Conversations - Bakersfield College

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Inter-Act,
th
13
Edition
Chapter 8
Conversations
1
Chapter Objectives
2
 Discuss the characteristics of conversation
 Describe the ways in which conversations may vary
 Identify the general guidelines to become a more
effective conversationalist
 Summarize how culture and technology affect
conversation
Characteristics of Conversations
3
 Interactive
 Extemporaneous
 Locally managed
 Sequentially organized
Variation in Conversation
4
29 different distinct types of conversation common
in friendships and romantic relationships
 Small talk: exchanging messages about
inconsequential (small) topics to meet social
needs of participants with low risk
 Gossip: exchanging messages about other people
who are not present
Structure of Conversation
5
 Purpose: what the conversation is intended to do
 Sequence:
Turn-Taking: alternating between speaking and
listening
 Scriptedness: using routine conversational phrases or
preplanned conversations
 Tone: emotional, relational quality and degree of
formality
 Participants: intended or unintended audience
 Setting: physical and emotional environment

Guidelines
6
 Develop an other-centered focus.
 Engage in appropriate turn-taking.
 Maintain conversational coherence.
 Practice politeness and face-saving.
 Protect privacy.
 Engage in ethical dialogue.
Ethical Dialogue
7
 Authenticity: direct, honest, straightforward





information and feelings
Empathy: understanding another’s point of view
Confirmation: affirming others as unique
individuals (not necessarily approving of views)
Presentness: taking time, avoiding distraction,
being responsive, risking attachment
Equality: treating others as peers, regardless of
status
Supportiveness: encouraging participation by
praising efforts
Starting a Conversation
8




Five ways to open a conversation:
Make a comment
Ask a question
Introduce yourself
Pay attention to nonverbal cues
Sustaining a Conversation
9
•
Use free information: information
the conversation
•
volunteered during
Ask questions
 Closed-ended:
“yes” or “no” answers
 Open-ended: more elaboration, explanation
•
•
Seek out topics of interest to the other person
Self-disclose appropriately
 Actively listen
Closing a Conversation
10
 Notice and use leave-taking cues (nonverbal
behaviors that indicate someone wants to end the
conversation).
 Verbalize your desire to end the conversation.
 Ask to see the person again if appropriate.
 Close with a brief stock message.
Cultural Variations
11
Low-Context Cultures
 Include categorical
words such as certainly,
absolutely
 Relevant comments that
are directly to the point
 Speaking one’s mind
 Silence is uncomfortable
High-Context Cultures
 Include qualifiers such as
maybe, perhaps
 Indirect, ambiguous, and
less relevant comments
 Creating harmony
 Silence indicates
truthfulness,
embarrassment,
disagreement
Digital Conversation Skills
12
 Awareness of audience
 Degree of conversational spontaneity
 Abruptness of disengagement
 Multiplicity of conversations
 Acceptance of interruptions
 Notions of privacy
Homework
13
 Actively choose a conversation partner that you’ve never
met or with whom you have had little contact. Practice the
communication skills you’ve targeted as your goals, but
use the guidelines for holding effective conversations from
Ch 8 as well. Write a one-page paper critically thinking
about your experience. For example, were you able to hold
an effective conversation? Were you able to practice the
goals you’ve set for yourself to become a more effective
communicator? Why or why not? What factors influenced
your communication? What areas would you like to work
on more? Follow your rubric, give examples, and discuss
applicable areas from your text.
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