Breaking Down the You-Viewpoint
The You-Viewpoint is a powerful concept in business communication as well as in any format of interpersonal communication.
The You-Viewpoint (also called You Attitude) calls for senders to give primary consideration to receiver’s point of view when composing or planning a message by analyzing their values, biases, viewpoints, potential emotional reaction to the message; adapting the message accordingly and determining the line of approach.
To apply the techniques of you attitude, a writer or speaker must project empathy into business communicationsOpens in new window. Empathy means imagining yourself in the receiver’s position. And you do this by analyzing your receiver—the person whom you are sending your message.
Analyzing the Receiver
People are different based on their educational background, culture, experience, to name but a few. There can be no two receivers alike.
You must learn as much as possible about how a particular receiver or group of receivers thinks and feels, in general and with respect to the situation about which the communication is based.
Specifically, you must analyze the receiver(s) in four concrete areas: knowledge, interests, attitudes, and emotional reaction.
An ideal way to start the analysis is with a review of each receiver’s education and experience. Some of the questions you might need to ask include:
Answers to these questions will help you decide the vocabulary level of your message, the extent to which you will be able to include technical terms, and the amount of detail the receiver will require.
The second step is to analyze the receiver’s interests. As the sender of the message you might consider asking the following questions:
Watch out for the receiver’s position and level of authority!
The third step is to examine the attitudes of the receiver. In examining the receiver’s attitudes, you might need to ask the following questions:
Among the many attributes that can affect receiver attitudes are status, power, personality, expectations, nationality, and culture.
The final step is to anticipate the receiver’s emotional reaction to your message. To do so, you might want to ask the following questions:
As shown in the Important Hints feature, below, on predicting emotional reactions, your assessment will assist you in determining whether you should use a direct or an indirect approach.
Predicting Emotional Reactions
Analyzing your receiver will assist you in every communication situation. It will enable you to make effective use of one of the most important concepts of business communication – the you-viewpoint.
Learn how to take advantage of the you-viewpoint to influence the ideas you include in your message hereOpens in new window.