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Effective Communication Skills 2011


Talk is something you do every day. And your life is literally shaped by it.
Many of the decisions you make are decided by talking. You may be in a restaurant asking a waiter for an unusual substitution, urging a service manager to get your car finished sooner rather than later, or trying to sway your significant other toward a particular film or show. Or you might be trying to build more cooperative relationships at the office.

No matter why you engage in face-to-face talk, though, there's no way to insulate yourself from the dangers of miscommunication. Your ability to use the art of talk to effectively convey who you are and to build solid relationships not only influences the success of your friendships, romantic life, and everyday encounters, but also how you experience your workplace. Studies show that using conversational skills properly in that arena makes you more productive, happier, and less stressed.

But the truth is that most of us don't understand nearly as well as we could how conversation really works, whether in the office or out of it, with both parties often having entirely different perceptions of what the words and gestures passing back and forth are meant to convey. Even more important, most of us aren't as successful as we could be in making those conversations work better for us. Even when we're more skilled at it than the average person, we often give up the opportunity to be even better, leaving a lot of potential success and happiness on the table.

Effective Communication Skills is your chance to learn more about how you communicate verbally, the common problems you can encounter in doing so, and how you can improve your own effectiveness—especially by overcoming the psychological and biological hard-wiring that too often gets in the way.

In 24 mind-opening lectures, Professor Dalton Kehoe of Canada's York University brings more than four decades of experience as an award-winning teacher, author, and successful business consultant to this exploration of what's really going in any conversation you take part in.

Learn the Techniques for Successful Communication

Building on many years of revealing research, Professor Kehoe explores the scientific foundation of communication skills and offers practical techniques for managing your reactions and speaking effectively in conflict- and tension-laden situations.

He explains the conversational roadblocks we all encounter every day—many of them driven by culturally ingrained and biological processes that operate automatically in most situations—and offers techniques for eliminating them. Each technique he teaches you has proven successful and effective in the toughest laboratories of all: the home, the workplace, and the other social arenas in which you live, work, and play.

You learn
how early cultural learning and deeply learned patterns of reaction in our unconscious mind affect how you see, think, and feel about other people and enhance or undermine your ability to communicate effectively;
how your sense of self develops in everyday talk during your childhood and the ways in which your subconscious is built to sustain and defend your self-esteem, shaping how you think and speak to others for the rest of your life;
the specific styles of talking you use in most situations, including different types of control talk—the unproductive and needlessly aggressive mode that almost always dooms a conversation to a fatal downward spiral—and the more desirable alternative of dialogue talk.

You'll grasp how the latter can facilitate bridge-building even between people who may have very different views of a situation, allowing them to resolve those differences without either party feeling they've been bullied into a solution or demeaned or humiliated.

Just as important, you'll learn the basics of perhaps the most important and neglected aspect of human conversation, the art of actually listening.

Taught by: David Zarefsky, Northwestern University, Ph.D., Northwestern University

Course Lecture Titles
1. Introducing Argumentation and Rhetoric
2.Underlying Assumptions of Argumentation
3.Formal and Informal Argumentation
4.History of Argumentation Studies
5.Argument Analysis and Diagramming
6.Complex Structures of Argument
7.Case Construction—Requirements and Options
8.Stasis—The Heart of the Controversy
9.Attack and Defense I
10.Attack and Defense II
11.Language and Style in Argument
12.Evaluating Evidence
13.Reasoning from Parts to Whole
14.Reasoning with Comparisons
15.Establishing Correlations
16.Moving from Cause to Effect
17.Commonplaces and Arguments from Form
18.Hybrid Patterns of Inference
19.Validity and Fallacies I
20.Validity and Fallacies II
21.Arguments between Friends
22.Arguments among Experts
23.Public Argument and Democratic Life
24.The Ends of Argumentation

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