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Complete Initial Response – 15 Points: Your initial response should demonstrate analysis (review the link labeled
Analyzing versus Summarizing in Modules.) Your initial response should be fully developed addressing the question with adequate examples from the assigned reading and thoughtful explanation of why or how. A complete initial response is a minimum of 200 words in length.

Two comments to colleagues – 15 Points: After you complete your initial response to an online question, you should read through several of your colleagues’ responses and choose at least two to provide a comment to. Often a student will choose to comment on a response that was most helpful to them in understanding the course material better or one that they found interesting or intriguing. Any comment to a colleague should adequately explain why you found your colleague’s response helpful, interesting or intriguing and be at least 100 words in length.

Organization, evidence of proofreading, spelling checked and proper capitalization – 10 Points: Your posts should demonstrate that you carefully proofread, be organized, free of spelling errors, typos and fragments and follow capitalization conventions.

Discussion on the Benefits of Developing Communication Competence

1st Response (Liam) : My specific major is Business Intelligence, which is something that relies heavily on good communication. The way I see jobs with a focus on business intelligence is the ability to turn data and other sorts of information into tangible ideas for a business. This sort of thing goes hand in hand with things like data analytics, which are focused on getting that data in the first place. Being able to effectively communicate with others is crucial in this sort of industry because it allows you to effectively convey ideas and recommendations based on analysis to other people within a company. Effective communication is specifically important in this situation because ideas can easily become muddied or misunderstood, which can have massive repercussions later down the line in a project. While I am not entirely sure what I want to do for a career, I know it will likely be centered around communication in the tech industry. Because of this, being able to effectively convey thoughts and plans to others is obviously required.

One area of communication that I want to improve upon is public speaking. While I personally consider myself a good interpersonal communication, I feel much confidant in public speaking settings such as presentations. I feel like this is a skill that I absolutely need to improve in, as in the professional world there are likely going to be situations that require successful presentations.

One specific experience of how poor communication can have massive repercussions in the workplace was right when I started my previous job. For this specific job I had to often contact the local police, and I quickly learned that the previous employee in my position had very poor standing with the local police. He would rarely return their emails along with other issues, which meant that when I started the job I had to attempt to rebuild the local police’s trust, which was very frustrating.

2nd Response (Beatriz) : Developing communication skills will always be a fundamental skill to have in the professional setting. For example, I am studying to achieve my bachelors degree in accounting. By becoming an accountant, I will be having to deal with a lot of different clients. I will need to be able to communicate and discuss with them their concerns. Also I will need to be able to discuss with them their options and accounts that they might need to get looked at. Also an accountant not only needs to be able to communicate with their clients, but a lot of the times they might need to reach out to different state and government organizations on behalf of their clients.

I wish to improve on my public speaking confidence. Public speaking is a very handy skill to have because it will help you communicate with others a lot more confidently.

Poor communication is something that can always negatively impact your life. For example, I have always struggled with opening up about my feelings about certain things with friends and family. This in return has only made it hard for me to keep friendships and relationships long term. My hesitance is always looked and taken as hostility. This is not the case though. Sometimes I just rather keep to myself.

Discussion on Louise Evan’s TED Talk

1st Response (Liam)

It’s sort of a tricky thing to answer, but I think generally when challenged by others I tend to revert to the ‘wait’ chair. This is because generally I try to find the best way to mediate the situation, and this sort of style of response is good at that. Conflict when it comes to working in a group isn’t inherently bad, as sometimes it’s required to improve. But for me, I tend to just try and find whatever way to get around the issue as fast as possible. Even if it isn’t always healthy in the long term for a project, being able to quickly resolve issues like that definitely helps in the immediate future. If I had to pick another chair to try and focus on in the future, it would obviously be the giraffe chair. The other three chairs are framed in a much more negative light, whereas the last two are not. The giraffe chair is generally something that is very useful in the workplace as well, as being able to see other people’s point of view is crucial when working in teams. A mix of this along with the ‘wait’ chair is what I want to focus on in the future.

2nd Response (Samer)

It is difficult to accurately choose the correct chair that I would find myself in, not only because we are biased of ourselves but also because in my opinion it depends on our mood. And our mood can be easily influenced by virtually anything throughout our day, whether it is because I woke up on the wrong side of the bed resulting in me being more of a red chair jackal, or if I received good news and I typically lean towards a more purple chair giraffe.

For the most part, in my everyday work environment, I would best accurately see myself being a red chair jackal. I honestly do not know why my initial reaction can be so cynical however, just because I tend to lean towards a more judgmental mindset does not mean I react that way, most of the time I start off being judgmental, catching myself reacting that way, taking a step back and evaluating why I reacted the way I did and correcting my thought patterns in a more empathetic approach.

The chair I believe that would benefit not just me but most people to achieve their goals is the blue chaired dolphin. Especially in a workplace environment, being confident and assertive, knowing what we want and assertively achieving our goals without being aggressive sounds too good to be true in a work environment. Most of the time we do not know what we want and let our bosses and even coworkers push us around. Self-awareness is a powerful thing and can be a powerful tool to help achieve the goals you want in life, not just in a workplace setting.

Discussion on Listening ( Liam)

(1st Frist Response) In William Ury’s TED Talk The Power of Listening, he outlines how being able to listen to a conversation is just as important as being able to talk. He starts the talk off by explaining that he was an expert negotiator, and worked in situations such as labor strikes and political unrest. The main argument he gives for this is that if the other person isn’t actually listening to the conversation it can do more harm than good. I think for myself this was a valuable TED Talk because to be honest I think I’m a good speaker, but a poor listener. One of the focuses of the talk was that if you are able to listen to other people talk, they’re more likely to be receptive when you begin to talk later. Ury describes genuine listening as being able to ‘put ourselves in their shoes’, by putting the spotlight on them and their perspective. If you can listen to what they say from their frame of reference, you can get a much better idea of their though process. Because there is so much going on in our heads, it can sometimes be hard to clear through the white noise. Being able to actively listen is definitely an incredible skill in the workplace.

I’d like to look into Celeste Headlee’s talk on the subject of listening, as she explains the hindrance in our ability to listen through the advent of technology. She describes a peer research describing a third of teenagers spending more time communicating over text then in person. As great as technology has been for us, it has hindered our interpersonal communication skills. Another hindrance that we as people tend to lean on is our inability to “go with the flow”. Thoughts come into our mind in the middle of a conversation, it may even wander, recalling memories or formulating ideas. This prevents us from listening to the conversation at hand, stories and ideas naturally will formulate in your mind, but it is just as important to let them flow out as effectively as they flow in.

The HBR article illustrates a great picture of how listening doesn’t come by as easily as most people think, and points out certain methods and levels to resolve or keep in mind when having a conversation. Challenging others reasonably by engaging and asking questions that promote awareness. Sitting in silence while nodding and repeating back what someone says to you has no effect in promoting a good conversation, or even demonstrates good listening skills. A conversation is a two-way street and fresh ideas and dialogue are important. Do not be competitive in your responses, equating your experiences to theirs results in nothing but appearing egocentric and selfish. It may seem like you are relating to their experiences, but all experiences are unique and it’s best to stay in your lane. It’s fine to derive resolutions from similar experiences but be mindful of how you present it.

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