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Course Outline

Effective communication plays a key role in conflict resolution or conflict avoidance. Being a better communicator may diffuse a situation and prevent the escalation of conflicts. This can be accomplished through good verbal and non-verbal communication.

  • Verbal Communication: When communicating verbally, what you say and what another person hears or thinks you said can vary greatly. To become more effective with your verbal communications, you should adjust what you say and how you say it based on the following.
    • Consider these factors related to your audience:
      • The person’s age
      • The person’s cultural background and beliefs
      • The person’s education level and profession
    • Choose your words carefully:
      • Do not use jargon that the other person will not understand.
      • Use approriate positive or negative words that fit the situation.
      • Never use language that another person would find offensive.
    • Use a tone of voice that lets the other person know you care about the outcome. Do not be sarcastic.
    • Do not raise your voice too loudly. Keep your volume at an appropriate level to avoid antagonizing the other person unnecessarily.
  • Non-Verbal Communication: When people are communicating, not only are words being exchanged but also silent signals are being sent as non-verbal communication. Just as with verbal communication, your non-verbal communication can result in information being misunderstood. Non-verbal communication includes the following signs, signals, and behaviors.
    • Body Language/Movements/Stance: Use body language that is appropriate for the situation, and pay attention to the body language of the other person. Pay attention to hand gestures too.
    • Eye Contact: Evaluate the situation and the other person involved to decide if it is better to make eye contact or avoid it.
    • Personal Space: Think about how much space to keep between yourself and the other person.
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