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Sarah Meyers McGinty, in her new book Power Talk: Using Language to Bu

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Sarah Meyers McGinty, in her new book Power Talk: Using Language to Bu  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 30 Aug 2019, 04:35
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Sarah Meyers McGinty, in her useful new book Power Talk: Using Language to Build Authority and Influence, argues that while the simple lingual act of declaring power does not help a powerless person gain influence, well-considered linguistic techniques and maneuvers do. McGinty does not dispute the importance of factors such as expertise and ability in determining stature, but argues persuasively that these power determinants amount to little in a person unable to communicate effectively. Management theorists share McGinty’s view that communication is essential for success and many surveys have shown that the ability to communicate effectively is the characteristic judged by managers to be most critical in determining promotability.

McGinty divides speech into two categories: "language from the center" and "language from the edge". In McGinty's words, "Language from the center makes a speaker sound like a leader.” McGinty suggests that not only is language from the center for those in high positions of power, but it is also for those of lower ranks who wish to gain more power and credibility. A speaker using language from the center exhibits the following: he directs rather than responds; he makes statements rather than asks questions; he contradicts, argues, and disagrees; he uses his experience persuasively; and he maintains an air of impersonality in the workplace. McGinty suggests that the use of language from the center can alter or create a new balance of power. These assertions are supported by studies that show that people accept leadership from those they perceive to be experts.

Language from the edge stands in stark contrast to language from the center. Language from the edge is careful, exploratory, and inquiring. It is inclusive, deferential, and collaborative. A speaker using language from the edge responds rather than directs; asks questions; strives to make others feel heard and protected; and avoids argument. The main purpose of language from the center is to claim authority for a speaker, while language from the edge strives to build consensus and trust. McGinty argues that true power comes from a deep understanding of when to use which style and the ability to use both as necessary.

What distinguishes McGinty’s discussion of effective communication is her focus on communication skills as a way of gaining power; this contrasts with most general management theory, which focuses on communication skills as a way of preventing misunderstandings, avoiding conflict, and fostering interpersonal relationships. McGinty, however, holds that language not only helps maintain relationships but also lends authority. According to Power Talk, effective communication skill “is an understanding of how situation shapes speech and how speech shapes situation” and “an understanding of how speech styles and the forces that affect those styles . . . can build your authority, and enhance your credibility and impact.”


1. The third paragraph suggests that McGinty would be most likely to agree with which of the following?

(A) Language from the center is more effective than language from the edge.
(B) Managers who use language from the edge are not authoritative.
(C) Powerful people are both authoritative and inclusive.
(D) The only way to become powerful is to learn to use language from the center.
(E) Language from the edge is used primarily by low level employees.


The first paragraph introduces McGinty, her book, and her theory of communication, which claims that certain communication skills can help a person to gain power. The second and third paragraphs describe two communication styles (language from the center and language from the edge) and conclude that both styles are necessary in order to develop “true power.” The final paragraph contrasts McGinty’s theory with more typical workplace communication theory, reiterating McGinty’s claim that certain types of communication skills can help someone gain power.

2. The primary focus of the passage is on which of the following?

(A) Demonstrating the effectiveness of a certain framework in the business world
(B) Explaining the advantages and disadvantages of a proposed approach to business communication
(C) Analyzing the details of a controversial theory of business
(D) Presenting a new model of business communication
(E) Defending an outdated method of personnel management



3. The passage suggests that which of the following would be an example of someone using language from the center?

(A) A low-level employee requesting help on a project beyond his capabilities
(B) A manager explaining the benefits of a new procedure by drawing on the procedure’s success in another setting
(C) A low-level employee believing that he has been wrongly criticized by his supervisors
(D) A manager soliciting opinions from his workforce regarding a proposed change
(E) A low-level employee refusing to alter his behavior despite repeated warnings



4. Which of the following best describes the relation of the fourth paragraph to the passage a whole?

(A) It summarizes and contextualizes McGinty’s argument.
(B) It questions the usefulness of McGinty’s thesis.
(C) It casts doubt on the universality of management theory.
(D) It supports an alternative view of McGinty’s proposal.
(E) It offers additional support for McGinty’s conclusions.


The second sentence of the first paragraph states that “McGinty does not dispute the importance of factors such as expertise and ability in determining stature, but argues persuasively that these power determinants amount to little for a person unable to communicate effectively.” In other words, McGinty does believe that expertise and ability, two power determinants, are important in determining stature, but she also believes that someone who cannot communicate effectively likely won’t be able to reap the benefits of these two power determinants.

