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PROBLEMS/HIGHER EDUCATION & STUDENT AFFAIRS EDHE 600 Lesson Plan

Week 4: Interpersonal/Communication Skills

Presented to: Student Staff Class Designed by: Pokey Bowen Updated by: Adrianna Mayson Date: July 18, 2005 Date: July 17, 2006

University Housing Mission University Housing designs sustainable living and learning communities that promote the academic success and personal development of students.

University of South Carolina

Learning Tool Guide

Description and Purpose

The purpose of this lesson is to assist student staff in reviewing communication/helping skills and further develop awareness of interpersonal skills.

Residence Student Learning Model Application

Character Self-Responsibility

Learning Outcomes (Knowledge)

Staff will understand the dynamics of communication/helping skills. Staff will become further aware of their interpersonal skills and development.

Skills/Competencies Covered

Interpersonal Leadership and Organizational Group Facilitation Personal Success

Application

Staff will improve communication/helping skills as it relates to working in residence life. Staff will become further aware of their interpersonal skills in order to improve communication with diverse residential populations.

Length of Lesson: 1 ½ hours Materials needed

Pens Paper Flip Chart Paper/Marking Board

Outline

Activities

I. Welcome Class. Catch-up, current events

Time Allotment

5 minutes 15 minutes

II. Communication Pyramid (See Attachment):

A. Review Pyramid (provide handouts) Pyramid of communication starts at the bottom and moves towards the top. Cultural understanding is the foundation of good communication. Review the helping skills. Emphasize non-verbal. B. Have students form pairs. Have them sit across from each other practicing S.O.L.E.R for two minutes. Students should not speak, but observe each other, paying attention to non-verbal observation. After two minutes, process exercise. C. Have students pull out a piece of notebook paper and reflect briefly about the experience. D. Process Activity As a Group What did you learn about your partner? What questions would you ask your partner as a result of non-verbal Observation? How important is non-verbal observation? How difficult was it utilizing S.O.L.E.R.? III. Qualities of a Good Helper (See Attachment): 15 minutes A. Review Qualities of a good helper. B. Give the handout of qualities to students. Have them rank the qualities from least to most important when communicating with somebody. After they rank qualities, process with class. Discuss importance Of each quality and how it relates to positive communication. IV. Review Communication/Helping Skills 10 minutes A. Concentrate on areas of the handout that students will use in the following exercise: open end questions, positive asset searches, and reflections of understanding. B. Discuss with students why these communication skills may be helpful while learning about their residents V. Student Staff Role Plays: Confrontation (Group Exercise) A. Staff Conflict Vignettes B. Group gets back together. Facilitator leads discussion. C. Key concepts to staff confrontation and resolution. 20 minutes

VI. Review Behavioral Intervention Plan 5 minutes A. Refresh protocol. B. Review how important communication skills are when dealing with this type of situation. C. Review question to ask "What do you struggle with most?" Why is This an important question? Point out that it has been added to The first-year and second year SSI. VII. RSLM Presentation VIII. Facilitator wrap up Facilitator reviews lessons, takes any questions. 15 minutes 5 minutes

Notes:

Communications Pyramid

as adapted from The Microskills Hierarchy (Ivey & Ivey, Intentional Interviewing and Counseling, 2003)

Determining Personal Style Reflection of Meaning The Five-Stage Interview Structure Reflection of Feeling Encouraging, Paraphrasing, & Summarizing Observation Skills Open & Closed Questions Attending Behavior Ethics and Multicultural Competence

The key to the communication pyramid is that you should begin at the bottom and move towards the top. Begin by attempting to understand the resident's culture, and move towards the top, utilizing the communication skills learned in training.

