COM 200 Ashford Interpersonal Communication Letter of Advice Paper

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COM 200

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Letter of Advice

For this assignment, you will write a letter of advice to either a newly engaged couple or a group of coworkers. Imagine that either the engaged couple or coworkers hear that you are taking a course in interpersonal communication and want advice regarding how to communicate in their personal or professional relationships. Based on what you have learned in this course, your personal experience, and the five learning objectives we have covered, what advice would you give them regarding how to communicate effectively? How can you use what you have learned in this class to offer a couple or group of co-workers advice to have more positive relationships? Write your paper in the form of a letter. Please review the Sample Final Paper.

Instructions
Use the list of learning outcomes to write your letter. The course learning outcomes you will need to cover are listed below:

  • Explain the principles of and barriers to effective interpersonal communications.
  • Analyze the role of communication in developing and maintaining one’s self-concept, self-image, and self-esteem.
  • Differentiate appropriate levels of self-disclosure and emotional intelligence in various relationships.
  • Describe strategies for using communication techniques to resolve interpersonal conflicts.
  • Analyze the impact of gender and culture on interpersonal communications.

For each of the five learning outcomes, create a separate heading that states the learning outcome that you are addressing. Then, address the following for each segment:

  • Explain the principles of and barriers to effective, competent interpersonal communications. Why do the principles matter? How can your couple or group of co-workers overcome the barriers you have listed?
  • Analyze the role of communication in developing and maintaining one’s self-concept, self-image, and self-esteem. Begin by defining each term and then explain how these three notions of the self potentially impact the relationships of your couple or group of co-workers. What advice can you offer to help them develop a positive self-concept or build each other’s self-esteem?
  • Illustrate the importance of self-disclosure and emotional intelligence in various relationships. What role does self-disclosure play in the relationships of your couple or co-workers? How can their relationships be improved by them becoming more emotionally intelligent? What connections can be made between emotional intelligence and self-disclosure?
  • Evaluate strategies for using communication techniques to resolve interpersonal conflicts. Explain one or two potential conflicts and then present at least two strategies for addressing the dispute(s).
  • Analyze the impact of gender and culture on interpersonal communications. First, define these two key terms. Then, explain the importance of gender and culture in relationships generally and for your couple or group of co-workers specifically. What advice can you give to become a better communicator based on the information you have presented?

Content Requirements
You must address all five of the learning outcomes and the questions listed with those objectives. For each objective, be sure to define key terms and relate those ideas directly to advice for your couple or co-workers. The point here is for you to demonstrate how these ideas can be utilized to help people in their relationships. Try to offer specific advice they can integrate into their lives.

Begin your paper with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement and that previews what you plan to cover in your paper. End with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis and restates your key points.

You must use at least five scholarly sources to help you make your points. At least three of these should be course readings and two should be academic articles you have found yourself by doing research in the Ashford University Library. If you need help doing research, visit the Ashford University Library, which can be accessed through the Library tab in the left-navigation menu, in your online course.
You must also draw on personal experience to offer advice or to illustrate points. It is acceptable to use hypothetical examples and/or your personal experiences for either your couple or group of co-workers. We simply want to see that you can apply what you have learned to some potential “real world” experience.

The Final Paper

Before you submit your written assignment, you are encouraged to review The Grammarly Guide: How to Set Up & Use Grammarly (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. tutorial, set up a Grammarly account (if you have not already done so), and use Grammarly to review a rough draft of your assignment. Then carefully review all issues identified by Grammarly and revise your work as needed.

Final Notes
This is a formal paper and should utilize proper grammar, complete sentences, and paragraph transitions. However, you will write this paper in the format of a letter to the newly-engaged couple or group of co-workers. Feel free to address the people you select directly throughout the paper.

After you have written the paper, please review the grading rubric to ensure you have met all of the requirements.


