Part IV. Face-to-Face Communication 165
ur ability to communicate is the foundation of our success in life. However, to date,
our education system has assumed that if you can hear and speak, you can listen
and talk effectively. This is not always the case. The activities in Part IV have been
designed to allow people to examine some of their most fundamental communication
skills and improve their abilities.
Often, we know that we have heard exactly what someone has said, but they may
remain unconvinced of that unless we prove it to them. Alternatively, we may know that
we have heard their words but suspect that we have not understood their meaning. The
listening exercise in Activity 19 tackles this problem, along with other communication
When people question us, it sometimes feels as if they are challenging or disbelieving
us. This can make us feel defensive when it is not constructive for us to take a defen-
sive stance. Likewise, when we ask someone a simple question, we may receive a
totally unexpected response, usually because we have given insufficient thought to the
way in which we have posed the question. Activity 20 deals with these and other issues.
Our body language sends unspoken messages to other people. A raised eyebrow,
folded arms, or lack of eye contact may be interpreted in several different ways. How-
ever, if our body language contradicts our words, it is usually the body language that is
believed! Activity 21 helps people align their nonverbal language with their intended
When we perceive another person as being difficult, it affects how we behave toward
them. As professionals at work, we need to ensure that however difficult we perceive
someone else to be, we do not lower our standard of behavior and/or work. Activity 22
looks at how to achieve this and how to end a difficult encounter, feeling proud of our
personal performance.

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