27 Jan Reflection Paper: The Role of Talker Assignment
Please see attached first
900 to 1000 (3 pages) words APA format 4 reference/ citation
Petersen: Chapters 8 – 13
Schultze & Badzinski: Chapters 5 – 6
Attached video Transcripts: Why We Do Not Listen Better
Reflection Papers Assignment Instructions
The goal of reflective writing is to interact with and integrate new information and apply it to what you already know and practice, thereby achieving personal growth. You will write a total of four reflection papers in this course. Each paper has a specific topic. All four papers have the same basic purpose, structure and format. Each paper must maintain a good balance between 1) examination and discussion of relevant course materials on the topic and 2) self-reflection on how these phenomena play out in your own interpersonal communication contexts.
Begin each paper with a specific reference or a quote from the week’s assigned readings. Use this reference to anchor your discussion and reflections. Discuss the assigned topic by comparing, contrasting, and synthesizing a variety of course materials by different authors. You may also include additional sources and Scriptures. Provide a personal response to the topic and course materials. Reflections may include new insights about yourself, your communication style, and your relationships; realizations about existing communication barriers, challenges, and opportunities in your personal and/or professional arena; communication strategies and skills that you discovered and applied; and observed outcomes emerging from changes you have made. Each paper must also include a biblical worldview/faith journey perspective as well as a brief discussion of how your behavioral blend (as described by Carbonell) influences your communication and actions on the given topic.
Each paper should be between 900 and 1000 words long (3 pages of text). The content should be engaging, substantive, and interesting. It should be written in a focused and concise manner and be well organized with a logic progression of ideas and transitions that are clear and maintain flow of thought. Submit as a Word document, formatted according to current APA style, free of grammar, spelling, and other writing errors. A title page is expected, but an abstract is not needed. Repeat the paper title on page 2 according to APA format, but do not use any subheadings. Use APA style for both in-text citations and the reference page, while making sure references correspond and are correct.
Reflection Paper: The Role of Talker Assignment
Schultze and Badzinski provided Bible-based guidance for making sure the content of our communication is truthful, honest, transparent, authentic, self-disclosing, relationship-enhancing, faithful, and encouraging (Chapters 5-6). Petersen offered principles for making sure our talking processes are effective, constructive, and balanced (Chapters 10-13). Examine yourself and the messages you send in the role of talker in light of this material.
Note: Your assignment will be checked for originality via the SafeAssign plagiarism tool.
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Chapter 8 Going Beyond the Tango sO hOw dO we replace the Flat-Brain Tango (everyone talking and no one listening) with a communicating style that un-flattens brains, makes in-formation sharing clearer, builds empathy, trust, and cooperation, and puts the “commune” back in the word communication? For me, the answer is the talker-listener pro-cess — taking turns talking and listening. My un-derstanding of the process developed over years of trial and error. As it became clear to me that the roles of talking and listening were substantially different, I noticed that what we focus on, what we think about, and how we say it depends on which role we are taking. To pinpoint these roles to my classes I first wrote “Talker” and “Listener” on op-posite sides of A-frame cards so we could practice switching roles and taking turns. Gradually, I discovered “do’s” and “don’ts” for each role. I passed out manila card stock and people folded and wrote the goals and rules on them. They found the cards useful in their homes and offices. I began to use them in marriage counseling, giving couples a take-home tool to help them communicate better, when I wasn’t there with them. Several years later, I decided to move from rough scribbled cards to professionally printed ones. I struggled to make the phrases on the card sharp and parallel. I took the mock-up to a workshop. It went over well, except for one phrase that nearly brought the participants off their chairs. As a guide for the Listener I had written: “It’s not my problem.” They heard it as a put down: “It’s your problem, and you can stuff it.” After I finished the workshop I hurried to the nearest phone and called the graphic designer, who said, “Too late. I already turned it over to the printer and it will cost us.” I said, “I’ll have to eat that. Change the loser line to read, ‘I don’t own the problem.’” The corrected card has worked well ever since. Another note about “problem.” It’s not a negative, but merely an indicator of an issue or topic or concern you’d like to talk over or solve. (Can you tell I have a degree in mathematics?) I’ve taught the Talker-Listener Card (TLC) method in workshops, parent/child relationships, couples’ counseling, churches, school and university settings, city governments, small businesses, and large corpo-rations. I have it printed on the back