(A) Paragraph two includes “uses experience persuasively” on a list of characteristics exhibited by someone using language from the center. The passage does not indicate that ineffective communication would undermine someone’s experience, nor does it discuss experience as a power determinant.

(B) Paragraph one mentions that expertise and ability are two factors important in determining stature, but it does not indicate that stature itself helps to determine stature.

(C) CORRECT. Expertise is one of the two power determinants mentioned in sentence two of paragraph one.

(D) Paragraph two includes “an air of impersonality” on a list of characteristics exhibited by someone using language from the center. The passage does not indicate that ineffective communication
would undermine someone’s air of impersonality, nor does it discuss impersonality as a power determinant.

(E) The passage does not mention the role of confidence at all.

5. According to the passage, McGinty believes that ineffective communication can undermine which of the following power determinants?

(A) experience
(B) stature
(C) expertise
(D) an air of impersonality
(E) confidence


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Re: Sarah Meyers McGinty, in her new book Power Talk: Using Language to Bu  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Sep 2016, 13:37
1) Option C: For the first question it was mentioned in the paragraph that, "McGinty argues that true power comes from a deep understanding of when to use which style and the ability to use both as necessary." So according to this, McGinty agrees that powerful people should be able to be both authoritative and inclusive coz they shoud know when to use both methods of communication.

The next close answer is B, its wrong because literal meaning of authoritative is "able to be trusted as being accurate or true; reliable" the passage doesn't say that people who use edge method of communication are unreliable. It only says people communicate using center method seek authority whose literal meaning is "the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience" Which is different from option B. Hence B is wrong. Other options can be right away disregarded.

Experts, please advise if I am misleading or misguiding in my comments. I will be glad to learn and correct myself.
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Re: Sarah Meyers McGinty, in her new book Power Talk: Using Language to Bu  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Sep 2016, 13:45
1
2) Why option D? I went with B because, the author in the passage was explaining the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed approaches of business communication. and D says its presenting a new model which I couldn't get.
3) Why option B?: I went with A because the passage mentions " but it is also for those of lower ranks who wish to gain more power and credibility."
so to gain more power and credibility the low level employee has to take up tasks beyond his capabilities and prove his abilities and for this he/she might utilize center method of communication. Not sure why B is the right answer.
4) Why option A?: E seems more convincing because, i had interpretted this statement "What distinguishes McGinty’s discussion of effective communication is her focus on communication skills as a way of gaining power;" as providing additional support to Guinty's views.

Please advise
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Re: Sarah Meyers McGinty, in her new book Power Talk: Using Language to Bu  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Sep 2016, 20:59
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2. The primary focus of the passage is on which of the following?
B. Explaining the advantages and disadvantages of a proposed approach to business communication
What are the disadvantages?
D. Presenting a new model of business communication
"What distinguishes McGinty’s discussion of effective communication is her focus on communication skills as a way of gaining power; this contrasts with most general management theory, which focuses on communication skills as a way of preventing misunderstandings, avoiding conflict, and fostering interpersonal relationships. "

3. The passage suggests that which of the following would be an example of someone using language from the center?
A. A low-level employee requesting help on a project beyond his capabilities
"Language from the edge is careful, exploratory, and inquiring. It is inclusive, deferential, and collaborative." Also, A speaker using language from the center exhibits the following: he directs rather than responds; he makes statements rather than asks questions;". Here the employee is careful. He is requesting help as it is beyond his capabilities. Hence, he is exploratory as well.
B. A manager explaining the benefits of a new procedure by drawing on the procedure’s success in another setting
"A speaker using language from the center exhibits the following: he directs rather than responds; he makes statements rather than asks questions; he contradicts, argues, and disagrees; he uses his experience persuasively;"
Here the manager is using his experience to explain the benefits of a new procedure.

