2.4.6 Your communication skills
The next activity is an opportunity to reflect on your own communication skills. Recognising which skills you already have and use is an important first step towards being able to value and develop them. If you are considering embarking on significant change then you will need to communicate with other people at some point. You may need to explain to people who are close to you what changes you are thinking about. Or you may need to use communication skills to enlist the help of other people.
Activity 18 Reflecting on your communication skills
Think of a recent interaction you have had with someone. Write an account, giving as much detail as you can. At this stage of the activity do not worry too much about the communication aspects of your ‘story’.
Once you have finished writing put it down for a few moments before you come back to it. This means that you will create a gap after your first attempt which will give you some time to think about what you have written. This increases the chance of being more critical about what you write and to be able to add to or improve it. This is also very useful when it comes to your written work in this course.
Now return to the story you have written. Note down any communication skills that you can see in your interaction with the other person. For each of your listed communication skills, decide for yourself whether it is a skill that you are confident in. Then say how often you notice yourself doing this. Your notes could be organised like this (we have given an example to get you started):
|My communication skill||Confident/unconfident?||Happens often/rarely|
|Speed of talking||I do tend to speak too quickly – so not very confident.||Usually when I think people do not agree with or like what I am saying.|
The final stage of this activity (and again you might want to allow some time between this stage and the previous one) is to go back over the comments you have put into your table.
Does your personal pattern of frequency and confidence help you communicate with other people? In what ways does it do this?
We will be returning to the importance of involving other people in your learning to achieve change later in this section.
The next section focuses on another useful skill – problem solving.