Communication in other environments

During our time outside we were to work as a team to build a shelter, which had to meet certain criteria. In the group a leader was established, they were […]

During our time outside we were to work as a team to build a shelter, which had to meet certain criteria. In the group a leader was established, they were chosen as they had the instructions and it was easier and cause less confusion to listen to one person while they were reading the instructions. They also took a leadership role by choosing the area where we would build our shelter. Everyone in the group was included and everyone voiced their opinion on what they thought would be best. The thing I found most challenging working in the group was being clear of what everyone was doing, as we naturally sectioned off into smaller groups to work on different sections. To tackle this in the future I need to ensure my communication within the group is better.  

The task was explained very clearly as only one person was reading the task with everyone else listening. Any confusion was cleared as we all had the opportunity to voice any questions or thoughts we had. On reflection the preparation stage from Hargies 5 Ps of Explaining (Hargie, O.2011) may have been missed as we did not have much time to prepare what resources we were going to use. This meant it was more difficult to explain why we used certain resources when presenting to another group.  

The environment played a major role in the type of communication and how we communicated due to the large outdoor space. It was slightly more difficult talking over the noise of the environment as it was a large, open space and sound got lost easily. This could be made easier by bringing the group closer together when we are communicating to try and minimize any loss of communication. Listening was also distracting at some points as other groups were nearby and shouting over to each other. We can overcome this by moving groups further apart or concentrating on blocking out any outside noise from the environment.  

Our negotiation was not very successful as we had to get someone from another group to come and help us for at least ten minutes. This meant that they would have to leave their own group and help another team. It was challenging as everyone was focussed on building their own fort that they did not want to help as they wanted to finish their own. Eventually we managed to negotiate and get help towards the end when people were finishing their shelters.   

Overall It was a great experience as it clearly displayed how communication needs to change in different environments.  

 

Hargie, O. (2011) Skilled Interpersonal  Communication. 5th Edition. London: Routlege

Creating a Den (outdoors)

Overall i enjoyed this challenge we were given. It gave myself a chance to speak to more people within my course and it was a fun task. Within my group we didn’t have much of a team leader i believe we very much all joined in on the decision making and we all very much …

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Overall i enjoyed this challenge we were given. It gave myself a chance to speak to more people within my course and it was a fun task. Within my group we didn’t have much of a team leader i believe we very much all joined in on the decision making and we all very much were taking part in this task.

As it was an open environment we had to speak a little louder to each other at times so we could hear one another. We struggled to get many items off the other groups but we did try our best. Most of the groups that we wanted to negotiate with had already finished their den so it was hard to get the items we wanted off of them as they were already using them. The group that explained how they made their den to us were very good at giving us a very detailed overview of how they decided on how they would start and how they used what they got effectively. The preperation was i think missed out but the other 4P’s were explained perfectly.

Communication in Other Environments

Group and leadership There wasn’t just one leader, we split into rough pairs and took different parts of the shelter each. Everybody contributed to a part of the den. When someone came up with an idea it was discussed with other members of the group and, if it was decided it was an idea we …

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Group and leadership

There wasn’t just one leader, we split into rough pairs and took different parts of the shelter each. Everybody contributed to a part of the den. When someone came up with an idea it was discussed with other members of the group and, if it was decided it was an idea we would use, that person would take control of doing that section and making it work. For the most part this worked well for our group. However, at times people were overshadowed by other peoples ideas or were not heard because of all of us talking at once. At these times, someone would step up and say something letting everyone get their ideas and thoughts heard. I think, looking back on the day, the hardest part was communicating exactly what everyone was doing. As there wasn’t an overall leader it was sometimes difficult to understand what everyone was trying to achieve and who was trying to achieve the other challenges we were given. Overall, I think we functioned very well as a team.

