The Sister and I…
stealing my style.
Love her nonetheless… :)
The Sister and I…
stealing my style.
Love her nonetheless… :)
Braids for Dayz
Drunky Monkey and Pelephant… and Oh Bob.
Hello Afro :)
Namaste Beautiful People,
The time has come for me to bid you farewell… to write my last blog post for my organizational Communication class. I want to use this opportunity to reflect on the many lessons that this class has taught me.
The journey has been rough, as a matter of fact, I have no motivation to continue with this particular degree but I have one more year so I might as well… I’m not sure… not sure about anything… but anyway, back to the matter at hand… what has org. comm. taught me?
1. Relationships is at the heart of communication. When my lecturer first mentioned this at the beginning of the semester it made sense but when I saw it manifested in the recent hall elections… I was like “waaaaawwww”. The pieces of the puzzle fit together perfectly. There were two candidates vying for the position of hall chairperson. One was charismatic, fairly popular, handsome, a great speaker and had sufficient funds to print fancy fliers and even promised to set up and donate 2 million dollars to a health fund. The other candidate was none of these things, his posters were far from impressive and neither was his performance at the hall debates but he was approachable, kind hearted and during orientation he was nice to the freshers who came on hall… needless to say, despite the absence of the fanfare and all that superficial crap… he won and did so by a large margin. He built relationships and they worked for him. It’s not about the fluff people… quality is what matters.
2. All organizations need to be mindful of their reputations… what their publics (both internal and external) think about them. Pay attention to your image and your relationships. When I think of the whole concept of managing a company’s reputation, my mind immediately goes back to the tylenol case in the late 80’s where capsules were tampered with and led to the death of 7 consumers. Tylenol acted immediately and though they lost millions of dollars, they put their customers first by recalling all of that particular product and even introducing a “caplets” to the market. Reputation.
3. We live in an era that is characterized by the use of technology. Right now I’m typing up this post on my laptop, wondering who is ping-ing me on my black berry, thinking about picking my dad up on his offer to get me the new Ipad for my birthday and watching my flatmate read the manual to her Beatz by Dr. Dre headphone and skype with her boyfriend… technology. But, how do we find a balance between technology and morality? technology and our values and morals? How do we keep the lexus and the olive tree? This course has reiterated the point that we can’t escape technological advancement but we must remember from whence we came and be grounded these lessons. Technology is amoral… how we use it makes all the difference.
4. PR Practitioner and future Comm. Consultants! Learn to protect your ideas and your reputation. How? Draft a communication counsel that clearly outlines the advice you’ve suggested and whether or not your employee accepted it. Lawyers do it all the time!
5. Avoid Cognitive Dissonance at all costs
6. Reciprocity is the Key
7. Networking isn’t a waste of time… you never know who you might need in the future.
8. Audits are important. Know where you stand.
9. Pay attention to non verbal communication… trust me, it counts
10. Don’t take life too seriously… live a little.
COMM 2926 was fun… Learning took place.
Peace and blessings from my heart to yours
One Perfect Love
This semester we’ve had a lot of group work. No really.. it’s ridiculous! I would much rather get my projects done independently but apparently CARIMAC believes that since we’re going to be in the media industry and we’re going to have to work in teams… we might as well start now. Sigh*
Though I have a preference for individual work, I can’t help but admit that working in groups well more so working as a part of a team, is extremely important for any organization (be it a group, school, company, business) to function efficiently and effectively.
With that said, in 1965 Bruce Tuckman developed a 4 stage model for group development…
let’s get to it…
The name pretty much says it all… in the first step the group literally “forms”…
It’s the “getting to know you” part of the process; everybody is pleasant, there is very little conflict… if any at all; it a comfortable place to be. Being a part of so many group projects, I can tell you that this phase is the calm before the storm… pun intended. You find out a little about the background of the people you’d eventually be working with, you build trust, loyalty and on a very superficial level you discuss the project. Oh, I notice that in this stage a group leader usually emerges. He/she may not be OFFICIALLY appointed but a dominant personality or a few of these personalities surface.
