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Communication and Interpersonal Skills

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Gemma Bangma

on 11 June 2014

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Transcript of Communication and Interpersonal Skills

Communication and Interpersonal Skills
What purposes drive communication before, during and after a bushfire?
What types of media do authorities use to communicate about a bushfire?
Which communication barriers would affect communication about a bushfire?
Communication refers to a transfer of understanding and meaning from one person to another.
The best idea, the most creative suggestion or the finest plan cannot be implemented without effective communication.
The purposes that drive communication before a bushfire
The purposes that drive communication immediately before a bushfire
Weather agencies communicate with each other to help predict where fires might happen and their severity.
Timing of communication should be considered
, as there is a fine balancing act between effective preparation and stimulating responses of panic.
Suitable medium needs to be chosen to ensure that the right people are notified of the situation.
Communication Process
medium used to transfer message.

person delivering the message.

person receiving message.

: anything affecting the message being received or relayed back effectively.
Media Richness
Communication tools used before,during and after bushfires
Mobile Applications: My Fire App

Social Media: Facebook, Twitter and Youtube


Phone lines: emergency numbers, hotlines and help lines

Barrier: Filtering
Barrier: Selective Perception
Communicating in a Bushfire
Gemma, Jess and Lauryn
What purposes drive communication before, during and after a bushfire?
Communication purposes before a bushfire focus on community awareness and bushfire preparedness.
The purpose of communication is to inform the public of actions that can be undertaken if a bushfire was to start.
Emergency services also educate the community on ways to minimise the risk of bushfires
Ash Wednesday 1983
"They had almost no warning - perhaps only minutes or seconds to react to the fire at hand."
Communication purposes during a bushfire
During a bushfire , the purposes that drive communicate revolve around managing and responding to the situation.
Current bushfire policy no longer employes the
"fire-fighter to the rescue" ideology
in bushfire management, as each member becomes responsible for assisting everyone to safety.
Black Saturday 2009
A central point of command is needed to communicate and coordinate fire fighting, evacuation and relief efforts.
Communication purposes after a bushfire
The purposes that drives communication after a bushfire is concentrated on organising supplies and coordinated effort to ensure the rehabilitation of the effected communities.
Organisations need to know what residents need as well as which of their volunteers are available to assist and what they can do.
Following the bushfires in Tasmania in 2013, organisation such as the Red Cross provided personal support to those affected by the bushfires.
Filtering refers to the deliberate manipulation of information to make it appear more favourable to the receiver.
In order to avoid responses of panic, it can be tempting for emergency services to filter information about a bushfire.
Selective perception is receiving communication based on the basis of what one selectively sees and hears depending on ones needs , motivation, experience, background and other personal characteristics.
It is not information that determines action, but how people interpret in the context of their experiences, beliefs and expectations. People apply these attributes to information about hazards.
Ash Wednesday
Information Overload
When the amount of information one has to work with exceeds processing capacity.
Due to many forms of medians in which information can be transmitted about bushfires, communication can be interrupted and confused.
How the receiver feels when a message is delivered.
In a bushfire situation, individuals can often become distressed which will affect how they interpret messages.
Emotions may also restrict one from communicating essential information to emergency services.
Words have different meanings to different people and as a result receivers will use their definition of words in the communication process.
Risk information may focus more on the messages to the community rather than producing information that is both understandable and meaningful.
Why are interpersonal skills important in a business?

Interpersonal skills are those involved with interacting with other people both individually and in groups.
They allow us to: effectively communicate with each other, cooperate with others as well as ensure managerial effectiveness.
Interpersonal skills include:
Active listening
Performance feedback
Conflict management
Problem solving
Social awareness
Teamwork skills
Which interpersonal skills would be important in coordinating a bushfire response?
Interpersonal skills: Teamwork Skills
Processes that individuals use to coordinate their decisions and activities, such as sharing information.
ALL divisions need to work together to reach a successful outcome and ensure a safe bushfire response.
Teamwork will aid in ensuring that information is being relayed appropriately and effectively.
The Australasian Inter-Service Incident Management Systems (AIIMS) is the system of incident management for Australia's fire and emergency services agencies.
Interpersonal skills: Delegation
Assigning authority to another person to carry out specific activities.
Steps when designing an effective delegation system:
1. Clarify the assignment
2. Specify employees range of discretion
3. Allow employees to participate
4. Inform others of the delegation
5. Establish feedback controls
Bushfire responses are very complex due to the wide range of divisions involved-department leaders must have
strong delegation skills
and be able to
communicate responsibilities effectively.
Delegation skills are important for leaders to have in a bushfire response as they:
1. Allow work to be transferred to people who are technically trained in this area.
2. Frees up time for leaders to work on future strategies.
Interpersonal skills: Conflict management
Conflict: perceived differences resulting in some form of interference of opposition.
3 different views of conflict have been discovered:
1. Traditional view: conflict should be avoided
2. Human relations view: conflict is a natural and inevitable outcome and is not always negative
3. Interactionist view: conflict can occasionally be an absolute necessity for group performance
Conflict Management
Conflict management will ensure that minimal time is spent attending to internal influences and more time can be spent on devising strategies employed to combat fires.
Discussion Questions
1. Who would the authorities have trouble contacting and communicating with during a bushfire?
Elderly people
People living in remote/rural communities
Those already affected by bushfire
People camping of hiking in rural areas
2. How could they use different mediums to reach and communicate with a larger mass of people?
Use all available mediums
Ensure that before bushfires that people are aware of how they will be contacted
Community based communication
Make sure authorities are aware of all people in remote locations
Need to try and remove any present communication barriers
At the scene of a bushfire there are many different teams and organisations present such as volunteers, firefighters, ambulance officers, WIRES (wildlife rescue) and reporters. Why would the interpersonal skills of teamwork and delegation be crucial in coordinating a successful bushfire response?
Choose the Medium
Type of media outlets used to communicate messages.
It is important that the authorities use a variety of different media outlets to communicate and inform about bushfires.
Sender ->
-> Receiver
How could the bushfire services find and establish better ways to communicate with people during bushfires?
Survey people who have been affected by bushfires in the past
Ask communities about the best way for them to be contacted during a crisis
Ensure that resident in high risk areas are aware of meeting places and action plans
Provide forums to discuss the use of alternative communication outlets
Send out fire safety pamphlets with the outlets the fire services use to communicate
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