Last one!…almost (Interbeing)

August 20, 2008

The summaries and analyses of Hahn’s article “Interbeing” and Postman’s “The Communication Panacea” showed contrasting approaches to looking at the communication process.  Swabbies said in their message “Seeing Your Communication is Realizing your Communication,” that they have learned to “visualize the inter-being of events and things as a sort of giant Venn Diagram with equal interlocking sections between the forces and influences involved.”  Memphisburns in “A walking talking example” describes Postman’s theory’s main statement:  “He said that, ‘communication is most sensibly viewed as means through which desirable ends may be achieved.”  They offer many insights into Postman and Hahn’s articles, included several similar comments on how classmates chose to work with others based on common interests and goals.

Shinyginger added that “Neil Postman mostly discussed concealment of thoughts and feelings in more emotionally charged situations.”  The responses to our team’s project show that these theories are both legitimate and intriguing.  In retrospect, I think overall that my analysis on critical discourse theory was more focused on the ideas form Hahn’s article “Interbeing” in that my analysis focused more on the dynamics of the comments and the analysis thereof then on the idea of the consequentiality of said communications.  In that comment I stated that I thought readers of our project were “able to apply the ideas of our presentation to society in general, and analyze the connections between the communication process, consequentiality, and the discourse present in our project.”  I believe the interbeing of all the cumulative events/actions is most evident in this my analysis because my descriptions involve the dynamics of the communication rather than the actual goals the interlocuters may have.

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. Steph 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.’”  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.”  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.”  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)

The fiercest classmates…

August 13, 2008

The classmates who read Susan Scott’s article, “Fierce Conversations,” responded mostly by summarizing and putting Scott’s ideas into their own words.  There were also many cases of classmates offering their opinions on the material (overwhelmingly agreeing 🙂 ) as well as examples from their own lives that illustrate some of Scott’s ideas.  The process by which classmates are associating with the material is evident in their responses and we can see how the information, according to them, is impacting their lives.

Outerbodyboi, in their comment “Thoughts on fierce conversation,” describes their association with Scott’s topic and offers a example from their own life saying: It’s important to hold your ground, and be fierce with people, but I also believe that this can be done in a controlled way. It’s like my old football coach used to say, be agressive but also be under control.”  Here Outerbodyboi has related to the material and shows that they wholeheartedly agree with Scott’s statement.  They seem to be displaying am overall agreement with Scott’s points, and are even fitting the information into their life.

In “my thoughts on fierceness,” Outerbodyboi goes on to muse about Scott’s many points on effective communications maintaining fierce, “real” conversations.  They say “it isn’t always that easy to remain in a balance where I am both listening and expressing. This imbalance leads to the closing off of the mind at times.”  This material seems to be opening an avenue for Outerbodyboi to look at themselves from the outside and gain new insights to their own communicative style.  Masr27 shows, in their comment “Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott!,” a similar approach in confirming Scott’s idea through introspection: “Through my own life experience and analyzing my conversations, I certainly can see the trend of the lack of authenticity resulting in failure.”

I think that classmates here are primarily associating with the article and able to draw examples from their lives or look at the past in a new light, having learned from the reading.  Saboy82 talks about a past job interview in terms of Scott’s principles: “not being myself, my conversation was false and not fierce. I never did get that job” (“Fierce Conversations 3.2”).  They are reconstructing their memories in terms of their new learning showing that they seem to have truly internalized these messages.  In their next comment, “Fierce Conversations 3.3”, they show this more saying “if I have more fierce conversations I will have a relationship or job for a even longer period of time rather blaming others for my failures.”  The connection Saboy82 draws only solidifies the argument that they have learned the benefit of, and now almost strive to emulate, Scott’s “ferocity.”

From reading these classmates comments, I can only conclude that everyone agreed with this article and has been able to meaningfully apply it to their lives.  Classmates seem to be able to easily look at themselves critically and find meaningful advice from Scott’s article to actually improve their lives.  In terms of creating their own identities, classmates responded to different aspects of Scott’s article, showing their particular areas of personal interest and their individuality in different approaches.  The article definitely seems to have provided these classmates with a powerful new tool in their newfound “ferocity” as well as the ability to think critically about the effectiveness of their “exhalations.”

Can we accept openness to everything?

August 10, 2008

As a team, we are trying to reach a conclusion for what topic to select for a team project. By looking at team three’s responses to an assignment for our class, we are trying to identify sources for the project and also identify and develop the team members’ identities relating to our study of interpersonal communications.

Gym411, in their comment, “Keeping an Open Conversation… Is the Way to Go!” shows that they are looking forward to working with their teammates and show a very enthusiastic outlook towards the project in general. They say, “from the first look at my teammates blogs, I can see that we will get along very well (and will be the best team in the class!).” Aside from feeling positive about our collaboration, Gym411 mentions that “the topic of having an “open” conversation seems to be a topic that we all share.” I do think our group has been drawn to this point, perhaps we could incorporate this idea into some part of the project topic?

