Lesson 2 of 7 - learn to communicate effectively

QUIZ: What Do You Know About
 Effective Communication?

By Peter K. Gerlach, MSW
Member NSRC Experts Council

The Web address of this quiz is https://sfhelp.org/cx/quiz2.htm

Updated  12-29-2014

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       All adults and kids depend on their ability to think and communicate effectively to fill their personal and social needs. From observing over 1000 typical adults and couples since 1979, I've found that typical people are ineffective communicators - and they don't know why or what's possible.

      Two tragic results are that few people are motivated to learn how to optimize their communication skills and outcomes. That means that typical kids grow up assuming that living with the results of ineffective thinking and communication is normal. They don't realize their potential! 

       This quiz is one of a series of Lesson-2 articles describing effective thinking, communicating, and problem-solving. The series outlines seven learnable communication skills that are essential for building high-nurturance relationships and resolving personal and social conflicts effectively.

        Learn something about yourself with this 1-question anonymous poll.

      This YouTube clip previews key questions in this  quiz:

       Use this quiz to assess what you need to learn about communication basics. It comes from over 40 years' study and teaching effective communication skills to hundreds of adults and kids.


  • Expect to learn something valuable from this quiz;

  • Print the quiz and make at least 30" of undistracted time to write your answers here or on another sheet of paper. or...

  • Try answering each question out loud as you go, and/or try doing so with another interested person. Answer each question before following any links. Put your curser over words in red letters to read a clarification.

  • Consider journaling about your thoughts and feelings as you answer these questions. They're just as instructive as your answers!

  • Use your reaction to this quiz as incentive to study (at least) Lessons 1 and 2 in this self-improvement Web site.

  • Before taking the quiz, rate yourself from 1 (I know nothing about communication) to 10 (I could teach a college course on it) ...

My communication effectiveness with important adults and kids recently is ___ in calm times, and ___ in typical conflicts.

  • Imagine that this quiz is part of a test you and your mate would each have to pass to qualify for a marriage or child-conception license. Imagine what might happen to the relationship-counseling industry and divorce rate if this were required.

      Recall: underlined links will take you to a new window. Usually the answer you seek is at the top of that page. Suggestion: read the answer and close the window, rather than reading the whole new page and defocusing from this quiz.

colorbutton.gif Communication-basics Quiz

1)  What is "communication"?


2)  What are the five needs all adults and kids try to fill by communicating, and which one  is always present?


3)  What are my options if my current communication needs don't match my communication partner's needs?



4)  What two outcomes determine whether all people involved feel their communication is effective?


5)  What's required for someone to communicate effectively?



6) What does childhood nurturance have to do  with communication effectiveness?



7)  (a) How can I tell if my true Self is in charge of my thinking and communicating at any time; and (b) what do I do if s/he isn't?



8)  What are the three "channels" all adults and kids use to send and receive their communication messages? What happens when the received messages on these channels don't match?

9)  What are the five messages we all automatically decode from each other in any communication exchange, and which of these always determines our communication effectiveness?


10)  What are the two most important factors that determine communication effectiveness in any situation?

11)  Why is it impossible for two people in a relationship to not communicate?



12)  (a) What are at least 10 common communication blocks, and (b) what can I do about each of them? (list separately)

13)  (a) What are the 16 possible outcomes of any communication exchange, and (b) which is the only one that allows both partners to feel "successful"? This concept is critical if you want to become fluent in identifying how often you communicate effectively in key situations and over time.




14)  (a) What are the seven related skills any adult can learn to improve their communication outcomes, and (b) how do the skills relate to each other? If you can't describe each skill, you're probably not using it.

15)  (a) What are four common 'awareness zones' in each communication partner, and (b) which combination of them is required for effective communication outcomes?

16)  (a) What are at least 15 of the ~45 everyday concepts I can learn to help me assess and improve my communication successes? Examples: "flooding," double messages, defocusing, interrupting, assuming (mind reading), intellectualizing, and generalizing (list separately). (b) Of these 15, which are the most important, and why?

17)  (a) What is a "Bill of Personal Rights," and (b) how can thoughtfully evolving my own Bill significantly improve my effectiveness at asserting and problem solving?

