How well do you communicate with other? Do you think you are doing your best at communicating?
Communication Skills Self-Assessment Exercise
In each of the following, read items A, B, and C, then mark the one that best describes your communication style. (24 total)
1. ___ A. When conversing with others, I usually do most of the talking.
___ B. When conversing with others, I usually let the other person do most of the talking.
___ C. When conversing with others, I try to equalize my participation in the conversation.
2. ___ A. When I first meet someone, I wait for the other person to make the introduction first.
___ B. When I first meet someone, I introduce myself with a smile and offer a handshake.
___ C. When I first meet someone, I hug the person.
3. ___ A. I usually “warm-up” new conversations with small talk.
___ B. I usually avoid small talk and jump into more important matters.
___ C. I usually avoid starting conversations.
4. ___ A. I make an effort to remember and use peoples’ names.
___ B. I don’t pay attention to names as I tend to forget them.
___ C. I only learn the names of important people.
5. ___ A. I frequently use courtesy words and phrases – “Please,” “Thank you,” “You’re welcome,” “I’m sorry.”
___ B. I occasionally use these courtesy words and phrases.
___ C. I never use these courtesy words and phrases.
6. ___ A. I tend to be serious and don’t smile often while conversing.
___ B. I smile all the time while conversing.
___ C. I smile at appropriate times while conversing.
7. ___ A. I make eye contact while conversing.
___ B. I sometimes make eye contact while conversing.
___ C. I never make eye contact while conversing.
8. ___ A. While conversing, I hold my head still at all times.
___ B. While conversing, I nod my head at appropriate times.
___ C. While conversing, I nod my head constantly.
9. ___ A. While conversing, I stand one-foot away from the person.
___ B. While conversing, I stand two- to three-feet away from the person.
___ C. While conversing, I stand five- to six-feet away from the person.
10. ___ A. I often stand while talking to a person who is sitting.
___ B. I often sit while talking to a person who is sitting.
___ C. I often lean down while talking to a person who is sitting.
11. ___ A. To end a conversation, I often just leave.
___ B. To end a conversation, I begin to look impatient hoping the person
will get the hint.
___ C. To end a conversation, I wrap up with a closing statement.
12. ___ A. If a co-worker has put on weight, I say nothing about it.
___ B. If a co-worker has put on weight, I tell the person that he or she has
changed in appearance.
___ C. If a co-worker has put on weight, I honestly tell the person that he
or she looks fat.
13. ___ A. When I’m listening to the speaker, I often cross my arms over my chest.
___ B. When I’m listening to the speaker, I often lean back and turn my body
away from the speaker.
___ C. When I’m listening to the speaker, I often lean slightly forward and face
my body toward the speaker.
14. ___ A. When I cross my leg, I cross my leg facing the speaker.
___ B. When I cross my leg, I cross my leg away from the speaker.
___ C. When I cross my leg, I bob my foot.
15. ___ A. While listening, I tend to be distracted by things going on around me.
___ B. While listening, I listen for meaning and ask questions.
___ C. While listening, I watch the person speak, but I don’t “hear” a word.
16. ___ A. When someone talks about an unfortunate or sad experience, I don’t comment about it.
___ B. When someone talks about an unfortunate or sad experience, I try to change the subject.
___ C. When someone talks about an unfortunate or sad experience, I try to relate to the person’s feelings and show sensitivity to his or her misfortune.
17. ___ A. When I discuss a topic, I tend to talk about and focus on positive (good) aspects.
___ B. When I discuss a topic, I tend to talk about and focus on the negative (bad) aspects.
___ C. When I discuss a topic, I tend to complain.
18. ___ A. When I have a negative opinion or comment, I just say it.
___ B. When I have a negative opinion or comment, I lead in with a positive comment first.
___ C. When I have a negative opinion or comment, I say nothing.
19. ___ A. When I receive unfavorable feedback, I note where I need to improve.
___ B. When I receive unfavorable feedback, I get angry and defensive.
___ C. When I receive unfavorable feedback, I deny the problem, make excuses, or plead ignorance.
20. ___ A. When I give a person negative feedback, I focus on the person’s observable work or behavior and offer suggestions.
___ B. When I give a person negative feedback, I focus on what I don’t like about the person.
___ C. When I give a person negative feedback, I simply tell the person what to do right.
21. ___ A. When I give a person negative feedback, I do it around others so everyone can hear.
___ B. When I give a person negative feedback, I do it in front of the supervisor.
___ C. When I give a person negative feedback, I talk with the person alone in a private place.
22. ___ A. When I disagree with a person, I listen first, ask questions for clarification then disagree non-judgmentally.
