presentation follow-up

August 19, 2008

The scope of the two teams projects was pretty big.  Team two focused on “openness” in IPC, what it means to self-disclosure and how it can promote “nexting.”  Team four focused a variety of topics including identity-construction/negotiation, self-disclosure, and basic tension of dialogue.  A team two member wrote about how the “open” quality of Summer22’s blogposts drew them in, “While reading what she wrote I was seeing openness being used as a tool to express her own reflections” and “as a way to raise her IPC.”  Summer22’s blogposts and interactions with other classmates illustrated how openess can encourage nexting.  The group ties the tension of dialogue to openness by comparing openness to being able to surrender to or experience the otherness of the other.  Team two’s project made me feel that the notion of “openness” is uniquely related to self-disclosure.  Team four’s project started with a lot of focus of self-disclosure.  “Self-disclosure enables you and other people to get to know each other.”(David Johnson, “Being Open With and to Other People)  An example of this, noted by team 4 , was when we had to introduce (self-disclose a slice of our selves) ourselves by leaving a comment to Steph’s first lecture.  The author reflected on how he/her disclosed to the class how English was not his/her first language, “I was taking the risk to reveal my weakness in hoping that will help me to have strong relationship with my classmates.”  The two projects highlight aspects of John Stewarts theory of communication as a continuous, complex, collaborative process of verbal and non-verbal meaning-making through which we construct the worlds of meaning we inhabit.  One world of meaning I have been collaboratively constructing over the past weeks has been our cyber classroom which reached a culmination with the group project.  The teams collaboratively analyzed all the work we have been doing continuously(some class material was even taken from Steph’s previous classes) as a class over the past few weeks to create a team project. 

 

http://ohnothecakeisalie.wordpress.com/2008/08/17/project/

 

http://sports08.wordpress.com/2008/08/17/openness-opens-the-doors-to-ipc/

Team 3 Project

August 17, 2008

The consequentiality of emotions is a way of saying that the way that we feel, our individual emotional response to a situation, has an impact on the communication process. Our “exhalations” are molded by a complex array of emotional responses that we experience, such that they are dependant on them. Thinking about the wide variation of emotions I experience in daily communication with friends, colleagues, classmates, strangers, family, and so on I feel like every situations elicits in me a unique emotional response. In effect, my “exhalations” are unique to each different situations that I encounter, producing different “shades” of my personality according to who I am conversing with and how I feel at that time.To help solidify the understanding of the consequentiality of my emotions in interpersonal communication, I found it very interesting to observe some of my fellow classmates “exhalations” on this point, and think about the effect of emotions in these cases. Steph mentioned the response of anticipation and this struck me as a very powerful example of consequentiality of an emotion. She says “In terms of communication – particularly in terms of the relationships that communication makes possible – anticipation can be divided into two broad categories, which (for simplicity’s sake) I will call “negative” and “positive.” In other words, I can anticipate the worst and craft my communication to either defend against ‘the bad’ or offensively assert ‘the good’ (roughly, what I desire); or I can anticipate the best and design my discourse to minimize ‘the bad’ and emphasize ‘the good.’” (URL: http://aplaceinspace.wordpress.com/2008/04/05/audience-to-imagine-or-ignore/) I feel like this perfectly encapsulates the conundrum of anticipation in effecting “exhalations.” What we anticipate, how we approach the situation accordingly, profoundly effects how we communicate. I have many times experienced extreme responses anticipating the worst, and I feel like these instances produced the worst, least effective “exhalations.”

The further explore this point it may be interesting to see how through a few objective examples, individuals’ communications could be seen to change through the consequentiality of emotions. Ap1115 says “I think that the more a group undergoes together the more of a cohesive unit it becomes. By employing this methodology on our group it gives the group a way to bond together to deal with a certain goal, and problem (confusion, ambiguity, etc) together.”
(URL: http://aplaceinspace.wordpress.com/2008/04/28/reversing-the-relative-neglect-of-group-member-training/#comment-1077) They are hitting on the issue of consequentiality here by mentioning that their group worked more smoothly after initial emotional issues. Anticipation along with a mixture of possible emotional clashes probably produced the initial state of confusion.

