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Building Relationships by Communicating Supportively

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Luci Parmer

on 1 March 2017

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Transcript of Building Relationships by Communicating Supportively

Chapter 4: Building Relationships by
Communicating Supportively

Miami University
Luci Parmer, Ph.D.

Supportive Communication has Eight Attributes (Part 1)
1. Congruent, Not Incongruent:
the focus is on honest messages where verbal statements "match" thoughts and feelings

2. Descriptive, Not Evaluative:
the focus is on describing an objective occurrence, describing your reaction to it, and offering a suggested alternative;
Table 4.4., pg. 199

3. Problem-Oriented, Not Person-Oriented:
the focus is on problems and issues that can be changed rather than people and their characteristics

4. Validating, Not Invalidating:
the focus is on statements that communicate respect, flexibility, collaboration, and areas of agreement;
pgs. 202-203 has more examples in bold

Coaching and Counseling Issues
Two Major Obstacles to Effective Interpersonal Communication
1. Defensiveness:
is an emotional and physical state in which a person is agitated, estranged, confused, and inclined to strike out; it arises when a person feels threatened or punished by the communication; common reactions are aggression, anger, competitiveness, or avoidance
2. Disconfirmation
1. Elaboration:
use this probing response when more information is needed (e.g. "can you tell me more about that?"

2. Clarification:
use this probing response when the message is unclear or ambiguous (e.g. "what do you mean by that?")

3. Repetition:
use this probing response when the communicator is avoiding a topic, or statements are unclear (e.g. "once again, what do you think about this?")

4. Reflection:
use this probing response to encourage the communicator to keep pursing the same topic in greater depth (e.g. "so, you're saying that you're having difficulty?")

pg. 194, Table 4.2
pg. 197, Table 4.3
Table 4.5, pg. 210
Learning Objectives
1. Build supportive relationships even when delivering negative feedback

2. Avoid defensiveness and disconfirmation in interpersonal communication

3. Improve ability to apply principles of supportive communication

4. Improve relationships by using personal management interviews

(Whetten & Cameron, 2016)
(Whetten & Cameron, 2016)
(Whetten & Cameron, 2016)
(Whetten & Cameron, 2016)
(Whetten & Cameron, 2016)
Building Positive Interpersonal Relationships is Important!
- research supports the idea that
positive interpersonal relationships
are a key to creating positive energy in people's lives
Experiencing Positive Interactions, Even if Just Temporary Encounters People are:
The Effects of Positive Relationships Include:
feeling happy and uplifted
creates energy
important physiological, emotional, intellectual and social consequences
More Effects on Building Positive Relationships
- a person's physical well-being is impacted greatly in a good way!

- people even recover from surgery twice as fast as those in conflicting or negative relationships

- people have fewer incidences of cancer and fewer heart attacks

- they even contract fewer colds, flu, or headaches

- they cope better with stress

- they have fewer accidents

- a longer life expectancy

- strengthens the immune system
(Whetten & Cameron, 2016)
The Importance of Effective Communication
- in the age of digital communication with e-mails and text messages, being able to communicate
"eyeball to eyeball"
is a problem for many people, even in the business/career world
- most managers determine
in terms of whether or not someone can communicate effectively "face-to-face"
- 80% of a manager's communication is verbal communication
- surprisingly, the quality of communication between managers and their employees/subordinates/followers is fairly low
(Whetten & Cameron, 2016)
The Focus on
- making certain that messages are transmitted and received with little alteration or variation from original intent
- the English language is conducive for miscommunicating words/terms
Table 4.1, pg. 192: Inconsistent Pronunciations in the
English Language
- people still become offended at one another, make insulting statements, and communicate clumsily

- people still communicate in abrasive, insensitive, and
unproductive ways
An Example Illustrated on page 193 regarding Latisha
(Whetten & Cameron, 2016)
What is Supportive Communication?
- this chapter focuses on a kind of interpersonal communication that helps you communicate accurately and honestly, especially in difficult circumstances, without jeopardizing interpersonal relationships
- it is not hard to communicate supportively (e.g. express confidence, trust, and openness) when things are going well, and when people are doing what you like
- supportive communication becomes more difficult when you have to correct someone's behavior, or deliver negative feedback, or when you have to point out shortcomings of another person
(Whetten & Cameron, 2016)
Supportive Communication
Has Eight Attributes (Part 2)
5. Specific, Not Global:
the focus is on specific events or behaviors and avoid general, extreme, or either-or statements;
pg. 205 has an example in italics

6. Conjunctive, Not Disjunctive:
the focus is on statements that flow from what has been said previously and facilitate interaction

7. Owned, Not Disowned:
focus is on taking responsibility for your own statements by using personal "I" words, instead of "we" words

8. Supportive Listening, Not One-Way Listening:
focus is on using a variety of appropriate responses, with a bias toward reflective responses;
pgs. 207-211 contains further listening examples
(Whetten & Cameron, 2016)
Coaching vs. Counseling Employees
1. Coaching
- in coaching, managers pass along advice and information, or they set standards to help others improve their skills and behaviors; or how to do their jobs better
2. Counseling
- counseling an employee is necessary when the problem stems from attitudes, personalities, defensiveness, or other factors tied to emotions
Coaching focuses on
Counseling focuses on
(Whetten & Camerson, 2016)
- coaching situations are not the same as counseling situations
Two Examples on page 195-196
- which is primarily a "coaching problem" and which one is primarily a "counseling" problem
Coaching Problems are Usually Caused by:
lack of ability
insufficient information and understanding
incompetence on the part of the individuals
Counseling Problems are Usually Caused by:
attitude problems, personality differences
(Whetten & Cameron, 2016)
- occurs when people feel put down, ineffectual, or insignificant because of the communication; they feel their
is in question, so they feel unworthy or insignificant
- typical reactions are often self-aggrandizing or show-off behaviors, loss of motivation, withdrawal, and loss of respect for the offending communicator
Supportive Listening
- in any conversation, there needs to be an equal balance of talking and listening

- a good supervisor must also become a good listener

- however good listening skills is needed/required for
effective leadership
(Whetten and Cameron, 2016)
Supportive Listening (part 2)
- a person listens at the rate of 500 words a minute, but speaks at a normal rate of only 125-250 words a minute, consequently, the listener's mind can dwell on other things half the time
(Whetten & Cameron, 2016)
Four Strategies to Supportive Listening
1. Responding:
people do not know they are being listened to unless you make some type of response

2. Advising:
this type of response provides direction, evaluation, personal opinion, or instructions

3. Deflecting:
this type of response switches the focus from the communicator's problem to one you select; you essentially change the subject (e.g. "let me tell you something similar that happened to me")

4. Probing:
this type of response asks a question about what the other person just said or about the problem he/she has shared
(Whetten & Cameron, 2016)
Four Types of Probing Responses
The Personal Management Interview
1. The interview is regular and private (e.g. biweekly, monthly)
2. Both parties create an agenda
3. Supportive communication is used
Agendas Focus On:
1. managerial and organizational issues/problems
2. information sharing
3. interpersonal issues
4. obstacles to improvement
5. individual needs
6. feedback and job performance
7. personal concerns and issues/problems
(Whetten & Cameron, 2016)
Instituting a Personal Management Interview (PMI) Program
session is held where expectations, responsibilities, standards of evaluation, and reporting relationships, for example are identified and clarified

the set-up of private, ongoing, one-on-one meetings between the manager and each subordinate preferably no longer than a
(Whetten & Cameron, 2016)
In-Class Activity #2
"One Minute Paper"
- being a good listener is neither "easy or automatic"

- it requires developing the ability to hear and "understand" the message sent by another person
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