Interpersonal Communication Project HSER 508 Patricia L. Hill Liberty University 1
Interpersonal Communication According to Petersen (2007), good communication is just as important in business, family, and social life. Listening well matters for coworkers, when intimacy is not the goal, but being able to work together effectively is. It helps keep friendships vital and even makes a difference in casual relationships where you merely want ease (p. 4). 2
Introduction What is Interpersonal Communication? Stewart (2009) defines interpersonal communication as the type or kind of communication that happens when the people involved talk and listen in ways that maximize the presence of the personal (p. 33). In the information age, we have to send, receive, and process huge numbers of messages every day. But effective communication is about more than just exchanging information. Effective communication requires you to also understand the emotion behind the information. 3
Introduction Continued Nearly every aspect of human life could be improved by better listening -- from family matters to corporate business affairs to international relations. Most of us are terrible listeners. We're such poor listeners, in fact, that we don't know how much we're missing. According to Burley-Allen (1995) we don’ t realize that listening is such an important, yet often overlooked skill. When we think about listening, we tend to assume it is basically the same as hearing. As a result, we make little effort to learn or develop our listening skills and unknowingly neglect a vital communication function. Effective listening involves not only tuning in to others, but tuning in to ourselves . A step to becoming a good listener is trying to keep an open, receptive mind. As you look for opportunities to broaden the mind when listening, and to acquire new ideas or insights, rather than reinforcing existing points of view. 4
Overarching Goal The need to listen to others as well as to be heard. 5 It occurred to me that the need to be heard is probably one of the most fundamental needs a individual can have. We need acknowledgement. We need someone to look at us. We need to know that others know we exist. We need to know that not only do others know we exist but that our existence means something. We tend to employ the Flat-Brain Tango. In my introduction I gave a brief review on the importance of listening. I find that effective listening is crucial and critical to communicating both wants and needs within an interpersonal relationship.
Enlarging the Conversation Petersen (2007) metaphorically compared the listener to a midwife who enlarges the conversation by asking open and clarifying questions. In doing so, the “midwife” ensures the speaker understands and takes ownership of the “baby” and comes to realize that they are responsible for birthing their own solutions to the problems or issues through the process of asking questions rather than trying to give solutions to the problem. Successful listening means not just understanding the words or the information being communicated, but also understanding how the speaker feels about what they’re communicating. 6
Enlarging the Conversation Continued Enlarging the conversation forces us to actively engage ourselves in stepping outside of the box we so comfortably reside in. Try something new and change our way of thinking and feeling. Read more Visit a museum Learn a foreign language Visit another country Make friends with someone from another culture Be open Be receptive Be humble Have faith 7
Background Influences Let me begin by saying I am a native New Yorker. I was born and raised in Brooklyn most of my childhood. I grew up in my grandparents’ home. My mom was a teenager when she had me. I was considered as a latchkey child. I was very oppositional and defiant as an adolescent. I was an active child as I remember. Always outside jumping rump, playing handball, swimming and other People are often shocked when I tell them that I grew up in Brooklyn, but let me make it clear, growing up in Brooklyn was amazing. A city full of contradictions mimics reality, and it makes those of us reared in that reality cynical at an early age; a cynicism that differentiates us from our city’s newcomers, whose childhoods were tinged with the dream of living here. Growing up with the reality of New York versus the dream of it. Positive Negative Resourcefulness Apathetic Flexibility Rebellious Assertiveness Mistrusting Unpretentious Critical Faith in oneself Intolerant Persistent Reluctant Creative Introverted Autonomous Wasteful 8
Behavioral Blend The expression “behavioral blend” is described in the DISC Personality Assessment. There are four types of behavior or temperaments D, I, S, and C that are blended to create a unique personality for every individual. Using Hippocrates’ Four Temperament model of human behavior as a template, Carbonell (2005) presents four basic personality types that blend together to make up each unique individual, or the DISC personality model: D’s are dominant, directing and decisive; I’s are influence and inspiring; S’s are submissive and sensitive, and C’s are critical, cautious, and competent. There are two sections to the behavioral blend: what is expected of the person and who the person truly is. My expected blend is D/C and who I am is D/I/C. On the next two slides I will be focusing on who I truly am (DIC). 9
Behavioral Blend Positive Influences Inspiring Creative Active Original Outgoing Asserting Competent Devoted Cautious Inquisitive Perceptive Researching Industrious Spirited Goal oriented with specific steps of action; ability to communicate thoughts; energetic, strong-willed, and contemplative. 10
Behavioral Blend Negative Influences Controlling Restless Relentless Reactive Demanding Impatient Opinionated Judgmental Masked Self absorbed Guarded Unreceptive Questioning Aggressive I can be my own worst enemy. Very opinionated and loud. Fall short in showing sensitivity to individuals. Lack warmth. Freedom from control. 11
Potential Barriers Perception-viewing what is said from my own mindset Defensiveness-feeling unsafe in conversation Filters Emotional state-personal feelings at the moment Physical (time, weather, temperature, location, hungry) 12
Noise Pollution Internal Noise Pollution Childhood Experiences Personal beliefs and values Stress Illness External Noise Pollution Gender Environment (weather or temperature) Personal Appearance Radio, Television, Cell Phone, Clock Ticking Jargon Solutions Through the process of asking questions to collect the information needed and to help fill in the missing pieces to the talker’s story allows me to stay engaged in the conversation and ignore the pollutants that disrupt my thought processes (Petersen, 2007). Focus on the other person, their thoughts and feelings. Be empathetic to the feelings of the speaker. Recognize the meanings I attach to what I perceive. Solve problems rather than attempt to control others. Find a suitable place to talk with limited distractions and interruptions. 14
Build strong, healthy, and rewarding relationships
16 Matthew 19:26 (KLV) “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, with men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible”. When you observe that your partner is not engaged in what you are saying, it's a sure sign that you should start over, use a different approach, or pick a better time. The ingredients for successful conversations include understanding your communication preferences and differences and then making positive choices about how you will talk and how you will listen.
Bibliography Burley-Allen, M.(1995). Listening: the forgotten skill: A self-teaching guide. (2nd ed.). New York, NY: John Wiley& Sons. Petersen, J.C. (2007). Why don’t we listen better? Communicating & connecting in relationships. Tigard, OR: Petersen Publications Stewart, J. (Ed.). (2009). Bridges not walls: A book about interpersonal communication (10th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. Carbonell, M. (1987). Uniquely you. Retrieved from https://www.uniquelyyou.com/humanbehaviorscience.php#personality Baxter, L. A. (2007). Problematizing the problem in communication: A dialogic perspective. Communication Monographs, 74, 119-125. Villaume, W.A., & Bodie, G.D. (2007). Discovering the listener within us: The impact of trait-like personality variables and communicator styles on preferences for listening style. International Journal of Listening, 21(2), 102-123. Mehrabian, A. (1981). Silent Messages: Implicit Communication of Emotions and Attitudes (2nded.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth 17