainstorming sound very easy, but requires practice and commitment to be successful.
The Rules of Brainstorming • Brainstorming is actually a two phase process. Three rules are associated with phase one. • Expressive Rule – Every member of the group must commit themselves to expressing ANY idea that comes to mind. No matter how bizarre or weird. • No Evaluation Rule – There is no evaluation of ideas as the ideas are being expressed. There should be no verbal comment, no facial expressions, and no body language that is evaluative. Criticism is not tolerated! • Quantity Rule – The goal of phase one is to maximize the number of ideas expressed. The greater the number of ideas the better the brainstorming session.
Brainstorming Phase Two • Building Rule – The only rule in phase two is building. • Group members are encouraged to modify, extend, or combine ideas listed in any creative way possible. • Participants should draw from one another's ideas as much as possible.
Nominal Group Technique • NGT is a technique designed to allow each member of the group develop their own line of reasoning, without input or constraint from others. • NGT is a four phase process that involves creating individual ideas and then combining those ideas to generate group consensus.
Phase One • The Idea Phase – After introducing and explaining the specifics of the problem each group member silently generates ideas. • Each member work independently using a separate sheet of paper to list as many ideas as possible. • The idea phase lasts between 10 and 30 minutes.
Phase Two • Round-robin Phase – In phase two each member reads his/her list using a shortened phase (three word max). • The ideas are listed so that the entire group can see each idea. • There is no explanation given during the round-robin, and no comments from other group members.
Phase Three • Discussion Phase – Once all ideas have been listed, the group begins a no holds barred dialog regarding each idea. • Criticisms, modifications, disagreements are all part of phase three. Any changes in the listed ideas suggested must receive group support. • The goal of phase three is to openly discuss each idea using as much time as necessary.
Phase Four • Voting Phase – The final phase is a voting process. • Each group member selects the top three or five ideas that best resolve the problem. • The votes are tallied using a pre-specified summing method (1st place vote worth 3 points, 2d worth 2, 3rd worth 1). • The top ideas are then combined into a solution strategy that the group implements.
Delphi Technique • Delphi technique is designed to be used in situations where group members can not be in the same place at the same time. • The technique uses computers to develop consensus. • The technique uses the questionnaire to conduct the problem solving effort, therefore the facilitator should be skilled at questionnaire development.
First Iteration • First the facilitator sends out an open ended question to all member of the group. • The question should be very broad, but still encompass the heart of the problem. • How can we improve group efficiency?
Second Iteration • Based on each response to the first iteration a new questionnaire is created. • Each response from each group member is used to construct an exhaustive questionnaire that explores as many solutions possible. • Solutions might be: more pay, better supervision, better benefits, etc., etc., …
Third Iteration • Based on the responses to the second iteration, a new shorter questionnaire is developed. • The third iteration uses only the most highly received ideas from the second iteration. • The questionnaires of continuously revised until one (or a few) idea emerges as a solution strategy.
Synetics Theory • Designed to be an improvement over the basic flaws of brainstorming. • Synetics uses the same rules as brainstorming, but adds four features. • Spectrum Analysis – a commitment to examine each idea from all sides of the issue. • Wishing – group members are asked to express ideas as wishes rather than statements. Wishing reduces the apprehension over evaluation. • Excursions – Whenever ideas begin to run dry the group takes a break from the process. The goal is: a) get closer to problem, or b) give the mind rest. • Direct Analogy – members are encouraged to use analogies to expand their perspective on the idea and the problem.
What is Conflict? • Conflict – is the tension that results from incompatible values or norms. • Conflict doesn’t mean just me fighting. It means a tension or struggle between people • The sequence of conflict generally flows through five stages • Not all conflict follows these stages in the same way, because conflict can be cut short at any point
Types of Conflict • Personal Conflict – interpersonal discord that occurs when group members dislike each other. • Substantive Conflict – disagreements over issues that are relevant to the group’s real goals. • Procedural Conflict – Disagreements over the methods the group should use to complete a basic task.
Social Dilemmas • Social dilemmas refer to personal situations where the person is forced to choose between maximizing personal outcomes and maximizing the group’s outcomes. • Equality norms • Rules for dividing rewards (or costs) equally to all members of the group. • Equity norms • Rules for dividing rewards (or costs) to members in proportion to their individual inputs. • Social traps • Situations that tempt an individual to act in a way that benefits them, but is detrimental to the group and the person in the long run.