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Communication Barriers 1 Communication and Its Barriers Star Student Com 200: Interpersonal Communication Instructor Who? Enter Date Communication Barriers 2 Communication is one of the most basic and essential parts of being a living creature. Every living thing must communicate is some way to survive. For humans, it is essential to feel Commented [KC1]: For this letter, you are addressing a specific audience, so be sure to include a “Dear John and Jane,” and direct your comments and advice specifically to them. connected to the world around us. Both internal communication and communication with others can affect how we view ourselves and the world. Understanding the basic principles and barriers to communication is one of the best ways to communicate effectively. It is also important to know that there are many things that can change the way we communicate with each other such as culture and gender. As we begin to understand these differences, we can then be more affective in the way we approach and react to them. The are many things that go into good communication and understanding them will help you overcome obstacles and barriers. Understanding communication is very important for being effective while Commented [KC2]: There is good sentiment here. But as an introduction, you also need a clear thesis that is the heart of your paper and a preview of what you plan to do in the paper. I struggled a bit finding those. communicating. According to Bevan and Sole (2014) communication is “a process where two or more individuals strive to create shared meaning using verbal or nonverbal messages in a variety of contexts.” This is a large definition, but that is because communication requires a lot to be Commented [KC3]: Don't forget to include a page or section number with all quotes. effective. There is a lot that goes into relaying meaning. An important part of relaying a message is to ensure shared meaning. It is important that both people involved in communication understand what is being said. If speaking to someone who does not understand the language of the speaker, the message will not be relayed effectively. All parties involved in communication need to be on the same page about what is being shared. It also important to understand that the speaker’s view of a situation is only one view. Every person involved has their own unique idea about the ideas and thoughts being presented (Bevan and Sole 2014). It is important to recognize that the ideas being shared are not the only ones that matter. When one can consider the ideas and opinions of those being communicated with then the message will be able to be delivered more effectively. Commented [KC4]: Nice detail on how shared meaning might not happen. Communication Barriers 3 There are many examples of barriers to communication. Miscommunication can happen for many reasons, including the two discussed here. A good example of a time that miscommunication occurred was an incident that I had recently with my son. My son and I were visiting his care team to decide on a health plan for treating his chronic illness. My son’s doctor was going over the options that were available to us. The doctor began to explain the different medications available and discussed corticosteroids. My son was upset at the mention of these medications and began to refuse their use. The doctor asked my son why he would refuse these medications but my son refused to list his reasons. Without understanding why my son would refuse the medications, the doctor prescribed them and sent us home with the medications. When we were home, my son was distressed to find out that we had been sent home with the very medications that he did not want. There were a couple of things happening in the example. The first issue is misperception. Commented [KC5]: You can use this for the final, but remember that you will have a specific audience in mind either a group of co-workers or a couple. You want to relate this to them so it is meaningful. Misperception is “the most frequent and broadest challenge of interpersonal communication (Bevan & Sole, 2014).” There are many reasons for misperception. Emotional conflicts, personal distress, and even noise can cause misperception. In the example given here, my son was in emotional distress over the idea of having more medications and this caused him to not be clear with doctor about his reasons for not wanting the suggested medication. There was also destructive communication occurring. Bevans and Sole (2014) describe destructive communication as “negative and harmful messages that include hostility, insults, and shouting or yelling”. This kind of communication can occur during conflict as was the case with my son. Rather than yell or scream, he engaged in destructive communication by not expressing his needs to his doctor to be understood. Instead, he allowed his distress to lead his communication and refused to participate in a dialogue with the doctor to find a solution. Another concern about the Commented [KC6]: Nice detail. I think more than destructive, he was "avoiding." We'll cover that idea in week 4. Communication Barriers 4 interaction in the example is that the doctor and my son did not have shared meaning. They were not able to be on the same page due to misperceptions. Because my son was not able to explain his thoughts, the conversation did not allow the doctor to see the other point of view in this communication. Bevan and Sole (2014) explain that it is important to “try to take the perspective of other people and consider how their point of view makes sense to them.” The doctor was not Commented [KC7]: Great direction connection between your experience and the text! able to understand my sons point of view which created an ineffective communication about the medications offered. AS you try to communicate effectively with one another, it is important to slow down and reflect not only on your emotions, but also the emotions of those around you. By doing this, you will be better able to achieve shared meaning and avoid misperception. Another very important thing to remember when communicating is that self-image, selfconcept, and self-esteem can greatly affect not only the way you communicate, but the way others communicate with you. Self- concept is how you see yourself based on information that you have received from the world around you and how you process that information. Bevan and Sole (2104) say that “Though self-concept is an internal process, it is learned, maintained, and can change through interpersonal communication.” I believe the authors used this statement to reflect the importance of how our self-concept can change based on how we process the input we receive as well as how society changes over time. Self-image “is a more general, broad view of yourself (Bevan & Sole, 2014, 2.1).” Your self-image includes both how you see yourself and how others see you. It can be affected by your environment and is more permanent that your selfconcept. Self-esteem is a larger sense of how you see yourself overall and how happy you are with yourself. Self-esteem can be directly affected by your self-image. All three of these components contribute to how you communicate. Commented [KC8]: You only need the year the first time you cite a source. :) Communication Barriers 5 It is widely accepted that psychology has a big impact on the way you communicate. Your self-image, self-concept, and self-esteem are directly affected by the psychology of your life. In the article “The 4 Primary Principles of Communication” by Dan Mager (2017), discusses this issue by saying “The message sent may not be the message received because it must pass through a filtering system of thoughts and feelings – for both the sender and the receiver.” This is a great illustration of how our messages can be received but also how they can be delivered. If you are used to your significant other disregarding what you say, you may deliver your message with some hostility. If your significant other hears your message as an attack on them, they may respond with hostility toward you. Before you know it, you are having an argument where a discussion could have been had. The way that people view themselves can have a huge impact Commented [KC9]: Great example as this really shows how important our mindsets are in how we send and receive messages. on the way they communicate. It may be something that a person id not even aware they are doing. This can be a hard thing for a couple to overcome. It is always a good idea to step back and reflect rather than communicate in anger. It can also be helpful to take a personal inventory of the things that may affect your communication and be aware of them when interacting with your significant other. Sharing this personal inventory with your significant other can be helpful as well. Commented [KC10]: Nice advice! Self-disclosure and emotional intelligence are important things to master to have affective communication in a relationship of any kind. Self-disclosure is defined as “the intentional act of sharing private and personal aspects of you with other people (Bevan &Sole, 2014, 7.4).” When you share pieces of yourself with others, you expose yourself to being viewed and treated differently based on what you have shared. When someone else self-discloses pieces of themselves to you, it will require you to use your emotional intelligence. According to Bevan and Sole (2014), emotional intelligence is “the ability to monitor, regulate, and discriminate Commented [KC11]: For the final paper, be sure to explain why this is so beneficial. Communication Barriers 6 among your own and your partners feelings to guide your thoughts and actions.” In an ideal situation, both parties involved can self-disclose and be met with good emotional intelligence. As you receive good emotional intelligence form others, you can begin to develop your own emotional intelligence. As you begin to self-disclose to others, it is important to understand and differentiate between what is acceptable to disclose. It is also important to understand that there are certain times and places to disclose information. How much you disclose and where can be measured by how appropriate the information is. For example, it may not be a good idea to discuss intimate details about your spouse on social media. When you are in a relationship, selfdisclosure is a very important process. It is acceptable and crucial to share intimate details of yourself with your significant other. By developing good emotional intelligence, you will create a safe space for your significant other to self-disclose and create a foundation of trust. It is important to recognize that gender and culture can have a great impact on the way Commented [KC12]: For the final, explain this just a bit more and connect with the value of self-disclosure. But I love that you recognize that we have to think through our reactions and remain calm and respectful. Think through what we will do in the future if we don't get that reaction. we communicate. By understanding both factors, we can recognize the differences that can act as communication barriers. Culture is “a relatively specialized set of traditions, beliefs, values, and norms, or standards of behavior that have been passed down from generation to generation by way of communication (Bevan & Sole, 2014, 3.1).” This is another broad definition because it encompasses so much of our lives. Our culture can also affect how we communicate based on Commented [KC13]: List and explain a few here and then transition into gender. our gender. There is a distinction between sex and gender that is important to be aware of. Sex is the biological component of whether we are male or female. Gender is the all the social and cultural distinctions that separate the sexes. An example of this would be a look at the Chinese culture. Boys are valued more highly than girls. As a girl in this culture, you may be expected to do more around the home whereas a boy would be encouraged to go to school and eventually work outside the home. This cultural norm defines your gender based on your biological sex. Commented [KC14]: Great example and I love that you connected to communication later. Excellent work! Communication Barriers 7 Let’s continue with this example and illustrate how this might affect the way that genders communicate in this culture. A female in this culture may not speak up for herself as much because she is used to being quiet. This can affect how she communicates her needs to her husband, coworkers, and friends. A male in this culture may be much more driven as more is expected of him. He may be outspoken about his needs and verbalize those needs above those of others. It may create an environment within his relationships where emotional intelligence is not found and self-disclosure does not occur which can lead to discontent within these relationships. When trying to communicate with others, you may not be aware of these cultural and gender differences right away. However, by being aware that the differences exist, we can allow communication to be filtered in a way that is less harsh because it takes the possible differences into account. This is especially important in a relationship. When you have self-disclosed, it is easier to be aware of these gender and cultural differences. Taking these differences into account makes communication with your significant other much smoother and more effective. When we understand the basic principles and barriers to communication, we can communicate with one another effectively. There are so many things that can become barriers to good communication. Once we are aware of them, we can overcome them. Considering gender and cultural differences, our own self-image, self-esteem and self-concept, and creating on our own emotional intelligence we can create clear bonds and be effective when speaking to others. Commented [KC15]: I love that you are illustrating how all of these themes are connected. Not everyone does this. Communication Barriers 8 References: Bevan, J. L., & Sole, K. (2014). Making connections: Understanding interpersonal communication (2nd ed.) [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/ Communication Barriers Mager, D. (2017). The 4 Primary Principles of Communication [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.psychologytoday.com/blog/some-assemblyrequired/201702/the-4-primary-principles-communication 9 Commented [KC16]: You will need five total for the final paper and two you must find on your own. You needed two here as well but it was only a small deduction. 