___ B. When I disagree with a person, I quickly point out the person is wrong and why.
___ C. When I disagree with a person, I say little or nothing.
23. ___ A. When I’m in a group, I tend to frown a lot.
___ B. When I’m in a group, I tend to smile and use humor at appropriate times.
___ C. When I’m in a group I tend to be serious.
24. ___ A. I’m a “hands-on” person. I tend to: prefer hands-on experiences and activities; focus on tasks to be done; refrain from discussions; think in a logical and organized way; do things in an orderly way; have difficulty adjusting to change.
___ B. I’m a “thinker.” I tend to: enjoy listening to a logical presentation of ideas; enjoy analyzing problems and finding systematic ways try to solve problems; enjoy creating models based on theory and information; like structure and organization; act slowly in making decisions; show more interest in ideas than people.
___ C. I’m an “explorer.” I tend to: try things by trial and error; explore practical uses for ideas and theories; make decisions that provide quick solutions; decide quickly; take risks; enjoy change; rely more on people for information.
___ D. I’m a “free thinker.” I tend to: base views and opinions on feelings; enjoy tossing around ideas (brainstorming); approach and view problems and experience; from different perspectives; rely on intuition, not logic, for making decisions; dislike structure.
- Identity – who am I? – This is usually done by the same sex parent. Therefore women would form their identity from their Mother’s.
- Individuality – What do I love? What do I hate? – This is usually instilled by the opposite sex parent so in this case a Father would be the one instilling Individuality in a daughter.
- Intimacy – In-to-me-u-see – This is taught by both parents through their relationship with each other.
- H – Heal tell stories to heal.
- E – Encourage, especially others.
- A – Awareness, of the answers.
- L – Legacy – stories tell our legacy and leaves legacies behind.
- Less than father – father abandons daughter and leaves her yearning.
- Abusive father – father is verbally, emotionally or sexually abusive.
- Pampering father – this father spoils the daughter.
- Pygmalion father – the daughter becomes the father’s companion.
- Ruined father – the daughter has to rescue the father.
Over the course of the last week or so I came across this list that actually describes behaviour that indicates high and low self-esteem. Take a look and see where you might fall.
People with High Self-Esteem
1. Take responsibility for their action own feelings and behaviour; avoid blaming and excuses.
2. Take compliments graciously.
3. Listen to criticisms without anger or defensiveness.
4. Give praise and compliments frequently.
5. Take good care of selves physically; avoid self destructive behaviour.
6. Accept those things that can’t be changed; age, body type, height, etc.
7. Make decisions internally from own set of values.
8. Take emotional risks; are willing to fail or look foolish.
9. Assume they are likable and pleasant to be around.
10. Have a good sense of humor; delight in irony and humor that doesn’t make fun of people or their pain.
11. Are happy about the accomplishments of others; give encouragement and confidence to others.
12. Reach out to others and make contacts.
13. Accept mistakes as part of living; try again or try something new.
14. Listen openly to the feelings, thoughts and ideas of others.
15. Accept and give sexual and sexual pleasure.
16. Are attractive to and nourished by cooperative positive people.
17. Focus on the here and now and concentrate on those things that can be controlled
People with Low Self-Esteem
1. Blame others; attribute their emotions to others.
2. Deny compliments, act suspicious of them, feel manipulated by them.
3. Criticize and pass judgment.
4. Withhold appreciation and compliments.
5. Allow self-destructive behaviour to continue.
6. Complain and apologize about things that can’t be changed.
7. Mold to external pressures; needs constant assurance.
8. Needs situations to be safe and predictable; want to always look good and be right.
9. Assume they are liked and imagine that others secretly criticize them.
10. Are amused by humor that makes others look ridiculous.
11. Look for failure in others; call attention to others failures; predict gloom.
12. Wait for others to approach; blame others for being unfriendly.
13. Expect or demand perfection in self and others.
14. Argue. Preach, nag, and criticize.
15. Without pleasure from self and others.
16. Chose toxic, hurtful relationships.
17. Are disabled by guilt, remorse regret and worry.
This book was brought to my attention because it was written by authors affiliated with The Boys Town. The Boys Town is an organization dedicated to assist “at-risk” youths. They had a workshop in Trinidad and Tobago recently and even though I was not able to attend, the information was passed on by wonderful colleagues.
Common Sense Parenting is a fabulous book. It has many very important pointers for parents, especially in these times where parenting has taken on a whole different dimension. I am amazed because exactly what I suggest to parents about managing their children is exactly what is written in this book. There are step by step instructions on how to parent. I feel maybe I could have written this book!
