August 21, 2008

The relationship between communication and impression management

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:04 am by ooloveshoo

After reading about “The communication panacea” by Neil Postman, Shiny Ginger said in the discussion thread that the reading is “mostly discussed concealment of thoughts and feelings in more emotionally charged situations.” I thought the concealment of thoughts and feeling described by Shiny Ginger can affect the result of impression management. In order to create right impression management of someone, one needs to have a good amount of knowledge in the person’s thoughts or feeling who is being impression management by him. Therefore, if you give out concealment of thoughts and feelings to the others, they would end up creating distorted or wrong impression of you. Also, Grant2u support Neil Postman’s reading by saying that “communication is most sensibly viewed as a means through which desirable ends may be achieved”, Therefore, communication is very important in impression management. You have to give out the right information of yourself to the others so that they do not have any troubles with creating the impression that you want them to from of you.

After reading “Interbeing” by Thich Nhat Hanh, President Makalele said in the discussion thread that “everything around us is ‘inter-be’ and everything has a direct effect on something else making it ‘inter-be’ with other things and events in the world”. In other words, the relationship between impression management of you by the others and who you are is ‘inter-be’ according to Hanh. The other people cannot create an impression of you without knowing you directly or indirectly. It is impossible to create an impression of you when they have not met you or seen you.

impression management can be a way to start a relationship

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:00 am by ooloveshoo

In section four of “Bridges not walls” by John Stewart brings out four ideas to help to communicate with others:”Promoting dialogue”, “Bridging cultural differences”, “Recognizing Communication Walls”, “Managing Conflict by Turning Walls into Bridges”. I was able to connect these four themes to impression management. I think that every conversation is starting from experiencing the walls between the people since they do not know each others, especially, when you try to start a conversation with strangers. People who are having the conversation are responsible for destroying those walls and change into bridges. I think that the process of impression management can create some misunderstanding about the others. These impressions are often created by putting personal opinions after observing someone rather than just believing what they see. These conflicts have possibilities to destroy walls and create bridge between people, but it can also harden the walls if they cannot resolve this conflicts. People can work to solve conflicts by promoting dialogue. They can understand each others from listen to the others and continue their conversation by “nexting”. While people are having conversation, they might experience culture differences since everyone has their own different backgrounds and beliefs which also can be a reason to create conflicts between them. However, they also can learn these differences or problems by having dialogue.

impression management and disclosure

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:56 am by ooloveshoo

While reading Steph’s lectures on “Competing theories of IPC, impression management has been stand out among the other theories. I thought this theory was mostly related with me because I often have troubles with impression management. On the wikipedia, impression management has been defined as “the process through which people try to control the impressions other people form of them. It is a goal-directed conscious or unconscious attempt to influence the perceptions of other people about a person, object or event by regulating and controlling information in social interaction. It is usually synonymous with self-presentation, if a person tries to influence the perception of their image.” Without consciously knowing it, I often want the others to think myself in certain ways which do not necessary have to be corresponded to who I am. It also has a close relationship with the topic that I had used for the team project, disclosure.

President Makalele said “Team 4 explaining that a good way to bolster a relationship with others is to express yourself to the others first. By doing this you are nexting in order to spurn some sort of expression from the other party.” I agree with him mostly when he mentions about avoiding the others from getting certain images. I think this will happen when you do not express enough about yourself to the others, because the other people would not have enough information to define who you are. Therefore, it is easy for them to create an impression of you based on what they know.

Mary Vilbon said that “it is clear that often times people withhold how open and self-disclosed they are through fear of being judged, dislike, ostracized.” I think this is the most important problem about impression management. Some people fear about being judged by the others and they do not want impression management.

Memphisburns wrote in his comment that “In efforts to curtail any future frustration or confusion on everyone’s part, Ooloveshoo disclosed information about herself to elicit understanding from the rest of us.” I,ooloveshoo, had done impression management in the beginning of the class to prevent the others from having diffifulties with my writing. Before, the other students create their impression after reading my wiriting; I had provided information of me to help them when they had to get an impression from my writing since this is online course.

Last class

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:06 am by ooloveshoo

This class had given me a chance to consider about the way I communicate. While doing the assignments on different interpersonal communication skills, I was able to distinguish my strength and weakness in those skills. Among many different communication skill, openness or self-disclosure had given me great impact. Based on what I have learned in this class, I define myself as a good listener but I have to admit that I am not comfortable of being open-minded or disclosing about myself to the others. Especially, I have troubles with expressing myself to the people that I do not know much, and I often act like someone else than myself. In order to find a specific example for this, I tried to think about the relationships that I had so far. Some of the relationships have not been last long or I do not share much memories in them. On the other hand, I was able to keep some other relationships in depth until now. The way I behave is the most important reason why I have different types of relationships. Whenever I have to meet a new person, I am usually careful about showing myself. I always wait until the others express about themselves to me first by listening their words. Everyone behaves differently, and it is hard to expect them to be comfortable with expressing their emotion or thoughts. Therefore, there are people like me who are not used to with self-disclosure. By examining the relationships that I kept for a long time, I was able to find one commonality among them. Everyone in those long-term relationships had happened to disclose themselves to me first. In this way, I was able to express my thoughts or emotions to them; and we were able to have better understanding about each others. On the other hands, people, who were from the relationships that I had been failed to keep, were uncomfortable of being the first one to disclose like me. In these cases, we were busy with saying something that would make the others feel good rather than showing our feelings or thoughts. Without having a good understanding of each others, we could not share anything that can connect people in that relationship. Therefore, we ended up having conversations that cannot be “nexting”, and had troubles to find topics that can lead the conversation further. This eventually made hard for us to build long-term relationships.
On Steph’s lecture, impression management is the one of the theories that she had presented her lecture. I found myself greatly agreed with impression management. On wikipedia, it has been defined as “the process through which people try to control the impressions other people form of them. It is a goal-directed conscious or unconscious attempt to influence the perceptions of other people about a person, object or event by regulating and controlling information in social interaction”. I found the reason why I am so afraid of showing myself to strangers, because I am putting too many thoughts on impression management of myself. The reason why I cannot show myself to strangers was very simple, I was afraid of the way people would judge me from hearing my words. Therefore, I often wait the others to express them first so that I could learn about them. After learning their characteristics, I often say something that would make them feel good rather than hurting their feeling. In this case, I can protect myself from getting negative impressions from the others. This is exactly the same as the definition of impression management. Since I have learned from this class that it does not help me to build strong relationships, I will try to be more open to the others in my future relationships.

