Managing Yourself And Relationships In Personal Development English Language Essay

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Description:

When I finished semester one, there was about a twenty-day's holiday. Therefore I decided to find a part-time job; on the one hand, I could acquire a few social experiences, on the other hand, the job will provide me with extra living expenses. After I made some calls, one of the restaurant's managers promised that he could give me an interview. On that day, he asked me some questions, such as why you apply this job, do you have the previous similar working experience, where do you live and is it far from here. I felt very confident because I have worked in a restaurant before and I was familiar with the environment and the working process. In addition, I required to do some work to confirm that I was familiar with the environment. Moreover, I told the manager that I lived a little far from the restaurant, so I wanted to work in the afternoons and evenings; and I definitely had the ability to do the work better than others. A took my recommendations into consideration and he was very satisfied with me because of my previous working experience, so he needed not to provide training to me. Eventually after couple of days, I got the call from A, he decided to employ me.

Reflection:

In this interview, I was pretty confident because of the previous experience. Besides, I told the real situation to A, simultaneously I shared my needs with A, which was living far from the restaurant. Additionally, A needed a person who was familiar with the work and needed no training. Ultimately, we reached the agreement.

Possible literature/theory links:

Self-efficacy

Sharing needs

Optimism

1.1.2Win- win: helping a customer to solve the problem

Date: June 2010

People involved: B (a customer) and me

Description:

After the interview, I began to work in the restaurant. One day, B came in and wanted to order some special food. However, he could not explain the food explicitly. His friend recommended our restaurant to him, but he forgot how to describe that kind of food and he felt pretty anxious. Then I gave my comforts to him and gave him a chair to sit down. I told him that do not be anxious and think carefully. Additionally, I brought a pen and a piece of paper for him to paint the food on the paper. Thus I could guess what he needed. The customer fairly trusted me and explained the form, colour, and the flavour to me. I guessed several times, but still useless. I did not feel impatient and understood that B wanted the food seriously. At the end, I took him to the kitchen and ask the chef. Luckily, the chef helps me solving the puzzle. The customer was very satisfied with my service.

Reflection:

I fairly understood the needs of the customer, although I did not know the underlying meanings of the food, I could definitely notice the anxious expression on his face. Thus, I tried my best to help him. Simultaneously, he shared his needs to me; he explained the colour and the flavour of the food to me. So I could understand what the exact food he wanted. The most important thing is that he quite trusted me, he expressed his needs sincerely and he believed that I could solve his problem well.

Possible literature/theory links:

Understanding

Sharing needs

Trust

Active listening

1.1.3 Keys left in my bedroom

Date: July 2010

People involved: Stephen(C) and me

Description:

C is my roommate in Australia. One day, I found that I left my keys in my bedroom. The worst thing was that the door and the windows were both closed. I try to contact the landlord, but I can not reach him. I felt so depressed. So I called Stephen. Stephen came and consoled me with a big smile. Then he brought a chair and some special tools to pry the lock of the window. I persuaded him to give up, because I locked the window so closely. However, he felt optimistic that he could try. Nothing will happen if you don't want to try. I just felt sad and couldn't think of any ways to solve the problems, while Stephen was so calm. Finally he opened the window and I got my keys.

Reflection:

When in trouble, I was so pessimistic and couldn't think of any ways to solve the problems. And in my opinion, the window was closed so you couldn't pry it any more. While Stephen was optimistic, he thought he could try whether he could open it or not, although the windows were closed. At the same time, he could understand me that I was an international student and I didn't have any relatives in Australia; so I needed help when I was in trouble. Besides, he listened very carefully and exactly knew what my problem was.

Possible literature/theory links:

Understanding

Optimism

Pessimism

Active listening

1.1.4 Lose- lose: taking house

Date: July 2010

People involved: friends and me

Description:

Reflection:

Possible literature/theory links:

Self-fish

Pessimism

No understanding

No share needs

No active talking

No patience and bad ability of controlling emotion

1.1.5 Win- lose: house moving

Date: July 2010

People involved: Moving company and me

Description:

Reflection:

Possible literature/theory links:

Self-fish

No understanding

1.2 Group Relationship Events

1.2.1Win- win: group assignment

Date: July 2010

People involved: group members and me

Description:

This semester, I had a course, the teacher randomly arranged the group members to do the group assignment. Therefore, actually we didn't know each other well at the beginning. At the first group meeting, we distributed the tasks to everyone. I told my group members that I am good at painting so I could be the one to paint the table and settled the schedule; while another person told us that he is good at organizing the group and he could distribute the tasks to the person equally. Everyone shared their good qualities with group members. And we listened carefully and distributed the task to the right person who is good at it. The most important thing is that we all have the sense of responsibilities, so we always finished our task before the due date.