1 Running Head: LETTER OF ADVICE Title: Letter of Advice Student’s Name Com 200: Interpersonal Communication Instructor Name: Cheri Ketchum Date: September 17, 2018 Commented [KC1]: LETTER OF ADVICE 2 Fellow Employees, Some of you may be wondering what I could have possibly gained from taking an interpersonal communication course. After all, interpersonal communication is just talking amongst each other, right? Wrong, interpersonal communication is so much more than just talking with each other. It is being able to understand that we communicate even when we are not talking. To understand how communication works we must understand these five concepts to effective communication. Today I want to help you better understand the basic principles and barriers of effective communication, the role communication plays in developing our sense of “self”, and differentiating appropriate levels of self-disclosure and emotional intelligence in our relationships. I also want to introduce strategies for resolving interpersonal conflict and the impact gender and culture has on communication. Basic Principles and Barriers to Effective Communication The first step in improving your communication skills is understanding the basic principles and barriers to effective communication. It is vital that you understand these principles because they will help you maintain healthy relationships. According to Bevan and Sole, there are six basic principles to effective communication: you must take responsibility for your own communication, remember that every interaction must have a shared meaning, acknowledge there are multiple views to every situation, respect each other, listen carefully to what the other person has to say, and practice being a good communicator (2014)! Of these six principles I would like to take the time to explain the importance of taking responsibility for your own communication, acknowledging there are multiple views, and the barriers that prevent us from communicating effectively. Commented [KC2]: This is a nice preview, Meagan. Work on your thesis, as I still couldn't find an overarching single claim that ties everything together. If you haven't, review this video for some help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slpWSLz9tj4#action =share LETTER OF ADVICE 3 According to Bevan and Sole, taking responsibility for your own communication means to “strive to be truthful, accurate, and clear in your communication with others” (2014, Sec. 1.4, Par. 2). Having honest communication is one of the most important aspects of any relationship. Being able to trust someone is all about dependability. If you tell the company that you are proficient in Microsoft office and Excel but you have never used the software, then you are lying. If you lie about that, what else could you be lying about? If you lie one time you take away all the trust and dependability we have in you. It is so easy to lose someone’s trust, and so Commented [KC3]: Excellent point! Little lies can have big implications for how our character is interpreted. hard to gain it back. Lying can lead to suspension or termination, depending on the extent of the lie. There will be times when you may state something that is not true, but you believe it is true. According to Levine and Cohen, this is not considered dishonest behavior because honesty is communicating what “you” believe is true (2018). Sometimes it is okay to tell little lies, like when you are trying to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. People who do this are considered more trustworthy than those who say things to be hurtful (Levine & Cohen, 2018). If Amy were to come into work with puffy eyes and wrinkled clothes we should not tell her she looks like crap; she most likely has something going on outside of work. The condition her clothes are in is showing us how she may be feeling by communicating through nonverbal communication. We see that she is having a bad day or that something personal is going on. This is also most likely causing a psychological barrier, preventing her from being her best at work. A psychological barrier occurs when one or both communicator’s mental states interfere with them communicating effectively (Bevan & Sole, 2014). Psychological barriers come in many forms, such as personal biases, prejudices, stereotypes, or in Amy’s case extreme emotion (Bevan & Sole, 2014). We encourage you to talk Commented [KC4]: Nice connection. And I appreciate that this is open enough to account for a variety of mental distractions. LETTER OF ADVICE 4 to someone when you have a personal crisis going on. Communication is key here and we can be very understanding if we know what is going on. Commented [KC5]: Good job blending the explanation with an example. Having clear and accurate communication will help us to avoid miscommunications (Bevan & Sole, 2014). For example, if your husband sends you a text message asking if he could go to the bar after work to watch the game and you say fine, he does not know that what you really meant was “ why should you get to go have fun while I go home and cook and clean and take care of the kids all by myself after a hard day of work”? In relationships, it is always important to be honest with each other. Not telling your husband how you really feel is the same as being dishonest because you are concealing what you really want to say. Communicating Commented [KC6]: This is another great example that helps illustrate the importance of “taking responsibility” and being honest. through text messaging is not always clear because you cannot see and hear a person’s verbal and nonverbal cues, such as their facial expression and their tone of voice (Bevan & Sole, 2014). This is considered a physical barrier because the space between them is causing miscommunications. A physical barrier is anything in your environment that prevents you from Commented [KC7]: Interesting extension of the idea of what might count as a “physical barrier.” communicating effectively (Bevan & Sole, 2014). You could have avoided this miscommunication by speaking directly over the phone, that way you can hear the annotations in your wife’s voice. You should have also been completely honest about how you were feeling. Honest and open communication is the key to any healthy relationship. To effectively communicate with each other we must be able to acknowledge that no two people think alike (Bevan & Sole, 2014). Everyone has a different perspective and we must be willing to see things from another person’s perspective to be effective in the workplace. There will be times when you will have to work on group projects and you must be able to accept advice from each other and work together. Being able to acknowledge different perspectives has a lot to do with the idea of the “self”. Commented [KC8]: To improve, you could have offered a bit more about why this is so important. The rest of this was excellent! LETTER OF ADVICE 5 The Role of Communication in Developing & Maintaining One’s “Self” Our self-concept, self-image, and self-esteem directly affects how well we communicate with people around us. Communication is largely influenced by culture and by how we feel about ourselves. We must openly communicate with people that we work with, even when we are not comfortable communicating with them. For example, doctors and nurses must communicate with each other about their patients. Sometimes doctors have a sense of Commented [KC9]: For context, it would have been nice to see you explain you work in the medical field. Or, at least I am assuming that. entitlement and act as if nurses could not tell them something they do not already know (Thomson et al, 2015). This sense of entitlement comes from how the doctors think and feel about themselves. According to Bevan and Sole, having an inflated self-esteem negatively impacts your relationship with others because you think so highly of yourself that you believe you are better than everyone else (2014). Being able to effectively communicate amongst each Commented [KC10]: Another good application of this idea about self-esteem from Bevan and Sole. other is crucial within any company but especially for those working in the medical field. Effective communication is vital for them to ensure patient information is shared amongst each other and never looked over. Understanding how psychology relates to communication is important because there will be times when we must communicate with people outside our comfort zones, or people we do not directly identify with. Understanding self-concept, selfimage, and self-esteem will not only help us do that, but it will also help us understand ourselves better. According to Bevan and Sole, self-concept is an organized collection of beliefs and feelings you have about yourself (2014). Self-concept is created through your reaction of others, your comparison with others, the social roles you play, and the groups you identify with (Bevan & Sole, 2014). Since your self-concept is largely influenced by culture and society, it is a learned behavior and it changes through interpersonal communication (Bevan & Sole, 2014). Commented [KC11]: Good focus back on communication as being central to how we form ideas of self. LETTER OF ADVICE 6 For example, when I met my husband and we bought our first home I was thrown into an entirely new society. I went from living in poverty to living in the middle-class areas where most of the women were stay at home moms who loved to gossip and share their experiences with cloth diapering and homeschooling. This was an entirely new and different society than I was used to, but to fit in I adjusted how I interacted with other people to accommodate the people in my new community. I often felt different, like I did not fit it, but eventually it became normal behavior for me. How I viewed myself was largely influenced by the people I surrounded myself with. Commented [KC12]: Whenever possible, try to make those links between your points and other experts on the topic. Accommodation is something covered in Bevan and Sole. Commented [KC13]: Did you then change your view through social comparison? Self-image is basically all the characteristics of your self-concept rolled up into one picture of yourself (Bevan & Sole, 2014). According to Bevan & Sole, “it is not what you look like but what you tell yourself that you look like” (2014, Sec. 2.1, Par. 21). That means that it is not so much how others see you but how you see yourself. Self- image is also how you think others see you (Bevan & Sole, 2014). If you have been told in the past that you are a terrible Commented [KC14]: This is a crucial point that should be highlighted in all high-quality papers. writer, or you have received negative feedback for your writing, you may think you are a bad writer. This is a perception of yourself based on past experiences. You can change how you Commented [KC15]: