Snapshots Announcements Spotlight UTSA Athletics

April 2012, Issue 7

True Colors

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What, you may ask, is the “Interpersonal Gap”? Psychologist John L Wallen wrote about the concept in the 1960s, describing it as “the relation between what you intend and the effect of your actions on others.”

The interpersonal gap is the conceptual distance between intention and effect. It’s often where misunderstanding arises. And with True Colors in mind, this “gap” is an opportunity to both the sender and receiver to reframe the message for clearer communication.

Wallen says “Bridging the interpersonal gap requires that each person understand how the other sees the interaction.”

This understanding of self and others is central to our Division’s application of True Colors as common language. Whether it be e-mailing about practical facts and figures, sharing imaginative ideas in conversation or demonstrating and processing less tangible feelings, True Colors helps us bridge the interpersonal gap for better understanding in three ways:
• We appreciate ourselves and our differences in perspectives, values and approaches
• With this awareness, we can frame (encode) our messages more intentionally
• We can also better reframe (decode) the messages we’re getting from others

Mary Miscisin, in her book Showing Our True Colors, gives these suggestions applicable to bridging the interpersonal gap:
1. Share your True Colors
2. Pause and pay attention
3. Learn from the past without over generalizing
4. Look for the positive Intention behind the behavior
5. Give others the benefit of the doubt
6. Keep experimenting
7. Be prepared to adapt
8. Commit to the work of improving relationships and communication

No mater one’s spectrum of True Colors, these approaches can and will have a big positive impact on the quality of your interactions and understanding. Turn them into personal habits, model them for your coworkers, and we’ll continue to build bridges over the interpersonal gap.

by Mary Miscisin & Ed Redard, M.D.
©2002 by Mary Miscisin - all rights reserved

Mary Miscisin is the author of SHOWING OUR TRUE COLORS, A Fun, Easy Guide for Understanding and Appreciating Yourself and Others.

(c) 2005 Mary Miscisin, All Rights Reserved
Permission to duplicate this article is granted ONLY with the copyright and contact information intact.

True Colors Upcoming Training --

True Colors Training Schedule for STAFF (SD 410) ---- SPRING 2012

Training Schedule for Spring 2012 ----- COMPLETED
Training Schedule for Fall 2012  --------PENDING

True Colors Training Schedule for Student Affairs STUDENT employees (SD 417) -- SPRING 2012

Training Schedule for Spring 2012 ----- COMPLETED
Training Schedule for Fall 2012 --------PENDING

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Four C's

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Four C’s Training Schedule for STAFF   (SD 415) – SPRING 2012

Training Schedule for Spring 2012------ see attached schedule