of my business card, so it’s always available. Occasionally, people show me the worn and wrinkled cards they keep in their purses or wallets. Some attach them to their smart phones, keep them on their desks at work or on their mantles at home. Others give theirs away to people they feel need them more than they do. When they run into me, they ask for new ones. This handy little tool, the Talker-Listener Card, has helped many people significantly improve their communication, their relationships, and the cooperation of their work groups. I believe in it so much we made the business-sized cards free to read-ers. If you want a few free business-sized cards or a PDF to print on the back of your own business cards check our website at PetersenPublications.com. Taking Turns Seems Simple Taking turns is essential to the Talker-Listener process. It may seem simple, but it is not. We learned the social-getting-along skill of taking turns in pre-school. However, before we left grade school, many of us abandoned it for the more competitive skills useful in getting ahead of others. I want us to apply our child-learned skill of taking turns directly to communication. If we can focus on one person’s view at a time and establish human connection, we’ll all feel heard, sense that we are val-ued, relax, feel safe, and function better. The A-frame card works by folding it in the middle so that TALKER is on one side and LIS-TENER on the other. Placed between two people or used in a group, the Talker-Listener Card helps track whose turn it is to talk and whose turn to lis-ten. It’s like a game people choose to play togeth-er. It sets guidelines to aid participants with their roles and makes it easier to focus on one person at a time. The game-like quality can take the edge off the personal communication struggle and replace it with some friendly objectivity. TALKER I’m most bothered I own the problem l GOALS To share my thoughts Attacking To share my feelings l Without l Accusing l l Labeling l Judging I’m calm enough to hear I don’t own the problem GOALS l l l To understand To clarify Without l Agreeing l l Advising l Disagreeing Defending Using the TLC is simple: One person talks; the other listens. When both talker and listener finish, the card is reversed. Then the person who listened first talks and the one who talked first, listens. This works like an online keyboard Chat with a customer service tech: While you type a question or comment in your Send box, the screen indicates the tech is Listening. Then when you hit the Send button, the screen indicates the tech is Responding (Talking). You wait for the return message to be typed and sent to your screen. Hitting the Send button changes the direction of the communication, like turning the card. So you are either Responding or Listening, but only one at a time. When you first use keyboard Chat it seems unnatural and mechani-cal, where only one person can type at a time. Similarly, when we first take turns with the TLC, it feels odd, but that’s simply because we aren’t used to communicating that way. Imagine we are fishing together in Oregon. Standing hip deep in a wild cold river, I fight and land a fifteen-pound steelhead. Those big trout swim to the ocean and back to spawning streams, repeating the cycle sev-eral times. As a result of fighting ocean currents and predators, they be-come crafty and strong — one of the hardest fighting game fish to catch. It’s been awhile since I caught my last one. I’m so excited I have to talk to re-live the experience, even if you were there to see it. So I start babbling to unload my emotion container. But an odd thing happens. When I pause for a breath, you grab the conversation and change the subject to a fishing memory of yours. Perhaps my steelhead reminded you of a larger one you caught last year, one you heard about, or “the one that got away.” Even though I’m too excited to listen (flat-brained), you launch into your story anyway. I stuff my story and off we go into one of those episodes leaving both of us feeling unheard and incomplete. Each of us sees our story as the most compelling as we toss pieces of our stories over the other’s shoulders, each waiting for breaks to finish ours, as did Jack and Jill leaving work on Friday. Don’t beat yourself up when you think of how many times you’ve done this. Every time someone else catches a fish, I notice the same nearly uncontrollable memory surge (emotion) well up in me, jolt my brain, and I want to tell one of my stories. On good days I can remember to avoid talking when others need listening ears. On other days I still blow it. One fish story at a time We don’t have to give in to the urge to take over someone else’s air-time. If we communicated well about the fishing incident, that is, I finished my turn to talk (tell my story) before you started yours, it might sound something like this: Me: “Wow! Was that a fighter! Did you see her jump?” You: “I came around the bend in time to see the last jump, how long did it take you to land it…?” Me: “About fifteen minutes. Thought I was going to lose her when she got near that submerged branch.” You: “It’d be tough to lose a fish like that…? You more relieved or excited…?” Me: “Excited. I haven’t caught one in quite awhile. She’s really bright, just in from the ocean.” You: “Bright as a new dime…? You going to keep it or release it…?” Me: “This one’s a hatchery fish, see the clipped fin? It’s a keeper.” You: “You must be pleased…? What’d you hook it on…?”
