Recognizing Identity Needs

IDevice Icon Step One

In order to communicate in a way that respects the other’s identity, you have to be able to understand what identity they want to have protected. In our interactions we continually send three kinds of messages that project our preferred identity. We can think of these messages as "bids" – offers for how we will negotiate our relationship.

Face Bids indicate how we want to be seen by the other. The message is, "This is how I want you to see me."
Altercasting Bids – Altercasting Bids send a message about how I see you. The message is, "I see you in this way."
Relationship Bids – Relationship bids are messages about how I see the relationship we have. The message is, "We have the kind of relationship where ... ."

Review the examples below and answer the questions.

IDevice Icon Scenario
Amy is a student and her professor is Dr. White. Amy recently received an exam grade that is
troubling her and she goes to Dr. White to discuss it. Let's look for the identity and relationship bids Amy makes in this short statement.

"Dr. White? Can I talk to you a minute about my exam? I don’t think I did very well."

What is the kind of relationship Amy bids for in this scenario?

iDevice icon Compare your answer
IDevice Icon Nonverbal Relationship Bids

What do the nonverbals potentially say about this relationship?

woman doing checking, man watching



What about this one?

group working together



iDevice icon Reflection
Compare your answers.
IDevice Question Icon Example -- Face or Altercast

Which picture depicts how the teacher probably wants to be seen by the parents of his students?

A or B?


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