Commsyr09 provided a concise summary of the communications process, included several elements of interest to the consequentiality of emotions: “After reading the chapter, lectures, and postings, my own interpretation is that as communicators we are responsible for listening (actively, aka not just hearing), absorbing or “inhaling” the information, anticipating what sort of route we should take in our response and simultaneously judging the situation (comfort level, situation, cultural norms, etc), nexting to find out more, and finally exhaling our own opinions, thoughts, feelings, etc.” (http://aplaceinspace.wordpress.com/interpersonal-communication-summer-2008-com/#comment-1304) Here they make a link between past and present, and also talk about the effect of anticipation. They mention “comfort level” which I think is closely related to the anticipation/consequentiality dynamic. Our comfort level is the summation of all emotional responses to the situation at hand, and this always effects how our “exhalations” come out. How comfortable we are is a product of what we anticipate, and this has consequentiality in the following “exhalations.” (Samuel Grinnell)

 

 

Emotions affect and are affected by our inhalations and exhalations and are important to communications.  My teammate Ninjacook percieved a relaxed sentiment among his teammates and it caused him to voice his concerns on the issue. “Also, in their suggestions for how the teams should be grouped they say that “some of us are laid back and like to wait till the last minute to get work done, and others like to work with a schedule and do things way before they are due” and that the teams should be grouped by similar work ethics. Gym411 seems to subscribe to the “laid-back” approach but unfortunately this is very inconvenient for me. I hope our group can work out the kinks and collaborate efficiently!”  Ninjacook inhaled a slightly relaxed orientation towards the team project and responded by showing how that conflicts with him.  This also shows the basic tension of dialogue.  After NinjaCook read Gym411’s (and his other teammates) feelings and thoughts about the team project he experienced the otherness of the others and responded by holding his ground. (Peter Hutchings)

 

Consequentiality of emotion in Interpersonal Communication applies to everyone; this is because an emotion is a reaction based on how something was communicated or “nexted” if you will. For example a person “nexting” in a fashion that was displeasing to the people he/she is having a conversation with, hence creating an opportunity for a negative emotion. In other words it “matters” because it affects the kinds of lives people lead. And more importantly, this impact is due more to the way people communicate rather than what they say (Sigman pg46). For example in the Group Dynamics class there were a few examples that stuck out, specifically the speeches given by the presidential candidates. The consequentiality of the speeches created an emotion were the people believed in the candidates (http://youtube.com/watch?v=Fe751kMBwms&feature=related) (http://youtube.com/watch?v=BC1Ls0yK1_o). Senetor John McCain’s courageous service video sends an emotional message of admiration, patriotism, perseverance, and service, among other things. Some other examples that I have obtained from my fellow classmates were comments in response to the weblogs and discussion threads. Specifically the introductions/ something new we have learnt, I mentioned that I was an immigrant and based on past experiences in regards to racism and affirmative action I mentioned how pleased I was with American society. In Gym411 comments, he disagreed and released an emotional story from the past. He says: “I came from Puerto Rico to the US when I was 12. I also experienced many embarrassing moments and some “cruel” ones that dealt with racism. Now I’m not saying that everyone is cruel, but are there cruel people in the world? Sadly yes. Some people feed of stereotypes and enjoy making others feel less so that they can feel better about themselves. But, that’s life; we can’t concentrate on the ignorance of others, that’s their problem.” (http://saboy82.wordpress.com/2008/07/20/3/#comment-3). When having a conversation with someone, we can be certain that how we next or have a conversation with someone, may lead to a person trying to relate to you so that it may create the opportunity for a some what less formal response. For example delivermesummer expressed her same love for South Africa, while being very specific about it (http://saboy82.wordpress.com/2008/07/20/3/#comment-4). (Yukeshan Naidoo)

 

A time in class that has shown us the “Consenquentiality of Emotions” was when the students responded to the reading “Look me in the Eye” by John Elder.  The first couple of students that responded were Saboy82 and Beaver32. These students responded with their definite answers to the life situation that John went through in the book. Without any of the students knowing it, John came into the “blog” and responded to Saboy82 and Beaver32. John’s responses always seemed to prove wrong what the students wrote. For example, Beaver32 said in his blog that “Basically John believes there really isn’t any right way to respond to someone’s thoughts our ideas.”, and John responded with the following “Indeed, there ARE right and wrong ways…I don’t believe there’s “no right way.” Rather, I believe there is often no way to deliver a truthful response without eliciting an undesirable reaction.”.

