For your blog this week, think about the similarities and differences between how you evaluated yourself as a communicator and how others evaluated you. What is the one thing that surprised you the most? Why? What other insights about communication did you gain this week? Choose at least two to share with others through your blog and consider how each might inform your professional work and personal life.
I think about the way I evaluate myself as a communicator, and I think I listen to the person who is speaking as intently as possible. I tend to think many times that the kind thing to do is to offer some relief if I sense any distress. This makes me begin to think of things to say to offer relief and as a result I may end up focusing more on what I should say rather than lending a fully attentive listening ear. Many people evaluate me as a good listener and that I have a peaceful and trusting presence. What I find surprising in what they say is that I am a good listener and that I have a peaceful presence. I feel like I could listen better to listen for what exactly is the concern rather than thinking about the appropriate things to be said. I am amazed that they don’t seem to see my distractions. I also do not feel like I am that peaceful because I tend to worry about what should be done to bring relief or a solution to the problem. I have come to learn that it is more important to give a listening ear, I do not always have to say something if I don’t know what is right to say but it is more important to be there and show that one cares by listening to them. The answers may come to us later and if the answers don’t come that’s okay too.
This week, I gained some great insights about communication. I learnt that self-monitoring is my ability to watch my environment and others in it for cues about how to present myself in a particular situation (Snyder, 1974). I also learned that high self-monitoring individuals try to portray themselves as “the right person in the right place at the right time.’” They watch other people for hints on how to be successful in social situations and try to demonstrate the verbal and nonverbal behaviors that seem most appropriate.
Low self-monitoring individuals, on the other hand are not as sensitive to situational cues, communicate according to their instinct and feelings of the moment and do not see the need to adapt to situations or people. They feel that adjusting their style of communication would be false. If they anticipate communication situation that is different from their own self presentation style, they will either avoid the situation or accept the fact that their communication may not please all the parties (O’Hair et al, 2018).
O’Hair, D., Wiemann, M., Mullin, D. I., & Teven, J. (2018). Real communication (3rd. ed). New York:
Chapter 3, “Perceiving the Self and Others” (pp. 62-68, beginning with “Cognitions About Ourselves”)