August 19, 2008

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:33 am by ooloveshoo

comment to Jimigarcia27
I think having open-minded is important in any conversations, and the process of building relationship can be affected by it. The more you open to your listeners, there are better chance for you to create close relationship with them. I also had chosen the same topic for this project: disclosure. I was excited to find someone who had been working on the same topic, Jimigarcia27. Also, it was interesting for me to read about examples by Jimigarcia27 who was taking examples from one person instead writing examples from several different people. This method actually helped me to have clear idea about being open since I got the chances to experience how a person was able to show different ways to be opened. On Jimigarcia27’s weblog, he was describing a student from “Group Dynamics class”, Summer22. In this class, Summer22 was able to show herself to the other classmates by exchanging comments with them. Jimigarcia27 said “it prompted her to be responsive with openness to express her agreement and new points as well.” By accepting the comments of the other student with open mind, Summer22 was able to make his agreement or new points. Without being open, it would have not been easy for him to agree with someone else. This also allows him to continue to keep their relationship by doing nexting from sharing comments. Like how Jimigarcia27 had pointed out, the way summer27 had described herself was a great example to show someone being open: “I’m a pretty passionate person, so I know that I need to be cautious of not being too overpowering, my goal has always been to express my views but make sure that everyone else feels comfortable expressing their own views.” This statement includes a good amount of description about herself, and her goals. It concluded by how oneself should be open to the others while showing yourself to them.

comment to tennisfan816
Tennisfan816 defined empathy as “When we listen to other people talk, we find ways to relate to them such as understanding their situation, thoughts and feelings. By doing this, we are being empathic.” I think a person cannot be defined as open unless they are showing their empathies. Being open-minded not only requires listening to whatever the others have to say, but one needs to reflect those stories with your own experiences or feelings. Tennisfan816 had backed up this idea with examples from what we had been doing in this class. Especially, when we had to write our first blog about what we had learned this summer, we had to leave comments to the other students. Most of people who left comments to the specific blogs had similar experience or interest with that blogs. In this way, those people had found some connection with the stories of the blog, and they were able to leave comments. The way I am now critiquing her team project can be considered as showing my empathies to her, because I am able to understand or feel the same way about how tennisfan816 think of empathy.

comment to Steph’s lecture
For my critique, I have discussed about openness and empathy. Interestingly, I was able to create connection between them. When we have any conversation, it is important to be open about yourself or what you hear. In other words, we need to show our emotions toward those conversations, and we need to express our thoughts. The way we are expressing our emotion or thoughts can be defined as being empathetic. Therefore, I conclude that they have a close relationship with each other. Also, one cannot be fully opened without being empathetic.

I think these two important interpersonal communications make people to create conflicts or it can sometimes help them to solve conflicts in good ways. In chapter 10 from “Bridge not walls” by John Stewart, he has described conflicts as a tool that can bring people more closely to each others: those conflicts can help people to destroy the walls that they have with the other people and build strong bridges instead. When you being open about yourself, I think there is possibilities that you might create conflicts with the other person. Everyone is different and the way they think is also different. Therefore, it is hard to expect someone to agree with your opinions; and they might disagree with it. In this case, the conflicts have to be created since they are having a hard time with accepting the each other’s differences. No one would enjoy hearing negative opinions about something that you believe to be right. I think it is same for putting your emotion to conversation. Too much emotion or too little emotions can bring discomfort to the listeners. That discomfort can be another reason to create bigger conflicts. However, the conflicts are not always bad according to Stewart, and we can use it as a tool to make bridges the others.

August 17, 2008

Team 4

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:38 am by ooloveshoo

“Being open with and to other people” written by David Johnson from a book, “Bridges not walls” by John Stewart, explains how the self-disclosure can be used to enhance the relationships between the people. First, Johnson points out how “self-disclosure enables you and other people to get to know each other”(p.234, 8th edition). At the beginning of this class, we had a chance to introduce ourselves by leaving a comment on Steph’s first lecture. When I had to introduce myself, I, ooloveshoo, was not afraid to show my weakness to the rest of the class who does not know me. “As many of people probably have noticed already while reading my post, I have some trouble with writing in English. I am trying hard to learn English but I still have problems with communicating in English since it is not my first language.”. The way I had reveal my lack of proficiency in English supports one of Johnson’s idea. He said “To build a meaningful relationship you have to disclose yourself to the other person and take the risk that the other person may reject rather than like you.”(p.232, 8th edition). I was taking the risk to reveal my weakness in hoping that will help me to have strong relationship with my classmates. Lacking proficiency in English had always given me a hard time with interacting with other classmates whenever I had to work in groups. At first, people did not consider me as foreigner, but once we started to conversation; the other group memebrs started to realize that I was little different. The discomfort arose between us, and I often had to feel left out. By revealing my weakness at the beginning of the class, I felt comfortable with leaving my writings on webblogs or discussion thread; because I knew my classmates will understand about my difficulties with English. On the other hand, commsyr09 was showing her strength in communication when she was introducing herself: “I opt to stick to what I know and what I am good at – communications!” I picked Commsyr09 as an example of disclosure; because she represented her disclosure as a way to introduce herself like me. Although we were showing completely opposite sides of disclosure: positive, and negative; the way we used them as a tool to get closer with the other classmates is similar.