Reflection:

At the beginning, everyone in the group communicated with each other actively. They told everyone what they were good at. So we could learn about each other at the first time. Additionally, group members trusted each other that everyone could tried their best to finish their work as soon as possible. In addition, everyone has the confidence in their own area which they are good at. At the same time, group members were responsible. Therefore, we could finish our assignment successfully.

Possible literature/theory links:

Self-efficacy

Trust

Sense of responsibility

Active listening

1.2.2Win- win: go shopping in Springvale

Date: August 2010

People involved: Toby, Alex and me

Description:

Reflection:

Possible literature/theory links:

Sharing needs

Values

Culture

1.2.3Win- win: visit Gold Coast

Date: September 2010

People involved: friends and me

Description:

Reflection:

Possible literature/theory links:

Sharing needs

Understanding

Compromising

1.2.4 Searching for the materials

Date: September 2010

People involved: group members and me

Description:

Reflection:

Possible literature/theory links:

Self-efficacy

Trust

Calm down

1.2.5 Playing badminton

Date: Octorber 2010

People involved: friends and me

Description:

Reflection:

Possible literature/theory links:

Assuming

Misunderstanding

2 Analyses of Events

There are actually six paradigms of human interaction, respectively win/win, win/lose, lose/win, lose/lose, win, and no deal (Covey, 1989). It is the best option to set up win/win relationships in the long run, whether between individuals or groups. According to Covey (1989), win/win stands for that people can benefits from each other on the agreements and one person's satisfactory is not at expense of others'. Besides, Mclean (1992) comes up with "Enlightened Self-Interest" which means maximizing interests of both 'self' and 'others'. After reading the journals as well as the living experiences, five issues will be identified associated with win/win relationships in this report.

2.1Understanding

2.1.1 Identifying understanding

In individual events, from event two and three, we can notice that I could understand the feeling of the customer; and Stephen could understand when I was in trouble and help me solve the problem. While from event four and five, Both my friends and me just focused on our own interests and couldn't understand the needs of others. Therefore, understanding is so important in individual relationships.

Rogers (1967) points out that "Empathic Understanding" is one of the integral elements. Additionally, understanding is not just superficially learning about the meanings of other's words, but considering about the problems from others' perspectives (Mclean & Davis, 2000). McGill and Beatty (1992) argue that better understanding "is essential for set members to think into the shoes of the others set members" (p. 69). In addition, putting others' needs on the first place is equal to increasing your own interests (Mclean, 1993). Covey (1989) comes up with the theory that people should imagine themselves into other people's minds.

2.1.2 Developing understanding

Firstly, people should listen carefully to understand others' real needs, therefore active listening plays a significant part (Mclean, 1993). "Active listening improves not only what you hear, but also what they say" (Fisher & Ury, 1999, p. 35). Fisher and Ury (1999) argue that saying "Did I understand correctly that you are saying that...?" confirms that people are listening carefully; thus, they feel they are not wasting the time to explain the things to you and they feel very satisfied to be understood.

Additionally, asking questions to clarify the needs is pretty essential if you are confused about what they said (Mclean, 1993). Based on Fisher and Ury's theory (1999), you can rephrase what they said in a positive way from the other side's position; and they also recommend that you could say, "You have a strong case. Let me see if I can explain it. Here's the way it strikes me…".

When the other party explain their needs to you, don not interrupt them or say "yes…but" (Mclean, 1993). You should wait until they finish their talking, because it is the basic respect to the other side party.

If you still can not understand others' meaning, it is best for you to take notes on the whiteboard or butchers paper, which can help you memorize the important issues (Mclean, 1993). Simultaneously, you can summarize their needs by saying "Let me see whether I follow what you are telling me" (Fisher & Ury, 1999).

Besides, according to Wertheim, Love, Littlefield and Peck (1992), an important factor that results in misunderstanding is what people acts (verbal) is sometimes different from what they say (nonverbal); however, people usually pay more attention on their behaviour; therefore, "it is very important for you to act in a way that is consistent with the message you are trying to send" (Wertheim et al., 1992, p. 190).

