Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Resolving Interpersonal Conflicts

Conflict is part and parcel of most interpersonal relationships. As people form relationships or interact with one another, it is inevitable that sometimes, for good or bad reasons, disagreement and misunderstanding may arise. This is perhaps, largely due to different personal communication styles, particularly between men and women. Here is one famous quote that describes the differences of how men and women perceive speech -Linguist Deborah Tannen notes that, for women, “talk creates intimacy, but men live in a hierarchical world, where talk maintains independence and status.”

A common identified problem that exists in couple relationships is the failure to understand communication between opposite sexes. Often, our ability to communicate and express our true emotions without hurting anyone is put to many tests. In other words, is Emotional Quotient important to keep relationships working?

Let’s imagine this scenario:

Sally, an employee in a company came home feeling down as she was reprimanded by her boss for not meeting up to his expectation in terms of work performance. She went up to her boyfriend, Tim and poured out her anguish, hoping that he would lend her a listening ear and show sympathy towards her situation. However, Tim was not responsive and did not express care for her. Instead, he dismissed her problem and claimed that she was taking her boss’s comments as a personal attack. He told her not to make a big deal out of it.

As a result, Sally misunderstood Tim and interpreted what he said as an insult. But, this is not the case for Tim as he meant no harm. Soon after, the situation quickly escalated into a full blown fight which was not necessary at the start.

How should Sally and Tim have reacted in this situation to avoid a conflict?
What can they do to resolve the issue?

Men are from Mars, women are from Venus, so do they see and hear things through different filters too? And when we begin to realise it, we should seek clarity with another by sharing the ‘distortions’ we experience. Therefore, how could it be done to bridge the gap between the sexes? I would like to hear from you as well!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Need For Effective Communication

The need for effective communication is important to many. No man is an island and communication is required among one another in order to survive. After all, life is about relationships, be it between husband and wife, employer and customer or even mother and child. Therefore, one has to be effective in communication to keep the relationship going.

Communication allows us to impart and exchange our thoughts, feelings and opinions through speech, signs or writings with the people around us. By doing so effectively, we are able to represent and express ourselves correctly and accurately, avoiding unnecessary misunderstandings which can be frustrating.

To work well with others, exchanges of ideas should be coherent and rational. This is especially essential in the business world so as to avoid any conflict among workers. If coworkers cannot communicate well with each other, tasks will not be completed smoothly and tension might result from inefficiency in getting work done. Hence, everyone must be able to articulate his or her thoughts and ideas in order to work towards one common goal.

All these examples show how much communication is of great importance. When someone can convey ideas clearly, it is easier to understand them and provide effective feedbacks. Therefore, with the appropriate skills acquired, it will definitely aid in forming positive interactions and bonds with the people around us.

Through this module, I hope to become a more effective and articulate communicator, enhancing my ability to market myself. These skills are important as they can help me to communicate well with my lecturers, employers, colleagues, or maybe clients in future. In addition, I believe that my self-esteem and confidence can be maximized when I know what to speak, how to speak and even when to speak.

Indeed, to be effective in a workplace, you have to communicate well. To be a good leader, you have to communicate exceptionally well. So, why not master the skill of communication so as to reap the benefits in both professional and personal aspects of our lives? (: