This second unit of our literacy class, our main focus is communication. We learn not only to communicate through spoken but also written words. One of the topics covered was active listening. Through this topic, we realized that we mostly listen to speak, listen so we can interject our ideas, and not listen to listen. Active listening is really skill important to have because, in a complex problem or conflict, it requires us to open our mind and hear what others have to say. Active listening also shows a person speaking respect, for an example if they are speaking about a topic that sensitive, it is best to give them all the space they need, and not distract their thought and speaking process.
To practice this skill we now learn to be very important, we spent one hour of our class time just talking to classmate whom we are not so close with. We were to pick a partner and share something about ourselves that matter to us or speak about something that we are passionate about. I paired up with another girl in my literacy class who also share many other classes with me but never interact often enough to considered close to me. We found a comfortable room and sat in a chair face to face making eye contact as one person talk and the other listens.
With that, something miraculous happened. We allowed ourselves to be vulnerable and share stories we don’t often do about ourselves: stories we don’t feel comfortable talking about. Through this, we able to connect to one another very closely, as we soon realized that we have so many things in common. I felt as though, I learn and get to know her better in this one hour than I had in six years we had been in a boarding academy together.
Anyways, that is just one aspect of our unit. Another aspect is etiquette writing where we focus on writing professional Emails and making résumé. In this topic, we learn and practiced writing professional to someone we have never met. We pretend that we have to ask a fashion company for an internship company through Email. It was a really great exercise for us to do because we actually send the Email to someone we know who has been working on communication for longer than we have existed. We got feedback and suggestions on our Email to help us grow as communicators.
Lastly, we dive into video conferencing. In this session, we learn how to group call which can be a really difficult task to do. It is already awkward to just call someone and try to make eye contact with them by staring at out PC camera, doing it a team makes it even trickier. But through our lessons and practice, we learned to divide roles in video conferencing and group calling easier to archive. But good networking and communication skills don’t come to us naturally, so we have to always keep practicing.