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Business communication in collective.

  1. Conversation as the main form of communication and its types.

Conversation is a form of interactive, spontaneous communication between two or more people who are following rules of etiquette.

Conversations are interactive because contributions to a conversation are response reactions to what has previously been said.

Conversations are spontaneous because a conversation proceeds, to some extent, and in some way, unpredictably. However, the scope of that spontaneity may legitimately be somewhat pre-limited for the purpose of expediency, e.g. a talk show or a debate.

Conversations follow rules of etiquette (Etiquette (  /ˈɛtɨkɛt/ or /ˈɛtɨkɪt/, French: [e.ti.kɛt]) is a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group.) because conversations are social interactions, and therefore depend on social convention. Failure to adhere to these rules devolves, and eventually dissolves the conversation.

Conversations are sometimes the ideal form of communication, depending on the participants’ intended ends. Conversations may be ideal when, for example, each party desires a relatively equal exchange of information, or when one party desires to question the other. On the other hand, if permanency or the ability to review such information is important, written communication may be ideal. Or if time-efficiency is most important, a speech may be preferable.

Classification Subject

Many conversations can be divided into four categories according to their major subject content:

  • Conversations about subjective ideas, which often serve to extend understanding and awareness.

  • Conversations about objective facts, which may serve to consolidate a widely-held view.

  • Conversations about other people (usually absent), which may be either critical, competitive, or supportive. This includes gossip.

  • Conversations about oneself, which sometimes indicate attention-seeking behaviour.

Practically, few conversations fall exclusively into one category. Nevertheless, the proportional distribution of any given conversation between the categories can offer useful psychological insights into the mind set of the participants.

Functions

Most conversations may be classified by their goal. Conversational ends may, however, shift over the life of the conversation.

  • Functional conversation is designed to convey information in order to help achieve an individual or group goal.

  • Small talk is a type of conversation where the topic is less important than the social purpose of achieving bonding between people or managing personal distance.

  • Banter is non-serious conversation, usually between friends, which may rely on humour or in-jokes at the expense of those taking part. The purpose of banter may at first appear to be an offensive affront to the other person's face. However, people engaging in such a conversation are often signaling that they are comfortable enough in each others' company to be able to say such things without causing harm. Banter is particularly difficult for those on the autism spectrum and those with semantic pragmatic disorder.

  1. Psychological requirements for the preparation to conversation.

Difficult conversations can be so scary to contemplate that many of us delay them until difficult conversations become impossible conversations. Here are some tips for preparing for difficult conversations.

m agine winning a million in the lottery, and telling somebody about it. That would be fun, I suspect. Or imagine returning from a space voyage, having visited strange new worlds, and telling someone about that. No problem there either.

Aerial view of the Charley River at its confluence with the Yukon. Meanders (bends of alternating curvature) create complexity in the flow of water in a river. One result is asymmetry in the channel profile, which causes erosive cutting at the outer bank of the meander, and deposition at the inner bank. Although these processes are relatively continuous, most of the changes in the river's course result from the periods ofbankfull flow — those times when the river is full to its banks. In bankfull flow, the channel is at capacity, but not at flood. (See Jeffrey F. Mount,California Rivers and Streams, University of California Press, November 1995, chapter 4.)

Something similar happens in human relationships at work, and probably elsewhere. Change is more or less continuous, but probably the bulk of the dramatic changes in relationships happen at those times when "we need to talk." Catastrophic change — corresponding to flood — is rather more rare for most workplace relationships. Photo by Mark Dornblaser, courtesyU.S. Geological Survey.

Now imagine having a heart-to-heart conversation with someone at work with whom you have a troubled relationship. Imagine telling him or her about what you find troubling. Now that's a bit trickier.

For most of us, even imagining that scene is painful.

As you imagined it, what did you notice in yourself? Did you feel warm? Did you feel your muscles tighten? Did your heart rate increase? Did you feel hungry, or nauseous, or did you want to get up and walk around, or maybe talk with a friend?

If you noticed any of these things, or anything similar, you can relax. Take a breath. That conversation didn't really happen. You're fine.

