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MHR 741 Study Guide - Final Guide: Interpersonal Communication, Rapidfire, Information Seeking

Human Resources
Course Code
MHR 741
Genevieve Farrell
Study Guide

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Positive interpersonal relationships strengthen immune system, help people perform better in
tasks, learn more effectively
Most important skill in building and strengthening relationships is ability to communicate in a
way that enhances feelings of trust, openness and support
Problems with electronic communication are:
1) People are bombarded with a lot of information, often poorly presented, so they ate less
illing to consume all the messages aimed at them
2) No on puts all these rapid-fire messages aimed at context, so much of information lacks
significance or meaning
3) Effective interpretation and use of information still depends on the relationship the
recipient has with sender
Interpersonal communication focuses on accuracy of information being communicated
Relationship between Unskillful Communication and Interpersonal Relationships
Supportive communication seeks to preserve or enhance a positive relationship between you
and another person while still addressing a problem, giving negative feedback, or tackling a
difficult issue
Coaching managers pass along advice, information or they set standards to help others
improve their work skills (focus on abilities)
Counseling managers help others recognize and address problems involving their level of
understanding, emotions, or personalities (focus on attitudes)
Two Major Obstacles to Effective Interpersonal Communication
Supportive communication engenders feelings of support, understanding, and helpfulness. It
helps overcome the two main obstacles resulting from poor interpersonal communication:
1. Defensiveness
One individual feels threatened or attacked as a result of the communication
Self-protection becomes paramount
Energy is spent on constructing a defense rather than on listening
Aggression, anger, competitiveness, and avoidance are common reactions
1. Disconfirmation
One individual feels incompetent, unworthy, or significant as a result of the communication
Attempts to reestablish self-worth take precedence
Energy is spent trying to portray self-importance rather than on listening
Showing off, self centered behavior, withdrawal, and loss of motivation are common reactions
Supportive Communication (Can Dicks Penetrate Vaginas Softly Cause Ojai Should)
1. Congruent, Not IncongruentA focus on honest messages where verbal statements
match thoughts and feelings
2. Descriptive, Not EvaluativeA focus on describing an objective occurrence, describing
your reaction to it, and offering a suggested alternative
a. Describe objectively the event, behavior, or circumstance
Avoid accusations
Present data or evidence
a. Focus on the behavior and your reaction, not on the other person’s attributes
Describe your reactions and feelings
Describe the objective consequences that have resulted or will result
a. Focus on solutions
Avoid discussing who’s right or wrong

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Suggest an acceptable alternative
Be open to other alternatives
1. Problem-Oriented, Not Person-Oriented – A focus on problems and issues that can be
changed rather than people and their characteristics
2. Validating, Not Invalidating – A focus on statements that communicate respect, flexibility,
collaboration, and areas of agreement
Invalidating is when communication is:
Superiority-oriented communication: form of put down, in which others are made to
look bad so that communicator looks good
Indifference: other person’s existence or importance is not acknowledged
Imperviousness: communicator does not acknowledge feelings or opinions of the other
Validating Communication is when communication is:
Egalitarian: person of higher status interacts with person of lower status
Flexibility: willingness of a person to communicate an understanding that the other
party may possess additional data and other alternative that may make significant
contributions both to the problem solution and the relationship
Two way communication – result of respectfulness and flexibility
Identifies areas of agreement and joint commitment
1. Specific (useful), Not Global (nonuseful) – A focus on specific events or behaviors and
avoid general, extreme, or either-or statements
2. Conjunctive, Not Distinctive – A focus on statements that flow from what has been said
previously and facilitate interaction
Refer to communicator’s statement immediately preceding statement
Avoid long pauses, take turns speaking
1. Owned, Not Disowned – A focus on taking responsibility for your own statements by using
personal (“I”) words
2. Supportive Listening, Not One-Way Listening – A focus on using a variety of appropriate
responses, with a bias toward reflective responses
Responses to Supportive Listening
Directive Response: generally useful when
Nondirective Response: Generally useful
when counseling
Closed Response: eliminates discussion of
topics and provide direction to individuals
Listener can control the topic of
Generally useful during later stages of
Open Response: allows communicator, not
the listener, to control the topic of
Generally useful during early stages of
Type Definition
Advising Provides direction, evaluation, personal opinion, or instructions
Appropriate when listener has expertise that the communicator doesn’t posses
helps communicator understand something that may have been unclear before,
it helps identify a problem solution, and It can provide clarity about how the
communicator should act or interpret the problem
can produce dependence, creates impression that the communicator is not
being understood by the listener
Switches the focus from the communicator’s problem to one selected by the
used for comparison or some reassurance
imply that communicator’s message is not important or that the experience of
the listener is more significant than the communicator
Probing Asks a question about what the communicator just said or about a topic
selected by the listener

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Intent acquire more information, to help communicator say more about the
topic, or to help listener foster more appropriate responses
Four Types of Probing Responses
1. Elaboration probe: use when more information is needed (eg. Can you tell
me more about that?)
2. Clarification probe: use when the message is unclear or ambiguous (eg.
What do you mean by that)
3. Repetition probe: use when topic drift occurs or statements are unclear (eg.
Once again, what do you think of this?)
4. Reflection probe: use to encourage more in-depth pursuit of the same topic
(eg. You say you are having difficulty?)
turns attacks into consensus, evaluations into descriptions, general statements
into specific statements, disowning statements into owning statement etc.
Lose control of conversation
Mirror back to the communicator the message that was heard and to
communicate understanding and acceptance of the person
– Paraphrasing
communicators can get impression that they are not being understood or
listened too if keep hearing reflections
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