Human Relations: A Game Plan for Improving Personal Adjustment (2nd Edition)

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9780130175717: Human Relations: A Game Plan for Improving Personal Adjustment (2nd Edition)

For freshman/sophomore-level courses in Adjustment, Human Relations, and Interpersonal Relationships. Using class participation, group discussion, and student activities, this interactive and user-friendly "workbook" teaches students practical skills for dealing with everyday situations. It balances coverage of theoretical concepts and research with interesting personal stories, anecdotes, and case studies, and applies theoretical concepts throughout. The author's counseling background and sense of humor in dealing with serious subjects encourages students to try new behaviors in a safe environment. Students are given opportunities for practicing new skills in improving human relations.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap:

Preface

When I first wrote this book, my hope was to provide a text that would reach out and grab people and get them intrigued with the possibilities of personal exploration. I wanted students to be excited about looking at human interactions from new and different perspectives. From the responses that I have heard from my students, it sounds as if I have accomplished those goals. Many students have shared how interesting they found the book and told me that they passed it on to family and friends. I take it as a compliment that many students said that this was one of the books they were going to keep at the end of the term.

With that encouragement, I am excited to be offering this second edition of Human Relations: A Game Plan for Improving Personal Adjustment. Although there have been some changes to the order of the content, and new concepts added, the emphasis and focus of the book remain the same. While providing the academic subjects that are necessary for a greater understanding of human relations, the content is presented, as much as possible, in an informal and personal manner. It is important to learn how current research applies to human interactions, yet most of us are concerned with how that research will improve the quality of our lives and lead to more satisfying relations with the people we care about and are close to.

My intent is to make learning about and improving human relations enjoyable, yet there is also the part of the journey of self-exploration that requires presenting concepts that apply to serious, significant aspects of life. This book offers the opportunity to look at some of the areas of life where self-examination regarding needed changes may not always be easy. I try to balance that seriousness by maintaining a sense of humor even while dealing with those subjects that are challenging. People often learn best when theory is combined with stories, examples, and humorous anecdotes from everyday life. Many people in the field of mental health believe that being well-balanced means keeping things in perspective. As you explore the information offered, I hope you will keep the following in mind: Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused.

There is always the temptation to include as much academic research and theory as possible, but I feel it is important to balance that with the expectations and needs of the students. As I stated in the first edition, I have sat through enough psychology classes to know what it is like to have an instructor teach a course on human behavior as if there were no human beings in the classroom. Therefore, I have tried to balance relevant research and theoretical concepts with interesting anecdotes, case studies, and discussion opportunities to actively engage students.

And it is my students who have given me the opportunity to continue to grow and change. Human Relations is my attempt to remind myself what it is that I know and yet sometimes forget. We all can use reminders, at times, of the lessons that we need to learn-and relearn. It is my students and this course that remind me that often, "We teach best what we most need to learn." Objectives of a Human Relations Course

A human relations course should teach practical skills for dealing with everyday situations. Because we tend to learn and remember things that require active participation, this book is designed for a course that encourages personal involvement in the quest for self-discovery.

Although covering a broad range of topics is an ambitious task, I think it is important to address as many pertinent topics as possible in an introductory course. This gives students and instructors flexibility in deciding which subjects to pursue in greater depth. Most human relations texts cover the areas of communication, self-concept, assertiveness, and conflict management, but it is also useful to include such topics as personality development, family relations, parenting, sexuality, and coping skills.

During the past 23 years of teaching Human Relations 101, I have discovered particular rhythms and cycles to teaching in a college setting. This text presents topics in a manner consistent with the cycles within the term or semester, and it also incorporates the group dynamics of a classroom into the process and content of the course. Most texts put topics in a logical order that makes sense when reading the book independent of a class, but some topics can be introduced only after the class has reached a particular point of readiness. Over the years, I -have developed a curriculum that is based, in part, on my feeling about how topics naturally overlap and build on previously presented material. Pedagogical Features of the Text

Each chapter ends with a chapter review section and list of suggested readings for further information, followed by a "Reaction and Response" section of exercises and activities that give students the opportunity to apply the information from the text to personal situations. The exercises and activities are divided into Level I and Level II assignments. To further encourage active learning on the part of the students, numerous question-and-answer sections with space provided for written answers appear throughout each chapter. Various feature articles, poems, and anecdotes are highlighted throughout the text to create interest and promote introspective thinking, and numerous figures and illustrations are included as well. Organization of the Text

There are a number of ways that the content of a book on human relations could be organized. Many of the topics could fit easily into several different chapters. The order in which the content of this book is presented is based mainly on what I have learned from my students about their level of readiness as a term progresses. Also, the order of the chapters is designed so that topics build on previously presented material. In this edition, some chapters have been moved to greater facilitate the natural flow of concepts from one section to another. Part I: Laying the Foundation

The first three chapters are designed to help people get to know each other while exploring general concepts that apply to nearly everyone.

Chapter One, "Reaching Out," deals with improving communication skills, using positive "self-talk," and overcoming shyness and fear. The chapter also discusses the importance of committing to the process of learning and taking action to get results. This edition includes a new section on diversity, gender, and multiculturalism.

Chapter Two, "Self-Awareness," is about self-concept and the importance of learning more about ourselves, including aspects of ourselves that we may avoid or keep hidden. The chapter includes information about self-disclosure, the shadow self, the "masks" people wear, and the importance of attention and physical contact. New information is provided about locus of control.

Chapter Three, "Expanding Comfort Zones," provides the opportunity to learn about comfort zones, taking risks, understanding personality, developing character, challenging self-defeating behavior patterns and limiting beliefs, and developing character and accountability. A section on assertiveness has been added to this chapter; the topic is appropriate because the common theme of the chapter encourages expanding boundaries. The intention in introducing the topic sooner in this edition is to provide information that helps students express their opinions and become more involved in the course. Part II: Building Together

Part II moves the text discussion to a more personal level. These four chapters examine the origins of beliefs that affect behavior in a variety of different situations.

Chapter Four, "Dealing with Emotions," presents a number of emotional building blocks that help to develop greater emotional control and challenges thought patterns and irrational beliefs. Theories of emotion are presented, along with practical suggestions for greater emotional control. It is important to have the flexibility to know when to express your emotions, and to what degree. The chapter covers a range of emotional responses—anger, sadness, excitement, and joy—pointing out that much of our training in dealing with emotions takes place during the formative years in our family of origin.

Chapter Five, "Family Influences," explores the influence of the family of origin, including the implications of birth order for the roles we play and issues that arise in stepfamilies. The chapter also outlines the elements of a functional family and the complications of living in a dysfunctional family. A new section has been added on the history of the family, comparing beliefs about "how we were" with "how we really are" in today's society.

Chapter Six, "Developing Close Relationships," studies attraction, mate selection, and marriage. More theories are offered about attraction in this edition. Information and discussions cover the difficulties in achieving intimacy, codependent relationships, and aspects of successful relations

From the Back Cover:

This interactive and user-friendly "workbook" guides readers through practical skills for dealing with everyday situations. The author's counseling background and sense of humor in dealing with serious subjects encourages readers to try new behaviors.

Gives readers opportunities for practicing new skills in improving human relations. Balances coverage of theoretical research and concepts with interesting personal stories, anecdotes, and case studies. Offers a new section on the importance of values clarification and the benefits of meaning and purpose in life. Provides "Question and Answers" sections throughout each chapter, with lines for readers to provide answers. Ideal reference for human resource professionals, supervisors and managers, or anyone interested in learning more about human relations.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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