Interpersonal Communication

Topics: Nonverbal communication, Emotion, Facial expression Pages: 6 (2363 words) Published: March 30, 2011
Word Count: 2163 words

This is a reflective essay in regards to a role play. In this essay I will give a factual overview of the role play and explain the scenario. I will identify by verbatim the four interpersonal skills that I demonstrated. These include active listening, positive non-verbal communication, assertiveness and ability to manage emotions. I will define each of these four interpersonal skills and evaluate how well I demonstrated these. I will suggest ways to improve these skills or other strategies that also could have been used. The role play that was chosen was the social situation. This role play was based around myself and a friend whose name is Clayton. We had recently moved in together. We had just received our electricity and phone bill and needed to discuss how we were going to divide the bill equally. The role play starts when I am sitting on the lounge and Clayton arrives home from work. I ask Clayton how his day was. Clayton explained to me about the accident involving his car while he was at McDonalds this morning, also about a client he is dealing with at work. After discussing Clayton’s day, I suggest that we would need to discuss the bills which had recently arrived in the mail and the possible ways of dividing them. We decided that with every bill we would need to discuss how much we both contribute to the usage of the electricity and phone per month, and this would determine how much percentage we would pay. The role play ends when I advise Clayton that I am going to bed. The first interpersonal skill is that of active listening. DeVito (2009) suggests that active listening is when the listener can understand and interpret the meaning of the speaker’s message. The listener needs to take into consideration the verbal and non verbal communication, also other factors which may influence the message (DeVito, 2009). This may include the environment in which the message is being delivered in (DeVito, 2009). The listener can show that they are actively listening by sending non verbal messages in a form of different facial expression which could include nods, winks and smiling (Lewis and Graham, 2003). The way I demonstrated active listening was with asking questions (DeVito, 2009). In the role play while Clayton was explaining what happened to his car he stated, “They just apologised and drove off” my reply was “They apologised and drove off, what about insurance”. DeVito (2009) states “ask questions to provide just enough stimulation and support for the speaker to feel he or she can elaborate on these thoughts and feelings” (p. 95). Another way that I demonstrated active listening was through paraphrasing (Adler, Rosenfeld, & Proctor II, 2007). In the role play when Clayton was talking about the client who keeps bringing in her laptop with a virus, and expecting the insurance company to replace it with a new one, I comment “It seems like you’re caught in the middle of the insurance company and the lady”. According to Adler, Rosenfeld, and Proctor II (2007), “Paraphrasing is feedback that restates, in your own word, the message you thought the speaker sent” (p. 188). The beginning of the role play I felt I demonstrated active listening skills effectively. This was seen with myself using non-verbal communication (Lewis and Graham, 2003). I demonstrated this when I was nodding my head while Clayton was talking. I also demonstrated this when I put my hands to my mouth in disbelief when he told me about his car (Lewis and Graham, 2003). I also used active listening skills effectively when I expressed my understanding of Clayton’s anger in regards to his car. I comment, “I can imagine you were more than grumpy”. This is showing empathy (DeVito, 2009). I feel I could have improved my active listening skills after Clayton stated, “They parked next to me and they pulled out and pretty much ripped the front bar clean off the car”. I put my hands to mouth in disbelief after...

References: Alder, R., Rosenfeld, L., & Proctor II, R. (2007). Interplay the process of interpersonal communication. New York: Oxford University Press.
Burton, G., & Dimbleby, R. (2006). Between ourselves: An Introduction to Interpersonal Communication. New York: Oxford University Press
DeVito, J. (2009). The Interpersonal Communication Book. New York: Pearson Education
Geldard, D., & Geldard, K. (2001). Basic Personal Counselling – A Training Manual For
Counsellors. Sydney: Pearson Education.
Lewis, T., & Graham, G. (2003, August, n.d.) 7 tips for effective listening. Retrieved August 15, 2010, from
Messina, J., & Messina, C., (2007). Tools for Coping with Life’s Stressors – Tools
for Communication – Non Verbal Communication. Retrieved August 10, 2010, from http://
Pease, A., & Pease, B. (2004). Body Language. Sydney: Pease International.
Runion, M. (2005). Power Phrases: The Perfect Words To Say It Right And Get The Results You Want. Cascade: Power Potentials Publishing.
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