Interpersonal Communication Skills Improvement Plan
Effective communication is built on the foundation of active listening, which plays a crucial role in understanding others, fostering empathy, and establishing meaningful connections. I aimed to become a more attentive, responsive, and effective communicator by developing active listening techniques. I am helping myself grow and will be able to be a better husband and father. This would help improve my communication with my coworkers and superiors, as I could intently listen to them and possibly pursue a leadership role in the future. Through an exploration of relevant literature, personal goals, and a measurement of progress, this paper will outline the steps taken to enhance my listening skills and contribute to overall improvement in interpersonal communication.
Interpersonal Communication Skills Improvement Goal
My improvement goal was to enhance my listening skills in interpersonal communication. I aimed to develop active listening techniques, such as attentive listening, empathetic listening, and effective response strategies, to become a better communicator and build stronger relationships with others. Improving my listening skills is crucial because I believe effective communication starts with being a good listener. I firmly believe that effective communication is a two-way street, where listening holds equal or greater importance than speaking. By actively working on my listening skills, I enhanced my ability to understand and connect with others on a deeper level. One of the key reasons I wanted to improve my listening skills was to foster stronger relationships. Relationships, both personal and professional, thrive on effective communication. By becoming a better listener, I can demonstrate my genuine interest in others and their perspectives. This act of active listening helps build trust and rapport and promotes a sense of validation and respect. I wanted to create an environment where people around me felt heard, valued, and understood, leading to more meaningful and fulfilling connections.
Source Summary and Initiatives Implemented
Burleson (2013) supports a constructivist perspective on listening, wherein listening is characterized as deciphering and comprehending the significance of others’ communicative actions (p. 28). Bodie (2011) leverages his expertise in message interpretation, which assumes that communicators are tasked with selecting from a pool of possible meanings to make sense of messages to think that listening transcends mere comprehension. Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that this strategy can effectively enhance communication outcomes and satisfaction (Adams & Finke, 2019; McNaughton & Thistle, 2015
I used the I.P.C. Skill Area Resource page during week one of this course to gain helpful tips for improving my active listening skills. I chose the first option under Listening, “How to improve your active listening skills,” from the Center for Creative Leadership, 2019. My biggest takeaways from this source were in numbers 2 and 4. More specifically, I have a hard time concentrating on what is being said; the tip I used the most for that situation is, “Turn toward the other person, make eye contact, and remove things in front of you that may distract you” (Leadership, C.F.C., 2019). When conversing with someone, I started putting my phone away because it distracted me. I also began looking at them directly, making concentrating and actively listening easier. Another takeaway was that I think about what I want to say next rather than listen to the other person. The step I took for advice here was to “Allow myself time to formulate a response after the other person finishes talking” (Leadership, C.F.C., 2019). I started doing this later in the course because I overlooked this step initially. I would allow myself around ten to twenty seconds following the person talking to me and finishing their statement before responding. This allowed me to think about what they just said and understand them better before responding.
Assessing Success and Challenges
Throughout this five-week course of improving my active listening skills, I faced a few challenges, but I also started seeing results quickly. I was challenged because I tend to lose focus very quickly, but with the tips I was given to put away things in front of me and focus directly on the other person, the struggles started to subside. I started remembering more and concentrating on what was being said, and my fiancé complimented me that I was improving my listening skills. She felt that I was paying more attention to her whenever she was talking to me, and I also saw a difference in my work.
In conclusion, improving my listening skills in interpersonal communication is a crucial endeavor that holds great significance for personal and professional growth. By actively working on this aspect of communication, I aim to foster stronger relationships, promote understanding, and create a supportive and empathetic communication style. By continuously striving to become a better listener, I am confident that I will develop the ability to connect deeply with others, navigate diverse contexts, and cultivate meaningful relationships that positively impact my personal and professional life.
Adams, M. C., & Finke, E. (2019). The Effectiveness of Interpersonal Communication and Active-Listening Skills with Individuals with Communication Disorders. Chancellor’s Honors
.[Program Projects [Unpublished doctoral dissertation /https://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_chanhonoproj/2282
Bodie, G. D. (2011). The understudied nature of listening in interpersonal communication: Introduction to a special issue. International Journal of Listening, 25(1-2), 1- 9 https://doi.org/10.1080/10904018.2011.536462
Burleson, R. R. (2013). Comforting messages: Features, functions, and outcomes. Strategic Interpersonal Communication, 147- 173 https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203056851-10
Leadership, C.F.C. (2019) Active Listening. Improve your ability to listen and lead, second edition. Center for Creative Leadership
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Describe your selected interpersonal communication skill improvement goal.
Explain why you selected this goal for yourself. How have you felt challenged in this skill area? How does improving this skill area benefit you?
Explain your improvement plan and the results.
Provide advice you would give to someone trying to make improvements in this skill area.
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