A time for self reflection and analysis

August 20, 2008

In my critique self of my own analysis I would like to look at how I feel the concept of “impression management” ties into our learning. In reference to my last paper “impression management is the process through which people try to control the impressions other people form of them. It is a goal-directed conscious or unconscious attempt to influence the perceptions of other people about a person, object or event by regulating and controlling information in social interaction”. impression management. I feel this is important because Postman’s and Hanh’s work are woven into these concepts. While we are coming into “being” with each other connecting through our computors we are creating and re-creating our identities with specific purposes in mind. Being too honest can be risky as we develop our on line relatioships with each other.
From Interpersonal Communication 250 summer course, thread 3:3 “Postman: The Communication Panacea”, Bridge of Ideas writes in “Are we really communicating or just creating noise?” “Postman speaks of ‘honesty.’ “And since our motives and feelings are never all that clear….most of us are dishonest.” Grant2u says there are times that she is “…not totally honest.” Postman explains that because we are “multileveled and multilayered” “one does not have an honest feeling.” I agree with both my classmate and Postman. Complete honesty is very difficult for anyone of us.” Shinyginger writes, (“Pretend you don‘t see me! I‘m standing in front of you!”) “However, upon rereading his article and the responses of my group, a quote from Postman stood out: “..not saying all that you are thinking about or feeling in a given situation”. He was talking about “dishonesty” as a necessity sometimes for what you say to be a “worthwhile purpose”. In the responses, I noticed that although I was respectful and tried to connect to other classmates over the common shards of ourselves that we shared, it was somewhat forced”.

Also from thread 3:3 from “Hanh:Interbeing” President Makalele wrote, “It was a short article but the main point was that everything around us is “inter-be” and everything has a direct effect on something else making it “inter-be” with other things and events in the world. Jimigarcia and sports08 applied the same logic as I had used with the same addition of an example from personal observance and experience. In regard to our online class President Markele wrote, “Without the man who invented computers we wouldn’t have had internet, and without internet we wouldn’t be taking this class so far away from each other on a computer either”(“Seeing your communication is realizing communication”). Jim Garcia said “I found that through my blog posts I had a consistent occurrence with my writing, I found myself relating my own experiences with those of my classmates. I used interpersonal communication through relating with a classmate to have a conversation”. Jimigarcia continues oh to say, “All of us agreed with Hanh and his views of objects “inter-being” with one another” (“Communication: Essential too of life”). I find that this is something that the majority of the class would agree with: we came into each other through our communications in class through our computers. The computer became our medium it is, in essence what linked us together here. It forced us connect in the manner in which we did-I think if this classroom was “face-to-face” in typical class room, our outcomes would have been different.

Individual Part of Team Project

August 17, 2008

There are many crucial parts to how we have individually and as teams worked on building and developing our relationships over the span of this course. Our interpersonal skills necessary to achieve this were: nexting, self-disclosure, listening, balancing tensions/frustrations while trying to maintain our identities, exhaling, negotiation, and supporting each other through the class. Trying to “synthesize” what we have learned and applying to concrete examples of our classmates to convey a deeper understanding of these core concepts.

https://grant2u.wordpress.com/

Learning how to communicate in groups while constructing identities can be a tough act. It is like trying to balance on the tightrope. As you try to get to the other side-hoping someone can control the tensions wire and catch you if you fall. It can be tricky and a tough balancing act, as I myself and others have experienced.

