Section 14C - Seven Steps for Effective Communication Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Section 14C - Seven Steps for Effective Communication Deck (102):

List the seven steps that make both your written correspondence and speaking more effective.

1) Analyze your purpose and audience; 2) research the topic; 3) support your ideas; 4) organize and outline; 5) prepare a draft; 6) edit the draft; and 7) fight for feedback.


What are the four purposes of most Air Force writing or speaking?

To 1) direct; 2) inform; 3) persuade; or 4) inspire.


When communicating, determine the message you want to send (the what) and your purpose (the ____).

Why. (Your purpose will tell you what to emphasize and what your tone should be.)


Which communication approach should you use to describe actions you expect your audience to carry out?

The direct approach.


What should you emphasize in directive communication?

Clear, concise directions and expectations.


The ____ approach passes information to the audience.



What should you emphasize in informative communication?

Clear, direct communication of accurate and adequate information tailored to the audience's education and skill level.


What may be appropriate during informative communication to ensure the audience gets the message?

Audience feedback and interaction.


When should you use the persuasive approach when speaking or writing?

To sell your audience on a new idea, policy, product or change in current operations.


The inspirational approach is rarely used when speaking or writing in the military. (T/F)

False. (It's frequently used. )


What should you emphasize in inspirational communication?

Your delivery and a thorough knowledge of your topic and you audience.


When speaking or writing, what should you draft to clarify your communication's objective?

A purpose statement.


A purpose statement captures the essence of what you're trying to do (your "bottom line"). How many sentences should it be?

One clear sentence.


How does developing a clear purpose statement help both you and your audience?

It helps you Focus, Organize, Clear, Understand and Support (FOCUS) as you develop your communication and it helps your audience FOCUS when you deliver your message.


What should you understand about yourself to help reach your communication goals?

Your own strengths and weaknesses.


Why should you know your organization when communicating?

So you can accommodate their views, capabilities or concerns.


In communication, receiving audiences fall into what four subcategories?

1) Primary receivers; 2) secondary receivers; 3) key decision makers; and 4) gatekeepers.


Which audience subcategory includes the person you communicate with directly, either verbally or in writing?

The primary receiver.


In communication, who is included in the secondary receiver audience subcategory?

People you communicate with indirectly through the primary receivers.


Which audience subcategory includes the most powerful members of the audience?

Key decision makers. (Knowing who they are will help focus your attention and delivery.)


Which audience subcategory includes the most powerful members of the audience?

Key decision makers. (Knowing who they are will help focus your attention and delivery.)


____ are the people in the chain who review a communication before it reaches the intended audience.

Gatekeepers. (Knowing who they are and what they expect can save you embarrassment and help ensure your process.)


How can you avoid letting rank be a barrier to communication?

Treat everyone as communicative equals and be candid, direct and respectful to all.


Smooth out your communication by using career-field specific jargon and acronyms whenever possible. (T/F)

False. (Avoid excessing use of jargon and acronyms. Don't overestimate the knowledge and expertise of your audience, but don't talk down to them, either.)


What communication traps can inadvertently exclude members of the audience?

References to race, religion, ethnicity or sex - for example, when designing your visual support. (Be inclusive and adhere to good taste and sensitivity.)


Why do speakers have an advantage over writers regarding tone when communicating tone?

Speakers can use gestures, voice and movements to help communicate tone. (Writers should remember nonverbal signals aren't available.)


The first rule of writing is to be polite. Forego anger, criticism and sarcasm in favor of reason and persuasion. (T/F)

True. (Be courteous. Don't deliberately embarrass anyone.)


How can using pronouns (when appropriate) help your communication?

It personalizes your communication, crates rapport, shows concern, keeps the audience involved and helps avoid monotony.


Instead of using "I," "me" and "my" when communication, which pronouns should you choose?

"You," 'yours," "we," "us," and "our."


Avoid using "I" as the first word of an opening sentence. When could you start two sentences in a row with "I" or "We"?

To hammer home a point.


Your audience appreciates sincerity and honesty. How can you cultivate a positive tone?

Give praise when it's due; acknowledge acceptance before focusing on improvements; and express criticism as helpful questions, suggestions, requests and recommendations or clear directives, not as accusations.


Research your topic to support your communication goals. What are the five steps for effective research?