Second, Johnson states that “self-disclosure allows individuals to identify common goals and overlapping needs, interests, activities, and values.” (p.234, 8th edition). Students in Comm325 had to make their own websites called “wiki” at the end of the class, and I thought it was a great way to show self-disclosure to anyone who might visit their wiki. While I was browsing Steph’s course website for Comm325, I was able to find a comment which was complementing one of the classmate’s wiki with showing the emotions. Funinsun had left a comment about his experiences with his classmates’ wiki, Chocolatemilk and one another classmate. He said “It was really interesting to read them because I saw myself feeling the same way they did. We really are a group after all!” This feedback immediately caught my eyes, and I got curious of Chocolatemilk, who was able to continue the relationship with Funinsun by sharing the same experience as a group, and disclosing herself. After reading the Chocolatemilk’ wiki, I was able to find the reason why Funinsun had felt that way. Chocolatemilk had done a great job with expressing her thoughts, feelings, and learning. There were four sections: introduction, the explanation of the class that she had to take, learning that she had gained from class, and her understanding about new finding. She said that “Well, my friend, as there was no syllabus, the only thing that we really knew for certain was that we were to design our own class wiki (see “wiki” link above) by the end of the semester. What was to be on it and how we were to go about it was completely up to us. We spent many a classes trying to figure out what our topic was going to be. You would not believe how long it took us just to vote” Reading this quote allows me to picture myself what she had to go through in order to create this wiki such as pressure, confusion, and happiness. After reading her wiki, I feel like I know her although I have not met or talked to this person. I think this is how you create relationship with the others; you first express yourself to the others. Then you wait until the other person accepts your disclosure, and stimulate them to express themselves. If Chocolatemilk had not disclosed enough about herself like how she did it on her wiki, she could not expect to receive the same type of comment from Funinsun which revealed his emotion and his finding of commonality with Chocolatemilk. By revealing their emotion, they were able to make their relationship little closer to each other. Also, I got a feeling that anybody who visits her wiki would experience the same feeling that I had and they are able to find their commonalities with her.

Lastly, Johnson points out that “once common goals have been identified, self-disclosure is necessary to work together to accomplish them.” (p.234, 8th edition). While my team was spending time to process our team project, I have experienced many self-disclosures of Grant2u. In Grant2u’s weblog, she said “I think to work effectively and constructively we all need to be on the same page about certain things.” I think that was her goal for our team, and she tried hard to not leaving any teammates behind. There were times where I had to deal with confusions and misunderstanding about the assignments, she was always there to accept my problems with open-minded; and provided ways to solve my problems by showing her disclosure. Whenever the team had to be in a chat room to share our ideas, I was usually the one who did not talk much, and watched what the other teammates had to say. She was the one who always encouraged me to chat by asking specific questions to me by calling my name. Also, she always was the first one to share her feedbacks about the assignments, and asked how the teammates might think of it. The way she approached and showed herself made me to feel comfortable with her. Not only she encouraged me to speak out, but she was the one who usually revealed her thoughts and feelings while we were doing our team project. Often time, she brought out her concerns, and my teammates considered it as a sign to get together and start working as a team. As a team, we often tried to find a right time to chat and discuss about the concerns that each member might have. I appreciate her for showing self-disclosure to me and my team, because I think her disclosure had helped me and my team to communicate with the others without having any conflicts and we were able to finish our project without leaving any teammates behind. However, I also appreciate the openness of the other teammates. Johnson said that “joint action to achieve mutual goals can not be effective unless collaborators are quite open in their interactions with each other.”(p.234, 8th edition). Without open interactions of each member, my team would not be the same as how we are today.

“Identity- negotiation, or the collaborative construction of selves, is going on whenever people communicate… People who are aware of negotiation processes can communicate more effectively and successfully in many different situations.” (Stewart 31) The idea of negotiation in communication is one that is often overlooked. It is common to ignore the fact that, as we are conversing with and listening to each other, we are allowing ourselves to change. We are collaboratively creating identities together through out interactions and IPC with one another. “Identities are communicated in many different ways. Topic choice and vocabulary are important. Grooming and dress also contribute to this process…” (Stewart 31) It is learning how to appropriately negotiate that has helped all of us grow as communicators throughout this course.

It is imperative to know the difference between sharing too much and not enough of who we are; being too weary of interaction with someone and not giving people a fair chance, etc. In addition we must always be aware of the identity(s) of the person/people we are communicating with, as well as the situation in which we are in. For example, Jimigarcia27 shares how we have all performed, acted, communicated in ways based upon the fact that we are in a class setting, communicating with an instructor. We negotiate our identity by framing our words according to what we believe Stephanie wants from us. In addition, due to the classroom setting, and our work being posted for all to see, we negotiate to avoid judgment from classmates, more so, our concern with their opinions affect how we perform and communicate. Outerbodyboi, specifically, discusses how being assigned groups really kicked him into gear, as he was determined not to let his teammates down. We bargain, alter who we are, how we normally do things because of our public forum.

Aside from negotiating who we are to avoid a basic misrepresentation of our personalities and work ethic, we are also determined to accomplish our goals. As Sedona1 stated, “If I weren’t to compromise…we would have been stuck…” When working collaboratively, compromise and teamwork are necessary factors for success, therefore we humble ourselves to better the group as a whole. As we have been working in groups, and the students of Steph’s other class did so, taking into account the views of others is helpful. Abccccc, communicates agreeance with teammates. They share a willingness to do what the other group members wish, without ever mentioning ideas of their own. Such cooperation was crucial for the achievement of the team. However, an important factor in negotiation is not completely losing one’s own identity.

Saboy explained, the importance of putting one-self out there, and how we must be “authentic and stand out…” I have been lucky enough to have watched myself and my fellow classmates grow, develop, and learn to successfully negotiate our identities in communication without completely losing ourselves. It has been difficult because, as Johnniedrama wrote, ” Usually, in a “normal” class, diversity can be seen (via people’s appearances), sometimes even heard (through people’s voices/accents), but not here. When reading a comment or a weblog or a discussion post, the way it is written is now more important than ever. The slightest type-o or grammatical error can throw off the reader, and make the reader think that the writer is of a different background than the reader – whether culturally, religiously, socioeconomically, or mentally.” Our circumstances made it that much more difficult to know the identities of those we were communicating, yet we all seemed to pull through. To use myself as an example, in the beginning of this course I was highly impersonal. My very first assignment was about health insurance, as I was unable to negotiate a more personal story to share. However, as I have advanced and progressed using this course material, I have learned how to appropriately give my own opinions and views while taking into consideration who my audience is.

