1. Name the five listening and response styles. For the statement below, respond in all five styles using one or two sentences for each response.
Sarah says to John, “Between taking care of my family, working a job, and going to school, sometimes I just don’t know which end is up, and I get so exhausted!”
The following are the listening and response styles in communication
Interpretive response mainly focuses at informing the sender the meaning of the problem one faces as well as their feelings. For example, “You are worried yet you are involved in many activities which are tiresome and important.”
Supportive response mainly serves to reassure the sender hence reducing the weight of feelings. For instance, “It’s normal to feel that way because you are involved in a lot of work. Many people experience the same way, but you will successfully go through it.”
Probing on the other hand, attempts to find additional information about the problem. For instance, “What kind of work do you do? You say going to school makes you exhausted, what is your thinking?”
Evaluative response involves giving a well thought and appropriate response. Example, “It’s absurd that you have such feeling, but you should get your priorities right to avoid conflict and put things to order.”
Understanding mainly aims at clarifying the level of understanding of the message. Example, “I used to feel the same way and who to give priority was always a challenge.”
2. Name the five conflict styles. Which is most important for each style- the goal or the relationship? Think of one conflict situation in which you used one of these styles and briefly describe it.
Conflict mainly arises as a result of vested competing interests where only one party gains at the expense of the other. Conflict styles include;
Accommodating mainly focuses on ensuring mutual benefits between the parties. The needs of the group are given top priority hence the relationship is more important than the individual goal.
Competing is where an individual interest dominates and one party can only gain at the expense of the other. Little regard is given to relationships as everyone seeks to control the resource therefore the goal is more important than the relationship.
Collaboration entails working towards a common goal by pooling the resources and the objectives together. There is need for cooperation and effective communication such that both the relationship and the goal are important as one leads to the other.
Compromising is a conflict style in which parties enter into a concession that is of mutual benefit and the gain is facilitated by tradeoffs. In this case, each party remains very conscious of their relationship but at the same time focus on the individual needs.
Avoiding is often employed because of fear of the repercussions it can cause to those involved. The parties avoid finding an immediate remedy but with time the problem grows until it becomes unavoidable and solving it negatively impacts those involved.
I encountered a conflict when I was preparing to sit for my end term examination when I realized that studying and revising alone was not yielding any good results because the revising materials were not enough to warrant success but through collaboration with my friend we were able to pool our resources together and passed the exam beyond our expectation.
3. There are six steps in negotiating a mutually beneficial agreement. Name the six steps, and briefly describe how you would use them to resolve a conflict. Think of a conflict you’ve been in or make up a conflict situation. Write about the specific conflict situation as you are using each step.
Negotiation should entail the following:
Identifying the objective of negotiation is vital because it puts the negotiator in a better position in arguing what needs to be done according to him. For example, one may negotiate about the price of a cloth where the objective is for lowering of the price.
Analyzing the emerging interests and situations where such negotiations can take place. From the example above, the interest of the buyer is lowering of price and making profit by the seller.
Understanding each other’s interests is vital because it is only where every party is aware of its goals that a successful negotiation can take place. This enables each party maintain what they would like to achieve making during the negotiation.
Brainstorm the potential outcomes where the agreement can still be beneficial to both. This provides room for accommodation of the other party’s suggestions facilitating successful negotiation.
Evaluate the objective criterion which entails finding information that will help in arriving at the best course.
4. Discuss at least five important aspects of giving effective feedback. Describe a real or imaginary situation in which you use all five aspects.
A feedback especially a negative one needs to be given privately and therefore doing it immediately after the conversation makes it more responsive to change.
Furthermore, an effective feedback should put into consideration the impact of their message before responding.
In general, a feedback should be given to the recipient when they have given room for feedback and should be done immediately after the event. This ensures that such feedback will be helpful to the recipient.
The feedback should mainly focus on prompting further reflection thus facilitating more conversation through the use of questions.
The feedback should be concise and specific pointing at a particular issue or event and should mainly give suggestions on how best the problem can be resolved especially with negative feedback.
This is mainly used in the public lecture where there are many people and thus giving a feedback requires a critical analysis of its impact.