Saturday, August 29, 2009

Should they bite each other's heads off?

This is a story of an interpersonal conflict that could occur because of bad communication methods. I am writing this story from the point of view of Cecilia. How would you solve it if you were Cecilia?

Read on =)

Time/ place setting – The society for the preservation of animal welfare (PAW), NUS/ semester 1

Jane – Jane is the vice chairperson of the society. Her significant other is also in the committee.

Cecilia - Cecilia is the Secretary of the society. Like Jane, her significant other is in the committee.

It was the beginning of the semester. Cecilia and Jane as well as their significant others have just been selected to be part of the management committee (PAW). All of them knew each other from the previous semester although they have never really worked together.

Being a person with a corporate mindset, Jane was worried that having two couples in the same management committee would compromise professionalism.

Jane then asked Cecilia’s significant other to advise her to adhere to professionalism throughout the term. Cecilia became upset.

How Cecilia feels:

· Cecilia felt that she was not given enough trust to be professional enough.

· Cecilia also felt that it was quite an insult to her capabilities.

· Cecilia felt that Jane should have talked to her herself if she needs to advise him. Having a third party do it also showed that Jane was not behaving professionally herself.

· Because Cecilia’s significant other was the one doing the advising, she felt that he did not trust her to be professional too.

How Jane might have felt:

· She wanted to prevent anything bad from happening before it actually had a chance to happen

· She didn’t know how to broach the subject to Cecilia and thought that it will be better to let Cecilia’s significant other do the talking.

If you were Cecilia, what would you do? Cecilia is definitely hurt because her abilities were being doubted even before she could do anything to prove it.

What if she did show that she is unhappy about this but Jane ignored her? Should she still try to solve the problem (although Jane is clearly not interested in solving it) or should she do her job but ignore Jane?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Why I sacrifice my sleep for ES2007S classes...

I could barely remember the last time I did any kind of oral presentations, but of the little that I do, they were memories of nerve-wracking experiences. All I could remember is the fear of forgetting my lines and of saying something stupid; or the bravado that I felt just about right before I actually presented. Somehow courage seems to seep out with every word that I spoke.

I do know, however, that I would have to do oral presentations and a great deal more (and in a less friendly environment too) if I hope to be successful in whatever career I would choose.

I regard inter-personal communication skills as highly important to me because I realised that communication starts even before a job interview. Job application letters and resumes are the first forms of communication to our prospective employees, and for many of us, it could be our only chance at convincing them to consider hiring us. In order to impress them, I would have to learn to write effective letters and resumes. Unfortunately, I have close to no knowledge in the art of writing a standard resume, let alone an impressive one.

Besides that, I often found myself tongue-tied when meeting strangers in formal corporate events. I feel lost, not knowing the right things to say without sounding too friendly, too awkward, or too boring. Putting formal settings aside, I have also encountered conflicts with friends and co-workers. Being able to communicate effectively would enable me to be more confident and wise in handling such situations.

Hence, when I learned about ES2007S, I jumped at the chance to improve myself. That is why, although I hate lessons at 8a.m., I’m totally looking forward to learning as much as I can =)