I would like to share some pointers from the book in my blog. I am also still in the process of reading the book therefore as I read I will post pointers that I feel are important to share. Previously, I have written about the importance of parenting, understanding our young people, supporting them and so on. I am also making notes and blogs in small doses since the information is much to digest all at one time. I have been taking my time to read this book.
These first set of notes are about the appropriate teaching methods to teach children. The steps we should take to help them and teach them the valuable lessons they need to learn about themselves, expectations we have of them and generally life.
You let your children know exactly what they do right or wrong.
You help your children understand the relationship between what they do and what happens as a result of their actions. So there is a reaction for ever action.
You give your children clear examples of how to improve in the future. Clear examples helps them because as parents we sometimes take it for granted our children “know” what we expect of them.
You help you children learn self-discipline (to be in control of their actions and expressions of emotion). In order to do this we ourselves must be self disciplined. Children learn best by example. Therefore if you are positive and self disciplined we can teach by example.
You give your children a chance to show what they have learned. You are an active part of the learning process. You and your children work together toward a common goal.
You become the teacher, the coach. As you give information that helps your children learn to solve problems.
The next blog will focus on positive and negative consequences. Common Sense Parenting gives very specific positive and negative consequences that parents can use with their children. So I will highlight some of these consequences and give examples of some the ways positive and negative consequences can work with parenting your children.
Over the course of the last few days I have the great pleasure of attending a Trauma workshop done by Dr. Palmer. First of all Dr. Palmer has a very impressive resume in which she has experience and research extensively in the field of psychology and trauma. She is the chair and Director of training of professional psychology and family therapy, counselling psychology programme at the department of professional psychology and family therapy at Seton Hall University.
Psychologist: so draw a picture of your family for me.
Little child: can i draw a picture of when mommy and daddy used to be together.
Psychologist: Sure no problem, its your family picture so draw whoever you want.
After drawing the picture.
Psychologist: what is that daddy has in his hand.
Little child: A gun.
Psychologist: why does daddy have a gun in his hand.
Little child: to kill mommy.
I had the opportunity over the course of the last few weeks to set up Internet parental controls. This was a very interesting experience for me. I had to set up the controls because I have 8 to 12 teenage boys using the internet. I marvelled at how parenting has changed over the years.
Children these days are growing up with more exposure to everything at a younger and younger age. These days 3 and 4 year olds know how to navigate the pc and internet. When I was 3 or 4 years I was now learning to play with my dolls or build blocks.
This exposure comes because over the years access to information good and bad is generally more available. There is the internet, music, tv, cell phones, peers and so much more that influences our youths. And everything is so accessible because the advancement in technology is making to world smaller and smaller everyday.
Now the whole guarding the internet thing became more apparent to me after I installed the parental controls. I used a free service on xp called k9 from Blue Coat. This service has been working really well. I was also quite impressed with windows Vista parental controls. There two sets of controls help to limit certain sites the boys go on like porn sites, gambling, violence, gaming sites and more. You can also block certain sites you do not want them to go on like Facebook, Youtube etc. I have not placed very strict rules on these sites because I think its good for the boys to have exposure to social networking.
These two sets of parental controls offer an activity report, so I was able to find out on Vista that the boys were trying to look at porn, break my password, programmes opened and more. K9 just gives an activity report for the internet. Xp does not have parental controls built in.
There is one other cool feature that allows me to have remote access to the computers the boys are on from home, so I can see what is going on at any point. The programme I used is Log Me In.
Now all this appears to be like a great deal of controlling or trying to control, but as parents or guardians we have to be aware and move with the times.Teenager will find opportunities to sneak to do things parents disapprove of, but as parents we must not encourage these things to be too easily accessible. So I know the boys will try to look at porn they may get videos and dvd’s from their friends but it cannot be said that I know it is easily accessible online and i did nothing to prevent this easy access. I am trying to be a responsible parent/guardian to the young budding men in my care, so I am taking precautions not to encourage certain types of behaviours to be normalised at home. I am not naive they will find means and ways of getting around accessing whatever illicit material they desire.
This whole parental control on the internet has been an eye opening experience for me. A great deal of the morals and values of the institution I work for, as well as my own values came up again and again. I also did not realise the amount of risks and threats, are just as much as the well, good and wonderful areas of the internet. Our children will be exposed to lots of information we must talk to them, let them know right from wrong. We must be informed ourselves and move with the times. We must learn what things our children are being exposed to and not be naive into thinking the times have not changed from when we were growing up. It is only then we can be effective parents.
Over the weekend I had the pleasure of attending some Divali Celebrations in my community as well as in Felicity. Felicity is a small rural community in central Trinidad. Divali is a Hindu celebrations where the home is lighted up with dias to welcome the goddess Lakshmi, since it is believed she will bring prosperity.