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Communication Styles: Indirect / Direct

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ESL, English, Communication styles, Direct communication, indirect communication

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Communication Styles: Indirect / Direct

  1. 1. Communication Styles Direct versus Indirect communication styles
  2. 2. Have you ever heard of these idioms:
  3. 3. Do you consider yourself a “People Pleaser”?
  4. 4. Symptoms of a ‘People Pleaser’ • You have a difficult time saying ‘No’ to people. • You worry whether people like you. • You sometimes feel resentful of others; taken advantage of.
  5. 5. How often do you experience miscommunication issues at work? Can you give an example?
  6. 6. Would you describe most of your colleagues as Direct (assertive) OR Indirect (passive)? when it comes to communicating their wants/needs as well as problems.
  7. 7. Direct V.S. Indirect communication: What’s the Difference?
  8. 8. Direct Communication: - Gets straight to the point - Openly confronts issues or difficulties - Expresses information clearly – without the need to guess (transparency)
  9. 9. Indirect Communication: - Focuses on tone and being polite - Avoids direct conflict; may “Sugar-coat” bad news - Expresses opinions / concerns diplomatically
  10. 10. For Example: DIRECT INDIRECT What’s your job? Can I ask what industry you’re working in? Come to my office please. If you’re not busy now, could you please come to my office? Turn on the light. Would you mind turning on the light please? I was here first. [get behind me] Sorry/excuse me, but I was here first. You can go after me.
  11. 11. “A Happy Medium” – Direct but polite
  12. 12. In general, is it better to be Direct or Indirect in the workplace? What about when you’re dealing with customers?
  13. 13. Read the following Dialogue: Ms. Green : We’re behind schedule. It looks like we may have to keep the office open on Saturday. Mr. Brown: I see. Ms. Green: Can you come in on Saturday? Mr. Brown: I will try to come. (with a hesitant tone) Ms. Green: Our team really needs your help. Mr. Brown: Yes. Saturday’s a special day, did you know? Ms. Green: Is it? Mr. Brown: It’s my 16th wedding anniversary. Ms. Green: Oh, that’s great. Congratulations. Mr. Brown: Thank you. I will plan something special.
  14. 14. So, do you think Mr. Brown came to work on Saturday? Was there something Ms. Green should have said to clarify her request? How would you describe the communication styles of both people?
  15. 15. If you need to let your supervisor know some bad or unpleasant news – what’s your communication approach? • Direct (Assertive) • Indirect (Passive) • Blunt / Rude A b • Avoidant
  16. 16. What if a stranger was sitting in your seat on an airplane. What would you say? • Direct (Assertive) • Indirect (Passive) • Blunt / Rude A b • Avoidant
  17. 17. If your friend or family member had a partner / spouse you didn’t like, how would you express this issue? • Direct (Assertive) • Indirect (Passive) • Blunt / Rude A b (Aggressive)
  18. 18. If you need to let your supervisor know some bad or unpleasant news – what’s your communication approach? • Direct (Assertive) • Indirect (Passive) • Blunt / Rude A b • Avoidant
  19. 19. The English are famously indirect as this comic shows.
  20. 20. Consider the following scenarios:
  21. 21. You’re meeting with your key customer in a café. The music at the café is very loud and distracting. What would you say to the café staff?
  22. 22. Possible options: “Turn down the music please.” “Would you mind turning down the music please?” • how do these two questions differ?
  23. 23. You’re lost and late for a meeting, so you’re in a rush. You need to find 6th avenue. How would you ask a stranger for directions?
  24. 24. Possible Questions: “Where is 6th Avenue?” “Excuse me, do you know where 6th Avenue is?”
  25. 25. Your shopping alone and trying on a dress in the fitting room. You’d like a 2nd opinion from another shopper. How would you ask for their input?
  26. 26. Possible questions: “How does this look on me?” “What are your thoughts about this dress?” What do you think * Would this change if you were asking for your friend’s opinion?
  27. 27. You need to borrow a little bit of money from a friend because you forgot your wallet. How would you ask your friend?
  28. 28. Possible options: “Hey, I forgot my wallet. Can I borrow some money?” “Oh no, I forgot my wallet. If it’s no trouble, would you mind loaning me some money? I can pay you back tomorrow.”
  29. 29. Different situations call for different styles of communication. For Example: It’s important to note that one form isn’t better than the other…
  30. 30. Would you prefer a doctor who is direct or indirect with information about your health?
  31. 31. If you’re thinking of buying something which would you rather hear from a sales assistant and why? “A lot of our customers are very pleased with this product. It’s made with 100% natural ingredients. I know you’ll be very happy with it. Do you want to buy this?” “A lot of our customers are very pleased with this product. It’s made with 100% natural ingredients. I think you’ll be very happy with it. If you have any more questions, just let me know.”
  32. 32. If someone is asking for money from you (donation, a loan, sponsorship), would you prefer direct or indirect communication?
  33. 33. When it comes to dating, is it better to be upfront about your feelings, or take time to share them?
  34. 34. Straight to the point with Direct communication
  35. 35. Change the following statements to be more direct and to the point
  36. 36. A: “Hey, I need your help.” B: “I wish I could help you now, but I’m sorry to say I’m busy at the moment. Can you wait until this afternoon?”
  37. 37. A: “Hey, I need your help.” B: “Sorry, I’m busy right right now. I can help you later if you still need it.”
  38. 38. A: This product is on sale today. It’s really good and many people love it. Do you want to buy it? B: Oh, it looks very nice. I will think about it and perhaps I can try it another time.
  39. 39. A: This product is on sale today. It’s really good and many people love it. Do you want to buy it? B: No, thanks. [I’ve already got what I need. ]
  40. 40. “I understand that you’re very busy, but It would be wonderful if you could attend my event.”
  41. 41. “This event is important to me, and I’d like to see you there / I’d like it if you were there.”
  42. 42. The Art of Indirect communication
  43. 43. Indirect communication is more polite and non-confrontational – especially when you’re talking to strangers or acquaintances. It tends to follow the same structure (when asking questions)
  44. 44. Common Introductory Phrases: Would you mind…? Is there some chance…? Are you able to…? Do you know…? I was hoping… I was wondering… Do you think…? Would it be possible…? Could you tell me…? If it’s not too much trouble…? Questions
  45. 45. A: “Sorry, I can’t come to work today.” B: “Why not?”
  46. 46. A: “Sorry, I can’t come to work today.” B: “I’m sorry to hear that - Is everything okay with you?”
  47. 47. A: “What do you think of this dress?” B: “Mmm. It’s not suitable on you.”
  48. 48. A: “What do you think of this dress?” B: “How do you feel in it? It’s a lovely dress, but I don’t think it shows off your small waist.”
  49. 49. A: “There’s been a delay in processing the paperwork.” B: “When is it going to be done?”
  50. 50. A: “There’s been a delay in processing the paperwork.” B: “I see. Do you know about how long it will take to be done?”
  51. 51. “Can you sign this?”
  52. 52. “Would you mind signing this please?”
  53. 53. “Are you coming to the conference or not?”
  54. 54. “I was wondering if you were still planning to attend the conference.”
  55. 55. “You sound terrible. Go to the doctor.”
  56. 56. “Your cold doesn’t sound good. If you have the time, I know of a really great doctor. Would you like me to set up an appointment?”
  57. 57. A: “Would you like something to drink?” B: “No, I’m okay.”
  58. 58. A: “Would you like something to drink?” B: “Thanks for the offer, but I’m okay. I let you know if I get thirsty.”

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