"Changing Neural Pathways Every Class Period"
"Anyone can talk, but few do so strategically"
how to survive
1. Start with a simple statement of the actual problem you are trying to solve. Then you will want to include other relevant facts and“ grounded” assumptions. For example, the first problem we solved in the Intro to Communication Processes class could be presented as follows:
Problem Statement: Design a sign for a bar that tells patrons that children are not allowed in the bar.
· Numerous patrons have complained about the presence of children in the bar.
· The manager told you to "write up" a sign.
· Most of the children are left in the bar while the parents are outside playing volleyball.
· Most patrons are high school educated.
· The manager is not a communication expert.
2. Discuss the actual solution you would implement on a strategic and tactical level.
3. Describe in detail the reasoning behind your solution. In particular you would want to include the following elements:
· A discussion of a “rule of thumb” or communication principle you used.
· What suggestions you rejected and why.
· What "fine tuning" you did and why.
· How the various topics (language, nonverbal, perception, etc.) we have discussed in class influenced your final decision.
4. Remember that the project will be presented orally and in writing. One of your critical decisions is determining what should be included in the oral form versus the written form.
5. Dress appropriately because you will appear and communicate more professionally.
Listed below is some advice from former communications students who have successfully trained their neural pathways.
"Taking a Phil class will definitely raise your stress levels. However, once the class is over, you will realize that it was all worth it." -Jerome Allen
"Do not concern yourself with what you believe Phil is "looking for" as the "right answer," rather construct a unique solution to the problem and develop a strong line of rationale and you will succeed beyond measure" -Marcus Reitz
"GO TO CLASS!!! No matter how many notes you print off the website, you will never get all the information! Also...read, read, read! If you don't read, the multiple choice questions in the exams are going to kick your butt!" -Angela Stangel
Communication Students... should be striving for excellence by: 1) continuously improving personal communication skills such as listening, public speaking, writing and managing conflict, 2) developing effective group communication skills by knowing how to effectively and efficiently solve problems, 3) becoming critical thinkers by understanding how to analytically and strategically address communication problems and 4) developing communication expertise by learning fundamental communication principles, practices and theories. Concentrating on these four critical areas puts every student in the best possible position to become a thoughtful, strategic, and professional communicator. Such individuals glisten like rare gems – coveted by friends, colleagues and organizations.
7 Questions to guide your thinking...
Can you prove it?
What are your assumptions?
What is effectiveness?
What is the pattern?
What can you do about it?
Is it ethical?
"Computers are useless. They can only give you answers."
- Pablo Picasso