Methods of Communication

Methods of Communication
Verbal Communication:
the spoken word. It can be influenced
by your tone of voice, change in speech
pattern, emphasis on certain words,
lingo used.
Ex. “Where have you been?” (meaning
changes when you change the above).
Non-verbal Communication:communication is accomplished
without words. It is often referred to
as “body language”.
Ex. hand signals, facial expressions,
leaning into or away from a person,
yawning, eye contact.
Symbolic Communication: a symbol is anything that stands for
something else.
Ex. traffic signs, clothing care symbols,
maps, brand name logos.
4 Possible Barriers to Communication
1.“I-Messages” vs. “You-Messages” (that’s “I” not
2. Active Listening
3. Prejudice
4. Perception
1. “I Messages”
“I messages”:
express the speaker’s thoughts and feelings in a non-hostile, non-threatening
focus on the consequences the behaviour creates for us rather than the
person or the behaviour itself.
An “I message” includes three parts:
1. Your feelings
2. The undesirable behaviour
3. The consequence of the undesirable behaviour.
Message sent using a “You-message”:
“You’re late”.
Intended message sent using an “I message”:
“I get scared when you are late because I am worried that something might have
happened to you”.
Try to restate the following using “I messages”:
“You’re lazy” (to someone who doesn’t do homework and is failing as a result)
“You’re stupid” (to someone who smokes)
2. Active Listening
Active listening can be achieved by:
Eliminating distractions ( TV, music, other conversations
Using your eyes and ears (watch for non-verbal cues)
Not interupting the speaker or finishing their sentences.
Being aware of your own non-verbal messages.
Giving feedback (paraphrasing or asking questions)
3. Prejudice
Is an unreasonable attitude or preconceived idea about someone.
It closes your mind to any information that runs counter to your attitude.
It may limit a person to emotional rather than rational responses.
4. Perception
Our Perception:
is how we see things and is based on our background.
differences are often the reason we see things differently than
others. This is because we all have different values, interests and
It is important to remember this as we communicate with others and
attempt to resolve conflicts.
Optical Illusions: Why do we see things differently?
How Do the Barriers to Communication Cause
Communication Breakdown?
Mixed messages (verbal cues differ from non-verbal cues causing confusion)
 Use of “ You messages” (blaming causes defensiveness, message may go
Active Listening (not using it can cause message to get altered).
Prejudice (message does not get heard at all)
Perception (personal references may alter message)
Communication Breakdown May Lead to Conflict and Tension
Tensions arise when people communicate. If you have ever heard someone say, “We’re
best friends, we never fight”, you may doubt their honesty or question how aware
they are of what is going on around them.
Conflict is Inevitable, How you Communicate Makes The Difference!
However well you get along with someone there will come a time when your
needs, ideas or values will not match.
It is up to those involved however to decide whether that conflict will be
constructive or destructive
While constructive conflict resolution requires the time and effort of those
involved, as we consider the outcomes of both, it is clear it is worth it.
Destructive Conflict Resolution vs.
Constructive Conflict Resolution
Outcomes of Destructive Communication
hurt feelings
 frustration
 violence
Outcomes of Constructive Communication
Solutions that all are satisfied with.
Greater understanding of each other.
New skills that will help with future conflicts.
Why Try Constructive Conflict Resolution?
Constructive conflict resolution offers an opportunity to improve communication
because it offers people a chance to learn about each other as they discuss their
different feelings, beliefs and attitudes.
5 Steps to Constructive Conflict Resolution
1. Define the conflict clearly.
2. Generate as many possible solutions as you can.
3. Evaluate the possible solutions (pros and cons of each).
4. Seek the solution that best satisfies everyone involved.
5. Examine the outcome once the solution has been tried (this gives you skills for
future conflict resolution).