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Session 2: Communication Types and Modes Video Transcript

[Rose Proctor] As we continue our conversation around effective communication, we're now going to dive into communication types and modes. So first off, nonverbal communication, paying attention to our body language, images that were sending to others, our verbal communication, whether that be through oral or written. So in oral, we're talking bout presentations, phone conversations that we have. Whereas written, we're talking about documentation, right? Email, text messages, any kind of papers that we're presenting. So when we think about these different types of communications, we want to figure out which communication type or mode is appropriate and the most effective for the situation that we're in. So as we think about going back to that definition of what effective communication is, how does knowing which communication type or mode to use impact our overall communication effectiveness? Yeah, this happens a lot, especially it's a little bit different for me because I come from a culturally diverse background. So especially growing up there's I would speak Spanish at home and then in the everywhere else it was English. So I would have to balance the the communication in that perspective because it's two very different worlds and so.

When it comes to school, you don't want to mess up because it costs your grade and then with friendships you don't want to kind of balance that because it may cost you friend or, and as you can look at it from different perspectives but it happens a lot more than you think. But for me it's about being open and honest, and if you mess up, claim it, you know. It's they're not going to they're not going to look at you any different, obviously, especially if you look at if you take credit for it or you take blame. Though most more times than not they'll forgive you for it, and they'll look past it and you can use that to grow not only as an individual, but together. So just being open and honest and working together whenever it is, it's just a problem arises. So recently something that happened is, so I'm a Company First Sergeant and I had to put out something that you know my my company or my group needs to be here at a certain time, but due to COVID we had to move outside. So normally we would have these meeting or this formation inside and in a certain shape that sort of made it so you can see everyone is sort of getting names and face and all that stuff. Well I wanted that shape outside and the way I like sort of communicated it was not clear at all. It was very like I was typing it very rushed. I was sort of in a hurry and I was like okay I want you to form up like you would inside but at this place, but it got misunderstood, so only half the people showed up outside and the rest were inside. So I was like where is everybody and I had to go send somebody to go find them. They're like inside. They didn't understand what you meant and so I had to figure that one out, that one was a big miscommunication.

So verbal communication, obviously it's been a little bit different with this COVID setting. There's a lot more online and even though sometimes zoom calls and face to face can kind of be virtual at the end of the day, it's not the same as sitting across from somebody that you know, relaying whatever thoughts you have or questions you have, and so it's a lot more email chains. It's a lot more text messages, and even in the zoom calls, they're just structured a little bit differently, and so the position that I'm in right now is I'm I'm coordinating training for all of our junior year cadets and I'm getting them ready for their national assessment and what I assessed through last year. And there's one one person that I really answered to that at the beginning of the year, because of this communication block, I'll say, or this lack of face to face, I was on a completely different page of where he wanted to take one of the key events. And so we conducted the key event to what I thought was the standard. And then afterwards he pulled me aside and he's like Derek. He like what happened here and it was news to me. So I was a little shocked and a little bit embarrassed honestly and it just it was not the end of the world. I think it. It helped us understand where we need to talk to each other more, especially in the situation and the environment that we're in now. So more so than a failure, I would call it a learning point and it's really. It was nothing to be embarrassed of, it was just, you know, two different perceptions of the same goal. So a lot of times when I'm talking to people that I'm working with and I haven't had a good night sleep, I haven't eaten yet, I'm really tired, it could come across as I'm upset with that person, or you know they did something wrong or what I'm talking about. I'm not actually enthusiastic about something I've really had to notice is like, even though I'm tired, hungry, you know whatever I still have to make sure, I'm aware of how what I'm saying is presenting to the other person.

Nonverbal, when I think of nonverbal, it it brings me to more so like body language. And I think that's one of the biggest cues of nonverbal communication, and I being the middle man, I'll relate this again to my position that I'm I'm working this year being the middle man between the planning of some training and the facilitation, I have people on both ends that I answer too, and there's people on both ends that I'm supposed to give direction to. And so if I'm, if I most recently, I guess the best example would be I gave the intent of my commander to the next level down. And it was just some similar training that we needed done and I was going by spot checking like I'm supposed to. There's four different groups, and so I just kind of rotate and and trying to ease any bit of friction points there. And I walked up and I'll stand in there and I just nonchalantly. I had my arms crossed and so I didn't even think nothing of it.

