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Session 4: Communication & Personal Branding Video Transcript

[Rose Proctor] So in this section we're going to do a little bit of recap around what we've learned about effective communication, critical thinking, and our framework for ethical decision making. And then we're going to go into how that all plays into your communication around your both official and unofficial resume. So, for a recap we've talked about increasing our effective communication skills. Effectively communicating means the ability to display appropriate listening, nonverbal, verbal, interpersonal, and written skills. Being able to do that, you know clearly and consistently, concisely and courteously to all of our different stakeholders, making sure that they actually understood the information that we're communicating. We also talked about asking questions good questions, and analyzing, clarifying, summarizing, and being able to provide feedback to ensure that the message has been understood clearly. In critical thinking, we talked about that this is the skill and the ability to analyze facts versus assumptions, use logical approach to form an accurate objective decision, or maybe a plan of action. We need to recognize and clearly define a problem. Determine the causes for that.

Identify, prioritize, and select alternative solutions, and then be able to actually implement those solutions for even really high level, complex issues. So effective communication really does lend itself to our ability to be able to critically think. So as we talk about critical Thinking, let's also recap those steps that we talked about around ethical decision making. So first I want you to be able to analyze facts versus assumptions and get beyond your own opinion. Second, I want you to be able to gather concise and consider all of that different evidence, evaluate the pros and cons of the situation or decision that you're making and examine the issue from those different perspectives, right? Using the ethical lenses and we're going to kind of go through those four words again of structure, stakeholders, outcome, and impact. Then I want you to thoughtfully consider the different objections, why people are the opposite opinion of you. Right before you make that final Decision. And then finally considering the effective communication styles to your decision-making. So what modes of communication should you consider? You know how your style might look in order to communicate the decision. So coming back to structure, Stakeholders, outcome and impact around our ethical decision making.

Again, these are kind of different ethical lenses. If you want to dive deeper into those I've given you those theories in previous sections, but structure is a deontological perspective. Right, it is all about duty and obligation and kind of the structure to the situation, laws, policies, procedures. In a relationship lens, these are justice theories. It is talking about equality and fairness and the different people that our decisions will impact. In a results lens, we are talking about utilitarianism or consequentialism, or actually focusing on our outcome, right, and how that impacts both majority and minorities in our decision making. And then finally in our virtue ethics, which is our reputation lens, we're focused on the “so what?” The impact both long term and short term of our decision-making. So as we think about those different ethical decision frameworks and going into our ability to effectively communicate, what are you communicating about you? There isn't anything that you should know more about at this point than yourself.

You've been driving that vehicle of your own self for quite a few years at this point. So as you critically think about you, we want to talk about both your official resume and your unofficial resume, and kind of how you're communicating through your own personal branding. When we talk about an official resume, these are what you guys are probably already pretty clearly understand is a resume is something that you're going to build out. Maybe some of you have already done so. If you haven't, you should be working on that, particularly if you're a senior. And as you get into the job market, you're going to be listing what your skills are, and these are the types of skills employers are looking for right this effective communication, problem solving, and critical thinking. Being able to make decisions ethically and then being able to communicate that back out to others. So you're going to be listing those skills. You're going to be listing your education. Maybe any work experience that you've had so far. Maybe any service that you provided to your community and community organizations, maybe nonprofits. Any of those types of things, and you're going to also be sharing kind of what your objections, objectives are, right. What are, what is your goals as far as your career?

So that's kind of your official resume. You may also be providing a few references. Most of us give people that might talk very well of us and talk about our different characteristics that could be valuable to an employer, but at the same time, particularly for your generation, you're also building an unofficial resume. Social media starts to become part of our unofficial resume, so when we're talking about personal branding, what are some of those do's and don'ts of personal branding and social media in particular? For me to do, is to keep it professional, definitely without a doubt. I'm not saying you can't go out there and have fun and post pictures of you hanging out with your friends, stuff like that, but definitely keep it clean and make sure that you know that there's people looking at it, they can definitely kind of play a big role in your career and stuff that happens down the road. I've had many experiences with different people that they did or didn't get a job because of how they run their social media. And some are dream jobs that they weren't able to get because of one single post, one single picture, tweet, whatever it may be. So for my I the way I do it is I try to keep the controversial issues out, not in.

When I say controversial as it's not stuff that you don't believe in, but stuff is like substances and Stuff that can kind of hinder people away. And I'm not saying don't don't post what you believe or don't stand up for that because that's that's completely different, but when it comes to, for example, partying and stuff like that, let's not. Let's keep that behind behind closed doors in a sense, and not really go out and post pictures of it and snaps or whatever it may be. But it just goes back to being professional and knowing that there's a lot of people that can, the internet is is very, very vast and anybody has access to anything in a sense, so being able to know that, and know that whatever you post may have a lot of bigger repercussions, and you know. So, because I'm entering into a military environment, I'm very aware of, like my social media presence and how I look to other people, because a lot of times people don't consider you know they're posting things for their friends to see for their family, but it often ends up happening is employers see that they look up their name, and they see their face and they automatically are jumping to conclusions and making assumptions about this person. When that was not the intention. And you know, depending on the environment you're going into, there's nothing wrong with like going to the beach and having fun with your friends, but if you want to go into, say like the military or very professional corporate environment, you have to be aware that what your what your bikini pictures look like Online, you know to an employer. So there is nothing wrong with that. Have fun and live your life as a teenager. But just be mindful when you're doing that. You know the captions you're writing.

