Interpersonal Communication Chapter 8 Shannon Garner Crystal Norman Dayna Northington Caisa Pope
Introduction • Regardless of the setting or structure, collaboration depends on effective interaction among those involved. • Effective communication is essential to most aspects of any professional success.
Models of Communication • Common Attributes • Communication Types
Common Attributes Human communication: the means by which information is transmitted from one person to another. Communication is a process of exchanging information between the sender and the receiver. The message is the content of the communicative act.
Verbal Messages: printed or spoken words. Nonverbal Messages: behaviors other than words. Noise: anything that interferes or distorts the ability to send or receive messages. Continuous Feedback: while sending a message, the sender receives information back related to that message.
Communication Types • Unilateral Communication • Speaker provides information to the listener (I.e., t.v., p.a. announcements) • Directive Communication • Speaker sends information to the listener who indicates receipt and comprehension of the message. (I.e., teacher-student) • Transactional Communication • Two way messaging – simultaneous sending and receiving of message.
Frame of Reference • Your past experiences, acquired attitudes and beliefs, personal qualities, past and present feelings, and expectations for others affect what and how you observe and perceive, and ultimately how you respond and act. • It is your predisposition to respond in some particular manner to a particular situation.
The specific discipline into which you were socialized (special education, school psychology, math, reading) and through which you prepared for a particular professional role (classroom teacher, occupational therapist, speech and language specialist, school psychologist) also contributes elements to your frame of reference.
Classroom Teacher • These individuals are likely to view their primary responsibilities as facilitating the progress of a group of students through a prescribed curriculum. Their studies emphasized curriculum, its scope and sequence, instructional methodology, techniques for group management, and strategies for delivering specific subject matter content.
Classroom Teacher cont. • Group instructional tasks and issues generally are prominent in their frames of reference.
Special Services Provider • These individuals probably emphasized individual variations in human development and learning, assessment of individual differences and learning needs, and intervention strategies to respond to unique primary responsibilities are to identify a student’s current level of functioning and learning needs,
Special Services Provider cont. • Then to design and deliver services tailored to meet those needs. They tend to focus on unique needs of individual students.
Classroom Teachers and Special Services Provider • Because of these individual’s frames of reference, their differences may have a profound impact on how they interact with one another. Awareness of these variations and sensitivity to their influences are essential. • Also, substantial differences also can characterize the frames of reference held by the various disciplines that provide special serves.
Classroom Teacher and Special Services Provider cont. • For example a speech and language specialist works individually with students, diagnosing the speech disability, designing interventions to remediate it, and perhaps delivering services in a one-on-one situation.
Classroom Teacher and Special Services Provider cont. • In contrast, an adaptive physical education specialist may focus on assessing a student’s general physical status and then design a program to maximize the strengths and reduce the deficits of the student. These services are usually delivered within the group of students served.
Frame of Reference in Multicultural Settings • Of equal or greater importance to your frame of reference is your cultural identity. It is readily observable. It includes the artifacts, achievements, and symbols of a people. • Culturally based value orientations may be viewed in relation to five primary dimensions.
Frame of Reference in Multicultual Settings cont. • It is expected that differences in orientation or frame of reference also occur within cultures due to the unique experiences of individual members of the cultural group. Yet there are general patterns and predominant values associated with specific cultures that tend to vary according to the five dimensions.
Dimensions or Culturally Based Value Orientations and Illustrative Variations
Human Nature Orientation • What is innate human nature? • Is it evil, a mix of evil and good, or good? • Human Being-Nature Orientation • How are human beings related to nature and the supernatural? • Are they dominated by nature, in harmony with nature, or mastering nature?
Dimensions or Culturally Based Values cont. • Time Orientation • What is the temporal element in human life? • Is a past, present, or future orientation most valued? • Purpose of Life Orientation • What is the purpose of human endeavor? • Is it primarily influenced by values of “being who you are,” growing/developing, or doing?
Dimensions of Culturally Based Values cont. • Relational Orientation • What is the characteristic mode for relationships with others? • Is it authoritarian, collaborative, or individualistic? • It is likely that you will find you are more aligned with certain individuals than others - cultural similarities and differences.
Dimensions of Culturally Based Values cont. • It is most important to understand that no tow people experience a single interaction in exactly the same way.
Selective Perception • It is impossible for anyone to process and internalize everything that occurs around them. You will have to select which stimuli you will attend to or experience in the situation. • Perception is a process for selecting, organizing, and interpreting all of the information available.
