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Individuals will develop the skills to express themselves effectively and listen accurately to others.
Gain skills in assertive communication of ideas, beliefs, feeling, and emotions.
I. REVIEW INFORMATION TO BE PRESENTED:
A. Assertive communication, as opposed to aggressive communication, promotes clear understanding of feelings and expectations and encourages a productive continuation of theconversation.
II. NEW INFORMATION TO BE PRESENTED:
A. Assertive communication skills are very useful in dealing with all kinds of situations.
B. Assertive communication involves calm expression of personal feelings and nonjudgmental acknowledgment of the feelings of others.
C. The ability to express oneself assertively gives one the power to determine the direction of his/her own life.
III. POSSIBLE LEARNING ACTIVITIES:
A. (Review) Read a list of several statements to the class and ask students to identify whether they feel a positive or a negative response. For example: "I am sorry that your homework didn't get done -- you will have to finish it now." and "What in the world is wrong with you, anyway, that younever get your homework done?" Discuss how the same message, worded differently, takes on different meanings.
B. Teach the use of "I Messages" following the formula "I feel (emotion) when (event) happens." Explain how communication improves when we state our feelings rather than make accusations. For example, instead of saying, "you 're a slob. You never clean up your messes. You leave food all over the counter and never do the dishes.", say, "When I come home from work, I am tired. I want to start dinner, but if feel so frustrated when the kitchen isn't in order. I want to start my job, but I feel angry if I have to clean first." Provide scenarios in which two students can exchange comments first using poor communication and then using "I messages."
Examples of scenarios:
1.) Boyfriend is irritated because girlfriend is often late for dates.
2.) One friend feels the other is taking their friendship for granted because she is dropped whenever a boy asks for a date.
3.) Two sisters are angry that clothes are borrowed and not returned or returned in poor condition.
C. Have students develop a list of "dreaded" confrontational situations, such as: breaking up with a boyfriend, confronting a friend about lying, confronting a teacher about unfair treatment. Role play using "I Messages" and have students offer suggestions for clearer methods of dealing with each problem.
D. Teach reflective listening skills. Using some of the previous scenarios, have students respond to the "I Messages" with reflective listening. Discuss how the situation and outcome are affected.
E. Remind students that feelings are not right or wrong. Different people feel differently about various topics. Practice discussing controversial issues in pairs, having students role play communication skills that value the feelings of others while still stating personal feelings on the topic.
F. Set up panel discussions involving two people with opposing opinions and two negotiators. Role play good communication skills on various topics until the feelings of both parties are known, then have negotiators lead a compromise. Allow students to evaluate and suggest other possible solutions.
G. Brainstorm for common lines used by teenagers to influence peers, such as: Everybody else is doing it. It won't hurt anybody. If you love me, you will. Brainstorm for assertive responses to each line using "I Messages." Emphasize the skill of expressing personal feelings clearly without hurting the feelings of others. Practice responding in this manner in pairs.
H. Work in pairs to practice giving sincere compliments and receiving compliments graciously. Discuss the value of this skill.