Listening is Key

Listening Blog

Listening is a huge part of life. Listening is a crucial part when it comes to communication. Having the ability to listen effectively can change not only your life but also the lives of others around you. A quote that really stuck out to me was, “No one is as deaf as a man who will not listen.” (Jewish Proverb) This quote makes a lot of sense to me. Even people who cannot physically listen, because they are deaf, can still listen in other ways. For example, someone’s body language can tell you a lot about the kind of mood they are in. People who don’t listen cannot effectively communicate because it turns in to one-way communication. This kind of person generally only cares about what they have to say. They will say what they want to say and then just tune out what others are saying. I believe that listening is about hearing, I think it is about understanding and getting the meaning out of what is being said.

When communicating with others if you listen well you can get out lot out of what they are saying. If the speaker knows that you are listening it generally makes them feel better and more comfortable to speak to you. While having a conversation you can listen and figure out what kind of mood the person is in by paying attention to the tone of their voice, how they are talking, and body language. If you know this information you could attempt to make the person feel better. Sometimes all it takes to make someone feel better is to have someone their to hear what they have to say. I know that when I’m feeling down about something it is great to have someone there who will listen to what I have to say and how I feel. Listening to someone could make a difference in their life because many people don’t have someone, they can talk to that will listen to what they have to say.
Listening Blog2
If think that you are struggling with listening there are ways to make yourself better. A good thing to start off doing is maintain eye contact. Maintaining eye contact makes yourself focus on what the speaker is saying and also shows them that you are paying attention. Keep anything distracting away such as cellphones. Ask questions. Asking questions causes you to be engaged in the conversation. These are just a few useful tips to become a better listener.

In conclusion, listening is very important in our lives and in others. Without the ability to listen effectively, life can be pretty difficult. If you can listen effectively it can help you understand more and make others around you feel better and want to speak to you more.

By: Gabriel Wilson, Business Major, IUPUC

To Speak or Not to Speak, that is the Question

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Right now, a future physician is bouncing home to home because his family cannot pay rent on time. Right now, the future president of the United States is eating a piece of bread for dinner because her family cannot provide enough food for the children. Right now, a college student is shaking in his seat in speech class because he is terrified of public speaking. What do these individuals have in common? Communication of knowledge.

In December of 2018, billionaire Warren Buffett said, “Learning to speak and write clearly will increase your worth by 50%. If you can’t communicate, it’s like winking at a girl in the dark — nothing happens. You can have all the brainpower in the world, but you have to be able to transmit it.”

Think of your own communication skills. Have you ever held back information because you were afraid of someone’s reaction? Have you ever analyzed how different the result would be if you spoke of your knowledge in that subject? This is a major problem today because we are so focused on what other individuals think. We are simply afraid of being wrong.

The homeless child, the hungry child, and the scared college student are obstructed from their full potential of communication because of environmental and internal issues.

Healthcare is a great example of both clear and unclear communication. Let’s say a physician orders a nurse to administer one milligram of Dilaudid to a patient who just came out of surgery. The physician takes the time to speak clearly with the nurse, allowing her to repeat the order back to him for assurance. This example of great communication ensures the safety of the patient, nurse, and physician. Now, suppose the same physician orders one milligram of Dilaudid to the same patient who came out of surgery. This time, the physician calls the nurse instead of speaking to her in person. He gave her the order and then hung up the phone without letting her respond. The problem here is that the nurse thought the physician said four milligrams. She did not attempt to call him back to verify the dose and decided to administer it to the patient. This is a potentially dangerous dose because the medication can (and will) suppress the patient’s respiratory rate. The patient is unsafe because of a life-threatening situation, and the nurse and physician are unsafe because they may face license suspension. We see that two completely different outcomes can occur depending on if good or bad communication was utilized.

“Invest in yourself.” These three words, spoken by Buffett, impacts us all. Why? Because we are worth it. We are given obstacles in life to overcome and we cannot do that unless we have faith. Faith is not just believing in a higher power. It is believing in our full potentials and having the willpower to explore them. When we do this, we will gain the courage to speak-up and possibly change the world.