Explaining

The group that was explaining their den were slightly unclear with their explanation of how they built it but clearly put across their overall concept of their den. They explained what their initial idea of their den was and then went onto add some imaginary aspects (underground levels). Their explanation of their den was clear because they were able to “simplify [their] complex idea” Hargie, O. (2011)¹ and put across clearly and concisely what they had been thinking and discussing. However, their explanation of how they built it was unclear. This was mainly due to us running out of time there for it was rushed and not completed. Overall, this means that the planning of both groups was not very good because we allowed time to run away from us, but the presentation was good and all other steps that were needed to explain their ideas to us were done.

Environment

The physical environment didn’t impact  that much on our communication, but I could see that if we had different weather (i.e strong winds, rain or snow) then our communication could have been hindered. The main changes I noticed in the way I communicated in an outdoor environment instead of in the classroom was the way I tended to demonstrate things more rather than just explaining how I was going to do it. I also noticed that I tended to speak quieter and made more eye contact. I think the reason I spoke quieter was that I was more aware of the fact that I was only speaking to a small group rather than a whole class. It was not that difficult to communicate above any natural sounds because it was a rather quiet spot. However, if there was more people around, more wildlife or more sounds from the wind or rain then there might have been some difficult in communicating. To ease any difficulty the speaker and the listener would have to maintain good eye contact, make sure they were standing fairly close to each other and make sure they are able to hear each other as they talk. The environment didn’t distract me that much but I can see how it would distract other people as it is a very beautiful location. Primary children, in particular, could become very distracted in an environment like this. In order to avoid distraction I would allow time at the start of the session to allow them to explore and then get them to settle down for the task we were out their for.

Negotiation

The negotiation we were tasked with was to get someone to come and help us for five minutes, for free. This did not work very well. We were able to get someone to help for a short amount of time (less than one minute) but were not able to get anyone to help for a longer period of time. This was because of the fact that we were not offering anything in return, it was also partly due to the fact that the people that we asked we joking around and did not want us to complete our task. It was very difficult to try and negotiate with someone for their time when you were not offering anything in return. Most people will not do a task for nothing. I think this is something you have to keep in mind when working with anyone, especially children. You have to be willing to have a give and take relationship and be able to negotiate with children. There will be times when you have to be firm and not be able to negotiate but there will be times when you have to be able to have an open discussion and negotiation with children.

 

The communication, explanation and negotiation skills I have learned through this are ones that are essential in classrooms, indoors and outdoors. Without these skills classrooms would not be successful environments and it would be harder to function in classrooms where these skills are not being implemented by teachers and students alike.

 


1 – Hargie, O. (2011) Skilled Interpersonal Communication. 5th Edition. London:        Routlege

Den Building Reflections 24/9/18

Group and leadership One member of our team provided good leadership skills, she had experience of a similar task and was happy to talk about it and let the team know what to do. This was pretty informal and the team leader stood out because of her experience. Everyone felt included within the group, there …

Group and leadership

One member of our team provided good leadership skills, she had experience of a similar task and was happy to talk about it and let the team know what to do. This was pretty informal and the team leader stood out because of her experience.

Everyone felt included within the group, there was no dictation of tasks and no real hierarchy within the group, everyone was able to put ideas forward and be heard within the group and everyone was able to work cohesively as a team.

I found it challenging to stand back and watch others doing things that I would have done in a different way such as tying bags together where I would have taped them or putting poles where I would have put other items. I was able to overcome this and am happy that I did.

Explaining

The team that explained their den building to us did a very good job, they were very thorough and explained everything clearly. I don’t think that they missed anything from the 5 P’s at all. One person from the team began explain their den building process and the others in the team added in information where necessary.

Environment

We were in quite a noisy environment with other teams and the general public around, this meant that the team had to project their voices more than they normally would in a classroom setting and had to repeat themselves and stop to look at the speaker rather than listen whilst they worked. I didn’t find this too difficult as I was able to project my voice when needed and clarify any instructions when needed. The environment didn’t distract me during the task as I do not find it challenging when working around outdoor distractions, I find it easy to “block them out”.