 

 

John also corrected Saboy82.  Saboy82 wrote “So it is a possibility that Robison’s misinterpretation of the conversation is due to poor “inhaling” skills, and thus producing poor “exhaling”, and John immediately “corrected” Saboy by saying “Wheat if that’s not quite right? What if the other person WAS making a mistake, and I started off on the wrong foot by pointing it out?” From John’s additions to the class blog, the “emotion” of the blog changed.  Stephanie found John’s comments to be humurous as she was “laughing with delight”, and in some way it was, but it changed the emotion of the blog.    Gym411 shared how his blog entry changed because of Johns comments. Gym411 was going to write something similar to what Saboy82 and Beaver32 wrote on their entries, but decided to write in a more “passive” way that would agree to what John was saying in his previous responses in order to not “get corrected” by John.  In Gym411’s case, the “emotion” of the blog changed from being an open discussion of the book to a closed discussion were there was a correct answer being expected (by John). 

 

https://learning.umassonline.net/webct/urw/lc26190.tp0/cobaltMainFrame.dowebct (Thomas Ortiz)

 

conflict management

August 14, 2008

“Many people view conflict as always painful.  From this point of view, unless you enjoy being blamed, put down, and shouted at, it’s hard to be positive about conflicts.  So if you see conflict as something entirely negative, you’ll behave accordingly and will probably help create a self-fulfilling prophecy—the more you believe it’s awful, the worse it will get.” (Stewart, 450)  I think we should read this chapter because it is about conflict management, which is something I have been learning throughout the class by being more conscious of what I exhale and inhale and why.  The quote I selected talks about how your attitude towards conflict (or anything) affects how you respond to and experience conflict, the experience either affirming or rejecting your attitude.  Our team hasn’t picked a topic yet, I wasn’t able to do a good job on the “paths” assignment, which in some way has played into my groups slow start on this “team project.”  NinjaCook suggested the consequentiality of emotions in IPC as a topic.  I wondered if the consequentiality of identities and frames has similar effects to the consequentiality of emotions in IPC.  All of this stuff plays into itself. 

 

Bridges No Walls: A Book About Interpersonal Communication, John Stewart.

theory synthesis

August 13, 2008

According to Stewart, communication is the continuous, complex, and collaborative process of verbal and nonverbal meaning-making through which we construct the worlds of meaning we inhabit. Communication is continuous because humans are always making meaning.  It’s complex because it involves more than just words and ideas but includes intonation, facial expression, eye contact, and always involves identity, relationship messages, culture and gender cues just to name a few features.  It’s collaborative because we do it together.  In Navita Cummings James’ reading, “When Miss America Was Always White”, she illustrates through recollection of a number of stories from her childhood how family stories pass on values. They give children a working history that is directly relevant to their life. James grew up in the 50’s in Ohio, and recalls tales of racism and prejudice that here grandparents and parents told her. She provides examples from both sides of her family to contrast each other. She deliberately cautions after recounting numerous tales of violence and discrimination that these stories do not necessarily define who we are or who we become.”  Communication can be shown as continuous, collaborative, and complex in this quote alone.  In the 1950s, Navita Cummings James’ parents told her stories about their families experiences as victims of discrimination and prejudice from white people.  Many years later, Navita Cummings James’ wrote an article about the role of family stories as part of the socialization process to teach young people what to expect from the world and what the world expects from them.  Sometime after that, the article was necessary for inclusion in a communication textbook for its demonstration of certain parts of the communication process, and even more recently, I read the article(along with other students) as part of my homework for this class.  We had to summarize the article and all of these summaries made up some of the content to be analyzed for this assignment.  The assignment I type now will be used in some way for future class work. Communication is clearly collaborative continuous and complex.  I think John’s explanation of communication is great on a “macro” communication level.

 

“Communicating and Interpersonal Communicating” by John Stewart

dialogue’s basic tension

August 10, 2008

The article “Dialogue’s Basic Tension” by Karen Zediker and John Sterwart introduce the idea of “tensionality” as a key feature of dialogue.  They suggest that “moments of dialogue emerge most often when the people involved maintain one primary tention—the one between letting the other happen to me while holding my own ground.” “Letting the other happen to me” and “holding my own ground” are the opposite ends of the continuum of the basic tension of dialogue. (Stewart, Zediker)  “Letting the other happen to me” is described as being subject to an experience, experiencing the otherness of the other, and when you allow someone to happen to you, expereincing their differences and letting them connect and influence you. (Stewart, Zediker)  Holding my ground means speaks your own mind, or being expressive. 