2.2 Sharing needs

2.2.1 Identifying sharing needs

From individual events one and two, sharing needs with others will be more likely to result in win-win situation; while in individual event four and five, I did not make active communication with my friends and also we had no idea with others' needs, therefore, we could not meet our own needs.

According to Mclean (1992), Maslow studied the human needs and came up with five level needs hierarchy. It is more likely for the two parties to solve the problems, if two parties can learn about other side's interests (Wertheim et al., 1992).

2.2.2 Developing sharing needs

Firstly, two parties should make an explicit explanation of their needs and issues (Mclean, 1993). In most instances, it is usually the best option to listen to other's needs, because people always want to be understood; "the principle of letting them talk firstly is especially important when they feel very emotionally" (Wertheim et al., 1992, p. 30).

However, sometimes, people will not trust you, so they do not want to be open to you firstly; they fear that the other side will not share their real needs with them. Therefore, Wertheim et al. (1992) point out that it might be the best to give the advice that who speaks first, and then give the final decision rights to the other side, for example, you might say, "I am happy to listen to your interests first, but it is up to you. Which order would you prefer? " (Wertheim et al., 1992, p. 31).

When sharing needs, active listening is also pretty essential. As Fisher and William (1999) mentioned, active listening can enhance both what others say and what you hear. There are many ways for good listening, such as requiring the points to be repeated, asking others to clarify the ideas explicitly, taking notes, asking questions and so on (Fisher et al., 1999).

Additionally, when the other party is sharing their needs with us, we should not criticize them; especially you should not evaluate the impossibility of their needs (Wertheim et al., 1992). After explanations of their needs, if you really think that it is impossible for them to execute the plans, you should use tentative languages, such as "let us think about the possibility of the plans" or "…is that right" (Wertheim et al., 1992).

Sometimes, body languages can also bring in a different impact on the situation. What you will feel if others read magazines or the newspaper when you are talking bout some important issues, or "people sigh or frown disagreeably while you talk" (Wertheim et al., 1992, p. 36). Thus, if you feel not interested in what they are saying or do not agree with their idea, please keeping smiling, because it is the basic respect to others.

2.3 Trust

2.3.1 Identifying trust

From group events one and four, it is obvious that trusting people can actually lessen the distance between different kinds of people. In the group event four, my workmates trusted me that I had the ability to fulfil the work, which gave me more confidences.

According to Covey (1989), "the trust, the Emotional Bank Account, is the essence of Win/Win" (p 239). If we can not trust others, we can make the agreement just by compromising; without trust, we have no courage to be open, share needs with others and lack credibility (Covey, 1989). In addition, trusting others will help groups to pay close attention on real and essential issues, not wasting the time (McGill & Beatty, 1992). What is more, based on DiBella and Nevis (1998)'s theory, when you trust others, you can explain not only your weaknesses, but also your strengths; therefore, group leaders can develop your strengths in the right direction.

2.3.2 Developing trust

Based on the theory of Reck and Long (1989), if you want to develop Win-Win relationships, you should have the sense of mutual trust. The most important thing of having the sense of trust is being open, real and honest.

You can communicate with the other party separately from the problem (Cornelius & Faire, 1989). When you are talking about something, you can choose some activities which you are both interested in to enhance your relationships, such as trying cooking together or going to see movies (Cornelius & Faire, 1989).

Additionally, choosing some safe conversation topics, because the topics are not the points and "you are establishing a flow and tuning in to each other" (Cornelius & Faire, 1989, p. 42). Some times you can choose the parents as the topic, because parents are the most intimate people to everyone and people always feel hypersensitive to parents; therefore it will be easier for you to find the consonance (Cornelius & Faire, 1989). And then people are willing to open their heart and trust the other side.

Trust means putting what we are really thinking on the table, thus, when you generate adversarial thinking, you should use non-adversarial language, such as "How would it work if…" or "I would like to express a different view" (Cornelius & Faire, 1989).

2.4 Optimism

2.4.1 Identifying optimism

In group events three and four, my friends and I all feel depressed when being suffered from the situation. Additionally, when we are too stressful, the negative emotions strongly affected us; however, we did not focus on the problem and think it positively. Therefore, when you are in the dilemma, being optimistic is pretty important.