Selective Perception cont. • To be effective, these perceptual processes must be highly selective. • Everyone uses selective perception either consciously or unconsciously. • Generally, the biases in your frame of reference can enhance or inhibit your perception and thus your understanding of another’s situation.
Selective Perception cont. • The message for professionals who engage in collaborative activities is clear: Your own frame of reference may prevent you from understanding someone else’s communication. You can become more aware of how you perceive others’ communications and learn to consider multiple frames of reference by constantly
Selective Perception cont. • Challenging yourself to develop alternative explanations for others’ statements. • Continuing to remind yourself to think divergently and consider alternative meanings will help you to suspend judgment of others, critically examine your own perceptions, avoid making premature decisions or conclusions, and more
Selective Perception cont. • Accurately comprehend multiple elements of complex situations.
Communication Skills • Listening • Verbal • Nonverbal
Listening • Rationale for Listening • Factors that interfere with effective listening • Rehearsing a Response • Daydreaming • Stumbling on “Hot” words • Filtering Messages • Being Distracted by Extraneous Details
Listening, continued • Suggestions for Improving Listening Skills • Mentally rehearse the information • Categorize the information • Make notes of informational details • Use a signal as a cue to remember ideas • Good communicators are good listeners
Nonverbal Communication • 93% Rule • 7% verbal components; 38% vocal components; 55% facial expressions • Nonverbal Cues • Body movements • Vocal cues • Spatial relations • Minimal encouragers
Nonverbal Communication, Continued • Body movements • Eye contact, facial expressions, gestures, postures • Vocal Cues • Paralanguage: voice tone, pitch, volume, speech rhythm, pacing/tempo, use and timing of silence
Nonverbal Communication, Continued • Spatial Relations • Four spatial zones • Intimate • Personal • Social • Public • Minimal Encouragers • Words, phrases, silence, etc. to indicate listening and understanding of what someone is expressing and encourage continued communication.
PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION Nonverbal Communication Principles And Verbal Communication Principles
NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION PRINCIPLES • Congruence • Individualism
CONCRETENESS More likely to understand verbal interactions if they involve the exchange of specific information. Imprecise language is the cause of much miscommunication. NEUTRALITY Promotes the development of interpersonal trust because it conveys a nonjudgmental and accepting attitude. Positive evaluations and judgments can have undesirable effects on relationships similar to those with negative evaluations. VERBAL COMMUNICATION PRINCIPLES
SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVING YOUR COMMUNICATION SKILLS • Become a student of communication • Nurture and communicate openness • Keep communication meaningful • Use silence effectively • Adapt your communication to match the task and the relationship
Become a Student of Communication • Understanding or being aware of communication skills alone does not improve your communication. Only through self-reflection and continuing practice can you improve your skills. • Regardless of your knowledge or proficiency level after much practice, you will never fully master communication.
Nurture and Communicate Openness • Openness is your ability to suspend or eliminate judgment and evaluation of information and situations until you have explored adequately the various potential meanings and explanations. • Openness is centered upon setting aside your biases and explore various aspects of a situation before deciphering the message. In Acceptance, the focus is on eliminating judgments about people rather than deferring judgments about situations.
Use Silence Effectively • The definition of silence is the absence of verbal noise or talk. • Goodman suggest that the length of time between two speakers’ verbal expressions varies within each conversation, and the amount of silent time that qualifies as a “silence response” is relative to each conversation’s tempo and patterns of speech.
Alternatives to Silence • Interruptions: When one speaker disrupts another’s message in order to deliver his or her own. • Overtalk: When someone is speaking and another interrupts, there is a period of overtalk where both speakers are talking simultaneously until one relinquishes the conversation to the other.
Alternatives to Silence Cont. • Reduced verbal spacing: It is the pace of the turn taking in verbal interaction. It occurs when a new speaker begins talking during what is meant to be a brief pause in someone else’s speech.
Adapt Your Communication to Match the Task and the Relationship • Choose language that is clear and efficient. • Identify the information content that is needed. • Use verbal communication strategies that will best elicit the preferred responses. • As you collaborate in established or developing relationships, one of your responsibilities is to use communication strategies that will best facilitate the collaborative activity.
Summary • Effective communication is critical in all areas of life, and particularly essential to success as a school professional. • In preparing for collaborative interactions, you should come to understand your own and other’s frame of reference.