In regard to “Constructing our Identities” written by Stewart, Zediker, and Wittenborn and “Maintaining the Self in Communication” by Barret I would like examine the role of developing our “selves” and how I feel it has developed our relationships. From the book Bridges Not Walls by John Stewart, Barret talks about “a rhetorical perspective” and says that “in this exploration of human interaction, I am guided by a rhetorical perspective on communication: that we choose ways to be with others, always with a purpose, always seeking to be effective with them(97)”. Through our communications we have furthered our relationships over time by using a number of these skills. From the very beginning our introductions and web logs we made a statement about who we were and what are tone was. It was our first chance to “create our identities”.
Using myself as an example I said, “I intend to learn more effective ways to communicate with others in personal or professional relationships…my hope is to gain some new perspectives on communication while I take a look at my own strengths and weaknesses. I believe that in order to achieve optimal results you must be willing to make sacrifices and work hare towards your goal.” comments A couple weeks into the class I felt like I was in way over my head-with the technical part of it. I was always felt like I was on top of things with other classes, but now as we broke off into teams I really needed the support of others. I was no longer the one with all the answers, but the one who had to listen, let go, and allow someone else to lead the way. I feel like I was doing this while trying to maintain my identity and hold onto some of the tension in our dialogue at the same time.
From Bridges, “Dialogue’s Basic Tension” by Karen Zediker and John Stewart demonstrate “tensionality” as “dialogue is not a steady state, something that is stable and predictable, when people are in a dialogue, they experience a dynamic, push-pull, both-and-quality in their communication(614). I needed to learn how to do that when I nexted to my team mates. “When I reflect upon my own IPC I realize that I typically control the tension lines in my regular communications. I’m used to being in a position of “pushing”. My motive seemed to be to keep the conversation flowing…as Steph says in her lecture regarding “nexting”, Steph’s comments., “The point is that we are always and forever joining conversations in the middle, and there are a lot of people who want to influence how the conversation turns out.”

One of the members of our team is able to notice when the dialogue isn’t moving and is happy to offer a “push”. He says cake’s comment’s,
“As part of my nature, if no one steps forward to lead a group discussion, I step forward and try to help the best I can.” Not only is he able to ease the “tension” in this sense but was also able to share his computer knowledge/experience with me to help me and someone else understand the homework assignment” comments
Another example of a changing role in communication is from one of my teammate’s Cake. He is the one who was able to help me and he reflected in his web log “the first night of grouping, I stepped forward to help lead the discussion and to help my teammates through the technical aspect of this course. Then I needed to step back and allow them to essentially control my fate and decide what readings I should do, and trust that they’d leave me sufficient information to complete the tasks.” comments Cake and I learned in turn from each other that we had to learn to trust our teammates and let go of the tension. We had to be able to change our way of communicating and put our “fate” in each others hands-and it worked!!
CommSyr says, in her summary on “Maintaining the Self in Communication” by Barret, that “in a group setting especially when working together to achieve a grade with people who know very little about each other, self-maintenance is key. We are all trying to exude intelligence, over the top and not doing enough, between being intelligent but not intimidating, by being assertive but not mean. We are constantly maintaining this balance, in group projects, with friends at work, in life” . She also says in a summary on “Constructing our Identities” that “this article is extremely pertinent to our topic because through identity construction we become the person we want to communicate to others-interpersonally”. Theses example are important because I think they reflects upon principle such as: knowing how to control the tension in IPC and to find ways to develop it. It shows that her thoughts on this have been consistent throughout the course.
From the course in “group dynamics” it was more difficult to find to ways to connect the dots. I think a good way to end this is from some comments I found from sameies20 in regard to a class project from “getting to gist” he/she said earlier on in class where there seemed to be some struggle that “In regards to where the class is at while trying to create our class project I feel as though we are still in stage 2, the adolescence stage…I will be interested to see what the next class has to offer and if our group dynamics can shift to the next stage…?” comments and apparently there was some kind of shift in the class’s relationship as a whole. In a later post from “reminder-after Dachau” sameies20 says “I think that there are lots of things that remain in our group that were there in the beginning…I am much more comfortable with some of the people in class…I think the openness has allowed students to feel more comfortable with each other and with the instructor making for an overall good classroom experience!” comments I chose this to end with because I think it overall demonstrate what a lot of us have felt in our class. It shows an example of where this was some type of struggle with the class-but through the “further relationships over time” by developing an atmosphere of openness and comfort the dynamics were able to move forward.

Using what we’ve learned

August 13, 2008

As I reviewed the entries made by my classmates on Bohm’s work and also read the summaries-analyses done by other authors I searched to find a way to form these concepts together into something coherent that I could apply to our specific experiences. I used Bridges Not Walls by John Stewart to gain a better understanding of where Bohm was coming from. Bohm talks about the every changing world and advancements in technology that “put each of the world into an almost instant contact with all the other parts.” He speaks to us about “problems of communication”(43), differences and their necessary role in communication. Bohm makes an important point in saying that, “People living in different nations with different economic and political systems, are hardly able to talk to each other without fighting,” and that certain “groups are caught in a similar pattern of inability to understand one an other.(43)” Bohm writes about the ways in which we attempt to “communicate” and how one of the meaning’s is “to make something common” but he explains a dialogue in which, “when one person says something, the other person does not in general respond with exactly the same meaning as that seen by the first person. Rather, the meanings are only similar and not identical(44)”. We seek to make sense by bringing our differences together “in common…creating something new(44)”. In this class through our web logs, assignments, and groups I feel that is an essential part of what we are doing constantly through our communications.

