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Cover

It's All of Our Business

Communicating Competently in the Workplace

J. Dan Rothwell and Michelle Waters

Publication Date - October 2022

ISBN: 9780190078225

352 pages
Looseleaf

With wit and wisdom, It's All of Our Business prepares students with practical solutions for everyday workplace communication - in person and online.

Description

It's All of Our Business: Communicating Competently in the Workplace is a concise, conversational text that balances practical skills with scholarly insight. Grounded in a communication competence perspective, this text provides students with the communication skills needed to have successful careers in the 21st century.

With its strong focus on power dynamics, important topics such as sexual harassment, gender bias, bullying and abuse at work are best analyzed for their causes and prevention. Its unique coverage addresses several topics often ignored or given only glancing coverage in competing texts, such as leadership, power, conflict management, teamwork and group dynamics. Engaging case studies, novel illustrations, personal narratives, vivid stories, and abundant humor create an engaging resource students will actually want to read. Abundant research will be cited in a free-flowing writing style.

Instructors may find course preparation tools and more details on our robust digital offerings at www.oup.com/he/rothwell-waters.

Features

  • Focus on Power. Substantial coverage in two dedicated chapters and throughout the text recognizes the important context and application power has in workplace communication. Important topics, such as sexual harassment, gender bias, and bullying at work are best analyzed for their causes and prevention in terms of power dynamics.
  • Cultural Coverage. By addressing the role of culture throughout the text, students make connections and see how culture permeates the contemporary business environment.
  • Practical and Applied. Frequent case examples, real-life business scenarios, templates, and strategies prepare students for their day-to-day beyond the classroom and in the workforce.
  • Readable and Engaging. Conversational style, vivid stories, and novel illustrations elevate It's All of Our Business beyond a traditional textbook, creating an engrossing resource that students will actually want to read.
  • Prepare for Success. It's All of Our Business provides a wealth of online resources, including videos, flashcards, and quizzes that bring the content to life, offer practical application of theoretical concepts, and help students study and prepare.

About the Author(s)

J. Dan Rothwell is the former chair of the Communication Studies Department at Cabrillo College. He has authored five other books in addition to It's All of Our Business and has received more than two dozen teaching awards during his lengthy academic career.

Michelle Waters is a sought-after corporate trainer who designs and delivers business communication programs to leaders internationally. She also taught communication courses at San Jose State University and Cabrillo College for more than 20 years. This is her second book.

Reviews

"Culturally competent text that teaches how to communicate in any form. Very easy to read!"--Kenneth Chapman, University of Oklahoma

"Something new and very readable. It will hold student attention better than any of the other such texts."--Daniel Paul Schwartz, SUNY Buffalo State College

"Timely, engaging, and relevant. It encourages students to build their own skills to become more competent workplace communicators."--Jennifer Keohane, University of Baltimore

"Part business communication, part business psychology, part business ethics, and part self-actualization--all necessary for today's aspiring business professional."--Sean Flannery, Immaculata University

"It is an enjoyable read for students. It is laced with concepts and theories in a manner that is engaging and thought provoking."--Karley Goen, Tarleton State University

"The case examples keep the students interested and everything I read is accurate and easy to understand...your students would benefit from this text!"--Melissa Rice, Immaculata University

"A thorough look at business communication from a practical perspective--one that explores the hows AND the whys."--Paul Hemenway, Lamar University

Table of Contents

    Brief Contents
    Preface
    1. Communication: How It Works
    2. Communication Competence: A Model for Success
    3. Power: The Inescapable Dynamic
    4. Balancing Power: Communication Strategies Good and Bad
    5. Communication Climate: Positively Critical
    6. Listening: More Than Meets the Ear
    7. Social Media and Interviewing: On Your Way to Work
    8. Conflict Management: A Common Experience
    9. The Nature of Groups: Working with Others
    10. Competent Leadership: A Process More Than a Person
    11. Work Teams: A Special Type of Group
    12. Meetings: A Perpetual Challenge
    13. Business Writing: Representing Yourself with Words
    14. Developing and Organizing Business Presentations
    15. Critical Thinking and Supporting Materials
    16. Visual Aids and Delivery
    Glossary
    References
    Credits
    Index