New paragraph. perceive yourself by working to improve the negative aspects about yourself. For example, if I like this on professional image, but would have liked you to just explain how this might be linked to selfimage you were told you were a bad writer you can improve your writing with practice. There are also a lot of resources now to help with writing, such as spell check and a website called Grammarly. When communicating with co-workers through email or text you should always double check that your spelling and grammar is accurate by using resources available to you (Caldwell & Dimoff, 2015). You want to have a professional image to present to others on the job. Having a professional image means not having inappropriate things about you on social media and it also means being able to communicate professionally through email, text, and face-to-face interactions (Caldwell & Dimoff, 2015). To maintain a professional image you should always LETTER OF ADVICE 7 make sure you are double checking your spelling and grammar before submitting emails, and remember that abbreviations and humor are best used for personal emails and texts only(Caldwell & Dimoff, 2015). Self-esteem is defined as “how you evaluate and judge yourself” (Bevan & Sole, 2014, Sec. 2.1, Par. 24). How you feel about yourself affects how you present yourself to others, which influences your self-image. Those who have a high self-esteem think highly of themselves and they present themselves with confidence. People who have a low self-esteem will constantly find flaws about themselves, which could make them look weak to others. When you have a low self-esteem, it is helpful to have someone by your side who can help build up your self-esteem, or offer esteem support (Bevan & Sole, 2014). Having someone at work to offer this support is great, but you must be careful and make sure you do not disclose the wrong information to the wrong person. Differentiating Appropriate Levels of Self-Disclosure Commented [KC16]: I like that you've covered the role we potentially play in shaping others sense of self. What was missing was really explaining how we form our ideas of self through intrapersonal and interpersonal communication and how those ideas then shape how and when we communicate with others. We then take those new experiences and potentially roll into our ideas of self again. Do you see the cycle? It is important to be able to tell the difference in what types of information are appropriate for different types of relationships you may be involved in. Self-disclosure is defined as the intentional act of providing personal information to others (Bevan & Sole, 2014). This does not include general information about yourself, such as your name or date of birth, but private details that you would only disclose to your closest friends (Bevan & Sole, 2014). An example of self-disclosure would be telling someone that you were an orphan or that you grew up in foster care. You must differentiate, or tell the difference, in who it is appropriate to tell this information to. Commented [KC17]: Good distinction, as that “private” part is crucial. LETTER OF ADVICE 8 There are many benefits to self-disclosure. Sometimes opening up to someone new can reveal things about yourself that you did not already know. For example, when I met my husband he thought very highly of me because I was a single mother who was working full-time, going to school full-time, and doing an amazing job at it. I never realized how much was on my plate until people started complementing me on it. People always told me that I was an amazing mother, always putting my kids first, which made me realize that I was always putting them first Commented [KC18]: Nice example as it really speaks to how what others say to us can change the way we think of ourselves. And they can usually only share that feedback if we disclose personal information to them. and never doing anything for myself. Not taking time for yourself to build new relationships can negatively affect your health (Bevan & Sole, 2014). Even in the workplace, you must make connections with other people. Connecting with others decreases your stress and increases job satisfaction (Bevan & Sole, 2014). An emotionally intelligent person will be able to tell the difference in the appropriateness of self-disclosure between two people. According to Commented [KC19]: This is an important point and could have been developed a bit more to more clearly explain how disclosure allows one to decrease stress and be more satisfied. Psychology Today, if you are emotionally intelligent then you are able to differentiate and manage your emotions and actions of yourself and respond appropriately to other people’s words Commented [KC20]: Good. This starts to address how our emotional control can signal to others to share with us. and actions (N.D.). Although it is good to build relationships at work, it is not recommended that get romantically involved with your co-workers because if something were to happen, you would still need to work together (Bevan & Sole, 2014). Having negative feelings toward each other because of a nasty break up can create a psychological barrier at work. This psychological barrier can negatively affect how well you do your job and how well you communicate with your co-workers. Although we do not recommend getting involved with each other on an emotional Commented [KC21]: Nice connection. level, it is bound to happen. It is important to be emotionally intelligent with all of your And if we say disclosure is necessary for bonding, and we are a "team" at work, might bonding be important? So, maybe some disclosure is healthy at work. relationships at work. You need to be able to separate your personal life from your home life. Being able to self-disclose appropriately is essential to communicating effectively in the LETTER OF ADVICE 9 workplace. Using the wrong amounts of self-disclosure can make your work environment stressful and uncomfortable. We want everyone here to be as comfortable as possible communicating, so be sure to self-disclose appropriately and be careful how much information you choose to share with each other. Trusting the wrong person can get you in a lot of trouble. When relationships are involved, rather if it is personal or professional, interpersonal conflict is Commented [KC22]: There is a lot of good information here. It would have been even stronger with a bit more on potential risk of disclosure. going to happen. There are several strategies to help you solve interpersonal conflict that I would like to share with you. Commented [KC23]: Good transition. Communication Strategies for Solving Interpersonal Conflict It is completely normal for conflict to occur in relationships. The key is to resolve the conflicts in a constructive way. We should always express our feelings without pointing fingers and showing judgement to one another (Bevan & Sole, 2014). When someone shares their feelings and you choose to judge them, you are basically telling them that it is not okay to feel that way. You must be understanding and nonjudgmental when someone gets the courage to express their feelings toward you. For example, I had a friend who was constantly nagging me about my feelings. Asking me why I did this and why I did that and constantly being negative Commented [KC24]: Good point. This could go back to being respectful or even acknowledging multiple views. Try to make those connections between different elements of the paper. toward me when my husband and I had decided to work through our marriage instead of getting divorced. Her lack of support and negativity toward me eventually led to me distancing myself Commented [KC25]: This sounds again like a lack of emotional intelligence. from her until I eventually ended the friendship. This is known as the avoidance disengagement strategy, where someone distances themselves from the person they no longer want to be friends with until they stop speaking altogether (Bevan & Sole, 2014). The fact that she never considered my feelings, and repeatedly tried to remind me of all the negative feelings I felt when my husband and I were going through our troubles, led to the end of our friendship. It is always important to be a good listener and not judge people according to their feelings. Commented [KC26]: Great example. It seems she was using a competitive style and wasn't entirely thinking of your needs. LETTER OF ADVICE 10 When attempting to resolve interpersonal conflict it is important that you understand there is a “time and place” for all confrontations. Sometimes it is not appropriate to address a confrontation immediately, such as when you are at work (Bevan & Sole, 2014). If it is a personal issue you should handle it outside of work. It is also a good idea, if you are extremely upset, to wait until you both have cooled off before attempting to resolve the issue. Commented [KC27]: Though emotional intelligence isn’t listed here, it is implied. Whenever you decide to approach the issue, it is important to stay away from “I” statements (Bevan & Sole, 2014). Using “I” statements could make the other person feel as if you are shifting all the blame on them and pointing fingers (Bevan & Sole, 2014). It is okay to use “I” statements if you are telling them how their actions made you feel, this is considered constructive communication (Bevan & Sole, 2014). For example, saying “I felt brushed aside when you dismissed my proposal idea without even thinking about it” is considered a constructive way of expressing how you feel using an “I” statement. Communication at work can often be tricky. We are all brought in from different backgrounds and different areas of the world. It is important to understand how culture impacts our communication, and how men and women communicate differently. The Impact Gender and Culture Has on Interpersonal Communication Gender and culture have had a large impact on how people communicate with each other. Gender orientation is defined as a “social, symbolic construction that expresses the meanings a society confer on biological sex” (Bevan & Sole, 2014, Sec. 2.2, Par. 4). Your gender orientation is psychological, while your sex is biological. There are several theories to support the notion that gender is psychological, such as the “different cultures hypothesis on gender” and the “gender similarities hypothesis” (Bevan & Sole, 2014). According to John L. Locke, there is also evidence that gender could also be biological. Since the age of cavemen, men have had a Commented [KC28]: Great example because you illustrate what this means and how it can be applied to a real-world scenario. LETTER OF ADVICE 11 more antagonistic form of communicating while women have been softer spoken. This does not mean that all women are soft spoken. Some are born with more testosterone than others and this makes them more aggressive (Rogers, 2011). Men and women both have characteristics that are feminine and masculine (Bevan & Sole, 2014). People with a more masculine gender orientation are more instrumental and assertive in their communication. People who are more feminine are more expressive with their communication (Bevan & Sole, 2014). They tend to rely more on Commented [KC29]: Nice detail. closeness and emotions in their communication (Bevan & Sole, 2014). Understanding these Commented [KC30]: An example here would have really helped illustrate the points. differences in communication will help us communicate more effectively in the office. How we communicate with each other is also largely influenced by culture and society. Culture is defined as a “specialized set of traditions, beliefs, values, and norms, or standards of behavior that have been passed down from generation to generation by way of communication” (Bevan & Sole, 2014, Sec. 3.1, Par. 2). The culture we grow up in largely influences the groups we most identify with and how we communicate with people outside our groups. How we think, the groups we identify with, and the stereotypes we adhere to are all influenced by culture. According to Tannen, men and women use different language because they grow up in different cultures (Bevan & Sole, 2014). The society we live in now is trying to culturally train people to not gender stereotype. More and more people are wanting to pursue careers that are outside the social norms of our society. For example, women are wanting to enter fields that were previously considered male careers such as construction work, the military, and even the police force. Men are also seeking careers outside the norms, such as nursing and teaching. Choosing what field makes you happiest is very important because it is what you will spend the better part of your life doing. This company wants to ensure that each person