Communication Skills and Strategies for Sharing the Vision

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Rick Olsen
Department of Communication Studies
UNCW
Over the Next Hour . . .

 Complicate communication
 Practical principles
 Discussion of your issues and interests
 Useful take aways
 But first . . .
Forte Profile Drawing!

 Need business card with accurate email address
 We’ll pick multiple winners
 You’ll take the profile and get an interaction
report between you and the other winners
What’s Your Problem?!?!

 Respond to one or more of the following prompts:
 The biggest communication challenge for me as a
practitioner is . . . .
 The biggest communication challenge I encounter
within my organization is . . . .
 The one question I want answered for me by the end
of this session is . . . . .
There is no persuasion,
there is only selfpersuasion.
Communication

Popular
 Transfer of meaning
 Linear: from me to you
 Tool or instrument
 Act
Sophisticated
 Co-create meanings
 Patterns of interaction
 Use
 Being
Communication as Use

 Live in a world of meaning not things
 Social construction of reality
 Leaders must be language leaders
 Human and natural activity and artifacts always
have communicative dimensions
Communication and
Patterns

 Dialectics
 Real yet Ideal
 Autonomy yet
togetherness
 Predictability yet
novelty
 Openness yet
closedness
 And MORE
Either
Or
Both
And
Example

Profitability
Protection
Communication and
Use

 Unwanted repetitive
patterns (URPs)
 Constitutive “rules”
(interpretation)
 Regulative “rules”
(response)
 Loops and patterns!
Reactions
To
Reactions
Application

 Review the issues your raised on your cards earlier
 Are any explained by an ongoing dialectic tension that
must be managed with self-awareness rather than
“solved” once and for all?
 Can you name the poles of the tension? (both poles must be
either positive or negative)
 Are any explained by URP?
 What are the explicit or implicit rules that contribute to the
loop?
 Is it a charmed loop or a strange loop (sustained by
contradictory meanings)
Take Aways

 Seek to explore meanings that are operating in a
given situation
 Circular Questioning “What do you mean by ____?”
 Seek to distinguish between communication
challenges to “solve” and those that can only be
managed through greater awareness and skill
 Help participants see social construction as
empowering: change world by changing a word
Centrality of Communication
to Advocacy

“[rhetoric is] the faculty of
observing in any given
case, all of the available
means of persuasion.”
~ Aristotle
Five Canons

 Cicero, like most Romans, came along and
systematized the Greek work on rhetoric.
Invention

 The discovery and clarification of your goals,
content, “angles” and exigency.





Create a mood?
Alter perceptions
Explain and inform
Initiate action
Maintain action
Arrangement

 Strategic arrangement of content based on analysis of
the issues, the audience, the context and the goals.
 With hostile audiences one typically leads with
strongest argument and ends with second strongest
argument.
Tip: The Four Ss

 Signpost: let your audience know where you are in
your sequence of ideas.
 State: clearly state your current idea.
 Support: offer data, examples, images, stories to
illuminate that idea
 Summarize: remind audience how this specific idea
connects with the whole of your argument
Style

 “Fitting the proper language to the invented
material” ~ Cicero
 Audience?
 Context?
 Decorum: What are the cultural/sub-cultural
expectations?
Memory

 Firm mental grasp of the subject matter and the
specific content of the upcoming message.
 Subject matter
 Message
 Communication principles
Delivery

 Ability to perform the plan. The effective use of
communication resources to pursue your strategic
goals.
 Verbal and Nonverbal communication choices
 Images, media and technology
 Responses to questions
Review and Hope . . .

Invention
Style
Arrangement
Memory
Delivery
A Bit More About
Delivery

 Writing must be typo free
 Put pressure on your writing to be “polished.”
 Put pressure on your speaking to be “real.”
 Oral delivery should be conversational
 Model the mood—your audience is a mirror
 Write or speak to one person
Application

 Which of the five canons do you struggle with most?
 Do you overwhelm audience with facts and content
 Do you struggle to create coherent path through your
content
 Do you have a plan but seem to fail to deliver the
plan?
A Useful Template

 Motivated Sequence
Attention: emotional engagement
Need: cognitive engagement
Satisfaction: solution
Visualization: narrative of future with and/or
without the solution in place
 Action: what THIS audience can do to help bring
about the solution.




Simple Example

Your Turn!

 Motivated Sequence
Attention: emotional engagement
Need: cognitive engagement
Satisfaction: solution
Visualization: narrative of future with and/or
without the solution in place
 Action: what THIS audience can do to help bring
about the solution.




Forte Profile Drawing!

Your Turn!

 Motivated Sequence
Attention: emotional engagement
Need: cognitive engagement
Satisfaction: solution
Visualization: narrative of future with and/or
without the solution in place
 Action: what THIS audience can do to help bring
about the solution.




And so it goes . . .

“In this business, you can never
wash the dinner dishes and say
they are done. You have to keep
doing them constantly."
-- Mary Wells Lawrence,
member, Advertising Hall of Fame

Rick Olsen, Ph.D.
UNCW Department of Communication Studies
[email protected]
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