There are three components to this assignment:
1. Complete the assessment below.
2. Set three communication goals
3. Write a paragraph for each goal, explaining why you chose this goal and how you might accomplish this goal.
Below you will find several interpersonal communication situations. As you read each one, think of a similar situation that you have experienced. Take a moment to remember the details of that situation, the outcome, and how you felt about the outcome. If you have never experienced a similar situation, imagine yourself in that situation and consider how you might respond, what the outcome would likely be, and how you would feel about that outcome. For each situation below, answer the following question: How satisfied am I with the way I would communicate in this situation and ones like it? You can express your answers by placing one of the following numbers in the space by each item:
5 – Completely satisfied with my probable action
4 – Generally, though not totally, satisfied with my probable action
3 – About equally satisfied and dissatisfied with my probable action
2 – Generally, though not totally, dissatisfied with my probable action
1 – Totally dissatisfied with my probable action
1. A new acquaintance has just shared some personal experiences with you that make you think you’d like to develop a closer relationship. You have experienced the same things and are now deciding whether to reveal these personal experiences. (Self-Disclosure, Chapter 3)
2. You’ve become involved in a political discussion with someone whose views are the complete opposite of yours. The other person asks, “Can’t you at least understand why I feel as I do?” (Empathy, Chapter 4)
3. You are considered a responsible adult by virtually everyone except one relative who still wants to help you make all your decisions. You value your relationship with this person, but you want to be seen as more independent. (Close Relationships, Chapter 10)
4. In a mood of self-improvement a friend asks you to describe the one or two ways you think he or she could behave better. You’re willing to do so, but need to express yourself in a clear and helpful way. (Improving Communication Climate, Chapter 11)
5. A close companion tells you that you’ve been behaving “differently” lately and asks if you know what he or she means. (Perception Checking, Chapter 4).
6. You’ve grown to appreciate a new friend a great deal lately, and you want to express your feelings to this friend. (Close Relationships, Chapter 10)
7. An amateur writer you know has just shown you his or her latest batch of poems and asked your opinion of them. You don’t think they are very good. It’s time for your reply. (Alternatives to Self-Disclosure, Chapter 3)
8. You’ve found certain behaviors of an important person in your life have become more and more bothersome to you. It’s getting harder to keep your feelings to yourself. (Emotions, Chapter 4)
9. You’re invited to a party at which everyone except the host will be a stranger to you. Upon hearing about this, a friend says, “Gee, if I were going I’d feel like an outsider. They probably won’t have much to do with you.” (Self-Fulfilling Prophecy, Chapter 3)
10. A friend comes to you feeling very upset about a recent incident and asks for advice. You suspect that there is more to the problem than just this one incident. You really want to help the friend. (Listening to Help, Chapter 8)
11. You find yourself defending the behavior of a friend against the criticisms of a third person. The critic accuses you of seeing only what you want to see and ignoring the rest. (Improving Communication Climates, Chapter 11)
12. A boss or instructor asks you to explain a recent assignment to a companion who has been absent. You are cautioned to explain the work clearly so there will be no misunderstandings. (Language, Chapter 5)
13. You ask an acquaintance for help with a problem. She says yes, but the way the message is expressed leaves you thinking she’d rather not. You do need the help, but only if it’s sincerely offered. (Perception Checking, Chapter 4)
14. A roommate always seems to be too busy to do the dishes when it’s his or her turn, and you’ve wound up doing them most of the time. You resent the unequal sharing of responsibility and want to do something about it. (Managing Interpersonal Conflicts, Chapter 12)
15. A Facebook friend sent you a message that they’ll be visiting in your town and would like to meet you in person. You think this person might be interesting and don’t want to hurt their feelings, but you have lots of “real” friends already and aren’t sure that you want or need more. (Social Media, Chapter 2)
Total your score for all of the items to get an idea of how satisfied you are with your overall communication in interpersonal situations. A score of 68–75 suggests high satisfaction, 58–67 indicates moderate satisfaction, while 45–57 shows that you feel dissatisfied with your communication behavior nearly half the time.
Now, identify your three lowest scores. If you have more than three equivalent low scores, choose the three that you feel present you with the greatest challenge. Notice the topic and chapter associated with these items and create three related interpersonal goals. For example, for item 1, you might write, “To improve my interpersonal communication skills, I will pay attention and apply what I learn about self-disclosure in chapter 3.” Or, for item 10 you might write, “To become a more effective listener I will pay attention and apply what I learn about listening response skills in chapter 8.”
Write three goals. Then, write a paragraph explaining why you have selected each of these three goals (250 words total for your three responses).
View your assignment rubric.
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