At the beginning of the semester, I was kind of looking forward to this module, COM150. To me, I felt that it is a nice to learn something out of the engineering scope. After going through the past 14 weeks of this module, I have gained more than my confidence and improving my speech. I have met my objective which is to be an active listener. I have also learned the importance of communication and interpersonal skills as well. These skills that I have learned are very useful and they can be applied mostly anywhere and to anyone. They can be used to avoid conflicts and strengthen any relationships. These relationships can be between colleagues, friends, boy-girl relationships or even your boss. These skills I have learned can be separated into two models: the Thomas-Kilmann Instrument (TKI) and the Daniel Goleman model.
The TKI has 5 techniques to overcome conflicts. These techniques can are very flexible depending on the situation. Personally, one method which I particularly would use most of the time would be compromising. Compromising means that both parties will give ideas or inputs so that they will come to an agreeable solution. This way both parties benefits and usually ends up in a win-win situation.
The Daniel Goleman model teaches how we could be more in control with our emotions. Usually when we are confronted or being accused of something we tend to get defended and gets angry. This will lead to increase tension and hence, started a conflict. To avoid that, it is better to step back and take the situation as a third-party view. This way, we can unplug from our emotions, cool off a little and think what is the best approach to counter the situation. The Daniel Goleman model works well with TKI as we can think of which approach from the TKI is best suited for the situation.
After I have understood these two models, my teammates and I were able to do a research project and present it to the class on how we could use these models in our internship to avoid workplace abuse. I think our presentation has made a big impact on everyone as they are able to understand well the existence of workplace abuse and how we can avoid it by using the two models.
Lastly, the skills I have learned made me be more aware of how do I listen to people. By stepping back and seeing it in a third-party view, not only I know what they’re saying but I can also see what emotions the person showing. This can be seen by their hand gestures, facial expressions and even by the tone of their voice. Knowing these will allow me to choose the best approach to what and how I’m going to convey my message to the person.
Overall, it has been a pleasant journey as we were able to draw up the storyboard and made a 5-minute skit production. These research project and video production would not have achieved without the contribution of my teammates and I. Lastly, a big appreciation to our lecturers, Brad Blackstone and Lee Hwee Hoon for making the module interesting and engaging.