Chapter 6 GETTING YOUR MESSAGE ACROSS
o Doesn’t express honest feelings
o Makes little or no eye contact
o Lets others make decisions
o Feels anxious, helpless, and manipulated
o Apologizes frequently
o Makes decisions for others
o Makes others feel uncomfortable
o Is brutally honest
o Participatesina win-lose situationonlywhen it’s
possible to win
o Shows impatience
o Glares or stares at others
o Is direct and forceful
o Humiliates others
o Is direct and self-respecting
o Demonstrates a willingnessto negotiate, listen,
o Chooses to make decisions
o Makes others feel valued and respected
o Converts win-lose situations to win-winsolutions
o Feels confident and task oriented
o Demonstrates a concern for the feelings and
rights of others
Establisheye contact withthe receiver of your message.
Do not stare—just look comfortably into the receiver’s
Use appropriate gestures to support your message. Do not
use threatening gestures or those that could be
interpreted as aggressive.
Stand or sit erect, but not stiff. Position yourself so that
you and the receiver are on the same eye level.
Lean or move slightly toward the receiver.
In an online articletitled“4 Steps to Assertive Communication,” Dr.
TonyFiore, a licensedpsychologist and anger management trainer,
suggests that the following four-step formula may be helpful in
developing assertive communication skills:
I feel _______when______ because _______ I need ______.
Reduces the anxiety and stress caused by
Improves your self-esteem and self-confidence.
Provides respect for your ideas and opinions.
Motivates others to clearlystate their ideas and opinions.
Provides a sense of control.
Provides the ability to say “no” when you mean “no”
without feeling guilty.
Protects you from being taken advantage of by others.
Minimizes alienating others.
Demonstrates respect for the feelings of others.
Begin the Conversation
o Small talk is light, informal conversationthat has
no agenda. It is simplya wayto acknowledge the
person’s presence and create a comfortable
environment. E.g. polite greetings, such as
“Good evening!” or “Hello, how are you?” are
good for starters.
o Icebreakers, often stated in the form of
questions, are another wayto get people to talk
about themselves or about something that
matters to them. These are topics usedto lessen
tensionor awkwardness at the beginning of a
Keep it positive
o People enjoy talking with someone who is
upbeat and positive and tend to avoid
individuals who make a habit of speaking
o The abilityto remember namesis an important
socialskill. It implies that the other person is
important to you and that you have made the
effort to remember the name.
o No one likes to be calledbythe wrong name or
have their name mispronounced.
Keep the Conversation Moving
Keep an Open Mind
o Open-minded means having or showing
receptivenessto new anddifferent ideas andthe
opinions of others. Theyare curious andeager to
hear original ideas and discuss new topics.
Hold the Listener’s Interest
o The ability to listen is an important
conversational skill. Listening involves mentally
participating ina conversation. Make the person
feel important. Askfor anopinion or seek advice.
Avoid Total Disagreement
o A conversation is not a win or lose event. It
should be anopenexchange amongparticipants.
A mild remark is more effective and may
eventuallyopenthe door for you to make your
point without being offensive.
Say No in a Positive Way
o There are times when you must say “no.”
Indicate what you can and will do. Make the
“no” part of your sentence relate to an object or
situation rather than a person.
o You encourage feedback when you ask for it
directlyand give reinforcement to the listener
who responds to your question.
Open questions elicit longer answers andencourage others
to participate in the conversation. Asks the receiver about
his or her knowledge, feelings, thoughts, or opinions.
Closed questions require single wordor veryshort answers
and are used to test one’s understanding of another
person’s comments. Canalsobe usedto close a discussion
or finalize a decision.
Probing questions are usedinseeking more detail to help
clarifyor verifywhat has just been said. Probingquestions
are used to:
o Make sure you have the whole story and that
you understand it.
o Draw information fromanother personwho you
feel maybe trying to avoidtellingyou the whole
Rhetorical questions aren’t reallyquestions, because they
don’t require an answer. The purpose of a rhetorical
question is to engage the listener—to draw the listener
POINTS TO REMEMBER:
The three styles ofcommunicationare passive, aggressive,
and assertive. The preferred style of communication is
assertive because it allows you to state your rights without
stepping on the rights of others.
Being assertive requires sending the right nonverbal
messages—appropriate eye contact, non-aggressive
gestures, and erect postures.
Passive communicators do not stand up for their rights,
and theyinternalize discomfort rather thanrisk upsetting
Aggressive communicators get what theywant but ignore
the rights of others and may alienate others.
Small talkandicebreakers are effective techniques for
starting a conversation.
Continue a conversation bykeepinganopen mind, holding
the interest of the listener, avoiding total disagreement,
saying “no” in a positive way, and encouraging feedback.
Questioning techniques are helpful in keeping a
conversationgoing. Openquestions, closed questions,
probing questions, and rhetorical questions serve
differences purposes in a conversation.
Masters, L.A., et al. (2011). Personal Development for Work and Life.
Cengage Learning Asia Pte. Ltd.
Mrs. Maria Angela L. Diopol