2. Storming- I think there are 2 reasons why Tuckman entitled this stage “storming”. Not only do we find BrainSTORMING here but a literal STORM too!
It’s where the most conflict occurs. Group members tend to butt heads, personalities and ideas clash… whilst there is a struggle for power and authority, I think that the main is that of acceptance. Not only acceptance of people and positions but more importantly, acceptance of ideas… ideas and strategies regarding how the group’s goals and objectives should be accomplished. Even before this though, is acceptance of a common goal! the group must agree on what they are working towards and who exactly will be leading them and in what capacity.
Others may disagree but I think that this is a critical part of “going through the motions”… with conflict come CREATIVITY :) and it is here you start to learn to work together… the synergy that the group needs to accomplish the goal begins to sprout. It should be noted though that many groups do not go beyond this stage. If leadership isn’t strong then conflict could lead to more confusion than creativity which could result in lack of motivation and low morale. This stage is the make or break stage… it’s either you have it or you don’t.
3. Norming- Just as the name says… things start to get … well.. normal! The people in the group start working together more effectively and naturally.
They have agreed on the goals and objectives, the strategies and tactics that will be used to accomplish them, the way in which the labour would be divided (based on strengths of course) and any issues/conflicts are resolved in a more efficient manner.
4. Performing- This is the “AUM” moment. Members understand how their role and function serves to form part of a bigger picture… it’s when everything starts to make sense… the group starts ,well, performing… moving as one unit, in sync with each other. It’s like a choir… there are lots of great soloists but when its time to serve up the platter you hear one voice… ONE VOICE! reminds me of that movie drumline with nick cannon and Zoe Saldana… in order for the team/group to function at its prime there must be - One voice, one heart, one soul.
Group work may not be my cup of tea but it has taught be a lot when it comes to dealing with people. Working in an organization we need to be tolerant of different personalities, understand that hey! conflict will arise sooo how should it be dealt with? Plus, you know what they say, “two (or three or four) minds are better than one”!
Working in groups is also a great way to meet new people and *network*.
But, the greatest lesson that I’ve learnt from working in groups is that of sacrifice and the art of listening. Sometimes you think you have a great idea! As a matter of fact a STELLAR idea and you want, by all means possible, to get this idea off the ground … but group work is not all about self… sometimes you have to realize and acknowledge that your idea may not be the best one for the project at hand and put it away for a while WITHOUT being mad or angry at the group. Sacrifice for a greater purpose.
It has also taught me the art of listening… we all hear but do we really listen? Listen to not only what’s said but what was left unsaid… paying attention to non verbal communication and taking hints/cues.
With that said,
May your groups be successful :)
One Perfect Love
Oh how times have changed.
In case you couldn’t take a hint, I love, Love, LOVE, LOVEEEE coming up with titles for my blog posts! In this post I want to talk a bit about Organization structure. I mean, we hear about it all the time but what REALLY are they talking about?
Let me shed some light on the issue, k?
Organization structure refers to the pathway or route through which messages flow from one individual to another. In a nutshell, Who communicates with whom?
There are two types of Org. structures:
1. The formal structure - this one is the officially designated channel… we see it through the org. chart.
2. the informal structure or the grapevince. ps- this is unofficial
Remember the audit that I spoke about in an earlier post? Well my group was supposed to do the radio station on campus but that fell through. However, if we were to do that audit we’d want to know stuff like:
Is communication Top-down, Bottom up or horizontal?
We’d look at how the programmes are planned… is it done by top management or does the team sit down and use a collaborative effort to plan the programmes? Or do the programme hosts tell top management what they’d like to address?
Not only this, I may have mentioned this before, Communication is about relationships, in an organization, what kind of relationship exists between management and staff?
Is there an open door policy?
Does management take into consideration suggestions made by the staff?
This isn’t only telling us about the org. structure but sheds light on the org. culture as well!
