Reading Question #1
University of Colorado Boulder
Assertiveness is a skill “tool” because it can be fully controlled and their use can be trained. The chapter “Assertiveness training” is a tool in itself, because of the obvious fact that it trains you how to be assertive. In ‘Messages’ the communication challenge is finding the right “tool” for the right “job” and using that “skill” in a useful way. The first stop to assertiveness training is exactly that. They teach the reader how to distinguish between passive, aggressive, and assertive styles of communication, which are the “tools” the reader needs to learn about for the right “job”. An example of a tool used in ‘Messages’ is expression. In the Assertiveness chapter, the authors state that there are 3 parts to completing an assertive statement, expressing your perspective of the situation, expressing your feelings about the situation, and expressing your needs regarding the situation. Another tool that is used with to be assertive is assertive listening. There are again, 3 steps to assertive listening, 1, preparing yourself for the other person to speak, 2, listening with your full attention to the other person, and 3, acknowledging that you have heard the other person. The authors in ‘Messages’ communicate skills as “tools” effectively with assertiveness training in that it gives you step-by-step directions to listening assertively, each step, representing a different “tool”. The Single Contingency Perspective is the success of communication depending on the effectiveness of sending and receiving messages. Assertiveness is one approach to sending and receiving messages. The authors of ‘Messages’ give the reader a successful method to send and receive messages in an assertive manor. It is perhaps one of the more risky ways to communicate with someone, but when used correctly, can be very effective. It gives a unique view on human-to-human communication, and can be more difficult to learn than other forms of communication. The Single Contingency Perspective is a very small window of communication, a very small part of the whole picture. With that, the author’s discussion of assertive communication is just a small part of communication as a whole. In the intro to “Assertiveness Training” The authors say, “Learning to be assertive doesn’t mean that you must always behave assertively…Learning to be assertive means that you can choose when and where to assert yourself” (M. McKay, M Davis, P Fanning, 2009). Being assertive can either end up very good or very bad, depending on whom you are talking to, and how well you are at. Being assertive allows you to get your message across faster. When you are assertive, you start and stop the conversation. Generally the person on the other end of the conversation isn’t allowed a chance to fight you, if you are successful at saying what you are trying to say. It’s a risky approach because if your not successful at sending your message assertively, you could end up in a more difficult conversation than you were planning for. Question 2:
There is no worse feeling than having an important conversation with someone, only to find out they haven’t been listening to a word your saying. For example, I recently witnessed a close friend breakup with his girlfriend; the cause was simply bad communication skills. Sometimes, in a solid relationship, it’s the little things that can cause more trouble than one would expect. Their breakup, as dumb as it sounds, was caused by the very tedious act of the girlfriend having her read receipts on, on imessage. My friend was upset because he would say something of importance to her and she would read the messages and not respond. Causing them to unfortunately break up after a long fight about how poor her communication skills were over text. That’s what our generation has come to,...
References: Cameron D. (2004) Communication, Relationships, and Care Journal article, Communication Culture: Issues for Health and Social Care, 70.
McKay, M., Davis, M., & Fanning, P. (2009) Messages: The Communication Skills Book (3rd ed.) Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, inc.
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