Me: “Salmon eggs with chartreuse and fluorescent orange yarn — water’s pretty murky.” You: “You use the yarn to make it tougher for them to spit the hook out or for the color…?” Me: “Both, and I use salmon eggs for smell in the colored water.” You: “That makes sense…?” Me: “Yeah, I’m happy my strategy worked.” And finally, your turn begins: “You know, that reminds me of one I caught last year…” Having pretty well finished a turn at my story, my ears and heart are open enough to take in your fish story. Being heard revives my ca-pacity to listen to you, so I can ask, “Where’d you catch yours…?” When we handle one fish story at a time, we can experience a level of satisfaction and connection that may not happen otherwise. Good listeners improve our stories Once at a preaching conference, I heard a nationally recognized black preacher discussing the “amens" and other vocal responses of his con-gregation during his sermons. (I learned from a reader that in most pre-dominantly black churches “call and response” is a critical component of preaching. The response is not just the congregation affirming the message; the response is part of the message. Without the interaction of the congregation, a black pastor would know that there was a commu-nication breakdown somewhere in the preaching.) He said, “It isn’t just up to preachers [talkers] to get the message across. We need help. Preaching takes a lot of work from the congregation too [the listeners]. After services sometimes my people say, ‘We did good this morn-ing!’ Now that’s real preaching when they feel like we did it together.” In genuine communication it does take both talker and listener do-ing their parts. The listener’s job is more than waiting for people to finish their fish stories. A capable listener, like a midwife, helps people give birth to the feelings and thoughts inside them. It often takes time for talkers to become clear about what they are trying to say. Listening supports theprocess and helps them tell their stories. Such midwifing takes skill and patience, but it’s worth it. For talkers, sharing an experience with someone who is interested completes it. If no one listens or cares, the wonder of the incident some-how diminishes. We can help other people round out their experiences by listening instead of interrupting. In return, we become closer to the talkers, as we share in the excitement of the birthing process. Teeth marks in the tongue When other people are talking, I find that my thoughts and feelings have a life of their own. They seem to want to butt into other people’s talking time. They seem so pressing at the time, I want to say, “That re-minds me…” and dive right into the middle of their paragraphs. Recognizing our tendency to interrupt, change the subject, give opinions, make suggestions, or argue, gives us a chance to keep ourselves from leaning into someone else’s sentences. When someone tells you about a death, a job change, or their two-year-old’s accomplishments and you’re struck by something more interesting, bite your tongue and listen. Instead of talking, respond as a listener, “Sounds like your friend’s death caught you by surprise.” Or, “How will this job change affect you?” Or, “Oooh, what a proud father…?” Then bite your tongue again to keep from talking. If you absolutely can’t stand waiting any longer, say: “That reminds me of something, but we’ll get to it later…? Please go on…? What happened then…?” Teeth marks in the tongue — signs of a good listener. End arguing as we know it Arguments occur when two views clash and a flat-brained tango be-gins. If I try to sell you my point of view, while you are trying to get me to buy yours, we’re in trouble. I’ll be waiting for you to pause so I can straighten you out. You’ll be listening for a hole in my view so you can drive a truck through it. And soon we’ll be trying to take each other apart. If we take turns, that is, focus on one point of view at a time, we lit-erally can’t argue. Just as one hand can’t clap alone, so one point of view can’t produce an argument. It’s like dropping one end of a tug-of-war rope. Again, this may sound too simple to be