Communication and working relationships in sport and fitness
Communication and working relationships in sport and fitness

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Communication and working relationships in sport and fitness

4 Watch two approaches to a dispute

The following video example of a neighbour dispute draws out a number of ideas covered earlier in the course. The first part of the video (Clip 1) is an aggressive approach resulting in a full-blown argument between neighbours. Clip 2 shows a different approach results in far more of a dialogue between the neighbours.

Activity 3 Neighbour dispute and dialogue

Timing: Allow about 25 minutes
  1. Watch the two clips. In Clip 1, swearing has been deleted but the overall aggressive tone of this dispute means you should watch it in private so as not to cause offence to others. Then watch the different approach in Clip 2.
  2. Focusing on Clip 2, identify examples of:
    • phatic talk
    • hedging language
    • non-judgemental response (person-centredness)
    • empathy (person-centredness)
    • authenticity (person-centredness)
    • active listening
    • any other interesting observations of communication practices.
Download this video clip.Video player: Clip 1
Skip transcript: Clip 1

Transcript: Clip 1

[SCRAPING METAL]

[FOOTSTEPS]

[KNOCKING]

[DOOR OPENING]

NEIGHBOUR:
Right, sort the tree out. Sort the [BLEEP] tree.
RESIDENT:
What are you on about?
NEIGHBOUR:
You are [BLEEP] me off. The tree's [BLEEP] me off. Two years now, sort the [BLEEP] tree.
RESIDENT:
You need to get out of my face, mate.
NEIGHBOUR:
Oh, do I? Yeah? Well, if you don't sort the tree out, I'm going to be...
RESIDENT:
You come to my house, talking to me like...
NEIGHBOUR:
Don't [BLEEP] shout at me, mate. You know exactly what I'm talking about.
RESIDENT:
I don't shout at you. You're shouting at me.
NEIGHBOUR:
Really?
RESIDENT:
You park your car outside my house every day.
NEIGHBOUR:
[BLEEP] to my car. Sort the tree out. If you don't, that tree comes down next weekend.
RESIDENT:
Don't you threaten me.
NEIGHBOUR:
Really?
RESIDENT:
Yeah, you know what? [BLEEP] off.
NEIGHBOUR:
[BLEEP] tree.

[DOOR CLOSING]

End transcript: Clip 1
Clip 1
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).
Download this video clip.Video player: Clip 2
Skip transcript: Clip 2

Transcript: Clip 2

[METAL SCRAPING]

[FOOTSTEPS]

[KNOCKING]

[DOOR OPENING]

NEIGHBOUR:
Hello, mate. How's it going?
RESIDENT:
Oh, yeah. Yeah, all right.
NEIGHBOUR:
Yeah?
RESIDENT:
How are you?
NEIGHBOUR:
Yeah, I'm all right, thanks. I just wondered whether, at some point, we could have a chat about the tree that's causing us a problem.
RESIDENT:
Yeah, I know it's a problem. I'm just so flat out at the minute.
NEIGHBOUR:
Oh, are you? What's happened?
RESIDENT:
Well, the wife's not very well. Have you heard she had a stroke?
NEIGHBOUR:
Oh, no.
RESIDENT:
And I'm backwards and forwards all day long in the hospital with the kids.
NEIGHBOUR:
I hadn't heard. That must be awful. I'm sorry to hear that.
RESIDENT:
Nightmare. Absolute nightmare, mate.
NEIGHBOUR:
And the children?
RESIDENT:
Well, it's to be expected. A bit upset about their mum, but we're OK. We'll get through it.
NEIGHBOUR:
So she went to the hospital, and the children - were they here?
RESIDENT:
NEIGHBOUR:
They must be suffering.
RESIDENT:
They are. We'll survive. So I'm really worried about not the kids at the minute.
NEIGHBOUR:
Yeah, I know, I get that. I'm not going through what you're going through, but I know what children can be like. That must be really hard.
RESIDENT:
Yeah, it's horrible.
NEIGHBOUR:
OK. All right, well, how are you feeling?
RESIDENT:
I'm just tired all the time, and I know you need the tree down. I'm sorry, but I'm just so flat out at the minute. But we'll get it done. I will get it done.
NEIGHBOUR:
Yeah, do you want to get it done?
RESIDENT:
I do want to get it done, yeah.
NEIGHBOUR:
Yeah?
RESIDENT:
Yeah.
NEIGHBOUR:
OK. Well, I don't want to add to your pressure, but if you want to do it and...
RESIDENT:
I can't do it now.
NEIGHBOUR:
No, OK.
RESIDENT:
Maybe next week. Is that any good for you?
NEIGHBOUR:
Next week? Next week is good for me. When?
RESIDENT:
Sunday?
NEIGHBOUR:
If it works for you, it works for me.
RESIDENT:
OK, all right.
NEIGHBOUR:
Because I know you're obviously under pressure at the moment. But if Sunday works for you, that's good for me.
RESIDENT:
Early would be better.
NEIGHBOUR:
Yeah? 9:00?
RESIDENT:
9:00, OK.
NEIGHBOUR:
Yeah? OK.
RESIDENT:
All right, 9 o'clock.
NEIGHBOUR:
OK, all right. Well, all the best, and I'll see you on Sunday.
RESIDENT:
Thanks. All right, see you Sunday.
NEIGHBOUR:
Bye-bye.
End transcript: Clip 2
Clip 2
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Discussion

This table is used to show some of the examples from Clip 2 that can be applied to each of the communication practices. In the table, Neighbour A is the visitor and Neighbour B is the home owner. Read about other interesting observations below this.

Table 1 Examples from Clip 2

Communication practiceExample from Clip 2
Phatic talkA: ‘Hello mate, how’s it going?’
Hedging languageA: ‘I just wondered, whether at some point we could have a chat …’
Non-judgementalA responds in a non-judgemental way on hearing B has been ‘flat out’
EmpathyA shows an empathy in expressing concern about what B and his children must be going through, his tone of voice also conveys this and it is also reinforced by asking ‘how are you feeling?’
AuthenticityThe manner in which B reveals his family’s struggles with his wife’s condition gives the impression that he is authentically showing part of his true self.
Active listeningA displays this throughout but in particular when he reflects back to B ‘I don’t want to add to your pressure but …’ and then about the tree removal timing ‘if it works for you it’s good for me’.

Other interesting observations of communication practices are:

  • The way in which A says ‘… the tree that is causing US a problem’, which makes it a joint problem.
  • Neighbour A shows a degree of self-awareness and the impressions he might give others by remaining courteous, knocking on the door gently and keeping positive as the STPC model suggests.
  • Assuming that this situation used actors, the only criticism might be that there seemed to be little use of minimal encouragers or hand gestures largely because their hands remained firmly stuck in their pockets through Clip 2.

While you have the Clip 1 footage from this confrontation in your mind, it is timely for you to briefly think about the challenges of using the telephone as the communication tool. Would it be a help or a hindrance in this dialogue?

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