Negotiation

Our negotiation was to swap a team member with another team and this was not successful. We felt, as a team, that we didn’t want to lose one of our members as we worked very well together and got on very well. We did make a small attempt to complete our negotiation challenge but this was probably not done as well as it could have been as we didn’t really want to change our team members. This was a particularly difficult challenge as we found, when we were trying to negotiate team members, that other groups felt the same and didn’t want to swap their team members either.

Communication in other environments – 24th September 2018

As part of our workshop for Situated Communication this week, we ventured outside with the task of ‘building a den’. This task was done in groups, meaning communication was crucial. Group and leadership Within my group, there wasn’t really a set leader throughout the task. I feel that we all took turns at being the …

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As part of our workshop for Situated Communication this week, we ventured outside with the task of ‘building a den’. This task was done in groups, meaning communication was crucial.

Group and leadership

  • Within my group, there wasn’t really a set leader throughout the task. I feel that we all took turns at being the ‘leader’ at different stages.
  • One positive trait that everyone showed was determination and were ready to give it our best shot. The verbal communication within our group was good and clear meaning everyone was on the same page and no one was isolated and not knowing what to do.
  • I often found that we would discuss ideas in smaller groups of the team and then feedback to everyone once we had a solid plan of action.
  • The most challenging thing that I found working within the group was the amount of people for the task, especially to begin with. Everyone had ideas and wanted to share them with each other but looking back, I think if we had discussed this within smaller parts of the group and then did some feedback to the full group with possible ideas and contributions then this could have been more successful and less time consuming.

Explaining

  • I think that our groups explaining and overall communication was effective. I always knew what was going on, who was doing what and what our end goal was due to clear discussion. This was shown as everyone was constantly doing something and nobody was standing around with nothing to do, everyone was helping and supporting one another.
  • If we were to improve on one thing it would be the preparation behind who was discussing what part of the process. Although our presentation and explanation to the other group was fine, we could have put more thought into who was saying what in order for everyone to have a chance at explaining.

Environment 

  • The environment impacted our groups decision making. Due to being in such an open space, we became very indecisive as to where to build the den. It was a bit of a distraction to begin with as we were in a different environment than what we were used to.
  • I think that if the weather had been different (eg. windy, rain etc.) then we may have struggled more with the volume of our voices, however the weather was dry and not too windy so it didn’t affect us too much. If this had been the case then a louder voice would be necessary in order to get information across to all members of the group to prevent miscommunication or confusion. By using a louder voice, this doesn’t necessarily mean shouting but instead articulating your voice and speaking clearly, this would be effective so everyone can hear and understand whats happening.

Negotiation 

  • Our negotiations were successful. We bargained with another group and explained why we needed the item and what they could use as a replacement to it. Therefore, we offered an alternative solution in order to benefit ourselves and them.
  • This was challenging as it meant speaking and negotiating with different people that I might not have yet spoken to properly, however I found this beneficial as it created conversation that might not have happened otherwise.

Workshop: Communication in Other Environments

So this weeks workshop was a little different to sitting in the MacLab or a lecture theatre, but its purpose was to build on the ‘effective communicator’ aspect but in other environments. Your role as a primary school teacher isn’t … Continue reading

So this weeks workshop was a little different to sitting in the MacLab or a lecture theatre, but its purpose was to build on the ‘effective communicator’ aspect but in other environments. Your role as a primary school teacher isn’t only about engaging with children but also having a good rapport with adults too.

Den Building Activity

Using the natural resources around us and minimal resources we had the task of creating a den in 45 minutes.

This is our creation River Shack…

Group and Leadership

  • Was there a group leader?

Although we did not appoint a group leader i felt that a couple of our team members took that role upon themselves.

  • If informal how did you know? What are the actions that marked them as a leader?

They directed everyone different tasks to get on with, and seemed to take control of how we were building this den, however they did also listen to everyone’s ideas.

  • How did this impact on the rest of the group e.g. was there some underlying resentment/ did anyone feel excluded?

I feel like they were more involved than others, however nobody was excluded and everyone’s ideas were listened to.

  • What was the most challenging thing for you about working in this group?

It was hard to keep 100% focus on the task as i was trying to get to know the people I was working with.

