Ch. 1 Journal Assignment: CIP’s

For this journal assignment, choose any TWO topics/areas/theories/concepts/terms/etc. of interpersonal communication that were discussed in Chapter 1. Anything at all from Chapter 1 that you feel could help you focus on your own improvement will work. For each of your two chosen topics, write a Communication Improvement Plan (CIP) using the four-step process discussed in the chapter. You will submit two CIP’s, not just one big one, but please submit them in one journal entry, (not two separate ones). One journal entry with two CIP’s is expected.
Since there are four parts to each CIP, please make sure your journal entry clearly shows each of the four parts, preferably by using distinct paragraphs and numbered lists. For full points, all of your work should be well developed, error free, and clearly organized. For online work to be clearly organized, it must employ good paragraph spacing and numbered lists when appropriate. Be careful when copying and pasting your work from word processors. That process might strip your work of all clear formatting, and you would then want to improve the format before submitting your work.
For 100% (A+) level credit, you need to do impressive work and show substantial effort. Impressive work tends to be very well thought out, well developed, and thoroughly written. Short work tends not to get full points. The most common area for improvement in CIP’s is in underdeveloped and under-described Problem and Procedure sections of the CIP’s. Problem sections should typically be explained in at least 5 descriptive sentences. If you are you striving for full credit, then you are always making sure to exceed the minimum requirements. Procedure sections should typically have several clear steps to the process you plan to take to make your improvement. For example, if your Goal is to improve eye contact while listening to others, then your Procedure shouldn’t just say: “I will make more eye contact.” That is not a procedure. What steps will you take? How will you remind yourself? How will you measure your progress? Who can you get to help you? Answering these types of questions helps you develop a well thought out Procedure section. Use the vocabulary from the chapter, and put those words in bold font in your CIP’s.

Sample CIP:
Topic: Talk Time

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1. Problem: I notice that sometimes, in conversations I listen more than I talk. This happens especially in groups of three or more, when there are a lot of others who are engaging in the conversation. Recently at a group dinner, I recall listening attentively for over an hour while others talked about a variety of issues. It is difficult to engage in turn-taking and getting enough talk time without interrupting another speaker, especially when others are waiting for a turn to talk. I don’t mind doing lots of listening, but I think I am a less valuable and interesting part of the group and I am not an active speaker.

2. Goal: to speak up more in group conversations, even if it means having to politely interrupt through turn-taking strategies.

3. Procedure:
1. I will plan ahead for when I know group conversations are likely to take place.
2. I will review the strategies of turn-taking so that I will have them fresh in my mind when I need to use them.
3.I will ask a friend to monitor my engagement during the interaction, and give me feedback afterward regarding how much I stayed involved.

4. Test of Achievement: if, after several group conversations, my friends say I am not noticeably staying quiet while others engage, then I know I will have improved.

Notice that I clearly organize the CIP using numbered list format.
Notice that I use BOLD font for terminology from the chapter, but I don’t put the same words in BOLD over and over again. That would not be necessary. For example, I don’t need to put “turn-taking” in bold every time I use it.
Notice that the Problem statement is at least 5 sentences, and is descriptive of the Problem that I think I need to work on.
Notice that my Procedure section has several clear steps that I can follow. Without several steps, it is not really a Procedure.

This is the format I would like to see for CIP’s that have a chance at full credit.

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