true, but you and I can’t argue if we both are focused on understanding either your point of view or mine — one at a time. “But, how do I get others who really disagree to hear me?” In the years since the last edition of “Why,” the cultural norm in public and private discourse has been changing: Civility and compro-mise are in many circles gone, demonizing and blaming seem in, right and left extremist rigidity and contentiousness is hard to avoid, caus-ing many heart-wrenching splits over political and religious lines. Some families have quit getting together for holidays, too frightened of poten-tial friendship-breaking arguments. Church denominations and politi-cal parties stop talking to each other and searching for ways to cooperate on what they can agree about. In this context a professional counselor friend invited me to speak to her senior community. I asked what they had in mind and she said a version of “How do we talk and get someone to understand us, someone we really disagree with —that is, really, really disagree with — to listen to us?” And I replied, “I get that question a lot these days.” I paused and said, “I notice that no one comes to me and asks, ‘Jim, these are contentious times, how can I listen better and really understand where others with whom I disagree are coming from?’” Yep, most of us want to talk and be heard. My friend winced and ac-knowledged, “Ugh, caught. I expect I’m more interested in getting others to lis-ten and agree with me than I am in trying to understand them. I’m embarrassed.” What about you? Are you more interested in your own views? Do you really want to know how those who you really disagree with think and feel? Are you interested in understanding them or in convincing them of your truth? Well, there’s a clue in that conversation about how to disagree agreeably. It’s one of my earliest learnings in communicating: Listen first and talk second. Our best chance to be heard is to listen until others trust us and feel safe. It takes genuine curiosity and the humility that acknowledges we might have something to learn, by asking, “I’m going to set my view aside, because I’d really like to get a handle on how you see this issue. What can you share about your point of view that might help me understand you better?” My guideline, listen first, talk second does not mean doing one or two proforma listening techniques to set them up for your one, two punch and then nailing them with your truth. It means genuine open-ness, and a deep desire to understand what makes them tick. For the sake of full disclosure: When I run into someone who is convinced they are right and we thoroughly disagree, I often get argu-mentative and blow it, but I’m trying. And that is all I can ask from you. Put your money where your mouth is Occasionally Sally and I hit one of those spots where we thoroughly disagree on a relatively factual matter and see a possible argument tak-ing shape. We both “know” we’re right. When there seems nowhere else to go, one of us says, “Want to put a quarter on it?” We chuckle, relax and come off a near squabble. On a lighter note, we often do it when watching sports on TV. We each figure who we want to put a quarter on. When we find out who was right or won, we actually pay off. Once in a while we go double or nothing. We’re big spenders. Note how the simple bet reminds us that at critical times we can be playful. It acknowledges that people who care about each other can seri-ously disagree. Differing points of view have nothing to do with friend-ship. Over time it has built our playful, disagreeing muscles. This betting game incidentally, does not work on strongly held opinions where we really see the related facts differently. More on that later; I’ll suggest putting our opinions into a drawer and closing it, while we’re attempting to understand another person. Powerful opinions of-ten get in the way of listening. If you want to stop arguing, you can. We can switch from leaning on others argumentatively to moving with them in cooperation, or at least mutual understanding, if we use the talker-listener process. We’ll go to work on it in the next chapter.
