Interpersonal Communication: Journal Exercises 1 – 5

Journal Assignment #1

Check Your Interpersonal Communication Competence

Instructions: Other people are often the best judges of your competence as a communicator. They can also offer useful information about how to improve your communication. Find out for yourself by following these steps.

Choose a person with whom you have an important relationship. Identify the person and the relationship.

B, my boyfriend and co-worker.

In cooperation with this person, identify several contexts in which you communicate. For example, you might choose different situations such as handling conflicts, lending support to friends, or expressing feelings.

  • Solving problems at work
  • Chatting via email, cell phone, IM
  • Expressing feelings

For each situation, have your friend rate your competence by answering the following questions:

Do you have a wide repertoire of response styles in this situation, or do you always respond in the same way?

  • My responses are pretty similar: self confidence problems, not willing to back up my beliefs. I let myself get bossed around at work.
  • Variety
  • Bunch of different: happy sad direct ambiguous

Are you able to choose the most effective way of behaving for the situation at hand? Provide an example to illustrate your answer.

I have a tendency to overreact at times, and at others to be spot on. Overreact when it comes to B’s dealings with his ex-girlfriend (who I don’t trust). Spot on: knowing how to handle “M”, his other ex-girlfriend. I helped them work out a disagreement that would have potentially destroyed their long-term relationship, and incidentally involved the aforementioned ex whom I don’t trust.

Are you skillful at performing behaviors? (Note that knowing how you want to behave isn’t the same as being able to behave.) How So?

I need some work in this department. I am aware of when I am reacting or behaving in a manner I don’t like, but it takes quite a bit of work to suppress or change the behavior at some points. I get carried away by emotion at sometimes, mostly when I feel like I have hit the limit of endurance or of putting myself out there without getting my fair share in return.

Do you communicate in a way that leaves others satisfied? What exactly do you do?

I think that’s true. I like to make other people happy and as a result I work hard to make sure people are satisfied and we have reached a “measurable” result in the end, for better or for worse.

After reviewing your partner’s answers, identify the situations in which your communication is most competent.

I am most competent when dealing with others issues. I am great at counseling and at conflict resolution as the mediator. When in the situation myself it is a strain to exhibit these skills on my own behalf.

Choose a situation in which you would like to communicate more competently, and with the help of your partner:

Determine whether your repertoire of behaviors needs to be expanded.

  • Confidence (being sure of what it is that I have to say, and that it is valuable input or direction)
  • Assertiveness (being more proactive and following up on things)
  • Empathy (understand other people’s view points better)
  • Compromise (knowing what to do after understanding)

Identify the ways in which you need to communicate more skillfully.

  • When dealing with my boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend
  • When dealing with conflict in the workplace
  • When dealing with my 2nd level manager, who at the moment intimidates me

Develop ways to monitor your behavior in the key situation to get feedback on your effectiveness.

B and I can chat about the work day and in what ways did I demonstrate advancement or acknowledge room for improvement where I did not take the leap.

What did you learn about yourself in this experience?

That although I talk a good game, I’m lacking the guts in follow through. Its not about knowing or not knowing what the right answer is, it’s about not having the voice to communicate it.

Journal Assignment #2

Who do you think you are?


To help you identify your own self-concept.

Part A:
Identify the elements of your self-concept

  1. What moods or feelings best characterize you (cheerful, considerate, optimistic, etc.)?

    • Spunky
    • Demanding
    • Loving
  2. How would you describe your physical condition and/or your appearance (tall, attractive, weak, muscular, etc.)?
    • Short
    • Cute
    • Fit
  3. How would you describe your social traits (friendly, shy, aloof, talkative, etc.)?
    • Talkative
    • Outgoing
    • Flirty
  4. What talents do you possess or lack (good artist, lousy carpenter, competent swimmer, etc.)?
    • Have creativity
    • Have passion
    • Lack common sense and reserve
  5. How would you describe your intellectual capacity (curious, poor reader, good mathematician, etc.)?
    • Deep thinker
    • Problem solver
    • Self doubting
  6. What beliefs do you hold strongly (vegetarian, Christian, passivist, etc.)?