Learning how to communicate in groups while constructing identities can be a tough act. It is like trying to balance on the tightrope. As you try to get to the other side-hoping someone can control the tensions wire and catch you if you fall. It can be tricky and a tough balancing act, as I myself and others have experienced.

In regard to “Constructing our Identities” written by Stewart, Zediker, and Wittenborn and “Maintaining the Self in Communication” by Barret I would like examine the role of developing our “selves” and how I feel it has developed our relationships. From the book Bridges Not Walls by John Stewart, Barret talks about “a rhetorical perspective” and says that “in this exploration of human interaction, I am guided by a rhetorical perspective on communication: that we choose ways to be with others, always with a purpose, always seeking to be effective with them(97)”. Through our communications we have furthered our relationships over time by using a number of these skills. From the very beginning our introductions and web logs we made a statement about who we were and what are tone was. It was our first chance to “create our identities”.

Using myself as an example I said, “I intend to learn more effective ways to communicate with others in personal or professional relationships…my hope is to gain some new perspectives on communication while I take a look at my own strengths and weaknesses. I believe that in order to achieve optimal results you must be willing to make sacrifices and work hare towards your goal.” A couple weeks into the class I felt like I was in way over my head-with the technical part of it. I was always felt like I was on top of things with other classes, but now as we broke off into teams I really needed the support of others. I was no longer the one with all the answers, but the one who had to listen, let go, and allow someone else to lead the way. I feel like I was doing this while trying to maintain my identity and hold onto some of the tension in our dialogue at the same time. From Bridges, “Dialogue’s Basic Tension” by Karen Zediker and John Stewart demonstrate “tensionality” as “dialogue is not a steady state, something that is stable and predictable, when people are in a dialogue, they experience a dynamic, push-pull, both-and-quality in their communication(614). I needed to learn how to do that when I nexted to my team mates. “When I reflect upon my own IPC I realize that I typically control the tension lines in my regular communications. I’m used to being in a position of “pushing”. My motive seemed to be to keep the conversation flowing…as Steph says in her lecture regarding “nexting”, “The point is that we are always and forever joining conversations in the middle, and there are a lot of people who want to influence how the conversation turns out.”

One of the members of our team is able to notice when the dialogue isn’t moving and is happy to offer a “push”. TheCakeIsALie says, “As part of my nature, if no one steps forward to lead a group discussion, I step forward and try to help the best I can.” Not only is he able to ease the “tension” in this sense but was also able to share his computer knowledge/experience with me to help me and someone else understand the homework assignment. Another example of a changing role in communication is from one of my teammate’s Cake. He is the one who was able to help me and he reflected in his web log “the first night of grouping, I stepped forward to help lead the discussion and to help my teammates through the technical aspect of this course. Then I needed to step back and allow them to essentially control my fate and decide what readings I should do, and trust that they’d leave me sufficient information to complete the tasks.” Cake and I learned in turn from each other that we had to learn to trust our teammates and let go of the tension. We had to be able to change our way of communicating and put our “fate” in each others hands-and it worked!!

CommSyr says, in her summary on “Maintaining the Self in Communication” by Barrett, that “in a group setting especially when working together to achieve a grade with people who know very little about each other, self-maintenance is key. We are all trying to exude intelligence, over the top and not doing enough, between being intelligent but not intimidating, by being assertive but not mean. We are constantly maintaining this balance, in group projects, with friends at work, in life” . She also says in a summary on “Constructing our Identities” that “this article is extremely pertinent to our topic because through identity construction we become the person we want to communicate to others-interpersonally”. Theses example are important because I think they reflects upon principle such as: knowing how to control the tension in IPC and to find ways to develop it. It shows that her thoughts on this have been consistent throughout the course.

From the course in “group dynamics” it was more difficult to find to ways to connect the dots. I think a good way to end this is from some comments I found from sameies20 in regard to a class project from “getting to gist” he/she said earlier on in class where there seemed to be some struggle that “In regards to where the class is at while trying to create our class project I feel as though we are still in stage 2, the adolescence stage…I will be interested to see what the next class has to offer and if our group dynamics can shift to the next stage…?” and apparently there was some kind of shift in the class’s relationship as a whole. In a later post from “reminder-after Dachau” sameies20 says “I think that there are lots of things that remain in our group that were there in the beginning…I am much more comfortable with some of the people in class…I think the openness has allowed students to feel more comfortable with each other and with the instructor making for an overall good classroom experience!” I chose this to end with because I think it overall demonstrate what a lot of us have felt in our class. It shows an example of where this was some type of struggle with the class-but through the “further relationships over time” by developing an atmosphere of openness and comfort the dynamics were able to move forward.

The support levels changed as time went on with the groups. I will be focusing on how we went about supporting in the class and with the project. Support can be shown in many different ways while communicating. It can be helping someone to understand something further, it can be a technical question, but it can also be a way to foster relationships and to build a community. Our world is built on trust, and the initial few entries when we are going back and fourth set the foundation for learning as well as for the bonding to continue. At some point in the class, our support began to hinder, and people became a bit disconnected. Our line of communication was disappearing slowly and the support that was built with it also wavered. Initially a comfort level was established which allowed for a supportive setting. As people became less comfortable and more frustrated, the support began to fade. As we got more used to the setting and the technology, it began to pick up once again as we became more organized at the very end.

