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Self-Disclosure and Listening, Case Study Example

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Case Study

The experiment was a conversation between a friend and me. The experiment was to test the level of self-disclosure and its use to stimulate honesty and understanding. In the experiment, I found out that self-disclosure is very important in developing trust and enhancing relations between individuals. This morning experiment involved a conversation with a friend where I employed self-disclosure. During the conversation, self-disclosure assisted in more things to talk about and as self-disclosure was reciprocal, the conversation got more detailed. Self-disclosure is essential as it is the core of relational development and relations cannot be achieved without self-disclosure. Self-disclosure also provides effective and competent communication between individuals. In choosing when and who to self disclose, it is essential to ensure that the process is reciprocal. One should only self disclose with trusted individuals. Where a deeper relationship is desired with the other party then self-disclosure becomes inevitable. Self-disclosure is very vital in relational development. It is noteworthy that self-disclosure builds mutual trust amongst the parties involved in that it builds and stimulates one’s level of confidence.

In order to achieve better relations it is mandatory for the other party to self disclose as well. Self-disclosure works best when there is reciprocation of disclosure. When the other party does not self disclose, the breath and the depth of the conversation cannot be achieved. In the self-disclosure experiment with my friend, there were a few surprises, which include non-verbal communication. As self-disclosure got deeper, self-disclosure also became easy. This involved acknowledgment and validation of what had been self-disclosed. The boundaries that I found useful in the self-disclosure experiment were using self-disclosure selectively. This involved making choices on what to disclose based on the awareness of the positive and negative consequences of disclosure. It was also essential to consider the trustworthiness and receptivity of the other party before self-disclosing. When one fails to disclose ones’ self, suspicion heightens in the other party. This means that the other party could be hiding some truth and thus lack of trust arises.

During the experiment, I was cautious on what to disclose and what to hold back. There was also the risk of providing information in an insensitive manner and I ensured that the information was disclosed in a manner that would not detriment relational development. During the experiment, I found out that discretion is a vital tool in self-disclosure and it is important to control the process of self disclosure in order to attain the desired outcome. The self-disclosure process resulted in positive results as it assisted in developing relations with the other party. The reciprocity achieved during the self-disclosure process also shows that the process yielded positive results as it led to the other party self-disclosing as well. The self-disclosure process also affected myself concept especially myself awareness and my perception to others. My perception to others was affected as self-disclosure by the other party greatly improved my understanding of his concept.

Listening is an essential process in communication and it is vital in activities such as learning, playing and relating to one another. In order to benefit from listening it is critical to listen actively. When the other party appears not to be listening carefully, then it means he/she is taking your information for granted. In such a case, one may fail to understand the point the other party is trying to explain. Active listening involves listening in order to receive, understand, and evaluate information received. Active listening is also helpful to the speaker as an inference on whether or not the information is understood is based on responses from the audience. In the experiment, I noticed that I could actively listen as I understood and evaluated the information before responding. In listening to both direct and indirect speech, I realized that judgment and evaluation were always necessary in determining the desired response. These concepts are also important to the speaker in audience analysis. From the responses of listeners, it is possible for an individual to determine the volume of information understood by the audience. After listening, it is important to evaluate information before giving a response.

In the experiment also realized that I could listen with empathy. Listening with empathy involves paying attention to the other and listening with compassion and emotional identification. Listening with empathy supports the idea of seeking to understand before being understood. Listening with empathy also assists in connecting emotionally with the other party. Empathic listening also improves mutual understanding and trust and enables reception and accurate interpretation of information. Empathic listening creates an environment that is free from polarization and one that is conducive for growth. Apart from listening with empathy, objective listening is also important. Objective listening involves taking an impartial position. Objectivity is critical in reception of information and requires that we become open to the communication of the other party without projections of bias. In the experiment, I could listen objectively and this involved eliminating biases from my reception of information.

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