Verbal questions from any Manhattan Prep GMAT Computer Adaptive Test. Topic subject should be the first few words of your question.
girl.jobless
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RC: Language power

by girl.jobless Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:55 pm

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."

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.

The answer given to this question is C. While this may be true . I dont see why B is wrong.

Managers who use language from the edge are not authoritative.

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.

How to decide on C, when B is so close.
Please explain.

Thanks
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Re: RC: Language power

by RonPurewal Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:37 am

girl.jobless wrote:I dont see why B is wrong.

Managers who use language from the edge are not authoritative.


(b) is wrong because it is overreaching.

IF it said just
language from the edge is not authoritative
...then it would be correct.

however, that's not what it says. it says that the managers themselves are not authoritative.
this is not supported. in fact, it's clearly opposed by mcginty's main idea, which is that effective managers should do BOTH of those things.
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Re: RC: Language power

by kre Sun Jul 01, 2012 8:12 pm

I had this question - but different answer choices. Is this a real GMAT question or developed internally?

My choices were:
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) A person using both language from the center and language from the edge will develop true power.
E) People who use language from the center have difficulty building consensus.


The correct answer here was C, but I chose D instead. My argument is that using language which is authoritative and/or inclusive is very different than being authoritative and/or inclusive. I thought choice C was too overreaching in describing personal traits vs. aspects of one's speech.
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Re: RC: Language power

by jnelson0612 Sat Jul 14, 2012 8:48 pm

kre wrote:I had this question - but different answer choices. Is this a real GMAT question or developed internally?

My choices were:
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) A person using both language from the center and language from the edge will develop true power.
E) People who use language from the center have difficulty building consensus.


The correct answer here was C, but I chose D instead. My argument is that using language which is authoritative and/or inclusive is very different than being authoritative and/or inclusive. I thought choice C was too overreaching in describing personal traits vs. aspects of one's speech.


Hi Ken, these are internally developed questions. All of the ManhattanGMAT CAT tests have been developed by our curriculum team.

Check out this sentence from the passage: "McGinty argues that true power comes from a deep understanding of when to use which style and the ability to use both as necessary."

I read this as she is asserting that power *results* from the ability to 1) use both styles as necessary and to 2) determine appropriately when to use which. This does support C: powerful people get their power from being able to use an authoritative style and an inclusive style. That they can use these styles means that they *are" authoritative and inclusive.

My quibble with D is that it is not enough to be able to use both. The sentence I pasted indicates that you also have to know *when* to use them to attain power.

I hope that this helps, and please let me know if I can clarify further.
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Re: RC: Language power

by kre Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:41 pm

I think the sentence you chose also supports choice D, the ability to use both authoritative and inclusive language pre-dates true power, hence is part of power's development.

Thanks for your feedback though, I'd still raise this question to the curriculum team to revise or remove.
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Re: RC: Language power

by jnelson0612 Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:10 pm

kre wrote:I think the sentence you chose also supports choice D, the ability to use both authoritative and inclusive language pre-dates true power, hence is part of power's development.

Thanks for your feedback though, I'd still raise this question to the curriculum team to revise or remove.


Sorry, Ken, we'll have to agree to disagree. :-)

Look at the parallel structure of this sentence:
"McGinty argues that true power comes from 1) a deep understanding of when to use which style and 2) the ability to use both as necessary."

The "and" implies that you MUST have both of these to have power. If you are missing one you will not necessarily have power. If the word were "or" I would agree with your point, but we have "and", not "or". Simple having the ability to use both, answer choice D, is not enough. The author would say that someone must have BOTH to have power. Given that, is D really better than C? I would call it a close but no cigar and it was probably deliberately written that way to be a trap answer.
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Re: RC: Language power

by djs53 Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:41 pm

Yes I have real reservations about this question, and other questions like this one.

To me, the answer choice C assumes that the person truly is authoritative and inclusive, because it doesn't mention a use of language at all.

I thought the general theme of the passage was about language and how a certain use of language can cause you to be powerful. I didn't think there was enough specific information in paragraph 3 to tie back to an overall belief held by McGinty's that powerful people are, in general, authoritative and inclusive.

But maybe implied generality is what's needed here to answer this question correctly? I don't know.

Good luck everyone.
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Re: RC: Language power

by jlucero Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:37 pm

djs53 wrote:Yes I have real reservations about this question, and other questions like this one.

To me, the answer choice C assumes that the person truly is authoritative and inclusive, because it doesn't mention a use of language at all.

I thought the general theme of the passage was about language and how a certain use of language can cause you to be powerful. I didn't think there was enough specific information in paragraph 3 to tie back to an overall belief held by McGinty's that powerful people are, in general, authoritative and inclusive.

But maybe implied generality is what's needed here to answer this question correctly? I don't know.

Good luck everyone.


Here's the quote from the passage:

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 McGinty seems to think that powerful people have a deep understanding of both styles. Therefore, McGinty would probably agree with C.
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Re: RC: Language power

by djs53 Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:34 pm

The answer C assumes that if you have a "deep understanding" of something, or better yet, a "deep understanding" of how to use something, how to use a tactic or strategy, then you "are" a pratictioner of that tactic or strategy. If you know how to speak like a great manager, then you are a great manager. If you know how to cut hair, then you are a great hair stylist. If you know how the pieces move, then you are a great chess player.

If we assume this, C is fine with me.

I think the danger here is, in general (my favorite word!) we can all agree that powerful people are authoritative and inclusive. I'm just not understanding the link between this general statement and its relation to a deep understanding of speech tactics.