 

When I read through my teammates initial impressions of working together, it seemed like everyone was focused on the team, and were more oriented toward the “letting the other happen to me” end of the tension continuum. Saboy82 said “After reading my teammates weblogs I noticed that some our interests are quite similar when it comes to learning new things. For example Gym411 is really into living an active, healthy lifestyle. Spicynoodlesoup has a new found interest in learning how to maintain his vehicle, and finally Ninjacook had an interest in wildlife. All of these interests are the same interests I have, and consider this to be a good omen when it comes to working in teams.” (Saboy82, http://saboy82.wordpress.com/2008/08/05/fruitful-conversations-makes-the-team/)  Gym411 thought “Overall, the team members approach to working together seem to be a productive way to do so. I am glad that we all have an open mind before approaching the group project, this will help us in the long run.” (Gym411, http://gym411.wordpress.com/2008/08/04/keeping-an-open-conversation-is-the-way-to-go/)  The clearest example of the push-pull tension between “letting the other happen to me” and “holding my own” was shown by team member NinjaCook, which makes think that our initial impressions were more monologic than dialogic. “Also, in their suggestions for how the teams should be grouped they say that “some of us are laid back and like to wait till the last minute to get work done, and others like to work with a schedule and do things way before they are due” and that the teams should be grouped by similar work ethics. Gym411 seems to subscribe to the “laid-back” approach but unfortunately this is very inconvenient for me. I hope our group can work out the kinks and collaborate efficiently!” (NinjaCook, http://ninjacook.wordpress.com/2008/08/05/team-ideas/)

 

 

data collection

August 9, 2008

“ One of the interesting aspects of this particular interaction among all of us (teacher, students, community activist) is how we might identify and address feedback. It is possible to get stuck in a narrow definition that says “feedback” is a particular kind of commentary that offers either criticism or praise. But feedback is any kind of communication that is delivered in the present, about something that happened in the past, with potential to affect the future (Seashore, Seashore, and Weinberg). By identifying what you think Rafael meant, you give him information (feedback) about how other people read his words, but even more than that (!) you give information about yourself: in other words, given the question of identifying the gist (!) of Thump’s post you inform me (and anyone else who is reading) what you find important – either to yourself personally, or that fits some criteria you’ve learned that supposedly defines the category. By noticing what you do and don’t “find” – or at least, what you do and don’t say that you’ve found – I gather feedback (!) that helps me decide on the next activities.”

http://aplaceinspace.wordpress.com/group-dynamics-spring-2008-com/

 

“ Now, you have to wonder about my stance regarding office hours: are they “good” or “bad”? Do I like or dislike them? Is that response representative of my overall orientation to office hours or a reflection of my attitude in the moment? You cannot decide the “meaning” of the answer without making inferences. Do you decide the “meaning” based on what you know of me, or do you decide the “meaning” based on a projection of your own attitudes? Depending upon the co-created meaningfulness – whether we accomplish “understanding” smoothly or with difficulty – we begin to craft the parameters of possibility for relatedness and communication. If we get into a groove (by repeating any particular dynamic), we set in motion a trajectory for our communication and hence, actually pattern the potentials of social accomplishment.”

http://aplaceinspace.wordpress.com/2008/02/26/what-are-youwe-going-to-produce-com352/

 

“ HOW WORDS CREATE REALITY
Note: This is an exercise in deconstruction. Your job here is to unpack, so to speak, a “cultural” label – that is, a word which, for some reason or another, encapsulates something that you think is very representative of the “culture” in which you have lived for a while. You have a lot of freedom in terms of how you unpack your chosen label. The point here is to show that there’s a lot hiding behind “a simple word,” that choosing a label over another has real consequences in terms of the behaviors made possible (or impossible) by that label. The first part of this handout explains why this exercise is important and offers a few suggestions about how you might go about completing it.”

http://www.umasswiki.com/wiki/Class:Honors_491G_-_Fall_2007/Graded_Exercise#4:_The_Power_of_Words

 

The Rudiments of Social Intelligence

August 7, 2008

In the article “The Rudiments of Social Intelligence,” Daniel Goleman examines four skills that have been identified as components of interpersonal intelligence.  The ability the organize groups is an essential leader skill involving organizing the efforts of groups of people to achieve goals.  Solution negotiation is another component that involves mediation and conflict prevention/resolution.  Being able to make personal connections means being able to empathize, connect, and take the perspective of others.  It means being able to easily “enter into an encounter or to recognize and respond fittingly to people’s feelings and concerns.  The fourth component is social analysis, having insights into people’s feelings, motives, and concerns.  These skills used together are what makes for social success. (Goleman 75-76)

The author suggests that people who are keen on making good impressions are skilled at monitoring their own emotional expressions.  They are keenly attuned to the ways others are reacting, and thus are able to continuously and collaboratively fine-tune their social performance until they achieve the desired effect.  If these interpersonal abilities are not balanced with a healthy sense of self, the result can be empty social experience.  A University of Minnesota psychologist, Mark Snyder, even coined the term “social chameleon” to describe people who are expert impression makers, but fail to make long lasting relationships because they will always “seem to be whatever those he [or she] is with seem to want.” (76)