    Chapter 1: Communication: How It Works
    COMMUNICATION MYTHS
    Myth 1: More Communication Equals Better Communication
    Myth #2: 93% of Message Meaning is Conveyed Nonverbally
    Myth 3: Communication Is a Cure-All
    DEFINING COMMUNICATION
    Communication Is Transactional: Beyond Information Exchange
    Communication Is a Process: The Continuous Flow
    Communication Is Sharing Meaning: Making Sense
    --Verbal Sharing: Telling It Like It Isn't
    --Nonverbal Sharing: Wordless Challenges
    SUMMARY
    FILM SCHOOL CASE STUDIES
    TED TALKS AND YOUTUBE VIDEOS

    Chapter 2. Communication Competence Model
    COMMUNICATION COMPETENCE MODEL
    Appropriateness: Communication Is Audience-Centered
    --Rules: Explicit and Implicit
    --Rule Violations: Consequential Effects
    Effectiveness: Achieving Goals
    --Degrees of Effectiveness: From Deficiency to Proficiency
    --We-Orientation: Audience-Centeredness
    Achieving Communication Competence: Five Ways
    --Knowledge: Learning the Rules
    --Skill: Showing, Not Just Knowing
    --Sensitivity: Receptive Accuracy
    --Commitment: A Passion for Excellence
    --Ethics: The Right and Wrong of Communication
    CULTURE AND COMMUNICATION COMPETENCE
    Individualism-Collectivism: The Prime Directive
    --General Description: The Me-We Dimension
    --Communication Differences: Direct Versus Indirect Styles
    Cross-Cultural Guidelines: Quick Tips
    BOX 2-1 Self-Assessment: Be Ye Individualist or Collectivist?
    SUMMARY
    FILM SCHOOL CASE STUDIES
    TED TALKS AND YOUTUBE VIDEO

    Chapter 3. Power: The Inescapable Dynamic
    THE NATURE OF POWER
    Forms of Power: Dominance, Prevention, and Empowerment
    Communication Indicators of Power
    --General Indicators: Defining, Following, and Inhibiting
    --Verbal Indicators: Language Choices
    --Nonverbal Indicators: Silent Exercise of Power
    --Status Cues: Virtual Groups
    Power Resources: Raw Materials of Influence
    --Information: Good and Plenty
    --Expertise: Information Plus Know-How
    --Legitimate Authority: When to Comply and When to Defy
    --Rewards and Punishments: What Works Best?
    --Personal Qualities: A Powerful Persona
    CONSEQUENCES OF POWER IMBALANCES
    Sexual Harassment: When "Flirting" Is Hurting
    Bias Against Women and Ethnic Minorities: Leadership Gap
    Workplace Bullying: Verbal and Nonverbal Aggression
    POWER-DISTANCE: CULTURAL VARIATION
    General Description: Horizontal and Vertical Cultures
    Communication Differences: With Whom May You Communicate?
    SUMMARY
    FILM SCHOOL CASE STUDIES
    TED TALKS AND YOUTUBE VIDEOS

    Chapter 4. Balancing Power: Communication Strategies Good and Bad
    DOMINANCE-PREVENTION POWER STRUGGLES
    Defiance: Digging in Your Heels
    Resistance: Dragging Your Feet
    --Minimum Effort: How Slow Can You Go?
    --Strategic Stupidity: Smart People Acting Dumb
    --Loss of Motor Function: Conscious Carelessness
    --The Misunderstanding Mirage: Confusion Illusion
    --Selective Amnesia: Fake Forgetfulness
    --Tactical Tardiness: Late by Design
    --Purposeful Procrastination: Deliberate Delays
    EMPOWERMENT ENHANCEMENT
    Developing Assertiveness: Confidence and Skill
    BOX 4-1 Stand Up, Sit Down: An Exercise in Assertiveness
    Forming Coalitions: Gaining Allies
    Increasing Personal Power Resources: Expanding Choices
    SUMMARY
    FILM SCHOOL CASE STUDIES
    TED TALKS AND YOUTUBE VIDEOS