I was talking with, you know, my my partner basically and we were just talking about how we could ease things up in the future for this same type of training and the person in charge of it came over here like hey sir, like, is there a problem, like what what's going on? And I obviously had no problem. I didn't mean to pull him away from his training, but he mentioned how when I was standing there, it looked like I was angry with him or angry with the coordination or with the facilitation or disappointed with some aspect. And I'm glad I had the verbal communication to clear it up immediately, but in the future since then I've never walked up anywhere in nonchalantly crossed my arms. It's been more of, you know, keeping my hands class down here, just off to the side, and it's awkward, you know, not knowing what to do with your hands, but that mental cue was then added up, OK, maybe not crossing my arms. Now that we've thought a little bit about, you know those communication modes and going back to having the ability to effectively communicate and what that really means. We've already focused on displaying the appropriate listening, nonverbal, verbal, interpersonal, and written skills.

We talked a little bit about sending a consistent, clear, and concise, and courteous message and making sure that what we have sent is understood by the party receiving. Now we want to focus a little bit on asking questions. Clarifying and summarizing and providing feedback to ensure the message has been understood. So to ask the right questions and to provide feedback or your opinion around decisions being made, you must be able to critically think. So as we kind of challenge ourselves on how does critical thinking and having the ability to make decisions impact our careers and our ability to be successful. Yeah, decision making in any career, especially business or in your job, is essential.

A lot of times, especially in my career, going into management, that sort of thing people look for you to answer, look to you for answers. So you being able to go out and quickly be think quickly on your feet is very vital because sometimes you don't have time to go home and think about it. Sometimes you have to go in and give him an answer right away or within a few minutes, so being able to, kind of take a step back and for and kind of go in depth into the question or into whatever it is they're asking and make a decision is very crucial into any sort of career and it can make or break stuff within your career, so being able to think of it from a bigger perspective than just your own is it very important as well.

Something I was told in high school actually was that in order to make decisions throughout your life and like in your future and stuff like that in college, is you have to make a 5, a, 10, and a 50 year goal. Not that anyone actually knows what they're doing in 50 years. But in order to make decisions now you have to have that sort of a reference to like be as your guardrails while you're making those decisions or else everything is going to feel overwhelming. So you have to have those written down in front of you so you can look at these and be like. Are these decisions I'm making or not making helping me reach those goals? And in that way you can sort of like clear your head about those decisions you're making. So because I received that guidance so early on of like making the 5, 10, 50 year plan, sort of right off the bat, I was able to make good decisions and like choose between like extracurriculars like that. But it's not. It wasn't not a struggle, you know, when you get to college, there are so many different things you can do.

I was so overwhelmed and I really had to take a step back and be like, OK? What is actually going to help me like get to where I want to go like my career and all that stuff? And you still need to incorporate things that are going to make you happy. You know things that are just for fun, just for you, for your personal development. But if you think about it at the end of the day, it is still your growth and you're helping your career. The better you feel about yourself and like who you are as a person, the better you're going to present to employers and in your career. Into the fact if I'm given something that I need to do, or some some plan that I need to develop, I'm not going to be spoon fed that whole plan, part of it is going to be me as a leader stepping up and, and deciding some of these honestly, the more decisive points will ultimately be left up to me in my in my team of whoever I'm working with. So the decision-making process would be OK when I'm not given every answer, I have to take a step back. I have to play devil's advocate or I have to, I have to really evaluate situation and assess and be able to come up with a decision that's rational that's legal, moral, ethical, and at the end of the day would still get whatever tasks done.

I think it is definitely impacted my college career in the sense that my decision making skills have gotten better since I've been here, and I think that comes with a little bit of maturity. A little bit of leadership scenarios or situations, and different opportunities that I've had since I've been in college. And those are people or those are situations that people will naturally get. I mean, just the older you are. Obviously, the more responsibility you'll take on. You'll start working a job, will start working for a University or for school, or you'll start having to take your life more so into your own hands, and so you're almost thrown into that. And then you steadily add to your plate and add to your plate and your time management will get better. Your effectiveness of making decisions will get easier because you don't have to go through an entire eight step or whatever step decision making thought process you have to go to.

Instead you can relate back to decisions you've already made and be able to make them easier. So coming to an actual definition of critical thinking, the ability to analyze facts and use a logical approach to form an accurate objective decision or plan of action for something. Recognizing an clearly defining a problem. Right? It's really hard to critically think and solve something if we haven't identified the problem we're trying to solve in the first place. Determining any causes for those problems, identifying, prioritizing, and selecting alternative solutions for that problem and then being able to actually implement those solutions even for difficult and very complex issues. That is what employers are looking for in graduates. These are the employability skills of critical thinking, right? That problem solving and decision-making. We're now going to do an exercise together to kind of challenge you on your critical thinking and your ability to then effectively communicate that to others. Now that we have conducted that exercise together, we're going to continue the conversation around effective communication, critical thinking, and we're going to start providing you a framework for ethical decision-making as well.

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