Have you ever felt misunderstood—even though you thought you made yourself clear? Or maybe at school or work you dread the group projects or the team assignments because they often seem so awkward and disjointed. Sometimes when communicating with anyone outside our family and social circles, it’s hard to connect, to keep things flowing, and to even grasp why a person said what they did. Relating with people from different backgrounds can be so complicated that it’s easy to become “too shy to try”!
This class will offer some useful insights and practical tools to increase your confidence when communicating with others. Beginning with a simple questionnaire, you’ll evaluate your own communication styles and preferences in daily relationships, as well as what you value in groups or collaborative settings. Then we’ll compare those with verbal and non-verbal communication patterns and assumptions across 3 socio-economic classes and 5 U.S. ethnic groups.
Class materials will be provided from various resources, including, Multicultural Toolkit for Cross-Cultural Collaboration, Culture Matters activities (from the Peace Corps), A Framework for Understanding the Culture of Poverty, Payne, and some materials from Peace Skills: Manual for Community Mediators.