4. Which of the following best describes the relation of the fourth paragraph to the passage a whole?
A. It summarizes and contextualizes McGinty’s argument.
1st paragraph introduces McGinty's book and her point of view towards communication. Next 2 paragraph describes the two different speech methods. Fourth paragraph shows a contrast between McGinty's approach towards communication and conventional approach. Also, it summarizes what is effective communication and how it can be used.
E. It offers additional support for McGinty’s conclusions.
What is the additional support here? Only contrast is shown.
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Re: Sarah Meyers McGinty, in her new book Power Talk: Using Language to Bu  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Sep 2016, 21:39
1
balaji4799 wrote:
2) Why option D? I went with B because, the author in the passage was explaining the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed approaches of business communication. and D says its presenting a new model which I couldn't get.
3) Why option B?: I went with A because the passage mentions " but it is also for those of lower ranks who wish to gain more power and credibility."
so to gain more power and credibility the low level employee has to take up tasks beyond his capabilities and prove his abilities and for this he/she might utilize center method of communication. Not sure why B is the right answer.
4) Why option A?: E seems more convincing because, i had interpretted this statement "What distinguishes McGinty’s discussion of effective communication is her focus on communication skills as a way of gaining power;" as providing additional support to Guinty's views.

Please advise


Q:2.. Read closely the first line of the last paragraph. A contrast between the communication skills discussed in the passage and communication method in management is presented. This shows that the discussed method is new in business communication. Thus option D is a correct inference.

Q:3. not sure

Q:4. No new information is presented in the para, but the para is just a recapitulation of information presented in previous paras. Thus option A is correct.
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Re: Sarah Meyers McGinty, in her new book Power Talk: Using Language to Bu  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Sep 2016, 00:11
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Summarising the passage before we start answering the question in a few short pointers:

1. The passage is dedicated to discussing views put forth in Sarah Meyer's book "Power Talk: Using Language to Build Authority and Influence"
2. Communication is an important factor in conveying power, also seen in determination of promotability in corporate world
3. Language from the centre - Claims authority - directs not responds, makes statements not questions, contradicts, uses experience, maintains air of impersonality
4. Language from the edge - Builds consensus and trust - careful, exploratory, inclusive, collaborative, responds not directs, asks questions, makes other heard, avoids argument
5. True power - understanding and knowing when to use which language
6. Theory differs from general management theory - according to SM language helps maintain relationship AND lends authority

Q1. The passage suggests that McGinty would be most likely to agree with which of the following?
A. Language from the center is more effective than language from the edge.
B. Managers who use language from the edge are not authoritative.
C. Powerful people are both authoritative and inclusive.
D. The only way to become powerful is to learn to use language from the center.
E. Language from the edge is used primarily by low level employees.

Clearly, the language from the centre is authoritative whereas the language from the edge is inclusive. As mentioned in pt. 5, true power means knowing when to use which language and this is expressed in option C

Q2. The primary focus of the passage is on which of the following?
A. Demonstrating the effectiveness of a certain framework in the business world
B. Explaining the advantages and disadvantages of a proposed approach to business communication
C. Analyzing the details of a controversial theory of business
D. Presenting a new model of business communication
E. Defending an outdated method of personnel management

The last point outlines how SM's approach is different from the conventionally held idea about the relationship between communication and business. The rest of the passage is providing an overview of this new model of business communication outlined by SM. Thus, the answer is D. In the passage, the author himself is not giving an opinion of a comparison between SM's new approach and the conventionally held opinion for business communication. Thus, that rules out B.

Q3. The passage suggests that which of the following would be an example of someone using language from the center?
A. A low-level employee requesting help on a project beyond his capabilities
B. A manager explaining the benefits of a new procedure by drawing on the procedure’s success in another setting
C. A low-level employee believing that he has been wrongly criticized by his supervisors
D. A manager soliciting opinions from his workforce regarding a proposed change
E. A low-level employee refusing to alter his behavior despite repeated warnings

As put forth in pt 3, language from the centre is authoritative, directs and uses experience. All these aspects are covered in option B. In A, look at the language - the employee is "requesting" and also it is becoming inclusive if he is asking for help. There is no authority in the behaviour. Similarly in C, it is only about the employees beliefs and not about communication at all. In option E, it is again a conflict because the language from the centre is authoritative but about the right things and from experience. Showing authority for the wrong things would not be language from the centre.

Q4. Which of the following best describes the relation of the fourth paragraph to the passage a whole?
A. It summarizes and contextualizes McGinty’s argument.
B. It questions the usefulness of McGinty’s thesis.
C. It casts doubt on the universality of management theory.
D. It supports an alternative view of McGinty’s proposal.
E. It offers additional support for McGinty’s conclusions.

This question is admittedly a little tricky as the last paragraph seems to be achieving multiple things but among the options only one is able to nail down the role of the passage properly. As stated in A, it is contextualising by saying how it is different from the prevailing thought and role of business communication as well as summarizing her finding with a few quotes. B is definitely not correct as the author seems to support her alternate approach. In C again, there is negativity relating to this new theory which is absent in the passage. D is also incorrect as there are only 2 opinions mentioned in the passage - that of the author and that of the subject - ie SM. There is no alternate view mentioned. E is not correct either as it plainly summarises and talks about how SM's approach is different from the conventionally held approach but there is no other source mentioned supporting SM.

In case there is additional clarity required, please feel free to contact.
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Re: Sarah Meyers McGinty, in her new book Power Talk: Using Language to Bu  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Oct 2016, 12:32
1
Hi,
I am not convinced with the ans given for qstn 3 -
3. The passage suggests that which of the following would be an example of someone using ?
A. A low-level employee requesting help on a project beyond his capabilities language from the center
B. A manager explaining the benefits of a new procedure by drawing on the procedure’s success in another setting
C. A low-level employee believing that he has been wrongly criticized by his supervisors
D. A manager soliciting opinions from his workforce regarding a proposed change
E. A low-level employee refusing to alter his behavior despite repeated warnings

I thought the ans is E because of the sentence "he contradicts, argues, and disagrees" in the passage about "language from the center". When someone refuses, the person argues and definitely disagrees. So what is wrong with option E?
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Re: Sarah Meyers McGinty, in her new book Power Talk: Using Language to Bu  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Oct 2016, 07:59
arunavamunshi1988 wrote:
Hi,
I am not convinced with the ans given for qstn 3 -
3. The passage suggests that which of the following would be an example of someone using ?
A. A low-level employee requesting help on a project beyond his capabilities language from the center
B. A manager explaining the benefits of a new procedure by drawing on the procedure’s success in another setting
C. A low-level employee believing that he has been wrongly criticized by his supervisors
D. A manager soliciting opinions from his workforce regarding a proposed change
E. A low-level employee refusing to alter his behavior despite repeated warnings

I thought the ans is E because of the sentence "he contradicts, argues, and disagrees" in the passage about "language from the center". When someone refuses, the person argues and definitely disagrees. So what is wrong with option E?



We are talking about communication skills; therefore, A, C, D & E are out because none of them mentions anything about communication. For example, E cites "refusing" that is not directly linked with communication.
B (" a manager explaining..) is correct because it refers to a communication skill, in particular to the "language from the centre" category.
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Re: Sarah Meyers McGinty, in her new book Power Talk: Using Language to Bu  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Dec 2016, 04:06
I don't know why I have made one mistake for such a simple passage. I think I to handle all the questions very patiently before answering one.
For the last question I was confused in A and C. But I choose C because in the lines in the passage "communication skills as a way of preventing misunderstandings, avoiding conflict, and fostering interpersonal relationships. McGinty, however, holds that language not only helps maintain relationships but also lends authority[/b]" which is additional than what available in the previous passage.

Can anybody help me to improve my RC skills.
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Re: Sarah Meyers McGinty, in her new book Power Talk: Using Language to Bu  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Aug 2017, 06:38
Hi all

I was just giving a Mock Gmat test with Mgmat and I encountered a modified question on this particular passage

The passage suggests which of the following about McGinty’s concept of language from the edge?

1.It is the opposite of more traditional workplace communication styles.

2.It is one necessary component in using communication to gain power.

3.It is used to challenge conventional thinking.

4.It is the category of language less commonly used by leaders.

5.It is used more often by individuals who do not have much power.
Can any body answer this question and can jsutify the reason , The answer of this question what is given is truly Unconvincing
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Re: Sarah Meyers McGinty, in her new book Power Talk: Using Language to Bu  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Aug 2017, 10:38
I feel the answer should be (2)

Reason:

1.It is the opposite of more traditional workplace communication styles.
- Nowhere is it mentioned that it goes against traditional workplace styles. Infact, we don't have any information about traditional workplace communication styles.

3.It is used to challenge conventional thinking.[color=#ff0000][/color] - Again something for which there is no support from the passage.

4.It is the category of language less commonly used by leaders.
We don't know how leaders communicate. Infact the passage states that a good leader makes a good balance of both styles of communication

5.It is used more often by individuals who do not have much power.
Not supported by the passage


ukunal wrote:
Hi all

I was just giving a Mock Gmat test with Mgmat and I encountered a modified question on this particular passage

The passage suggests which of the following about McGinty’s concept of language from the edge?

1.It is the opposite of more traditional workplace communication styles.

2.It is one necessary component in using communication to gain power.

3.It is used to challenge conventional thinking.

4.It is the category of language less commonly used by leaders.