There were many early conversations through the blogs where people were being supportive of each other. We were able to relate to others and build a bridge where open dialogue is promoted. For an example, Jagger Bunny, in her opening web blog writes about her newfound experience as a waitress and how tough the job can be, as well as how customers can be very unreasonable. In a reply, Tennisfan816 , relates to her experiences, and at the end writes, “My advice is to hang in there and don’t let the customers get to you, sometimes people just have bad days.” This way of ending her comment builds a support system where one student is encouraging another student to keep her head up.

On the same entry, Singer12 writes, “I applaud your patience, and I want to let you know that it is because of your post that I will be sure to be more aware of my behavior in restaurants, in the future.” This is a great way to end with a positive comment. The comment is both applauding her ability to do something difficult, but it also tells Jagger Bunny that she was able to influence someone’s thoughts and eventually actions towards waiters and waitresses in the future. This type of supportiveness is needed for these individual relationships to develop effectively.

In another one of the first blog replies, another student exhibits that they are already skilled in nexting. Here is another example of a student relating to another and then saying how their blog has influenced them to think in a different light. Commsyr09 writes on Tennisfan’s blog “I have always wanted to improve my speaking skills while learning to read and write – reading your post has definitely inspired me to look more into doing so.” Encouraging others through ha respectful voice builds trust in the relationship.

In the beginning there was a dialogue between Masr27 and Tennisfan816 where effective nexting takes place with a supportive tone. They are both promoting dialogue, which in effect, brings them closer together. In Masr27’s opening blog, he/she describes how the most important lesson learned recently was to eat healthy and drink water, which has impacted his/her mood greatly. The opening of dialogue comes from Tennisfan816 who writes , “I wish I had your willpower to resist eating junk food, keep up the good work!” This is both supportive of Masr27’s aims at a healthy lifestyle but also compliments Masr27’s will power. This positive attitude towards other’s endeavors creates a trust between the two. This foundation allows for more support in the future.

In TennisFan816’s first blog, the student writes about how his/her family is from Thailand and although the student could speak Thai, he/she had decided to learn how to read and write in Thai. The student explained the difficulties of the alphabet and the daunting task that lies ahead. Masr27 continues the conversation and writes back being very supportive, “I can definitely relate to you, because this past year I was in Cairo studying Arabic, a language I could barely say “how are you doing in”, and now I’ve become proficient in reading and writing. It feels amazing doesn’t it!? We are both bi-lingual!” This is an example of people making connections with each other through effective nexting. It’s building a relationship through similarities and not only relating to the person you are communicating with, but encouraging their shared passions.

The dialogue continues as Tennisfan816 keeps the nexting process going and replies again on Masr27’s blog, “My friend is currently majoring in Arabic at Emory University in Georgia and she has told me that it’s pretty hard. She was actually in Cairo during fall semester last year, that would be funny if you guys were actually at the same school together.” This is the least effective nexting, as the conversation has hit a wall. The nexting became weaker as the two went on. Once they became comfortable and began to relate to each other, the dialogue stops. This could be due to the fact that the assignment was complete, and they had done what they were expected to do. It seems as soon as the requirement was fulfilled, the interaction ceased.

The class started off with a bang, as people were interacting in their natural ways while learning the fundamentals of nexting. But at some point we began to lose steam. The relationships that we had initially made seemed to unravel a bit. I noticed that there weren’t nearly as many replies to blogs later on in the semester. People were nexting and communicating through their own blogs but it wasn’t as much of an interaction as before. People were really giving much more of their opinions as opposed to listening effectively in order to properly next. This meant that people weren’t getting the most out of the conversation. In “Dialogue’s Basic Tension,” Karen Zediker explains the different between monologic and dialogic interaction, “when one of us can perceive and listen to you as a person while being available as a person to you, and you can do the same thing, then the communication between us can be called “dialogic” or “dialogue.” When the opposite happens- when I am only focused on getting my own ideas out and you are not listening but “reloading”- only working out your response to my ideas, then the communication between us is monologic.”(Stewart, 614) I feel like as time went on in the class, things went from being dialogic to monologic, as kids began to spout off their opinions without really listening to what others had to say originally or in response.

As meeting and planning became a daunting task, Jagger Bunny writes about this frustration and lack of communication, “However, the communication between my team members and I has been so minor, that I don’t believe it has changed us, except maybe frustrated all of us.” I felt this same frustration about ¾ into the class. The feeling is evident throughout the class as people began to question whether things had started to become more disconnected, and this lack of support for one another affected our ability to “next” properly.

Masr27 responded to this blog entry saying “I agree without a doubt 100 percent. You are a part of my team, and I would rather use the term impossible than difficult to explore the “basic tensions” in our dialogue, simply because our dialogue doesn’t exist!” This is again, more evidence that people are getting fed up and questioning the support system that was in weeks prior, being nurtured so heavily.

In the Group Dynamics class, AP1115 made an interesting point, “I started to think around the end of the class that there was a BIG reason why were kept in the dark on grading criteria and what the final project had to be about. It created confusion and in turn made us rely on each other to get through the class.” The lack of instructions about the project and the class as a whole made it so that we were going to have to be supportive of each other in order for anything to get done. Without support, we wouldn’t have gotten as far as we did. In our discussion section, Catherine was constantly extending a helping hand whether it be with confusion on an assignment, orchestrating meeting times, or just being there. It’s safe to say that Catherine was the only team member that was constantly supportive in every aspect of the project. Some of my teammates as well as myself had very different work schedules, which affected how supportive we could be. Timing plays a big part in support because you have to deal with issues, as they arise, not at your convenience.

Catherine’s ability to get everyone on the same page helped us to come together. She has set the standard for the level of support that is now expected and is needed for things to go smoothly. It’s very important that a leader emerges to help others to realize the bigger goal, and to realize that we all needed each other in order to succeed. This was all sustained through supportive messages, which made us feel like we all had people who cared and wanted us to grow together. In “Expressing,” by Mathew McKay it says, “Communicating supportively means that you avoid “win/lose” and “right/wrong” games.”(Stewart, 259) He goes on to say, “Real communication produces understanding and closeness, while “win/lose” games create warfare and distance.”(Stewart, 259) I believe that our group was able to avoid these battles, and nothing got to the level where it was a war of words. People respected each other’s feelings and this helped us to come together more so.