 

Explaining

  • How clearly did you think the group explained to you?

I think that all was explained well and clearly and we all knew what had to be done to create our den.

  • What made this clear?

At the start we collected all of our resources we wanted to use and stood looking at everything deciding what was the best idea as we had to consider the size we had to make it and the best structure to hold everyone inside.

  • What stage of the 5P’s may have been missed out?

I feel that all stages of the 5p’s were met, however I felt the presentation part could have been communicated better.

 

Environment

  • What was the impact of the environment on your communication?

I felt that everyone in our group shared and listened to everyone’s ideas, so nobody was excluded, we also all had to help physically build the den. Apart from the odd screams when a wasp or spider appeared by our den we communicated well as a team.

  • What changes did you make when explaining to others that you might not have considered in a typical classroom?

As everyone was not all together due to some members of our team dealing with negotiating side of the task it was harder to get everyone together to share ideas and things had to be repeated more than once.

  • How challenging was it so speak above the sounds in the environment? How can we make this communication easier on both speaker and listener?

As everyone was off doing their own thing it was difficult to gather everyone together and get people to listen as things had to be repeated more than once on some occasions. It was not very difficult as the area we decided to build the den was quite excluded, far away from the other dens.

  • When listening, did the environment distract you? How can we overcome this?

I think yes as there was dog walkers close by and wasps flying around so made it hard to not get distracted and keep focused. I think that a way to overcome this is to keep eye contact with the speaker as you are solely focused on them and not your surroundings.

 

Negotiation 

Our negotiation was to swap one of our team members for another groups, and we were unfortunately unsuccessful. I believe this was due to everyone being so focused on building the dens and getting to know their own team members and the fact that no-one from our team really wanted to leave.

 

Situated Communication Outdoor Task (24/09/18)

Group and leadership I think I took on the role of ‘group leader’ although not appointed because I said that I had previously done a similar challenge on numerous occasions within my guide unit and so I had a rough idea of what we could do to complete the task. However, I think we worked …

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Group and leadership

I think I took on the role of ‘group leader’ although not appointed because I said that I had previously done a similar challenge on numerous occasions within my guide unit and so I had a rough idea of what we could do to complete the task. However, I think we worked cohesively as a group and everyone was able to add their input and everyone had their own role in the creation of our den. I didn’t say I was group leader but it came about through my actions as it was myself who suggested where we started to make our den and the materials to use where, which everyone agreed on. It is my belief that me taking on this leadership role did not exclude anyone, as everyone had their own tasks and I always asked how others felt about things that I suggested – I am hoping my team members would feel the same way.  I did not find anything challenging about working in this group other than the environmental factors which we overcame because everyone got on well and wanted to complete the task as best as we could.

Explaining

I think the group explaining to us did very well, they were very clear about why their den looked how it did and the main aims they wanted to achieve. One girl started the explaining but everyone else added in new information to give us a rounded explanation of their den. I do not think the group missed out any of the 5P’S and explained all of them to us very clearly.

Environment

The impact of the environment on my communication was that I had to talk a little louder to ensure my team members were hearing and understanding what I was saying. I had to ask for team members to repeat themselves, more so than I would in a classroom setting. I spoke louder than I would in a classroom setting and clarified my points if my team members were confused or unsure. For me, it wasn’t too challenging, as I have a loud voice and as already mentioned I have carried out this task numerous times at guides and so I knew how to communicate in this kind of setting. There were numerous distractions such as hearing other groups, the leaves falling and of course the local dogs who came for a visit (which I thouroughly enjoyed and which made the outdoor activity even more exciting.)

  • When listening, did the environment distract you? How can we overcome this?
  • Negotiation
    • Were your negotiations successful?  Why/Why not?
    • What was most challenging about these?

