Communication Notebook Final Paper

Communication Notebook Final Paper

Option 1: Social support
Think of a time when someone provided you, or you provided someone, with social support.
What type(s) of social support outlined in Bevan did you or they use?
What type of verbal and nonverbal cues were used to provide this support.
Was it appropriate for the situation and why?

Instructions for completing the Communication Notebook:
Describe your findings for the four exercises.
For each exercise you will then complete step 2 for each by applying what you have learned during this class on the basic principles of effective communication, ideas of the self, or culture to your exercise results.
For each exercise you must cite at least two resources to support you and one can be a video.
For the final document, you must use and cite two course readings (and one must be Bevan) and two course videos.
Note that you will be required to use and cite Bevan at least once for each exercise, but you should use them much more.
The Communication Notebook final paper
Must be 1,200 to 1,600 words of your own content (5 to 6.5 double-spaced pages) in length (not including title and references pages) and formatted according to APA Style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center’s APA Style

Applying Communication in Social Support: Communication Notebook Final Paper Example

Think of a time when someone provided you, or you provided someone, with social support.

One of my best childhood friends once called to inform me that he had lost his job. He had been in the job for barely a year and believed that he was performing quite well. Some months into the new working environment, he received a call from his manager, who explained to him about some business challenges and how they had impacted the firm. Three days later, my friend received a termination later. When he called to inform me, he was so discouraged, and I would read from his voice that he was disheartened.

Quite often, when people lose their jobs, they start experiencing feelings of insufficiency or even shame. My friend told me that at times he felt that perhaps he was not delivering good enough in his position. He thought that the employer might just have used the excuse of the financial crisis to fire the underperforming employees. His thoughts implied that his sense of belonging had deteriorated significantly since his job loss. People who are always wondering whether they are good enough do not believe that they are worthy of love and belonging (Brown, n.d.). People who have a strong sense of belonging have “courage to be imperfect.” They are compassionate to themselves and understand that they cannot be kind to others if they are not kind to themselves. As a result of authenticity, these people tend to be ready to release who they thought they should be to be who they are (Brown, n.d.). Communicating the essence of self-worthiness is essential in offering social support as it helps people to gain the courage to live as who they are as opposed to who they think they should be.

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The greatest problem that my friend was facing was accepting the current situation that he was facing. In all our communication, I always tried to listen to him objectively without judging him. I used both empathy and rapport to create more connection with my friend and ensure that he opened up to me as this had greater benefits for him (Bevan 2020). To help improve his self-worth, I told him several stories about my own experiences, as I too had lost jobs before.

What type(s) of social support outlined in Bevan did you or they use?

Hiding is a common habit among people facing problems, which makes it harder for them to disclose the issues they are facing (Bailey, n.d.). I believe that my friend had the conviction that I would support him. I offered him three types of social support; emotional, informational, and instrumental. All the types of support were structured in a manner that could distinguish them from interactions based on criticism and undermining tendencies.

Emotional, social support entails the expressions of love, trust, empathy, and care (Bevan 2020). By offering this type of support, the helper helps to alleviate any negative feelings that the victim might be facing. Instrumental social support encompasses all tangible help and service that are offered. This might include financial support and offers, such as taking care of the children of the affected person for some time. Informational support refers to the advice and suggestions given concerning the problematic situation. The information might be from an expert point of view if the helper is an expert in the subject.

Throughout the period when my friend was out of work, I tried to stay in touch with him as much as possible. I always listened to him and gave him hope of getting another job. On some occasions, I sent him some shopping as he would not accept direct financial support from me. All along, he was surviving on his savings, which almost ran dry before he acquired another job. I joined several social networking sites that shared information about job offers. Anytime I saw a suitable job for his profession, I would notify him to apply. The job that he finally settled for was among those that he had applied from the notifications that I was sent to him. Communication played a central role in the entire process. Being friends was not just enough to solve the problem. It was necessary to apply good interpersonal communication skills such as empathy, the creation of rapport, and consideration.

What type of verbal and nonverbal cues were used to provide this support.