By: Marissa Whitis, Business Major, IUPUC

Mind Your Tongue

Mind Your Tongue

 

The tongue has the power of life and death and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21

You may be thinking, great… another Bible reader, stuffing scripture down my throat.

Before you think that, I have a challenge for you… really look at what that is saying. Whether you believe in the Bible or not, give what these words are saying a little credit. Look at your own life and read those words carefully… “The tongue (our words) have the power of life and death.”

Maybe you think that’s dramatic but it’s not. Think about the last time you were angry at someone. Did you say things you regret, things you can NEVER take back? How did those words affect the recipient? Do you think he or she has forgotten what you’ve said or do you think those words pop back in their head throughout the day? Makes you wonder, huh? I hope I can help you think before you speak whether it be in a positive light or a negative darkness.

“Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me. This is a lie. What we say matters. The unkind things we communicate can soil the best of relationships; even with the deepest of regrets… What lingers is a stain of hurt that may fade but will never truly go away. The wounding words we say are like feathers released in a harsh wind, once said; we will never get them back”

Jason Versey, A Walk with Prudence

When was the last time someone said something that hurt you? How did you feel? Words are something we can never take back. When something hurtful is said, the others’ reaction is to fight back, change the way they see you or even change the way they see themselves. It is SO important to realize the damage just a few simple words said out of anger can do. The impact our words have on people’s behaviors towards us and life in general needs to be taken into consideration. Words can bring people to depression, loneliness, anger, fear… you name it. They have a lasting impression on the people around you.

Magic Words

“Silly words cause trills because they’re ludicrous and funny

Happy words paint endless smiles and swallow troubles whole

Thoughtful words are thus because they make the day feel sunny

But hurtful words are such that pierce the heart and weight the soul”

Richelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyways

Since the last paragraph was somewhat depressing, let’s talk about the positive impact words can have. Look at the second part of that poem, “Happy words paint endless smiles and swallow troubles whole.” We build relationships by creating happy and interesting conversations with our words. People are attracted to optimistic and happy individuals because they make life fun. Without kind, loving, respectful, happy words, relationships would be hard to create. Think of the last time you told someone “I love you.” Ahh yes, all smiles over here. To know you are loved makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. What about a parent telling his or her child “I am proud of you.” Woah. Those words are empowering. The confidence builds and he or she is ready to conquer the world.

We can build people up or tear them down with our choice of words. My advice? Be on the lookout for people who are down on themselves. Give them a compliment and build them up. It can be something as simple as: “You are so smart!” “I love your heart.” “I really like the way you did your hair!” or even, “You are SO good at your job!” Those compliments can really brighten people’s day and change their view of themselves in a heartbeat.

The few examples I covered can’t even begin to scratch the surface of how impactful our words are in both negative and positive ways. I urge you to think before you speak, no matter what situation you’re in. Mind your tongue and think about other people and consider their feelings. Take a look at what that Proverbs verse has to say. It holds a lot of wisdom when it comes to how we carry ourselves and speak within this life.

By: Leigha Faivor, Business/Accounting Major, IUPUC

Navigating the medical maze

Tips on how to reduce your chances of being a victim of medical malpractice

Robin Price
W231- Professional writing

Going to the doctor can be scary. Most people have a fear of doctors. We’ve all heard the stories about patients having the wrong leg amputated, incorrect medication doses being given to patients and numerous other horror stories that resulted in harm to patients or even death of a patient. These examples and many others are results of miscommunication with in the medical field and ultimately A

According to an article on statnews.com written by Melissa Bailey in February 2016. Hospitals and physicians’ offices could have avoided nearly 2000 patient deaths and $1.7 billion in medical malpractice cost if only communication had been better. Here are some tips on how to reduce your chances of becoming a victim of medical malpractice.

  1. Check your Doctors credentials

As a patient or potential patient, you have a right to check your doctor out. When possible before you see your doctor or select a new doctor you can verify their licensing, board certifications, medical school attended, where they did their residency, actions against them like medical malpractice and other disciplinary actions. Federation of state medical boards website you can look up doctors by entering their first and last name and location of practice at docinfo.org.

