Communication skills

This week I asked my daughter as well as a co-worker of mine to score me on the three tests that scored my communication skills.  Here are the results:

Verbal aggression: 66/65/68 The results were overall that I am a respectful communicator. 

Communication Anxiety: 42/31/46 The results showed that I am not as anxious as I may feel I get when talking to a group of people.  This also showed me that while I may feel anxious other people do not see that in me as much as I feel it in myself.

Listening: 39/34/34 people oriented.  I feel that I must agree with this score, I am a people person!

What surprised me this week is that all the scores were close, and that all the scores came up with the same results.  I sometimes feel that I do a good job communicating, I feel that I do try to reflect and improve my skills, so it was nice to see that other rated me the way I rated myself.  As I mentioned before I was surprised to see that other rated me as being confident when speaking to groups.  I feel that maybe I place that anxiety on myself and other may not see it as much as I feel it.

What I learned this week is that it is important to understand how others perceive your communication skills.  If I would have scored differently than my daughter and co-worker, it would have given me a chance to evaluate myself and find out what I could change to be better.  As a professional working in the field of early childhood I feel that we are always communication to people.  By reflecting my own communication abilities, I can build or grow in these areas.  After taking the anxiety test I also feel that I would be less anxious and more confident to talk to a group of parents or professionals. 

  I feel also that just by taking the tests I understand more personally about the way I communicate with others.  I do agree with the results.  Understanding how I communicate with others can help me understand if I need to change the way I communicate, or how I communicate with others. 

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Changes in Communication

This week we were asked to reflect on the idea “do you find yourself communicating differently with people from different groups and cultures?”

I would have to say YES!!  I would not talk to my significant other the way I talk to my children, nor would I talk the same way to co-workers or my best friend.  The tone of voice, the way I talk, the non-verbal language that I would use would all be different.  When thinking in terms of culture, every person has their unique culture as well, so I always feel that we are moving in and out of different context’s while we engage with others.

Some of the differences may be in how well you know a person, what type of relationship you have with a person, if it is a profession relationships, a child, or even if you are talking with parents.  The voice and tone that you would use with children, you would not use with older people and most likely not your significant other.  In conversations with professions I may tend to use more jargon than I would with parents.  And in my close friendships and relationships I may be more open and honest in my communications, and more relaxed with my non-verbal language. 

So, what can we do to communicate better?  I suggest the following:

1.      Keep in mind that everyone has their own culture, and be respectful of how others feel.  If you are finding difficulties in communicating with a person/group of people figure out why.  Sometimes we may have bias and not even realize that we are acting on it.

2.      Use the platinum rule “Do to others as they themselves would like to be treated”

3.      You can also form a “third culture” this will help when communication issues arise.  How do you do this? TALK.  The third culture is “characterized by unique values and norms that may not have existed prior to the two-person relationship”.

References:

Beebe, S. A., Beebe, S. J., & Redmond, M. V. (2011). Interpersonal communication: Relating to others (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Young and Hungry

This week I was asked to watch a show that I had never seen before.  I went on Netflix and came across this show Young and Hungry.  I was asked to first watch the show with no volume then to watch it again with the sound.

The first time I watched the show with no volume, it seemed to me that the characters of the show were fairly friendly with each other.   The show begins with a young lady knocking on a door, the door answers and another lady comes to the door.  It seems that while they are friendly, well they may not know each other.  After a few confusing times of the girl coming back inside, you finally see that she is at the house for a job interview.  As the show goes on it flashes between scenes at the house and at her house with what I was assuming was her roommate.  There are other characters that are introduced into the show.  Two of these characters are a couple, and I can tell this because they hold hands and kiss, then the man gets down on one knee and proposes.  The one thing that I felt from watching this show without sound is that they all seem pretty nice to each other, and very friendly.

When I put the sound on, I was in a whole new world.  While I did predict many of the relationships how I felt that they appeared on the show, it was very different hearing the words that they said to each other.

What I learned this week is that what you see may not be the whole picture.  It is like sending a text message and much of that message getting lost in translation.  I also felt that maybe it was a little unrealistic how well all the characters got along and how well they did communicate in the short time they knew each other.

 

Communication

One of the people in my life who I feel is a great communicator is one of my best friends Kim.  I have always enjoyed talking with Kim, because I feel one of the best qualities that she has as a great communicator is that she knows how to listen.  And if she does not understand what you are trying to get across, she will ask questions or reframe what you have said to her.  She is always calm, and always speaks to others with respect and kind words.  She often thinks before she speaks, which I admire as well.

kim and I

I feel when it comes to my own communication I want to be a person who thinks before they speak, I want to be a good listener, and I always want to be able to speak with terms of love and equality.

 

Hopes and Goals

As a person who works with children I do have a lot of hopes and goals not only for the children but also the families they work with.  I felt that this quote helped summed up why I feel that all children should be given the same opportunities for education.

hope

As an educator in the field of early childhood one goal that I feel is important is for each of us self reflection.  I feel that it is important for each of us to understand how we can make or break our connections.  I feel that the following sums it up.

reflect

I would like to thank everyone for not only the wonderful support but for sharing your stories with me as well.  I enjoying being able to read, grow and learn with you all.  I have grown as a teacher as well as an individual and you have all been a part of this process with me.  Hope to see you in a week !! Four more classes to go…..

Cindy