2.03.2014

Exercises in Interpersonal Power 1 and 2


Here are two exercises that may prove useful in discussing power and interpersonal communication.  These topics are covered in depth in Chapter 12 of The Interpersonal Communication Book, but are covered in different ways in other texts as well. So, they may be useful in just about any interpersonal communication or human communication course. They cover "resisting power" and "types of power."


Resisting Power
In each of the following situations, pressure is being put on you to do something you really don’t want to do—at least not right now. You need to resist this pressure but not damage the relationship. For each situation, identify 2, 3, or 4 possible choices, and then indicate which choice you’d take and why.
1.       Your dating partner is pressuring you to make a commitment about moving in together but you’re just not ready now though you’d like to keep it open as an option in the future.
2.       Your parents, who are retiring, want you and your family to move to Florida with them. You don’t want to, nor does your own family.
3.       Your sister and brother-in-law ask you to have their teenager’s sixteenth birthday party at your house because your house is bigger and has a great swimming pool. You don’t want a lot of teenagers—most of whom you wouldn’t know—running through your house and using your pool.

Types of Power

This exercise is designed to clarify the types of power, as defined by French and Raven ( reference, legitimate, expert, information or persuasion reward, and coercive power) and to illustrate that in many—perhaps most—cases, the types of power are combined. For each of the following statements: (1) indicate the type or types of power the underlined individual is likely to possess (in the mind of the other person/s) and (2) explain why you would attribute this type of power to the person.
1.       You admire a writer and want to become one yourself (to you).
·         Type(s):
·         Why:
2.       Chris wants to join a gang/fraternity/sorority/country club because Chris admires its members (to Chris).
·         Type(s):
·         Why:
3.       A minister addresses the congregation (to the congregants).
·         Type(s):
·         Why:
4.       A patient seeks medical advice from a specialist (to the patient).
·         Type(s):
·         Why:
5.       The technician installed all the necessary software (to the assistant).
·         Type(s):
·         Why:
6.       This teacher gives gold, silver, and bronze stars (to the students).
·         Type(s):
·         Why:
7.       The judge sentenced the thief to six-months probation (to the thief and to the public).
·         Type(s):
·         Why:
8.       Facebook user amasses the maximum number of allowable friends (to advertisers).
·         Type(s):
·         Why:
9.       A world famous surgeon addresses a class of first year medical students (to the students).
·         Type(s):
·         Why:
10.   A politician rallies support (to the supporters).
·         Type(s):
·         Why:

1 comment:

Carolyn Widmer said...

Very interesting article, may be http://awriter.org/rushessaycom/ beneficial for me and who had already visited this page