Quiz Question 1 (5 points) Which of the following is an example of psychological noise?Question 1 options:A) Benito’s coworker does not understand what he tells her because nearby colleagues are speaking too loud.B) Benito’s coworker does not understand his meaning when he uses technical accounting terms.C) Benito’s coworker does not understand what he tells her because she has a pounding headache.D) Benito’s coworker dismisses his product suggestions because she thinks he is too inexperienced.E) Benito’s coworker does not remember what he tells her about his schedule because she is rushing to get to a meeting.Question 2 (5 points) Karen and her team share ideas about how their team should approach work, and they spend some time debating which ideas to adopt. What stage is the team at?Question 2 options:A) NormingB) PerformingC) StormingD) PerformingE) ReformingQuestion 3 (5 points) Whenever he has to present a proposal to his managers, LeRoy is able to distance himself from his ideas and accept criticism without becoming defensive. What process enables LeRoy to do this?Question 3 options:A) consolidationB) associationC) disassociationD) formationE) reflectionQuestion 4 (5 points) _____ is the process of interpreting messages from others into meaning.Question 4 options:A) DecodingB) EncodingC) TranslatingD) FilteringE) CommunicatingQuestion 5 (5 points) Each person involved in interpersonal communication is both encoding and decoding meaning.Question 5 options:TrueFalseQuestion 6 (5 points) Which of the following best describes the performing stage of team development?Question 6 options:A) All four members of the team discuss what the team roles and goals should be.B) Nick and Julie present alternate ways of assigning work, and the team debates the issue.C) Nick, Julie, Raul, and Ming each share their background at the company.D) The four group members work at their assigned tasks efficiently and work together as needed.E) Nick and Ming draft a work plan, while Raul and Julie write guidelines for the group to consider.Question 7 (5 points) Venting negative feelings is one of the most effective strategies for de-escalating anger.Question 7 options:TrueFalseQuestion 8 (5 points) Teams rapidly develop shared perceptions and commitment during the _____ stage of team development.Question 8 options:A) NormingB) PerformingC) StormingD) PerformingE) ReformingQuestion 9 (5 points) High-performing teams go through repeated cycles of disassociation and association.Question 9 options:TrueFalseQuestion 10 (5 points) Decoding is the process of converting meaning into messages composed of words and nonverbal signals.Question 10 options:TrueFalseQuestion 11 (5 points) Erik is a manager who organizes his department into teams at the beginning of September. By December, he worries because the teams are still having conflict and do not seem very productive. What would be the best advice to give Erik?Question 11 options:A) Conclude that his workers are not team-oriented people. Abandon the experiment before work falls further behind.B) Be patient because the teams are in the storming stage. Give them time to reach the norming and performing stages.C) Conclude that he made a mistake in the makeup of the teams. Reassign people to new teams and start over.D) Be patient because the teams are in the norming stage. Give them time to reach the more productive performing stage.E) Conclude that the teams are spending too little time on work. Start to sit in meetings and direct activities.Question 12 (5 points) Which of the following is characteristic of the norming stage of team development?Question 12 options:A) Team members get to know each other and try to gain acceptance.B) Team members share competing ideas about the task and roles, and conflict occurs.C) Team members easily manage to reach consensus even when there is conflict.D) Team members are still uncertain about what is required of them.E) Team members agree upon mutual goals and individual responsibilities.Question 13 (5 points) All outgoing messages are encoded and all incoming messages are decoded through a filter of lifetime experiences.Question 13 options:TrueFalseQuestion 14 (5 points) Marianna perceives that Ed, the meeting facilitator, seems to have chosen a side. As a result, Marianna may be reluctant to share her opinions.Question 14 options:TrueFalseQuestion 15 (5 points) Ayesha says, “You’re so generous!” in a sarcastic tone. Mario decides that Ayesha thinks he is cheap. What process has Mario just completed?Question 15 options:A) DecodingB) EncodingC) TranslatingD) FilteringE) CommunicatingQuestion 16 (5 points) The basic principles of team communication all depend on a strong speaking-centered approach.Question 16 options:TrueFalseQuestion 17 (5 points) Effective teams spend about half their time bonding by talking about social activities.Question 17 options:TrueFalseQuestion 18 (5 points) Loud music, nearby conversations, and the sound of traffic are examples of physiological noise in the communication process.Question 18 options:TrueFalseQuestion 19 (5 points) Which of the following scenarios illustrates how an effective team works?Question 19 options:A) Kelly, Bob, and Jill have learned that conflict wastes their time.B) Ken disagrees with what Rami and Angela are planning, but he decides to keep quiet and see how it works out.C) Debby, Claire, and Adam are so dedicated to getting the job done that they never have meetings.D) Leah, Ray, and Ernesto spend time each day talking about their goals and values.E) Maria, Nirupa, and Glen make sure to spend at least half of their meeting time discussing their favorite baseball team.Question 20 (5 points) When team members experience conflict because they are trying to make sense of competing ideas about how the team should work, they are in the storming stage of team development.Question 20 options:TrueFalse