How to Listen Better: Technique #7 When you are well into a turn listening, you may have a guess about what your talker is trying to say. You can use it to help that person figure out where they’re coming from without breaking into their turn. Guess ■ After listening awhile, guess what’s going on with the talker. Spell it out briefly. Ask the talker to try it on to see if fits. Guessing is a reality check for both you and the talker. Making a guess says to the talker that you are listening, interested, and think-ing (engaged). Try saying: “I have a hunch about what may be going on with you. Let me lay it out for you and see what you think… Does that fit…?” Or, “From what you’re saying, I’d guess that you might be ready for a job change…? How does that strike you…?” Note that (…?) makes it clear the talkers are the authorities on what’s going on with them and are still talking (not you). To keep us from pushing our ideas on to the talkers, keep in mind that what we’re doing is guessing. Not laying our “truth” on them. Our listen-ing job is to help them find their truth. Then we won’t get invested in our guesses and turn them into talking points (even though it’s more fun to talk and hand our “truths” down from above). An accurate guess matters little. While a good guess may open the door for talkers to see their situations through different eyes, guesses that are only partly right or even all wrong work too. They invite talkers to correct us or fill in what we miss. Talkers may say in response to your guess, “Mmmm, the first part missed a mile, but that last part really hits me. I’ll think that one through.” Or, “No, that’s not it at all, but I’m beginning to see what the problem is. Thanks.” Or, “You may be right. I hadn’t considered changing jobs, but that might solve a lot of the problems I’m facing. I’ll think on it.” Guess is a helpful listening technique because it encourages talkers to review and clarify their thoughts and often to take a step beyond the options they were considering. Now let’s move a little deeper into the Talker-Listener Card.
Chapter 9 The Talker-Listener Card a friend Of mine calls the Talker-Listener Card “a foldable third person,” that is, someone you bring in to moderate a difficult discussion. Intro-ducing a third person into a conversation adds objectivity and puts us on our good behavior — the same thing that happened when I arrived to help the arguing couple that rainy night years ago. At times we all can use a foldable third person to keep us honest and on target. If you and I agree to use the Talker-Listener Card, it links us in a common effort. We play by the rules of a game and take turns, instead of letting a discussion slip into misunderstanding and arguing like a couple of street fighters. Using the TLC forces us to observe the roles we play. Placing the card between us takes some of the heat out of discussing difficult issues. It provides a little objective distance, because we are playing a game with rules and holding a serious discussion at the same time. This two-pronged action makes it harder to get caught up in an argument. When we’re playing a game with a little folded card between us, how can we take ourselves too seriously or our conversation too per-sonally? The card reminds us that we can work and play together even when our opinions differ widely. As a reminder in more settings some-one suggested I put Talker on one side of a necklace pendant (or coffee cup) and Listener on the other. How would that strike you? Using the TLC opens the door to more effective conversations when someone needs to “talk things over.” This worked many times for me in my last pastorate. Members of my congregation, who knew the method, would invite me to breakfast or lunch. After we ordered, they’d pull the TLC out of their pocket or purse, and set it on the table between us. I knew immediately that they had a concern to share or some kind of complaint. I’d think, “Oh boy, I’m going to get it now. Why do I teach this stuff?” In a minute or two when my thud subsided, I remembered the ground rules were there for both of us. I couldn’t use subtle attacking techniques to save my skin, because the TLC was there to keep me hon-est. Using the TLC made it safe for them to discuss something that was churning in their emotion containers. It insured that they would be fairly heard. After I’d calmed down, I was pleased that they had learned to confront me in a constructive way and that we were able to discuss contentious issues. I knew that after I had absorbed a few emotional jolts in the pro-cess of understanding them, I would get my time to talk. They knew the rules applied to them too, so they would take their turn trying to understand me. By using the Talker-Listener Card we had chosen cooperation over trying to win, partnership over courtroom. We had tacitly agreed up front not to argue, but to work toward understanding each other. Taking turns was the symbol for all that and what’s more, it worked. It made it so much easier to collaborate for the good of the church, even when we held divergent views and concerns. The TLC as intervention While sitting in their living room late one afternoon, a couple who knew the TLC system forgot their training and slipped into a typical marital squabble. Their arguments grew fuzzier, their voices louder. As their quarrel escalated into the Flat-Brain Tango, they lost track of their initial concerns and their caring for each other. Their teenage son was rummaging through the refrigerator in the kitchen. He could hear the rising voices. He hesitated, then walked through the living room, grabbed the Talker-Listener Card from its place on the mantel, set it on the couch between his parents, and circled back into the kitchen to finish making his sandwich. He never said a word. The parents were exposed as if a mirror had been turned on them. They shuddered and smiled at each other in embarrassment and said, “Guess our brains went flat. Okay, let’s take turns. Who talks first? Who can listen first?” Focusing on one point of view at a time, the couple soon resolved their dispute. When they told me this story later, they knew, old habits had re-surfaced and bumped them back into a familiar pattern before they real-ized it. With their son’s simple act, the foldable third person intervened, allowing them to see what they were doing. Self-recognition makes bet-ter choices possible. We all forget Sometimes I forget what I teach. One evening driving home after at-tending a play, my wife asked whether I enjoyed it and what I thought about it. It always makes me feel good when she’s interested in what I think and feel. So eagerly, I shared my reactions to the drama. Then I settled into what I thought was a companionable silence. A ways down the freeway she said, “This is when you turn the card and ask me how I liked the play. Remember taking turns?” Fortunately for me, she was smiling and knows the Talker-Listener Card, sometimes bet-ter than I do. I’d become so caught up in my own talking that I forgot to take a turn listening. I’m still learning too. As we move along we’ll focus more on listening than on talking, since most of us have more difficulty with listening. But I will also discuss how to take your turn talking in ways that have the best chance of being heard. Getting ready to use the TLC Begin by observing other peoples’ conversations when you are not involved. Identify the roles, who’s talking and who’s listening, who’s sending and who’s receiving. You can tell by whose issues are being discussed.
