Leadership & Management Communication in the Workplace

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Leadership Communication in the workplace

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Leadership Management Communication in the Workplace Dr. Oyewole O. Sarumi

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Useful vocabulary • Communication • Message • Encoding • Channel • Decoding • Communication process • Noise • Nonverbal communication • Lateral • Diagonal • Communication networks • Grapevine • Crosswise • Body language • Verbal intonation • Filtering • Selective perception • Information overload • Jargon • Active listening • Formal • Informal • Downward • Upward • Feedback • Culture context • Tact or Diplomacy

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Today’s Scope • Define the nature and function of communication • Compare and contrast methods of interpersonal communication • Identify barriers to effective interpersonal communication and how to overcome them • Explain how communication can flow most effectively in organisations • Describe how technology affects managerial communication and organisations • Discuss contemporary issues in communication • The Art of Tact and Diplomacy in Effective Communication

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What Is Communication • Communication - the transfer and understanding of meaning. • Transfer means the message was received in a form that can be interpreted by the receiver. • Understanding the message is not the same as the receiver agreeing with the message.

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What is Communication • Refers to the means whereby people in an org exchange information regarding the operations of the enterprise. • Not only must people be motivated to work towards to organisation goals but their work must also be co-ordinated controlled for the efficient functioning of the organisation.

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What Is Communication cont. • Interpersonal communication - communication between two or more people. • Organisational communication - all the patterns networks and systems of communications within an organisation.

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4 Communication Methods • Methods of communication can be grouped into 4 classes: – Oral methods – Written methods – Visual methods – Electronic methods

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Activity • How good at communicating are you • The aim of this game is to get your partner to make an exact copy of your drawing • “Charades” is also a popular game

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Functions of Communication • Control – Formal and informal communications act to control individuals’ behaviours in organisations. • Motivation – Communications clarify for employees what is to be done how well they have done it and what can be done to improve performance.

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Functions of Communication 2 • Emotional Expression – Social interaction in the form of work group communications provides a way for employees to express themselves. • Information – Individuals and work groups need information to make decisions or to do their work.

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Interpersonal communication 1 • Communication process - the seven elements involved in transferring meaning from one person to another. • Noise - any disturbances that interfere with the transmission receipt or feedback of a message.

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Interpersonal Communication 2 • Message - a purpose to be conveyed. • Encoding - converting a message into symbols. • Channel - the medium a message travels along. • Decoding - retranslating a sender’s message.

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Exhibit 15-1: The Interpersonal Communication Process

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Communication Process • The Sender – initiates message • Encoding – translating thought to message • The Message – what is communicated • The Channel – the medium the message travels through • Decoding – the receiver’s action in making sense of the message • The Receiver – person who gets the message • Noise – things that interfere with the message • Feedback – a return message regarding the initial communication

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Communication Process How may the sender encode a message Verbally or nonverbally. By speaking writing gesturing. What kinds of channels carry messages Letters email memos TV telephone voice body. Others How does a receiver decode a message Hearing reading observing. When is communication successful When a message is understood as the sender intended it to be. How can a communicator provide for feedback Ask questions watch responses don’t dominate the exchange

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How to ensure that information is received understood • Select the appropriate channel • Adopt feedback • Use more than one communication channel • Restrict the number of communication links in the chain • Ensure clarity

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Activity 1 • I will give you a message written in english. You can only whisper it to the person next to you once • By the time it gets to the final person in the class they must write down what they think they were told – even if it sounds silly

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Nonverbal Communication • Nonverbal communication - communication transmitted without words. • Body language - gestures facial configurations and other body movements that convey meaning. • Verbal intonation - an emphasis given to words or phrases that conveys meaning.

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Importance of non-verbal communication • The hidden messages in face-to-face communication can be a common cause for communication breakdown as they cause decoding problems. • Observe others. • Notice the signs of boredom disagreement support interest. • Picking up these signals will help you improve your own communication skills.