The experiences that my classmates shared through their work demonstrated some of these theories in conjunction with others. Such as Jaggerbunny’s comment from “Am I really listening?” on Bohm’s writings. She said “Regarding my blog response, I have noticed that I have a tendency to want to please people by agreeing with them and complimenting. I use a lot of exclamation points, possibly an attempt to appear more enthusiastic then I really am. I also tend to focus on what I have in common with another person.” This also ties in with what CommSyr wrote in Barrett’s article, “Maintaining the Self in Communication”. CommSyr says, “Barrett describes what I had just done! He explains that we are constantly influencing our audiences during communication to view us in a positive light.” This explains how Jaggerbunny “agrees with” and “compliments” as she is creating her identity in class, while she is attempting to connect with others by finding things in “common”. I feel like this is something that in one way or another we are all partaking in as we are “Constructing Identities” an article written by Stewart, Zediker, and Witterborn. Deliver Me Summer writes in “Putting Our ‘Selves’ Out There”, “in “Constructing Identities”…they begin by constructing two fundamental concepts: first we construct our “selves” in communication with others, and second, these “selves” affect who we are and how we relate to others.” She goes on to demonstrate an example of this by saying, “As I mentioned to saboy82 in our blog exchanges, I feel that I witnessed this contrast when I went to Africa and worked with Zulu culture this past June. Often the nurses that I worked with defined themselves as mothers, caregivers, and homemakers and felt incomplete if they were unable to fulfill any of these tasks. This is starkly different form the modern Western viewpoint in which it is acceptable for a woman to work outside of the home and choose not have children.

Oo love shoo makes a valid point about working in groups in a summary of an article from Corey and Schndeider-Corey “Meaning and Values” by saying that, “I think as a group, it is important to understand or express the identity of each member and try to accept and learn from the different beliefs of the other members.” I think that ties back into what Bohm is trying to tell us. In Bridges he writes, “if people are willing to cooperate (“work together”) they have been able to create something in common, something that takes shape in their mutual discussions and actions, rather than something that is conveyed from one person who acts as an authority to the others, who act as passive instruments of this authority.” I think that is what we are doing in this class and within our teams and will continue to do in our final project.

http://jaggerbunny.wordpress.com/

http://commysyr09.wordpress.com

http://ooloveshoo.wordpress.com

Using what we’ve learned

August 13, 2008

As I reviewed the entries made by my classmates on Bohm’s work and also read the summaries-analyses done by other authors I searched to find a way to form these concepts together into something coherent that I could apply to our specific experiences. I used Bridges Not Walls by John Stewart to gain a better understanding of where Bohm was coming from. Bohm talks about the every changing world and advancements in technology that “put each of the world into an almost instant contact with all the other parts.” He speaks to us about “problems of communication”(43), differences and their necessary role in communication. Bohm makes an important point in saying that, “People living in different nations with different economic and political systems, are hardly able to talk to each other without fighting,” and that certain “groups are caught in a similar pattern of inability to understand one an other.(43)” Bohm writes about the ways in which we attempt to “communicate” and how one of the meaning’s is “to make something common” but he explains a dialogue in which, “when one person says something, the other person does not in general respond with exactly the same meaning as that seen by the first person. Rather, the meanings are only similar and not identical(44)”. We seek to make sense by bringing our differences together “in common…creating something new(44)”. In this class through our web logs, assignments, and groups I feel that is an essential part of what we are doing constantly through our communications.

