|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Personal development Communication skills|
In the course of this unit, I have learned more than what I expected. The assigned readings from the coursebooks have been educative and would be crucial not only in my future career but life overall. The lecture sessions were also enjoyable; the illustrations, explanations, and humor from the tutor made me always yearn for the next session. However, the highlight of this class were the group discussions as what I discovered during the meetings is that a typical team is one with a good communication relationship and high performance. At the formation of the group, I did not regard my team as the typical high task one. However, the uniqueness of my group emerged in the sense that every member had their exceptional nature that complemented each other. It is just how important the composition of the team is, and as provided by Martin and Nakayama (2013), it is necessary to have the right members of a group to form a high-performance team. Perhaps, I was lucky to be in this group.
While one could think that the task component of a group discussion would be the essential aspect, it turned out that communication was equally crucial, or rather, both complemented each other. What made the team cohesive was the excellent communication relationship developed along the way. In growing closer and fond of each other, members developed a sense of belonging, and it is this togetherness that contributed to our success. The importance of excellent communication in the team manifested itself in the capability of each member of the team to communicate and express themselves effectively. It was possible to achieve this despite the diversity of the group. I want to highlight that our members were from different cultural and social backgrounds. However, this never brought significant trouble in our communication. Language use may affect the efficiency or effectiveness of communication, particularly how people express themselves (Fushino, 2010). One of my team members was not fluent in English. Consequently, I took the responsibility of being the translator by understanding what he was saying and then explaining the same to other members. He felt appreciated for the understanding the team showed towards him, and it helped boost his performance in the group. It also created a pleasant climate where all team members could express their ideas and thoughts. For instance, when we were discussing what constitutes effective communication, the group was open to every type of ideas and thoughts, listened to each supposition and provided all the reasons on the feasibility of the subject of discussion. It is this accommodation that led to the introduction of notions that were not even in the textbook and significant way of learning new concepts. After reviewing all the reasoning advanced by members, we could sift out the most important ones, and this made the work more efficient.
Besides, accountability and personal responsibility were other important aspects of teamwork. I believe that I performed well in my role as the assessor and implementor of the group. In this position, I based my responsibilities on discipline, reliability, efficiency, and being conversant. Besides, I also worked strategically and soberly while discerning and reviewing all the available options and employing accurate judgment. What I learned is to listen more to the view, opinions of feedback of other group members. As the individual with the task of presenting after the discussion, I had a different idea on how we should go about the group presentation. My suggestion was that we should use Prezi for creating our presentation as it would be more engaging to the audience. The members opposed this proposition and were for the more common and convenient PowerPoint tool. While I was quite hesitant on taking the option group members supported, I eventually gave up my ego and accepted the opinions of the team, and I was happy to have listened to them. According to Alberts et al. (2010), excellent communication involves listening to others effectively. Adler et al. (2016) further provides that entering a conversation with a fixed mind or particular agenda kills the open-mindedness element that is crucial in communication. If there is a disagreement, listen to other people's opinion to reach a middle ground option top benefit all the involved individuals.
When accepting the opinions of others, one should let go of his or her ego. In this way, it is possible to achieve the purpose of communication. I believe that everyone wants their opinions to be accepted and most people prefer talking more to deny others their chance when this happens, there is a compromise of quality as what is taken from the discussion will be narrow. In this way, it was essential for us as a group to ensure that each team member had a time limit to communicate and tell us their views on a subject. However, there could be a time limit and fairness to ensure that each person covers his or her content. To be successful, the team had to maintain an excellent communication relation established initially. It happened when, there was a concern for each other, and the consideration that we are Greenlee and Karanxha (2010) not only group members but friends as well. Consequently, another critical aspect of communication would emerge with this element. As mention by , friendliness is crucial as a factor that sets the tone of the interaction. A positive tome contributes to communication as it encourages other people to interact with someone. So, the important lesson here is the necessity of personalizing interaction when working with colleagues as this warms them up and boots them to communicate appropriately.
However, not everything was smooth in our group interaction as we were subject to some barriers towards effective communication. While I am aware of the skill of active listening when interacting, in some instances, this never served me. As earlier stated, the group was culturally diverse, so as a result of the different background each member had their unique communication style. Mackenzie and Wallace (2011) provides that the norm of cultural interaction varies from one society to the other, and modes of expressing emotions differ as well. Someone might talk aggressively or looks angry when speaking, but in a real sense, this is what he or she learned in his culture. My group had a similar situation, and since we misread this individual, members avoided counterarguing his points, and this resulted in our communication is ineffective. Also, the exploitation of jargons by other group members posse other challenges, especially in understanding what someone is saying. Overcomplex words can change the meaning of what is being communicated and create confusions. It becomes worse when the person speaking fails to expound on the point. All in all, the group project was educative and offered vital lessons on communication, which could be useful in my future career.
Reflection on Personal Development
There is a belief that the key to success relies on interpersonal skills, especially communication. Mitchell, et al. (2010) holds similar notions where in his publication asserts that most successful people are great communicators. The group discussion was eye-opening, and I not only learned of various aspects of effective communication but also became aware of personal attributes that I need to develop. I have consequently identified three communications skills where my weakness lies and will look to develop them. Considering my line of career, it is essential to ensure that I possess all the necessary communication requirements as I will be working in a field where my success will rely significantly on healthy interaction with people.
My greatest weakness was in listening skills. Arguably listening is among the most crucial skills to acquire before becoming a sufficient communicator (Gray, 2010). While this is the case, many individuals seem to disregard this element and place their focus on intently on being heard or understood, merely killing their ability to do so in return. People will eagerly wait for their turn to talk and in the process, fail to listen genuinely. In communication, the initial step is to ensure that parties communicate through a universal language. This is only achievable when both members can listen to each other and understand what the other person is saying (Chow, et al., 2015). Without achieving this, the situation is of two strangers who may as well be speaking nonsense to each other. When parties listen to one another, it is possible to take notice of what is being communicated. Consequently, it is possible to understand what another person wants and to make them view you as a potential partner rather that challenger. In this way rather than being people who are just fighting, you forge a working relationship in an ideal connection where everyone is involved.
Lack of listening can lead to fixed mindedness and lack of empathy, which are additional inhibitors of excellent communication. In all scores of lives, someone will come across people who cannot subscribe to their opinions. It is a way of human interaction, and fortunately, it is not necessary to agree with everyone in regards to all matters. While this is the case, it does not mean that one should not try to accept and understand other people's opinions. This relates to listening to what the other party is saying and finding the meaning in his or her words. Try to understand what the person believes, how they reason, or the opinion they hold. This does not mean that you share a similar ideology with them but understanding what their position is and which offers a noteworthy intuition into keeping conversation not only civil but also productive. When in the working environment, everyone will be having their philosophies on the running of different aspects of work or how things need to be managed. Even though there will be disagreements with coworkers and colleagues, it is essential to respect and consider their point of view (Andreoni & Rao, 2011). Empathy and open-mindedness are factorial here and also beneficial when dealing with demanding clients. The aim is to understand what the other person wants, their drive for holding such beliefs, and their background even if they might appear wrong.
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