5.It is used more often by individuals who do not have much power.
Can any body answer this question and can jsutify the reason , The answer of this question what is given is truly Unconvincing
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Re: Sarah Meyers McGinty, in her new book Power Talk: Using Language to Bu  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Nov 2017, 07:32
1
Skywalker18 wrote:
Sarah Meyers McGinty, in her useful new book Power Talk: Using Language to Build Authority and Influence, argues that while the simple lingual act of declaring power does not help a powerless person gain influence, well-considered linguistic techniques and maneuvers do. McGinty does not dispute the importance of factors such as expertise and ability in determining stature, but argues persuasively that these power determinants amount to little in a person unable to communicate effectively. Management theorists share McGinty’s view that communication is essential for success and many surveys have shown that the ability to communicate effectively is the characteristic judged by managers to be most critical in determining promotability.

McGinty divides speech into two categories: "language from the center" and "language from the edge". In McGinty's words, "Language from the center makes a speaker sound like a leader.” McGinty suggests that not only is language from the center for those in high positions of power, but it is also for those of lower ranks who wish to gain more power and credibility. A speaker using language from the center exhibits the following: he directs rather than responds; he makes statements rather than asks questions; he contradicts, argues, and disagrees; he uses his experience persuasively; and he maintains an air of impersonality in the workplace. McGinty suggests that the use of language from the center can alter or create a new balance of power. These assertions are supported by studies that show that people accept leadership from those they perceive to be experts.

Language from the edge stands in stark contrast to language from the center. Language from the edge is careful, exploratory, and inquiring. It is inclusive, deferential, and collaborative. A speaker using language from the edge responds rather than directs; asks questions; strives to make others feel heard and protected; and avoids argument. The main purpose of language from the center is to claim authority for a speaker, while language from the edge strives to build consensus and trust. McGinty argues that true power comes from a deep understanding of when to use which style and the ability to use both as necessary.

What distinguishes McGinty’s discussion of effective communication is her focus on communication skills as a way of gaining power; this contrasts with most general management theory, which focuses on communication skills as a way of preventing misunderstandings, avoiding conflict, and fostering interpersonal relationships. McGinty, however, holds that language not only helps maintain relationships but also lends authority. According to Power Talk, effective communication skill “is an understanding of how situation shapes speech and how speech shapes situation” and “an understanding of how speech styles and the forces that affect those styles . . . can build your authority, and enhance your credibility and impact.”
1. The third paragraph suggests that McGinty would be most likely to agree with which of the following?

A. Language from the center is more effective than language from the edge.
B. Managers who use language from the edge are not authoritative.
C. Powerful people are both authoritative and inclusive.
D. The only way to become powerful is to learn to use language from the center.
E. Language from the edge is used primarily by low level employees.



OFFICIAL EXPLANATION


According to the last sentence of the third paragraph, McGinty’s main message is that “true power comes from a deep understanding of when to use which style and the ability to use both as necessary.” Both styles ,are necessary for those who want to develop power, though the styles themselves differ greatly, as described earlier in paragraphs two and three.

(A) McGinty believes that both language styles are important in developing true power. She does not indicate that one of the styles is more important, or more effective, than the other.

(B) McGinty does not imply that leaders can only use one of the two language types. In fact, the last sentence tell us that the best managers use “both as necessary.” While language from the center is described as more authoritative than language from the edge, the use of language from the edge does not preclude the use of language from the center. Some managers, then, would gain authority via language from the center while also using language from the edge when appropriate.

(C) CORRECT. In the third paragraph, the second sentence says that language from the edge is “inclusive.” The fourth sentence says that language from the center is used to “claim authority for a speaker.” Finally, the last sentence states that “true power comes from a deep understanding of when to use which style and the ability to use both as necessary.” The powerful, then, use both types of language; one type is inclusive and the other is authoritative.

(D) McGinty claims that “true power comes from a deep understanding of when to use which style and the ability to use both as necessary.” If someone uses the two styles but lacks “a deep understanding of when to use which style,” then she or he may not develop true power. “Will develop” makes this choice too strongly worded.