1) Review the purpose and scope of the overall project; 2) assign a deadline for the research; 3) ask the boss; 4) determine what you know about the topic; and 5) determine where to look for information.


Sometimes your may need to do preliminary research just to scope out the effort required for your communication goal. (T/F)

True. (Sometimes the purpose and stop evolve as you learn more.)


Why should you assign a deadline to finish your communication research?

To ensure you don't run out of time for the other steps.


To save some time, who should you ask for suggestions on where to start with a research project?

Your supervisor.


Though you should first look to your own knowledge about a research topic, what should you guard against while doing so?

Your own biases.


List some sources of information for your research project.

Coworkers, base personnel, office files, references, computer network references, the Internet and library.


Name five common types of evidence you'll use to support your ideas when communication.

1) Definitions; 2) testimony; 3) statistics; 4) facts; and 5) explanations.


A(n) ____ is the precise meaning or significance of a work or phrase.



In communication, what is considered testimony in support of your claim?

The comments of recognized authorities including direct quotations or paraphrases.


What evidence provides a summary of data that allows your audience to better interpret quantitative information?



How should you handle statistics when support in your ideas?

Keep them simple and easy to understand, round them off and document their exact source.


A(n) ____ is a noncontroversial piece of data that can be objectively verified.



Should you handle inferences as testimony or as fact?

As testimony.


List the three types of explanation used to support ideas.

1) Analysis; 2) comparison and contrast; and 3) description.


Which type of explanation separates a whole into smaller pieces for further study, clarifying a complex issue by examining one piece at a time?



In explanations, comparison dramatizes similarities between two objects or situation. What does contrast do?

Emphasizes differences.


Which type of explanation gives details, painting a picture with words?



When you organize and outline your communication, select a(n) ____ to help you and your readers move systematically and logically through your ideas.



What factors influence your choice of pattern to organize and outline your communication?

Your purpose, the needs of your audience and the nature of your material.


List the eight common organizational patterns of communication.

1) Topical; 2) compare and contrast; 3) chronological; 4) sequential; 5) spatial or geographical; 6) problem and solution; 7) reasoning and logic; and 8) cause and effect.


List the eight common organizational patterns of communication.

1) Topical; 2) compare and contrast; 3) chronological; 4) sequential; 5) spatial or geographical; 6) problem and solution; 7) reasoning and logic; and 8) cause and effect.


Which organizational pattern for communication presents groups of ideas, objects or events by categories?



When would you use the compare and contrast pattern of organization for communication?

To discuss similarities or differences.


You want to discuss events sequentially from past to present. Which organizational patterns should you use?

Chronological. (Discusses events, problems or processes in a sequence of time.)


The sequential pattern or organization is a step-by-step approach, similar to the chronological pattern. When would you use the sequential pattern?

To describe a sequence of steps to complete a technical procedure or process.


Which organizational pattern of communication starts at some point in space and proceeds in sequence to other points (north to south, clockwise, bottom to top, etc.)?

Spatial or geographical.


Describe the problem and solution organizational pattern of communication.

It identifies and describes a problem and possible solutions or an issue and possible techniques to resolve it.


Which organizational pattern of communication states an opinion, them provides support for that position?

Reasoning and logic.


You want to lead your audience down the path to your point of view on an issue. Which organization pattern of communication should you choose?

Reasoning and logic.


The ____ and ____ organizational pattern of communication shows how one or more ideas, actions or conditions lead to others.

Cause and effect.


When writing a draft, you should focus on grammar, punctuation, spelling and word choice. (T/F)

False. (Focus on getting your ideas down on paper, not on polished sentences.


How can you avoid losing focus when writing a draft?

Periodically check your outline.


You should break your draft into what three-part structure?

1) Introduction 2) body; and 3) conclusion


What should the introduction to your draft do?

Capture your audience's attention, establish rapport and announce your purpose.


A draft's typical introduction has what three components?

1) Stage-setting remarks; 2) purpose statement; and 3) overview.


Which of the three components of a draft's typical introduction is optional, especially in very short messages?

Stage-setting remarks. (They set the tone, capture attention and encourage the audience to read further.)


If you could only keep once sentence in a draft's introduction, which one would it be?

The purpose statement. (It specifies your purpose, thesis or main point.)


The _____ in your introduction clearly presents your main points, previews your paragraph sequence and ties your main points to your purpose.



In a well-arranged communication, what part comes last, summarizing the main points and leaving a sense of closure?