    • Religious beliefs and morality
    • Honesty
    • Protecting/preserving and nurturing relationships
  7. What social roles are the most important in your life (brother, student, friend, bank teller, club president, etc.)?

    • Daughter
    • Girlfriend
    • Friend
  8. What other terms haven’t you listed so far that describe other important things about you?

    • Gregarious
    • Fun loving
    • I seek peace, yet live in conflict.

Part B: Arrange your self-concept elements in order of importance

  1. Creative
  2. Passionate
  3. Loving
  4. Gregarious
  5. Fun loving
  6. Deep thinker
  7. Religious beliefs and morality
  8. Protecting, preserving and nurturing relationships
  9. Seeks peace (but lives in conflict)
  10. Spunky
  11. Outgoing
  12. Cute
  13. Talkative
  14. Honesty
  15. Problem solver
  16. Daughter
  17. Girlfriend
  18. Friend
  19. Flirty
  20. Fit
  21. Self doubting
  22. Demanding
  23. Short
  24. Lack of common sense and reserve

Journal Assignment #3

Determining Your Temperament

The purpose of this exercise is to provide you with an opportunity to assess your temperament or personality style. This assessment does not make a judgment of good/bad or adjusted/well adjusted. It focuses on determining your gifts and inclinations to act in certain ways. We will discuss how to use this data, but please understand that this exercise is designed to expand you awareness and understanding, not limit you to a specific category. This exercise will require you to do five steps.


Go on-line and type in the website: and take the Keirsey Temperament II Sorter. You will be asked to identify yourself with a name and an email account. For those worried about being spammed, you may choose any name and any email. Please be sure to take the Keirsey Temperament II Sorter assessment— there are several offered at this web site.


Score the test and copy the results.

Report for Angela M. Baxley

Idealists, as a temperament, are passionately concerned with personal growth and development. Idealists strive to discover who they are and how they can become their best possible self — always this quest for self-knowledge and self-improvement drives their imagination. And they want to help others make the journey.

Idealists are naturally drawn to working with people, and whether in education or counseling, in social services or personnel work, in journalism or the ministry, they are gifted at helping others find their way in life, often inspiring them to grow as individuals and to fulfill their potentials.

Idealists are sure that friendly cooperation is the best way for people to achieve their goals. Conflict and confrontation upset them because they seem to put up angry barriers between people. Idealists dream of creating harmonious, even caring personal relations, and they have a unique talent for helping people get along with each other and work together for the good of all. Such interpersonal harmony might be a romantic ideal, but then Idealists are incurable romantics who prefer to focus on what might be, rather than what is. The real, practical world is only a starting place for Idealists; they believe that life is filled with possibilities waiting to be realized, rich with meanings calling out to be understood. This idea of a mystical or spiritual dimension to life, the “not visible” or the “not yet” that can only be known through intuition or by a leap of faith, is far more important to Idealists than the world of material things.

Highly ethical in their actions, Idealists hold themselves to a strict standard of personal integrity. They must be true to themselves and to others, and they can be quite hard on themselves when they are dishonest, or when they are false or insincere. More often, however, Idealists are the very soul of kindness. Particularly in their personal relationships, Idealists are without question filled with love and good will. They believe in giving of themselves to help others; they cherish a few warm, sensitive friendships; they strive for a special rapport with their children; and in marriage they wish to find a “soul mate,” someone with whom they can bond emotionally and spiritually, sharing their deepest feelings and their complex inner worlds.

Idealists are rare, making up between 20 and 25 percent of the population. But their ability to inspire people with their enthusiasm and their idealism has given them influence far beyond their numbers.


