Course Detail

Interpersonal Dynamics (31401)

Course Description by Faculty

  • Stefanac, Lisa
  • Content

    In this class, you will embark on a learning journey different from any you are likely to have experienced before. The class uses the well-established T-Group (or training group) method as originally developed at the National Training Lab over 70 years ago. Participating in a T-Group is not like attending a class in statistical methods or finance. Here you will engage in a form of experiential learning or learning by doing. While each class will begin with a brief lecture and one or two short exercises, the primary learning takes place in the T-Group. T-Group is an interactive, small group with no set agenda. The group dynamic and interactions between members dictate the agenda. The T-Group is composed of 12 students, the instructor and a co-facilitator, and will comprise the majority of each class period. In addition, there will be T-group meetings outside of the regular class time, including an intensive weekend experience.

    The main focus of this course is on enhancing interpersonal communication skills to foster more effective relationships. This leadership learning laboratory offers ample opportunity to test out assumptions, determine if you are having the impact you intend, and to practice giving/receiving feedback in a productive way. In the process of becoming the most effective communicator you can be, the course calls you to engage in deep and sometimes uncomfortable self-exploration. The extended goals of this course are:

    • To use interpersonal communication skills to build more open, effective, and rewarding relationships, even with people whom you may initially experience as difficult or who are different from you.

    • To identify and pursue personal learning goals aimed at improving interpersonal communications.

    • To learn how you are perceived by your colleagues and how you can shift in order to present yourself such that others’ perceptions more accurately reflect what you intend.

    • To identify your emotions and how to utilize them as an important source of information and guide to your interpersonal choices.

    • To navigate the emotions of others and learn how to be more aware of and sensitive to them.

    • To identify the widely varied and equally valuable leadership roles that emerge in the life of a group.

    • Improving personal knowledge and abilities in these areas is crucial to becoming a more effective manager in today’s increasingly complex, diverse, international and exceedingly inter-dependent business climate.

    A Note About Connecting Via Zoom
    We expect that the class will be in person this quarter.

    If this is not possible due to the pandemic, we will be virtual using Zoom. Connecting virtually is something just about every company is needing to do right now. For many international companies, virtual team meetings have been long practiced/required. Learning how to build and sustain relationships and giving/receiving productive feedback through a virtual setting will increase the influence you can bring to the current or next company you are a part of.

    Because of the highly interactive nature of this course, it is essential that all students make a commitment to the course from the beginning and attend all sessions. Course shopping is actively discouraged. Failure to attend the first class will result in an automatic drop.

    Scheduling Details
    Attendance at each 3-hour class and up to eighteen additional hours of T-Group (outside of the weekly class time) is required. It is our hope that these additional hours will take place over an intensive weekend held in-residence at a conference center.

    If we are virtual, five of these additional hours will take place by extending 5 classes by one hour (either 1-5pm if you are in the 31401-03 section or 5:30pm-9:30pm if you are in the 31401-81 section).  Note, also, that a weekend intensive consisting of 10-12 hours of T-Group will be held the weekend of May 13-15 for Section 03 or May 20-22 for Section 81. Again, attendance at this intensive weekend in its entirety is required. Details regarding the exact times for these additional T-Group meetings will be available to you prior to you applying to the course.

    Enrollment in the course is by application
    Apply online. The application period opens on Monday, January 31st. To maximize your chances of enrolling in your preferred section, please submit your application by 5PM Monday, February 7. You will be notified of your enrollment status no later than end of day Monday, February 14. The more sections you indicate you could commit to, the better your chances in landing a spot. When applying, please note that successful applications usually show a fair amount of self-reflection and vulnerability. It helps to show that you have already started an introspective process and feel ready to learn even more about yourself.

    Format and Course Materials
    The format of the class will include discussion, experiential exercises, and short lectures, in addition to T-Group. Links to all course readings will be included in the syllabus; there is no textbook for this class.

    Spring 2021 Information Session
    View recording of Spring 2021 Info Session

    Winter 2022 Section Specifics
    (All times are in CT)
    Monday afternoons in Harper Center: 1:30 - 4:30 PM (with our final class on May 23 meeting from 1:00 - 5:00 PM)   Please note: If virtual, select classes will go from 1:00 - 5:00 PM (3/28, 4/11, 4/25, and 5/9)

    Monday evenings in Gleacher: 6:00 - 9:00 PM (with our final class on May 23 meeting from 5:30 - 9:30 PM)   Please note: If virtual, select classes will meet from 5:30-9:30 (3/28, 4/11, 4/25, and 5/9)

    Interpersonal Dynamics sections are NOT interchangeable; you may only attend the section you are offered

    In-person Weekend Intensive for 31401-03 section (Mondays 1:30 - 4:30 PM)

    May 13:  6:30-9:30pm

    May 14: 9:00am-12:00pm; 1:30-4:30pm; 7-9:30pm

    May 15: 9:00am-12:30pm


    Weekend Intensive for 31401-81 section (Mondays 6:00-9:00PM)

    May 20:  6:30-9:30pm

    May 21: 9:00am-12:00pm; 1:30-4:30pm; 7-9:30pm

    May 22: 9:00am-12:30pm

    For 31401-81, please note that our final class will be on the Monday evening (5:30 - 9:30PM) immediately following our intensive weekend.


    Please note that, if Spring 2022 switches to virtual, the weekend intensive will proceed via Zoom.

    Zoom weekend intensive schedule, if needed, will be:

    Friday evening: 6:00-9:00pm

    All Saturday: 10:00am-1:00pm; 4:00-7:00pm (please note: support trios must meet for 45-60min between 1:00-4:00pm this day)

    Sunday morning: 10:00am-1:00pm

  • Prerequisites
    No non-Booth students.
    • No non-Booth Students

    • Application-based course

  • Grades
    Grades will be based on weekly preparation and class participation, short written assignments, weekly journal submissions and a final paper. Interpersonal Dynamics cannot be taken pass/fail, nor can the class be audited.
    • Mandatory attendance week 1

    • No auditors

    • No pass/fail grades

  • Syllabus
  • Autumn 2021Section: 31401-03M 8:30AM-11:30AMHarper Center225In-Person Only
  • Autumn 2021Section: 31401-81M 6:00PM-9:00PMLocation: TBDRemote-Only
  • Winter 2022Section: 31401-03M 1:30PM-4:30PMHarper Center225In-Person Only
  • Winter 2022Section: 31401-81M 6:00PM-9:00PMGleacher Center422In-Person Only
  • Spring 2022Section: 31401-03M 1:30PM-4:30PMHarper Center3A - Seminar RoomIn-Person Only
  • Spring 2022Section: 31401-81M 6:00PM-9:00PMGleacher Center422In-Person Only
Description and/or course criteria last updated: January 24 2022