is working to the best of their ability and your job satisfaction is the best that it can be. To do that Commented [KC31]: These are important general points, but do not connect directly to communication. Be sure all points link back to interpersonal communication. LETTER OF ADVICE 12 we must be happy with the position we choose. Communication is key when it comes to being happy and content at work. Job satisfaction also improves your work output. We want you all to support each other in whatever field you decide to pursue, and if you decide you want to try a different position we want to support that too. Overall, we want you all to understand the impact culture has on gender and on how we Commented [KC32]: This is great sentiment and has some implicit advice as well. You effectively show the value of your advice. I just needed to see a bit more detail on gender and culture. can best communicate with each other. Following the basic principles of interpersonal communication and avoiding barriers can help you communicate more effectively. You must also understand the idea of the “self” and how important it is to build relationships amongst each other. It is important to keep self-disclosure in mind and understand the appropriate levels of communication. Trusting the wrong people can negatively impact your work environment. I hope you all learned something from what I had to share today and feel free to ask me any other questions you might have about interpersonal communication. Commented [KC33]: This is a good conclusion because it highlights the key points that were made in the paper about how following principles can help us be more effective communicators. LETTER OF ADVICE 13 References Bevan, J. L., & Sole, K. (2014). Making connections: Understanding interpersonal communication (2nd ed.) [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/ Caldwell, S. (Writer), & Dimoff, D. (Producer). (2015). Digital communication skills: Dos and don’ts (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://fod.infobase.com/OnDemandEmbed.aspx?token=58374&wID=100753&plt=FOD &loid=0&w=640&h=360&fWidth=660&fHeight=410 Emotional Intelligence. (n.d.). Retrieved October 3, 2018, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/emotional-intelligence Levine, E. E., & Cohen, T. R. (2018). You can handle the truth: Mispredicting the consequences of honest communication. Journal Of Experimental Psychology: General, 147(9), 14001429. doi:10.1037/xge0000488 Rogers, T. (2011, October 16). Why do men and women talk differently? A new book argues that guys argue and girls overshare for a reason: Evolution. The author explains (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Retrieved from http://www.salon.com/2011/10/16/why_do_men_and_women_talk_differently Thomson, K., Outram, S., Gilligan, C., & Levett-Jones, T. (2015). Interprofessional experiences of recent healthcare graduates: A social psychology perspective on the barriers to effective communication, teamwork, and patient-centred care. Journal Of Interprofessional Care, 29(6), 634-640. doi:10.3109/13561820.2015.1040873 Commented [KC34]: Perfect job. All of the references have all of the required information, in the required order. Also, note that six sources are used and this is required to get a “distinguished” score. LETTER OF ADVICE 14 1 Running Head: LETTER OF ADVICE Title: Letter of Advice Student’s Name Com 200: Interpersonal Communication Instructor Name: Cheri Ketchum Date: September 17, 2018 Commented [KC1]: LETTER OF ADVICE 2 Fellow Employees, Some of you may be wondering what I could have possibly gained from taking an interpersonal communication course. After all, interpersonal communication is just talking amongst each other, right? Wrong, interpersonal communication is so much more than just talking with each other. It is being able to understand that we communicate even when we are not talking. To understand how communication works we must understand these five concepts to effective communication. Today I want to help you better understand the basic principles and barriers of effective communication, the role communication plays in developing our sense of “self”, and differentiating appropriate levels of self-disclosure and emotional intelligence in our relationships. I also want to introduce strategies for resolving interpersonal conflict and the impact gender and culture has on communication. Basic Principles and Barriers to Effective Communication The first step in improving your communication skills is understanding the basic principles and barriers to effective communication. It is vital that you understand these principles because they will help you maintain healthy relationships. According to Bevan and Sole, there are six basic principles to effective communication: you must take responsibility for your own communication, remember that every interaction must have a shared meaning, acknowledge there are multiple views to every situation, respect each other, listen carefully to what the other person has to say, and practice being a good communicator (2014)! Of these six principles I would like to take the time to explain the importance of taking responsibility for your own communication, acknowledging there are multiple views, and the barriers that prevent us from communicating effectively. Commented [KC2]: This is a nice preview, Meagan. Work on your thesis, as I still couldn't find an overarching single claim that ties everything together. If you haven't, review this video for some help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slpWSLz9tj4#action =share LETTER OF ADVICE 3 According to Bevan and Sole, taking responsibility for your own communication means to “strive to be truthful, accurate, and clear in your communication with others” (2014, Sec. 1.4, Par. 2). Having honest communication is one of the most important aspects of any relationship. Being able to trust someone is all about dependability. If you tell the company that you are proficient in Microsoft office and Excel but you have never used the software, then you are lying. If you lie about that, what else could you be lying about? If you lie one time you take away all the trust and dependability we have in you. It is so easy to lose someone’s trust, and so Commented [KC3]: Excellent point! Little lies can have big implications for how our character is interpreted. hard to gain it back. Lying can lead to suspension or termination, depending on the extent of the lie. There will be times when you may state something that is not true, but you believe it is true. According to Levine and Cohen, this is not considered dishonest behavior because honesty is communicating what “you” believe is true (2018). Sometimes it is okay to tell little lies, like when you are trying to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. People who do this are considered more trustworthy than those who say things to be hurtful (Levine & Cohen, 2018). If Amy were to come into work with puffy eyes and wrinkled clothes we should not tell her she looks like crap; she most likely has something going on outside of work. The condition her clothes are in is showing us how she may be feeling by communicating through nonverbal communication. We see that she is having a bad day or that something personal is going on. This is also most likely causing a psychological barrier, preventing her from being her best at work. A psychological barrier occurs when one or both communicator’s mental states interfere with them communicating effectively (Bevan & Sole, 2014). Psychological barriers come in many forms, such as personal biases, prejudices, stereotypes, or in Amy’s case extreme emotion (Bevan & Sole, 2014). We encourage you to talk Commented [KC4]: Nice connection. And I appreciate that this is open enough to account for a variety of mental distractions. LETTER OF ADVICE 4 to someone when you have a personal crisis going on. Communication is key here and we can be very understanding if we know what is going on. Commented [KC5]: Good job blending the explanation with an example. Having clear and accurate communication will help us to avoid miscommunications (Bevan & Sole, 2014). For example, if your husband sends you a text message asking if he could go to the bar after work to watch the game and you say fine, he does not know that what you really meant was “ why should you get to go have fun while I go home and cook and clean and take care of the kids all by myself after a hard day of work”? In relationships, it is always important to be honest with each other. Not telling your husband how you really feel is the same as being dishonest because you are concealing what you really want to say. Communicating Commented [KC6]: This is another great example that helps illustrate the importance of “taking responsibility” and being honest. through text messaging is not always clear because you cannot see and hear a person’s verbal and nonverbal cues, such as their facial expression and their tone of voice (Bevan & Sole, 2014). This is considered a physical barrier because the space between them is causing miscommunications. A physical barrier is anything in your environment that prevents you from Commented [KC7]: Interesting extension of the idea of what might count as a “physical barrier.” communicating effectively (Bevan & Sole, 2014). You could have avoided this miscommunication by speaking directly over the phone, that way you can hear the annotations in your wife’s voice. You should have also been completely honest about how you were feeling. Honest and open communication is the key to any healthy relationship. To effectively communicate with each other we must be able to acknowledge that no two people think alike (Bevan & Sole, 2014). Everyone has a different perspective and we must be willing to see things from another person’s perspective to be effective in the workplace. There will be times when you will have to work on group projects and you must be able to accept advice from each other and work together. Being able to acknowledge different perspectives has a lot to do with the idea of the “self”. Commented [KC8]: To improve, you could have offered a bit more about why this is so important. The rest of this was excellent! LETTER OF ADVICE 5 The Role of Communication in Developing & Maintaining One’s “Self” Our self-concept, self-image, and self-esteem directly affects how well we communicate with people around us. Communication is largely influenced by culture and by how we feel about ourselves. We must openly communicate with people that we work with, even when we are not comfortable communicating with them. For example, doctors and nurses must communicate with each other about their patients. Sometimes doctors have a sense of Commented [KC9]: For context, it would have been nice to see you explain you work in the medical field. Or, at least I am assuming that. entitlement and act as if nurses could not tell them something they do not already know (Thomson et al, 2015). This sense of entitlement comes from how the doctors think and feel about themselves. According to Bevan and Sole, having an inflated self-esteem negatively impacts your relationship with others because you think so highly of yourself that you believe you are better than everyone else (2014). Being able to effectively communicate amongst each Commented [KC10]: Another good application of this idea about self-esteem from Bevan and Sole. other is crucial within any company but especially for those working in the medical field. Effective communication is vital for them to ensure patient information is shared amongst each other and never looked over. Understanding how psychology relates to communication is important because there will be times when we must communicate with people outside our comfort zones, or people we do not directly identify with. Understanding self-concept, selfimage, and self-esteem will not only help us do that, but it will also help us understand ourselves better. According to Bevan and Sole, self-concept is an organized collection of beliefs and feelings you have about yourself (2014). Self-concept is created through your reaction of others, your comparison with others, the social roles you play, and the groups you identify with (Bevan & Sole, 2014). Since your self-concept is largely influenced by culture and society, it is a learned behavior and it changes through interpersonal communication (Bevan & Sole, 2014). Commented [KC11]: Good focus back on communication as being central to how we form ideas of self. LETTER OF ADVICE 6 For example, when I met my husband and we bought our first home I was thrown into an entirely new society. I went from living in poverty to living in the middle-class areas where most of the women were stay at home moms