 

  1. Prepare list of questions to ask your doctor

When we go to the doctor we usually don’t feel well. Sometimes we feel nervous, feel rushed or receive so much information we often forget what we wanted to ask the doctor. By preparing a list of questions before the appointment and bring it along we can review the questions and address your concerns.

 

  1. Bring your medications to your doctor’s appointment

If you are on several medications this is very helpful. Often medications change, dosages change, and frequency taken changes. If can become very hard to remember all the changes, but if you bring the medication, in its original bottle, you will have all this information with you. Enabling you to correctly communicate this important information.

 

  1. Know why you are taking a medication

Many medications can be used to treat several medical issues. It is important to know why you are taking a specific medication. If you see more than a family doctor the other doctor will need to know why you take a medication before they can prescribe additional medications. Some medications will counteract each other.

 

  1. Follow up on medical test completed

Often our doctor visit includes orders for tests such as blood test, x-rays, MRI’s ect. Physicians will usually have these results within a few days. Keep track of what test you completed and when you completed them. If you have not received results from your doctor’s office in about 3-5 days call your doctors office and ask for results. DO NOT ASSUME NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS.

 

  1. Make a list and put it in your wallet or billfold

We can’t always remember everything, or we may not be able to answer the questions. Be prepared! Make a list of any medications you’re on including the name, dosage and frequency taken. Make a list of any drug allergies you have, be sure to include any egg and nut allergies.  Make a list of all surgeries you have had including the year of surgery. This list will usually fit on a 3” X5” index card. Place this card in your wallet or billfold with your driver’s license or ID card. In the event of an accident, responders will usually check for your drivers license or ID card and will see the list.

 

  1. Know what you are signing

Doctors offices and hospitals usually give you a stack of forms to be filled out and signed before you even see the doctor. Read them, know what they are before you sign them. If you do not understand them ask for an explanation. You have patient rights and they include knowing what you are signing at any time when you are a patient.

 

  1. Ask!! Ask!! Ask!! Ask!!

Take control of your healthcare. Ask questions. Ask what the diagnosis is, what medication is for, what are they treatment options and any other questions you can think of.  Ask the doctor or nursing staff to write down or print out information. Then go home and research, look up the diagnosis and treatment options and make notes. If you have more questions call the doctors office and ask. Asking questions increases communication.

There are many things we, as patients, can do to reduce our chances of becoming victims of medical malpractice. One of the most important things we can do is communicate with your doctor. By asking questions and taking an active role in our personal healthcare we are reinforcing strong communication and improving the quality of care we receive. Use these tips to help you start improving communication with your doctor and aid in reducing your chances of becoming a victim of medical malpractice.

 

Do You Hear What I Hear???

 

woman wearing headphones standing beside man

Photo by Nicholas Githiri on Pexels.com

Listening to me and Hearing me are two different things. How well do you listen? According to PR Daily, less than two percent of the country’s population, have had formal education on how to listen. Did that not just blow your mind, because mine is flabbergasted. We communicate everyday with people from around the world, only to realize what we are saying to each other is only being heard, and not comprehended. I have three quick points on how we can enhance our communication skills, by simply improving our listening abilities.

  1. Pay Attention
  2. Open Your Mind
  3. Interact

These tips do not have to be completed in order, but it is much easier to understand the conversation if you do. Let’s break these tips down into a simpler form.

  • Paying attention is the key to any conversation. This allows the sender and receiver the opportunity to feel each other out. It is also needed to retain pertinent information.
  • Open your mind to all ideas whether you feel like they are good or bad. You never know what someone else can bring to the table, not to mention we all fall short of knowing everything, so always be willing to learn something new.
  • Both the sender and the receiver should interact with each other. By doing this the other knows if the message sent is clear. Interaction could be as simple as eye contact or a nod of the head. The point is you are letting the other know you get it!

I have found in relationships with others in my life, communicating effectively is so important. Not understanding what someone is trying to tell you after they have said it over and over and you have heard it over and over is beyond frustrating. That is why during the communicating process, we must openly listen to each other and pay attention to the details in the message so that we can respond to effectively. Considering there are so many cultures that make up our country, some ways of getting a message across will vary. These steps might not work for every situation, but they can assist with the process.

