• schrodinger
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  • e.mccormick
\(\large \text{Training Progression}\) Parts 2 and 3 of the training are related to each other. They both deal with communications and part 2 is needed in preparation for part 3. Part 2 deals with Qualitative Analysis. When you look at the quality of something you look at the value, form, etc. of it. Analysis should be self explanatory, but in an academic sense it means you are going to break something down and look at the parts. The overall goal is to get you to slow down a bit and think actively about what you are communicating as well as what other people are. Part 3 deals with Conflict Resolution. This is the topic everyone keeps asking about. How do you deal with people who want to break the rules? How do you keep from making things worse? Conflict means everything from a minor argument all the way to all out war. We will address the communications aspects of it, mostly in an online sense, and give some realistic pointers on how to be part of a solution rather than a problem. \(\large \text{Introduction}\) The rest of this is an informational post related to the second assignment. The goal is to get you thinking about communications form a little more technical aspect. As noted above, this is called qualitative analysis. I will talk a little more about qualitative analysis on Yammer. As before, I will post a new lesson in a week, but you will have 2 weeks to reply to any questions that are part of it. The actual assignment part will happen on Yammer, which will help me make sure everyone is logged in there. All questions I ask here are rhetorical. However, if you have questions about the topics below, feel free to ask them. \(\large \text{Lesson}\) 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. 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. Transactional View: 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? Noise: 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. About all the feelings you see on the internet: 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, so the words can have several meanings when spoken and it all depends on tone of voice and the relationship between the people. When you are talking to someone, do you actively think about what you are saying and how you are saying it? Generally not. You just say things. And this becomes a problem on the internet, which is why you need to slow down and think more. What if that same "I hate you" is typed out alone? There is no way to know what the context is. That is the problem with fast replies without thought. 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. I say again, 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. Rapid, poor reply to even the though of sarcasm: Real sarcasm, which should not be used: 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. \(\large \text{Summary}\) Thinking about what is said is the first step to improving communications. This is true at home, it the work place, etc. As such, we want you to take more time as an Ambassador when making replies. A deeper understanding of how people can understand or misunderstand what you say to them is very important. It is a preparatory step for the next topic, conflict resolution. \(\large \text{References}\) 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: Business Writing Skills: (Relates to why the quality of communications is important) Communication models: If you want a more in depth look at communications, here is a free, 100 page workbook on the topic. It has lots of valuable information. While not required, I highly recommend going through this book to at least get a feel for the seven challenges the author goes over: The PDF of that 100 page workbook version is also on Yammer. Search for ambi training and you will find it.
  • e.mccormick
@jordan123321 edeted you into this one too...

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