18)  (a) How can I identify fuzzy thinking, and (b) what can I do to reduce it in important relationships and situations?

19)  How do my and my partner's 'emotion levels' affect our ability to hear each other clearly?

20)  (a) What's the vital difference between listening and hearing? (b) How does listening well affect my physical health?

21)  What's the most effective choice I have with a communication partner who's too upset to hear me now?

22)  What are the keys to giving effective feedback and praise to other people?



23)  Why are effective communications usually harder to achieve at home than elsewhere?



24)  What's my gender got to do with how effective my communication is?



25)  (a) What are the three or four parts to most interpersonal conflicts, (b) which one should I focus on  first in key situations, and (c) which communication skill do I need to do that?



26 (a) How can I spot internal conflicts and (b) usually resolve them?



27)  (a) What are the keys to effective (win-win) problem solving; and (b) which  common alternatives do I use regularly?



28)  How can I (a) identify my primary needs, and (b) assert them effectively with others in a mutually-respectful way?



29)  What personal needs can only be filled by me, so it's useless to ask, expect, or demand that other people fill them?



30)  What's the vital difference between submission, assertion, and aggression, and which of these am I usually most comfortable with?



31)  What's the key to asserting my needs with others effectively, including with people I distrust, dislike, resent, and/or fear?


32)  How can I say "No" (assert my limits and boundaries) without feeling cold, selfish, anxious, apologetic, and/or guilty?



33)  (a) What are values conflicts, and (b) what's usually the best way to resolve them?



34)  (a) What are relationship triangles, and (b) how can I avoid and resolve them effectively?



35)  (a) What are communication sequences and patterns, and (b) why should I be aware of them with key people in my life?



36)  How can I graphically map (diagram) key communication sequences and patterns to spot and resolve problems between my subselves or between me and any partner using the seven skills?



37)  (a) How can I express anger constructively to kids and adults, and (b) how can I respond effectively to theirs?



38)  How can I learn to express hurt, frustration, and anger (confront) effectively, without undue anxiety (worry), guilt, and/or shame?



39(a) Why do I and others lie at times? (b) If I lie "too much," how can I reduce that safely? (c) If key others lie to me, can I do anything to reduce that?


(a) What's the difference between requesting and demanding, and (b) how can I tell the difference in communicating with a partner?



41)  What are my communication strengths?



+ + +

      Pause, breathe, and notice your thoughts and feelings with interest. Now try this again: on a scale of 1 (I know nothing about communication) to 10 (I could teach a college course on it)...

My general communication effectiveness with my mate or another important adult or child recently is __ in calm times, and __ in typical conflicts.

      Has anything changed?

      How did you do with this quiz? Can you better appreciate the premise that "most adults don't know what they don't know about effective communications?" How many of these questions could key family adults answer? Older kids? If you all could answer all these questions clearly and spontaneously, what would that mean to your family?

      Did you learn anything about these questions in your early schooling? Do you think average modern schools teach the answers to these questions and why these thinking and communication basics are vitally important to people, groups, organizations, and societies?

      Are you modeling effective communication for the young people in your life? What if someone had coached you to learn the answers to these questions before you left home?

      Lesson 2 in this nonprofit Web site offers perspective on and answers to these questions, to help your family members fill more of your daily needs more often in mutually-satisfying ways. Doing this depends on your true Self leading your other personality subselves most of the time (Lesson 1). The unique, practical guidebook for Lesson-2 is Satisfactions (Xlibris.com, 2nd ed., 2010).


      This 41-item quiz is designed to test your knowledge of effective-communication basics and skills. It demonstrates how much average adults don't know they don't know about the essential process of communicating with their subselves and other people. The value of effective thinking and communicating is in getting more of your normal and special needs met more often - i.e. living a more productive, fulfilling life!

Continue studying ad-fee Lesson 2. then take this quiz again to enjoy how much you've learned!  

      Pause, breathe, and reflect - why did you take this quiz? Did you get what you needed? If so, what do you want to do now? If not, what do you need? Who's answering these questions - your true Self, or 'someone else.'?

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