who loved to gossip and share their experiences with cloth diapering and homeschooling. This was an entirely new and different society than I was used to, but to fit in I adjusted how I interacted with other people to accommodate the people in my new community. I often felt different, like I did not fit it, but eventually it became normal behavior for me. How I viewed myself was largely influenced by the people I surrounded myself with. Commented [KC12]: Whenever possible, try to make those links between your points and other experts on the topic. Accommodation is something covered in Bevan and Sole. Commented [KC13]: Did you then change your view through social comparison? Self-image is basically all the characteristics of your self-concept rolled up into one picture of yourself (Bevan & Sole, 2014). According to Bevan & Sole, “it is not what you look like but what you tell yourself that you look like” (2014, Sec. 2.1, Par. 21). That means that it is not so much how others see you but how you see yourself. Self- image is also how you think others see you (Bevan & Sole, 2014). If you have been told in the past that you are a terrible Commented [KC14]: This is a crucial point that should be highlighted in all high-quality papers. writer, or you have received negative feedback for your writing, you may think you are a bad writer. This is a perception of yourself based on past experiences. You can change how you Commented [KC15]: New paragraph. perceive yourself by working to improve the negative aspects about yourself. For example, if I like this on professional image, but would have liked you to just explain how this might be linked to selfimage you were told you were a bad writer you can improve your writing with practice. There are also a lot of resources now to help with writing, such as spell check and a website called Grammarly. When communicating with co-workers through email or text you should always double check that your spelling and grammar is accurate by using resources available to you (Caldwell & Dimoff, 2015). You want to have a professional image to present to others on the job. Having a professional image means not having inappropriate things about you on social media and it also means being able to communicate professionally through email, text, and face-to-face interactions (Caldwell & Dimoff, 2015). To maintain a professional image you should always LETTER OF ADVICE 7 make sure you are double checking your spelling and grammar before submitting emails, and remember that abbreviations and humor are best used for personal emails and texts only(Caldwell & Dimoff, 2015). Self-esteem is defined as “how you evaluate and judge yourself” (Bevan & Sole, 2014, Sec. 2.1, Par. 24). How you feel about yourself affects how you present yourself to others, which influences your self-image. Those who have a high self-esteem think highly of themselves and they present themselves with confidence. People who have a low self-esteem will constantly find flaws about themselves, which could make them look weak to others. When you have a low self-esteem, it is helpful to have someone by your side who can help build up your self-esteem, or offer esteem support (Bevan & Sole, 2014). Having someone at work to offer this support is great, but you must be careful and make sure you do not disclose the wrong information to the wrong person. Differentiating Appropriate Levels of Self-Disclosure Commented [KC16]: I like that you've covered the role we potentially play in shaping others sense of self. What was missing was really explaining how we form our ideas of self through intrapersonal and interpersonal communication and how those ideas then shape how and when we communicate with others. We then take those new experiences and potentially roll into our ideas of self again. Do you see the cycle? It is important to be able to tell the difference in what types of information are appropriate for different types of relationships you may be involved in. Self-disclosure is defined as the intentional act of providing personal information to others (Bevan & Sole, 2014). This does not include general information about yourself, such as your name or date of birth, but private details that you would only disclose to your closest friends (Bevan & Sole, 2014). An example of self-disclosure would be telling someone that you were an orphan or that you grew up in foster care. You must differentiate, or tell the difference, in who it is appropriate to tell this information to. Commented [KC17]: Good distinction, as that “private” part is crucial. LETTER OF ADVICE 8 There are many benefits to self-disclosure. Sometimes opening up to someone new can reveal things about yourself that you did not already know. For example, when I met my husband he thought very highly of me because I was a single mother who was working full-time, going to school full-time, and doing an amazing job at it. I never realized how much was on my plate until people started complementing me on it. People always told me that I was an amazing mother, always putting my kids first, which made me realize that I was always putting them first Commented [KC18]: Nice example as it really speaks to how what others say to us can change the way we think of ourselves. And they can usually only share that feedback if we disclose personal information to them. and never doing anything for myself. Not taking time for yourself to build new relationships can negatively affect your health (Bevan & Sole, 2014). Even in the workplace, you must make connections with other people. Connecting with others decreases your stress and increases job satisfaction (Bevan & Sole, 2014). An emotionally intelligent person will be able to tell the difference in the appropriateness of self-disclosure between two people. According to Commented [KC19]: This is an important point and could have been developed a bit more to more clearly explain how disclosure allows one to decrease stress and be more satisfied. Psychology Today, if you are emotionally intelligent then you are able to differentiate and manage your emotions and actions of yourself and respond appropriately to other people’s words Commented [KC20]: Good. This starts to address how our emotional control can signal to others to share with us. and actions (N.D.). Although it is good to build relationships at work, it is not recommended that get romantically involved with your co-workers because if something were to happen, you would still need to work together (Bevan & Sole, 2014). Having negative feelings toward each other because of a nasty break up can create a psychological barrier at work. This psychological barrier can negatively affect how well you do your job and how well you communicate with your co-workers. Although we do not recommend getting involved with each other on an emotional Commented [KC21]: Nice connection. level, it is bound to happen. It is important to be emotionally intelligent with all of your And if we say disclosure is necessary for bonding, and we are a "team" at work, might bonding be important? So, maybe some disclosure is healthy at work. relationships at work. You need to be able to separate your personal life from your home life. Being able to self-disclose appropriately is essential to communicating effectively in the LETTER OF ADVICE 9 workplace. Using the wrong amounts of self-disclosure can make your work environment stressful and uncomfortable. We want everyone here to be as comfortable as possible communicating, so be sure to self-disclose appropriately and be careful how much information you choose to share with each other. Trusting the wrong person can get you in a lot of trouble. When relationships are involved, rather if it is personal or professional, interpersonal conflict is Commented [KC22]: There is a lot of good information here. It would have been even stronger with a bit more on potential risk of disclosure. going to happen. There are several strategies to help you solve interpersonal conflict that I would like to share with you. Commented [KC23]: Good transition. Communication Strategies for Solving Interpersonal Conflict It is completely normal for conflict to occur in relationships. The key is to resolve the conflicts in a constructive way. We should always express our feelings without pointing fingers and showing judgement to one another (Bevan & Sole, 2014). When someone shares their feelings and you choose to judge them, you are basically telling them that it is not okay to feel that way. You must be understanding and nonjudgmental when someone gets the courage to express their feelings toward you. For example, I had a friend who was constantly nagging me about my feelings. Asking me why I did this and why I did that and constantly being negative Commented [KC24]: Good point. This could go back to being respectful or even acknowledging multiple views. Try to make those connections between different elements of the paper. toward me when my husband and I had decided to work through our marriage instead of getting divorced. Her lack of support and negativity toward me eventually led to me distancing myself Commented [KC25]: This sounds again like a lack of emotional intelligence. from her until I eventually ended the friendship. This is known as the avoidance disengagement strategy, where someone distances themselves from the person they no longer want to be friends with until they stop speaking altogether (Bevan & Sole, 2014). The fact that she never considered my feelings, and repeatedly tried to remind me of all the negative feelings I felt when my husband and I were going through our troubles, led to the end of our friendship. It is always important to be a good listener and not judge people according to their feelings. Commented [KC26]: Great example. It seems she was using a competitive style and wasn't entirely thinking of your needs. LETTER OF ADVICE 10 When attempting to resolve interpersonal conflict it is important that you understand there is a “time and place” for all confrontations. Sometimes it is not appropriate to address a confrontation immediately, such as when you are at work (Bevan & Sole, 2014). If it is a personal issue you should handle it outside of work. It is also a good idea, if you are extremely upset, to wait until you both have cooled off before attempting to resolve the issue. Commented [KC27]: Though emotional intelligence isn’t listed here, it is implied. Whenever you decide to approach the issue, it is important to stay away from “I” statements (Bevan & Sole, 2014). Using “I” statements could make the other person feel as if you are shifting all the blame on them and pointing fingers (Bevan & Sole, 2014). It is okay to use “I” statements if you are telling them how their actions made you feel, this is considered constructive communication (Bevan & Sole, 2014). For example, saying “I felt brushed aside when you dismissed my proposal idea without even thinking about it” is considered a constructive way of expressing how you feel using an “I” statement. Communication at work can often be tricky. We are all brought in from different backgrounds and different areas of the world. It is important to understand how culture impacts our communication, and how men and women communicate differently. The Impact Gender and Culture Has on Interpersonal Communication Gender and culture have had a large impact on how people communicate with each other. Gender orientation is defined as a “social, symbolic construction that expresses the meanings a society confer on biological sex” (Bevan & Sole, 2014, Sec. 2.2, Par. 4). Your gender orientation is psychological, while your sex is biological. There are several theories to support the notion that gender is psychological, such as the “different cultures hypothesis on gender” and the “gender similarities hypothesis” (Bevan & Sole, 2014). According to John L. Locke, there is also evidence that gender could also be biological. Since the age of cavemen, men have had a Commented [KC28]: Great example because you illustrate what this means and how it can be applied to a real-world scenario. LETTER OF ADVICE 11 more antagonistic form of communicating while women have been softer spoken. This does not mean that all women are soft spoken. Some are born with more testosterone than others and this makes them more aggressive (Rogers, 2011). Men and women both have characteristics that are feminine and masculine (Bevan & Sole, 2014). People with a more masculine gender orientation are more instrumental and assertive in their communication. People who are more feminine are more expressive with their communication (Bevan & Sole, 2014). They tend to rely more on Commented [KC29]: Nice detail. closeness and emotions in their communication (Bevan & Sole, 2014). Understanding these