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COM 200 Week 4 DQs


Study Guide


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DQ1Q: In this week’s readings the author discusses emotional intelligence, a concept which
measures people’s ability to understand emotions as well as express them appropriately. As
you have learned, this ability is crucial to communicating effectively in interpersonal
One of the major components to having emotional intelligence is being able to empathize with
others. First, describe in your own words what it means to have empathy. Second, share an
example of a time when you found it difficult to empathize with someone else. How did you
handle the situation? What could you have done differently to empathize with them?
DQ1A: Empathy is one’s ability to be able to find a way to relate or understand the emotions of
another person. If I were an unemotional person, I would not likely be able to relate to how
someone else was feeling. I may not express emotions, therefore others may not be able to share
their emotions with me. However, since I am in-tune with my emotions, I try to find ways to
understand how others are feeling when we are discussing a topic as well as show others my
emotions, within reason of course.
I have a recent example of how I used empathy to gain the trust of a work peer. There was an
employee of mind that was having a difficult time getting her work completed by the end of the day.
Many of her other peers were able to complete the tasks in the time frame allotted, but she was still
unable to. I called a meeting with her and asked what her reasoning was for incomplete daily tasks.
Her response was one I had not personally experienced. She told me that she recently lost a family
member, not an immediate family member, but one that she was closely emotionally connected to.
Since it was not an immediately family member, our work policy did not allow her time off to
mourn. I did my best to understand how she must have felt and asked her if she would like to take a
few vacation days off or take work home with her and work the extra hours. She is a salary
employee, so I wanted to give her options. I knew the death must have been hard on her and I am
certain it was hard for her to concentrate on work; but she could not take bereavement days because
of company policy. She was grateful for my offer to take work home with her. She told me that she
felt she could concentrate better for a week if she worked a few extra hours at home and she could
pace her work better. I think she was glad I was understanding of her situation and did not write her
up for incomplete tasks.
I have also experienced situations in which I was unable to be empathetic to a situation of an
employee. As an example, a few years ago, I had an employee going through a divorce. I could not
relate to his situation since my wife and I are happily married. However, I did my best to understand

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that these things can be painful and sometimes take away from our concentration on work.
However, I found it hard to cut him any slack on the job. I could not understand why he needed to
constantly have personal calls throughout the day. It was taking away from his concentration and
dedication to work. To me, work is a way to make ends meet. I feel that if you are dedicated to your
job and taking care of your family, you should put forth all of your effort toward work during work
hours. In my mind, he could have done the personal calls after work and spent more time and focus
on his duties. I did not mind a few personal calls here or there, but it became extensive to where it
was bothering others around him at work. I ended up writing him up, after several warnings, about
the multiple personal calls per day. In pulling the phone records, it was even more intense than I
originally had thought. I had a hard time empathizing his personal situation with the divorce, and I
do feel I could have improved on some aspects of the situation. I think within the three components
of emotional intelligence, I could have improved on my ability to effectively communicate negative
emotions. After all, “it is what you think about that circumstance and, more important, the way you
translate your thoughts into feelings that creates the effect on you”(Sole, 2011).. I could not allow a
divorce to interfere with the work that needed to be done for clients. The only thing I think I could
have done better is to sit him down in my office and discuss the situation further before writing him
up. Although he had many warnings prior to the write-up, I should have been able to understand
that a divorce requires phone calls to lawyers that may not be open in the evening after he got off of
work, or that he needed to speak to insurance companies about changing policies and so on. Since I
had never been in that situation I did not think far enough into it to be able to understand why the
phone calls may have been occurring so often and at work.
Sole, K. (2011).Making connections: Understanding interpersonal communication. San Diego, CA:
Bridgepoint Education, Inc. (
DQ2Q: Chapter Eight of Making Connections: Understanding Interpersonal Communication
addresses the various elements that attract us to other people when we are first entering a
relationship. It might be one thing that we find attractive in another person or it might be
several things that we like about them.
What do you look for in other people when you first meet them? This could be a potential
romantic partner or even a platonic friend. Either way, we all have things that we look for in
others and are attracted to when we meet people.
Also, share an example of a time when you first met someone who you did not get along with
but as you got to know them better, you developed a friendship/relationship with them. What
changed for you?

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DQ2A: When I was in the dating world, I was a very picky man. There were several things
physically I looked for, but also emotionally, intellectually, and romantically. Distance was not an
issue for me since I travel for work; it was possible I could meet someone in a different state and
still love her just as much. I believe firmly that you cannot judge a book by its cover, but outer
beauty is what initially attracts us each to a person of the opposite sex. When you walk into a bar,
you do not just walk up to an unattractive person and ask for their number. You need that initial
attraction, which is one of the things I first went for. When I met my wife, I saw her and knew I
wanted to get to know her better because there was indeed a physical attraction. She had these cute
shorts on with long tanned legs, gorgeous eyes, and this unique smile. Once I got passed the part of
realizing the physical attraction, I started conversation. The way she smiled made me realize that
there was a mutual attraction. This, I believe enabled her to open up to me and let us get to know
each other better. The things, beyond the physical attraction, that I needed to find out were how we
connected emotionally, intellectually, and romantically. This took some time because you cannot
find this all out on the first date. I needed to know if we were at the same stages of our life that we
were ready to pursue a deeper relationship. I needed to know if she was a crybaby or if she could
handle life. I needed to know if she could hold a conversation about things I liked, like stock market
stuff or dirt bikes. I needed to know if there were sparks; was there a romantic connection. These
were all things that only a deep conversation and a kiss could tell me. Deep conversation also
showed me how much we had in common. This was something I had never really looked for up to
this point in my life; but now I realize how important it is to a relationship. Eventually, all of my
“wants” in a relationship were confirmed in the person that she was and still is.
When I meet people today, for work or just out and about, I typically initially look at their face. You
can tell a lot about a person’s face. You can see how well they care for themselves, if they are a
happy person or a sad one and so forth. I can read people pretty well, so if it is a business meeting, I
look for how well I can read them. For me, it is not about who they are or how we connect, because
it is for a business relationship. Now, on the other hand, when I am meeting new people and
potentially a new friend, I look for honesty, sincerity, common interests, and also personal or
perceived gain. Those traits are all pretty much self explanatory, all except for the personal gain.
Allow me to elaborate. My wife and I tend to always be the friends in a relationship that have their
finances, household, and lives in order. Many times, we will find new friends that like to feed off of
that or ask for money or depend on us for one reason or another. It becomes taxing on a friendship
to always have someone depend on you. When my wife and I get a new friend, we like to consider
what we offer them as a friend and also what they offer us. If we find ourselves in a situation where
we are always buying groceries for our new friend and we only call when they need something, we
know that the relationship is not a mutual one and we end the friendship slowly. It is important for

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Really great stuff, couldn't ask for more.