Even though you were only imagining the conversation, look at what happened! In a real conversation you might be even more aware of your reactions.

Reactions to these situations can complicate the task of getting through them. Here are some of the advantages of knowing your reactions and knowing how to manage them.

  • We can think about some difficult options, and make clearer assessments of those options.

  • We can choose to consider some options even though they're unpleasant.

  • We can generate insights and ideas that are more likely to surface while we're considering uncomfortable options.

  • We can rehearse tactics for difficult interactions.

  • We're more likely to enter these situations prepared, because preparation itself becomes easier.

Reactions to difficult conversations can complicate the task of getting through them

Knowing how we react to difficult conversations, and knowing how to manage our reactions, can thus be very helpful. Here are some tips for contemplating difficult conversations.

  • Choose a safe and comfortable place.

  • Breathe.

  • Notice your breathing from time to time and keep it clear and steady.

  • Imagine the conversation in detail. Where it is, what's in the room, what the lighting is like, what your partner looks like, how your voices sound.

  • Tell yourself that you can stop any time you want.

  • Actually stop, just to practice stopping, or if your imagining gets too difficult.

  • Imagine the situation more than once. Notice similarities and differences between different imaginings.

  • When you re-imagine the conversation, recall past imaginings. Keep what fits, and discard what doesn't.

  • To make it a little more realistic, when you're ready, invite a buddy to sit with you or nearby or on call by phone while you practice.

When you finally have the difficult conversation, remember that the problems between you are probably not yours alone. Other people are almost always involved in any difficulty between two. Maybe the two of you can work that part out together. That collaboration can help bring you closer.

We Have to Talk: A Step-By-Step Checklist for Difficult Conversations

  

by Judy Ringer

May 2006

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T hink of a conversation you’ve been putting off. Got it? Great. Then let’s go.

There are dozens of books on the topic of difficult, crucial, challenging, important (you get the idea) kinds of conversations. Those times when you know you should talk to someone, but you don’t. Maybe you’ve tried before and it went badly. Or maybe you fear that talking will only make the situation worse. Still, there’s a feeling of being stuck, and you’d like to free up that stuck energy for more useful purposes. There are many well-written and informative books on how to have these important, crucial, and difficult conversations. At the end of the article, I list them. Get at least one and read it. They’re all great.

What you have here is a brief synopsis of best practice strategies: a checklist of action items to think about before going into the conversation; some useful concepts to practice during the conversation; and some tips and suggestions to help you’re energy stay focused and flowing, including possible conversational openings.

You’ll notice one key theme throughout: you have more power than you think.

Working on yourself: How to prepare for the conversation Before going into the conversation, ask yourself some questions:

1. What is your purpose for having the conversation? What do you hope to accomplish? What would be an ideal outcome?

You may think you have honorable goals, like educating an employee or increasing connection with your teen, only to notice that your language is excessively critical or condescending. You think you want to support, but you end up punishing. Some purposes are more useful than others. Work on yourself so that you enter the conversation with a supportive purpose.

2. What assumptions are you making about this person’s intentions? You may feel intimidated, belittled, ignored, disrespected, or marginalized, but be cautious about assuming that that was their intention. Impact does not necessarily equal intent.

3. What “buttons” of yours are being pushed? Are you more emotional than the situation warrants? Take a look at your “backstory,” as they say in the movies. What personal history is being triggered? You may still have the conversation, but you’ll go into it knowing that some of the heightened emotional state has to do with you.

4. How is your attitude toward the conversation influencing your perception of it? If you think this is going to be horribly difficult, it probably will be. If you truly believe that whatever happens, some good will come of it, that will likely be the case. Try to adjust your attitude for maximum effectiveness.

5. Who is the opponent? What might they be thinking about this situation? Are they aware of the problem? If so, how do you think they perceive it? What are their needs and fears? What solution do you think they would suggest? Begin to reframe the opponent as partner.

6. What are your needs and fears? Are there any common concerns? Could there be?

7. How have you contributed to the problem? How have they?

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