Click on a description of your temperament (the two letter category either described as: artisan, guardian, idealist or rational) and copy the results.

IDEALIST NFs, being ABSTRACT in communicating and COOPERATIVE in implementing goals, can become highly skilled in DIPLOMATIC INTEGRATION. Thus their most practiced and developed intelligent operations are usually teaching and counseling (NFJ mentoring), or conferring and tutoring (NFP advocating). And they would if they could be sages in one of these forms of social development. The Idealist temperament have an instinct for interpersonal integration, learn ethics with ever increasing zeal, sometimes become diplomatic leaders, and often speak interpretively and metaphorically of the abstract world of their imagination.

They are

  • proud of themselves in the degree they are empathic in action,
  • respect themselves in the degree they are benevolent,
  • and feel confident of themselves in the degree they are authentic.
  • Idealist types search for their
  • unique identity,
  • hunger for deep and meaningful relationships,
  • wish for a little romance each day,
  • trust their intuitive feelings implicitly,
  • aspire for profundity.
  • This is the “Identity Seeking Personality” —
  • credulous about the future,
  • mystical about the past,
  • and their preferred time and place are the future and the pathway.
  • Educationally they go for the humanities,
  • vocationally for ethics.

Social relationships: In their family interactions they strive for mutuality, provide spiritual intimacy for the mates, opportunity for fantasy for their children, and for themselves continuous self-renewal. Idealists do not abound, being as few as 8% and nor more than 10% of the population.


Go to the web site. and take their Jung typology test. Print their results.

Your Type is ENFJ

Strength of the preferences %

You are:

  • moderately expressed extrovert
  • slightly expressed intuitive personality
  • moderately expressed feeling personality
  • slightly expressed judging personality

ENFJs are the benevolent ‘pedagogues’ of humanity. They have tremendous charisma by which many are drawn into their nurturant tutelage and/or grand schemes. Many ENFJs have tremendous power to manipulate others with their phenomenal interpersonal skills and unique salesmanship. But it’s usually not meant as manipulationENFJs generally believe in their dreams, and see themselves as helpers and enablers, which they usually are.

ENFJs are global learners. They see the big picture. The ENFJs focus is expansive. Some can juggle an amazing number of responsibilities or projects simultaneously. Many ENFJs have tremendous entrepreneurial ability.

ENFJs are, by definition, Js, with whom we associate organization and decisiveness. But they don’t resemble the SJs or even the NTJs in organization of the environment nor occasional recalcitrance. ENFJs are organized in the arena of interpersonal affairs. Their offices may or may not be cluttered, but their conclusions (reached through feelings) about people and motives are drawn much more quickly and are more resilient than those of their NFP counterparts.

ENFJs know and appreciate people. Like most NFs, (and Feelers in general), they are apt to neglect themselves and their own needs for the needs of others. They have thinner psychological boundaries than most, and are at risk for being hurt or even abused by less sensitive people. ENFJs often take on more of the burdens of others than they can bear.

TRADEMARK: “The first shall be last”. This refers to the open-door policy of ENFJs. One ENFJ colleague always welcomes me into his office regardless of his own circumstances. If another person comes to the door, he allows them to interrupt our conversation with their need. While discussing that need, the phone rings and he stops to answer it. Others drop in with a ‘quick question.’ I finally get up, go to my office and use the call waiting feature on the telephone. When he hangs up, I have his undivided attention!

Functional Analysis:

Extraverted Feeling

Extraverted Feeling rules the ENFJ’s psyche. In the sway of this rational function, these folks are predisposed to closure in matters pertaining to people, and especially on behalf of their beloved. As extraverts, their contacts are wide ranging. Face-to-face relationships are intense, personable and warm, though they may be so infrequently achieved that intimate friendships are rare.

Introverted iNtuition

Like their INFJ cousins, ENFJs are blessed through introverted intuition with clarity of perception in the inner, unconscious world. Dominant Feeling prefers to find the silver lining in even the most beggarly perceptions of those in their expanding circle of friends and, of course, in themselves. In less balanced individuals, such mitigation of the unseemly eventually undermines the ENFJ’s integrity and frequently their good name. In healthier individuals, deft use of this awareness of the inner needs and desires of others enables this astute type to win friends, influence people, and avoid compromising entanglements.

The dynamic nature of their intuition moves ENFJs from one project to another with the assurance that the next one will be perfect, or much more nearly so than the last. ENFJs are continually looking for newer and better solutions to benefit their extensive family, staff, or organization.

Extraverted Sensing

Sensing is extraverted. ENFJs can manage details, particularly those necessary to implement the prevailing vision. These data have, however, a magical flexible quality. Something to be bought can be had for a song; the same something is invaluable when it’s time to sell. (We are not certain, but we suspect that such is the influence of the primary function.) This wavering of sensory perception is made possible by the weaker and less mature status with which the tertiary is endowed.

Introverted Thinking

Introverted Thinking is least apparent and most enigmatic in this type. In fact, it often appears only when summoned by Feeling. At times only in jest, but in earnest if need be, Thinking entertains as logical only those conclusions which support Feeling’s values. Other scenarios can be shown invalid or at best significantly inferior. Such “Thinking in the service of Feeling” has the appearance of logic, but somehow it never quite adds up.

Introverted Thinking is frequently the focus of the spiritual quest of ENFJs. David’s lengthiest psalm, 119, pays it homage. “Law,” “precept,” “commandment,” “statute:” these essences of inner thinking are the mysteries of Deity for which this great Feeler’s soul searched.


Write a 1 paragraph reaction to the results to both assessments. Are they consistent with each other? Do you agree/disagree? Explain your opinion and use examples.

I think I agree, except that one of the descriptions looked at me as a “Teacher” type and that I would have to disagree with. I am not the type of person who wants to take on a long-term learning process with someone else. I have no patience with people who “don’t get it”. I’ll show you how to do something, but I’d prefer it if you’d understand as we go along so I don’t have to repeat myself. I do work with my clients at times trying to teach them how to edit their own web pages, and I am able to fake extreme patience and understanding. Underneath I guess I’m cool with it as long as I have time allotted for it – Versus needing to do other things or being focused on what I could be doing instead. In that way I disagree with the “teacher” part.

I do however whole heartedly agree with the second description (the one I’ve included in my journal entry). Especially “…with whom we associate organization and decisiveness. …are organized in the arena of interpersonal affairs. Their offices may or may not be cluttered, but their conclusions (reached through feelings) about people and motives are drawn much more quickly and are more resilient than those of their NFP counterparts.” Dead on there.

Inherent in my answer I guess is the conclusion that I don’t think that the two summations were consistent. I think that could come down to one question (related to looking for other answers, or going down the proven path) that I don’t think I could come up with an answer, much less a consistent one for.

Last, write a 1 paragraph explaining how this information could be helpful in understanding how you are different from others you know? How could it help your interaction with others?

This information is helpful in reassuring myself identity and identifying areas that I may want to work on, or enhance. I immediately went to look at my boyfriend’s (ENTP) to see how we relate. I guess by being a “people or relating” person I can just read his description and figure out how we complement each other and where there are areas we could work on or be aware of in our interactions with each other. It’s nice not to need to do the “marriage test”… I feel confident in that I already know the kinds of things it would say.

Journal Assignment #4

Perception Checking Practice

Instructions: Practice your perception checking ability by developing three-part verifications for the following situations. Consult Chapter #3 for discussion of this process:

Question 1: You made what you thought was an excellent suggestion to an instructor. The instructor looked uninterested but said she would check on the matter right away. Three weeks have passed, and nothing has changed.

I made a suggestion last week but I haven’t seen any changes. I was just wondering if you perhaps disagreed with my thinking, or just haven’t time to implement them? What do you think about what we talked about (last week)?