Yes, McGinty would probably agree, but why would she? And, she'd probably agree to a lot of things.

She'd even agree to choice B if we assume the above. People who use language from the edge are not authoritative. . ..She'd agree to that, because using the logic above, she would say people who use language from the center ARE authoritative. So the converse would be agreeable to her.





Okay I'm going to stop right there. I'm just procrastinating at this point. Thanks you guys so much. This whole program has been helpful. And I'll just chalk this one up to my not getting a perfect score later this month!
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Re: RC: Language power

by djs53 Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:41 pm

RonPurewal wrote:
girl.jobless wrote:I dont see why B is wrong.

Managers who use language from the edge are not authoritative.


(b) is wrong because it is overreaching.

IF it said just
language from the edge is not authoritative
...then it would be correct.

however, that's not what it says. it says that the managers themselves are not authoritative.
this is not supported. in fact, it's clearly opposed by mcginty's main idea, which is that effective managers should do BOTH of those things.



Sorry, one more add here! Effective managers use BOTH, but is that what this answer choice is saying? The adjective of 'effective' doesnt appear.

And if this is overreaching, I'd say C is overreaching also. Saying Managers are is different from saying effective language is.

Aight I'm out! And thanks for the answer on that 11 and 19 Remainder question Ron P!
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Re: RC: Language power

by jlucero Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:58 am

djs53 wrote:The answer C assumes that if you have a "deep understanding" of something, or better yet, a "deep understanding" of how to use something, how to use a tactic or strategy, then you "are" a pratictioner of that tactic or strategy. If you know how to speak like a great manager, then you are a great manager. If you know how to cut hair, then you are a great hair stylist. If you know how the pieces move, then you are a great chess player.

If we assume this, C is fine with me.

I think the danger here is, in general (my favorite word!) we can all agree that powerful people are authoritative and inclusive. I'm just not understanding the link between this general statement and its relation to a deep understanding of speech tactics.

Yes, McGinty would probably agree, but why would she? And, she'd probably agree to a lot of things.

She'd even agree to choice B if we assume the above. People who use language from the edge are not authoritative. . ..She'd agree to that, because using the logic above, she would say people who use language from the center ARE authoritative. So the converse would be agreeable to her.





Okay I'm going to stop right there. I'm just procrastinating at this point. Thanks you guys so much. This whole program has been helpful. And I'll just chalk this one up to my not getting a perfect score later this month!


Your analogies are all backwards here. McGinty says true power (end) comes from a deep understanding of both speaking styles (means). Therefore a great manager (end) can speak like a great manager (means). A great chess player (end) knows the basic moves of chess (means).
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Re: RC: Language power

by jlucero Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:06 am

djs53 wrote:
RonPurewal wrote:
girl.jobless wrote:I dont see why B is wrong.

Managers who use language from the edge are not authoritative.


(b) is wrong because it is overreaching.

IF it said just
language from the edge is not authoritative
...then it would be correct.

however, that's not what it says. it says that the managers themselves are not authoritative.
this is not supported. in fact, it's clearly opposed by mcginty's main idea, which is that effective managers should do BOTH of those things.



Sorry, one more add here! Effective managers use BOTH, but is that what this answer choice is saying? The adjective of 'effective' doesnt appear.

And if this is overreaching, I'd say C is overreaching also. Saying Managers are is different from saying effective language is.

Aight I'm out! And thanks for the answer on that 11 and 19 Remainder question Ron P!


Effective was probably not the term Ron meant here. He was talking about powerful managers and not effective ones.

However, Ron's point was that it's impossible for B to be true (B.Managers who use language from the edge are not authoritative) unless there were no such thing as powerful managers. Since powerful managers need to use both styles, B can't be true unless no manager used both language from the edge and language from the center.
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Re: RC: Language power

by MonroeC973 Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:34 pm

Hello

I had the same reservations about D which make it incorrect, but I ended up choosing D because I had greater reservations about C.

I interpreted the passage as ONE way power can be achieved is by X and Y.

McGinty argues that true power comes from a deep understanding of when to use which style and the ability to use both as necessary.


For
C. Powerful people are both authoritative and inclusive.
, I thought not all powerful people must gain their power through X and Y - there are other ways to gain power.

Was there a flaw in this thinking? Perhaps I convoluted things with real life logic (other ways to gain power) when the language here does say that power must come from X and Y
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Re: RC: Language power

by RonPurewal Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:56 am

if the passage says that "true power comes from ... the ability to use both", then the passage means exactly what it says: this is the origin of true power in general.

e.g.,

Ballet dancers wear leotards.
--> subject is "ballet dancers"
--> therefore, this is a generalization about ballet dancers (not a generalization about leotards).
--> as a rule, ballet dancers--pretty much all of them--wear leotards. it's possible that other people wear them, too; the sentence implies nothing about that.

Leotards are worn by ballet dancers.
--> subject is "leotards"
--> therefore, this is a generalization about leotards (not a generalization about ballet dancers)
--> as a rule, leotards--basically all of them--are worn by ballet dancers. (the dancers might wear other stuff, too.)
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Re: RC: Language power

by JbhB682 Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:11 pm

What is wrong with E in this case ...E.Language from the edge is used primarily by low-level employees.

I chose E for the following


1) Language from the edge is exploratory, inclusive, deferential, and collaborative
2) Language from the edge asks questions / strive to make other feel heard / avoids argument ...


I thought these were characteristics (implied) when talking about low level employees

Please let me know where am i going wrong ..