Saturday, July 28, 2012

Conflict Management

My son and I are constantly conflicting over his chores and video games.  I have a rule that he has to finish his daily chores before he plays, but lately he has been ignoring his responsibilities.  I take away the game for days at a time as punishment.  When I give it back he falls back into the same routine.  I can’t understand why he doesn’t do his chores when he knows he will lose his video game.  It seems to really bother him that he can’t play.  I am not sure what to do now.  Does anyone have any ideas?

I have learned a lot about conflict from this week’s resources.  For example, after reviewing the information at The Center for Nonviolent Communication’s website, I realize that I am trying to exert my power over my child in a demanding way.  I need to find a way that we can work together and reach a compromise.  We seem to have a difference of opinion on what a clean room looks like.  Maybe if we define this together we won’t have as much conflict.  It is quite clear that our conflict has been unproductive as we have the same arguments over and over and our relationship seems to be compromised (O’Hair & Weimann, 2009).  I look forward to your suggestions on how to turn this situation into productive conflict.

Center for Nonviolent Communication. (2005). Foundations of NVC. Retrieved from
O’Hair, D., & Wiemann, M. (2009). Real communication: An introduction. New York:       Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Communication Evaluation

I had my eleven year old son and my husband evaluate me as a communicator.  I would have liked to have one colleague do this, but since it is summer, I was not able to get together with any of them.  Bummer!  I would also be interested in how my students would rate me!

I decided to choose my son because he’s old enough to understand the questions and I thought he would provide a different view on my communication.  He is almost twelve and going into the 6th grade this fall.  We have been experiencing A LOT of pre-teen problems at my house lately.  Consequently, yelling and grounding have been a common occurrence this summer.  I was so surprised when his results were spot on with mine.  My husband’s results were right there, too.  I guess my evaluation of my communication style is right, at least within my family. 

I really enjoyed reading about how self-esteem and self-concept influence the communication process.  I found it interesting that people with low self-esteem often need to show affection in public (O’Hair & Weimann, 2009).  PDA is a problem with some of my students.  I never thought about it being a result of low self-esteem.  I will now make an effort to address this problem more sensitively.  O’Hair and Weimann (2009) also address that people can influence others’ self-fulfilling prophecies either positively or negatively.  This is something educators do on a daily basis and we need to make sure that we are always a positive influence. 


O’Hair, D., & Wiemann, M. (2009). Real communication: An introduction. New York:     Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Communication and Diversity

 I experience many different types of people on a daily basis and I communicate differently depending on the situation.  I must communicate with my students in a way that engages them, but is still professional.  Communication with my colleagues and parents must be professional in a different way.  I communicate differently with my children, my husband, and my family. 

When I am at work, I am engaging in group or organizational communication.  With my family and friends the communication is interpersonal (O’Hair & Weimann, 2009).  I think it is only natural to change your communication style to fit the situation.  Whatever the situation, it is important to always communicate respectfully and be able to recognize potential barriers to communication.   

In order to help me be an effective communicator I can focus on mindful communication where I don't let my schemas take over information processing.  I can also look beyond first impressions, which can often lead to inaccurate conclusions.  Finally, I can recognize my own cultural myopia to prevent stereotyping and prejudice (O'Hair & Weimann, 2009).


O’Hair, D., & Wiemann, M. (2009). Real communication: An introduction. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Blue Bloods

I chose to watch the show Blue Bloods on CBS (Wade & Pressman, 2011).  I had never seen this show before and did not know anything about it.  It is an hour long, but I only watched the first 30 minutes of it with no sound before starting it over with sound.  It was frustrating to me to watch without sound because I did not know the characters or even the setting.  For example, I thought by the title and the opening scene that this was a show about politicians.  It was not until after the opening credits that I realized this was a show about police officers. 

The very first scene involved at man getting out of a Range Rover (which is a very expensive car) in a neighborhood that did not look so nice.  He gets a phone call that makes him look concerned.  Later he is found dead in his Range Rover in another part of the city.  While I was watching without sound, I began guessing that he was a cop.  However, after watching it with sound, I realized that he was not a cop, but rather an elite New Yorker who was heavily involved with fund raising for the Mayor that was just elected.  In addition, I also learned that the phone call was from his wife and he lied to her about where he was.  I was not able to understand any of this while watching with no sound. 

In this show, Tom Selleck plays the New York City Police Commissioner.  His daughter works for the district attorney’s office and his two sons are NYC police officers.  I found it frustrating to watch the show with no sound because I was unable to understand the relationships between the characters.  It really did not make much sense and most of the assumptions I made during the show were proven wrong when I watched the show with sound.  Overall, this seems like an interesting show and I have set my DVR to record more episodes.  

This exercise has been a good example of the roles verbal and non-verbal communication play in the overall communication process.  Without both, the message may or may not be understood in its entirety.  Our text explains that nonverbal communication can be ambiguous and that clues can be gained from the situational context (O’Hair & Weimann, 2009).  Since did not understand the context of the show, I was unable to correctly interpret the non-verbal communication.   This would not have been the case if it was a show that I watched regularly.  I would have better understanding of the relationships between the characters and would have more of a knowledge base to make assumptions about facial expressions and body language.
O’Hair, D., & Wiemann, M. (2009). Real communication: An introduction. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Wade, K. (Writer) & Pressman, M. (Director). (2011, 23 September). Blood Bloods [Television Series]. Kelly, T. (Producer). New York, New York: CBS.