In the group dynamics class a student explained how their group was able to finally all support each other to the point that they became stronger because of it. They were able to all share the responsibilities and by building that trust they grew as a team. Summer22 explains that “Many of the other sub groups had a little difficulty with their presentations prior to our turn, so we were a little nervous going up to the front of the class. We decided to go up as a group because with prior groups, only single members were going up and we didn’t want any single person within the group to have that burden, so we went together. Our group really did well once we were up there, and it wasn’t just one person who pulled us all together it was each member working off of one another.” This is an excellent example of support. Each member did what he or she had to do, and instead of singling anyone out, they were able to each do their part and hold up their end in the process. It’s about coming together and helping one another to reach their goals. It’s not easy learning to rely on others, but it’s something that we are going to have to get good at if we are ever going to be successful in life. Group harmony must be nurtured and that is one big lesson that we will all walk away from this class having learned.

Exhaling is the second step in a two-part process called “making meaning together” and this step is the “output” or sending part of communication. (p. 231) An exhale cannot occur without a proper inhale, and it has to make sense in the flow of things. It cannot be something that is “out of nowhere”, that it must be related to the ongoing relationship. (p. 231) The following few paragraphs will deal with the final stage of communicating properly, the act of returning conversation, or exhaling.

Our professor, Steph, presented to a previous class an assignment, and the class fishbowled and discussed the assignment. The results of the fisbowl prompted Steph to post an update to her blog, and the comments in this post seemed to me to be a classic inhale-exhale exercise.

The third comment in this post seemed to be the most interesting to me, because it was a great exhale, and I felt that since the exhale was so great, that it triggered lots of people to inhale it, and make their own good exhales. In essence, sedona1 (the poster of the third comment) inhaled everything that Steph posted, combined it with the discussion that they had in the fishbowl, and their previous experiences, and broke down each topic that they had discussed in their desires to move forward. This led freshkicks6 to post their thoughts about what needed to be done. They agree with sedona1’s main points, and expand on them a little bit, providing a tad more detail, and then leave a minor question that will help the group discuss what else should be done.

Summer22 follows up with another take on the whole thing, except they step in after some comments have been made, and provide their thoughts straight from the fishbowl, then they look at comments made by others, provide their thoughts about the comments, and then adds a little bit more of their own thoughts, “My main suggestion thus far is that I don’t think we should break into “content groups” until we break into these sort of “process groups.”” Stating it as a suggest leaves it open for critique, and more discussion.

Ehanft has a fantastic example of this idea of exhaling.

“As I read and view the discussions and progressions of ideas, I constantly think how much more efficient our group would have been if we had developed a work structure from day one. A leader, or a subgroup that was charged with command decisions, would have gotten things rolling much, much faster. We have essentially circled this notion (the need for order, delegation of tasks, etc.) for weeks now, without having acted.”

He took in the entire semester worth of discussion up to that point into consideration, and throws down his thoughts and frustrations in a very constructive manner. This is probably the best exhale on the entire page, and it’s only about halfway down. He criticizes the manner in which everything got done, but not in a rant, or in an offensive manner. He obviously took the time to not offend anyone, yet showed in a very concise, orderly fashion the problems that people had been “circling” around all semester.

In “Expressing” from “Bridges and Walls”, Matthew McKay, Martha Davis and Patrick Fanning say that “thoughts are [your] conclusions, inferences drawn from what you have heard, read and observed. They are attempts to synthesize your observations so you can see what’s really going on…” (p. 242) I believe Ehanft did that completely. He expressed himself very well in his exhale, meeting all the criteria of posting his thoughts. He heard in class the discussions going on, read the comments posted and observed Steph’s post regarding the class, and then he synthesized all of those observations and what he saw was that they kept going around in a circle, always touching on the same topics, not really making any progress.

August 16, 2008

Team project: self-disclosure

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:16 pm by ooloveshoo

“Being open with and to other people” written by David Johnson from a book, “Bridges not walls” by John Stewarts, explains how the self-disclosure can be used to enhance the relationships between the people. First, Johnson points out how “self-disclosure enables you and other people to get to know each other”(p.234, 8th edition). At the beginning of this class, we had a chance to introduce ourselves by leaving a comment on Steph’s first lecture. When I had to introduce myself, I, ooloveshoo, was not afraid to show my weakness to the rest of the class who does not know me. “As many of people probably have noticed already while reading my post, I have some trouble with writing in English. I am trying hard to learn English but I still have problems with communicating in English since it is not my first language.”. The way I had reveal my lack of proficiency in English supports one of Johnson’s idea. He said “To build a meaningful relationship you have to disclose yourself to the other person and take the risk that the other person may reject rather than like you.”(p.232, 8th edition). I was taking the risk to reveal my weakness in hoping that will help me to have strong relationship with my classmates. Lacking proficiency in English had always given me a hard time with interacting with other classmates whenever I had to work in groups. At first, people did not consider me as foreigner, but once we started to conversation; the other group memebrs started to realize that I was little different. The discomfort arose between us, and I often had to feel left out. By revealing my weakness at the beginning of the class, I felt comfortable with leaving my writings on webblogs or discussion thread; because I knew my classmates will understand about my difficulties with English. On the other hand, commsyr09 was showing her strength in communication when she was introducing herself: “I opt to stick to what I know and what I am good at – communications!” I picked Commsyr09 as an example of disclosure; because she represented her disclosure as a way to introduce herself like me. Although we were showing completely opposite sides of disclosure: positive, and negative; the way we used them as a tool to get closer with the other classmates is similar.

