COM 102 Skills & Application Options


"I" Language A communication skill where the speaker takes ownership and responsibility for their message by claiming it as their own.
3 R's of Listening The process of listening which involves preparing to listen (Readying), encouraging the speaker to say more (Reaching) and paraphrasing what the speaker has said (Reflecting).
Adapting to Differences Being flexible about our communication with others by adjusting our attitudes (by being open-minded), acknowledging differences, assessing others without judging them and consciously choosing the best technique for that person and situation.
Asking for Feedback Asking others for their reaction to you or to your behavior.
Assertive Format An assertive technique where you express to the other person the full range of your thoughts and feelings to others while expressing respect for them. "I feel (emotion) when you (behavior), I would prefer (alternate behavior) and/or (positive/negative consequences)."
Assertiveness The ability to share the full range of your thoughts and feelings without judging or dictating to others.
Attending The process being aware of information that is coming in from the environment and selecting what to pay attention to.
Awareness Wheel (Clear Message Format) A format which describes all elements of the awareness wheel so you can express yourself as clearly as possible. "I think that you are (conclusions) because (sense data), about that I feel (emotion) because (impact) and I want to (desire)."
Broken Record An assertive technique where you say what you want/don't want over and over again. This calm repetition demonstrates persistence without emotionality
Calling People by Their Names A communication technique where you remember and call people by their name. In order to remember names, it's important to attend carefully as you interact with them and use their name a few times in a conversation with them.
Cognitive Complexity The ability to form a variety of different explanations for the same thing. Cognitive complexity helps you consider issues from several angles which may prevent overreacting or misunderstanding the situation.
Compromise An approach to conflict resolution in which both parties attain at least part of what they wanted through self-sacrifice.
Conciseness A verbal communication technique where the sender expresses their thoughts and ideas clearly by avoiding information overload. "Getting to the point" is a synonym for conciseness.
Concrete and Specific Language A verbal communication technique where the speaker avoids being vague by choosing words that symbolize their exact thoughts and feelings. Concrete and specific language is considered "low on the abstraction ladder
Confrontation A conflict resolution technique where you point out to the other person the effect that his/her behavior has you and the possible consequences of their behavior.


Confrontive Format A conflict resolution technique where you directly express to the other person how their behavior affects you. "I think I understand that you (empathic statement) and when you (description of behavior) I feel (emotion) because (reason for emotion). I would prefer (alternative behaviors) and/or (positive/negative consequences). I am concerned because (affirmation of relationship)"
Descriptive Speaking A verbal communication technique where you state what you see or hear in objective language without evaluating.
Details and Examples A verbal communication technique where a person gives specific details and concrete examples while speaking to help the listener get a clear picture of what the speaker means.
Disputing Irrational Thoughts The process of being aware of illogical thinking, monitoring your emotional reactions, explaining why your irrational belief doesn't make sense and finding alternative ways to view the thought or issue.
Empathizing Projecting oneself into another person's point of view, so as to experience the other's thoughts and feelings.
Equality A type of supportive communication where the sender regards the receiver as worthy of respect and as worthwhile as oneself.
Fogging An assertive technique where you accept criticism you believe to be manipulative by calmly acknowledging to your critic the probability that there may be some truth in what they say, yet it allows you to be the judge of what you do.


Giving Feedback A manner in sharing your perceptions with others that is considered helpful and concrete. The steps: Be appropriately descriptive, be specific, focus on changeable behaviors, focus on the present, own the feedback, give it directly to the person involved, focus on the needs of the relationship, give feedback that has been asked for and share your impressions provisionally.
Immediacy Skills Communication techniques that show you are genuinely interested in other people. The skills include being attentive, making appropriate eye contact, nodding, smiling and other appropriate facial expressions, gesturing, being at an appropriately close distance from the other person, having open body posture and positively reinforcing the other person and their ideas.
Initiating Skills The communication techniques people use in order to strike up a conversation with someone they don't know. These skills include: seeking out open people, taking advantage of conversation-pieces, smiling and making eye contact, starting with a positive opener, keeping the conversational-ball rolling, listening, and ending the conversation gracefully.
Interaction Management Skills Communication techniques that keep interactions flowing smoothly. These include behaviors such as conversational turn taking, politeness, equality, openness, appropriate self-disclosure, questioning and paraphrasing.
Interpretive Statements Statements that offer your perception of an event or person -- what it means to you.
Labeling an Emotion Recognizing (from nonverbal reactions and thoughts) what emotional state a person is feeling then finding a vocabulary word for the specific feeling(s).
Listening The process of hearing, attending, understanding, responding and remembers an aural message.
Owning and Expressing Feelings Making an "I" statement to identify yourself as the source of an idea or feeling. Feeling statement = "I feel (emotion)."
Paraphrasing Restating a speaker's thoughts and/or feelings in the listener's own words.
Perception Checking Format A three-part method for verifying the accuracy of interpretations, including a description of the sensory data, at least one possible interpretation, and a request for confirmation of the interpretation. "I notice that you (sensory data/behavior), to me that means (interpretation), is that right (request for clarification) "
Pillow Method A method for understanding an issue from several perspectives rather than with an egocentric "I'm right and you're wrong" attitude.
Politeness Relating to others in ways that meet their need to be appreciated and protected.
Praising (strokes) Describing the specific positive behaviors or accomplishments of another and the effects that the behavior has on others
Provisional Statements (Provisionalism) A supportive style of communication in which the sender expresses a willingness to consider the other person's information or perceptive. Using wordings that suggest that an idea is an opinion or may not be entirely true.
Questioning A verbal communication technique where a person phrases a sentence to get additional information.
Receiving Feedback Non-Defensively A manner of accepting feedback (or criticism) without attacking the person or the information given. Seek more information through questioning, paraphrase, use the reflective response, affirm the other's right to have their perceptions, and thank them for communicating with you.
Reflective Response Format The listening techniques where you restate what the speaker said into your own words. "You feel (emotion) because (reason), is that right?"
Remembering The ability to recall information.
Self- Disclosure The process of deliberately revealing information about oneself that is significant and others would not normally know.
SOLER Stance A physical attending position where you face the person Squarely, use Open body posture, Lean forward slightly, use appropriate Eye contact and look Relaxed in this position. It is used to show others were are listening to them and to help us stay focused on them.
Supporting Making statements whose goal is to soothe, approve, reduce tension, or pacify the other by acknowledging that you understand what the other is feelings and you support that person's right to be feeling that way.
Versatility The ability to handle our behavioral preferences and tendencies (such as our communication style) in a skilled way, without producing tension or defensiveness in others. Regarding communication styles, versatility is being flexible with our behaviors such that we can adapt to any communication style the other person is.
Win-Win Problem Solving A conflict resolution technique where the goal is to find a solution that satisfies the needs of everyone involved. The steps are: Identify the problem and unmet needs, make a date, describe the problem and needs, consider the other's point of view, negotiate a win-win solution, and follow the solution.

Last updated on 6/23/00

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