What about the grapevine?
If there is a special guest coming into the radio station, how do the employees find out? Is it from management or from the receptionist who overheard a telephone conversation?
If there is a change in management, how do they find out? via an official letter or from the cleaning staff?
Plus, what does management think about the grapevine?
Many managers shun the idea of the grapevine because of confidentiality issues but it can be used to their advantage if they want information to be dispersed quickly… just tell the office busy bodies and in no time the entire organization is in the know!
I just scratched the surface here but if you have any further questions just message me and I’d clarify any grey areas as best as I can.
One Perfect Love
Hujambo Beautiful People!
Oh… before you run to google… Hujambo is hello in Swahili!
I trust that all is well in your life if not… Pray Untlil Something Happens and remember that God is in control :)
In my last post I started talking about the games we play in my org. comm. class… well this is Pt 2 (I just didn’t want to name the post “the games we play pt 2… that’s boring!)
Sooo… let’s talk atoms!
In one of the earlier classes in the semester we played a game of “atoms”.
A room full of university students got off their butts, stood in a psuedo circle and when the lecturer called a number, there was a scramble to form into the respective groups. If you weren’t in a group… well so long sucka! You were out. This was not a game for the faint hearted.
Here’s what I learnt:
1. Well in the beginning Sir was calling larger numbers but when the group got smaller, the numbers got smaller. It was easy to form groups of seven and eight but groups of three and four… not so easy. People who were/are friends started pushing and shoving each other out of groups just so that they can be counted in and not be excluded. In organizations, it’s not about friendships, its about getting the work done and being counted. I wont recommend that we push and shove but don’t let friendships blind you from achieving your goal. Keep your eyes on the prize.
2. Be flexible. There are many different departments in an organization and if you have the skills and if the job calls for it… you might just have to move. Don’t be so loyal to one set of people or one job that you miss an opportunity to learn more. In this world, static is not welcomed.
3. The work environment is a competitive one… don’t be afraid to put your foot down. You’ve got to think fast and smart. Be tactical. Develop a strategy. If you want something go for it but just remember to be ethical!
Oh! we also played a game of bingo!
Sir gave out these sheets of paper with the most random stuff like
“dancehall buff”… what’s a buff?
“went to grande Anse beach”… grand who?
Anyhoo, the aim of the game was to find people who did these activities and get them to sign the boxes.
The classroom became Coronation market… if you don’t know what I’m talking about just youtube it.
My, My, My. There was so much shouting and screaming. People rushing at you from all over just asking you to sign. Papers were passing left right and center.
In the midst of all this confusion and noise, somethings stood out to me though:
1. Shouting only gets you that far. It’s like when people say you should command attention and not demand attention? My friend Shaheeda (Hey Sheeda :D) was the winner of the overall game and I don’t remember her shouting at all… she just went around the class and got her slots filled. It’s not all about the hype sometimes you just have to be quite, work at it and you never know, you might just win.
2. Sometimes you have to step out of your immediate surrounding to get the job done. I didn’t win, I didn’t even come near winning but I realized that staying in the classroom was only getting me so far. I wasn’t getting all my slots filled. I was around the same people, the same noise and I was literally walking around in circles so I left. When I walked out the class, I spoke to people I didn’t know and politely showed them my list and asked them to sign what applied to them. Being in the same environment can be a constraint. step out. get some fresh air and who knows who you might meet.
3. In the classroom I found out new and interesting facts about people I see everyday. I learnt that Danielle came from a big family… it never occurred to me that that would apply to her. If I thought about it, I might have resolved that she was an only child :S. It showed me that you REALLY shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Ask questions, pay attention to detail; these little things can better equip you to manipulate certain situations.
Who knew learning can be fun? Who knew fun could teach so many lessons!
Be open to new forms of learning people! Teaching doesn’t have to be a dull experience! Be innovative! Take what you already know and have and put a spin on it! I mean, I never thought atoms and bingo could be so cool… look at that :D
One Perfect Love