(E) This choice contradicts McGinty's claims that powerful leaders use language from both the center and the edge, and that language from the edge is used to "build consensus." Some managers, then, would build consensus via language from the edge while also using language from the center when appropriate.
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Re: Sarah Meyers McGinty, in her new book Power Talk: Using Language to Bu  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jan 2018, 08:56
Time: 8 minutes. 3 out of 4 questions are correct.
A third question is a bit tricky.
3. The passage suggests that which of the following would be an example of someone using... ?
A. A low-level employee requesting help on a project beyond his capabilities language from the center. (requesting help => incorrect)
B. A manager explaining the benefits of a new procedure by drawing on the procedure’s success in another setting. (explain =direct => correct)
C. A low-level employee believing that he has been wrongly criticized by his supervisors. I wrongly chose this option. However, believing is not arguing
D. A manager soliciting opinions from his workforce regarding a proposed change (soliciting opinion => language from the edge => incorrect)
E. A low-level employee refusing to alter his behavior despite repeated warnings (not a communication=> incorrect)
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Re: Sarah Meyers McGinty, in her new book Power Talk: Using Language to Bu  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jul 2019, 22:22
Skywalker18 wrote:
Sarah Meyers McGinty, in her useful new book Power Talk: Using Language to Build Authority and Influence, argues that while the simple lingual act of declaring power does not help a powerless person gain influence, well-considered linguistic techniques and maneuvers do. McGinty does not dispute the importance of factors such as expertise and ability in determining stature, but argues persuasively that these power determinants amount to little in a person unable to communicate effectively. Management theorists share McGinty’s view that communication is essential for success and many surveys have shown that the ability to communicate effectively is the characteristic judged by managers to be most critical in determining promotability.

McGinty divides speech into two categories: "language from the center" and "language from the edge". In McGinty's words, "Language from the center makes a speaker sound like a leader.” McGinty suggests that not only is language from the center for those in high positions of power, but it is also for those of lower ranks who wish to gain more power and credibility. A speaker using language from the center exhibits the following: he directs rather than responds; he makes statements rather than asks questions; he contradicts, argues, and disagrees; he uses his experience persuasively; and he maintains an air of impersonality in the workplace. McGinty suggests that the use of language from the center can alter or create a new balance of power. These assertions are supported by studies that show that people accept leadership from those they perceive to be experts.

Language from the edge stands in stark contrast to language from the center. Language from the edge is careful, exploratory, and inquiring. It is inclusive, deferential, and collaborative. A speaker using language from the edge responds rather than directs; asks questions; strives to make others feel heard and protected; and avoids argument. The main purpose of language from the center is to claim authority for a speaker, while language from the edge strives to build consensus and trust. McGinty argues that true power comes from a deep understanding of when to use which style and the ability to use both as necessary.

What distinguishes McGinty’s discussion of effective communication is her focus on communication skills as a way of gaining power; this contrasts with most general management theory, which focuses on communication skills as a way of preventing misunderstandings, avoiding conflict, and fostering interpersonal relationships. McGinty, however, holds that language not only helps maintain relationships but also lends authority. According to Power Talk, effective communication skill “is an understanding of how situation shapes speech and how speech shapes situation” and “an understanding of how speech styles and the forces that affect those styles . . . can build your authority, and enhance your credibility and impact.”

1. The third paragraph suggests that McGinty would be most likely to agree with which of the following?

(A) Language from the center is more effective than language from the edge.
(B) Managers who use language from the edge are not authoritative.
(C) Powerful people are both authoritative and inclusive.
(D) The only way to become powerful is to learn to use language from the center.
(E) Language from the edge is used primarily by low level employees.


The first paragraph introduces McGinty, her book, and her theory of communication, which claims that certain communication skills can help a person to gain power. The second and third paragraphs describe two communication styles (language from the center and language from the edge) and conclude that both styles are necessary in order to develop “true power.” The final paragraph contrasts McGinty’s theory with more typical workplace communication theory, reiterating McGinty’s claim that certain types of communication skills can help someone gain power.

2. The primary focus of the passage is on which of the following?

(A) Demonstrating the effectiveness of a certain framework in the business world
(B) Explaining the advantages and disadvantages of a proposed approach to business communication
(C) Analyzing the details of a controversial theory of business
(D) Presenting a new model of business communication
(E) Defending an outdated method of personnel management



3. The passage suggests that which of the following would be an example of someone using language from the center?

(A) A low-level employee requesting help on a project beyond his capabilities
(B) A manager explaining the benefits of a new procedure by drawing on the procedure’s success in another setting
(C) A low-level employee believing that he has been wrongly criticized by his supervisors
(D) A manager soliciting opinions from his workforce regarding a proposed change
(E) A low-level employee refusing to alter his behavior despite repeated warnings



4. Which of the following best describes the relation of the fourth paragraph to the passage a whole?

(A) It summarizes and contextualizes McGinty’s argument.
(B) It questions the usefulness of McGinty’s thesis.
(C) It casts doubt on the universality of management theory.
(D) It supports an alternative view of McGinty’s proposal.
(E) It offers additional support for McGinty’s conclusions.