Why must we listen?

When you were young do you recall your parents telling you to LISTEN?  Perhaps you remember them saying ‘I know you hear me but are you LISTENING to me?’ At the time did you wonder ‘What is the difference?’ Let me try to explain what the difference is and why it is an important life skill.

Hearing is a physical activity that refers to the vibrations your ear receives then turns into sounds. On the other hand, listening is much more involved and can be a physical AND mental activity.

There are also different types of listening. For example, active listening involves not only the physical activity of listening to what is being said but also in watching the body language of the speaker. Effective listening requires focus, and concentration which requires both physical and mental activity. Both types are extremely important in our daily communications.

By being both an active and effective listener you can help in preventing miscommunication, misunderstandings, establish a connection with the speaker, and also improve the interpretation of what is being said.  I am sure we have all experienced a variation of miscommunication or misunderstanding. What if you had a simple misunderstanding while working on project and someone was hurt? Could a  miscommunication from a co-worker lead to clients losing their investment? Would you lose your job? Unfortunately, all of these things can and have happened.

Here are some ways you can improve your listening skills.

Maintain eye contact. By keeping eye contact with the speaker your mind will wander less and the distraction of those around you can be kept to a minimum.

Remain attentive. Once eye contact is established you can remain attentive and you are likely to absorb and retain more information.

Keep an open mind. Save your questions and judgements for the end of the speech simply because they may be answered at the speech progresses.

Listen to the words the speaker is saying and when you hear them in context and it will help in interpretation and limit misunderstandings.

Don’t interrupt. Of course this goes without saying however we often need reminded.

Employers are providing workshops and seminars to their employees simply because of they want to emphasize the importance of listening. Listening is a skill that is not only required but essential for the workplace, relationships, and everyday communication.  How well do you think you listen?

 

 

By Lindsay McIntosh,  Senior at IUPUC

 

 

Have You Heard That Men and Women Communicate Differently?

For years you have grown up listening to people tell you that men are physical/sexual beings while women are a roller coaster of emotions. Although, no two people are alike, I found that this statement is in fact true for the most part.

 

Men communicate with the intent of independently making a decision. Women communicate to process all the information that they have just received and talk it over again. In conversation, Women tend to have more in depth conversations. They add memories and emotions when communicating. While Men, have much more simpler conversations leaving out the fine details and only adding in extra information when asked to do so.

 

If you have noticed in a workplace that Women do not hesitate to approach Men with information or questions that they have directly face to face. While Men will approach Women from the side angle because face to face conversation is sometimes declared as to personal for Men while working. Have you noticed that Women tend to nod their heads as a sign of affirmation that they understood what you were saying or explaining? All women are secretly shaking their heads right about now. Well, Men tend to nod their heads as a sign of agreeing with you or the argument at hand. Women, next time you are listening to a male co-worker speak make sure that you are aware if you nod. Sometimes they will misinterpret this as you agreeing with them and not just you acknowledging what they said.

 

Communication also has an unspoken language. Body Language. Women, we have been doing this since we were born. It is almost like body language is hidden away in our DNA and it literally shows in our faces every day. We have faces for everything; sad, happy, disgust, confused, and lost. While Men on the other hand have one face with a hint of smile every once in a while. Too often we give ourselves away in our facial features. They should have a class in High School on how to contain your facial expressions when you are in the middle of a conference for work. Many times the way a Women shows her body language gives away how she is feeling or what she is thinking at the moment when she doesn’t necessarily want it to be known yet.

 

So, with all of the information I have given today I have a few pointers to remember in everyday life whether it be at home, work, or school.

 

Take these facts with a grain of salt. Like I said before, no two people are alike. Men and Women will always communicate differently.

Stay Aware. Make sure you know how to communicate correctly between people. The way to talk to one person may not be the same method you use to talk to another person.

Finally, Get Information. When you interact with people on a daily basis it is ok to ask them questions. If you know a little more about them you can communicate with them more easily.

