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Communication, Conflict & Commitment

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Surfer Exercise

This exercise will require a little bit of acting skill. With your partner, respond to the following three scenarios using only the word "Dude" or the word "Whoa." Don't say any other words. Let the meaning of the scenario be transmitting by the non-verbal things you do when you say "Dude" or "Whoa."

  • Scenario 1 : You just found out that you won the lottery.
  • Scenario 2 : You just failed an exam.
  • Scenario 3 : You're sitting on a park bench and someone that you find attractive walks by in front of you.

Note: Feel free to be a little bit silly here. It will help to drive home the point that we often say much more with our actions than our words.

Communication Practice Exercise

Identify a topic or issue that has been a problem for you and your partner and write it on a card. Discuss the issue using the strategies presented here. Present your message clearly and calmly, listen well, reflect back what was said and work for common ground and acceptance of one another and your views. You may or may not come to an agreement or resolution about the issue you have chosen to talk about, but you should gain a greater understanding of and appreciation for one another through the process. Listen to learn.

Note: If you find this exercise difficult to do with the topic you have chosen, chose another topic that is less volatile or call a time out and come back to the issue later. This exercise is intended to make your relationship better not worse.

Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource . admin. (2005, December 09). Communication, Conflict & Commitment. Retrieved January 08, 2011, from Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare Web site: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License