Discuss about the Communicating with Team Subordinates.
Once in a summer project, I got the opportunity to become a leader of a team of five people. We were assigned the duty of developing a poster for the topic of gender equality. I was very happy because I was getting the opportunity to exhibit my leadership traits. I provided the responsibility of collecting information from the internet to one person, drawing and creative work out put to one person, the typing responsibility to one person and developing the transcript for poster presentation to one person. We all were very excited and started working leniently. However after someday, I saw that the pace of the activity of all the team members had somehow lowered and they were not that much enthusiastic as they were when they were assigned the task. I developed a feeling that with such pace, the work can never be completed within the deadlines and therefore the marks of all the members would be deducted. Therefore, I thought of conducting a meeting so that I can understand the main issues that were resulting in the delaying in completion of the project.
In the meeting, I asked all the members to convey their issues so that I can help to solve them. Although, I showed them that I was calm and free from tension, I was actually quite nervous about the outcome of the project and as quite tensed of the result. They were fearing to disclose their concerns but after repeated requests they stated that the job role give to them was not appropriate. One of them said that he cannot draw properly and therefore he would like to take the role of the public speaker. On the other hand, the person who was given the responsibility of public speaking wanted to take the role of the person who was given the duty to conduct online researches and similar requests started to pour. I became so anxious and stressed to hear about their complaints that I stopped them midway and my disappointment came out. I started shouting on them stating that they are not at all responsible with their work and they are making these excuses in order to conceal their faults and carelessness in their work activities. I also stated that nothing would be changed at that point of time and that each of them would conduct the initially assigned duties. They were shocked at my behaviour and complained that for this reason only; they were not revealing their concerns at the initial part of the meeting. To this, I felt bad, as I understood that efficient leaders never behave this way.
From this situation, I understood that I had been a combative listener in the meeting as I stopped them from expressing their view completely. Without listening to their concerns completely and without understanding their issues and being empathetic to their concerns, I started ordering them to complete their work and did not help them at all. My combative mode of listening affected their self-respect and they left the place. If I had been an active listener and provided them effective feedback after entirely listening to them, the project would not have failed.
Communication with my girlfriend:
I have been in a relationship with my girlfriend for past 18 months. We share many common interests and therefore we have good time when we hangout outside. Just like me, she is a lover of soccer and cricket and often we play informally with other friends on weekend mornings and evenings. In case of diet, she is also a lover of non-vegetarian food items and there are days we go for binge eating throughout the day. However, we are also fitness enthusiast and go for working out with her to the community gymnasium four days a week. We believe in healthy living and healthy eating and we are very concerned about poor health. Moreover, she gives me very good advices in my life that shows her far sightedness and her developed ideas about different social and professional issues I go through. Therefore, due to high level of compatibility, I find myself quite compatible with her. However, there are two important things that I do not like about her is that she constantly tries to involve me in any of her issues that she faces with female friends and her exceptional enthusiasm for shopping. After that discussion, when she started talking about the recent soccer match she had watched, I grew interest on that and started participating in the conversation completely by becoming an active listener. I was putting forward my opinion about the loss of our favourite team and we were pretty engaged in the conversation. It continued for more than one hour.
Last night, she called me and after the initial phase of exchanging warm regards, she started to complain about the recent feuds she had with her female friends. I continued to listen to the cause of the feuds and the various rude exchanges of words she had with her friends. She started describing the entire situation in details and was very particular about the negative words that were told to her by her friends. I continued to be a passive listener in such situations mainly because of two reasons. This is mainly because I cannot provide honest feedback to the situation for she might think that I am not a supporter of her. Another reason why I chose to remain quiet and be a passive listener is because I know that these issues are petty and she would forget the issue completely within the next morning and hand out with these friends the next day only.
However, at that instant, she was quite upset with me as I was not participating in her discussion and she felt that I was disinterested or that I was not listening to her attentively. She was quite hurt with my behaviour and thought that I was not enough supportive or protective about her. She also felt that I was not interested in her life and I did not have the capability to help her in her difficult situation or that when she is emotionally broken. She misunderstood my passive listening attribute and I therefore should try my best to interact with her properly in her harsh times and perform the responsibility of a companion. She understood that although I participated completely in the later discussion, I was completely withdrawn from the initial discussion. This made her upset and later when she revealed the fact to me, I was ashamed and guilty at the same time. I acted selfishly with her and I wanted to change the fact for the future.
Communication with father:
From the very early period of my life, my best friend of my life is my father. He has led a very simple life throughout his adulthood in order to provide my mother and me with the luxuries that would make our lives comfortable. He had been with me through my difficulties in my life and never criticised me for my failures. He was of a very positive mindset and never used to demoralise me or scolds me if I did not perform well or failed to get good marks. He always inspired me to develop the best skills and told me that always to keep my held high and not ever to look down on own self. He always motivated me to overcome my barriers and come out victorious in every spheres of life. I have shared all my emotions with him as more than a parent he has always been my best friend in every situation. Starting from my career decisions to even small matters like my romantic life – all such matters are discussed by me in details with her.
Last night, my friends had been to my place, as we had to complete some of the pending projects. My friend got a call from one of his parents where I only saw him to hold the phone and answer his parents in “yes” or “no”. I was quite amazed to see that he was trying his best to keep down the phone and was not at all wanting to listen to them. He was a complete passive listener as although he was listening to them but was not entirely participating in the conversation. However, when my father called me and disclosed to me that he had sent my application to the sports association of the local community so that I can undertake soccer sessions, I was not only surprised but also filled with joy. I was so thankful to him that he had completed the task I was procrastinating every day. I continued to talk with him about the details and he was actively participating. I engaged myself completely in the conversation by first listening to the criteria of the tuition classes. Following this, I asked him the days and the time when the tuition class begins. We shared and exchanged information. Following this, he provided me some of the suggestions that I need to follow so that I can manage time efficiently. We discussed in details about the different aspects of the tuition class. This made me very happy and contented.
From the incident, I realised that i was an active listener to my father not only in this discussion sessions but also throughout lives. We had always been engaged in active listening sessions and therefore, we had been able to develop strong bonds successfully. On the other hand, i understood that my friend is a passive listener to her parents and did not engage in effective communication. I believe that I will try to engage with such discussion sessions with my father in the future and would enhance my knowledge throughout lifetimes