STRATEGIES AND TACTICS OF COMMUNICATIVE BEHAVIOUR
I. Revising the theory
Exercise 1. Provide the definitions of the following notions.
Exercise 2. Match the communication tactics and their definitions.
Exercise 1. Read the following text and consider the questions below.
Debate, Discussion, Deliberative Dialogue
Deliberation is a particular kind of talk. It is the kind of talking that people do when they realize that they are responsible for making decisions and choices – or giving guidance to others who will make those decisions – that will not only affect them but will affect others and will also have costs and consequences along with the good things that may happen. Deliberation is hard work. People work at looking at the pros and cons of each approach, or perspective. That means making a real effort to find out how other people see the issue and, more importantly, why they see it the way they do. In deliberation, this means listening to the people you don’t agree with as carefully as to the people you do agree with.
It is, of course, possible to have a great discussion about issues and problems; sharing opinions, personal experiences, and favorite solutions. And that’s a fine, and often satisfying, thing to do. Or it is possible to debate an issue; presenting evidence supporting your chosen view, countering and undercutting the arguments that others present for their chosen views, persuading, and trying to win by presenting the best and most eloquent argument. But with deliberation, talk goes beyond just discussion or debate to trying to understand the problem together and to finding solutions that will be best for everyone. Deliberation happens when a group of people work on a problem as if solving it is up to them and no one else, and when they recognize that they and others will be living with the consequences, both good and bad, of the choices they make.
· Winners and losers.
· Search for glaring differences.
· Search for weaknesses in others’ positions.
· Counter another’s position at the expense of the relationship.
· Invest wholeheartedly in your beliefs.
· Listen to find flaws and counterarguments.
· Is oppositional and seeks to prove the other wrong.
· The goal is winning.
· Defends assumptions as truth.
· Back and forth exchange of information, stories, experiences, viewpoints …
· May focus on a topic, theme, idea, problems, issues, etc., may be broad or focused.
· A generic term meaning talking together.
· Focuses on the experience of talking without any particular goal or desired outcomes.
· May be between two people or among many.
· May mean many kinds of talking together (such as a deliberative discussion, informative discussion, debate, dialogue, etc.).
· Usually implies participants are not adversarial or competing as in debate.
· Goal is shared understanding of the issue/problem.
· Examining costs and consequences of even most favored approaches.
· Assumes that many people have pieces of an answer and a workable solution.
· Listening to understand and find meaning.
· Presents assumptions for re-evaluation.
· Opens possibilities for new solutions.
· Leads to mutual understanding of differences and ways to act even with those differences.
· People explore what’s important to them and others by asking questions.
Most useful when: A position or course of action is being advocated and winning is the goal.
Most useful when: People want to talk together about something without desiring any particular outcome from the conversation.
Most useful when: A decision or criteria for a decision, about the best way(s) to approach an issue or problem is needed.
1. What is deliberation?
2. How can one achieve deliberation in communication?
3. Dwell on the differences between debate, dialogue and discussion.
Exercise 2. Read the following article and dwell on the differences between strategies and tactics.
Strategies vs. Tactics and Why it Matters
Not surprisingly, most of my internal communication clients talk frequently about the desire to be more strategic in their work. Devising great strategies allows us to create powerful tactics that drive meaningful results.
The first step to being more strategic is to understand the difference a strategy and a tactic. There are many definitions, but here’s the definition that has always helped me throughout my internal communications career. Strategies are overarching methods or broad approaches used to achieve a plan’s objective and goals, and tactics are the particular actions used to implement the strategies. Put even more simply, strategies are ideas that drive an outcome and tactics are specific actions taken.
Here’s one way to think of it: In warfare, a surprise attack is a strategy. But the way in which a surprise attack is carried out has changed over the years due to available technology. We’ve gone from ambushing the enemy from behind trees to an assault with night vision goggles, but the element of surprise remains the same.
Form should follow function. Tactics are the specific things you need to do to implement the strategy. Typically, several tactics will support one strategy. A collection of several related tactics might unveil a broader strategy. The form your tactic takes should follow the strategic function.
For example, let’s suppose we have an objective of increasing employee engagement. Our measurable goal might be to increase an organization’s overall score by 10 percentage points on its annual survey that measures employee engagement. One of the strategies that support that goal is to increase opportunities for employees to participate in peer-to-peer communications. That strategy might cause us to think of several tactics. One tactic might be to deploy an enterprise social media network and another might be to deploy collaboration software that allows employees to post updates about their project-related activities. Those tactics might in turn lead us to think of face-to-face information exchanges between employee workgroups.
Tactics are actions, but they are not detailed action steps. Let’s say our tactic is to deploy an internal social media channel. You then will have to develop a detailed action plan that includes specific steps, deadlines and who is responsible for implementing each step. Action steps might include sourcing and procuring the software, deploying the software, developing an online program to teach employees how to use the software, developing an internal marketing program to promote the use of the channel, and so on. Developing the action plan and timeline is covered in the next section.
Sometimes tactics get ahead of our strategies. For instance, our leadership team or an internal client may want to do a particular tactic and our job is to implement it. It’s a good idea in such situations to ask probing questions to determine why that tactic is favored. What is it about the tactic makes is so desirable. The answer just might lead to other or even better tactics.
Confusion between strategies and tactics is a commonly made communication plan mistake. Correctly identifying which is which can facilitate the kind of creative thinking that makes good internal communication plans into great internal communication plans.
Adapted from: http://paulbartonabc.com/strategies-vs-tactics-and-why-it-matters/
Exercise 3. Identify the communication tactics used in the following sentences.
1. Most politicians are greedy and manipulative.
2. If you visit the National Air and Space Museum you might think the title is misleading, because it is actually full of stuff.
3. The truth is more important than sparing someone’s feelings, so I’m not going to beat around the bush.
4. Do you like living here, sir? –Yes, it’s a lovely neighborhood. – Are you concerned about the dangers to your house from fire? –Yes, a friend of my recently had to renovate because of a gas leak. – Can I show you our new fire insurance policy? – Yes, please.
5. I don’t really care whether you accept this offer or not, but our boss will be very disappointed.
6. As Dr. Reinard with whom I had the honor of working at Cambridge once said…
7. You are only pretending to be knowledgeable! Even if you do not like it – you are wrong with your statement. You cannot prove it. Give me some examples!
8. To begin with the differences: Lenin was cruel, which Gladstone was not; Lenin had no respect for tradition, whereas Gladstone had a great deal; Lenin considered all means legitimate for securing the victory of his party, whereas for Gladstone politics was a game with certain rules that must be observed. All these differences, to my mind, are to the advantage of Gladstone, and accordingly Gladstone on the whole had beneficent effects, while Lenin’s effects were disastrous.
Exercise 4. Provide examples to illustrate the following communication tactics.
III. Applying the model
Exercise. Conduct research. For three days pay close attention to the way you communicate with others. Note down the strategies and tactics that you make use of, the context you use them in and whether they are effective or not.