The second sentence of the first paragraph states that “McGinty does not dispute the importance of factors such as expertise and ability in determining stature, but argues persuasively that these power determinants amount to little for a person unable to communicate effectively.” In other words, McGinty does believe that expertise and ability, two power determinants, are important in determining stature, but she also believes that someone who cannot communicate effectively likely won’t be able to reap the benefits of these two power determinants.

(A) Paragraph two includes “uses experience persuasively” on a list of characteristics exhibited by someone using language from the center. The passage does not indicate that ineffective communication would undermine someone’s experience, nor does it discuss experience as a power determinant.

(B) Paragraph one mentions that expertise and ability are two factors important in determining stature, but it does not indicate that stature itself helps to determine stature.

(C) CORRECT. Expertise is one of the two power determinants mentioned in sentence two of paragraph one.

(D) Paragraph two includes “an air of impersonality” on a list of characteristics exhibited by someone using language from the center. The passage does not indicate that ineffective communication
would undermine someone’s air of impersonality, nor does it discuss impersonality as a power determinant.

(E) The passage does not mention the role of confidence at all.

5. According to the passage, McGinty believes that ineffective communication can undermine which of the following power determinants?

(A) experience
(B) stature
(C) expertise
(D) an air of impersonality
(E) confidence




For question #3 , both option B and E are close , I think.
The passage says that "he uses his experience persuasively; "
So option B looks good as it says that "A manager explaining the benefits of a new procedure by drawing on the procedure’s success in another setting".
So the manager is using his experience from another setting . Hence , Option B looks good.

However , the passage says that "he contradicts, argues, and disagrees".
To disagree means to refuse.
So option E also looks good as it highlights this rebellious attitude of the worker and says that "A low-level employee refusing to alter his behavior despite repeated warnings".

VeritasKarishma GMATNinja generis Can you please throw some light as to why option B is correct and E is not ?
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Re: Sarah Meyers McGinty, in her new book Power Talk: Using Language to Bu  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jul 2019, 04:41
sayan640 wrote:
Skywalker18 wrote:
Sarah Meyers McGinty, in her useful new book Power Talk: Using Language to Build Authority and Influence, argues that while the simple lingual act of declaring power does not help a powerless person gain influence, well-considered linguistic techniques and maneuvers do. McGinty does not dispute the importance of factors such as expertise and ability in determining stature, but argues persuasively that these power determinants amount to little in a person unable to communicate effectively. Management theorists share McGinty’s view that communication is essential for success and many surveys have shown that the ability to communicate effectively is the characteristic judged by managers to be most critical in determining promotability.

McGinty divides speech into two categories: "language from the center" and "language from the edge". In McGinty's words, "Language from the center makes a speaker sound like a leader.” McGinty suggests that not only is language from the center for those in high positions of power, but it is also for those of lower ranks who wish to gain more power and credibility. A speaker using language from the center exhibits the following: he directs rather than responds; he makes statements rather than asks questions; he contradicts, argues, and disagrees; he uses his experience persuasively; and he maintains an air of impersonality in the workplace. McGinty suggests that the use of language from the center can alter or create a new balance of power. These assertions are supported by studies that show that people accept leadership from those they perceive to be experts.

Language from the edge stands in stark contrast to language from the center. Language from the edge is careful, exploratory, and inquiring. It is inclusive, deferential, and collaborative. A speaker using language from the edge responds rather than directs; asks questions; strives to make others feel heard and protected; and avoids argument. The main purpose of language from the center is to claim authority for a speaker, while language from the edge strives to build consensus and trust. McGinty argues that true power comes from a deep understanding of when to use which style and the ability to use both as necessary.

What distinguishes McGinty’s discussion of effective communication is her focus on communication skills as a way of gaining power; this contrasts with most general management theory, which focuses on communication skills as a way of preventing misunderstandings, avoiding conflict, and fostering interpersonal relationships. McGinty, however, holds that language not only helps maintain relationships but also lends authority. According to Power Talk, effective communication skill “is an understanding of how situation shapes speech and how speech shapes situation” and “an understanding of how speech styles and the forces that affect those styles . . . can build your authority, and enhance your credibility and impact.”

