How many times have you been on a conference call and already had an idea to share, an answer to a question or solution to a problem before the person on the line has even finished his sentence? The same listening skills and thought processes apply when a conversation turns sour and your defence needs to kick in. The question is how to refocus that extra time you have while you're listening, said Paul, who teaches improvisation theatre techniques. There is no magic bullet to getting better at listening besides practice," she said.
One strategy to hone listening skills is through a simple game of one-word volleyball, where two people build a story by rapidly taking turns to add a word to what the other said immediately before.
The game forces players to listen actively and respond spontaneously. In the case of snide remarks, if you know your colleague has a tendency to make them, train your brain to listen to his or her words carefully and be prepared to remark quickly to defuse the situation.
Listening closely is often the key to a quick comeback Credit: iStock. I don't always receive praise for my intelligence. Where do we go from here? Another idea is to try and swallow your pride and raise the status of the other person. Let's say a manager or colleague takes a swipe at you repeatedly. Paul suggests the "status move," which is best conveyed in tone of voice.
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It's not really about the text, so much as it is the tone. According to Belina Raffy, a business improvisation consultant who once worked with a condescending manager, when banter turns toxic, it means death for innovation. Worse, it leaves a negative drag on other people's energy and tears teams apart. When a negative comment is made in a work setting — where, presumably, everyone wants to see projects succeed and keep their jobs — those comments usually come from a place of insecurity, Raffy said.
For example, a colleague may be unsure how to approach a particular task — he may believe that throwing the attention back to somebody else with a negative retort will remove the focus on his real or perceived ineptitude. Looking for some inspiration? Though it may be tempting to respond in kind, positive comments are a far better tool for keeping projects on track while showing your love of linguistic acrobatics. Others will find the humour in them and you may see negative interactions quickly cease. Negative comments do the opposite. Raffy recommends trying to reveal the "ridiculousness of the situation," without making the antagonist into the bad guy.
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Based on the codebook, a web-based coding interface was developed allowing the coders to mark example text and attach relevant coding tags to the text [see: Appendix 2 ]. This gave an inter-rater reliability IRR score of 0. The main reason for calculating IRR here is to improve reliability. Inter-rater disagreement can arise from actual disagreement, but when dealing with large amounts of data, it is often based on misreading or overlooking themes that are present.
This was repeated, and virtually all discrepancies were reconciled. After two rounds of the reconciliation process there were only five disagreements left, giving an IRR which was very close to 1. In these remaining five cases the coders agreed that the coding decisions were fundamentally subjective [see: Appendix 3 for more details on the coding procedure]. A total of 27, articles from nine different newspapers were collected on-line from Ghana in the time period from May 1st to July 30th Of these, articles in six different newspapers contained the keywords.
Eleven of the articles were excluded because they referred only indirectly to the trials, or not at all. The final dataset included articles Fig. Study design flow chart. Flow chart shows data sources and exclusion by keyword search and thematic analysis. The reports analysed were collected from six news outlets Fig. Overall count of articles included from each publisher, with theme proportions. Diagrams show the proportion of negative and positive themes critiques and rebuttals in articles from each publisher, with size scaled to represent the number of articles included from each news outlet shown also in tabular form beneath.
Because the codebook specified more negative themes than positive themes, no conclusions should be drawn about overall ratio of positive versus negative sentiment. Instead, we gain insights by tracking groups of related themes over time, how they evolved, identifying which critiques were more prevalent, and which rebuttals were issued in response. There were three key areas of critique: 1 the allegation that the trials were secret; 2 the belief that the trials would lead, in one way or another, to Ebola cases in Ghana; and 3 the argument that the trials were providing inappropriate incentive packages for participants.
Figure 3 shows the major organisations, listed in order from most-mentioned to least-mentioned, referenced in the media reports about the trials. Blue bars indicate the number of articles mentioning a given organisation shown against grey background bars representing the total number of included articles published on a given day. Daily count of stakeholder mentions.
It's not what you say, it's how you say it
Number of articles mentioning institutional stakeholders daily blue bars , compared to total relevant articles daily grey bars. Quantified by keyword search, conducted after completion of thematic analysis.
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Figure 4 shows the prevalence of positive and negative themes over time. It also drew attention to the incentives offered for participation in the trial, which likewise remained relevant for many weeks see section " Incentives ".
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Daily combined count of critiques and rebuttals, exact and moving average. Legend: Circles indicate exact count of critiques red and rebuttals green appearing daily. Line plots show a 7-day moving average, calculated to show overall trend in critiques and rebuttals per day.
The story went seemingly unnoticed for more than a week, until a press release was issued by the CGIN. The story received increasing coverage over the following week, until the Volta regional office of the NDC political party issued a statement opposing the trials, which was then raised in Parliament. At this point, critiques spiked dramatically, and rebuttals followed.
As shown in Fig. Overall count of theme mentions. Number of articles mentioning each theme, colour-coded to distinguish critiques red and rebuttals green. Rebuttals tended to be broader statements, making the case that the risk to participants was small and that there had been no deviation from established protocols GhanaWeb, They also pointed out that the vaccines had already undergone some safety checks as they had been tested in other countries GhanaWeb, A chronological overview of the major events can be found in Appendix 1.
To give a visual summary of the coded data, a timeline of theme density is shown in Fig. Trial representatives began responding in mid-June that information had been provided and public sensitisation would be done. Rebuttals included the clarification that phones were intended to facilitate communication between researchers and participants, and the money was to compensate participants for their time.
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Secrecy was a strong and recurrent theme Fig. Trial representatives began responding in mid-June that information had been provided and sensitisation would be done. He said the exercise … did not have political approval from the government, and appealed to his colleagues not to put the blame on the government. Speaking before Parliament, Health Minister Alex Segbefia struck a contrite tone, admitting the need for better public engagement but asserting that approval had been sought from all the appropriate institutions:. This narrative of an immoral experiment lent itself to historical comparisons, including the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment Modern Ghana Lastly, long after the peak of the debate, a key traditional leader in the Hohoe region professed his longstanding support for the trials, and his bemusement at the national controversy:.
They met us talked to us and we were satisfied before the hullabaloo came. We have a Research Centre in town here, it has been here for [many] years…and they have been working. So why this? It seems likely that the interviewees were attempting to adhere to perfectly ordinary non-disclosure agreements, considering that the trials were still under review.
This may have added an unintentionally conspiratorial air to their comments. The Starr FM Online article also instigated the idea of secrecy by the mere fact that it was the first place where the trials were widely publicised.
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