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Non-verbal cues • Facial expression • Gesture • Posture and orientation • Proximity and contact • Movement and stillness • Silence and sounds • Appearance and grooming • Response to norms and expectations

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Comparison of communication methods 1

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Comparison of communication methods 2

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Comparison of communication methods 3

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Comparison of communication methods 4

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Activity • What are the advantages and disadvantages of each of the forms of communication tools

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Barriers to Communication • Filtering - the deliberate manipulation of information to make it appear more favorable to the receiver. • Information overload - occurs when information exceeds our processing capacity. • Jargon - specialised terminology or technical language that members of a group use to communicate among themselves. • Selective perception - People selectively interpret what they see on the basis of their interests background experience and attitudes • Emotions - How a receiver feels at the time a message is received will influence how the message is interpreted

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Overcoming the Barriers • Use Feedback - ask questions about a message to determine whether it was received and understood as intended • Simplify Language – consider the audience to whom the message is directed and tailor the language to them

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Overcoming the Barriers cont. • Active listening - listening for full meaning without making premature judgments or interpretations.

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Active Listening Active listening - listening for full meaning without making premature judgments or interpretations.

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Active listening behaviours

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Activity • When is active listening used Give examples of situations where you would find active listening. • Do you find active listening easy or difficult Why

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Methods of Communication • Two types of organizational communication channels: 1 Formal communication channels 2 Informal communication channels

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Formal Versus Informal Communication • Formal communication - communication that takes place within prescribed organisational work arrangements. • Informal communication - communication that is not defined by the organisation’s structural hierarchy.

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Formal Communication • Org communication establishes a pattern of formal communication channels to carry information vertically horizontally. • The channel is the path a message follows from the sender to the receiver. There are 3 possible channels:

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Formal Communication Downward – superior to subordinate communication. It serves 5 general purposes: 1. To give specific task directives about job instructions 2. To give information about org procedures 3. To provide information about the rationale of the job 4. To tell sub-ordinates about their performance 5. To provide ideological type information to facilitate the indoctrination of goals.

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Direction of communication 1 • Downward communication - communication that flows downward from a manager to employees. • Upward communication - communication that flows upward from employees to managers.

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Formal Communication Horizontal – refers to communication between people or groups at the same level in the org. 4 important reasons for lateral communication: 1. Task co-ordination 2. Problem-solving 3. Information sharing 4. Conflict resolution

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Direction of communication 2 • Lateral communication - communication that takes place among any employees on the same organisational level. • Diagonal communication - communication that cuts across work areas and organisational levels.

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Lack of downward communication could lead to: • Poor awareness of corporate objectives • Poor understanding of working instructions • Poor morale

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Lack of upward communication could lead to: • Early warning of troubled areas is not received • Benefit of creative ability in subordinates is lost • Participation of subordinates is limited • Need for change is not appreciated • Control becomes difficult • Introduction of change is difficult

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Lack of lateral communication often leads to: – Divisions in management teams – Lack of co-ordination – Rivalry between sections departments – Lack of advice involvement by staff specialists

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The importance of effective communication • To the manager – Management decision-making – Inter-departmental co-ordination – Individual motivation effectiveness

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The importance of effective communication • Without formal communication systems managers would not be able to: – Give instructions – Give or receive information – Exchange ideas – Announce plans or strategies – Compare actual results against budget – Communicate about structure or the org job descriptions

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The attributes of effective communication – Timely – Accurate complete and to the point – Directed to the right people – Understandable

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Effective Communication Is Based On: 7 C’s of Communication 1. Courtesy: refers to Decorum of Speaking Politeness 2. Clarity: refers to Clarity of Thought and Expression

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3. Concreteness: refers to Specific and Definite Avoid Being Vague. 4. Concreteness: refers to Specific and Definite Avoid Being Vague 5. Correctness: refers to Correct Grammatical Structure.

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6. Consideration: refers to Being Honest Sincere and Without Prejudice and Bias. 7. Completeness: refers to Complete Information.

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Barriers to effective communication • Omission or distortion of information by the sender • Misunderstandings due to lack of clarity of the jargon and abbreviation used • Non-verbal signals that contradict the verbal message • Overload of information • Social ethnic or educational background differences • Selective hearing • Poor communication skills

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Informal Communication • Several types of informal communication channels exist. These include: • Grapevine • Rumour • Gossip

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• Town hall meeting - informal public meetings where information can be relayed issues can be discussed or just is a way to bring employees together to celebrate accomplishments

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Organisational communication networks • Communication networks - the variety of patterns of vertical and horizontal flows of organisational communication. • Grapevine - the informal organisational communication network. Why is this important

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The Grapevine rumours Three main Grapevine characteristics • Informal not controlled by management • Perceived by most employees as being more believable and reliable than formal communications • Largely used to serve the self-interests of those who use it

