Free Essay

Inspirational Communication

In: English and Literature

Submitted By bhawk54
Words 1320
Pages 6
Ben Sexton

Cheongmi Shim
Interpersonal Communication
October 19, 2011
Good and Bad
I. Introduction
If I had to choose two people who I communicate with the most and know me the best, it is a simple decision. My mother, Karen Sexton, and one of my best friends Cody Woods are two people who I communicate an extreme amount with and are able to really know the strengths and weaknesses of myself. Communication is something that we all take part in every day whether its through voice, facial expressions, hand gestures or symbols, and even pure silence. The level of communication we are at is different from person to person. The purpose of this paper is to find out our level of what we succeed at and what we could use some work on.
II. Summary of Interaction
The interviewees I have chosen are my mother Karen Sexton and a close friend of mine Cody Woods. My mother I have known for twenty-two years and has been the closest person in my family to me. Cody is a friend I met at college and have known for three years now. Both are extremely close with me and are important to my everyday life so they are obviously two people who I communicate with a lot. The meeting with my mother took place over the phone with her because she is back at home. It was during the evening this past weekend around 9 pm on Sunday. The interview was very laid back and easily initiated. The interview with Cody was completed at my house in the living room and was also a very laid back situation. It took place on Monday around 7 pm. The atmosphere for both was quiet and had little to no interruptions. The focus of the interviews was to determine my strengths and weaknesses in communicating with the people I know. Since I am familiar with these people the barriers of communication wouldn't be a huge factor rather than communicating with a random stranger.
III. Strengths
1.) The first communication behavior that I have as a strength was clarified by my mother. She stated that when in communication with me I have great vocal tone. I am loud and very clear when I speak and easy to understand when it comes to the volume level. Along with the volume level I enunciate words well and make it very clear. My mom clarified that a part of how well I speak with my vocal tone and pronunciation of words is I really put an effort into the movement of my mouth and lips to make sure that I am being heard clearly. A reason why my mother appreciates this behavior is she has a very hard time hearing out of one of her ears, she has lost almost all hearing in her left ear and my volume level, tone, and pronunciation give her the ability to hear me clearly when I speak to her. It is harder at times on the phone due to the fact that cell phones can really reduce sound level and clarity but my the strength I have really makes it easier. My thoughts on my mom clarifying this strength of mine is that I am very happy that I am able to speak loud and clearly for those who need it.
2.) The second behavior of mine that has been clarified a strength is my ability to incorporate gestures, hand movements, and facial expressions while communicating with someone. This was according to my friend Cody clarified that conversations with me are very easy to have and stay interested in because I stay involved in the conversation and create something to focus on besides my words. Cody appreciates this behavior because its very easy to lose track of what someone is talking about or become disinterested when they are being monotone and using no symbolic fillers to guide the story along. One of the hand gestures that Cody appreciates is when I snap my index finger against my middle finger, its not a finger snap like most people think, its more of a finger wag, but it really seems to draw his attention and refocus if he is losing track of the conversation. My thoughts on this being a strength for myself is not only has it helped others like Cody communicate with me but I feel it also helps me stay focused as well. I am able to keep myself occupied when speaking by using this hand gesture.
IV. Weaknesses
1. One of the weaknesses that has been brought up to me is my lack of direction when communicating. My mom clarified that I sometimes go off on a tangent when trying to explain something and it confuses her when trying to understand what I am explaining. A way I have done this is I will be explaining a story to my mother and then start talking about something else based off of a small fact in the story. This leads me to not finish the story and often confuse someone who is listening to me. My mom criticizes me for doing this because it often confuses her and she gets really frustrated with me when I do this. The fact that I have done this has never really damaged my relationship with my mother or anything like that but it has caused frustration at times. Overall, I think this is one thing that I can fix in a simple manner by simply focusing more when I communicate with people. Keeping to the story I start and not branching out seems like something that could be easily solved.
2.) The second weakness that was something I should work on is my ability as a communicator to acknowledge the conversation when I am listening. I am often listening to people and I hear them and I will answer a lot with “ok.” I truly am listening to the conversation but the consistent nature of the same word makes people think that I am just drifting or not paying attention, even going through the motions. I have always felt that I try to listen to people all the way through but my outward appearance and vocal choices seem to appear otherwise. Cody pointed this out and had suggestions that I should change what I say, as well as how I perceive myself during conversation. Using words other than “ok” and providing more facial expressions and body gestures just to let the speaker know that I am deeply interested in what they are saying. Cody has stated that my general reactions in conversations is frustrating at times because he doesn't know why he should keep on talking. My thoughts are that I should re-evaluate the way I converse with people and more importantly the way I perceive myself when listening to someone. Using the thoughts that Cody gave about me changing up things I say and using different facial expressions would make it much easier for the person speaking to really read my interest in the topic.
V. Conclusion
The major focal point of this paper was to evaluate and determine what our strengths and weaknesses are as communicators. With the feedback given by the interviewee's and the collection of my own personal thoughts, I have been able to determine what I can do to improve myself more in communicating. The weaknesses I have are ones that are easily fixable and something that shouldn't pose any problems in the future. Along with that, I can also continue to build on my strengths as a communicator to become even better than I am now. Before this paper I felt as if I had few issues communicating with people however I have realized that there are several things that needed to be addressed but none of these are anything that are unable to be overcome.

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