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Techniques for developing your communication skills.
- Active listening. Effective listeners do the following:
- Make eye contact.
- Schedule sufficient, uninterrupted time for meetings.
- Genuinely seek information.
- Avoid being emotional or attacking others.
- Paraphrase the message you heard, especially to clarify the speaker’s intentions.
- Keep silent. Don’t talk to fill pauses, or respond to statements in a point‐counterpoint fashion.
- Ask clarifying questions.
- Avoid making distracting gestures.
- Constructive feedback. When providing feedback, you can do the following:
- Focus on specific behaviors rather than making general statements
- Keep feedback impersonal and goal‐oriented
- Offer feedback as soon after the action as possible
- Ask questions to ensure understanding of the feedback
- Direct negative feedback toward behavior that the recipient can control
- Written communication method
- Use the P.O.W.E.R. Plan for preparing each message: plan, organize, write, edit, and revise
- Give the message a concise title and use subheadings where appropriate
- Use simple words and short, clear, sentences and paragraphs
- Avoid “flowery” language, euphemisms, and trite expressions
- Summarize main points at the end and let the reader know what he/she must do next
I give people my full attention while they’re talking to me.CorrectIncorrect
I encourage other people to talk, and I ask appropriate questions.CorrectIncorrect
I present my ideas so that others are receptive to my point of view.CorrectIncorrect
I treat people fairly, and I let others know how I want to be treated.CorrectIncorrect
I value teamwork and know how to build cooperation and commitment.CorrectIncorrect
I show respect for people’s ideas and feelings, even when I disagree with them.CorrectIncorrect
I accept differences and conflict as a normal part of any work environment, and I know how to address them constructively.CorrectIncorrect
I strive to understand other people and to be empathetic.CorrectIncorrect
I am open to negative feedback, and I communicate difficult truths in a respectful way.CorrectIncorrect
I am able to easily win people’s trust and respect.CorrectIncorrect
I check to make sure I’ve understood what other people are trying to communicate.CorrectIncorrect
I am confident and at ease giving a presentation.CorrectIncorrect
I avoid making absolutist judgments about people (like, “She’s always that way.”).CorrectIncorrect
I follow through on my commitments.CorrectIncorrect
I can work with difficult people without becoming negative myself.CorrectIncorrect