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The Grapevine rumours Cont’d Results from: • Desire for information about important situations • Ambiguous conditions • Conditions that cause anxiety • Insightful to managers • Serves employee’s social needs

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Reducing rumours • Announce timetables for making important decisions • Explain decisions and behaviors that may appear inconsistent or secretive • Emphasize the downside as well as the upside of current decisions and future plans • Openly discuss worst-case possibilities—they are almost never as anxiety-provoking as the unspoken fantasy

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Communication patterns • The pattern of communication that exists between group members is described as a wheel a chain or all-channel. • Centralized networks chain wheel Y group members had to go thro’ a person located in a central position in the network in order to communicate with others. • In de-centralized networks circle all-channel information could flow freely between members without having to go thro’ a central person.

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Organisational communication networks

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Communication patterns • All-Channel • Wheel • Chain  Circle  Y

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Workplace design communication • Open workplaces - workplaces with few physical barriers and enclosures. • Enclosed workplaces – with many rooms and barriers between spaces

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How Technology Affects Managerial Communication • Networked Systems - in a networked system an organization’s computers are linked. Organizational members can communicate with each other and tap into information whether they’re down the hall across town or halfway across the world • Wireless Capabilities - wireless communication technology has the ability to improve work for managers and employees

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Current Communication Issues • Managing Communication in an Internet World – Legal and security issues • Inappropriate use of company e-mail and instant messaging • Loss of confidential and proprietary information due to inadvertent or deliberate dissemination or to hackers – Lack of personal interaction • Being connected is not the same as face-to-face contact • Difficulties occur in achieving understanding and collaboration in virtual environments

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Getting Employee Input • In today’s challenging environment companies need to get input from their employees • Suggestion Boxes - managers do business in a world today where you can’t afford to ignore such potentially valuable information

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Exhibit 16-5 How to Let Employees Know Their Input Matters

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Ethical Communication • Ethical communication - communication that includes all relevant information is true in every sense and is not deceptive in any way. • Omitting information offering misleading information – this is considered unethical communication

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Communication and Customer Service Communicating effectively with customers • Recognise the three components of the customer service delivery process: – The customer – The service organisation – The service provider • Develop a strong service culture focused on the personalisation of service to each customer. – Listen and respond to the customer. – Provide access to needed service information.

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The cost of poor communication Failed communication can be costly. Consider this example of The Accident Group: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/286629 8/Accident-Group-staff-receive-4m.html and the Cerner Corporation: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/ 1263473.stm

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Cultural Implications Cross-cultural factors increase communication difficulties Cultural Barriers: • Semantics: some words aren’t translatable • Word Connotations: some words imply multiple meanings beyond their definitions • Tone Differences: the acceptable level of formality of language • Perception Differences: language affects worldview Cultural Context: • The importance of social context to meaning • Low-context cultures like the U.S. rely on words for meaning • High-context cultures gain meaning from the whole situation

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Activity • What impact will qq and wiichat and Facebook have on how people communicate in the workplace • What are the negatives and positives of using Social Media

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The Art of Tact and Diplomacy in Effective Communication

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Respond intelligently even to unintelligent treatment. – Lao- Tzu Chinese philosopher

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Introduction • Tact and diplomacy are methods used to aid effective communication especially during negotiation and when attempting to be persuasive or assertive. • Using tact and diplomacy appropriately can lead to improved relationships with other people and are a way to build and develop mutual respect which in turn can lead to more successful outcomes and less difficult or stressful communications.

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• Tact and diplomacy are skills centred around an understanding of other people and being sensitive to their opinions beliefs ideas and feelings. • Effective use of such skills comes from being able to sense accurately what another person is feeling or thinking at any given time and then responding in such a way as to avoid bad feelings or awkwardness whilst at the same time asserting or reflecting your own ideas and feelings back in a delicate and well-meaning fashion.

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All people and all communication situations are unique. • Developing effective tact and diplomacy skills requires practice and good judgement. These skills are not limited to use in formal communications such as in the workplace: tact and diplomacy are also important when developing and maintaining friendships romantic relationships and relationships in the family.

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A Real Story • One of your brightest team members Jon has just finished giving a presentation. He seems pleased with his performance but its obvious that he wasnt properly prepared. His presentation was poorly researched and badly organized and youre disappointed by his lack of effort. • Before everyone has left the conference room Jon asks for your feedback. You tell him that his presentation was sloppy and disorganized and that you had expected better from him. • Unsurprisingly Jon is visibly upset and you immediately regret your comments. You wanted to be honest but you didnt want to hurt his feelings especially in front of other people. A month later Jon hands in his resignation.