Communication is a part of everyday life which guides all our relationships. Hence, the importance of communication is not restricted merely to family or friends but also has enormous significance in the business world. A large number of studies suggest that the professional life and its outcomes are decisively influenced by the way we communicate with subordinates, colleagues and managers. We often get stressed in our professional field due to a number of reasons. While we do not really want to hurt the sentiments of others, still we end up being rude or harsh, resulting in breakdown in communication and rupturing professional relationships. All efforts to bridge the gap and rebuild the relationship do not yield satisfying results. There are several reasons for such breakdown in communication. Stress is not the only reason for communication breakdown. Essentially, if the flow of communication can take various modes without the pressure of any external factor, it could be avoided. Hence, it is highly critical that words chosen to communicate, especially during testing situations, crucially match the needs of the participants and demands of the situation. This paper studies the different kinds of communication styles and focuses most essentially on the assertive style, mainly in business. It also provides examples as guidance to assertive communication and imparts knowledge on saying ‘no’ assertively.Full TextTranslate
HeadnoteCommunication is a part of everyday life which guides all our relationships. Hence, the importance of communication is not restricted merely to family or friends but also has enormous significance in the business world. A large number of studies suggest that the professional life and its outcomes are decisively influenced by the way we communicate with subordinates, colleagues and managers. We often get stressed in our professional field due to a number of reasons. While we do not really want to hurt the sentiments of others, still we end up being rude or harsh, resulting in breakdown in communication and rupturing professional relationships. All efforts to bridge the gap and rebuild the relationship do not yield satisfying results. There are several reasons for such breakdown in communication. Stress is not the only reason for communication breakdown. Essentially, if the flow of communication can take various modes without the pressure of any external factor, it could be avoided. Hence, it is highly critical that words chosen to communicate, especially during testing situations, crucially match the needs of the participants and demands of the situation. This paper studies the different kinds of communication styles and focuses most essentially on the assertive style, mainly in business. It also provides examples as guidance to assertive communication and imparts knowledge on saying ‘no’ assertively.IntroductionThe flow of communication is governed by numerous factors. The most important participants in the process of communication are the sender and the receiver. Communication starts when the sender has some ideas that originate in his mind. Soon the ideas get converted into words and the process is termed encoding. The sender uses various channels, both auditory and visual, and takes forward the messages to be conveyed. The receiver receives the message through the process of decoding and provides feedback. Hence, a successful communication process takes place and the message is conveyed. But sometimes there occur some hindrances in the process of communication between the sender and the receiver which completely blocks the flow of communication. This might occur due to several reasons understood as barriers which do not allow the successful delivery of the message to the receiver.Koneru (2008, p. 22) discusses how impactful barriers are in communication. He writes, “understandably there are numerous problems or hurdles and frequent errors on the way in the communication process leading to misunderstandings in communication. These problems usually arise because of wrong assumptions made about the sender or the message itself.” If these barriers are not attempted to overcome, the smooth flow of communication would come to a halt. He further adds that “these barriers are consciously or unconsciously created either by the sender or the receiver. These barriers tend to distort the semantic aspect of the message or create confusion.” Hence it is essential that both the sender and the receiver are careful in order to make the communication flow successful.The communication pattern between the sender and the receiver ought to observe sensitivity. Both the participants must take care of the sentiments while still maintaining and regarding the views, wants and rights of each other. Participants who follow the process are assertive people and the special quality which assists in doing so is termed as assertiveness. Francis (2012, p. 75) opines that assertive communication is an attitude that is not achieved over night. It is a continuous process which is acquired only by self-examining and reciprocating according to circumstances which are neither offending nor demanding. He writes that assertive communication “involves expressing what you think, how you feel and what you want with clarity and without sounding too demanding. (…) Assertiveness ensures that you are not hurt, used or violated. This allows you to engage respectfully with other people, without ignoring your own needs.”In fact, assertiveness is one of the many examples of soft skills. Soft skills are personality traits and attributes dealing with emotions and the many ways of emotions which directly affect our behavior. Our behavior governs our dealings with various people, situations and again various feelings. Assertiveness, in the same way, is a consequence of a positive flow in our thought process to communicate well with others.According to Schwartz (2003, p. 19), assertiveness is being responsible. He believes that “assertive people take responsibility for expressing their opinions, and make every effort to communicate successfully even when their ideas or wishes