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Instructions

The Communication Problem Analysis is a written assignment that asks you to write about a problem you are having in communication with another person in your life. It can be a large problem or a small one. Read through the instructions on the assignment sheet below. I have also included a Communication Problem Analysis student sample below, which should give you a good idea what I am looking for.

This assignment asks you to analyze one aspect of the communication skills you have learned this semester. Please follow the steps below. See the sample for an idea how long and how detailed your answers should be.

Communication Problem Analysis

Choose one problem that you currently have with communication with one person in your life.

The Problem

1. Who the person is you have chosen?

just the name goes here

2. Briefly describe your relationship with that person

You have two questions to answer here: How do you know them? What is your relationship like?

3. Describe (with examples) the communication problem you are having with that person.

4. Write out a sample dialogue, a typical conversation you have had with that person that illustrates the problem you are having.

it doesn’t have to be an actual word for word conversation. Just give an example of what a typical conversation that illustrates the problem would sound like

name statement

________: ______________________________________________________________

________: ______________________________________________________________

Etc.

5. Choose one communication topic from this class that relates to the problem you are having and list it here.

For example, it could be one of the following topics: (please choose only one).

distorted self concept

self fulfilling prophecy

perception checking

difference between hearing and listening

why humans are poor listeners

types of nonlistening

Self Disclosure

Knapp’s Stages of Relationship Development

Johari Window

Communication climate

Confirming and disconfirming communication

Defensiveness

Defense mechanisms

Conflict styles

6. Relate that topic (the same one listed in #5) to the communication problem you have described in #3.

in this section, you want to show me that you know that topic from class and what it means. You also need to show how it relates to your own experience

7. How could the problem be improved?

What can YOU do to help solve the problem, even if it is not you that is primarily at fault? It can be something you have learned in class, or an idea you have the might work. Don’t tell me what the other person should do, like “Bob needs to stop being a jerk.” This isn’t Bob’s paper. It is true that he is being a jerk, but what can you do to facilitate a better relationship? In an extreme case, the only thing you might be able to do is leave the relationship.

8. Write out a sample dialogue, how the conversation might go in its

improved form.

name statement

________: ______________________________________________________________

________: ______________________________________________________________

Student Sample

The Problem

1. Who the person is you have chosen?

Bob Cooke

2. Briefly describe your relationship with that person

How do you know them? What is your relationship like?

Bob is my brother-in-law. He has been married to my sister for the past 17 years. We have a cold and distant relationship.

3. Describe (with examples) the communication problem you are having with that person.

The problem I am having is that Bob does not seem to want to talk to me. I try to talk to him and he is busy, makes excuses in order to avoid me, walks away or simply ignores me. For example, when I was at his house for dinner last Sunday, I tried to talk to him and he told me he was busy, walked into the garage and started working on his car. He closed the door when I tried to follow him in there.

4. Write out a sample dialogue, a typical conversation you have had with that person that illustrates the problem you are having.

Nancy: Hey Bob, it’s great to see you! How are things going?
Bob: I’m doing fine. I’m actually really busy right now.
Nancy: What are you up to?
Bob: I’m working on my car project. I don’t have time to talk
Nancy: But I haven’t seen you in a while and I just want to catch up
Bob: I have to go.
Nancy: But Bob, I really want to talk to you
Bob: Why don’t you help your sister in the kitchen? I’m going in the garage Nancy: Can I come with you?
Bob: (walks into the garage and slams the door)

5. Choose ONE communication topic from this class that relates to the problem you are having.

Self Disclosure

6. Relate that topic (the same one listed in #5) to the communication problem you have described in #3.

I chose self disclosure because I believe this topic from class relates to the problem I am having. Self Disclosure is the process of revealing personal information about yourself. One of the characteristics of self disclosure is that it is necessary for relationship growth. I feel like my relationship with Bob is cold and distant because he is uncomfortable with self disclosure. We also learned in class that unbalanced self disclosure can make one partner in the relationship uncomfortable. I certainly have felt uncomfortable in the relationship due to Bob’s lack of self disclosure.

7. How could the problem be improved? (what can YOU do to help solve the problem, even if it is not you that is primarily at fault).

I think I may be approaching Bob at a bad time. I should ask him to go out for a beer with me on a day of his choosing so it is a time when he is not busy working on his car. I can also ask my sister if she knows what I might have done to cause Bob to want to avoid me. If the problem is that Bob is uncomfortable with self disclosure, I should certainly respect his feelings. I can also gradually self disclose a little bit about myself. Since self disclosure is reciprocal, Bob may also begin to self disclose a little bit also.

8. Write out a sample dialogue, how the conversation might go in its improved form.


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