Communication/Helping Skills

Culture: One of the most critical issues in communicating is that the same use of language and skills may have different effects on people from varying cultural backgrounds. Culture can include, but is not limited to, religion, class, ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation, geographic location, and lifestyle differences. Attending Behavior: This type of behavior encourages students to talk. The basics of attending behavior are: 3 V's and a B: · Visual/Eye Contact: If you are going to talk to your students, look at them. · Vocal Qualities: Your vocal tone and speech rate indicate clearly how you feel about another person. · Verbal Tracking: Students typically have a concern. Don't let the student change the subject, stick with the student's story. · Body Language (Attentive and authentic body posture: Students know you are interested if you face them squarely and lean slightly forward. Some research shows that more than 85% of communication is Non-Verbal. Utilize S.O.L.E.R. S-Face the student squarely which shows involvement O-Adopt and open posture. Crossing arms or legs may not communicate openness or availability. L-Lean towards the other person. Moving forward or backward can communicate lessened involvement. E-Maintain eye contact. This is normal behavior or two individuals who are involved in conversations. Don't Stare! R-Try to be relaxed. This means avoiding nervous habits such as fidgeting or tapping a pencil. Don't distract the student. Open Questions: Questions that elicit longer answers and are used to gather more information. IE: Could you please tell me about your summer, what you did, where you went, and anything else you would like to add? Utilize these types of questions for longer more informative answers. Closed Questions: Questions that elicit short answers. IE: How was your summer? Utilize these types of questions for shorter more direct answers. Paraphrasing: feeds back to the resident the essence of what has just been said. IE: So, I hear that you are very upset at your roommate. Summarizations: similar to paraphrase, but are generally used at the end of a conversation and clarifies what the resident has said over a longer time span. Encouragers: Helps to promote the resident to continue to talk. They include head nods, openhanded gestures, and phrases such as, "I see" and "Uh-huh"

Positive Asset Search (PAS): The staff member simply uses the basic listening skills to draw out of the resident strengths and resources and then reflects them back to the student. Many times, students focus on the negative, this skill helps to point out the positive. Five Stage Interview: · Initiate conversation utilizing rapport and a friendly approach. · Gathering information. Utilize encouragers, paraphrases, and open/closed questions to gather the necessary information. · Mutual Goal Setting. Work with the resident to set goals for the conversation and the future. What does the student need and want to get out of this communication. · Exploring Options. Staff members assists by providing resources and connecting the students with Campus Partners, etc. · Follow-up. Staff members should follow up with residents to check-in or their progress. Reflection of feeling and meaning: Sometimes resident's thoughts, behaviors, and words are not clearly stated. Staff members can use this skill to help clarify these sometimes, hidden, emotions, and make them clear. Also, not everything means the same things to different people. Clarify what the person means. Personal Communication Style: This communication model offers direction and skills that can assist staff members with communicating with colleagues, supervisors, and residents. However, you must understand yourself, work towards self-awareness, and ultimately incorporate these skills into your personal style so that your communication with your residents feels natural.

Qualities of a Good Helper

You cannot force someone to seek help, change their habits, or adjust their attitudes. You will make important progress in honestly sharing your concerns, providing support, and knowing where to go for more information. Below, you will find a list of characteristics/skills that will help you be a good helper to your residents.

· · · · ·

· · · ·

Empathy: Communicating that you have listened to the other person and understand how that person feels about the problem being discussed and that you are truly attempting to understand the other person's world from his or her frame of reference, rather than your own. Unconditional Positive Regard: Communicating to the other person a deep and genuine caring message that I do NOT judge you and "I accept you as you are." Genuineness: Your offer to help cannot be contrived or phony. It can't be because you are the staff member and it's your job. Your communication must be congruent with your feelings about the problem. Respect: Communicating that you have faith in the other person's ability to solve the problems, and that you are there for the other person. Meet the person where they are at: You must understand that residents sometimes have struggles and that they have made choices that have caused them some problems. In order to help someone, you must meet them where they are in the struggle, and attempt to understand why they are doing what they are doing. Objectivity: Involving the use of facts without distortion by personal feelings and judgment. Confidentiality: Communicating verbally and through your actions that information shared with you will be respected and not gossiped about. You will only inform the necessary University personnel and treat the information professionally. Role Model: Be a good role model in regards to sensible behavior and communication. Role model availability and openness. Be Caring, but be firm: Caring about a resident does not mean being manipulated by them. Your residents may be your friends and they must be responsible for their actions. Avoid making promises that you can't keep.

