Managing Conflicts in Relationships
CM206 Interpersonal Communication
August 30, 2014
Dr. D. Davis
1. Using the chapters on language and emotions to help frame your answer, suggest two ways that Ken could open this conversation more productively, beyond clearly expressing his emotions and using “I” language.
Ken started out the conversation by putting Jan up against a wall, bluntly asking Why Jan told Shannon about what had happened between him and Katie. He could have first aimed for a win-win conversation with Jan by first owning his feelings as Wood stated in chapter 7. “Owning your feelings is so important to effective communication that the guideline bears repeating: Using I language to express feelings reminds us that we—not anyone else—have responsibility for our feelings” (Wood, 2011, p 184). Another way is if Ken had entered the conversation with the mindset of showing grace, giving value to his relationship with Jan, instead he chose not to accept her apology. He could have listened mindfully, using his ears, mind, and his heart (Wood, 2011). He did not listen with his heart because he did not care to understand Jan’s relationship with Shannon; he was only worried about his own feelings.
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.
To try to convince Ken to forgive her she could have told Ken that she understands why he feels betrayed and offers a solution for the conflict. She could take responsibility for her issues and feelings. Another way she could try to convince Ken to forgive her would be if she instead of cross-complaining had showed that she honors her relationship with Ken instead of attending trying to make excuses for her mistakes.
3. What are two nonverbal cues used by Jan. What are two nonverbal cues used by Ken? In what ways did the nonverbal cues used by both Ken and Jan impact the message? What are the verbal messages used by each? What, contradictions occurred between the nonverbal cues and the verbal message and how did the contradictions impact the interaction?
One of the nonverbal cues used by Jan was kinesics, when Jan looks in his eyes; “our eyes communicate some of the most important and complex messages about how we feel about others” (Wood, 2011, p 127).The other nonverbal cue was when she pointed at Ken. Web consultant and body language expert Nicolas Fradet says that pointing is “a way of talking down, usually interpreted as aggressive and angry” (Fradet, 2012, para. 15). A nonverbal cue used by Ken was the pat on Jan’s knee, haptics, which is the “sense of touch” (Wood, 2011, p 128); there was a research done (Schmid, 2010) that says that, the way something feels to a person, can affect the manner that person behaves. Another nonverbal cue used by Ken was proxemics, the act of leaning back on the couch, spreading his arms out, “when we are angry with someone, we tend to move away and to resent it if the person approaches us” (Wood, 2011, p 132).
The proxemics used by Ken impacted the message by making Jan feel as though her thoughts or feelings were being minimized. The haptics used by Ken seemed to be misleading, as though all will end well; Jan’s Kinesics impacted the message by showing great disapproval. The verbal message used by Ken and Jan was that neither one took responsibility for their own action, they just became offensive with each other, and just started throwing back in the others face what the other had done. This caused them to have a win-lose relationship.
4. Reviewing the nonverbal and verbal cues identified in the last question, what are the roles that these play in the conflict? Do these cues lead to a more positive outcome or negative? How can nonverbal and verbal cues be used to lead to a more productive conflict resolution?
When Jan looked into Ken’s eyes, she…