The conclusion.


The conclusion of your raft should bring up new information to avoid repetition. (T/F)

False. (Do not bring up new information. Instead, balance the introduction without being identical.)


The ____ of your draft includes your main ideas and supporting details for your message.

Body. (It typically consists of several paragraphs.)


Generally you should write a separate paragraph in the body of you message for each main idea. (T/F)



Paragraphs group related ideas into single units of thought. What should each paragraph contain as its focal point?

A topic sentence. (Supporting ideas should prove, clarify, illustrate and develop your main point.)


Prepare all Air Force correspondence using plain language. Give examples of plain language.

Using logical organization; common, everyday words (except necessary technical terms); pronouns such as "you" and others; the active voice; and short sentences.


Internal transitions are used within a sentence to improve its flow, How are external transitions used?

To link separate paragraphs together.


What are the three considerations when drafting sentences?

1) Use the active voice; 2) avoid smothered verbs; and 3) use parallelism.


Does the active voice or the passive voice show the subject as the receiver of the action?

Passive voice. (The active voice uses fewer words to make the point quickly.0


Which is an example of active voice - "I appreciate your support" or "Your support is appreciated"?

"I appreciate your support."


Which is an example of passive voice - "Please submit" or "It is requested that you submit"?

"It is requested that you submit."


Keep verbs active, lively, specific, concise and out in front, not hidden. (T/F)



Which is an example of smothered verbs - "The IG team held a meeting to give considerate to the printing issue" or "The IG team met to consider the printing issue"?

"The IG team held a meeting to give considerate to the printing issue."


____ construction uses a consistent pattern when making a list and doesn't mix things and actions, statements and questions, or active and passive voice.

Parellel construction.


Even experienced writers can have a hard time getting started. (T/F)



List five fears that lead to writer's block.

Fear of 1) failure; 2) rejection; 3) success; 4) offending; and 5) running out of ideas.


Writing just the topic sentence for each paragraph is one way to overcome writer's block. Name several others.

Brainstorm or "free write" to get started, don't procrastinate, don't worry about constraints on the first draft, bounce ideas off a friend or coworker, use visuals to show meaning and develop rituals or routines to get in the mood to write.


To edit efficiently, read your document at least ____ times.

Three times.


What should you do on the first editing pass?

Look at the big picture (the arrangement and flow of ideas).


On the first editing pass, what should you ensure about the purpose statement?

That it answers the original tasked and is contained in the introduction. (Also check the introduction and conclusion go together.)


What should you ensure in each paragraph during the first editing pass?

That they clearly relate to the purpose statement, are reverent, contain all main points and are arranged in a consistent order.


What should you check on the second editing pass?

Paragraphs, structure and clarity.


What three areas should you focus on in each paragraph during the second editing pass?

1) Unity of focus; 2) topic sentence; and 3) supporting ideas.


On the second editing pass, ensue each paragraph contains ____ main point(s).

One. (All information must relate enough to be in the same paragraph.)


A paragraph should have one sentence that captures its central idea. What is this called?

The topic sentence.


How many sentences should a paragraph contain in total?

Three to seven.


What should you check on the third editing pass?

Sentences, phrases and words. (Look at the details -passive voice, unclear language, excessive wordiness, grammar and spelling.)


Why should you read the paper out-loud during the third editing pass?

Because you may catch more errors when you slow down and use two senses - seeing and hearing.


Fight for feedback and have a second person review your communication. Who should you choose to give feedback?

Coworkers familiar with the issue and its jargon or an expert in an area of communication (such as grammar).


If you are a feedback reviewer, you should be consistent, objective, sensitive to the stated purpose and stick to what the person wants from your review. Should you mark every possible change to help the author?

No, distinguish between necessary, desirable and unnecessary changes. Only give the author a sense of what really needs to be changed.


To give effective feedback, you should concentrate on improving content, not writing style or personal preferences. Should you use general statements or pinpoint specific problems?

Pin-point specific problems. (Such as awkward sentences, grammar, etc.)


List the four writing feedback philosophies.

1) Describe rather than judge; 2) be both positive and negative - consider strong and weak points; 3) strive to be specific; and 4) direct feedback at behavior the author can control.


As a supervisor providing feedback for a subordinate, you should be tactful and patient. Should you help inexperienced subordinates revise or rewrite their communications?

Yes, if necessary.

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