The experiences that my classmates shared through their work demonstrated some of these theories in conjunction with others. Such as Jaggerbunny’s comment from “Am I really listening?” on Bohm’s writings. She said “Regarding my blog response, I have noticed that I have a tendency to want to please people by agreeing with them and complimenting. I use a lot of exclamation points, possibly an attempt to appear more enthusiastic then I really am. I also tend to focus on what I have in common with another person.” This also ties in with what CommSyr wrote in Barrett’s article, “Maintaining the Self in Communication”. CommSyr says, “Barrett describes what I had just done! He explains that we are constantly influencing our audiences during communication to view us in a positive light.” This explains how Jaggerbunny “agrees with” and “compliments” as she is creating her identity in class, while she is attempting to connect with others by finding things in “common”. I feel like this is something that in one way or another we are all partaking in as we are “Constructing Identities” an article written by Stewart, Zediker, and Witterborn. Deliver Me Summer writes in “Putting Our ‘Selves’ Out There”, “in “Constructing Identities”…they begin by constructing two fundamental concepts: first we construct our “selves” in communication with others, and second, these “selves” affect who we are and how we relate to others.” She goes on to demonstrate an example of this by saying, “As I mentioned to saboy82 in our blog exchanges, I feel that I witnessed this contrast when I went to Africa and worked with Zulu culture this past June. Often the nurses that I worked with defined themselves as mothers, caregivers, and homemakers and felt incomplete if they were unable to fulfill any of these tasks. This is starkly different form the modern Western viewpoint in which it is acceptable for a woman to work outside of the home and choose not have children.

Oo love shoo makes a valid point about working in groups in a summary of an article from Corey and Schndeider-Corey “Meaning and Values” by saying that, “I think as a group, it is important to understand or express the identity of each member and try to accept and learn from the different beliefs of the other members.” I think that ties back into what Bohm is trying to tell us. In Bridges he writes, “if people are willing to cooperate (“work together”) they have been able to create something in common, something that takes shape in their mutual discussions and actions, rather than something that is conveyed from one person who acts as an authority to the others, who act as passive instruments of this authority.” I think that is what we are doing in this class and within our teams and will continue to do in our final project.

 

http://jaggerbunny.wordpress.com/

http://commysyr09.wordpress.com/

http://ooloveshoo.wordpress.com/

Learning more than I imagined!

August 11, 2008

I’m getting a lot more than I planned on from this course, which is kind of a strange thing to say because I was really sure what to expect (if that makes any sense?). I guess I thought I’d learn how to become a more effective communicator, but I didn’t realize that I would be reflecting so much on my own IPC. Not sure if I thought it would just be a type of “manual” or “guidelines” to improve my communication or what-but I wasn’t planning on learning so much and putting it to practical use immediately. Building relationships with our “teams” has demonstrated in concrete examples what we are learning and how it actually works, especially around “nexting” and “tension” in our dialogues. The whole idea of “nexting” is not something that I ever gave much thought to before this class and didn’t realize how it is something that we are constantly engaging in, either consciously or unconsciously.

My most valuable lessons so far was learning how to let others control the “tension” in dialogue. In order to do that I had to let go of the “tension” line and let someone else hold the ropes. Primary tensions are mentioned in the article on “Dialogue’s Basic Tension” by Zediker and Stuart. They say that “our own communication experiences have taught us that moments of dialogue emerge most often when the people involved maintain one primary tension-the one between letting the other happen to me while holding me own ground….this means that you let someone happen to you when they allow who they are-especially their differences from you-to touch ,connect with, and influence you.” This I learned in our teams. In order for me to accomplish some of the things necessary with the assignments I needed to sit back and “inhale” what others were saying. I felt intimidated by being so lost about how to navigate through this course at times-but allowed myself to let go of the ropes and have someone lead me.

When I reflect upon my own IPC I realize that I typically control the tension lines in my regular communications. I’m used to being in a position of “pushing”. My motive seemed to be to keep the conversation flowing. Now I’m realizing that maybe it was my way of controlling the conversation, commonly known to me as talking over other people. As Steph says in her lecture regarding “nexting”, <a href=“http://aplaceinspace.wordpress.com/2008/07/31/continuing-to-converse/”>Steph’s comments.</a>, “The point is that we are always and forever joining conversations in the middle, and there are a lot of people who want to influence how the conversation turns out.” It made me think about how often that also occurs when we are communicating with each other and through wordpress in this class.

On the concept of “tension”, Cakeisalie said “my teammates seem to all be willing to do what it takes to get the assignments done with the least amount of friciton.” <a href=“http://ohnothecakeisalie.wordpress.com/2008/08/from-mayhem-to-peace-of-mind/”>Cakeisalie’s comments.</a> I think that we are all on the same page and want things to go smooth, individually and collectively. We are actively demonstrating that through our on going communications. It is seen in our desire to help each other and willingness to communicate ad clearly and as openly as we can. This is what has reduced the chances of the wrong type of tension from our group. Outerbodyboi wrote about how there seemed to be a type of mutual respect in the air for our team and said, “Sometimes you can‘t speak your mind without getting on someone‘s nerves.” <a href=“http://outerbodyboi.wordpress.com/2008/10/so-far-respectful/”>outerbodyboi’s comments.

