Effective Communication

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“Whether collaboration is new or familiar, we must see ourselves as global partners who harness our diversity to travel together toward a shared destination” (Winer & Ray, 1994, p30).  Winer and Ray (1994) talks about the road travelled and how our influences based on language, cultural and society affects our decision making.  In our conversations as educators sometimes our roads are clearly defined and at others we chose which fork in the road to follow.  Teamwork and effective communication is essential to establishing rapport and trust with our students and their families, as well as other colleagues and support personnel.  When we respect, reciprocate and resolve to not only listen to the conversation, but observe non-verbal queues to ascertain the exact message that is being presented we show that we are vested in the conversation.  We should always be mindful of the quote above whether we’re communicating on a personal or professional What I’ve learned is the value of the leadership role in team collaborations.  Leadership should provide cohesiveness, allow for shared power and responsibility among team members, and should be able to resolve conflict issues before they escalate.  Being aware of challenges and shortcomings is just as important as knowing when to regroup if tasks or goals aren’t being met or resources not being fully utilized.

With a solid foundation now set in the core subjects, I move onto the specialization of Administration, Management and Leadership in Early Childhood Studies.  I take these tools with me in the hopes that I can help facilitate change and make positive strides in the educating of educators and support personnel responsible in their daily task of teaching and learning from our youth.  Thank you to Dr. Parrish and all of my colleagues along the way who have shared their experiences and offered invaluable advice.  My goal is to continue this blog after my studies complete as I continue my journey to continue to build my resources and share information.  Best wishes and I’ll be blogging soon!

Reference

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

Winer, M., & Ray, K. (1994). Collaboration handbook: Creating, sustaining, and enjoying the journey. St. Paul, MN: Fieldstone Alliance

The Adjourning Process in Group Communication and Collaboration

During the first two years I worked at Department of Labor, I was part of the technical team that traveled throughout the United States installing phone systems. My role was the technical liaison for my customers and I interfaced with local telephone companies, other Department of Labor administrative agencies, and the vendor with whom we purchased sixteen telephone/voice mail phone servers from. Most of our prep work and implementation planning was done remotely. For the actual site visits, the vendor scheduled to be on site for five days, while our technical team scheduled our physical site visit for seven days. Three days prior to the actual installation, both teams met with the customer to finalize installation plans. I worked closely with our vendor in staging equipment, final testing of circuits and 911 requirements. On behalf of my customer, I reviewed final implementation plans, setup and coordinated phone and voice mail training. There was a trust and camaraderie established to ensure we accounted for each contingency and to ensure the transition went as smoothly as possible. At the end of the vendor’s fourth day, the entire team would meet for dinner to celebrate the success of the installation and make preparations for the next upcoming cut over. Although I no longer travel the country in that capacity for my customers at Department of Labor, I’ve made some lasting professional relationships with many of the technicians and program managers I’ve worked with. It was our ability to work together as a unit during the installation process that resulted in acquiring complete trust and respect from each member represented.

Since returning to school in 2006, I’ve obtained a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies, and a professional certification in Information Assurance all online. Each class I met a new group of colleagues and professors that I had to collaborate with. Since attending Walden to obtain my master’s I’ve had the opportunity to interact with some colleagues in more than one class. As we come to the end of our core subject matters and begin concentrating on our specialized training, I will miss the familiarity I’ve shared with many of you. I hope through blogs and emails that I will still interact with many of you, as you are an inspiration to me and why I so want to follow in your footsteps. This has given me an avenue to an endless wealth of knowledge in which I should never find myself lacking. Thank you for being a part of my journey.2013-03-23 10.07.01

Personal Communication Styles

“Individuals who fail to consider other cultural perspectives are said to suffer from cultural myopia, a form of nearsightedness grounded in the belief that one’s own culture is appropriate and relevant in all situations and to all people” (O’Hair & Wiemann, p. 45, 2012).

Along with that thought we were asked this week to examine the The Platinum Rule” (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2011). Basically the rule implies that we should treat others in the manner in which we want to be treated. With those two thoughts in mind for this blog I will examine my own personal communication styles.

Around people I know really well that includes my family and inner circle, my posture is relaxed and animated. I feel comfortable expressing my thoughts and opinions. Because we have an established rapport, shared experiences and beliefs we can talk about anything and work out our differences quickly. At work, I have a professional courtesy that I extend to my colleagues and customers. My demeanor isn’t as relaxed but I display a smile and openness to be willing to exchange ideas without drama or conflict. When conversing with individuals I’m meeting for the first time again my tone is polite but I try to exhibit a body language that promotes a willingness to engage in conversation.

In every setting, I try to be an emphatic listener and look for cues, both verbal and non-verbal communication that helps me understand the message that is being conveyed. Sometimes it talks asking probing questions or paraphrasing the context back to ensure that we both are aligned with the topic being discussed. If I am familiar with the presenter, then I can adjust my response accordingly. On occasions where I’m not familiar with the presenter, I try to obtain as much information as possible to keep the lines of communication open, honest and continuous. I try to take into account that my cultural upbringing and background may be similar, but each of us has walked a different path to get to the same endpoint and there is always a lesson to be learned or shared.

Becoming an effective communicator and listener is a lifelong practice of self-evaluation. As we age and experience new life journeys, the people and events we encounter change how we view ourselves and others. Being aware of our cultural and social differences and making the necessary adjustments to learn and not prejudge others helps to keep conflict to a minimal when communicating, written or verbally with others.

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

O’Hair, D., & Wiemann, M. (2012). Real communication. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s.