Case Study

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Jan and Ken Case Study

1. Using the chapters on language and emotions to help frame your answer, suggest two ways that Ken could open this conversation more productively. For instance, clearly expressing his emotions and using “I” language.

Ken could have approached Jen in a different, less confrontational tone. Perhaps if he had asked her do you have a minute? Jan would have felt as though her time was valuable. The biggest issue that Ken had is that he opened using “you” language. You language assigns blame and seem judgmental. Rather than expressing his feelings clearly, Ken accused Jan without giving her an opportunity to explain her side of the story. A better approach would have been the use of “I” language, for example: “I would like to talk to you about an issue I am having with Shannon. She is upset with me and I was wondering if you told Shannon about Katie and me?” This would be less accusative and gives Jan the opportunity to express herself without feeling that she needs to be defensive.

2. How do you perceive Jan’s effort to convince Ken to forgive her? Based on what you have learned in this chapter, suggest two ways she might more effectively seek Ken’s forgiveness.

Jan was very defensive in her response and the focus was on saving face rather than rectifying the issue at hand. Jan would have been more successful if she had acknowledged Ken’s viewpoint. Jan would have been more effective in seeking Ken’s forgiveness if she had made some loyalty responses. In this sense she would have assured Ken her desire to maintain the well-being of the friendship. Another issue with Jan’s responses is that she did not seem sincere in her apology. Jan’s response was “I am sorry, okay?” This response did not acknowledge how her slip up made Ken feel and or expressed true remorse.

3. The conversation so far seems to be framed in a win-lose orientation to conflict. Each person wants to be right, to win at the expense...
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