Confrontation (Group Exercise) (Facilitator Guide) 25 minutes

Staff Conflict Vignettes o Facilitator will hand out Intra-staff Conflict Scenario #1 o The scenario will be read out loud to class o Class will process scenario together and will review helping communications skills found in Road Map. o Questions for processing for facilitator: How is confronting a staff member different from confronting a resident? How will the helping skills you practiced during RA training serve you as you confront a fellow staff member? How would you confront the situation in this scenario? o Volunteers will come forward and act out the scenario o Class will process confrontation techniques together using processing questions on handout o Facilitator will hand out Intra-staff Conflict Scenario #2 o Class will be broken into groups of 3: Staff Member being confronted, Staff Member doing the confronting, and observer o Staff will role play scenario for 5 minutes, observer will give feedback, roles will switch and staff will role play the same scenario over again. Group gets back together. Facilitator leads discussion o Discuss issues such as staff dynamics before discovery, during conflict period, and after confrontation. o Brainstorm other possible staff conflicts that might come up Timeliness, lack of initiative, not fulfilling responsibilities, other policy violations, staff members start dating, disagreements during a discussion in a staff meeting o How can successfully managing conflict strengthen the team? Wrap up.

Intra-staff Conflict Scenario #1 (Facilitator's Guide)

Jason is a first year staff member and is 20 years old. Throughout the year Jason becomes known as the "tough" RA in that he is consistent in documenting incidents involving violations of the alcohol use policy. Jason is very consistent in this and is proud of his reputation and works hard to uphold it. In January, a new staff member comes on staff because of a vacancy. The new staff member, Angela, is a senior and 22 years old. Each staff member is asked to help train the new staff member and Jason happens to have the responsibility of showing Angela how to do rounds as he is the RA on duty. He asks Angela to meet him at his room at 9:45 prior to the first set of rounds in their building. Angela arrives at 9:45 and knocks on the door. Jason yells, "Come in!" and as Angela walks in the door, Jason is putting away a bottle. The bottle appears to be a beer bottle. Angela thinks nothing of it, so they go on rounds. While on rounds, the two of them encounter a situation where the alcohol policy is being violated. Jason begins to confront the situation and, during the confrontation, Angela overhears one of the residents saying, "Yeah, all these RAs are the same. They bust you for doing the same thing that they do behind closed doors. They all think we're so stupid." They complete the confrontation and Jason invites Angela back to his room so she can ask questions and they can hang out. While in the room, Jason opens his fridge, pulls out a beer and offers Angela a beverage. "No, thank you," Angela says. She begins to ask Jason about how he could write up those students just a minute ago and then come into his room and pull out a beer. Jason explains to her that as an RA he has "special" rights and that as long as he was quiet about it, nobody would know. Processing Questions: Before the scenario is acted out: o How is confronting a staff member different from confronting a resident? o How will the helping skills you practiced during RA training serve you as you confront a fellow staff member? o How would you confront the situation in this scenario? After scenario is acted out: o What are the possible negative impacts of this situation on the staff? o What are the possible negative impacts on the community with which Jason works? o How should Angela proceed with this conversation? o Should Angela inform her supervisor immediately or give Jason the opportunity to talk to his supervisor? What are pros and cons of each approach? o Should Angela approach the situation immediately if Jason was 21? o If no one knew before now of the situation, is it possible that Angela should just let it go because Jason was enforcing the rules for residents? o What is the policy regarding alcohol use and staff members? o If you were in Angela's shoes, what would be the first thing that affected you? How do you think that you might feel about your fellow RA? Adapted from: Romero-Aldaz, P. (2000). Practical Application Training Techniques

