Here's a brief article that fits in very well with our discussions of apologies. This one is directed at making apologies to children--a topic we don't normally discuss in our textbooks--tho' the principles seem general enough for all apologies.

Love from Austin Powers

Here's a brief article on love and romance that might be an interesting way to introduce interpersonal relationships: 10 love lessons derived from the character/behavior of Austin Powers. 


Communication Strategies: Supportiveness

Continuing with my attempt to spell out the various communication strategies, here is a little item on supportiveness--taken from my Essentials of Human Communication which has the most complete discussion of Gibb's system.
     One of the best ways to look at destructive versus productive talk is to look at how the style of your communications can create unproductive defensiveness or a productive sense of supportiveness, a system developed by Jack Gibb in the 60’s. The type of talk that generally proves destructive and sets up defensive reactions in the listener is talk that is evaluative, controlling, strategic, indifferent or neutral, superior, and certain.


Conflict Issues

Here's a clever little article on what couples fight about. I post this because it's very different from the list academics provide. For example, the issues mentioned in most discussions of interpersonal conflict (in textbooks at least) are: goals to be pursued, allocation of resources, decisions to be made, and behaviors considered inappropriate. From another study: intimacy issues, power issues, personal flaws, personal distance, social issues, and distrust.


Communication and Success

Here's an excellent brief article on 15 characteristics that help make for success. Naturally, one is on communication which I quote:

Whether you call it communication, teamwork, or interpersonal skills, this trait is often an essential component in what separates those who are successful from those who are less so. To get what you want, you need to be able to communicate your goals and ideas to others. Good communication skills will make you better able to negotiate, sell your best attributes, and form lasting relationships that can help you build a better career. Of course, communication isn't just about talking. It's also about listening and keeping your ears open to new ideas and potential problems.

     This site also has some interesting links relevant to communication effectiveness, quotations about communication, the art of conversation, and more.


Blogs for Communication Majors

Here's an excellent collection of 50 blogs that will prove valuable for communication majors or for anyone interested in communication. I can see this type of thing being used in a public speaking course--each student would select one blog and report on it in a simple informative speech. It would take off the pressure which often comes with the frequently-used first speech "to introduce yourself". And it would serve to introduce students to the wide-world that is communication.


Communication Strategies: Empathy

In this continuing effort to identify and explain (briefly and practically) the skills/strategies of interpersonal communication, here is a brief discussion of empathy.

</span><span style='color: windowtext; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; display: none; mso-hide: all; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-no-proof: no;'>    Empathy is feeling what another person feels from that person’s point of view without losing your own identity. Empathy enables you to understand emotionally what another person is experiencing. (To sympathize, in contrast, is to feel for the person—to feel sorry or happy for the person, for example.) Women, research shows, are perceived as more empathic and engage in more empathic communication than do men. So following these suggestions may come more easily to women.


Here's a brief article recommended to me by the publishers. It's clever. I think another problem that acronyms may create is that when a person raised on acronyms reads a textbook (or novel or magazine article or newspaper) that doesn't talk in acronyms (and most don't), it's going to seem unreal, to some degree. And perhaps overly long winded. There's a cultural divide here. The alternative, BTW, is to go with the flow and start writing our textbooks with popular acronyms, though, as I write this, I can hear editors cringing! OMG!