The components of interpersonal intelligence contain exhaling and inhaling.  Group organizing requires initiation and coordination of groups of people and “expressing the unspoken sentiment and articulating it so as to guide a group toward its goals.”(76)  Negotiating solutions meaning successfully reading other peoples reactions and feelings, and handling conflicts that may break out.  The third and fourth components, making personal connections and social analysis, almost are synonyms for inhaling.  Any person who easily makes personal connections with people must be listening to and responding to the right cues given by the other person they are conversing with.  “Social analysis is being able to detect and have insights about peoples feelings, motives, and concerns.”(76)  This includes picking up on cues that the sender does not know he or she is sending.

When Miss America Was Always White

August 7, 2008

The author discusses how important family stories about race told to her growing up shaped her perceptions and attitudes about black and white people.  During the 1950s and 1960s, black culture was represented negatively by the dominant culture but she was encouraged by her family and community to reject the dominant culture’s scripts and embrace those from her own family.  She learned white people are violent, white people don’t want to see black people rewarded for their achievements, that there are some good White people, but they are exceptions and that Black people are “just as good, smast, and capable as White people and that Black people should always be prepared to fight for fair treatment from Whites.”(Cummings James, 112-113)  The author says that the belief system she developed was used in real world experience to create her racial identity.  Later, her belief system had to evolve when the lessons from the family stories were not consistently predicting what to expect from white people and black people.

 The unique experiences of the author’s family were passed down to the new generation in the form of family stories.  The most important lessons being told (exhaled) in these stories were their lessons on what it means to be a Black person in the U.S.A. in the 1950s and 1960s.  The author clearly inhaled the messages on race, “From these significant storied of my youth emerged a set of beliefs and stereotypes which provided a backdrop for my own lived experience.”(112)  As she grew older, she observed that her stereotypes and beliefs about Whites and Blacks were not always true and that “prejudice existed on both sides of the color line, but sometimes for different reasons.” (114)

meaning have been given

August 5, 2008

After reading my teammates thoughts on the project, I knew I was dealing with a group of wall breaking bridge builders.  All of my teammates recognized the importance of being “open” when workings as a group.  “In order to receive fruitful input from all team members it is vital that all ideas and comments are expressed, this will enhance the team productivity. (Saboy82)”  “Being open with others will in fact make others be open with you, and thus benefit the relationship by building trust. (Gym411)” My team also hopes to use its new consciousness of communication skills such as self-disclosure, impression management, and “nexting” to ensure our group is one big bridge and not one big wall.  These skills will steer us clear of communication breakdowns similar to the experiences of Gym411, where frustration with his group led to Gym411 shutting out the other members and doing all the work alone.

change is good

July 17, 2008

I didn’t know anything about cars other than how to drive them until I recently empowered myself as a motorist by learning how to change a car’s oil.  I watched an oil change instructional video on youtube.com.  With tools, supplies and a little basic knowledge, I successfully performed my first oil change and stamped out some of my car maintenance ignorance.  So if you have never changed a car’s oil and want to try, these steps will help.

 

The first step to changing your cars oil is to turn the car on and let it idle for 10 minutes, running the engine heats up the oil and helps the oil drain faster.  Next, place the car ramps directly in front of the wheels so you can easily drive the front end of the car up the ramps and so that the car is securely in place while on the ramps.  Once your ramps are in place, drive the front end of the car up the ramps.  Park the car, engage the emergency brake, and turn off the engine.  With a wrench set and an oil pan, crawl under the front of the car and look for the oil drain plug.  If you can’t find it, look in the owner’s manual for a picture of its location.  When you locate the plug, position your oil pan so that it will catch the old oil, and use the appropriate wrench to unscrew the plug.  After the oil completely drains, clean off the oil drain plug and the drain plug opening before putting the oil drain plug back in place.  Open the hood of the car and unscrew oil filler cap.  Using a funnel, if you have one, pour 4 or 5 quarts of new oil (use the grade suggested in the owner’s manual) into engine.  Check the oil level and adjust as necessary.

 

My car was running fine after the oil change. I felt more intune with my car than before because I changed it myself, I got to see underneath the car and unscrewed the oil drain plug.  I even got dirty oil on me!  In the past, I procrastinated from taking my car to jiffylube and now I am looking forward to changing my car’s oil again.