Commented [KC30]: An example here would have really helped illustrate the points. differences in communication will help us communicate more effectively in the office. How we communicate with each other is also largely influenced by culture and society. Culture is defined as a “specialized set of traditions, beliefs, values, and norms, or standards of behavior that have been passed down from generation to generation by way of communication” (Bevan & Sole, 2014, Sec. 3.1, Par. 2). The culture we grow up in largely influences the groups we most identify with and how we communicate with people outside our groups. How we think, the groups we identify with, and the stereotypes we adhere to are all influenced by culture. According to Tannen, men and women use different language because they grow up in different cultures (Bevan & Sole, 2014). The society we live in now is trying to culturally train people to not gender stereotype. More and more people are wanting to pursue careers that are outside the social norms of our society. For example, women are wanting to enter fields that were previously considered male careers such as construction work, the military, and even the police force. Men are also seeking careers outside the norms, such as nursing and teaching. Choosing what field makes you happiest is very important because it is what you will spend the better part of your life doing. This company wants to ensure that each person is working to the best of their ability and your job satisfaction is the best that it can be. To do that Commented [KC31]: These are important general points, but do not connect directly to communication. Be sure all points link back to interpersonal communication. LETTER OF ADVICE 12 we must be happy with the position we choose. Communication is key when it comes to being happy and content at work. Job satisfaction also improves your work output. We want you all to support each other in whatever field you decide to pursue, and if you decide you want to try a different position we want to support that too. Overall, we want you all to understand the impact culture has on gender and on how we Commented [KC32]: This is great sentiment and has some implicit advice as well. You effectively show the value of your advice. I just needed to see a bit more detail on gender and culture. can best communicate with each other. Following the basic principles of interpersonal communication and avoiding barriers can help you communicate more effectively. You must also understand the idea of the “self” and how important it is to build relationships amongst each other. It is important to keep self-disclosure in mind and understand the appropriate levels of communication. Trusting the wrong people can negatively impact your work environment. I hope you all learned something from what I had to share today and feel free to ask me any other questions you might have about interpersonal communication. Commented [KC33]: This is a good conclusion because it highlights the key points that were made in the paper about how following principles can help us be more effective communicators. LETTER OF ADVICE 13 References Bevan, J. L., & Sole, K. (2014). Making connections: Understanding interpersonal communication (2nd ed.) [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/ Caldwell, S. (Writer), & Dimoff, D. (Producer). (2015). Digital communication skills: Dos and don’ts (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://fod.infobase.com/OnDemandEmbed.aspx?token=58374&wID=100753&plt=FOD &loid=0&w=640&h=360&fWidth=660&fHeight=410 Emotional Intelligence. (n.d.). Retrieved October 3, 2018, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/emotional-intelligence Levine, E. E., & Cohen, T. R. (2018). You can handle the truth: Mispredicting the consequences of honest communication. Journal Of Experimental Psychology: General, 147(9), 14001429. doi:10.1037/xge0000488 Rogers, T. (2011, October 16). Why do men and women talk differently? A new book argues that guys argue and girls overshare for a reason: Evolution. The author explains (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Retrieved from http://www.salon.com/2011/10/16/why_do_men_and_women_talk_differently Thomson, K., Outram, S., Gilligan, C., & Levett-Jones, T. (2015). Interprofessional experiences of recent healthcare graduates: A social psychology perspective on the barriers to effective communication, teamwork, and patient-centred care. Journal Of Interprofessional Care, 29(6), 634-640. doi:10.3109/13561820.2015.1040873 Commented [KC34]: Perfect job. All of the references have all of the required information, in the required order. Also, note that six sources are used and this is required to get a “distinguished” score. LETTER OF ADVICE 14 Running Head: Insert your title Final Paper Draft Student’s Name COM200: Interpersonal Communication Instructor’s Name Date (Sample March 19, 2014) Insert your title 2 Complete each section below. Erase this advice as you complete each section. I. Introduction AND Thesis Statement – 1 Paragraph Your introduction should be relevant to your audience. So, start your paper by illustrating what they will gain from reading your advice and preview what you plan to say. Follow this advice: a) Attention getter/stakes: (1 to 2 sentences) b) Thesis (1 sentence) - If you’re having difficulties writing a thesis, use the thesis generator in the Ashford Writing Center https://awc.ashford.edu/writing-tools-thesis-generator.html. c) Preview – (2 to 3 sentences) d) Transition into next section – 1 sentence II. Explain the principles of and barriers to competent/effective interpersonal communications. Please use your week 1 paper as the basis of this segment. That was your practice for completing this section. Based on the feedback you received on that assignment, complete the following sections: Insert your title 3 A) Topic Sentence: This sentence introduces the topic of your paragraph. All other sentences in the paragraph should support this statement. Each paragraph needs a topic sentence. Make some general points about principles/barriers. (1 sentence) B) Explain two principles of competent/effective interpersonal communications. Remember, you are “explaining”, not just listing. (4 sentences) C) Why do the principles matter? (1 to 2 sentences) D) What are at least two barriers to communication? This also needs to be “explained,” not just listed. (4 sentences) E) Use an example to illustrate your understanding of the principles and barriers. (You will need a paragraph for this. Be sure to provide as many details as possible and show how your example demonstrates how at least one principle and barrier can occur). (4 to 5 sentences) F) How can your couple or group of co-workers overcome the barriers you have listed? (2 to 3 sentences) Transition to next section, on ideas of the self. (1 sentence) Insert your title 4 III. Analyze the role of communication in developing and maintaining one’s selfconcept, self-image, and self-esteem. – At least 3 paragraphs. A. Topic Sentence: This sentence introduces the topic of your paragraph. What central point(s) do you want to make about ideas of the self and communication? (1 sentence) B. Definitions of key terms – self-concept, self-image, and self-esteem. (3 to 6 sentences) C. Supporting Evidence: What do experts say is the relationship between communication and psychology? Don’t forget citations - (Bevan & Sole, 2014, p.75). (2 to 3 sentences) D. Avoid just using a quote from a source. Explain what you think the author means. (2 to 3 sentences). E. Why does this matter generally? Why does this matter for your couple? – (Minimum 3 sentences). Transition to next section on self-disclosure – 1 sentence. Insert your title 5 IV. Differentiate appropriate levels of self-disclosure (and emotional intelligence – optional) in various relationships – Use at least 3 paragraphs. We understand that you have not read the section on emotional intelligence yet. So, covering this topic is optional. However, you will have to cover this for the final paper. Therefore, you might want to read ahead and address that theme here to get feedback on your understanding. A. Topic Sentence: What central point do you want to make about self- disclosure (and emotional intelligence)? If you cover emotional intelligence, try to connect to self-disclosure. (1 to 2 sentences) B. What does it mean to “differentiate” and what do Bevan and Sole have to say about “appropriate” communication? Think about context and goals. (3 sentences) C. It is always a good idea to define key terms. So, what is self-disclosure? If you are ambitious, go ahead and define emotional intelligence as well. (Minimum 2 sentences) D. What levels of self-disclosure are necessary for your audience (either a group of co-workers or a couple)? (2 sentence) E. As an added bonus, you can answer this question - How will emotional intelligence help them? (Minimum 3 sentences) Transition to next section on gender and culture – 1 sentence. Insert your title 6 V. Analyze the impact of gender and culture on interpersonal communications. – Use at least 3 paragraphs. A. Topic Sentence: What central point(s) do you want to make about culture and gender? Think through how awareness of both of these themes can help your audience improve as communicators. (1 Sentence) 1. Supporting Evidence: The best papers will use an academic source and personal experience. Don’t forget citations (Bevan & Sole, 2014, p.75). (At least 3 sentences) B. Again, it is a good idea to define key terms. 1) With that in mind, what is culture and what is gender versus sex? (At least 4 sentences) 2) Why is culture intertwined with communication? Consider both the ways we think (how we form our values and beliefs), the ways we talk, and nonverbal communication including proxemics and haptics. (At least 4 sentences) 3) Is the idea of gender orientation useful here? If so, define that term as well. (At least 2 sentences) 4) How does cultural training in gender orientation influence how we communicate? (At least 2 sentences) 5) How does communication (and cultural training about gender) influence our gender orientation? (At least 2 sentences) C. Why does this matter generally? Why does this matter for your couple or co- workers? (You will likely need at least 3 sentences) VI. Conclusion - Thesis statement revisited with highlights of your key points. Avoid introducing new themes and simply copying and pasting your introduction. (1 Paragraph) Insert your title 7 Sample References Bevan, J. L., & Sole, K. (2014). Making connections: Understanding interpersonal communication (2nd ed.) [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/ Schoenberg, N. (2011, January 17). Can we talk? Researcher talks about the role of communication in happy marriages. McClatchy-Tribune News Service. Retrieved from ProQuest Newsstand. Document ID: 2240370261
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Outline
A Letter on Interpersonal Communication
Thesis: For couples to ignite the hopes of their future romance it is important for them to
understand the principles of and barrier to effective communication, the effect of communication
on self-concept, self-esteem and self-image, differentiating appropriate levels of self-disclosure,
communication strategies for solving interpersonal conflict and finally, the impact gender and
culture has on interpersonal communication.
Introduction
a) The reason I left before the wedding was over
b) What extinguishes and ignites the hopes of future romance
I.
The principles of and barriers to effective interpersonal communication
a) Failure to listen to each other actively resulting to misunderstanding
b) Sifting of information to impress the receiver
c) Defensiveness as a result of one party viewing itself as superior to the other
II.
The roles of communication on self-concept, self-esteem and self-image
a) Through communication, one is told about his unique characteristics hence
developing a self-concept that is positive.
b) Through interactions with positive friends, one gains a high-self esteem
c) Through communication with friend’s people learn about each other to the point of
comparing themselves hence changing their self-image.
III.
Communication Strategies for addressing interpersonal conflicts
a) Active listening
b) Avoid negative attributions towards your partner
c) Early conflict resolutions efforts and use of right tone
IV.
The Impact of Gender and Culture on Interpersonal Communication
a) Impact of Gender on interpersonal communication
b) Impact of culture on interpersonal communication
c) Role of Gender and Culture in Relationships
V. Differentiating Appropriate Levels of Self-Disclosure
a) Appropriateness of self-disclosure
b) Emotional intelligence and self-disclosure
VI.
Conclusion


