Select a relevant interpersonal communication behavior to work on; attempt to change your behavior or pattern in the communication area you selected, and evaluate your progress and performance.
Before you can begin this communication change project, you will need to select a relevant interpersonal communication behavior to work on. One word of advice: spend some time choosing your goal. Since you will be devoting significant time and energy to this particular project, and since it is such a rare opportunity to spend your time working on self-improvement, it is worth taking some extra time to choose a behavior that is particularly significant to you and worth this much attention. You will also find it easier to stay committed to the project over time if you are invested in the desired outcome.
We all have communication strengths and weaknesses that have a profound impact on our interpersonal relations with others. The way that we communicate is often the result of behavioral habits and patterns that we form over time vs. conscious decisions that we make as a result of a given set of circumstances. The communication behaviors that we develop, whether positive or negative, are indicative of what is often referred to as our communication style. In fact, our communication style is as much a part of us as the way we walk or the rate of our breathing.
Because the way that we communicate has been developed over a lifetime, changing the way we communicate is not easy and requires commitment. Changing the way we communicate is entirely possible however, and the results of such a change can be profound.
The following outline presents a method for making such a communication change. In short:
Over the course of the session you will work through an eight-step process, which will require you to document how you analyzed, identified, changed, and evaluated your communication behaviors. You will be graded based on demonstrating that you followed this process and your final analysis, not on whether you actually achieved the desired change.
The following eight steps will form the structure of the CCC experience and the written assignments. You will receive specific information on how to perform each step and when to submit them as we move through the session.
Part 1: Selecting a communication goal (due Week 1)
Part 2: Describing communication patterns (due Week 2 and 3)
Part 3: Establishing behavioral goals: What will it look like when I am doing it well? (due Week 2 and 3)
Part 4: Goal Analysis (due Week 4)
Part 5: Covert Rehearsal: Practicing in your imagination (due Week 5)
Part 6: Behavioral Rehearsal: Practicing your new behavior (due Week 5)
Part 7: Actual Implementation: Performing your behavior in real-life situations (due Week 6 and 7)
Part 8: Evaluating your progress (due Week 8)
Parts 1 through 7 are evaluated as weekly Course Project assignments. To earn full credit for the first seven parts, it is important that you provide all of the detail requested in the blue box at the end of each part. The blue box for each step is located in the respective Course Project tab each week at the bottom. It is recommended that you organize your material with headings that demonstrate that you have worked through the process.
The grading rubric for the CCC Part 8 Evaluating Your Progress is located in the Doc Sharing area. You will be graded based on your reflection and analysis, not on whether you achieved the desired change. Your analysis in Part 8 will require your thorough application of the course material.
|CCC Project Examples|
A 20-something woman recognizes that she appears to frown and/or has a negative facial expression when communicating interpersonally. Others often misread her as a result.
She set the goal of using a positive facial expression when communicating interpersonally. She was more successful at work and received significantly more attention in her personal life as well. She made many new friends and broke off a long-term, unhealthy relationship with her boyfriend as a result of the increased attention.
A 40-something woman with a successful career recognizes that she does not accept criticism well. Generally, she jumped to the defense and never heard, nor considered, the merit of the feedback.
She set the goal of changing her response to receiving criticism. She found that she was able to learn from constructive feedback and was recognized in her review for the positive change in her behavior.
A 30-something man recognizes that he is taken advantage of by his co-workers because he does not know how to say no. He often does the work of several employees and is sometimes even mocked by the co-workers who know that he has this deficit.
He set the goal to clearly evaluate requests from co-workers and say “yes” to those that are appropriate and to say “no” to those that are unreasonable. The co-workers were surprised at first and continued to challenge him for a time, but ultimately he won their respect and improved the working relationships significantly.