    Chapter 5. Communication Climate: Positively Critical
    CREATING POSITIVE COMMUNICATION CLIMATES
    The Negativity Bias: A Major Impediment
    Emphasizing the Positive: The "Magic Ratio"
    Offering Praise and Recognition: The Essential Building Blocks
    Cultivating Collaboration: Working Together
    Defensive and Supportive Communication: Shaping Climates
    BOX 5-1 Self-Assessment: Reactions to Defensive and Supportive Communication
    Criticism Versus Description
    --Control Versus Problem Orientation
    --Manipulation Versus Assertiveness
    --Indifference Versus Empathy
    --Superiority Versus Equality
    --Certainty Versus Provisionalism
    --Incivility Versus Civility
    DEVELOPING TRUST: TOUGH TO GAIN, EASY TO LOSE
    SUMMARY
    FILM SCHOOL CASE STUDIES
    TED TALKS AND YOUTUBE VIDEOS

    Chapter 6. Listening: More Than Meets the Ear
    THE LISTENING PROCESS
    Hearing: Receiving Raw Data
    Understanding: Shared Meaning
    Remembering: Not an Easy Task
    Interpreting: Message Perception
    Evaluating: Separating Fact from Fiction
    Responding: Giving Feedback
    TYPES OF LISTENING
    Discriminative Listening: Deciphering Speech Sounds
    Comprehensive Listening: Understanding Messages
    Informational Listening: Learning
    Critical Listening: Analysis Not Criticism
    Empathic Listening: Caring and Sharing
    LISTENING PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS
    Noise: Four Types
    Unfocused Listening: Mindlessness and Multitasking
    Pseudolistening: Faking It
    Shift Response: Conversational Narcissism
    Competitive Interrupting: Seizing the Floor
    Ambushing: Preparing Rebuttals
    SUMMARY
    FILM SCHOOL CASE STUDIES
    TED TALKS AND YOUTUBE VIDEOS

    Chapter 7. Social Media and Interviewing: On Your Way to Work
    ONLINE NETWORKING
    LinkedIn: The Professional Social Network
    Creating a Powerful LinkedIn Profile
    --Compose a Compelling Headline
    --Provide a Profile Picture: Don't Be Camera Shy
    --Personalize Your URL: It's the Little Things
    --Craft a Strong Summary: Tell Your Story
    --Get Recommendations on the Spot
    INTERVIEW PREPARATION
    Researching the Company: Vision, Mission, and Values
    Using the PREP Method: Matching Background to Company Values
    KNOW YOUR VALUE: A SUBJECTIVE INVENTORY
    INTERVIEW QUESTIONS: TWO TYPES
    Behavioral Interview Questions
    Situational Interview Questions
    PEP TALK: CHECK YOUR MINDSET
    THE INTERVIEW: SEVERAL FORMATS
    One-on-One Interview
    Screening Interview
    Panel Interview
    INTERVIEW FOLLOW-UP
    Express Gratitude: Pen a Worthy Thank-you
    Send a Follow-up Note: Remain Patient
    Get Better: Seek Feedback
    SUMMARY
    FILM SCHOOL CASE STUDIES
    TED TALKS AND YOUTUBE VIDEOS

