Defining an Effective Interpersonal Communicator

Purpose: You will bring together much of what you have learned in this course and your life experiences to develop an action plan to become a highly competent (effective, appropriate and ethical) interpersonal communicator.

Communication scholars often identify three qualities needed to be a competent communicator:  Effectiveness, Appropriateness and Ethical.

Please write a 4-6 page paper using the sections explained below.  You and I are the only ones that will see the forum.  As explained in class and elsewhere on the course page, we are using the individual forum feature of Moodle to turn in many of the assignments to avoid some of the technical problems that have previously arisen from the normal ‘assignment’ feature.  

You are to start a discussion thread and put your first and last name as the subject.  Please then copy and paste your entire paper into the discussion box.  Do not worry if this causes formatting problems, that will not harm your grade.  As an alternative, you may write your paper directly into the discussion forum either as one complete paper in a single post or a separate post for each section.  Please do not merely post a link or upload your paper here.

Your paper should be 4-6 pages (2500-3500 words on average, but remember that I am more interested in completeness than in length) in length, and include the following sections:

1.      Defining an Effective Interpersonal Communicator (30%):  Consider what you have learned academically (in this course and others), informal study (books you have read, documentaries you have seen, etcetera), and personal observation/experience (with good and bad communicators) as you define what characteristics make someone an effective (able to effectively communicate their intended message to others) interpersonal communicator.  Identify the trait and offer a brief explanation of each of the traits.  For each trait, you should evaluate how well it applies to you currently, and then what you plan to do to improve in that trait.

2.      Defining an Appropriate Interpersonal Communicator (30%):  Again, consider all that you have learned from various sources and personal experience, and identify the characteristics that you feel make someone an appropriate interpersonal communicator.  This section can include the ability to adapt to a given role or circumstance but should significantly focus upon what makes up the character of a good communicator.  The world is often too quick to focus upon the effectiveness and pays too little attention to issues of character.  Once again, you will identify the traits and explain them.  For each trait, you are to evaluate how well it applies to you currently, and what you plan to do to improve in that trait.

3.      Defining an Ethical Interpersonal Communicator (30%):  As in the other sections, you should consider all that you have learned from formal and informal education and personal experience as you develop a ‘personal communicator ethic credo’.  You may reference the National Communication Association and use some of the elements (link available in the Online Resources section of our course page), but I want you to develop your own credo for ethical communication with others.  Identify and explain each of the elements of your Credo on Ethical Interpersonal Communication.  You are then to evaluate how well you fit each of the elements and what you plan to do to improve in that trait.

4.      Closing Thoughts (10%):  As you consider what makes up a competent interpersonal communicator, where you are now and your plan to improve in each element, please share some closing thoughts about your journey toward becoming a more competent communicator.

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