MGMT 100 AMU Week 1 lesson Developing Interpersonal Skills Human Relations American Military University
- Week One
- Welcome to Week 1! This week starts off fun, you will be conducting and interview of someone that you respect and/or admire. It should be someone that you are possibly acquainted and/or working with, but may not work for. Using friends and significant others is not recommended.
We’ll be looking at Chapters 1 and 2 book for an overview of Human Relations. Chapter 1 will discuss the nature of interpersonal skills from a historical perspective and then we move to Chapter 2, a discussion of developing interpersonal skills. Let’s get to it!
By the end of this lesson, you will be able to:
- Identify effective interpersonal skills and specific features of cognition, personality and intelligence, necessary for understanding human behavior in a work setting.
- Examine motivational climate in work situations and apply appropriate motivation strategies.
- Apply tactics for improving relations with coworkers and customers
In this lesson, we will discuss:
- Understanding how we relate to others
- Developing interpersonal skills
- Differences between cueing and learning
The following activities and assessments need to be completed this week:Introduction Forum, Week 1 Forum
Please respond to the introduction forum so we can get to know you. Also, post and respond to the Week 1 forum.
Have you ever really wanted to get to know someone? I mean really know them? What is the best approach to take? Are there better questions to ask or some that you might not want to? In this week’s lesson, we are going to discuss how to become a better communicator with your boss, peers, and even family members. We will also find out what communication is (a very simple definition really) and how it relates to others. A great thing about interpersonal communications is that you can learn to improve on them– it is a teachable skill!
First, let’s start with a definition of communication that we can all agree on as a group.
Communication is as simple as the giving and receiving through listening, and speaking, ideas, feeling and information
(Lamberton and Minor, 2010).
Now that we know the definition of communication let’s take a look at five steps in the communication process.
Six Steps of the Communication Process
Let’s explore the six steps of the communication process with a short definition and example of each. Pay close attention the internal processes of John and think about how you react at times.
John is greatly relieved that this has been taken care of, successful communication has occurred, and he can now complete registration for his next semester of school! What John has gone through (the communication process) happens billions of times of day all over the world. Why is it so hard then for some people to communicate?
Barriers to Effective Communication
Conversations over the phone, using email and even face-to-face conversations can become scrambled and garbled, how can you avoid it? Let’s take a look one barrier that can affect our ability to get the message across to others.
Before the question or message has even been delivered, we tend to form thoughts. This event is your “cognition.” Now, on top of this, you have the other person’s thoughts (their cognition), when you asked the question, and their response (or maybe behavior) to your question.
Cognition, simply put, is the thoughts or ideas that you form while preparing to communicate or receive communication. And, here is an interesting fact, we sometimes base our communication style based on what we “PERCEIVE” the other person’s cognition of the message will be.
Imagine you have two sets of messages to tell your spouse.
- SPEEDING TICKET
I got a Promotion at Work!
- Your cognition = It’s great news
- Your interpretation of spouse’s cognition = They’re gonna love it!
- Result = You are happy to pass this message along and do so with a smile!
Was the way you delivered good news from bad is different? Of course, it will, that is how cognition affects our communication style every day in almost every interaction.
How to Communicate Better
We talked earlier about how interpersonal skills can be learned and you can get better at them. A perfect example of this is the job interview, where an interviewer is conducting a job interview for an applicant that is hesitant to provide information because of a lack of self-confidence or possibly shyness. The meeting can start using questions that are more open-ended and require an answer that goes beyond a “yes” or “no.”
Open-ended questions are questions that seek more information from the intended receiver. Click on one of the closed-ended questions to reveal the same question reframed as an open-ended question.
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN UNDER A LOT OF STRESS AT A JOB?
DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE THE QUALIFICATIONS TO PERFORM THIS JOB?
The Three Hierarchical Levels of Interpersonal Skills
In our textbook, Wright and Taylor (1994) discuss that there are three hierarchical levels of interpersonal skills that we can use and develop. They are the primary components, the structure, and the overall approach, also called our communication “style.”
At the lowest level of our communication spectrum are the primary components. These are what we say and do in our everyday verbal and non-verbal communications. At this level, most people can use questions, statements, and examples and select the best ones for the situation needed. They also pay attention to non-verbal cues (something we will discuss in later lessons) and provide feedback based on these cues.
Structured communication is the next hierarchal level of communication that we use, and this deals with the way that we sequence our verbal and non-verbal interactions. People at this level can steer interactions or conversations towards desired objectives. An example of this was given in the section of open-ended questions, where the interviewer is trying to elicit more information from the applicant and is doing so by using a query that gives more details than just a “yes or no”.
The hierarchal level is the highest level of communication approach or “style” of communication. At this level, you chose the best methods of communication to fit the intended outcome or what you want the outcome to be. An example of this could be a boss that decides not to tell employees how to perform a task or job but allows them to determine the best course of action, even if it ends in failure. This lack of clarity allows for the growth of the employee.
Now that you know the communication levels you can strive towards reaching your highest abilities. Let’s take a look at how others can affect how you communicate.