are in conflict with the ideas of others.” Taking responsibility for each other’s communication is a big task which embodies many aspects like emotions, moods, interpersonal skills and many more into its circumference. Communication becomes spontaneous and the quality and mode alter at one point. Assertiveness holds consistency and never allows any fissure in communication.Assertive communication is an expression, an expression of being honest and direct. Bishop (2013, p. 75) views “assertive communication as expressing yourself concisely and clearly in a direct, honest and spontaneous way. It also means matching your vocabulary to the person receiving the communication.” Taking control of one’s message and strengthening self-confidence in using ‘I’ statements more willingly than ‘you’ can reinforce individual opinion and inaugurate the brighter side of the conversation. For example, as Bishop states “rather than, ‘don’t you think it would be a good idea to research this further?’ say ‘I think more research should be put into this'” (p. 80).However, assertive behavior does not meet the criteria of communication every time. Especially in business world and more specifically when different cultures meet, communication pattern changes altogether depending on the context. Hence being assertive to people who are shy and more introvert, the connection and the feedback and other factors greatly vary or may not be pleasantly accepted. The book by TAFE NSW – Access Division proposes “there are times, however, when you may have to be more circumspect. People who are shy, sensitive or insecure may experience difficulty in coping with assertive communication unless introduced to it gradually. Use assertion only in those places and at those times that are appropriate to the people and the situation involved” (p. 47).Paterson describes different forms of communication styles with examples including passive communication style, aggressive communication, and lastly assertive style of communication. And he concludes that neither passive nor aggressive form of communication pattern is satisfactory as both communicative styles result in negative effects on our relationships. He elucidates that it is only assertive style, which, though difficult to learn, offers unwavering benefits like building relations, handling situations and many more.Spouse et al. (2008, p. 217) convey that “assertive communication is the key to successful relationships for the client, the family, the nurse and other colleagues.” They claim that a person has to understand the situation first and practice to express own feelings and thoughts regarding a situation. Only after stipulating the request one must wait for the consequences. These are a few steps to learn how to be assertive.Communication StylesGreat communication skills happen to be one of the most expensive assets one can deliver mainly in the business world. When one speaks with confidence and clarity a greater number of risk factors like making errors and communication flaws are reduced. However, there are no communication tools in particular that can provide any antidote to imperfection in personality and communication styles. Yet the fact that the different styles of communication are largely inborn and also learned from experiences and influenced by cultures is widely known and accepted. Researchers, authors and studies support various kinds of communication style in business. To facilitate the comprehension of assertive communication style, it is crucial to identify it with the other two styles of communication. Each communication style is different from each other and has diverse consequences not only in relationships but also in business dealings. Following are the three different patterns of communication, namely, passive, aggressive, and assertive, discussed briefly along with their corollary.Passive CommunicationPassive communicators are not expressive and honest people. Such people do not rely on their own abilities of communication and generally tend to disregard their own rights. This encourages others to violate their rights and dominate them. Passive communicators generally speak in an apologetic manner and are hesitant to open up with their feelings. So, when there are anger-prompting situations or situations giving rise to hurtfulness and anti-tolerance, passive individuals tend not to respond overtly. Rather, they unconsciously build up complaints, objections and vexations within them which is likely to burst up and which creates unacceptable behavior provoking damaged relationships replete with shame and guilt, and hence getting back to being passive. While passive communication seems appeasing and untroubling, business relationships actually get highly affected by such behavior mainly during team work. Hasson and Silk (2017, p. 117) explain, “We try to protect our core by pretending that we don’t have any thoughts, feelings, or needs. We refuse to risk showing up and letting our opinions and needs influence decision making in our relationships and collaboration. In a team context, passive communication sounds like ‘Whatever you guys want, I don’t really want to be part of this.’ Often it sounds like silence.” Hiding feelings and not reciprocating with ideas and suggestions obviously show less or no interest in communication or at work. Hence, the results can be drastic. Some of the phrases likely used by passive communicators are “You have more experience than I do, I don’t think I can, this is probably wrong, but…, you are always right” (Gibson, 2012, p. 143). Passive communicators show minimal body language. They nod with smile to pose their agreement even though they don’t agree with others’ opinions or suggestions and tend to speak in low volume. Asher rightly feels that “passive communicators feel powerless and unable to fully get their messages across to listeners” (Ashar, 2010, p. 63). They find it very difficult to say ‘no’ easily and always submit to saying yes even if they do not really want. Such pattern of communication lands them in trouble and there occurs a lot of mismanagement which they themselves cannot overrule. Hence, it further leads to a lose-win situation.Aggressive CommunicationAggressive communicators are known for their domineering attitude. They are extremely ambitious and demanding. Aggressive communicators always command things to fall in place as per their wishes and if that does not happen, the situations seem to get out of control. Their working style is characterized by bullying and intimidation. They seek to win arguments by volume rather than rational debate (Mikoluk, 2013). In contrast to passive communication, the aggressive style of communication involves strong advancement of their feelings and bold expression of their opinions in such a way that they believe it is their right to violate the right of others. Hasson and Silk (2017) claim that aggressive communicators generally tend to cease others’ feelings and do not allow them to open up. They convey that an aggressive communicator says, “‘I am going to show you who I am, but I am going to control the way you get to respond to me.’ (…) This is self-protection on offense rather than defense.” Interestingly in a team work, aggressive communicator sounds like, “This is how it is going to be, folks. We are doing it my way” (p. 117). With negligible or zero tolerance power towards losing or humiliation, these overtly expressive communicators interrupt frequently during communication to mark their presence and keep their demands to be fulfilled first. Phrases denoting the critical expressions of their aggressive attitude include “I own you, you owe me, and you must/ought to, better, should, don’t ask why just do it” and so on (Gibson, 2012, p. 143). The domineering attitude of aggressive people clearly manifests in their tone and verbal cues. Aggressive people candidly blame other people for their behavior and feelings. While in general communication, aggressive style can somewhat be manageable, though not always, in business communication, aggressive communication style leads to bad team work and often leads to conflict. Aggressive communicators adamantly say ‘no’ without any proper balance in communication. Hence, when others’ emotions and opinions are devalued by the aggressive communicators as a result of always needing to be right and reactive, such style is generally not recommended, “as it results in a win-lose situation where you get your way at the expense of hurting someone else” (Janasz, 2012, p. 150).Assertive CommunicationAssertive communication is a different style of communication pattern and is considered to be the best form of communication practice. This communication style maintains a balance between the passive and the aggressive styles of communication. It tends to unbolt a positive attitude towards self and others. Assertive people are good listeners and good speakers as they believe in respecting others’ opinion and putting their own views in the most peaceful and confident way before others. Hence, assertive communication brings in long-term happiness in relationships making them strong and valued. Assertive people are emotionally intelligent and progress with culturing emotional welfare among others with their communication. With a wealthy mindset, assertive people are rich with thoughts, emotions and feelings, which they take charge of and also set boundaries of being perched and sophisticated. Neilson (2008, p. 69) rightly says that “assertive behavior is acting in a manner that allows a person to try to get what he or she wants but does not violate the rights of others. An assertive person often gives people feedback about how their behavior is affecting him or her.”Assertive communication in business teaches techniques to the speaker to speak only what is required and significant and at the same time diminishing the chances of feeling attacked to the listener. It is one of the most essential and positive approaches of communication which embodies not how one speaks but what content one speaks. Brounstein et al. (2014, p. 221) state that “in business, all style and no substance often doesn’t go far. You need both of them to come across positively to others.” In business, assertive communication delivers the most powerful and positive form of relationships and is action-oriented. Phrases opted by the assertive people include “I choose to, I believe in working together, let’s find the solution, working upon it” and so on. Gestures and tone of assertive people are relaxed yet confident, with direct eye contact and smiles at regular intervals. With good listening and superior negotiating skills, assertive people tend never to hamper other actions or feelings nor sacrifice their own. This style of communication does not hurt either of the participants while at the same time provides a solution to both the parties. Hence, it is termed as a win-win approach to settle communications which fosters enduring bonding with colleagues, superiors and external parties. In business world, assertiveness connects with a large number of people through positive communication and good negotiating skills. It also encourages professionals to be world-class leaders and also eradicates the fear and stress which one generally has from a number of factors like boss, customers, clients, colleagues and external parties.How to Say No EasilyThe statement that in business world, saying yes is the only option is not completely true. Many a time, one tends to say a ‘yes’ even if he/she does not want to say ‘yes’ truly and honestly whether it is working late hours, taking up more responsibilities, or doing a senior colleague’s job while still struggling to finish one’s own, agreeing to an idea even if one is not satisfied, or accepting loads given by boss and so on. One says a halfhearted or in other ways a completely empty hearted ‘yes’ as they do not want to offend your co-professionals and of course also because they do not