For this final course post, I will reflect on the communication skills that I have developed in this module, in terms of the 7Cs. I will give some examples to explain my ideas. (I know it’s crazily long, but i just want to recall everything in class, so forgive me to throw aways the word number limit this time:)
1. Clear: I learnt that effective communication requires both sides give and receive messages clearly.
Brad is always very kind and seldom angry. But sometimes, more or less, I could feel he was quite unsatisfied with us, due to ineffective communications.
Firstly, when we should conduct our first resume peer review, most of us didn’t get our resumes and application letters at hand. But his other groups were well prepared and he was asking, why? What’s wrong with you guys? … Brad also explained that he didn’t remind us, but I think everything was on the schedule so it was us who didn’t get the message clearly.
Secondly, for our blog 4: interpersonal conflict, we were asked to describe a scenario of conflict, ask one question and give feedback in light of EQ principles. I remember that he especially talked about this post and pointed out that we didn’t pay attention to the requirements by giving some examples. We either didn’t ask questions properly or give comments in light of EQ principles, and so on. After that, everyone got the points clearly and posted blogs following the instructions well.
Thirdly, it was just a small incident. Brad asked us to email him the research link without email etiquette. But later on, he told us we still didn’t follow him… Maybe some people still said “how are you” or something like that.
In conclusion, to achieve effective communication, we must pay attention to the detail, either it is spoken or written, either for speakers or listeners, so that everyone understand the message clearly. By the way, if one is not sure, he can always ask, right?
2. Concise: I learnt that we’d better make our message concise for the busy people (actually I think everyone is busy, right?).
For the blog, I feel that Edmund’s posts are quite concise, and he cut his articles into short paragraphs, which makes me feel the articles are concise and well organized, and I am willing to spend time reading.
For the verbal conciseness, I think that my research project team achieved it in the presentation. If I am not mistaken, my team had the least slides and least sentences. Especially I only got 4 slides and every slide had only one sentence, except the last one which was the conclusion. I think I made my message concise by giving the 3 take-away points in the end. I am not sure whether the audiences were sleepy or not during my presentation, but I am quite sure that everyone took away the 3 main points, which was exactly my purpose.
In summary, conciseness helps make communication effective for everyone, especially the busy and forgetful people.
3. Concrete: I learnt that concrete messages tend to be more accurate and convincing.
We posted two blogs in terms of interpersonal and intercultural scenarios. And I think everyone’s posting was specific and interesting. I really enjoyed reading these personal experiences and also learnt a lot from different stories. Also remember Brad’s words that we should not generalize, since our experiences are personal and “too concrete”.
Another typical example of concreteness is Yong Feng’s presentation. Yong Feng calculated the ratio of students to seats in every faculty and the ratio of satisfied surveyees to unsatisfied surveyees, and in the presentation, he only showed us the numbers, which was accurate, believable and concise. Now I still remember the 4:1 and 7:1.
In a word, effective communication requires combination of concise and concrete words. However, I believe concrete terms are more clear and easy to understand.
4. Correct: I learnt that correct communication requires correct Language (I mean English).
I have to admit that my English is not good enough. I really thank Brad, Elin and Cosin for pointing out my language mistakes in my blogs. And I will be more careful when I write.
Another problem is my pronunciation. I am always speaking Chinglish, sometimes, I cannot pronounce correctly or clearly, and sometimes I cannot understand others’ words. I agree with Brad that we should talk with native speakers, so that we can listen and imitate them to correct the pronunciation and improve English.
In short, correctness is very important, and I have to learn and improve.
5. Coherent: I learnt that messages need to be put together so that the receivers can get the main point.
One example is the resume and cover letter. Through the peer review, I noticed that in the resume, some of us didn’t include enough and convincing relevant experiences to indicate that they are qualified for the job. Also some may just tell many general experiences, which is not specific and coherent. When we write a resume, we may always keep the job and requirements in mind, and only write the related things.
Another example is the proposal. I think my team’s proposal was quite good, and the score was satisfactory. Actually 4 of us all did our own writing parts, and then finalized it. I think we successfully combined each part and made the proposal in one tone so that people would not feel it was written by 4 different students.
Finally, to make ourselves better understood, we should improve the coherence of our message through connecting words, phrases and relevant contents, and so on.
6. Complete: I learnt that we should make our information complete, especially in writing.
If I am not mistaken, Brad mentioned that some research teams missed some contents, like conclusion and secondary resources in the proposal, so they lost marks. Also I think, to avoid misunderstanding, everyone should convey complete messages.
7. Courteous: I learnt that the etiquette plays a critical role in communication, especially in the business.
I am impressed on peer teaching 2, which taught us how to write business email properly. The message should be positive, out of goodwill, and for the convenience of the reader. Also pay attention to the title, greeting, and language itself.
Moreover, during the verbal communication, being courteous can make conversation easier. Like our class, even though it was kind of casual, everyone was courteous, and there was a harmony and happy atmosphere.
hope you are not sleepy now~~~
After talking about so much, what I finally want to say is that I enjoyed the class very much and I will remember everyone and everything in the class. My English and communication are not excellent, but I am always learning and improving. I learnt a lot from our dear teacher Brad, and everyone in the class, so thanks a lot for spending this unforgettable semester together. And wish you all the best 🙂