    Chapter 8. Conflict Management: A Common Experience
    NATURE OF CONFLICT
    Definition: Incompatible, Interconnected Struggle
    Destructive or Constructive Conflict: Communication Differences
    COMMUNICATION STYLES OF CONFLICT MANAGEMENT
    Confrontation: Directly Addressing the Problem
    Integration: Seeking Joint Gains
    Smoothing: Calming Troubled Waters
    Accommodating: Yielding
    Compromising: Halving the Loaf
    Avoiding: Withdrawing
    Competing: Power-Forcing
    SITUATIONAL FACTORS
    Task Conflict: Routine or Nonroutine
    Relationship Conflict: It's Personal
    Values Conflict: Deeply Felt Struggles
    Dealing with Difficult Co-workers: Bad Apple Spoilage
    ANGER MANAGEMENT
    Constructive and Destructive Anger: Intensity and Duration
    Managing Your Anger at Work: Taking Control
    Managing the Anger of Coworkers: Communication Jujitsu
    VIRTUAL COMMUNICATION AND CONFLICT
    SUMMARY
    FILM SCHOOL CASE STUDIES
    TED TALKS AND YOUTUBE VIDEOS

    Chapter 9. The Nature of Groups: Working with Others
    THE STRUCTURE OF GROUPS
    Group Size: Influencing Structure
    Groups Versus Organizations: Structural Differences
    Task and Social Dimensions: Productivity and Cohesiveness
    Norms: Rules Governing Group Behavior
    --Types of Norms: Explicit and Implicit
    --Conforming to Norms: Being Liked and Being Right
    Roles: Expected Patterns of Behavior
    Structured Problem Solving: Standard Agenda
    --Problem Identification: What Is the Question?
    --Problem Analysis: Doing the Research
    --Solution Criteria: Setting Standards
    --Solution Suggestions: Generating Alternatives
    --Solution Evaluation and Selection: Deciding by Criteria
    --Solution Implementation: Follow-Through
    Decision Making Rules
    --Majority Rule: Tyrannical or Practical
    --Minority Rule: Several Types
    --Unanimity Rule: Consensus
    CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING
    Conditions for Creativity: Preliminaries
    Creative Communication Techniques: Systemic Procedures
    --Brainstorming: Generating Lots of Ideas
    --Nominal Group Technique: Limited Interaction
    SUMMARY
    FILM SCHOOL CASE STUDIES
    TED TALKS AND YOUTUBE VIDEOS

    Chapter 10. Competent Leadership: A Process More Than a Person
    DEFINITION OF LEADERSHIP
    Difference #1: Positional versus Interpersonal Influence
    Difference #2: Maintaining versus Changing
    Differences Not Categorically Exclusive: Matter of Emphasis
    Leadership and Followership: Let's Dance
    LEADER EMERGENCE
    Two Phases of Emergence
    Virtual Group Leader Emergence
    Additional Factors: Implicit Theories of Leadership
    COMPETENT LEADERSHIP PERSPECTIVES
    Traits: Marginal Enlightenment
    BOX 10-1 Self-Assessment: What Is Your Leadership Style Preference?
    Situational Leadership: Be Agile
    Servant Leadership: Ethical Necessity
    Leadership Across Cultures: Few Universals
    VIRTUAL GROUP LEADERSHIP
    SUMMARY
    FILM SCHOOL CASE STUDIES
    TED TALKS AND YOUTUBE VIDEOS

    Chapter 11. Work Teams: A Special Type of Group
    DEFINITION OF A TEAM
    TEAM MEMBER COMPOSITION
    Team Builders: Diverse, Complementary Skill Sets
    --Diversity: An Amalgamation
    --Communication Training: Developing Members' Competence
    Team Slayers: Bad Attitudes and Communication Behaviors
    --Egocentrism: Me-Deep in Omnipotence
    --Cynicism: Communicating a Can't-Do Attitude
    --Abuse: Incompetent Communication That Kills Teams
    BUILDING TEAMWORK
    Developing Team Goals: The Four C's
    --Clear Goals: Everyone on the Same Page
    --Cooperative Goals: Interdependent Effort
    --Challenging Goals: Denting the Universe
    --Commitment to Goals: A Passion to Succeed
    Developing a Team Identity: Unifying Members
    --Symbolic Convergence: Communicating Fantasy Themes
    --Solidarity Symbols: Unifying Creatively
    --Team Talk: The Language of We?
    Designating Roles: Beware of Duplication
    Team Empowerment: Enhancing Members' Capabilities
    --Definition of Empowerment: Four Dimensions
    --Hierarchical Organizations: The Enemy of Team Empowerment
    --Self-Managing Work Teams: The IDEO Model
    --Leadership and Empowerment: Some Supervision Required
    BOX 11-1 Typical Characteristics of Empowered Teams
    Establishing Individual Accountability: Providing Feedback
    VIRTUAL TEAMS
    SUMMARY
    FILM SCHOOL CASE STUDIES
    TED TALKS AND YOUTUBE VIDEOS

