20 Jun 2022


Interpersonal Communication Skills: Definition and Examples

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Academic level: College

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After listening to the Ted Talk, "The Danger of a Single Story", and critically reflecting on the stories that have shaped the way I see the world, I fully agree with Chimamanda’s talk on the danger of a single story. In fact, I too have been a victim of single story where I held the stereotype that all rich people are well educated. This is based on the single story that education is the only key to wealth and affluence. Nonetheless, I have come to know of people that are not well educated but are very rich. In fact, the current world’s richest man, Bill Gates never completed high school. This is the same case with Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple Computer Company. It is sad how I felt when I realized that most footballers are not graduates yet they are ahead of most educated people in terms of affluence. This is similar to Chimamanda’s story on the kind of characters that were supposed to be in a story. That books in their very nature had to have white characters and snow as well as ginger beer. It is until she came across the African stories that she realized that what she believed was just but a fallacy. The two stories show that unless the full story is told, the narrated part blankets the reality, taking the truth with it. For instance, if I knew that as much as education is a path to success, there are other ways of making it in life such as through talents and other varied legitimate ways. 

I also held a single story about the leadership system. How it was reserved for a chosen few who could only qualify by means of their characteristics, masculinity being one of them. This was built upon the leadership system in homes where fathers have to head the family. It is until the time that I interacted with a top student in my class that I realized that women could also head homes. This student was from a single parent background yet the excellence in his studies was emphatic. There was no doubt that his mother gave the needed leadership at home. On the other hand, I could see other colleagues who came from male headed families and were performing dismally in their academics. In this case, the reality was hidden by the single story that women could not head households while on the contrary, they can. The real truth is that both parents can run a home successfully with or without the other parent as they are equally endowed. This stereotype is similar to one of the points in Chimamanda’s story where she asserts that, “power is the ability not just to tell the story of another person but to make it the definitive story of that person”. 

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The stereotypes mentioned above can limit my ability to interact and communicate with others both at work and at home since they tell one side of the individual. The stereotype on “education is the only key” could make me have a low opinion on people who are not as educated as I am in the work place thus causing conflicts. The same could spread at home where I could emphasize on complete focus on education and nothing else. I could not explore my talents or other such like capabilities that are equally good when coupled with education. In like manner, the stereotype on male leadership could affect my relationship with female workers, viewing them as incapable of leading any group activities. At home, this stereotype could make me despise any suggestions from sisters as there could be no room for their opinions. 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 14). Interpersonal Communication Skills: Definition and Examples.


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