Communication and social interaction skills are viewed as set of behaviors and behavior sequences. “Asking a question” or “making eye contact” are examples of interpersonal skills. Whether these skills were enacted in a way that was successful, satisfying, appropriate, clear and so forth is a matter of quality or competence. The ultimate purpose of assessing communication and social interaction skills rarely turns on the mere ability to obtain a nominative reference point on an implicit or explicit continuum of social competence.
For the assessment of myself, my strengths and weaknesses can be investigated or considered. I have leadership abilities and strong listening skills. I believe that without the right leadership, organizations will never be able to see the holistic nature of value streams and the interrelatedness of action. I believe that good leaders should develop their broad, interrelated perspectives, knowledge capabilities, balance of transaction and transformation and lengthen their vision.
And in this development, I believe that my environment, my family and community, has contributed much to the development of my leadership skills. My family, particularly, encourages my leadership characteristics to emerged and be sustained. My strong listening skills on the other hand help me, under certain circumstances, to willingly empathize with people. By being a fully attentive listener through sensitively unraveling the things which other people tells me, my ability to understand other people grows. Everyday, I remind myself to listen and not to immediately judge the words and ideas of others.
The most challenging times for me are to be nonjudgmental during the times when I have strong emotions or strong opinions about what other people are saying. I believe that by overcoming personal biases, I gain an unequaled and powerful ability to lead and motivate the minute that I force myself to hear, feel and sense other people’s words in their own perspectives. When I meet a new acquaintance, I am already eager or interested to know his ideas, learn from his knowledge and somehow understand his emotions.
My weakness is that sometimes, I am unable to start or make conversations last longer. There are times in intellectual conversations that my emotions speak before I think of what I am saying that the conversation seems to achieve a conclusion. Sometimes, I tend to start by asking “what did you do” and receive responses like “nothing”. According to the book that I have read “You (I) should not look at the words. Instead, see and hear the feelings behind the words” (Dinkmeyer et al. , 187).
I learned that it would be easier for me to “succeed in making conversations last by turning a person’s words into feelings” (Dinkmeyer et al. , 187). Based on the book, I plan to develop a plan to change my weakness. First, I would try to improve my ability to understand and resist actions or statements which immediately judges other people. Second, I would try to turn other people’s words into feelings and be able to communication this properly and utilize it in order to improve and make conversations last (Dinkmeyer et al. 187).
As a practice, every morning, I would take one minute to review my action plan in preparation for the day. My plan specifically contains or would include: (1) stay on the speaker’s topic; (2) give people attention and time; (3) don’t be frightened by silences; (4) employ the word “you” or even better, use the person’s name occasionally; (5) keep thinking, “What does what this person is saying mean to him or her? ” instead of “How does this affect me? ”; (6) be a mirror- show people that what they say is what they get; (7) don’t play “Can you top this?
” or “That reminds me of” games; (8) don’t react out of my own needs; (9) avoid interruptions; (10) when listening, I should not conclude where people are going before they get there; and (11) think how my responses will be viewed by the other person. In one of my trips or vacations, I managed to talk to somebody who was introduced to me by someone I know. At first, we were exchanging smiles and “silent words” because we (I think) both felt shy (though I am really willing to know her). I was able to break the silence when I tried to ask about her family instead of playing “that reminds me of” and “can you top this” games.
During the conversation, I tried to stick to the topic which was started by the person I was talking to and gave her the attention and time by listening attentively. I showed her that what I say is what she gets and I am true with my intentions. In addition to this, upon learning her full name, there are instances where I used her name and referred some of my questions directly to her through the use of her name. However, admitting that I am still practicing or trying to overcome my weakness through the action plan, there are times when I inaccurately judge the meanings of what she was saying in her point of view.
There were moments where I concluded where she went or what places she had visited. In addition to this, there are instances where I interrupted what she was saying because my emotions got in the way. Though, a good thing that I have noticed is that the interruptions are reduced because her “silent response” when I am talking reminds me of my action plan and that I should also try not to interrupt her when she it is the time for her to speak or tell something.
Remembering these “mistakes” somehow reminds me to check and practice my action plan frequently. I believe that once I am able to completely exercise the things listed on my action plan, I can totally overcome my weakness and improve my ability to be a good listener, and ultimately become a very good leader.
Dinkmeyer, Don C. Sr. , Lewis E. Losoncy and Dr. Don Dinkmeyer. Skills of Encouragement. CRC Press. 1996.