Saturday, March 4, 2017

effective communication

After the last Skype call,  I thought I would write about effective communication. However, the topic raised many questions for me.

If we do not necessarily have black and white defined questions and answers in our course of investigation through this degree then is any one specific type of communication the best, most accurate, or effective for correspondence?

For many people, writing about topics immediately after the monthly Skype chats best fits their schedules. Writing immediately after discussion can be a great thought process yet it may not allow us to fully explore varying possibilities.

I talked about trying to define when personal life becomes professional and is professional life always personal. I did not specify that my question pertained to teaching and choreography methods so some of the chat went into the development of students becoming part of an instructor's family due to the amount of time and care teachers provide their students. So I now ask are the students more a part of a community than family?

Just this morning I had a member of my family write me to question the professionalism of a coach who was late showing up for a competition in which her daughter was participating. My family member arrived on time which was early as she had been told the meet might start early if all of the competition staff was in place. Instead of focusing on the reality of her daughter being early and not missing her performance/competition moment she has chosen to focus on the coach's tardiness. This coach like myself is not just a coach but the owner of her business. As a business owner there are times when the business develops a life of its own and throws many obstacles in one's way. I do believe owners, coaches, and instructors should follow the guidelines they set forth for their students/clientele; however, I know that sometimes mishaps and other challenges arise. As a business owner I have to draw a line where what happens and may impact my ability to be or appear professional and on time is my personal business not something to be discussed with customers, students, and their families.

Was this communication effective as my family member was able to participate in the competition because she followed instructions and arrived early? Or was this not effective correspondence because the business owner/coach did not make clear the reality that she might not be early?

Personal vs. professional. Communication on a need to know basis. Simplified examples of the questions we discussed that still do not give me clarity as to how best to communicate with others in this course of study.

I am old fashioned and do not like blogging. Email is a big enough pain in my backside. Facebook takes too much time.

How many people will read this blog since it was not written within the first week after our last Skype chat? I did not read blogs after the last chat until today. Personal and professional schedules impact when and how we communicate. If talking or writing family members takes priority before customers and students then where does reading and writing blogs fit into the order of important communication skills?

Many more questions and not any real answers.

10 comments:

  1. Hello, I´m reading your blog! Yes, communication seems to be steered by our personal and professional schedules, surely that must be acceptable to a certain degree? One student mentioned the lack of communication in the last Skype (she was talking about the lack of it in December), but maybe it is a matter of priority? I myself, am not a blogger (just started for this course) but I am beginning to really see the benefits of reading and sharing my viewpoints. On a professional note I have recently been made more aware of the importance of communication and how it is given and perceived. Living and working in a foreign country has it´s challenges, and being misunderstood is not unusal. I would hope that my students, parents and colleagues have an understanding that there may be cultural and language differences. I believe as teachers we should set examples to our students and as business owners the same. However, as you mention situations arise that may have prevented the coach from not being early without her knowing before hand. Is it not a little harsh to judge the coach´s late arrival without knowing the details? Did she apologise, give any indication why she was delayed? Maybe her ineffective communication was not pre-planned and couldn´t be avoided. Yes, she wasn´t professional but was any harm done (not knowing the details)? I think a little understanding and forgiveness is a positive characteristic a person can possess. Samantha

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    1. I am glad you are reading this post. For the situation this morning I was told an apology was offered. Unlike my relative who felt anger I feel compassion for both the relative's child and for the coach.

      How much communication is considered enough when dealing with students and customers? How much communication is enough in this course of study? You bring up a valid point of cross cultural understanding. This plays into how much any of us corresponds with others in the course. Our perceptions of adequate communication are based on different cultures and viewpoints be they religion politics, gender, orientation, or simply genre of dance. So again, how do we better communicate with each other so we develop a better understanding of our knowledge and that of others? You have no idea how grateful I am someone responded to my post. Thank you!

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    2. So after some thought, the medium and the frequency of communication is not necessarily the important factor when communicating outside this course but how clear the meaning of the communication is between parties. How do we make this more integral in reading and responding to each other in blogs and Skype discussions?

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  2. That maybe the challenge! How clear the meaning of the communication surely is subjective? I just this week had a conversation with my husband (he´s Norwegian) where I presumed he understood what I was talking about, I later found out he didn´t. I took it for granted that we had no problems communicating and voicing our opinions, yet this instance I was incorrect. He interpreted my conversation in a completely different way to what I intended. What is communication that gives a clear meaning , especially for a group of students corresponding by a blog? I need to think about this a little more!.

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  3. Hi! I didn't respond to blog posts very often in module one. I decided in January that I will try to comment every post I read to at least let the blogger know that I have read his/her post. I wasn't very communicative during the first term of this programme because I was worried about the non-effectiveness of my comments. Very often, I read a post and I don't know what to respond. However, 'compelling' myself to comment, I have to admit that very often I actually do have something to say. I noticed that during our Sunday chats, sometimes one word or one sentence is sufficient to trigger a new train of thought or to name something I wasn't able to name before. So, I hope that my little comments, even though they might be poor in terms of content, are in any way effective.

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    1. Hi, I feel that my comments are very often not deep enough, not intelligent enough or just don´t make sense to anybody else but me. Just wanted to share that thought!

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    3. I do not think we should concern ourselves with how deep or stimulating our comments may or may not be to others. As long as we try not to offend our comments should be our own thoughts, not something manufactured to others be impressed. At this point in our careers, wherever that may be, we should be accepting of the reality that everyone is at a different point in their personal and/or professional journey in life and dance. Some of the most simple things in life stimulate thoughts and sensations.

      Responding to blogs is challenging for me. It is like improvisation and free writing. I can do it but I do not have to like it. Perhaps that is because I too feel others can be judgmental when reading my responses. I have decided that my comments and questions are not written to critiqued but to be answered or hopefully spark a conversation. The sheer joy of writing to others who are not in the small dance community where I live and teach is amazing. I look forward to reading and sharing comments and questions. Thank you for sharing with me.

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  4. Well I certainly share your thought on communicating with others that are not in my small dance community too! I really enjoyed the Skype talk on Sunday I found it to be stimulating and I really enjoyed hearing everybody´s views. I struggle to write about my views and opinions via the blogg, for several reasons, but thinking that it may start a conversation and hearing others and their viewpoints is what this is all about. It ceratinly leads to reflection. Samantha

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  5. I have found that struggling with the ability to share my view in print has made me more effective while teaching class. The need to be so specific about thoughts and describing actions has enhanced the learning within my classroom/studio. We become so self absorbed with "look at what we have done and you must do what we do" that we feel challenged and even scared when we begin to open ourselves up to new experiences. Remembering the fear and expectations we set upon ourselves helps me attempt to make class and rehearsal less scary for my students and dancers. Sometimes I will never be able to comfort them and there are many times I will never feel good, secure, or pleased with how I adapt to new experiences. But really, is this not the curse and joy of self discovery?

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