 

Communication in Other Environments

Group and Leadership We were in groups of around 7 and were given the challenge to build a den outdoors. The group was not assigned a leader to allow us to see who the natural leaders were. Within my group nobody stepped up to take over as  a leader, we all voiced our ideas in … Continue reading Communication in Other Environments

Group and Leadership

We were in groups of around 7 and were given the challenge to build a den outdoors. The group was not assigned a leader to allow us to see who the natural leaders were. Within my group nobody stepped up to take over as  a leader, we all voiced our ideas in the same way and tried and tested them to see which ones worked out best. Personally, I enjoyed this way of working in a group as I feel like it didn’t apply any pressure to the group. It also allowed everyone to get involved and not feel like their taking over anyones ‘role’.

Explaining

Within this area the outdoor communication became a slight struggle. However, i think the group explained well to us, they had one person who done all the talking and the rest of the group just stood in the den. This showed that their group had a clear leader who was taking over the bigger roles instead of them working together.

Environment

The environment impacted on our explaining due to the distractions around. I noticed when we were explaining to the other group they weren’t actually making eye contact with us as we spoke due to them being distracted by the other groups roundabout. To try and make this communication easier groups could move in closer to each other to ensure they can be heard over the sounds in the environment. They could also stand facing away from other groups to eliminate being distracted by their explanations. When listening to the other group i felt like the environment was a distraction because of dog walkers going past and the noises from the birds it was hard to concentrate on the explanation. To overcome this I could ensure i make eye contact with the speaker which will help me stay focused on the points their making.

Negotiation

The negotiations were challenging because i don’t really know everyone yet it was slightly awkward having to go up to someone you don’t talk to and persuade them to swap materials. However, it was a good opportunity to have a bit of a laugh and joke with each other to get to break down barriers.

Den building task reflection

Group and leadership We didn’t have a particular group leader although there were a couple of individuals who took control of particular activities or initiated next steps in an informal way. We all knew it was an informal leadership as there was no debate amongst us as to who should be leader. It wasn’t voiced … Continue reading Den building task reflection

Group and leadership

  • We didn’t have a particular group leader although there were a couple of individuals who took control of particular activities or initiated next steps in an informal way.
  • We all knew it was an informal leadership as there was no debate amongst us as to who should be leader.
  • It wasn’t voiced that there was any resentment or feeling of exclusion although it may have been wise to have asked if anyone felt uncomfortable. I felt the group worked well this way and very efficiently. We had a good mix of confidence between us as well as an awareness of each of our personality and encouraged one another in our particular strengths.
  • The biggest challenge for me was not portraying a motherly attitude being an older member of the group. I felt we needed to work as equals and direct each other for the benefit of the task in hand. I am happy on reflection I felt I did that quite well.

Explaining

  • I felt the group explained very well to each other. Ideas were discussed between us and any problems that might occur and how we might solve them.
  • We talked about how we might attach the tarpaulin to provide shelter over the top of our den and members of the group demonstrated what we might do to achieve this.
  • A member of the group demonstrated how to unfold a cardboard box to use as a suitable constructive material also which proved to be a positive motivation for the group and a source of empowerment for the group member.
  • We may have missed out some elaboration in the presentation and didn’t do a post mortem in following the 5 p’s From Hargie, O. (2011) Skilled Interpersonal Communication. 5th Edition. London: Routlege

Environment

  • There was a buzz of activity and energy within the group.
  • We had to talk slightly louder than in a classroom area and indicate more clearly who the questions or requests were aimed at using body language and eye contact.
  • It was a little more difficult to get a person’s attention as we worked due to the noise from the other groups and dog walkers etc and we had to raise our voices slightly, to be heard.
  • We used eye contact and body language to attract the listener’s attention rather than shouting at them making it easier to communicate without appearing rude or over bearing.
  • We came closer like a huddle to hear and see better what ideas and information was being communicated.

Negotiation

  • It was difficult to negotiate with the other groups and we were unsuccessful. We had agreed on what we would negotiate with but might have been better to have discussed more how we would have negotiated (what to say, ideas on what the material could be used for) we should also have discussed more who would be the best negotiator (a group member not having a specific task volunteered). In the end we all tried together but think it was too close to the end of the task and most people were completed.
  • It was very challenging being convincing to the other groups while negotiating.