improving professional communication

A big, cheery “Hello” to everyone reading this! My ECS 200 volunteering today got cancelled due to a power outage, so I decided to blog away a little bit of the enormous open time slot I now have.

I have realized two things about my professional communication that I can work on improving:

  1. I have always really enjoyed blogging and sharing my thoughts with the world online. Until recently, however, I have never really put an equal amount of effort into reading others’ posts. Then I realized: if I get a warm, fuzzy feeling from someone commenting on one of my posts, I should be sharing this warm, fuzzy feeling with others. How am I building my professional personality by expecting others will read my posts and share their ideas about them, when I am not reciprocating the action? ECS 210 has really helped me to realize that it is a two-way street of sharing your thoughts AND your thoughts on others’ thoughts. What good is putting information out there when you are not taking other perspectives’ in? So, it is my new goal to read a lot more of the blog posts that come up on my WordPress feed. If you know of a blog that I should be following, please comment it down below! 
  2. Image  I saw this tweet from a fellow ECS 210 classmate (@parker3e – go follow her!) recently, and it made me realize that I do this too much. In a conversation, I am frantically thinking up relevant responses that link to what the speaker is saying, and then end up missing half of what they shared because I am either caught up in my own thoughts or trying to remember what I wanted to say back. I really need to practice listening fully to someone until they are finished talking, and then give myself time to reflect on it and bridge off with my own response. It is a shame that our society views silences in conversation as awkward, because I find that I need that extra time to really think about what I’ve heard in order to make a thoughtful reply. Do you catch yourself doing this, too? It would be nice to know I am not alone – haha.

Those are my professional development goals, for now. Wish me luck!

Do you have any current goals that are guiding you towards becoming a better professional, educator, citizen, or person in general? Do you have any thoughts on my goals? Share them with me in the comments!

-KKF

5 thoughts on “improving professional communication

  1. Thank you so much for including me in your blog. It is an honor. I, too, need to try harder to become more responsive to my colleagues’ voices and contribute myself to this wonderful network.

    We often talk about listening skill with students, ask them to listen to teacher and understand, don’t interrupt! But I wondered how many adults have this “listening skill” when I found this quote. As my English became better, I think I became wanting to put my thoughts out and be heard more than listen to understand others…

    I think your goals are part of mine too.

  2. I am with you on needing to improve my listening skills. I’m one of those people who unless I’m instructed to listen carefully and reflect on what is being said, I go off topic in my responses to others very quickly because I pick and choose what I want to connect to when listening to others. It would improve my communication greatly if I really took the time to think about how I respond and really try to provide responses that are helpful to the topic on hand, not just relating to what I know from my own experiences. This post really made me think about communication and how it can be improved, not only within myself but also within society. Thank you for providing such a thought provoking post!

  3. A cheery hello! Thanks for sharing your aha moment of needing to listen, read, comment. It’s wonderful to read blogs but it’s also special to read comments like Eriko’s.
    One thing I’ve really tried hard to do is to allow pauses in conversations. Too often I find myself jumping into a conversation too quickly and not waiting to ensure the person is finished speaking. In my time in the north working with Inuit people, I have had to really focus on this. Inuit people are very kind, caring, patient listeners who never interrupt! Being in a community circle with Inuit preservice teachers and Elders taught me the importance of the ’empty spaces’ in a conversation – the space provided by listeners to make sure the speaker has said all they want to. They are comfortable with pauses…we tend to ‘fill the empty spaces quickly because we are uncomfortable with pauses…interesting.
    I now notice how often I am interrupted and it’s usually by my White friends, not my Aboriginal friends! 🙂

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