You know how you look in those pictures. Try to like, take a step back and look at it as a from an employers perspective and try to think what they would think of you if they just saw that without knowing you as a person. I personally do not have a very big social media presence. I feel like if if anybody really needed to know or wanted to know that I would talk to him about that and then I'd be able to share different experiences or cool things that I've done. Different accomplishments I I don't know. It has its place. No doubt I've kept up with buddies that obviously I wouldn't have otherwise. But I never wanted that to be me. In the professional world, nobody cares about your political party. Nobody cares about your religion, they care about you guys working together and getting a task done. And so if you have a social media profile that labels you one way or another, it's not right or wrong. But if you your social media profile labels you with whatever label that you market yourself as, people will come in with those sort of biases when they're coming to meet you, and so I'd rather have somebody walk up and you look at each other, and I would shake hands, introduce ourselves, and start from Ground Zero basically.

So I do have social media, I couldn't tell you the last time I posted on Instagram or or had Snapchat stories up. From a professional standpoint, that's that's about where I stand, not to mention it also keeps you out of trouble, especially. I mean in in high school there there's different, I guess legal temptations that people have like the drinking alcohol and an any sort of drug use that they might view as cool or acceptable or socialized or normal for high schoolers, but at the end of the day, as an employer, if I was looking at someones account and they were marketing themselves as something that would not resemble a valued employee or somebody with their priorities set, then that would be something that I would take note of as an interviewer. So what's our objective when we talk about being able to effectively communicate around ourselves? We want to increase our ability to effectively communicate through critical thinking and ethical decision-making but really understanding our personal brand is just as important. So what can you do now?

Now that you've went through these different series about effective communication and critical thinking, how do you work on these skills right now while you're in high school in order to increase your effective communication and decision making skills? I think first and foremost, for me the biggest thing that helped was to not be so selfish in my decisions 'cause in many times in many situations that arise, you have what you want to do versus what you know is best. So being able to balance kind of find an inbetween because you always want to do something that you never want to put yourself in an uncomfortable position or something in position that you don't want to be in. But at the same time, sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone in order to to grow as a person and as a As a student, as a as any stage in life. You don't grow if you're not comfortable in my opinion, and I think that being able to take a step back, like I said before And look at things from a bigger perspective than what you really have right now and for me, I also talked to a lot of people. My parents or people that I trusted advisors or friends, teachers, anything because they've been through, they haven't been the same thing, but they've been through experiences of their own, and they've had success and they've had failure in there and they learn from those experiences and they are able to make better decisions in the future because of that. So while I'm doing that on my own, I don't have as much, obviously I'm younger, so I don't have as much experience as they do, so I can't, I can't be expected to know everything that they know, so kind of digging into their brain and kind of being a sponge and listening to those people that you respect and you look up to and kind of getting as much information from them as you can.

I actually talked a lot more to my teachers and I learned a lot more about communication from talking to my teachers and the inside that they can provide is sort of like understated in high school, I don't think it's emphasize enough. How much does talking to your teachers and like having real conversations with them and learning how to dialogue with an adult and how to sort of like communicate on that level because it's a completely different world talking to other high school students still your age than adults. And you sort of have to learn that language and learning it early on in high school, like talking to your favorite teachers and like people who are out there and like have made it clear that they want to help you can help you in the future because you'll know how to hold a conversation. I was I was still an active athlete in high school.

I was one of the captains of our wrestling team and the communication aspect of that, I really developed that year from seeing where the coach wanted practices to be led or seeing how our personal skills, there are obviously some people that had trouble prioritizing what they needed to and as the coach he could easily recognize that and he could look to myself and the other captains and use us to keep someone else accountable. And so I developed a lot, being the middle man in between those two and being able to have have some sort of well to be beneficial to the coach as sort of like an enforcer or somebody that can that can get things done. And then I could also be accountable to ultimately you know, my buddy that might have been veering off the the correct path. Hopefully throughout this series we've increased your understanding of what effective communication is and how important it is for your ability to do so. We hope we've increased your understanding of critical thinking and how to use an ethical framework in order to strengthen those decisions, and we hope that we've increased your understanding of your personal brand, including both your official and unofficial resumes and what you are communicating about yourself as you move on from high school and to colleges and colleagues in your career about yourself.

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