My first expectation I had for this class was to be drilled with material on how to communicate. However I was wrong, instead, each and every class every student was encouraged to communicate back to the class. The different layout for the classroom each week made this class like no other that I have taken, because we never knew what to expect. This class helped me face my fear of talking in front of people. Every class meeting, I faced my fear and slowly started to progress from the nervous speaker into a calmer speaker. Not only will I take away from this class the presentations I mustered up and did, but also the different concepts that I have be introduced to and will use daily when I communicate with others.
The first concept I learned from taking this class and applied it to the first presentation that I gave with my group PUP-IN SUDS, that consisted of Chad and Dan, was about the four different communication styles. The four communication styles: open, blind, hidden, and close are all very important to recognize while trying to communicate effectively. I can apply the four communication styles to my interactions I have with fellow students, professor, manager, family, and friends. In my personal life, I can use this concept to help myself better understand people outside of work. In my professional life, I can use these concepts to have a better knowledge on the customers I encounter. I can apply it to understanding which customers are more social than others, and which just want to be left alone. The importance here with the four communication styles is flexibility. If I can adjust my style to the styles of others, I will not only become a better communicator, but also a better listener. A listener in a sense that I take time to observe other people and their reactions, so I do not send off the wrong vibe but can make everyone I do communicate with feel comfortable.
The second concept that I am taking away from this class is on listening. The quote that was introduced to the class that I liked a lot and will be used in the future is “Each of us have two ears and one mouth.” This quote truly expressions the importance of listening before one speaks. Those that take the time to listen to others not only are known as good listeners, but are highly respected especially in the workforce. I value a leader that will take the time to listen to me if there is ever a concern or suggestion that I may come along. A leader that listens is a leader that displays charisma to his followers and is able to win over their respect. At work, I take the time to listen to every person who may be having a concern, even if they do not want my opinion just someone that will take time and listen. After studying the different traits of both good and poor listener, I have learned more about myself and others. I learned that I need to eliminate distractions and spend more time listening to the message.
Listening has helped my memory more since I can remember more detail about the conversation I have had with others. I am more focused when I communicate back to rather in my personal or professional life. In my personal life I am not distracted by my phone or noise around. I can give the sender of the message my full attention and receive positive reaction at the end. In my professional life, I take as much time as needed to understand and listen to each and every customer. I understand that it’s important to listen to the full message before responding. Sometimes I catch myself saying in my head “Why.Am.I.Talking.” All Customers highly value services that listen to their concerns. Customers do not want to be serviced by someone that does not listen to them. Therefore, I have increased my listening skills so I can adapt myself to being a listener, and listen fully before I speak.
The last concept, which is just as important as the first two concepts I mentioned in the previous paragraphs is nonverbal language. Nonverbal language varies drastically from culture to culture. The importance here is to not offend, or send mix signals when communicating with someone from a different culture. The best way to read someone’s nonverbal message is to read their facial expressions, which are responsible for the most meaning. Studying facial expressions display the different basic emotions that are expressed.
However, facial expressions fluctuate here as well. In my personal life, I will observe the different expressions people have when I communicate back with them. I will take the time to understand different cultures and their reaction will be different than others. In my professional life, I will watch for positive or negative signals from my customers to help myself measure how I am doing and critique areas were improvement is needed. Observing body language will help me understand the message being sent, and the message I am sending.
The primary lesson I can take from this class is determination. Determination is a great motivator to helping anyone accomplish any goal they envision, similar to the hard work and perseverance that helped you win your trophy. I can use this as a guide to helping myself become better at presentations and less nervous. Picture yourself being successful, and the rest is up to you. From the start of the class I was nervous when speaking in front of the class, to now I am more relaxed. I still need improvement in this area, but with the right determination, I can show more confidence in my presentations.