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I was working on a video for this session, but I just never worked out a good section for sarcasm. Also, seeing as how this topic is going to be online communications vs. other forms, well, the typed text is what we use. The next section is an edited version of my script. NOTE: There is a related topic on Yammer and the Assignment will be on Yammer. ___ Let me pose this question to you. What is communication? We think of this most naturally as two people talking. However, two people do not just talk. I am sure you have heard of body language. Scientists have systematically studied and codified facial expressions. There is also your stance, skin tone, hand movements, body movements, and more. All of this comes together as part of the non verbal communications people do when talking. This is not the end of person to person communications. Add to this the tone of voice, speed, and so on. For example, can you think of different meanings to the phrase "Hey, what are you doing?" depending on tone of voice? The harsh, accusing tone of someone who is surprised or angry would be very different than an inquisitive child, but they would use the same words. Then there are the words themselves. They each have meaning, their order, and pausing are important. There are many jokes on the importance of grammar and how a misplaced comma can completely change a sentence. The same is true of pauses in speech. All the things listed above are mixed together when transmitting a message in the communication process while using a verbal channel in face to face communications. Transmitting a message? Communications process? This is part of what communications classes call the Transactional View of the Process of Communications. [I'll have to attach some pics later. I made them for the video, but they are on a different machine.] In this, they study how the message is formulated, transmitted, received, and feedback is given. All of this takes place in some sort of a communication channel or set of channels, such as your voice and your body language as two channels in one communication. In all parts of this transactional view there is noise. When you think of something to say, you may drift off topic a bit, noise. If there are other people in the room it can be literal noise, but noise can a really interesting view or just a hot day. Then there is the noise of what the recipient thinks. Are they paying attention? Do they have memories associated with the topic at hand that are warping their view? Then there is feedback. If a person reacts strongly to a message with fear or surprise or joy it can be feedback without a single word of reply. Now, lets start peeling away the layers of all this. See, we are on the internet. We don't have all of this here. Facial expressions? Gone. Same with the rest of body language. Tone of voice is also vaporized in typed text. Reactions? Nothing until they type back. So in short, all that is left are the words and the noise. A person typing in a distracting environment is still distracted. Both sides can still feel something about the topic. Sights, sounds, taste, time of day, hunger, and all those other things are still there and still making noise. If two people are in the same room, and one says, "I hate you," what does it mean? Friends may say this jokingly, lovers may use it to mean the exact opposite, and people in a fight might mean it quite literally. But what if it is typed out alone? There is no way to know what the context is. In modern communications, there are some things that can add a little clarity. We call them emoticons, or promotional icons. They can add playful, happy, sad, and so on connotations. ;P :) (^ o ^) But there are still problems with these. You would never use an emoticon in a formal letter. They are also vague because it is not like they are really that standardized. What you are left with are squiggles typed on a page and a bunch of misunderstandings. This is where care and thought in what you type becomes a very important. You need to add back some of those expressive things. You also need to cut out others. One example is sarcasm. Sarcasm is a sharp, ironical taunt that is meant to mock or belittle. The word itself comes from "To tear flesh." And if you think about the verbal tearing of flesh, well, you can see why this would be bad. Things like sarcasm are very hard to carry out properly in rapid, typed communication. In speech, the difference between nasty, biting sarcasm and something more mild is tone of voice, expression, or cultural cues. Even inside one country with one language there are localized differences in this. This is why an OpenStudy Ambassador needs to be very careful of what they type. Pause for a moment and think, "If I saw this, with no explanation at all, what could it mean?" Even with friends, this can be a problem. What is posted in a question can last for years. So in a question, playful sarcasm between friends can look like an argument. In chat or messages, there is more room for it, but you still need to be careful. Another thing to think about is positive messages as opposed to negative ones. The phrase "That is a stupid way to do it" can be misunderstood. While you may mean how they did something, the person could think you mean they are stupid. More positive messages are things like, "Did you know there is an easier way to do that," or "Hey, can I show you another example of doing that?" These are positive, helpful messages that leave out the dangerous word, stupid. "You" language is another one. You this and you that are accusations. When someone posts a test, saying "You can't do that!" puts them on the defensive. "I wouldn't do that. There are teachers on here and people can get in trouble with the site for