INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION SELF-ANALYSIS OF SKILLS PAPER (200 POINTS)
Since this course is designed to help you improve your interpersonal awareness and effectiveness, critically analyze your interpersonal communication style, in terms of your potential strengths and weaknesses as a communicator. You will also identify areas which you want to work on and discuss how you are going to improve your interpersonal communication effectiveness in those areas. The information you provide in your paper will be held in the strictest of confidence, so please be open and honest.
FORMAT (THIS IS A SAMPLE OUTLINE):
I. General description of your interpersonal style
Describe major sources of influence which have affected your communication style, such as family background, educational background, sex/age, interaction with significant others, etc. Discuss how your communication style reflects what/who you are (your self-concept) which has been established through interaction with others.
II. Analysis of your communication style in specific situations
A. Communication contexts:
1. Multi-cultural communication, including gender communication, cross-cultural communication
2. Communication in school/on the job
B. For each context, describe your strengths and weaknesses (3-4 each) in terms of your verbal/nonverbal skills, listening skills, conflict resolution skills, confirming and dis-confirming skills, self-disclosure, etc. You don’t have to discuss everything here. Focus on those skills which are most relevant to you.
1. Be specific and concrete in describing your strengths and weaknesses. General statements like “I’m a terrible listener” or “I’m great with children” are not appropriate. Use behavioral descriptions.
2. Give concrete examples of situations that illustrate your points. Describe some of the situations you were actually involved in, in which you think you were a particularly good and/or poor communicator.
III. Discussion of your specific plans to improve your communication style.
Now that you’re more aware of your weaknesses as a communicator, you have a clearer idea about how you can improve your communication style. Thoroughly discuss how you would like to use the knowledge you have acquired in this course to improve your communication skills.
A. What kinds of specific actions would you like to take to achieve your goals?
B. Justify your action plans drawing on the theories and principles of interpersonal communication.
C. Be sure to write a statement of your action plan for each weakness identified. Example:
Describe weakness: “I get mad at my wife and get really defensive when she criticizes the way I express my feelings toward her.” (Behavioral description)
Outline action plan: “I will try to use empathic listening skills and send non-evaluative feedback to her. Also, I will try to identify why she feels this way about me.”
Justify your plan: “I believe that my action plan will help me: improve my communication with my girlfriend because empathic listening aims at understanding the other person’s feelings as she is experiencing them. At the same time, if I am not evaluative in responding to her, I should be able to create a more supportive communication climate. With these skills, I will be able to communicate with her more effectively since I can understand her feelings better from now on.”
1. Keep in mind that you are basically writing this paper for your benefit.
2. Your paper should be formally written; it should be well-organized with no grammar or spelling errors. Include a clear introduction and conclusion. Use (and refer to) the concepts and terms have covered in the course. Your page count should be between 7-8 pages. Use MLA formatting style.
3. You may wish to interview people you know well to see how they evaluate you as an interpersonal communicator. They may know what is in your “blind” area.
4. If you use outside sources in writing your paper, please be sure to give the source proper credit. Outside sources are not required, as this is a paper ALL ABOUT YOU! However, if you do use outside source material, give credit in the body of the paper with in-text citations and on the Works Cited page. Use MLA formatting style.
SAMPLE MLA PAPER: