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Understanding Verbal Messages HCOM 100 Instructor: _______________.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding Verbal Messages HCOM 100 Instructor: _______________."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding Verbal Messages HCOM 100 Instructor: _______________

2 Understanding Verbal Messages  Why focus on language?  The nature of language  The power of words  Confronting bias in language  Using Words to establish supportive relationships

3 Why Focus on language WWords are powerful YYou choose language Former Congresswoman from Texas, the late Barbara Jordan, recognized that language can be a powerful tool to help us exert influence and enhance our relationships. (Beebe & Ivy, 2004, pg. 57)

4 The Nature of Language  A language is a system of symbols (words or vocabulary) structured by grammar (rules and standards) and syntax (patterns in the arrangement of words) common to a community of people.  Words dictate and limit the nature of our reality.

5 People use Words as Symbols  The meaning of a word is how a person interprets or makes sense of a symbol.  Bypassing occurs when the speaker’s and the receiver’s meanings do not correspond.

6 People Create Denotative and Connotative Meanings  The denotative level of language conveys content.  The connotative level of language conveys feelings.

7 People Convey Meanings Through Words  A word is concrete if we can see it, touch it, smell it, taste it, or hear it.  If we cannot, the word is abstract.  Concrete messages are more clear, abstract terms or more difficult to understand or agree upon.

8 Meanings Are Culture-Bound CCulture consists of the rules, norms, and values of a group of people that have been learned and shaped from one generation to the next. TThe meaning of words can change from culture to culture.

9 Meanings are Context-Bound  Symbols derive their meaning from the situation in which they are used.

10 The Power of Words  Words have the power to create and label experience.  Words have the power to impact thoughts and actions.  Words have the power to shape and reflect culture.  Words have the power to make and break relationships.

11 Confronting Bias in Language  Words that reflect bias toward other cultures can create barriers for listeners.  Political correctness involves the use of language that does not exclude or offend listeners.

12 Biased Language: Race, Ethnicity, Nationality and Religion  Allness occurs when words reflect unqualified, often untrue generalizations that deny individual differences or variations.  Keep abreast of linguistic changes and adopt the designations currently preferred by members of the ethnic groups themselves.

13 Biased Language: Gender and Sexual Orientation  Sexist language reveals bias in favor of one sex against another. The use of a masculine term as though it were generic. To avoid sexist language, use either she or he, he/she, or s/he.  Homophobic language reveals insensitivity or intolerance toward persons who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

14 Biased Language: Age, Class, and Ability  Inventory your language for terms that are disrespectful to elders or patronizing to younger persons.  Monitor references to socioeconomic differences (e.g., blue- and white-collar workers).  Avoid drawing attention to a person’s physical, mental, or learning ability.

15 Using Words to Establish Supportive Relationships  Trigger words are forms of language that arouse certain emotions.  Verbal behaviors can contribute to feelings of either supportiveness or defensiveness.

16 Using Words to Establish Supportive Relationships  Describe your own feelings rather than evaluate others  Solve problems rather than control others  Be genuine rather than manipulative  Empathize rather than remain detached from others  Be flexible rather than rigid toward others  Present yourself as equal rather than superior

17 What questions do you have?  HOMEWORK: Reading? Turn in assignment?

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