Write a reflective essay of the practice session discussing four key interpersonal skills you used or attempted to use. Your reflective essay is to include: a brief factual overview of the practice session identification of four interpersonal skills you used, including active listening evaluation of your application of each of the four skills (how well you applied the skills of active listening, non-verbal communication, managing emotions and assertiveness) using verbatim examples evaluation of the influence of attitudes, values and perceptions of both parties in the session, again including verbatim examples where appropriate feedback on your own work and suggestions for improvement in your application of the four skills, including verbatim examples of what you could have said.
Identification of other appropriate strategies or skills you could have used self-awareness and personal reflection reference to relevant literature, linking your ideas to the theory discussed in the unit proper structure, referencing, etc. as per the Academic skills guide the actual word count active listening, non-verbal communication, managing emotions and assertiveness evaluation of the influence of attitudes, values and perceptions of both parties in the session, again including verbatim examples where appropriate. Interpersonal communication and skills are used in everyday life. A simple definition of interpersonal communication is ‘ the verbal and non-verbal interaction between two independent people (DeVito 2007, pp. 14). There are different interpersonal skills that we use in different situations. Some of the main skills include active listening, non-verbal communication, managing our emotions and practicing assertiveness.
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If skills such as these are executed correctly, then effective communication will be achieved with little risk of confrontation. These skills were applied throughout my practice session, some effective, some not as effective. For example, my practice session revolved around the scene between two housemates. We had just moved in together, and it was time to discuss a few housekeeping issues and the costs involved. The two main skills I used throughout my practice session are, managing my emotions and active listening. These were appropriate skills to use when discussing the division of chores and the payment of bills. According to DeVito (2007, pp. 172), anger can create considerable problems when trying to communicate if it is not managed properly. In my scenario, there were many openings where I could have become angry with my housemate. Still, I took on the skill and effectively managed my emotions through the use of anger communication.
DeVito suggests that there are many ways in which you can ‘communicate your anger in a non-angry way’ (DeVito, 2007 pp. 174) So in the hope of managing my emotions, I got ready at all times to communicate calmly and logically, examining my communication choices, and by always trying to remember to apply the relevant skills of interpersonal communication. As well as remembering to manage my own emotions, I had to keep in mind the emotions of my housemate. This involves using many different interpersonal skills, I practiced my use of non-verbal communication, and looked for non-verbal cues to try and understand my housemate’s feelings, looked for cues about what they want to do, I empathized when I could and at all times I stayed focused on the other person. This all took a great deal of active listening.
Active listening helps to encourage the person to talk. It also means you have to paraphrase what the person has said to ensure that the intended message was clearly received. As well as doing this, I also tried to express my housemate’s feelings to be sure they understood I knew how they felt. Active listening also meant I had to ask questions when appropriate. I feel I used the interpersonal skill of active listening effectively with managing my emotions to get the best out of the conversation and a desirable result. Other skills I used throughout my session included non-verbal communication and assertiveness. Non-verbal communication is important to the situation I was in because non-verbal communication takes place face to face. According to DeVito (2007, pp.7), non-verbal communication accounts for more than 90% of the meaning of any message.
In this scenario, the messages needed to be received clearly; therefore, my non-verbal communication had to be open and inviting with eye contact, facial expressions, posture, and my use of silence when necessary for reflection. These were all used to portray a message to my housemate that showed that I was open to what he had to say and that I was not there to argue about anything but rather calmly sort through a few possible issues that are likely to arise in all similar scenarios. Although I was open and listened actively to my housemate, the interpersonal skill of being assertive was necessary within this situation. Assertiveness is another interpersonal skill used during communication; it is the process of asserting your own rights and not hurting anyone in the process (DeVito, 2007 pp. 110). Because the scenario involved the discussion of money and chores, it was important that I was assertive when necessary to ensure that my housemate knew when I was unhappy with something, much like when I listened to him and managed my emotions when he was unhappy.
Managing emotions and assertiveness can go hand in hand because assertiveness can result from effectively managing emotions and getting your message across effectively. Being assertive also helps messages to be received clearly by the other person and helps to be sure they have a clear understanding of how you feel. For example, I applied assertiveness effectively when I stated, ‘I don’t mind helping out, but I would like if you helped out a little more.’ I was compassionate and assertive by asking my housemate to help more, but I was not angry or rude about it.