People who are optimistic will have a positive attitude and self-esteem when they are in dilemma; also, they tend to have more objective decision and logic thinking in tough life (Abbe, Tkach & Lyubomirsky, 2003). Besides, handling your emotions effectively can help you to focus on the problems and not blame others subjectively (Wertheim et al., 1992).

2.4.2 Developing optimism

When developing optimism, you should learn to control your negative emotion and see the issue from a different perspective.

When you are in dilemma or get into a heated conflict, if we can not control our emotions effectively, it is easy for us to deviate from the original goals. Thus, we can tell us what we should now, which is called "calming self-talk" (Wertheim et al., 1992). Because, in this situation, "you want more control over your emotional response" (Wertheim et al., 1992, p. 90).

The most essential way you should remind is practising relaxing (Wertheim et al., 1992), such as thinking calming thoughts, taking a slow and deep breath, slowly exhaling and so on (Wertheim et al., 1992).

What is more, you can use body languages to help yourself appear calm (Wertheim et al., 1992). It is pretty important, because your negative emotion will affect others, which is easy to result in conflict (Wertheim et al., 1992). The body language includes "keeping your voice even, speaking quietly, keeping your hands still and maintaining appropriate eye contact" (Wertheim et al., 1992, p. 93). This way can help you to return back your original point.

When people are fairly emotional, you can not blame them, because it can only "add fuel to the fire" (Wertheim et al., p. 94). So, calm yourself down and focus on the problems.

Lastly, the simplest way to release your negative emotions is finding a person and talking to them, which are called "let off steam" (Fisher & Ury, 1999).

2.5 Self-efficacy

2.5.1 Identifying self-efficacy

From group events one and four, I appeared so confident that helped other group member base on my experiences. Thus, the emotion provided me more incentives and courage to act, and finally I made it.

Based on the theory of Bandura (1997), self-efficacy plays an important part in human functioning; and people's actions are more dependent on what they really believe. In addition, "Self-efficacy believes provide the foundation for human motivation, well-being, and personal accomplishment" (Pajares, 2002, p. 391); because people will have more motivations to act, if they have confidence that the action can bring in desired results (Pajares, 2002).

2.5.2 Developing self-efficacy

According to Pajares (2002), social persuasions can strongly affect people's self-efficacy, which includes verbal judgement. People will be encouraged and have more incentives from social persuasions.

In addition, people who are easy to suffer from negative somatic and emotional states, such as anger, anxiety and stress will weaken their self-efficacy (Pajares, 2002). Therefore, it is a best way for people to improve physical and emotional well-being and control your negative emotions, such as taking a slow and deep breath, slowly exhaling and so on (Wertheim et al., 1992).

Besides, we should develop appropriate self-efficacy, which is about being skilful in expressing your needs and opinions- "in a way that is proactive, not reactive" (Cornelius & Faire, 1989).

3.0 Supporting strategies

What?

Practice understanding other's needs

When/where

When someone or me face problems

How

Put other's need first, listen carefully, ask for it, send the correct messages

Supporting theory

Mclean 1993, Covey1989, Fisher & Ury 1999 - win-win theory

What?

Practice mutual trust

When/where

When I face trust problems

How

Communication, start with some common topics

Supporting theory

Reck & Long 1989 Cornelius & Faire 1989- win-win theory

What?

Practice optimism

When/where

When I face tough issue

How

Avoid thinking track, self-talk, stay clam

Supporting theory

Wertheim et al. 1992, Abbe, Tkach & Lyubomirsky, 2003 Brinthaupt, Hein & Kramer, 2009, Scheier & Carver 1985

What?

Practice self-efficacy

When/where

When motivated myself

How

proavtive

Supporting theory

Wertheim et al. 1992, Cornelius & Faire 1989 Lyubomirsky's Hope Theory, 2009 Bandura, 1997

4.0 Conclusions

In conclusion, no matter individual or group relationships, we should consider the interests of both 'self' and 'others'. Firstly, we should trust other people; it means being honest, open and real to others. Then if you want to reach a desired agreement, sharing needs is essential. You should learn about others' needs and simultaneously, others' should be understood as well. So, in this procure, understanding plays an important part. People can use active listening and repeated questions to enhance mutual understanding. Additionally, when you negotiate with others, conflict is inevitable, so being optimism and controlling your emotions will help you to recall your original points. Finally, self-efficacy can facilitate the negotiation positively.

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