Second, Johnson states that “self-disclosure allows individuals to identify common goals and overlapping needs, interests, activities, and values.” (p.234, 8th edition). Students in Comm325 had to make their own websites called “wiki” at the end of the class, and I thought it was a great way to show self-disclosure to anyone who might visit their wiki. While I was browsing Steph’s course website for Comm325, I was able to find a comment which was complementing one of the classmate’s wiki with showing the emotions. Funinsun had left a comment about his experiences with his classmates’ wiki, Chocolatemilk and one another classmate. He said “It was really interesting to read them because I saw myself feeling the same way they did. We really are a group after all!” This feedback immediately caught my eyes, and I got curious of Chocolatemilk, who was able to continue the relationship with Funinsun by sharing the same experience as a group, and disclosing herself. After reading the Chocolatemilk’ wiki, I was able to find the reason why Funinsun had felt that way. Chocolatemilk had done a great job with expressing her thoughts, feelings, and learning. There were four sections: introduction, the explanation of the class that she had to take, learning that she had gained from class, and her understanding about new finding. She said that “Well, my friend, as there was no syllabus, the only thing that we really knew for certain was that we were to design our own class wiki (see “wiki” link above) by the end of the semester. What was to be on it and how we were to go about it was completely up to us. We spent many a classes trying to figure out what our topic was going to be. You would not believe how long it took us just to vote” Reading this quote allows me to picture myself what she had to go through in order to create this wiki such as pressure, confusion, and happiness. After reading her wiki, I feel like I know her although I have not met or talked to this person. I think this is how you create relationship with the others; you first express yourself to the others. Then you wait until the other person accepts your disclosure, and stimulate them to express themselves. If Chocolatemilk had not disclosed enough about herself like how she did it on her wiki, she could not expect to receive the same type of comment from Funinsun which revealed his emotion and his finding of commonality with Chocolatemilk. By revealing their emotion, they were able to make their relationship little closer to each other. Also, I got a feeling that anybody who visits her wiki would experience the same feeling that I had and they are able to find their commonalities with her.

Lastly, Johnson points out that “once common goals have been identified, self-disclosure is necessary to work together to accomplish them.” (p.234, 8th edition). While my team was spending time to process our team project, I have experienced many self-disclosures of Grant2u. In Grant2u’s weblog, she said “I think to work effectively and constructively we all need to be on the same page about certain things.” I think that was her goal for our team, and she tried hard to not leaving any teammates behind. There were times where I had to deal with confusions and misunderstanding about the assignments, she was always there to accept my problems with open-minded; and provided ways to solve my problems by showing her disclosure. Whenever the team had to be in a chat room to share our ideas, I was usually the one who did not talk much, and watched what the other teammates had to say. She was the one who always encouraged me to chat by asking specific questions to me by calling my name. Also, she always was the first one to share her feedbacks about the assignments, and asked how the teammates might think of it. The way she approached and showed herself made me to feel comfortable with her. Not only she encouraged me to speak out, but she was the one who usually revealed her thoughts and feelings while we were doing our team project. Often time, she brought out her concerns, and my teammates considered it as a sign to get together and start working as a team. As a team, we often tried to find a right time to chat and discuss about the concerns that each member might have. I appreciate her for showing self-disclosure to me and my team, because I think her disclosure had helped me and my team to communicate with the others without having any conflicts and we were able to finish our project without leaving any teammates behind. However, I also appreciate the openness of the other teammates. Johnson said that “joint action to achieve mutual goals can not be effective unless collaborators are quite open in their interactions with each other.”(p.234, 8th edition). Without the open interactions of each member, my team would not be the same as how we are today.

August 13, 2008

Fierce Conversation

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:03 pm by ooloveshoo

“Fierce Conversation” by Susan Scott basically states that it is important to become authentic and honest about ourselves when we trying to build any relationship from having conversation. In order to do that, we need to have fierce conversation; this allows us to show our real identities to the others. I liked how Saboy had written his understanding about the main theme of Scott by saying that “For example when we are put into a certain situation our conversations tend to portray us in a fashion were we are not true to ourselves but rather portrays us in a fashion that is pleasing to the environment and person we are talking to”. Beginning of this class, I was having hard time with showing my real identities or expressing my emotions to the other classmates just like SA Boy, “I read my responses from assignment 3:1 I noticed I was more focused on trying to be accepted by the person I was responding to rather than writing my true feelings on the subject.” It is much harder to express emotions and be ourselves when we do not know much about people whom we are having conversation with. However, Scott is emphasizing that we need to be ourselves in order to build the relationship.

After reading “Meaning and Value” by Gerald Corey and Marianne Schneider-Corey, Grant2U said that “When we work in groups we all bring something to the table, we all have special talents or maybe great intriguing questions or thoughts that we will need to share and borrow from each other as we work together.” I think what she said is supporting the idea of Scott. Unless we are trying to show our identities to the others by having fierce conversation, the other people would never know the talents or thoughts that the individual might have, and they would have hard time with working together.

In the reading by Daniel Goleman, “The rudiments of social intelligence”, JohnnieDrama brought an interesting point by using his own experience. He first started with saying that “I have the ability, and am usually successful, at making great first impressions,” but he confessed how it is hard to keep those relationship to last long. Also, he says that “Relationships that I have really only last if they are self-sustaining – like the one I have with my best friend”, even if they do not have any conversation for weeks. He finally stated that “But this imbalance “can be made if the social skills outstrip the ability to know and honor one’s own feelings: in order to be loved – or at least liked – the social chameleon will seem to be whatever those he is with seem to want.” (p. 76) It is important to know or good at using variety of communication skills to have comfortable conversation which can often become a starting point of building any relationships. However, JohnnieDrama’s experience supports that it is hard to keep any relationships to last long if we keep hiding our own identities or feelings.

As much as it is important to express ourselves when we communicate with the others, OuterBodyBoi has brought an interesting point. He said that “It’s important to hold your ground, and be fierce with people, but I also believe that this can be done in a controlled way. It’s like my old football coach used to say, be aggressive but also be under control.” I believe that his point is important; there are times where we are too aggressive with showing ourselves and having little respect to the listeners. I think it is hard to tell how much each person tries to have fierce conversation with the others for expressing themselves without the listeners to get offended by it.