    Chapter 12. Meetings: A Perpetual Challenge
    MEETING PREPARATION: A LEADER'S JOB
    Clarify the Purpose: Avoid Aimlessness
    Create an Effective Agenda: Simple Steps
    Get There First: Remember Murphy's Law
    CONDUCTING A MEETING
    Begin on Time, End on Time: Punctuality is a Virtue
    Communicate Ground Rules: Avoid Chaos
    Stay on Track: Parking Lots, Jellyfish, and Perception Checks
    Concluding Meetings: Do Not End with a Whimper
    After the Meeting: Clean-up Time
    PARTICIPATING IN A MEETING
    Belong or Be Gone
    Be Prepared: Don't Act Like a Potted Plant
    WAIT: Avoid Stage Hogging
    Be Attentive: Silence Can Be Golden
    VIRTUAL MEETINGS
    Pros and Cons: A Mixed Bag
    Facilitating Virtual Meetings: New Challenges
    Participating Virtually: Unusual Considerations
    SUMMARY
    FILM SCHOOL CASE STUDIES
    TED TALKS AND YOUTUBE VIDEOS

    Chapter 13. Business Writing: Representing Yourself with Words
    WRITING VS. CONVERSING
    THE CASE FOR WRITING WELL
    The High Cost of Weak Writing Skill
    Business Writing Is an Occupational Requirement
    COMPETENT BUSINESS WRITING
    Types: So Many Options
    Audience Analysis: Good Writers Respect Their Readers
    Write Well: Choose Your Words Wisely
    Writing Pre-work: Step Away from the Keyboard
    ANATOMY OF AN EMAIL
    The Set-Up
    The Body
    --Opening: Consider Formality
    --Lead with the Most important Information
    --The Close
    The Close
    --Cultural Variations
    CAREFUL COMPOSITION
    Tone: Difficult Writing Challenge
    --Tone and Texting
    --Tone and Email
    Spelling/Grammar 101
    SUMMARY
    FILM SCHOOL CASE STUDIES
    TED TALKS AND YOUTUBE VIDEOS

    Chapter 14. Developing and Organizing Business Presentations
    ADDRESSING SPEECH ANXIETY
    Causes: Dysfunctional Anxiety
    --Catastrophic Thinking: Fear of Failure
    --Perfectionist Thinking: No Mistakes Permitted
    --The Illusion of Transparency: Being Nervous about Looking Nervous
    --Novelty of the Speaking Situation: Fear of the Unknown
    Strategies: Managing Anxiety
    --Prepare and Practice: Novelty to Familiarity
    --Gain Perspective: Rational Thinking
    --Communication Orientation: Reframing
    AUDIENCE ANALYSIS
    Types of Audiences
    --Captive Audience: Disengaged Listeners
    --Committed Audience: Agreeable Listeners
    --Contrary Audience: Hostile Listeners
    --Concerned Audience: Eager Listeners
    --Casual Audience: Unexpected Listeners
    Audience Type and Persuasion
    Audience Composition
    --Age: Generation Gap
    --Gender: The Importance of Inclusivity
    --Ethnicity and Culture: Sensitivity to Diversity
    --Group Size: It Makes a Difference
    How to Analyze Your Audience
    Other Considerations
    ORGANIZATION
    The Introduction: How to Begin
    --Make a Clear Purpose Statement: Provide Intent
    --Establish Topic Significance
    --Establish Your Credibility
    --Preview Your Main Points
    The Body
    --Organizational Patterns: Several Choices
    --Transitions: Making Connections
    The Conclusion
    --The Speech Summary: Pulling It Together
    --Call to Action: The Persuasive Finish
    --Final Thought
    Q&A: They Have Questions, You Have Answers
    You're on Mute: Tips for Presenting Virtually
    Hybrid Presentations: Upping the ante
    SUMMARY
    FILM SCHOOL CASE STUDIES
    TED TALKS AND YOUTUBE VIDEOS