Conflict andRelationship Satisfaction Partners who use an intimate, nonaggressive, yet confrontational method of conflict resolution report highest levels of relationship satisfaction
The Five Stages of Conflict 1. Disagreement 2. Confrontation 3. Escalation 4. De-escalation 5. Resolution
Disagreement – During the first stage of conflict members recognize that a difference in values or norms exists.Generally, there is only a difference, not an incompatibility. Many times the initial conflicts can be revealed through discussion as False Conflict or Contingent Conflict. False Conflict is where the conflict is merely a misunderstanding (miscommunication/defensive communication). If there is a lack of communication a false conflict can become real. Contingent conflict is a type that arises over issues that are easily resolved without increased tension. Many disputes are dependent on some minor feature of the situation.
During confrontation three different social-psychological processes are set into motion. 1. Commitment intensification 2. Tension building 3. Coalition forming Confrontation - Confrontation exists when the values or norms of one group member are incompatible with another group member.
Commitment Intensification • Being made to listen to the argument of someone else intensifies your commitment to your position. • When you actually begin actions against the argument, your commitment is further intensified through “self perception.” • Two other processes that are involved are rationalization and reactance (established freedom).
Tension Building - The tension that exists becomes the dominant feature of the conflict. • Tension building is characterized by an inability to discuss or think about the topic or problem. • Tension becomes involved in every aspect of life with the other. • Some people feel like they’re “walking on eggshells.” • Avoidance is the rule.
Coalition Formation As conflict continues the individuals seek to form subgroups for needed social support. The person retreats to some circle of friends/relatives for comfort and support. The group supports and reifies the persons definition of the situation.
Escalation – the incompatibilities have become greater, and the people are father apart than at the beginning of the conflict. • Conflict that now begins to spiral and take-up on new and as yet undiscovered issues. • Conflict leads to more conflict leading to more conflict. • Persuasion is replaced by coercion. • Coercion is replaced by threats. • Threats are replaced by aggression. • Aggression is replaced by violence.
Escalation • Misunderstanding and distrust are present • The people move away from cooperative responses and become opponents, which increases the escalation. • Two important social psychological processes play a role in the increasing conflict; Frustration aggression theory and the norm of reciprocity.
Escalation • Frustration aggression theory. • Every frustration produces an aggressive behavior. • Three hypotheses have been supported by research. • The greater the frustration, the greater the aggressive response. • The shorter the time between the frustration and the aggressive response, the greater the aggressive response. • The more similar the object of aggression is to the object of frustration, the greater the aggression displayed.
Escalation • The norm of reciprocity - do unto others as they do unto you. • Norms of reciprocity encourage the escalation of conflict. • Generally norms of reciprocity lead to a behavioral assimilation, where members match the behavior displayed by those they are interacting with. • Negative reciprocity vs. Positive reciprocity.
There are two basic approaches to de-escalating conflict: 1. Negotiation 2. Intervention De-escalation is reversing the direction of the spiral of conflict.
Negotiation • Negotiation is effective when opposing people believe each would benefit from a solution. • The goal of negotiation is to focus the dialogue on the specific issues of conflict. • In negotiation there are integrative issues and distributive issues. • Integrative refers to issues that benefit all parties. • Distributive refers to issues where one party will benefit if the other makes a concession.
The process of bringing in a third, neutral party, to the conflict. Outside parties help clarify the root of the problem. The intervener divides issues into integrative and distributive. Discussion is directed first toward the integrative issues. Integrative issues build trust and trust help resolve distributive issues. Intervention allows conflicting parties to make concessions without embarrassment. Intervention
Resolution 1. One party can withdraw their demand. 2. One party can impose its views. 3. Both parties can compromise. 4. One party can convince the other of Rightness. 5. The group can dissolve. • None represent true resolution and only contribute to accumulation of conflict.
Conflict is Inherent and Inevitable in Relationships • We all have unique perception of the world. • Yet we all share a world in common. • One person’s perceptions about things are sometimes very much different from others perceptions. • Discussing issues which are most important, are the most difficult. • 1. Love. • 2. Death. • 3. Perceptions are idiosyncratic.
Accumulation of Conflict • Conflict that is not resolved accumulates over time. • As the conflict over important matters (that we can’t talk about) accumulates, conflict about trivial matters (that we can talk about) increases. • Over time so much conflict can accumulate that resolving each issue causes emotional damage.
Dialectics of Interpersonal Conflict Resolution • Dialectics is one of the oldest forms of logic. • For every idea (thesis) there is a counter idea (antithesis). • If the thesis and antithesis compete, there is never true resolution and conflict can go on indefinitely.
Using the Dialectical Conflict Resolution Method • Cooperation is the key to dialectical conflict resolution. • The thesis and antithesis must cooperate to develop a new idea (synthesis).
Four Steps To Resolve Conflict • Admit the tension. 2. Ask your partner for help. 3. Assume conflict accumulation. 4. Cooperate in planning a solution strategy.
Feelings vs. Judgments Communication of judgment leads to defensiveness and escalation A judgment is a feeling that is inadequately understood or inadequately expressed Friends or intimate partners want to know our feelings