The above activity facilitates interpersonal skill
development in three areas. First, the
focusing on the six dimensions helps the client to think in terms of her
interpersonal participation in more specific terms than is usually the case for
most individuals. They are inclined to
think in terms of their behavior without understanding that they project
themselves in multiple ways, with each dimension representing who they are as a
function of self-perception and who they are in terms of perceptions of
others. Consultants will find that some
individuals need assistance in looking at themselves physically, emotionally,
morally, socially, sexually, and cognitively.
Nonetheless, the activity will lead to the clients being more aware of
herself and of her presentation to others.
Next, the activity facilitates the clients thinking about
the multidimensional styles of other family members. For example, a client might begin to see that
one family members acts more based on what is thought about something while
another family member acts more on what is felt about it. One family member may think more in terms of
the social or interpersonal implications of an incident while another family
member thinks more in terms of the emotional implications. The consultant will want to facilitate the
use of the activity to highlight these differing ways of understanding family
In addition, it may be useful to have the client set up a
grid with each family member listed down the left hand side and the six
dimensions listed across the top. Each
family member can simply be noted by a check mark in the column most applicable
to her. In addition, the client could
rate each family member on a five-point scale indicating how the family member
functions within each of the six dimensions.
The five point scale would consist of: 5 equals very strong emphasis, 4
equals strong emphasis, 3 equals medium emphasis, 2 equals weak emphasis, 1
equals very weak emphasis. Once the grid
is completed, the consultant may assist the client in thinking about the
implications for the family of the completed grid.
Finally, the activity emphasizes the concept of style. Most people will intuitively understand the
idea of style, especially if they are asked to note two or three people that
they know in or out of the family that, from their point of view, have real
style. Importantly, style is here
understood as positive and represents the overall effect of self-projection to
others. Three characteristics of style
need emphasis: recognizability, definability, and predictability.
Style is recognizable.
It is the general impression or idea of someone that develops and can be
understood in terms of the six dimensions.
The activity, of course, facilitates the clients recognizing her style
but also facilitates recognition of style in others.
Style is definable.
As a preliminary activity, the consultant may want to have the client
simply list those traits and characteristics of individuals that she finds to
be the most positive, most appealing, the most characteristic of real
style. The activity itself assists the
clients defining her style in multidimensional terms.
Each of the responses in the activity should be positive,
since the ones style is a positive projection of self. Also, this positive orientation assists the
client in looking at other family members in essentially positive terms. In this sense, the educational process begins
maximizing and emphasizing the strengths and positive features within each
family member and encourages a positive orientation to specific areas of family
life developed in later activities.
Style is predictable.
This point is at the essence of the activity. The underlying goal is to encourage the
client to understand and take responsibility for her style. This responsibility taking necessarily
involves developing and maintaining a consistent and positive
self-projection. Predictability of style
additionally means that the style of the individual does not change as a
function of reactions of others, special circumstances, whether or not the
client likes or is comfortable with what is going on at the time, or similarly
externally initiated factors.
This point is emphasized by drawing attention to people with
what might be thought of as pseudo style.
These individuals appear to have style in terms of its recognizability
and definability. The lack of
predictability, however, shows that they are not taking the personal
responsibility to project themselves consistently and with real style,
regardless of the situation or circumstances.
Consciously accepting responsibility for self and
self-projection is the intentional or on purpose nature of real style. It is not something that comes about
naturally, accidentally, or circumstantially.
Style is a function of conscious self-awareness, self-examination, and intentional
positive self-projection in the interest of more effective interpersonal
involvement and relationships. It is
something one reflects with style, all the time, on purpose.