Intra-staff Conflict Scenario #2 (Facilitator's Guide)

Scenario: Pat and Chris are new first-year RAs on a freshman hall. Pat and Chris have spent their time getting to know all the residents on the floor. They have done a good job and they both know every resident's name, hometown, and at least one interest or talent. One day, Pat is walking up on the hall and overhears what sounds like a group of people talking about one of the residents on the hall. Pat hears one comment from the room that refers to a fellow staff member as a "fatty." After stopping in the hall right outside the room to avoid being seen, Pat hears another voice chime in that is clearly Chris's voice. This time, Chris proceeds to make a remark about this other RA's weight that gets a huge laugh from the students in the room. While Pat is still in the hall, shocked at what just came out of the room, Chris leaves the room and notices Pat standing there. It is apparent that Pat has been there and heard enough of the conversation. Chris turns and says, "Don't act so shocked... it's obvious that Kelly's a beached whale." Processing Questions:

o o o o o o o o

What are the possible negative impacts of this situation on the staff? What are the possible negative impacts on the community with which Pat and Chris work? How should Pat proceed with this conversation? How should Pat address this situation with his or her supervisor? As you read this scenario, did you picture male or female RAs? Is this kind of scenario likely to happen on any type of floor (all male, all female, mixed gender)? How does this behavior affect Chris's ability to be a role model to the residents? How If you were in Pat's shoes, what would be the first thing that affected you? How do you think that you might feel about your fellow RA?

Intra-staff Conflict Scenario #1 Handout

Scenario: Jason is a first year staff member and is 20 years old. Throughout the year Jason becomes known as the "tough" RA in that he is consistent in documenting incidents involving violations of the alcohol use policy. Jason is very consistent in this and is proud of his reputation and works hard to uphold it. In January, a new staff member comes on staff because of a vacancy. The new staff member, Angela, is a senior and 22 years old. Each staff member is asked to help train the new staff member and Jason happens to have the responsibility of showing Angela how to do rounds as he is the RA on duty. He asks Angela to meet him at his room at 9:45 prior to the first set of rounds in their building. Angela arrives at 9:45 and knocks on the door. Jason yells, "Come in!" and as Angela walks in the door, Jason is putting away a bottle. The bottle appears to be a beer bottle. Angela thinks nothing of it, so they go on rounds. While on rounds, the two of them encounter a situation where the alcohol policy is being violated. Jason begins to confront the situation and, during the confrontation, Angela overhears one of the residents saying, "Yeah, all these RAs are the same. They bust you for doing the same thing that they do behind closed doors. They all think we're so stupid." They complete the confrontation and Jason invites Angela back to his room so she can ask questions and they can hang out. While in the room, Jason opens his fridge, pulls out a beer and offers Angela a beverage. "No, thank you," Angela says. She begins to ask Jason about how he could write up those students just a minute ago and then come into his room and pull out a beer. Jason explains to her that as an RA he has "special" rights and that as long as he was quiet about it, nobody would know. Adapted from: Romero-Aldaz, P. (2000). Practical Application Training Techniques

Intra-staff Conflict Scenario #2 Handout

Scenario: Pat and Chris are new first-year RAs on a freshman hall. Pat and Chris have spent their time getting to know all the residents on the floor. They have done a good job and they both know every resident's name, hometown, and at least one interest or talent. One day, Pat is walking up on the hall and overhears what sounds like a group of people talking about one of the residents on the hall. Pat hears one comment from the room that refers to a fellow staff member as a "fatty." After stopping in the hall right outside the room to avoid being seen, Pat hears another voice chime in that is clearly Chris's voice. This time, Chris proceeds to make a remark about this other RA's weight that gets a huge laugh from the students in the room. While Pat is still in the hall, shocked at what just came out of the room, Chris leaves the room and notices Pat standing there. It is apparent that Pat has been there and heard enough of the conversation. Chris turns and says, "Don't act so shocked... it's obvious that Kelly's a beached whale."

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