Saboy82 provides a very thoughtful summary of what they have gathered from the articles and class so far: “when communicating you need to be clear, communicate the whole message, and execute the communication well in order to get the message across and leave a good impression. Having these skills will encourage great productivity and chemistry amongst the group members.” They also mention that they share common interests with all fellow team three members and that they “consider this to be a good omen when it comes to working in teams.” I think it’s interesting that Saboy82 picked up on all of our common interests. We might be extremely different people but commonalities still exist.

Spiceynoodlesoup also recognized our team’s apparent focus on the subject of openness. They reiterated how exciting this material was to them and exclaimed: “After reading my teammates thoughts on the project, I knew I was dealing with a group of wall breaking bridge builders.” They continued to summarize the teams work so far, pointing out the major points of interest and one other interesting point on emotions and tensions coming into play: “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…” (Spiceynoodlesoup) These “skills” could all be potential avenues for a team project topic? I think what we really need to do is open a dialogue where some points of interest or contention can lead to some quality nexting!

In the article, “Dialogue’s Basic Tension,” by K. Zediker and J. Stewart, the authors describe meaningful dialogue as involving some tension while also requiring engaged listening, thinking, and nexting. They summarize tension as a feature of dialogue saying: “This means that dialogue is not a steady state, something that is stable and predictable. When people are in dialogue, they experience a dynamic push-pull, both-and quality in their communication. “ (p. 614, Bridges Not Walls, ed. J. Stewart)

Are we experiencing a true dialogue according to Zendiker and Stewart’s definition in our team? I feel as though we have a tendency to avoid really delving into the topics and rather just agreeing with the usefulness or truth of all the assigned readings. Do we really take it all as fact, and how we should lead our lives? Of course most of these ideas seem to be so common sense or completely convincing and enlightening upon first absorbing them and I often almost accept things without question. But what do these topics really mean to us outside of this class? Are we prone to being too open to accepting a convincing argument? To the team, are there any topics in particular that anyone is really repelled by or feels especially strongly about?

Take a Little Journey…

August 9, 2008

Potential topic: “The Consequentiality of Emotions in IPC”

I first started thinking of this as a potential topic beginning with my reading an interesting passage by Stephanie Kent on anticipation as a factor in the outcome of IPC.  Steph writes in the last part of the second paragraph of the entry :

“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.’ (Of course I am proposing these categories as extremes as ends of a continuum along which each of us fluctuate depending on a wide variety of factors – mood, energy, investment, personal history, amount of knowledge/experience, cultural background, etcetera – and all of these in relationship with the circumstances of the immediate situation itself.)”

(URL:  http://aplaceinspace.wordpress.com/2008/04/05/audience-to-imagine-or-ignore/)

I found this idea interesting.  Our “attitude” and exact emotional outlook can have a huge effect. This passage and the idea of anticipation and the process of how our “exhalations” are distorted from what we “want” or how we feel about an impending interaction emotionally might be interesting to explore more…

In terms of our emotions and how others perceive us I was then drawn to a particular passage where getoutakingshous said:

“Sure, you can say what you feel and what you want to achieve, but that is not the same as communicating it. Communicating something makes it possible for your audience to feel the same feelings you feel about what you are trying to communicate. And in order to do this, it takes a lot of practice and dedication.”

(URL:  http://www.reflexivity.us/blog/archives/2008/03/a-conversaton-w.html#comment-242316)

This idea relates to what Steph says above, there is a consequentiality (I think) to how our emotions filter our “exhalations” and being aware of the emotional consequentiality of what we say.  The interplay with our emotions and how they effect our perceptions of others and at the same time how we think others are perceiving us is intriguing.  Being aware of the consequentiality (or our impression thereof) can also mold how we approach the situation.

This led me to another interesting tangent I found in AP1115’s comment, which I think could illustrate the consequentiality of emotional trials on group dynamics…

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)

Similarly, ontherecliner says

“Like others have mentioned I do think we have become more comfortable with eachother, and the group seems to be working better overall. I also feel there is still confusion every class, but I dont feel that is a bad thing because I think it means we are doing new things and moving on.”

(URL:  http://aplaceinspace.wordpress.com/2008/04/22/reminder-after-dachau/#comment-1017)

Perhaps if we look at consequentiality as having two facets in terms of communication, providing a consequence good or bad to avoid where we must consciously keep in mind a complex interplay of emotional responses; or as being purely a fact or the general nature of the interaction itself.  Do our emotions themselves have consequentiality? Yes, but to what extent?  Is it more about the group mentality (or are the parts implied here…)?  Maybe we could also look at the consequentiality of group interaction on individuals’ emotions and “exhalations” as well.