Running head: A LETTER ON INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION

A Letter on Interpersonal Communication
Student’s Name
Institutional Affiliation

1

A LETTER ON INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION

2

A Letter on Interpersonal Communication
Dear David and Miriam,
I congratulate you for having a successful wedding on the 27th of April. However, I would
like to apologize for leaving earlier than you expected on that day even before reciting my poem.
I left earlier than you expected because there was a question I wanted to ask the professor who
taught me the interpersonal communication course. I wanted to understand the essence of
interpersonal communication in relationships and specifically romantic relationships. I would like
to share with you a lot concerning interpersonal communication. It is worth noting that it is
communication that sustains romantic relationships. The way individuals interact after their first
meeting can either extinguish or ignite the hopes of their future romance. For couples to ignite the
hopes of their future romance it is important for them to understand the principles of and barrier
to effective communication, the effect of communication on self-concept, self-esteem and selfimage, differentiating appropriate levels of self-disclosure, communication strategies for solving
interpersonal conflict and finally, the impact gender and culture has on interpersonal
communication.
Principles of and Barriers to Effective Communication
As couples, it is important for you to understand the principles that shape interpersonal
communication. These principles state that interpersonal communication is irreversible, rulegoverned, learned, unavoidable, and symbolic and contains both relationship levels and content.
All of the principles above are essential. However, the most important of the six is the principle of
unavoidability and irreversibility (Weste and Tumer, 2011). By saying that interpersonal
communication cannot be avoided, I mean that you cannot prevent another individual from making
a particular meaning from your behavior. For instance, two partners might conflict because of the
disappearance of a certain significant amount of money. The husband might be making it appear
as if it is the wife who has stolen it. As a result, the wife may stop talking even at a point where
she is expected to respond. Her behavior would, in turn, make the husband realize that the wife is
upset and might not be the one who took the money.
The principle of irreversibility is also of importance. At one point or another in life, you
might have told your partner or someone else something that you later began to regret you could
not have told ...


Anonymous
Very useful material for studying!

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