1. The third paragraph suggests that McGinty would be most likely to agree with which of the following?

(A) Language from the center is more effective than language from the edge.
(B) Managers who use language from the edge are not authoritative.
(C) Powerful people are both authoritative and inclusive.
(D) The only way to become powerful is to learn to use language from the center.
(E) Language from the edge is used primarily by low level employees.


The first paragraph introduces McGinty, her book, and her theory of communication, which claims that certain communication skills can help a person to gain power. The second and third paragraphs describe two communication styles (language from the center and language from the edge) and conclude that both styles are necessary in order to develop “true power.” The final paragraph contrasts McGinty’s theory with more typical workplace communication theory, reiterating McGinty’s claim that certain types of communication skills can help someone gain power.

2. The primary focus of the passage is on which of the following?

(A) Demonstrating the effectiveness of a certain framework in the business world
(B) Explaining the advantages and disadvantages of a proposed approach to business communication
(C) Analyzing the details of a controversial theory of business
(D) Presenting a new model of business communication
(E) Defending an outdated method of personnel management



3. The passage suggests that which of the following would be an example of someone using language from the center?

(A) A low-level employee requesting help on a project beyond his capabilities
(B) A manager explaining the benefits of a new procedure by drawing on the procedure’s success in another setting
(C) A low-level employee believing that he has been wrongly criticized by his supervisors
(D) A manager soliciting opinions from his workforce regarding a proposed change
(E) A low-level employee refusing to alter his behavior despite repeated warnings



4. Which of the following best describes the relation of the fourth paragraph to the passage a whole?

(A) It summarizes and contextualizes McGinty’s argument.
(B) It questions the usefulness of McGinty’s thesis.
(C) It casts doubt on the universality of management theory.
(D) It supports an alternative view of McGinty’s proposal.
(E) It offers additional support for McGinty’s conclusions.


The second sentence of the first paragraph states that “McGinty does not dispute the importance of factors such as expertise and ability in determining stature, but argues persuasively that these power determinants amount to little for a person unable to communicate effectively.” In other words, McGinty does believe that expertise and ability, two power determinants, are important in determining stature, but she also believes that someone who cannot communicate effectively likely won’t be able to reap the benefits of these two power determinants.

(A) Paragraph two includes “uses experience persuasively” on a list of characteristics exhibited by someone using language from the center. The passage does not indicate that ineffective communication would undermine someone’s experience, nor does it discuss experience as a power determinant.

(B) Paragraph one mentions that expertise and ability are two factors important in determining stature, but it does not indicate that stature itself helps to determine stature.

(C) CORRECT. Expertise is one of the two power determinants mentioned in sentence two of paragraph one.

(D) Paragraph two includes “an air of impersonality” on a list of characteristics exhibited by someone using language from the center. The passage does not indicate that ineffective communication
would undermine someone’s air of impersonality, nor does it discuss impersonality as a power determinant.

(E) The passage does not mention the role of confidence at all.

5. According to the passage, McGinty believes that ineffective communication can undermine which of the following power determinants?

(A) experience
(B) stature
(C) expertise
(D) an air of impersonality
(E) confidence




For question #3 , both option B and E are close , I think.
The passage says that "he uses his experience persuasively; "
So option B looks good as it says that "A manager explaining the benefits of a new procedure by drawing on the procedure’s success in another setting".
So the manager is using his experience from another setting . Hence , Option B looks good.

However , the passage says that "he contradicts, argues, and disagrees".
To disagree means to refuse.
So option E also looks good as it highlights this rebellious attitude of the worker and says that "A low-level employee refusing to alter his behavior despite repeated warnings".

VeritasKarishma GMATNinja generis Can you please throw some light as to why option B is correct and E is not ?



Option (E) is not language from the centre - it is bad behaviour. After repeated warnings, if an employee does not alter his undesirable behaviour (since he was warned repeatedly, the behaviour must be undesirable) it is just bad attitude.
Language from the centre is authoritative. It is for those in high positions of power, and for those of lower ranks who wish to gain more power and credibility. An employee with a bad attitude will certainly not gain more power and credibility.
A person using language from the centre directs, makes statements, contradicts and uses his experience persuasively. Basically, he comes across as confident, as someone who knows his stuff, as a leader.
So- (B) A manager explaining the benefits of a new procedure by drawing on the procedure’s success in another setting - works.
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Re: Sarah Meyers McGinty, in her new book Power Talk: Using Language to Bu   [#permalink] 08 Jul 2019, 04:41
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