wish to be yelled at by the boss. They believe saying ‘yes’ is an easy way to escape the unseen yet sensed consequences. At this expository point, the question that arises is how to say no in such a way that it tends to create a win-win approach where neither of the participants sacrifices his/her needs.Let us find the solution by citing these examples. Suppose your boss gives you a little more pressure on assigning you more work. You are of course not going to take in that extra burden. But saying “no I simply can’t afford to take more responsibilities because you have already overloaded me with (name of the project)” sounds aggressive and denotes clearly you do not like what you are doing. An assertive communicator would probably act wisely and may answer something like this “I appreciate your gesture of believing me that I am the right person to take these responsibilities but I thought I would rather take (name of another project) towards the week end and start working on it”. This answer signifies your honor towards your boss and also shows your interest and ever readiness towards doing innovative every time.Let us take another example. Many a time in business arena, coworkers take you a little too granted especially if they are of the opposite gender. Now supposing your coworker desperately needs your help on some project but at the same moment, for some emergency reasons you are not being able to help him/her. Also you are not feeling it to be a very good idea to reveal the reasons. Saying, “If you cannot move ahead with the project why don’t you take in a different one which you are comfortable in” would sound rude. Also the statement might as well strain a good relationship by sounding superior and making your coworker feel inferior. The best way you can avoid the situation and say ‘no’ politely may be by saying, “It sounds interesting, I would love to provide you with the solutions but the fact is the field you are working on is not where I excel or expertise in. Hence, I would not like to further entangle you with more doubts”. This would clear your feelings towards helping him/her and also not injure the working relationship. A good co-worker would always want the wellbeing of other professionals.It is very important to be assertive mainly while working in team. Because there are different mindsets working together. A slight miscommunication may pull down the whole project. Most often team members are replete with ideas and suggestions and each team member expects his/her suggestions to be accepted by everyone. But supposing the team leader already has a fixed plan to be carried out, in what words would he portray his feelings. Saying, “I already have plans and all of you are bound to follow the same” will denote a dominating team leader who does not know to influence but dominate. In such cases, backing up the plans with an appropriate reason and a strong one helps sound professional and also assists in sticking to the original plan. How about saying something like this, “I thank you for your wonderful suggestions but you know that the deadline is already approaching and we need to work on this a little faster to avoid the last minute rushes. Hence, at this point I suggest we move on with plan A’ which is faster and more efficient. However, I would still like to know your take on this.”No one would really appreciate being spoken to rudely or being declined every time. In business it is crucial to understand the fact that a firm runs successfully only through proper communication keeping everyone’s interests, motives, feelings, thoughts, opinions and rights safe and secured without hurting. Though it is also a fact that it is not possible to safeguard everyone’s flow of thoughts and emotions and also not possible to please at the same time, yet putting one’s opinions and thoughts and respecting other opinions at many places fosters better understanding and relationships mainly in the business world.Assertive Sentences to Be Put into Practice1. I am not being able to provide you with an answer right now. Would you mind checking back with me?2. I would love to, but I am unable to …3. I am not being able to commit that right now.4. I really appreciate you asking me, but I cannot do it.5. Thanks for that gesture. But I really cannot.6. I would love to, but I am overcommitted.7. I don’t think I am the right person to help you with that.ConclusionBoth passive and aggressive styles of communication in business are noxious and unhealthy. Both the styles not only affect team spirit and group efforts but also curb core beliefs and commitments of honor. Lack of assertiveness can impinge on relationships mainly in the professional field and can bring disastrous results to self and the organization as a whole. The quality of life deteriorates as failing to communicate effectively can lead to not getting what one deserves. Practicing assertiveness in a communicative style towards presenting one’s views creates a win-win effect in every aspect of life mainly in the business world. Many times during the learning process, to be assertive and confident, people go over the top with being more aggressive and over emotional as they understand the win-win concept only as winning over debates and arguments, thus giving rise to further conflicts. Hence, they should attempt to comprehend that there is a fine line of difference between dominating and keeping viewpoints and also establishing relationships without any fissure. Assertiveness is a skill, ability and an attribute which can be learned only through practice. It is not something that can be imbibed overnight. Hard labor, eagerness to learn and carrying on with positive mindset can ease stress level in communication, promoting better and efficient business deals. Assertiveness provides guidance which preserves self-rights, needs and views and also safeguards others’ opinion, thus promoting effective communication in business. 0
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