In todays world effective communication is significantly important as it plays a huge role in an individuals life. Anywhere you go and everything you do, communication is involved in that particular process. In simple terms it can even be said that communication can be a key of success or failure in an individual's life. One of the articles written by (Mohapatra, 2012), states that effective communication skills are important for the business to climb ladders of success. Thus the first thing a certain employer pays attention to is whether that particular employee has excellent communication skills or not. The key communication theories that I have particularly looked upon throughout this coursework are listening, assertiveness and effective feedback. Alongside with knowledge, communication is vital too. An article by (Hanke, 2009), states that people prefer using various communication styles such as verbal or non verbal communication.
Listening is when a person is effectively hearing what is being said. This can be seen through expressions, eye to eye contact, note taking and responding back to what is being said instead of just nodding. It is noticeable that an attentive listener will always tend to ask questions or will look interested in comparison to a person who is not listening. During some situations it is difficult to completely pay attention on what that person is trying to say which is caused due to tension or nervousness. From my past experiences I noted that, attentive listening is very important because it may even seem rude to the speaker as what he or she was trying to interpret hasn't been listened. For example it is difficult for me to be attentively listening to what the professor is trying to say during longer lectures. Hence, from then on I decided to record lectures so that I am able to listen while revising. Implementation of this method helped me to have a greater understanding of the lecture contents and the module which not only helped me pass all my modules but achieve higher grades.
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"Assertiveness is an approach to communication that honours your choices as well as those of the person you are communicating with. It's not about being aggressive and steamrollering your colleagues into submission. Rather, it's about seeking and exchanging opinions, developing a full understanding of the issues, and negotiating a win-win situation" (Black and Black, 2007). Assertiveness can actually reflect upon an individual's personality and behaviours such as some employers usually carry out personality tests so that they are able to identify whether the employee they are seeking is assertive or not especially in professions like accountancy or even banking (Kammrath, 2011). Advantages of having such behaviour are that individuals tend to resolve conflicts quite easily plus their boost of confidence level is quite high as they are very outspoken and challenging. However assertiveness can bring problems in one's life as such people tend to say whatever they have in their minds, this can later be an issue as at certain times it is better to maintain silence. Throughout all these years there have been situations where I have not agreed to what others have said, I've always stood for my rights such as during my summer internship once I got assertive by telling my manager that I did not agree with the decision taken by my other colleagues. I was just being truthful that I don't think this is right as it can bring problems in the future. Moreover my assertive behaviour helped me achieve a desired outcome. Thus, the main difference assertiveness brought in me was the boost in my self esteem and increase in the level of confidence.
Effective feedback is one of the most important aspects of communication during a learning process. This tends to bring improvement in the quality of work produced by individuals. A book written by (Orsmond, 2011) mentions that "Tutors need to provide more guidance to students regarding the use of feedback, possibly by introducing better scaffolding and variation into theirÂ feedback". As seen from my perspective I believe that implications of such a theory must have made the tutors think in depth on improving their ways of feedback so that there is more room of improvement for students. An example of feedback in relation to my professional life is that during work my manager always tends to provide me with feedback after every task I have performed. The feedback received from my manager helped me improve further more on my areas of development which included my management and problem solving skills.
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In conclusion, effective communication is really important in one's life as it helps us overcome difficult situations. Communication is a necessity in today's world whether it's in our personal lives or professionally. Lastly, effective communication helps an individual climb the ladder of success.
Task two: Self reflective essay
In this particular task, I will be reflecting upon my personal strengths in relation to areas of development. Hence, I will be carrying out a SWOT analysis (Fahy and Jobber, 2009) and skills audit so as to identify what improvements can be made which can later be helpful for my future career.
Having courage makes an individual stronger and thus, he or she is able to face any difficulties ahead in life. In accordance to my personal perspective I believe that every individual has their own areas of strengths and weaknesses. The strengths that I have within myself makes me a much stronger person and gives me the 'I can do it', attitude. No matter how difficult the situations are, I always tend to use my strengths while overcoming problems. As seen from the chart below I have various strengths in me which are my confidence, belief in myself and adaptability. Although one of my main strength is research skills, this skill helped me attain a higher grade in one of my course works during my first year of university as well as throughout my second year on my other course work.
Every person has their areas of weaknesses no matter how strong or successful they are. According to my observation someone's weaknesses can be transformed to one of the greatest strengths in future life. One of my main weaknesses is inaccuracy while essay writing, stress management and time management. During my first year at university I suffered quite a lot when it came to essay writing. But as time passed by, I gained a level of confidence when writing essays. When reflecting upon my other weakness which was stress management up to this period of time I have been struggling with it. Especially during exam season I panic a lot which later impacts on my grades. Keeping up with time has always been a problem to me hence it is one of my other weaknesses. During the start of year I was told to work on my research proposal topic and finalise it but due to my poor time management skills I failed to do so and had to choose something random which was not what I wanted to work on.
The chart below shows my strengths and weaknesses from which some of them are discussed above in detail.
Now I will be reflecting upon the external conditions within the SWOT analysis which are opportunities and threats. Strengths tend to provide an individual with a competitive edge within themselves which are always useful in the future. There are various opportunities that exist, although it's on a particular individual how they tend to grasp and make full use of the opportunities acquired (Fahy and Jobber, 2009). The opportunities that I have had throughout all these years have developed the areas of my strengths and helped me overcome my weaknesses which are team work and time management. I currently did a Belbins team role questionnaire; it stated that I was an implementer. Due to this questionnaire I got an opportunity to know that I am good when working with teams while slow in responding to new tasks (Belbin, 2010). At work and at university I have been given various different opportunities of being a team leader by making sure all the tasks are completed efficiently within time. For example during my group coursework for financial accounting I got an opportunity to become a team leader, I allocated tasks to everyone including myself so that there is less or no confusion later on and told them that I want this done within four days so that we can later edit the work together. Thus, this gave me an opportunity to improve my team leadership skills. Time management was one of my weaknesses, thus I got an opportunity to overcome my poor time management skills during the start of my second semester in February 2013 by attending an hour time management session which was free of charge and was organized by Coventry University within the business school. Attending this session gave me an opportunity to learn on managing my time effectively.
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Threats are usually raised from the existing opportunities. As mentioned before that one of my opportunities was team work. In relation to team work the threat that exists would be the fear of not performing well in a task or even conflicts between team members. My another opportunity which would be time management skill could be one of the greatest threats in future, for instance I am allocated a task by my manager and due to my poor time management I am not able to deliver that particular task on time.
The chart below shows my some of opportunities and threats which are discussed in detail above.
In conclusion, after conducting a SWOT analysis upon me it is really important to focus on the strengths I have within me and making sure that I keep on improving them constantly. However, the weaknesses, opportunities and threats should even be transformed to the lists of strengths I have, so that they can be useful for my future career path. In one of the quotes by (Franklin, 2007), it is said that "Never leave till tomorrow that which you can do today".