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• We all have to communicate painful or sensitive information at some point in our careers. And while its important to tell the truth we need to think about how we do it. Tact allows us to be honest while respecting a persons feelings. • When we communicate tactfully we can preserve relationships build credibility and demonstrate thoughtfulness. In this article well examine what tact is and well look at how you can develop this important quality.

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Communication is to diplomacy as blood is to the human body. Whenever communication ceases the body of international politics the process of diplomacy is dead and the result is violent conflict or atrophy. -Tran Van Dinh 1987

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Defining Tact and Diplomacy: • The ability to assert your ideas or opinions knowing what to say and how to say it without damaging the relationship by causing offence.

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What is Tact • Tact is the ability to tell the truth in a way that considers other peoples feelings and reactions. It allows you to give difficult feedback communicate sensitive information and say the right thing to preserve a relationship. • Tact encompasses many things including emotional intelligence respect discretion self awareness thoughtfulness compassion subtlety honesty diplomacy and courtesy.

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• Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy.- Isaac Newton • Diplomacy is the art of letting somebody else have your way. - David Frost

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Why is Tact/Diplomacy Important • The ability to communicate with sensitivity offers many benefits. • 1. Tact is important when you have to deliver bad news or provide critical feedback whether in personal or professional situations.

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• 2. Communicating tactfully strengthens your reputation and builds your credibility. • 3. It allows you to preserve existing relationships and build new ones. • 4. A tactful approach shows character maturity professionalism and integrity.

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• 5. Tact also demonstrates good manners. If you can communicate with grace and consideration youll stand out from the crowd and youll get noticed for the right reasons. This can lead to career opportunities.

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• 6. Tact can help you to avoid conflict find common ground and allow others to save face. It can therefore be an important asset in negotiations and in conflict resolution.

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Tip 1: • Tact is strongly influenced by culture. • Make sure that you are culturally alert when providing feedback to people from a different background.

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• Tip 2: Its great to be tactful however you also need to get your message across and ensure that your own rights are respected. Make sure that you handle issues assertively not submissively when you are being tactful.

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Prerequisites for Successful Tact and Diplomacy • The effective use of tact and diplomacy relies on some the following key skills: A high level of common sense Good judgement and practice Active listening Emotional intelligence Showing empathy Assertiveness Rapport Politeness

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How to communicate with Tact Diplomacy • Developing Tact - Use the strategies below to communicate with tact. – 1. Create the Right Environment and Think Before You Speak. – 2. Determine the Appropriate Time – 3. Choose Words Carefully – 4. Watch Your Body Language – 5. Never React Emotionally

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Strategies for Tact and Diplomacy • Understanding what is the most appropriate behaviour and in any given situation can be problematic this is due to the unpredictable nature of communication and of human relations generally.

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• The following strategies are designed to help you think about how you can plan for and use tact and diplomacy effectively especially during negotiation:

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• 1. When you’re planning a potentially difficult conversation you should first focus on knowing what you want to achieve: what is your favoured outcome • 2. Consider and write down what the objections might be from others.

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• 3. Do not enter into negotiations in an angry or stressed way. Try to remain calm and keep an open mind. • 4. When communicating listen to what the other person or people has to say. Watch for non-verbal communication such as body language and their tone of voice to help you understand their message.

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• 5. Negotiate. Discuss how mutual sacrifices can be made to provide a better result for both of you in the long run. Aim to reach a compromise which results in a win-win situation. • 6. Strengthen your argument by offering time-scales of when you foresee the benefit of your proposals being reached. Be precise in giving figures and dates.

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• 7. If possible turn statements into questions. Rather than directly voicing your opinion turn your statement into a question for the other person to think about. This strategy often allows for more exploration of options – a more open approach than just stating your opinion. • 8. If the conversation gets heated try to give yourself room to respond in ways that help rather than inflame a situation.

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• 9. Keep an eye on the prize Keep your preferred outcome in mind try not to get distracted go off on a tangent or get bogged down in irrelevant details. Remember to be assertive – being tactful and diplomatic does not mean bowing to pressure or giving up on what you want. Strive for a win-win outcome.

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Examples of Using Tact Diplomacy As Managers • Example 1 • Your boss asks you to take on some of her workload so that she can leave early on Friday. However your schedule is full and youre not sure youll get everything done on time. • RESPONSE: A tactful response might be "Thank you for trusting me with some of your responsibilities. Im sorry that I cant help you this time because of my workload. Is there anything I could help you with next week when I have more time"

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Example 2 • One of your team members is regularly late for work and it affects her performance. After another missed deadline youre tempted to call her out at the staff meeting. Although this might make you feel better in the short term its insensitive – a more tactful approach would be to speak with her privately about her tardiness. • RESPONSE: You could even start with a really gentle approach – for example "Ive noticed youve had trouble getting to work on time. What can I do to help" • As you can see tact reflects emotional sensitivity and increases the likelihood of a positive outcome.

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Common Examples • Below are some common situations where tact can make the difference between a positive and negative experience. • 1. Letting Team Members Go • Its never easy to let people go These situations are often emotional and tense which is why tact is important. • 2. Giving Feedback • It can be difficult to give feedback especially when its negative. The key to providing effective feedback is to give it frequently and to do it tactfully.

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• 3. Declining an Invitation • If you decline an invitation with an outright "no" some people may view this as crass or insensitive. • 5. Handling Disagreements • Tact is particularly useful in conflict resolution because it can relieve tension remove blame and allow both sides to save face.

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• 4. Deflecting Gossip • Your colleague is known as the office gossip and hes spreading rumours about another colleague when youre in the room. You can tactfully deflect and neutralize the gossip in several ways. • 6. Giving Presentations • To be more tactful during presentations dont use jargon or long words that may confuse your audience. Explain complex ideas clearly so that people dont have to ask for clarification.

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6 Rules for Communicating with Diplomacy and Tact • Some people seems to know what to say and how to say it in any situation. These people know how to communicate with diplomacy tact and confidence. • The way in which we communicate can elicit positive or negative emotions. If we communicate aggressively without respect or sensitivity defensive or angry emotions can prevent others from hearing the message we are trying to convey. Communicating with diplomacy and tact is an approach that combines strength and sensitivity and keeps negative emotions at bay.

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The Six Rules for Disagreeing Agreeably • Rule 1: Give others the benefit of the doubt. Maybe the person who made that outrageous generalization isn’t really insensitive. Maybe this person has had a painful experience that made him overreact.

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• Rule 2: After giving someone the benefit of the doubt listen to learn and truly understand why this person holds this belief. We must let him/her know we’ve heard them and we are genuinely trying to see things from their perspective.

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• Rule 3: Always take responsibility for our own feelings when disagreeing with someone. Make a commitment to respond using “I” statements only. When we begin with “you” we come off as blaming and confrontational and immediately put the other person on the defensive. This reduces the chance of our point of view being heard.

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• Rule 4: Use a cushion. Connect or “cushion” a different opinion starting with “I hear what you’re saying” Or “I appreciate your view on”. Again begin with the word “I” and not “You said…” or it will sound confrontational.

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• Rule 5: Eliminate the words “but” or “however” from our vocabulary. Once we have cushioned the other person’s opinion use “and” or pause and say nothing following the cushion. Acknowledging the individual’s point of view and following it with a “but” or “however” erases the acknowledgement.

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• Rule 6: State our point of view or opinion with relevant and factual evidence. Keep our emotions out of the equation by using the following formula: • Take time to reflect: What do I think Why do I think it What evidence do I have • Then speak: “One example is” “This shows that” “Therefore I think”.

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Summary • Tact or Diplomacy is the ability to deliver a difficult message in a way that considers other peoples feelings and preserves relationships. It encompasses many things such as emotional intelligence discretion compassion honesty and courtesy. • To develop tact and diplomacy in communication think carefully before you speak. Always consider how someone else might interpret your words. Use active listening skills pay attention to your body language and never react emotionally. However make sure that you still get your message across and that you continue to be appropriately assertive.

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Sources Consulted Readings • Robbins Coulter. MANAGEMENT. Chap 16 - Managers and Communication. • Caug124. 6 Rules for Communicating with Diplomacy and Tact. Retrieved from http://blog.dalecarnegie. com/leadership/on Feb. 16 2016 • The Art of Tact and Diplomacy. Retrieved from- http://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/tact-diplomacy. html • Mindtools Editorial Team. How to be Tactful - Responding With Diplomacy and Grace. Retrieved frm- https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/tactful.htm

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