    Chapter 15. Critical Thinking and Supporting Materials
    EXAMPLES
    Types of Examples
    --Hypothetical Examples: It Could Happen
    --Real Examples: It Did Happen
    --Brief and Extended Examples: Timing and Impact
    Making Examples Effective
    --Use Relevant Examples: Stay on Point
    --Choose Vivid Examples: Create Strong Images
    --Stack Examples: When One Is Not Enough
    STATISTICS
    Make Statistical Comparisons: Gain Perspective
    Use Statistics Sparingly: Don't Overwhelm
    TESTIMONY
    Testimony of Experts: Relying on Those in the Know
    Testimony of Nonexperts: Ordinary Folks Adding Color to Events
    Using Testimony Effectively: Beyond Quoting
    --Quote or Paraphrase Accurately: Be Ethical
    --Quote Experts Only in Their Field: No Generic Experts
    EVALUATING SUPPORTING MATERIALS
    Credibility: Is It Reliable and Valid?
    --Biased Source: Something to Gain
    --Incomplete Source Citation: Something to Hide?
    Relevance: Does It Follow?
    --Ad Hominem Fallacy: Diversionary Tactic
    --Ad Populum Fallacy: Arguing from Popular Opinion
    Sufficiency: Got Enough?
    --Self-Selected Sample: Partisan Power
    --Inadequate Sample: Large Margin of Error
    --Hasty Generalization: Arguing from Example
    --Correlation as Causation: How Related?
    SUMMARY
    FILM SCHOOL CASE STUDIES
    TED TALKS AND YOUTUBE VIDEOS

    Chapter 16. Visual Aids and Delivery
    BECOMING VISUAL
    Types of Visual Aids: Making Appropriate Choices
    --Objects and Models: Keeping It Real
    --Charts, graphs and diagrams: Delivering Data Visually
    --Maps: Places and Processes
    --Tables: Factual and Statistical Comparisons
    --Photographs and Images: Very Visual Aids
    Choosing Media: Showcasing Your Visual Aids
    --Whiteboards and Flip Charts: Visual Aids On the Go
    --Handouts: Information To-Go
    --Video Excerpts: Visual Power
    --Projection Options: Blowing It Up
    --Computer-Assisted Presentations
    --Slide Design: The Basics
    --Pairing Visual Aids: The Power of Partnership
    DELIVERING THE GOODS
    Delivery Method: One Type Doesn't Fit All Occasions
    --Manuscript Speaking: Prepared text
    --Memorized Speaking: When a Manuscript Won't Do
    --Impromptu Speaking: Off-the-Cuff Presentations
    --Extemporaneous Speaking: A Conversational Combination
    Developing Competent Delivery
    --Eye Contact: Connecting with Your Audience
    --Voice: Developing Vocal Variety
    BOX 16-1: Voice Exercise
    --Fluency: Avoiding Excessive Vocal Fillers
    --Speaking Rate: Finding the Right Pace
    --Articulation and Pronunciation: Striving for Clarity of Speech
    --Physical Delivery: Finding the Right Balance Nonverbally
    --Distracting Behaviors: Avoiding Interference
    --Audience-Centered Delivery: Matching the Context
    Delivery of Visual Aids
    --Make Aids Visible
    --Quality Over Quantity
    --Get Out of the Way
    --Put the Aid Out of Sight When Not in Use
    --Practice With Aids
    SUMMARY
    FILM SCHOOL CASE STUDIES
    TED TALKS AND YOUTUBE VIDEOS