Frame of Reference and Communication Efforts

We began discussing during our class this week the influence of our experiences on our interactions with others. During class, I shared part of my own growing-up experiences, including my experiences in a small town. That experience definitely helped shape who I am as a communicator, as well as an instructor.

Remember that frame of reference includes a variety of influences, including our family, home town, religious upbringing, current beliefs, political affiliation, friends, socioeconomic status, and education. Each little twist and turn of life changes the way we communicate with others. If we have been dealt with kindly during difficult times, we are more likely to deal with others kindly. If we crave structure because of our experiences, we are likely to maintain structure in other parts of our lives.

Keep this in mind when you are communicating with your classmates (students, peers, colleagues, etc.) in the coming term. So frequently, we are surprised by the fact that we are playing not only with our own life experiences, but with the compounded experiences of others we meet.

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