I know what he means, I don’t want to offend anyone with my IPC. Through my communications in posts and chat I try to be careful and thoughtful of my choice of words. I don’t want to exhale something that could be misinterpreted and alienate myself from anyone in the group. Outerbodyboi(from the same link) continues on to say “I am curious to see how long this behavior lasts, and I think it could be there for the remainder of the group.” I don’t think there’s anything that would make it change either. I honestly feel that we are headed in the right direction and feel lucky to engage in this learning experience with my teammates.

Tension can be a Good thing in Dialogue

August 10, 2008

As we look at another dimension in working in groups we need to take a look at “Dialogue’s Basic Tension” by Karen Zediker and John Stewart and reflect on how that influences our experience. They explain “tensionality” as “dialogue is not a steady state, something that is stable and predictable, when people are in a dialogue, they experience a dynamic, push-pull, both-and-quality in their communication. One of the members of our team is able to notice when the dialogue isn’t moving and is happy to offer a “push”. He says <a href=“http://ohnothecakeisalie.wordpress.com/2008/08/04/secondpost”>cake’s comment’s,</a>

“As part of my nature, if no one steps forward to lead a group discussion, I step forward and try to help the best I can.” Not only is he able to ease the “tension” in this sense but was also able to share his computer knowledge/experience with me to help me and someone else understand the homework assignment.

There is also the aspect of “assertiveness” that falls under the section of “Holding My Own Ground” in the chapter. The authors explain that, “you hold your own ground when you assert yourself or say exactly what’s on your mind.” Singer12 made a comment from ooloveshoo’s group page <a href=“http://ooloveshoo.wordpress/2008/08/05/group”>comments,</a>and said that “People feel they have the need to control their emotions, as it affects our behavior, thus the way we communicate greatly.” They also make reference to Chapter 6 of Bridges here and describe how assertiveness “promotes equality in human relationships, enabling us to act in our own best interests, to stand up for ourselves without undue anxiety, to express honest feelings comfortably, to exercise personal rights without denying the rights of others” (Alberti and Emmons, 1990,p7). This ties in with a comment from outerbodyboi, <a href= “http://outerbodyboi.wordpress.com/2008/08/05/group”>comments</a>. He said, “we have to be open to the fact that we aren’t going to always agree with everything that is said, and that we can respect those opinions, and deal with them in a respectful manner.” I totally agree with him and I feel strongly that the holds similar thoughts, from experiencing our interaction with each other.

In conclusion the authors some the article up by saying “in our experience, dialogue involves the negotiation of a variety of tensions, the most fundamental of which is holding my own ground and being open to the otherness of the other.” Another team mates thoughts tie in perfectly here. Ooloveshoo wrote that “we use different strategies, but eventually come up with the same themes, as a team, understanding of each other is critical, and these exhaling skills help to express ourselves in order to understand others.” <a href=“http://ooloveshoo.wordpress/2008/08/05/group”>comments.</a>

The Exciting World of Grantwriting!!!

July 14, 2008

Grant writing has been the most exciting and interesting thing that I have most recently been involved with! It may not seem like something that people would get a thrill about-but I did! When I decided to concentrate my studies on Communications I quickly realize that there were a number of options for my career. Writing is something that I have always enjoyed and I never really thought of a way of using my education from communications to become a grant writer. I took an on-line, no credit, professional development course six months ago and now have had an opportunity to put those skills to work. My background is in human services and I wanted to find a way that I could remain a stay at home Mom and do something of importance in the field. I became a volunteer at a local human service agency and found that their greatest need was to work on grants. There were hours of research I spent finding a suitable foundation whose mission was something that our local agency would be supported by. I found a great resource and just finished writing a 25+ page grant for a major foundation. The director of the agency was so pleased with my efforts. I felt accomplished, something that I haven’t felt for sometime. The same day I turned the grant in I began to research on two new ones! Grant writing is such an excellent way for me to pursue my goals and work towards helping the community at the same time.

Hello world!

July 14, 2008

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