Question 2: A neighbor and good friend has not responded to your “Good morning” for three days in a row. This person is usually friendly.

(Neighbor!), you haven’t said good morning lately! Did I do something to upset you, or have you just been preoccupied lately? I just want to make sure everything is okay and see if you need anything.

Question 3: You haven’t received the usual weekly phone call from the folks back home in over a month. The last time you spoke, you had an argument about where to spend the holidays.

Hey Mom, we haven’t talked in so long. I was worried you might be avoiding me since our last conversation? … How is everything…?

Question 4: An old friend with whom you have shared the problems of your love life for years has recently changed when around you: The formerly casual hugs and kisses have become longer and stronger, and the occasions where you “accidentally” brush up against each other have become more frequent.

Chris, it seems like things have changed between us, I wasn’t sure if it was just me, or if there’s something new here. Since we’re such good friends I figured “why assume… I can just ask”. So what’s up?!

Journal Assignment #5

Pillow Method Discussion

1. How can a perspective be both right and wrong at the same time, as called for in Position 3 of the Pillow Method?

Your answer: Both can have points that they are right and wrong about. Its usually about not seeing the other persons perspective because you can’t see past your own.

Author Response: A bit of reflection will show that most phenomena aren’t purely right and wrong. The same rainy day can be “good” if you want to avoid watering the lawn and “bad” if you are planning a picnic. The same joke can be funny to some people and leave others nonplussed. In the same way, much of our behavior can have both “good” and “bad” dimensions. For example, you might be justified in getting upset about another’s behavior (a sign that you care), but you might also say things that are unfortunate. Recognizing that the ways we and others behave have both “good” and “bad” dimensions can leave us feeling less self-righteous, and more tolerant of others—even though way may not agree with them or like them.

2. Is the Pillow Method ever inappropriate? Aren’t there some types of behavior that can’t be considered “right” in any respects?

Your answer: Yes, if someone was being abused, you can’t ever say that there is some truth to the perspective “but she deserves it” or “it’s all her fault”.

Author Response: There are certainly some ways of behaving that are indefensible. Child abuse and slavery are probably the purest examples. But the Pillow Method can even be applied to issues like these if we keep several points in mind:

Social and cultural backgrounds may lead some people to hold beliefs that we would consider indefensible. Before judging others from different backgrounds, ask yourself whether you might hold the same beliefs if you came from the same situation.

Behavior that may be unacceptable can still be understandable. For example, it may be unacceptable to say cruel things, but understandable how someone could come to communicate this way.

3. How is it possible to say that every issue “isn’t important,” which is one dimension of the Pillow Method?

Your answer: There’s always a bigger picture, you just have to take a step back and take a second to look for it.

Author Response: The “isn’t important” dimension is just one way to look at an issue. It doesn’t discount that, when viewed from other perspectives, the issue is very important. The main challenge—and benefit—of the Pillow Method is the insight that an issue can be both important (in one sense) and unimportant (when seen from a different perspective). Understanding this can help communicators “lighten up” on issues that would otherwise be hard to view from any point of view other than their own.

4. If you were in a situation like the one in the “Planning a Wedding” scenario, how might you work out a ceremony that would satisfy your needs and those of your future spouse?

Your answer: I’d say that it’s more important to my fiancee’s mother what we do. That it’s more for them than us. And then look for what out of the whole ceremony, reception, honeymoon, etc. is important to each of us and look for ways to compromise to build a wedding that satisfies all.

Author Response: The answer depends on your starting position. If you wanted a small wedding to conserve your money, your increased appreciation of your partner’s desire for a large affair might lead you to think creatively about how to have a larger event than you might otherwise have had—without bankrupting yourselves.


One thought on “Interpersonal Communication: Journal Exercises 1 – 5

  1. Pingback: To Thy Own Self, Do Not Be Truest ⋆ @Ang the @SpunkyGidget

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.