posting tests." is a less accusatory reply. Offer to help review material. Be supportive rather than confrontational. All of this still gets the core of the code of conduct across. There is less finger pointing and more asking. The results are generally better this way. Some additional references on related topics such as I language will be provided. You need to look at these. As always, these basics will also apply in other aspects of your life. Asking or help and offering it are far better than demanding help or insisting things be done a certain way. These skills are taught in business and communications classes in an effort to make better leaders. Some useful links: What is I language: http://www.dealingwithdifficultpeople.org/i-language-2/ The use of I language in relationship building: http://verysmartgirls.com/relationship-communication-skills/i-language-series-responsibility-and-building-relationships/ My earlier post on first impressions: http://openstudy.com/study#/updates/52890468e4b0c6de5ca60cdb Dr. Ranee Kaur Banerjee teaches communications. Her information is very similar to what is in my assorted, American made, communications textbooks. Dr. Banerjee is in India. As you can see, these same concepts are used in different parts of the world. What noise is: http://rkb-lbc-09.blogspot.com/2013/08/communication-noise.html Business Writing Skills: http://rkb-lbc-09.blogspot.com/2010/12/very-successful-hr-recruiter-once-told.html Communication models: http://rkb-lbc-09.blogspot.com/2013/08/what-is-model.html and http://rkb-lbc-09.blogspot.com/2012/08/transmission-models-introduction.html
That is very well explained @e.mccormick - I appreciate that first of all. And yes, I agree that it is important for us , Ambassadors to be careful and think what we are typing while responding or replying or posting a comment in a post/chat . If a comment is misunderstood by someone, then it can lead to a major deal. As, with social networking, the expressions, the body language and the actions associated with the body itself have gone except the use of emoticons. So, it has become necessary for us to focus on the language and way of communication itself. As E.mccormick mentioned that a single comma can change the meaning of the whole point that we are trying to refer to and hence, we need to be careful about this too. I will wait for the assignment to be given to us! And yes.. Those links are a lot helpful for this too @e.mccormick
The assignment is on the Yammer site and will be replied to there. You will understand why when you read it.
This is very very helpful. Thank you!
The core of what an Ambassador does is communication. That makes this one of the most critical topics. It will come up again in things like peer reviews done on Yammer, other lessons, etc. After the first month of key topics like this, the training will be less frequent. But we want to keep some going on to help the Ambassadors to keep improving. And since the core skill is communications, well, it will have to show up at other times.
Eric, is there exactly any specific time period for the training? Like 1 month, 2 month .. ?
@mathslover Supposedly the final group of ambassadors is to be announced on April 1st. Very helpful, thank you Eric. :3
Running out of time eh?
Well, we wanted to go with things on the 1st of this month and have it run for 4 weeks for the initial training. However, there was another batch of site related problems that caused some delays, so things did not start quite as planned. The first four weeks are meant to be the crash course in some basics. After that, we will have some other training topics at times to keep things going.
Thanks, Eric. You're a pretty good example of a writer. It's good to see that eloquence was covered early in the training: it is very vital when someone is representing not only organisation, but *themselves* too.
great job done @e.mccormick you have explained this very well. we all ambis really appreciate the efforts you are taking for this training sessions...thank you.:)
Well, I have had the same information over and over again. In your intro to psychology classes they talk about how people react to accusations, nurturing, etc. There is a lot on behavioral theory as well. When you take more sociology classes, like Social Problems or Marriage and Family Relations, you see a lot of this applied in how issues happen and are addressed. In Interpersonal Communications you also see similar things. In fact, Interpersonal Communications is sort of the communications cousin to Marriage and Family Relations in sociology. As you continue on to classes like Human Relations in Organizations and Organizational Behavior, they bring out more specifics to business situations, the needs for ethics, the advantages of diversity, and so on. Still, it is all based on the application of behavioral theory, human reaction to threatening situations, group think, and so on. By getting a good grasp on some of these basics you can make conscious choices about how you interact with others. That can help you in being ready for any classes you take on the topic. It can also help you improve in areas that businesses are worried about. I plan on doing a lesson on the importance of soft skills as my first post-initial training session. The goal is to show how learning more about communications and people can result in being a better choice for promotion.
That was something that was very new to me! I loved going through the articles posted above! Learnt a lot! Thanks a lot @e.mccormick .
@AkashdeepDeb Good! Just remember the assigment part on Yammer if you have not gotten to it yet.
Yes, I'll submit it as soon as possible. I have to write a few Diagnostics for my AP exams coming up and am slightly busy. But I'll submit it before 7th April! Thanks. :)