7:1- Defining Ourselves

August 7, 2008

The message of the article “Meaning and Values”- by G. Corey & M. Schneider-Corey is that we need to question our values and beliefs and realize the ways in which these ideas effect our relationships.  The authors talk about how “the paradox of our contemporary society is that although we have the benefits of technological progress, we are still not satisfied.”  (86)  We still search for the real meaning in life and the answers to the three questions the author poses: “Who am I? Where am I going? Why?” (87)  The authors give many suggestions and questions for you to ask yourself; very deep questions on our identity, sense of self, religious views, etc.  By questioning your values and beliefs the authors suggest that we can achieve personal growth.  Among suggestions for personal growth were: “…finding hobbies that develop new sides of [us]…initiating contact with others…doing volunteer work…pursuing a spiritual path that is meaningful to [us]…sharing some of [our] dreams with a person [we] trust.” (93)

These ideas are interesting and considerate of the many emotions we experience.  The process of questioning our selves through social interaction and growing as individuals is very important.   However the authors point out that “although self-acceptance is a pre-requisite for meaningful interpersonal relationships, there is a quest to go beyond self-centered interests.” (87)  Here the idea that we should strive to collaborate and be open to others’ ideas/values/beliefs is reiterated.  I think the ideas and suggestions in this article apply to the group work setting in that we have an opportunity to grow through our experience communicating together.  We are exposed to more diversity and able to challenge our selves.  The communication process within our group will perhaps expose some of the contrasting sets of meanings or beliefs we have and allow us to gain new perspectives.

The article by Rodriguez entitled “Hispanic” is about the way that cultural groups are generalized and how the author has struggled to realize his identity within American society.  He talks about the way that people of many diverse descents have been lumped in the category of “Hispanic” and that he feels like their cultural identity and self-awareness is blurred in the process.  The author also has many issues with the way that “proper” terminology for denoting different races is designed.  The introduction to this article says: “Rodriguez is writing how he defines himself and how he and other people like him are defined by the people with whom they communicate.” (109)  This related to the other reading from this section, describing the link between a self-concept and communication. The complex questions of cultural identity presented by Rodriguez are very interesting and might provide the group with topics for discussion and a way for us to think about ourselves as part of society and a larger culture that we may not be aware of.

Team Ideas

August 5, 2008

Fellow teammate Saboy82 summarizes that through a “a hint of redundancy” the main idea from the articles “expressing” by Mckay, Davis, & Fanning and “Putting Feelings Into Words” by John Gottman is that “by expressing your feelings you can take control of the situation.” They also say that Rosenfeld & Richman’s article, as well as David Johnson’s article contain ideas on being open with other people as well as that it is “good to know what to disclose.” Saboy82 then comments that “these ideas may play a significant role when interacting with fellow team members.” They also mention that when “all ideas and comments are expressed, this will enhance the team productivity and way of thinking.” I think this member believes that through keeping the concepts from these readings in mind, we will be more effective and productive as a team.

Other team three member, Spiceynoodlesoup, expresses similar ideas about how the principles from the four articles mentioned above should be used and will be helpful for the group project. They say: “Basically, I need to exhale positive attitude about our situation as students in a group project, and I need to express clearly and directly that I want to do the work and that this whole process could even be fun.” Spiceynoodlesoup also suggests that they will “use impression management so my teammates will know I want to do the work and want to be apart of the team.” They seem to be proposing a similar approach as Saboy82 does: that we should strive to emulate the ideas from the articles. It is clear that Spiceynoodlesoup has internalized that concepts and is engaged in using the ideas for their IPC efforts!

Final team member Gym411 said very similar things in regards to the readings and group work. They summarize many key points in the assigned readings and finish by saying, “by taking all these elements into account once can better decide how open and “deep” one wants to get with the other participants (in our case classmates).” 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! 🙂

I think that these ideas certainly are helpful and thoughtful, and it is clear that we can benefit from the readings. Whatever work we will be doing, from reading my teammates entries so far, I can see that everyone is on board and thinking about applying the information we’ve learned from these articles to the group work. I am happy to see the excitement in our group and I like and agree with what Spiceynoodlesoup offers saying “hopefully this project will just be a frenzy of nexting from the beginning.”

Web-headed

July 17, 2008

One recent topic I learned about in school that I found very interesting is spiders and the evolution of spider webs. I have always found spider webs fascinating and truly impressive. I’ll summarize a little bit of what I learned about them. Spiders actually evolved from primitive forms that lived in the water and did not use silk at all. They evolved onto land to hunt or escape predators and evolved silk first to protect their eggs and young. The role of silk then developed into many different uses, mainly prey capture, safety lines, guide-lines, and prey sensors. Gradually traps became more efficient and slowly evolved into webs to optimize the effectiveness of the trap versus the time it takes the spider to build it. The function of spider webs today is mainly prey capture but the web structure depends on the spider’s anatomy, prey type and size, and the energy constraints of producing silk and building the web. An interesting example is the St. Andrew’s cross spider, which builds a large, obvious X shape in its web – why? – studies showed that the design lures insects but also attracts predators (trade-off), but that it may also serve to help birds avoid the web. Basically, different webs represent different habitats, strategies, or constraints. I find it really fascinating to look at the progression through time of this kind of natural technology. Devices such as the spider web and other unique features in animals set them apart and captivate people. In this way, everyone can appreciate the beauty of nature even if they don’t know any of the science behind it.

Hello world!

July 17, 2008

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!