Human Factors Essays Example
Through this course in Communications I have realized a lot about the complex nature of interactions among individuals and groups of individuals. Understanding that efficiency in communication skills are crucial to one’s success in almost any venture in life is also evident to me in a powerful way from the knowledge gained through the materials covered. Communication is not a phenomenon involving just saying what one wants to say, but is a combination of listening and responding at a level not common to most of our daily conversations. It is my opinion that the topic of communication falls into a key category and life and should be incorporated in the earlier educational experience of one’s life. Communication gives people power to express as well as comprehend another’s expression with more clarity. Unfortunately it is not a mandatory area of study for the individual throughout his or her education, and it is evident from the conditions of a dysfunctional society that much of these problems could be handled with proper communication skills. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to become privy to the concepts and skills involving communication, and it is my desire and plan to incorporate these skills immediately into my life. I have already begun exercising many of the methods in my interactions and relationships and noticed a difference. Hopefully, I will use the methods learned continuously to where the process of excellent communication skills become second nature. The following essay will discuss the specifics of what I have taken away from the information obtained throughout the course and how that looks now, as well as how it I plan to implement it in my life moving forward.
One of the first areas that I want to discuss about communication that I found incredibly helpful and entirely new in my scope of knowledge was how important listening is in the communication dynamic. In a common sense based manner I knew that one must listen when involved in communication, but I learned that listening goes far beyond the words we hear. I found this very intriguing and a bit difficult to do when working on it in my interactions. The concept of ‘door openers’ when beginning a dialogue is not something I have ever had a problem with, my skills with initiating conversations has always been fairly up to par. However, it is the reflective listening skills that are lacking in my personal experience. I have not taken much consideration listening as an active practice by the listener, but I was surprised to see that genuine productive listening does require the listener to go beyond just hearing what the person says.
Most of us have very different perspectives on situations that happen, and what I learned is that to truly listen, I need to do my best to hear the other person’s message, not my version of what I think I heard them say. In order to accurately understand another’s message one of the important steps in listening require the listener to bring forth feelings and full focus into the listening process, and then reiterating what he or she heard the speaker say, to ensure that the speakers message is being received as it should be by the listener. I have started using this method of reflective listening and find that there are many times in my conversations that I have not listened very well. The occasions where I successfully heard the person, the interaction between us is much better and the difference in how I listen begins to shift how I am with the person.
Handling conflict was another important task I found to be valuable for so many areas in life, both personal and professional. I noticed even prior to the class that I do not do too well in a conflicted situation. I am either too aggressive and become angry or I dismiss the situation and person entirely so that I can avoid dealing with the conflict. When this topic of conflict was discussed in class and the reading materials I was extremely interested because the idea of conflict has never sat well with me. Too often I found myself feeling powerless in conflict situations.
One of the eye-openers for me in regard to conflict resolution is that relationships or situations could actually come out better from the process of choosing proper conflict resolution methods. I had always seen conflicts as the ugly part of life where I did not like who I became, whether I got confrontational or shunned away in avoidance. I was always left feeling cheated of myself and not proud of my character in so many occasions where I have faced conflict. Numerous times throughout my life in school and in my personal relationships I have made myself look like a complete bully in the midst of a conflict. I did not know any other method, aside from the avoidance method to handle how to behavior and respond under this type of tension. I obviously was ignorant to the concepts and skills that could change the conflict resolution process for me.
The unfortunate reality of the burden of conflict in life has led me to lose relationships and even dismiss great opportunities based on my lack of conflict resolution prowess. It has even become a laughing matter with my family who says that people who want to work with me better watch out because it could get ugly if I am not seeing eye-to-eye about whatever issue is faced. Thinking back to how many missed opportunities that have passed through my life all because of my unskillfulness in conflict resolution is very frustrating after learning that options and methods to improve conflict resolution exist.
Thankfully the lessons I have learned from the class on conflict resolution will shift my relationship with scenarios where conflict arises. Recognizing that most of the conflicts that I have experienced involved a forcing style of conflict resolution, which was not leaving myself or the opponent empowered. The win-win style is the conflict resolution style I am committed to embracing in my interactions. Although I am nervous about how that will look, I am glad that there are methods of conflict resolution where no one has to feel like a loser.
Understanding Conflict Resolution
As I have already mentioned, the area of conflict resolution in my life has been a very big challenge for me; a challenge that has limited me in important areas of my life. With that in mind, I would like to discuss and share more about the conflict resolution process.
When realizing the complex nature of conflict for all human beings as a fundamental part of one’s psychological condition, I was a bit relieved and hopeful. An interesting concept discussing the five human needs of physiological needs, safety, affection, esteem and self-actualization helping to handle conflict resolution was presented in the reading material (Katz, Lawyer, & Koppelman Sweedler, 2010). The information on the human factor needs becomes pertinent to conflict and conflict resolution in recognizing the way we take a position that is rooted in these five needs. Each person takes a certain stance in a situation hoping for a particular outcome in their favor, but often the opposing party whether a single individual or a group of people, is not aware or interested in the same outcome, conflict arises. This simple knowledge of awareness of positions that are taken was profound for me in grasping the validity of using steps from the win-win style method of conflict resolution. Instead of anyone feeling threatened if the foundation that is laid out will serve both members, conflict resolution is not such a horrible thing to encounter.
As I conclude this reflective essay on the course, I am experiencing a sense of growth in myself. I have learned a valuable life skill that if I chose to incorporate into my life, I am likely to avoid a lot of unnecessary turmoil. Situations may not always go the way I prefer based on my position, but taking the comprehensive knowledge of the information provided in this course will help me remain better prepared to handle whatever challenges I face with a stronger sense of empowerment. I see these communication tools as a super power in gaining an advantage at life because of the importance of communication in life. The topic of communication is not highlighted as a necessary skill to obtain in mainstream life and education, but when one understands what is possible, it is easy to see that excellence in communication can dictate the success of one’s private and professional life.
Johnson, L. J., & Pugach, M. C. (2004). Listening skills to facilitate effective communication.
Counseling and Human Development, 36(6), 1-8. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/206829399?accountid=458
Katz, N. H., Lawyer, J. W., & Koppelman Sweedler, M. (2010).
Stone, D., Patton, B., & Heen, S. (2010). Difficult conversations: how to discuss what matters
Wilmot, W. W., & Hocker, J. L. (2010). Interpersonal Conflict (8th ed.). McGraw-Hill.