How well do I communicate?

How can we evaluate ourselves as listeners and communicators and why is it important? This week each of us were asked to access our communication skills and select two individuals (a colleague and family or friend) to rate our skills in three areas: verbal aggressiveness, communication anxiety and listening skills. All of these factors combined form our opinions and perceptions about life and the people that we associate with, whether on a personal or professional capacity, on a daily basis.

Before I share the results I posed a question to one of my classmates that is it possible to get different results based on how well individuals know us. For example, my friend or family member would know me on a personal level, whereas a colleague I would have more of a reserved or professional relationship.

In assessing my skills, I asked a co-worker that I’ve known for about a year, and one of my closest girlfriends who has known me for more than twenty years.

For Listening skills across the board was Group 1. I agreed with this assessment as I tend to be a people’s person, empathetic and willing to build lasting relationships with individuals I meet. One area of concern is that we tend to be trusting of information given to us. I must say that prior to turning 35 I would agree with that particular assessment of myself. Now I’m willing to dig deeper before I make any judgments.

In regards to verbal aggressiveness, my colleague scored me at 58 and my girlfriend scored me at 59. I gave myself a 63. This places me as a moderate meaning I try to maintain an even balance when communicating and try to reason more with facts on the topic being discussed. I think when I initially took this test I tried to account for the times that passion outweighs facts. This is an area where I believe I can grow and become a more objective listener and considerate communicator.

Lastly in the area of communication anxiety, my colleague gave me a 34. My girlfriend scored me at 23 and I gave myself a 36. My girlfriend commented that as a public speaker, I make it look so easy whereas she has a fear of public speaking. My colleague and I agreed that my anxiety is mild in that I don’t have a problem with communicating but in how to address or start a conversation where the topic or subject matter is uncomfortable or may have the tendency to escalate if feelings are hurt.

It was interesting to see that overall I portrayed the same perceptions in my professional and personal relationships. What I’ve learned is that there is room for improvement. Having children definitely changes your perspective in what you say and how you present information to them. As an educator, my responsibility is to monitor my actions, opinions and biases to ensure that I present a calm and reasonable atmosphere for my students to share information without fear of prejudice or embarrassment. My job is tow-fold; first I must make sure that I hear and understand them. Secondly, I must ensure that I give them the voice to be heard.


2 thoughts on “How well do I communicate?

  1. I agree that there is always room for improvement especially when it comes to communication. Understanding people in the field of early childhood education puts us in positions to interact with many different people from all different walks of life, backgrounds, and personalities so being able to improve our efforts is extremely important towards becoming more effective competent communicators.

  2. Hello Lisa,

    I too scored in group 1. I agree with the assessment as far as it saying that i tend to be empathetic and willing to listen to people and build relationships, but as i get older, i realize that I have been taking information from others and trusting it with all i have, and i am learning that is not the case, so I tend to dig deeper before making any conclusions. It was great that you made that clear in your post. We are in a field where it is imperative to trust others and show concern and build relationships. I am pleased that i am people oriented, even though i knew it, it was great to see from an assessment as well. Great post, Lisa!

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