Review by Dr. Victoria Shackelford
The New York Times Sunday May 10, 2015, P. 3
Under; “Applied Science” by Phyllis Korkki
Reviewing a paper by the Academy of Management Review, writer Phyllis Korkki outlines according to their direction, the best way to defuse discord.
What she cites as the most effective way to communicate differences is to be more direct but with a difference.
That difference is to use “high directness but with low intensity’. She describes this approach to difference as:
“Communication is…unambiguously expressed but comes with actions like debating and deliberation.”
This is the better choice over:
- High directness/high intensity
- Low directness/high intensity
- Low directness/low intensity
The author of this paper, Laurie R. Weingart says with a high directness/low intensity manor people are more inclined to avoid a personal subjective approach, opting instead to “listen to other’s views and take them into account while working toward a positive outcome” (p. 3).
Leaders have a greater opportunity to achieve goals that benefit all if the high directness/ low intensity method is employed. The need to establish behavior norms is imperative because unconsciously “people tend to mirror one another’s behavior” (p. 3).
Leaders and individuals who live and work together in a close environment can benefit from clarity, directness and low intensity non emotional communication focusing on the issues at hand in order to come to a better understanding of the components of a particular issue.
In any event, when people understand more engaging a healthy communication style they themselves will be inclined to use the same healthy communication style themselves—high directness and low intensity with debating and deliberation involved, replacing aggressive talk and body language or passive aggressive avoidance.
Good-luck for all in solving mutual problems
Dr. Victoria Shackelford