Register for the Interpersonal Communication Seminar Series

The Interpersonal Communication Seminar Series covers six important topics for effective interpersonal interactions. This series is offered every spring. The overview of each topic is provided below:

Part I - Planning and Participating in Difficult Discussions
  • Discuss different ways of using questions and statements to guide the interaction,
  • Utilize the DESC technique and other talking points during the interaction,
  • Identify ideas to prepare for the interaction, e.g. the opening and the closing,
  • Prepare and plan for opening, body, and closing of difficult discussions,
  • Prepare and practice possible scenarios.
Part II - You Should Have Heard Them Listen: Verbal and Nonverbal Approaches
  • Identify five important functions of effective listening,
  • Utilize different strategies to fulfill the different functions of effective listening,
  • Practice different types of paraphrasing to demonstrate effective listening,
  • Practice different ways to confirm or avoid disconfirming during the listening process.
Part III - Sticks and Stones Will Break My Bones and Words Will Never Hurt Me: Verbal Messages
  • Identify ways that words can help or hinder us,
  • Discuss different characteristics of words and the impact on the interactions,
  • Identify five effective strategies for using words,
  • Practice changing defensive statements into supportive statements,
  • Identify steps in giving or receiving feedback,
  • Identify steps in giving or receiving apologies,
  • Practice using words effectively in giving or receiving feedback and/or apologies.
Part IV - “It’s Not What You Said; It’s How You Said It:" Nonverbal Communication
  • Identify the importance of nonverbal communication,
  • Discuss the different nonverbal subcodes and their functions,
  • Review tips for effective nonverbal communication,
  • Discuss ways to effectively manage nonverbal communication as a sender or receiver,
  • Discuss nonverbal communication based on cultural differences,
  • Practice using effective nonverbal communication in different settings.
Part V - It Takes Two: Conflict Management
  • Define the concept of conflict,
  • Compare and contrast five models of conflict management,
  • Discuss the factors that impact one's preferred choice of conflict management model,
  • Discuss and practice the six-step problem-solving process,
  • Review tips for guiding and managing conflict discussions.
Part VI - Small Talk That Takes You Big Places: Social Communication
  • Identify six benefits of social communication,
  • Discuss a basic recipe for social communication,
  • Review useful topics for social communication,
  • Practice initiating and maintaining social communication with questions and/or statements,
  • Discuss nonverbal and verbal approachability cues,
  • Discuss factors that impact one's decision to initiate or partake in social communication.