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Example of Team Project Content

Attention Getter

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Facilitator: -Do you remember the story of the man in the pink tutu discussed in class?

-Most of us made quick assumptions that were not warranted.

-Perception checking easy because not directly involved.

-But what if angry and very upset with someone, and that person was also upset with you?

-Would you be quick to use perception checking then?

-We will discuss case study by Dr. Julia Wood, 2010 textbook, Interpersonal Communication Everyday



-We modified the case study to meet the requirements.


Thesis Statement: Perception Checking preserves relationships.

Preview of Main Points: Today we’ll be:

1) Presenting the case study;

2) Describing perception checking;

3) Analyzing perception checking in our case study; and

4) Making recommendations.

Introductions: Teammates: Paul, a freshman in biology; Cynthia, a freshman in criminology; Nav, a sophomore

premed student; and myself, Kaitlynn, a junior majoring in English Lit.



Facilitator: Let’s get right to the case study. This case study is about Jim and his father. Let’s have Paul play the role of Jim and Nav take the part of his father.

Case Study

Facilitator: We’ll let you start, Jim. Can you help us understand the situation?

Jim: -Sure. I’m having a problem with my parents.

-Long time since they were in college, expectations for me totally unrealistic.

-Been a decent student, in high school I always made straight Bs.

-College different story. I’m making Cs in most of my classes.

-My parents are angry my grades aren’t better. Especially my dad.

-Got into an argument last month when I went home.


Facilitator: So, I have a question for Jim’s dad. Do you remember that conversation?


Dad: -I sure do! I told Jim that I’m not paying for him to go to college so he can party with his friends.

– That tuition money was too hard to come by.

-Paid my own way through college and I still graduated with highest honors.

-Jim’s getting a free ride and he’s just pulling Cs. That’s not acceptable.

– (Looking at Jim) You’ll just have to study harder.


Jim: – (Looking at Dad) I mean, I like to hang out with my friends, but that’s got nothing to do with my grades. I make better grades than most of them.

-You’re just a brilliant guy – probably cruised through college.

-I don’t know how it was back then, but all my classes are hard. I mean, no matter how much studying I do I’m not going be like you and get all As.

-What should I do? (Looking at facilitator) How do I convince my parents that I’m doing everything I can?



Facilitator: We’ll see if we can help you, Jim. Cynthia, what problems do you see in what Jim and his father have to say?


Major Problems Summarized

Cynthia: -Seem to be making some strong assumptions

-Not speaking to each other in civil manner

-Situation does not lend itself to good decision making



Facilitator: What have we learned that might work well in this incident?


Theory/Concept Explained

NOTE: This is where you’ll need to work in your three research sources. This is not shown here.



-Perception checking useful

-State the facts, give two possible interpretations, confirm for accuracy

-Example 1: Let’s meet for coffee at 8:00.

-When you say 8:00, do you mean 8:00AM or 8:00PM?


-Example 2: I really like you.

-You say you really like me. Does that mean you love me or like me as a friend?

-I like you as a friend.

-Perception checking helps you avoid assumptions. It allows you to gather information in a non-threatening manner. It helps to preserve relationships.


Facilitator: Okay. But be more specific. How could perception checking help in this case study?



Facilitator: What questions could Jim ask his father to make sure he understands his father’s comments?


· You know I made Bs in high school. Do you want me to make Bs in college or do you expect me to make As?

· You say I “party with my friends.” Do you want me to reduce my time socializing or do you want me to eliminate socializing?

· You say I need to “study harder.” Do you want me to put in more hours or should I study in a different manner? Etc.


Facilitator: Those are excellent questions, Nav. I have some of my own for Jim’s dad.

· Jim, you got Bs in high school but now you are receiving Cs. Are your college classes harder than your high school classes or do you need help managing your time?

· It’s unusual for you to receive Cs. Are you taking an appropriate load? Do you have the right major?

· You say you are doing everything you can to get good grades. Have you talked with your instructors? Is tutoring available?

Facilitator: Who can summarize what we’ve said?

Paul: I agree with what Cynthia said earlier.

· Assumptions are being made

· Operating on assumptions is causing incomplete understanding of the situation, by both Jim and his father

· Tempers are flaring.


Facilitator: What advice might we give this pair?


Nav: -Recommend both use perception checking before making conclusions that might not be true.

-Jim should have investigated further and so should his dad.

-Perception checking helps people obtain information in a non-threatening way. I really like that.

Cynthia: -If they feel themselves becoming angry, that’s a red flag to stop and check their understanding.

-In Chapter 8, we learned about the S-TLC Conflict Resolution System.


-Both should try and make themselves stop and think about what they really want to say before they talk. I don’t think either of them want this issue to disrupt their relationship.

Paul: -I really believe the 3Rs are the key. If we choose to treat someone with respect and restraint, I think we might avoid nasty arguments.

-Both could have shown more responsibility.

-Jim could have talked to his dad about his grades before they became a major issue. His dad might have been able to help him.

-Jim’s dad could have talked to Jim before Jim went away to college. He could have explained what he expected of Jim with regard to grades and social activities. It looks like both father and son were surprised at Jim’s experiences.

-If they collaborated and problem solved together about Jim’s issues, it would be better for the

relationship and probably better for Jim’s grades.


Facilitator: To conclude . . .

Thesis: Perception checking preserves relationships

Review Main Points: We presented a case study, identified some problems, examined the concept of perception checking, and showed how perception checking and some other communication tools could have been used to make things better.

Memorable Conclusion:

And, Jim? The next time your dad talks to you in an angry, threatening way, look him in the eye, smile, and say, “Dad, let’s talk!”

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