Example OF Report On Weaknesses
Communication Reflective Journal
Effective communication has assumed an even greater importance with the increasing globalization, which has rendered communities across major economies in the world, multicultural. While I initially believed communication to be easy, I have learned at my expense that it is a complex skill requiring deliberate learning and tireless practice. It is not enough to have a mastery of the language, because effectiveness in communication depends on the ability to deploy the language, gestures and other tools of delivering a message in such a way to match the communication needs of the audience. Effectively, with the growing multicultural and diverse populations across workplaces, communities as well as inside my own personal circle, meeting the needs of my audiences has become even more intricate. In this reflective journal, I have highlighted what I believe to be my strengths and areas that I could improve in, as well as the specific measures that I intend to use in order to become an effective communicator.
I have the ability to simplify and enliven ideas both in verbal and written communication, which makes for better reception and understanding by my audience. With the information glut occasion by the information technology revolution, I realize that people are constantly bombarded with information, and they are most likely to ignore much of it. This is why I try as far as practicable, to couch my messages in simple and memorable terms, examples, and measured jokes. I also gather from my most of my friends and self-assessment tools on the internet (such as that Strengths Finder tool by Gallup) that I have a personable presence that not only draws people to me, but renders them more willing to listen to me. I have often found it important, and I believe have the unique ability to strike a rapport with people by genuinely connecting with them by using issues such politics, sports, celebrity gossip and self-deprecating jokes.
I also tend to find my own voice, by employing a language and style that is uniquely my own. According to Tardanico (2012), finding a distinct voice sets me apart as genuine, which is important because it makes people identify with me and my message. My other strengths include proactivity, persuasion, influence, and inspiration; ability to create trust and sense of empowerment; and an ability to project confidence even when under pressure. These are especially important, not least because communication needs when emotions are strained are much higher than normal, so much so that Chambers (2001) consider stress, aggressiveness, patronage and projection of one’s power as barriers to effective communication. Lastly, I believe myself to be a relative direct and assertive communicator.
I tend to understand communication in terms of express what I want, feel and think, which is why I happen to have very poor active listening skills. I find that listening helps one cut through the audience’s defenses, clarify the message and reduce emotions that weaken clear thought (Chambers, 2001; Tardanico, 2012). Consequently, I come off as domineering, arrogant and overbearing. Other weaknesses include my low cultural sensitivity, poor body language (mood, body position, facial expression, physical distance and eye contact), and inadequate use of gestures. I have also found myself lacking in patience to accommodate different points of view or even finish expressing such views, which may have a problem in my bid to win people over. Improving on these weaknesses will require dedication, deliberate effort and consistent practice. Specifically, I intend to pursue the following strategies to improve my communication skills:
Listen and empathize with my audience more
Use my body language more effectively so that I can use to add force to my voice and choice of words
Develop greater cultural awareness of my audience and use this awareness to couch my message in such a way that it is accessible to as many as of my listeners as possible. Key among these is to avoid offensive and/or difficult language, while at ensuring that I make my listeners feel included and recognized
Endeavor to cultivate patience and a sense of restraint when other people express ideas that I do not agree with or are simply outrageous.
While I am fiercely proud of my strengths and abilities as a communicator, I realize that my thirst for improvement – identifying new ways to enhance effectiveness and efficiency of communication – lies at the centre of my motivation. As Chambers (2001) notes as I go further in my career, I will become more relevant as person, more prominent, visible and will have to contribute more to my formal and personal lives, which means that I will face more organizational and personal communication challenges than has been the case before. I must keep learning and adapting. Overcoming my limitations is predictably difficult, but I believe my refusal to be complacent with the status quo and seek to better myself would pay off.
Chambers, H. E. (2001). Effective Communication Skills for Scientific and Technical Professionals. New York: Basic Books.
Rath, T. (2009). Strengths Finder 2.0. New York, NY: Gallup Press.
Tardanico, S. (2012, Jan 11). 5 Habits of Highly Effective Communicators. Retrieved Jan 11, 2015, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/susantardanico/2012/11/29/5-habits-of-highly-effective-communicators/
The Gallup Organization. (2014). Strengths Finder. Strengths Finder insight and action plan-planning guide. Retrieved September 28, 2014
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