In the article by Harold Barrett, “maintaining the self in communication”, OuterBodyBoi has pointed out that “Families today have looser ties, with more of an emotional distance between its members that lead to under stimulation. Therefore we strive to avoid shame we are less connected to people, and have a disregard for others, which has its effects everywhere in the world of communication.” By having small amount of fierce conversation, people are having hard time to get connected with the others. Lacking the connection with the other people has allowed us to have less respect to the others. JohnnieDrama also said that “Everyone has a self-concept: either who we feel we should be or who we ought to be. And because of this self-concept, we need to have the need to be treated with respect and give ourselves some worth through support and confirmations – from others or from within.” I think we need to have self-concept in order to speak fiercely in conversation, because fierce conversation can be established when we speak out what we believe in minds or the feelings. If we do not respect ourselves, it is hard to expect the others to respect us.

I got the quotes of my classmates from the discussion threads

What does tension do in conversation

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:30 pm by ooloveshoo

In “Dialogue’s Basic Tension” by Karen Zediker and John Stewart, they said “So when one of us can perceive and listen to you as a person while being available as a person to you, and when you can do the same thing, then the communication between us can be called “dialogic” or “dialogue””. In other words, we can consider a communication as a dialogue when the communication asks the people to understand the differences of each others while presenting what is on their minds. There are some cases where people are busy with showing their opinions and not try to listen to the others. According the authors, this kind of communication cannot be considered as “dialogue”.

The way my teammates communicate in the group can be consider as dialogue, because we try to respect and listen to the others while presenting our individual opinions. This strategy is same as how the authors have emphasized the importance of having primary tension when we have dialogue: “In living communication, the two seemingly opposite moves (letting the other happen to me and holding my own ground) are intimately interrelated.” I remember it was when my team was trying to find a right time for every member to chat. One of my team members had left a message in the discussion thread about his situation. He explained how he had to work at night, but he assured us that he could still find a time to chat with us while he was working. I think this is a good example to show both “letting the other happen to me, and holding my own ground.” He first informed or asked the understanding of his situation from us, and he let the other teammates to decide what will be the right time to chat.

I think my group has the tension when we communicate, and I consider those tensions are somewhat similar to the tension that the authors have described: “inherent contradiction” or “push-pull set of forces”.
Thecakeisalie said “I stepped forward to help lead the discussion and to also help my teammates through the technical aspect of this course. Then I needed to step back and allow them to essentially control my fate and decide what readings I should do, and trust that they’d leave me sufficient information to complete the task.“ Just like thecakeisalie, each member in my group knows when to step forward or when to step back to make harmonies with each others. These harmonies will promote the understanding of each others and help my group to succeed.

August 7, 2008

Important skills that can ease the group work

Posted in Interpersonal Communication, Learning, Uncategorized at 3:55 am by ooloveshoo

“The rudiments of social intelligence” by Daniel Goleman emphasizes the importance role of   the emotional intelligence in interacting with the others. He divides into four categories: organizing groups, negotiating solutions, personal connecting, and social analysis. Organizing groups is a skill that is usually used by the leader who has an ability to initiate and coordinate a group of people. Negotiating solutions is the skill that prevents or resolves any conflicts. Personal connection requires to read emotions and to respond it to it correctly. Social analysis is to detect and have insights about emotions. Lastly, he states that “Those who are adept in social intelligence can connect with people quite smoothly, be astute in reading their reactions and feelings, lead and organize, and handle the disputes that are bound to flare up in any human activity.” I think these are very important while working in a group. A group obviously needs someone who is capable of leading the group into right direction. Also, everyone in a group should be aware of negotiating solutions to reduce any troubles that could have caused by the different beliefs of each member. Also, personal connection and social analysis are important tools that can lead the group members to have intimate relationship with the others.

 

For my group, I believe each member has all of these emotional intelligence defined by Goleman. I remember how Cakeisalie had helped the members with putting each others’ links to our own blogs. Also, Grant2u have helped me and outerbodyboi with spending extra time to chat when we had missed our first time to chat. I think they both are qualified for having skill of organizing groups, because they tried to help the team members to lead our team to the right direction. Lastly, when my team had to decide which reading each person should read, we did not have any difficulties with picking the reading. Everyone was patient enough to ask what the other teammates might have in their mind rather than saying what they want in a hurry. I think what my team did in order to pick the readings is similar to what Roger did to his classmates, who is a four year old and show a high level of interpersonal intelligence. When Roger saw one of his classmates got hurt on the knees and no one is putting their attention to the classmates who got hurt, he rubs his knees and shows that he got hurt, too. Goleman said that “Roger’s tactic for entering a group was first to observe, then to imitate what another child was doing, and finally to talk to the child and fully join the activity- a winning strategy.” I think these four categories of social intelligence can help the groups to experience a successful result rather than face difficulties.

 

“Meaning and values” by Gerald Corey and Marianne Schneider-Corey discuss about importance of finding the identity of ourselves. They encourage the readers to spend some time to think about how our existence can be affected by what we value by asking “who am I?””where am I going” and “why?”. They cite a quote from Rollo May(1973) who says “too many of have become “hollow people” who have very little understanding of who we are and what we feel.” People are eager to get loved and accepted by the others, and “they have become finely tuned to what others expect of them but alienated from their own inner desires and feelings.”(Corey). I think it is easy to lose our identity while interacting with the others. We often have to become someone else than our own, and have to do certain things that we do not want in order to avoid of getting negative comments and dislikes. However, the authors are saying that “we need to be continually willing to reexamine our patterns and priorities, our habits, and relationships.” If we keep hiding our own identity, then we would experience less chance of examining our own values or developing our identities.

 

The authors also state that “a philosophy of life is made up of the fundamental beliefs, attitudes, and values that govern a person’s behavior.” In other words, the behaviors of people can be understood as a way to identify themselves to the others. Therefore, we have to be “curious and open to new learning, we can revise and rebuild our conceptions of the world.” I think as a group, it is important to understand or express the identity of each member and try to accept and learn from the different beliefs of the other members.

 

 

 

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