Personal behavior change project

Personal behavior change project

Optional Action Project Instructions
Possible Points: 50 

Due Date: See Assignment Calendar  

Instructions: This is an opportunity to practically apply some of the nonverbal codes which we have been learning into your personal life. For this assignment you should select a minimum of 1 nonverbal code that we have or will discuss throughout this term (see below), and attempt to change something about yourself in relation to that code for a minimum of 5 consecutive days. (Note: If you are choosing to do the Time Orientation Project, you may not choose Time/Chronemics for this project) You may choose to make a positive or negative change, but I encourage you to make a positive change and pick a behavior you want to work on and get better at. 


Gestures Hand & Facial

Eye Contact

Body Movement





For example, if every day you drive to work, you find yourself worrying about the work to be completed, and your posture is hunched, you have a “scrunched-up” facial expression, with hands tight on the steering wheel, try to bring on a preferred state by relaxing your posture, smiling, breathing deeply, and loosening your grip on the wheel. See how that changes things for you. 

Here’s another example: if you are typically nervous when you are about to meet someone important, and you usually stoop over, look down, and are hesitant in speech, bring on a different emotional state by standing straight, looking the person in the eye, adjusting your paralinguistic tone, and prepare some things to say to get you started. 

(*These are examples which you may NOT use for your project. Create your own as it applies to you) 

Once you have decided on something to change about at least one nonverbal code, begin your project for 5 days and keep a journal throughout. Your journal should address what you notice about yourself and your experiences as well as others reactions to your changed behavior including their comments and nonverbals. You should have multiple journal entries for each day and your journal should be typed

At the end of five days, you will draft a 4-6 page paper (follow syllabus writing guidelines) describing your experience. Your paper should describe what nonverbal code you chose (with a brief description/definition) and why you chose that specific code to focus on. What were some of the highlights during the 5 day project? What did you learn about yourself by completing this project? Were there successes this week? Failures? What worked especially well? What did not? What should you have done differently? Etc. And potentially the most important question: Is this a change you plan to continue on with? Why or why not? 

Be sure to connect your experiences to classroom discussions and the course textbook.

What You Will Turn In: 

A Copy of Your Typed Journal 

4-6 Page Paper 

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