The issue, concern, or story belongs to the talker. Once you can recognize when other people switch their roles, move to your own conversations and observe the role changes between you and another person. See whether you are sending while the other per-son receives, whether the other is sending while you receive, or are you both sending with no one receiving? The goal here is to develop skill as an observer while you are either talking or listening. It takes practice. Observing pays dividends The act of observation puts distance between you and the heat of a con-versation, creating some objectivity. This will help to keep your brain from going flat, so you can think, talk, and listen more effectively. If you listen while the other person talks, you not only get a clearer pic-ture of what the other is saying, but you gain time in the back of your mind to figure out what you think — before it’s your turn to talk. You do this not to win an argument, but to respond to what’s really there in your talker. When you observe that someone can’t stop talking, an option is to choose to stop talking yourself and listen instead. Then when you observe the other person has finished talking and seems ready to listen, you can shift to talking and have a better chance of being heard. We have little chance of changing our behavior unless we can calm-ly observe it. Improving communication skill depends on being able to accurately identify what we are doing, so we can choose other options, if they are needed. Let’s observe a phone conversation between forty-year-old, harried Mary, and her widowed mother, who lives across town: Mary (talker role): “Oh Mom, my feet hurt. I spent all day shopping for a new sofa.” Mary’s mother (also talker role): “Well, I don’t get to shop at the big stores anymore. Since your father died, I’m stuck in this apartment.” Mary (talker): “But, you could get a driver’s license. All your friends drive. They could take you shopping. I’d like to get a sofa before our anniver-sary party. It would make the living room more inviting. The old one looks pretty tacky.” MM (talker): “I guess I feel run down too. Sometimes your brother takes me shopping, but I hate to trouble him. I know how busy he is. And you never seem to have time to take me anymore.” A pretty standard low-level flat-brain tango: Each person so focused on their own concerns, that neither pays attention to what the other is saying. They spring-board off each other’s comments, right back into their own agendas, each delivering low-level thuds to the other. The result? Both feel unheard and hurt because their concerns don’t seem to matter to the other. Had the TLC been in sync with this conversation, it would have moved back and forth quick enough to make a good fan. Let’s try the conversation again using the Talker-Listener method. Observe the listening response to each talker statement and note the thud reduction:: Mary (talker): “Oh Mother, my feet hurt. I spent all day shopping for a new sofa.” MM (listener): “You must be really tired…? What kind of sofa are you looking for…?” Mary (talker): “Something in green that would fit our living room. I want it before our anniversary party. The old one looks pretty tacky.” MM (listener): “I’ll bet you’d be glad to get it before your party…? The party seems really important to you…?” (shifts role to talker) “I can’t get downtown to shop in the big stores anymore since your father died.” Mary (listener): “Sounds like you feel pretty limited and lost without Dad…? That must be really hard for you…?” MM (talker): “It really is. I didn’t realize how much I depended on him. (Pause) Your brother takes me shopping sometimes, but I ha