Workshop : Communication in Other Environments

Monday 24th September 2018

So, todays workshop surrounded the idea of taking our developing skill as an ‘effective communicator’ into more environments rather than just the lecture theatre. As a primary school teacher, this will involve – speaking to children, parent/caregivers, other members of staff, people in different authorities, people within the community, the list goes on… so its vital that we build up the confidence, professionalism and energy to be able to do this on a day-to-day basis.

Den Building Task

We were given minimal resources and as a team we were to build a den using communication to make sure it fitted the task aim. Here is a picture of our den (it did look much better in person, I promise)

Reflection of the Task

  • Group and leadership
    • Was there a group leader?  There wasn’t a ‘group leader’ as such, some people shared their ideas more than others but there was no disagreement to any suggestions – we brought everyones ideas together to come to a mutual agreement.
    • If informal, how did you know?  What were the actions that marked them as a leader?  They put the plan into place and selected a person for each role, without being bossy, which made the task run smoothly.
    • How did this impact on the rest of the group e.g. was there some underlying resentment/ did anyone feel excluded?  I feel maybe some people were reluctant on sharing their ideas, sometimes I shared something that wasn’t heard but I made sure it was in the end.
    • What was most challenging for you about working in this group? For me, I do like to take control of certain tasks, especially creative things such as this one. However, being in a group full of also very creative people I had to take a step back but this was actually really helpful the task itself.
  • Explaining
    • How clearly did you think the group explained to you?  We didn’t explain our ideas to begin with in front of the whole group which led us to having around 3 attempts at possible ideas for the structure to our den.
    • What made this clear or unclear? I think we were all wanting to help out which meant that nothing was made clear, verbally, at the planning stage.
    • What stage of the 5Ps might have been missed out?
  • Environment
    • What was the impact of the environment on your communication?  For the task to be successful, everyone had to get involved. I had to share my ideas, as well as listen to others and also physically contribute to building the den.
    • What changes did you make when explaining to others that you might not have considered in a typical classroom?  The main difference would be that you had be very clear in what your idea was for it to physically work but also the idea had to be shared to everyone so the whole team knew what the next step was.
    • 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 we weren’t limited to a very small space, it was hard to find times where the entire team was together. To make this easier, we could have issued everyone a specific job or spent more time planning our design at the start of the task.
    • When listening, did the environment distract you? How can we overcome this? Maybe slightly, however I see myself as quite a good listener and so this wasn’t as much of a challenge for me. However a solution to this could try and really focus on what the speaker is saying and engage, so ask questions to clarify for example.
  • Negotiation
    • Were your negotiations successful?  Why/Why not? Yes, our teams negotiation was successful, however it was the other team that approached us first for the swap instead of us getting out and asking. So this made us lose quite a big element of our structure, however we compromised and used something else to give us the weight we need for the roof to stay put.
    • What was most challenging about these?  Probably not giving in to the other team, even if they were being very persuasive.

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