How Conversation Works: 6 Lessons for Better Communication
01: How to Become Conversationally Aware
Discover why the simple act of talking is so important to your success professionally and personally as the professor introduces you to the idea of becoming conversationally aware. Learn and analyze techniques for doing your share of conversational work and consider how gender affects the way we converse.
02: How the Conversational Floor Works
Improve your ability to navigate the conversational floor by exploring turn-taking devices as well as techniques for opening conversations and monitoring or reducing your "talk time." Weigh the pros and cons of using discourse markers and fillers such as "well," "um," and "like," and understand why being an active listener and back-channeling are crucial to being a good conversationalist.
03: How and When to Be Direct and Indirect
Interpreting the meaning behind the words that people say is key to making conversations work well. Consider the logic of conversation and understand more consciously the way we use explicit and implicit meanings-direct and indirect speech-to accomplish things through conversation. Also learn ways to redirect conversations that feel inappropriate or questions you find overly personal.
04: How to Navigate Face-Threatening Acts
Situations that threaten another's "face" or dignity are particularly complicated. Explore methods for managing this difficult social territory, including guidance on enhancing positive face, respecting personal space, offering a successful apology, and navigating the politics of giving a compliment. Consider how cultural differences of politeness affect expectations in this area.
05: How to Negotiate Professional Relationships
Turn to hierarchical relationships and self-promotion in the workplace with an investigation of the language of sophisticated ingratiation. Get strategies for making presentations feel more like conversations, ensuring listeners are engaged, and interviewing effectively-on both sides of the desk. Then, delve into the dynamics of doctor-patient communication, where effective conversation can lead t...
06: How to Maintain Relationships with Talk
Compare "report talk" with "rapport talk" to understand how discourse can simply relay information or build intimacy with a friend or romantic partner. Look at the fascinating research on how cooperative and competitive speaking styles differ, how parents model conversation for children from infancy, how language alignment can predict relationship success, and how electronic communications follow ...