1. Choose one major area of interpersonal communication such as emotional and social intelligence, social media, fierce conversations, communication of identity, nonverbal communication, perceiving and listening, expressing and disclosing, and conflict.
2. Describe some significant experiences of interpersonal communication that involved the area you have chosen and then analyze these experiences using concepts from the area you have chosen. The incidents must involve communication between you and someone else and cannot be the observation of communication between other people. Fictional characters or scenarios are also not appropriate.
3. Make sure to describe the context and what happens in the incident. You can briefly mention the background of the relationship, the setting and situation, what the other person said and did, what you felt, and how the communication affected the relationship. But do not go into so much detail that the description is as long as the analysis.
4. Description of the experience should precede the analysis. What actually took place serves as evidence for the accuracy of your analysis and the implications that you draw from it.
5. In what ways was your communication effective? In what ways did it fall short? What could you do to improve your communication?
Areas of Interpersonal Communication
a. emotional and social intelligence: the relation between reason and emotion, intelligence about emotions and intelligent emotions, the role of self-awareness, creating each other as we interact, ethics and social intelligence
b. social media: using vertical channels, influence of Internet use on ways of thinking, providing acceptance, staying connected, personal productivity issues, meeting on social networks, taking inventories of one’s life, decline in speaking and writing skills, shorter attention spans
c. fierce conversations: relationships succeed or fail one conversation at a time, the conversation is the relationship, what a fierce conversation is, engaging in more fierce conversations
d. communication of identity: identity as social rather than individual construction, performing identity, face and embarrassment, an accountable self, crucial identity questions, denial and exaggeration, grounding identity, making mistakes, complex intentions, contributing to the problem
e. nonverbal communication: the inseparability of verbal and nonverbal signals, communicating liking, power, and responsiveness, expressing emotions, managing identity, behavioral synchrony, showing the current state of a relationship, moving to a different type of relationship
f. perceiving and listening: perception as active process, selecting, organizing, and inferring, cognitive schemata, person prototypes, impression formation, attribution, stereotyping, totalizing, mindful listening, mindfulness, one-pointed concentration, empathic listening, focusing, encouraging, and reflecting skills, what dialogue is, focusing on ours, paraphrase plus
g. openness, self-disclosure, appropriate disclosures, motives for disclosure, goal of clarity, entitled to be heard, start with what matters most, be straightforward, communicate complexity, provisionalism, share where your conclusions come from, ask for paraphrases
h. conflict: either/or and both/and power, relational theory of power, individual power currencies, communication of lower-power people, verbal aggression, effective argument, positive aspects of conflict, conflict is based in interaction, realistic and nonrealistic conflicts, productive conflict interaction, generative and degenerative spirals, altering degenerative spirals, paradoxes and conundrums, unresolved relationship issues, creating the relationship terrain, rules for ruining any discussion, purpose of discussion
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