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Communication is an aspect of our everyday life. Communication involves micro, macro, and global levels of our society and culture. Without communication, we would not be able to do our everyday tasks such as going to work or having a relationship. There are a variety of interpersonal skills that can be used to communicate with each other. In the role play assignment that was conducted, several interpersonal skills were supposed to be shown. Some of these interpersonal skills are Interpersonal Communication Competence (ICC). Some examples of ICC are range of skills; adapt communication, dual perspective, monitoring and ethical. Another interpersonal skill is the Non-verbal Language. Some non-verbal communication includes kinesics, paralanguage, and silence. The third interpersonal skill is Active Listening. Examples of Active Listening are mindfulness, attending, responding, and minimizing obstacles. The last interpersonal skill is Managing Conflict. This skill includes things such as orientation outcome, responses used and unproductive or constructive strategies. Some of the interpersonal skills that were listed were used in the video. Unfortunately, grasping other interpersonal skills was very tough and was not shown in the video at all. Some of the skills were hard to grasp because I did not know these interpersonal skills existed. It was very hard for me to show the variety of different kinds of skills at that moment. Another reason why some skills were not shown was because of the scenario that was given to me. I found it was nearly impossible to present all of these skills with the scenario that I had to act out. In this analysis paper, I will be discussing thoroughly, my strengths of my interpersonal skills, areas where I can improve my interpersonal skills and strategies of how I can improve my interpersonal skills.
In the ICC skill, I think I have shown several different examples of this skill in the video. When it comes to adapting when communicating, I think I have somewhat shown this. Adapt communication means adapting to certain situations as they are happening. This includes being angry, nice, or sad in different situations (Wood, 2010). I have shown this when I first caught the other officer stealing meat from the kitchen. I raised my voice and my tone changed into being very angry and judgmental of what my co-worker was doing. Another way I showed this is when we kept talking about the situation. He then informed me, he has been having family problems and he needs the food for his family. I then stopped being angry and started communicating with him in an understanding and in a more calm voice instead of shouting and screaming at him. This shows how I am adapting to the situation and adapting to his needs. Another example of ICC that I have shown is dual perspective. Dual perspective is when you understand your own perspective and another personâ€™s perspective. I have shown this when the co-worker that was stealing the meat. When he explained to me why he was doing so, I replied back and told him I understand his situation but he still should not be doing this. This shows that I understand why he was stealing the meat and tried to look at it from his perspective. Although I did this, I still found that stealing the meat is the wrong thing to do. The last ICC skill I have shown is being ethical to other individuals. This means you should respond to an individual without dismissing their feelings and emotions. You also cannot treat them as just a co-worker, a man or a customer. I have demonstrated this in the role-play video when I understood what he was going through and because I see him more than a co-worker or a man, I did not tell anybody of his actions. Instead, I told him not to do it again. If I have seen him just as a co-worker or another person, I probably would have told on him since what he was doing was wrong. These are all examples of how I showed Interpersonal Communication Competence in my role-play video. I think very little was shown regarding the Non-verbal communication that was going on. The only non-verbal communication concept that was shown was Kinesics. Kinesics refers to your body position and your body motion when communicating with individuals (Wood, 2010). I have shown this in the role-play video when I was walking towards the co-worker while he was stealing the meat. My body was fully erect and my voice was very direct. I did not feel hesitant or shy when I was speaking to the other person. This is an example of how I demonstrated Kinesics. The next interpersonal skill I have demonstrated is Active Listening. Active listening is when you are listening to the individual talking to you and you are paying attention with nothing distracting you. An example of how I demonstrated active listening is mindfulness. When the co-worker was speaking about his problems, I paid attention, was physically in the room, and I did not let my thoughts drift away from the conversation and the situation. Another way that I showed active listening is attending. An example of how you are attending is by the acronym FELOR. FELOR stands for face the speaker, eye contact, lean forward, open posture, and relax (Wood, 2010). I think I have demonstrated all of these positions except for leaning forward and open posture since they are not very relevant when you are standing up. But I did have eye contact, I did lean forward and I was somewhat relaxed throughout the conversation. Another way I demonstrated active listening is by responding. Signs of responsive listening include but not are limited to, eye contact, nodding and questions or comments for the other individual. The last interpersonal skill that I have shown is Managing Conflict. When it comes to managing the conflict which is the co-worker stealing the meat. I think I have demonstrated the voice response. The voice response deals with conflicts directly and tries to resolve it immediately (Wood, 2010). I think I have shown this because I directly stated what he was doing and discussed the situation. I think we came to a win-win situation. We came to a win-win solution because I told him this is the last time he will do this again and he agreed that he will not steal more meat from the prison anymore.
Even though there are numerous strengths that were shown. There are areas that need improvement in all 4 interpersonal skills. In the ICC skill, I have not shown monitoring at all. Monitoring is when you observe yourself and stop yourself from saying things that is inappropriate. I cannot find any evidence of this skill being shown in the role-play video. In the non-verbal communication section, I did not show paralanguage, being silent or establishing relationship-level meanings. When you observe the video, you do not see me nodding, or changing my facial expression at all. I also was never silent throughout the entire role-play. I always talked and also sometimes interrupted my co-worker. It also did not look like I was establishing relationship-level meanings in my conversation. The conversation sounded very straight forward and demanding towards him to stop stealing from the prison. The last area I think I need to improve on is managing conflicts. I do not think I have used a constructive strategy when dealing with this situation. But at the end of the conversation, the co-worker and I managed to resolve the situation and have a win-win solution to the problem. In conclusion, there are still many areas that I need to improve on when it comes to interpersonal skills. This includes, monitoring, paralanguage, silence, and managing conflict.
One way to improve your interpersonal skills is to have strategies of how you will achieve this improvement. A strategy that I can use to improve my interpersonal skills is to build more relationships. If your relationships are short and far relationships, this could be a reason why you lack in interpersonal skills. Being empathetic in situations, being inclusive, fair and trustworthy can help build relationships and interpersonal skills at the same time. Another strategy that I will be using to improve my skills is to communicate clearer and more carefully. Listening carefully is a very important aspect of communication. Misunderstanding somebodyâ€™s words can create instant conflict and problems in your life. Speaking clearly will also help the other person understand you better in which builds better relationships. Understanding different points of views will also improve your overall interpersonal skills. Being ignorant and close-minded will usually get you angry and not understand the personâ€™s perspective. Listening is also an important way to improve your skills. Listening to others and indulging in the conversation will give the impression that you are willing to help them with issues and problems. Another very important strategy that I will be using is to stop lying to avoid uncomfortable situations. Telling the truth to individuals and explaining why you chose this decision is very important. Lying to your friends or family to avoid different situations shows how weak your interpersonal skills are. The last strategy I will be using is to research. Researching and learning about how we communicate will at least give me general knowledge how we interact with each other. This will give me the power to turn this information into action and practice these skills in real life situations. In conclusion, even though I had much strength, my weaknesses need to be improved and improving them will help me communicate better and it will also help me with my every day life.