A great deal of time has passed since we first started the lessons on interpersonal communication this summer term. At the start, I was apprehensive about the content we were going to learn. I originally thought that this module would be a waste of my time and not contribute much to my studies. I found out later that this is false. Interpersonal communication allows us to use different tools to be able to solve and manage conflicts better. This offer us a wider array of options to approach problems as the course widened our perspectives towards the many tools of de-escalating conflicts we can use. This similarly improved our interaction towards our peers and our superiors. From the many practice sessions on public speaking we did in class, it helped me to plan my train of thought better and this allowed me to be more coherent when speaking to an audience. Thankfully, from this course, I managed to achieve my objectives of giving eye contact to each and every person in the audience and also conflict de-escalation which will be extremely useful in my everyday life.
One major topic I learnt in this course is the use of Daniel Goleman’s model of Emotional Intelligence (EI). From his teachings, I learnt to be better aware of my own emotions and thoughts, and never to react when emotionally charged. The better option will be to move away and cool down first before devising a plan on how to approach the problem better. Managing your impulses well will allow others to be able to trust you better as they will see you as a level-headed individual. The skit involved in the project enhances the importance of being level headed even if the situation is emotionally charged. From the intern’s perspective in our project situation, it must be extremely frustrating for him as he is faced with an unreasonable superior. However, the way that the intern managed to de-escalate the situation only tells us that it’s the technique of interpersonal communication that matters the most. Furthermore, if one was hot-headed and impulsive, the chances of destroying relationships is very high. Thus, with the techniques mentioned in the Daniel Goleman’s model, I will be able to utilize these methods to better myself first, making myself a better person.
Another important topic was the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict instrument (TKI) which allows us to use techniques ranging from assertiveness to cooperativeness. These techniques are versatile as they fit an array of different needs depending of the situation. In particular, I enjoyed the use of compromising myself as it allows me and my detractors to come to a common agreement on any topic. This will allow things to be done quicker and also streamline our discussions. This is especially important as it fits my time-oriented personality. Instead of spending time to argue over a small matter, time can be saved when we agree to the same thing. My learning in the module enhances my ability to stay calm and apply the proper techniques to diffuse difficult situations in the workplace. This fits my initial objective of learning to de-escalate conflict situations and will be extremely handy in my future workplace endeavors. Also, from the various presentations we gave in class, it gives me more opportunities to practise giving eye contact to each and every person of the audience in the room. This allows me to be better connected to the audience and improve my speech as a whole.
In particular, I’m thankful for the support and hard work of my group during the project. It means a great deal when all your teammates come together and work on something together despite all our busy schedules. I enjoyed working with each and everyone in the group as all of them have something special to offer and give this group a different dimension of approach to problems. I’m extremely appreciative of my groupmates as they have met all datelines on time and completed all work, maintaining high standards under the leadership of Alfin. This project, with their support and camaraderie, made this project a great deal of fun.
In conclusion, I have learnt a great deal from this course. The module opened up the various approaches and methods to allow us to communicate better with others. Even though the time spent in this module is short, it has been very fruitful and rewarding to be learning about how to be better to ourselves and communicate well. Therefore, with another chance, I would like to learn more in-depth about interpersonal communications and it’s ramifications.