Verbal communication involves verbal messages that are developed through words, while nonverbal communication involves communication with the absence of words (Bevan 2020). Nonverbal communication is usually referred to as body language. The two ways of communication have cues with verbal cues being prompts that are conveyed through a spoken language, while nonverbal cues are conveyed through tone or body language. Verbal cues can be both direct and indirect (Nelson, 2014). Direct verbal are usually delivered in the form of instructions or statement, and they are meant to give directions to the listener on what they should do. For example, when the lecturer says that all students should complete questions on page 96, exhibit direct verbal cue. Indirect verbal cues, on the other hand, are a bit complicated and deliver messages indirectly to get more information from the respondent. For example, while providing support from the victim who has lost the job, I might ask him how many employees were fired to get more information about what might lead to lay off. Based on this above explanation, indirect verbal cues were appropriate while advancing social support to my friend.

Nonverbal cues, unlike verbal cues, are usually portrayed through facial expressions and body language. Bevan (2020) presents haptics, proxemics, paralanguage, and kinesics as four categories of nonverbal cues. Haptics is a way of communication while people communicate through body contact, for example, handshake, brushing arm, back slap, holding hands, and others. Proxemics portrays the level of respect and understanding between the two people, and it usually based presented through the physical space between the two people as exhibited by (Riccardi 2014) while delivering a speech on cross-cultural communication. Paralanguage cue uses nonverbal sound to communicate, and it is usually conveyed through vocal ways such as intonation, rate, volume, and pitch. Paralanguage exhibit emotion, convey nuanced meaning, or modify the meaning. Kinesics category illustrated the communicator’s application of body language traits such as eye contact, facial expression, and postures. Haptics, paralanguage, and kinesics nonverbal cues worked better in offering social support to my friend.

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Based on the course readings, I have learned that communication varies depending on the target audience and the purpose of communication. For example, different techniques of communication are applied depending on the nature of communication and the status of the respondent. Therefore, it is important to understand the respondent well, and this can be achieved by listening carefully and putting yourself in the shoes of the audience (Bevan, 2020). It is also important to deliver a message in a way that you do not offend the audience. For example, Riccardi (2014), when explaining to the audience about cross-gender communication, uses humorous nonverbal cues to avoid appearing biased.

Was it appropriate for the situation, and why?

Considering the situation of the target respondent, he needs emotional support, and as such, indirect verbal cues and haptics, paralanguage and kinesics nonverbal cues were appropriate. The indirect verbal communication approach was appropriate since I do not want to add more emotional burden to my friend. Therefore, I obtained information from the little information he provided and posed questions that allowed him to take the responsibility of telling the story. Riccardi (2014) says that to get more information from the person, ask simple a question, get the answer, and follow on that. I wanted to show my friend that losing a job was the beginning of greater things ahead by telling him that it was an indication that better things are coming. By doing so, I encouraged my friend to be hopeful, and perhaps this gave him morale to apply for new jobs. I also told my friend that he deserves better things, and losing the job was an opportunity to understand his potential. By doing so, I helped him to overcome the notion that he might have been fired because of underperforming. I wanted him to see his worth and contribution to the previous organization.  Nonverbal cues such as back slaps were important to console my friend when he appeared to have been overwhelmed by emotions. I also changed my voice occasionally and to convey sympathetic facial expressions to show my friend that I understood the depth of his problem.

As discussed by Bevan (2020), I have learned that a combination of verbal and nonverbal communication is ideal in conveying messages and information appropriately. When used together, the sounds and words of verbal communication are aligned with facial movements, gestures, and body language of nonverbal communication as an emphasis on the importance of the message. I have come to know that when the two communication approaches are linked, they reinforce the message and make a long-lasting impression.


Bailey, M. (n.d.). The danger of hiding who you are. Retrieved from TED Conferences: https://www.ted.com/talks/morgana_bailey_the_danger_of_hiding_who_you_are/transcript?language=en

Bevan, J. L. (2020). Making connections: Understanding interpersonal communication (3rd            ed.). https://content.ashford.edu

Brown, B. (n.d.). The power of vulnerability. Retrieved from TED Conferences: https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_the_power_of_vulnerability/transcript?referrer=playlist-when_you_re_having_a_hard_time#t-463719

Nelson, A. (2014, April 30). A Paradigm for Understanding How Men and Women Communicate. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ooc5pOrYP24

Riccardi, P. (2014, October 21). Cross-cultural communication. Retrieved from TEDx Talks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMyofREc5Jk

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