 

By Brittany Sample, Business Major – IUPUC

 

 

Closing the Age Gap

If I had a dollar every time my grandparents asked me how to use Facebook, fix their phone, or even how to send a text with a picture attached, I’d be rich. In today’s society of ever-evolving technology, the baby boomers seem to have a much steeper learning curve than the millennials.

The communication style between these two generations is drastically different for many reasons. One of which being that the technology that is available today is very different than the technology that was available in the 1970s/1980s. Many millennials have grown up communicating through texts and snapchats instead of through outdated letters and phone calls. Baby boomers would not be able to figure out snapchat and can barely figure out how to text. Most of them would much rather call if they need to talk or reach someone. Although these two styles of communication are much different, the same idea is behind each form of communication and the same goal is achieved, just in a different way.

Another big difference between baby boomers and millennials is cell phone usage. Today, it is becoming more and more acceptable to carry a conversation through text, while also carrying a conversation in person. If you have ever tried to even send just one text while talking to a baby boomer, you most likely received a dirty look, or a snarky remark about your phone. To them, the act of even just checking your phone while carrying a casual conversation can come across as extremely disrespectful.

Even though at times the communication styles between these two age groups seems to be drastically different, the one thing we all have in common is all generations have a need for human interaction. No matter the form.

 

Emma Sanders

Psychology Major at IUPUC

What Martial Arts Belt Are You When It Comes To Presentations?

How well can you kick butt at presenting? I have videos and quizzes below; let us find out how much you know presentations and what belt you rank. Take notes while watching the videos to see what the mistakes or improvements are then take the quizzes to test your knowledge.  Please leave comments on the page to let me know what you think!

Delivering a bad presentation – spot the mistakesYoutube.com. University of Bedfordshire, 6 Jan. 2012. Web. 13 Apr. 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATfY8dvbuFg&gt;.

Did you cringe as much as I did watching that video? Did you see any mistakes that were happening with this presentation? If so, then take this quiz and see where you rank in kicking presentation butt.

Presenter Quiz:

https://www.playbuzz.com/haleyt26/what-not-to-do-in-a-presentation

Power Point Quiz:

https://www.playbuzz.com/haleyt26/what-should-not-be-in-a-power-point

How well did you do? If you scored as a Black belt, then you are on the right track of kicking presentation butt, if you scored Blue belt then that just means you have a couple more things to learn!, if you scored White belt then my friend this blog is here for you. Take these skills and learn how to make yourself a Black belt when it comes to presentations! Here is a video of what a good presentation looks like. Take notes and see what you notice the differences are.

Delivering a good presentation – identify the good techniquesYoutube.com. University of Bedfordshire, 6 Jan. 2012. Web. 13 Apr. 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5utoLhjUuAI&gt;.

If you are still not sure you got everything, check your notes with the cheat sheet below mark off what you got right. If you have the information down, try retaking the quizzes again!

Presenter Mistakes:

  • Does not have the technology prepared or know how to use the equipment when it is their turn to present.
  • Did not introduce herself
  • Was playing on her phone and taking a drink at the beginning of the presentation.
  • Presenter is facing the presentation screen and not the audience.
  • Presenter is reading from the slides instead of using it as reminder points.
  • Presenter has her arms crossed while talking.
  • Volume is too low or too fast.
  • No eye contact or scanning of the room to keep connected to the audience.
  • Audience did not have time to ask questions or receive answers.

Power Point Mistakes:

  • Bad choice of background color, and font color.
  • Inconsistency of images, spacing and fonts. (not professional or uniform throughout)
  • Overcrowded slides
  • Irrelevant & unprofessional pictures along with unnecessary and unprofessional animations/transitions.
  • No reference list at end for her citations.

Presenter Improvements:

  • Presenter introduces herself and her topic
  • Faces the audience instead of the board
  • Uses good volume and speed throughout the presentation
  • Moves hands but in a non-distracting way.
  • Does not read every point off the slides, only looks at slide to read the examples.
  • Breaks away from looking at the slide to make eye contact.
  • Gives the audience time to answer her questions before giving the answer.
  • Gives more time for audience to ask questions before ending presentation
  • Ends presentation with a positive attitude and conclusion.
  • Presentation is engaging the audience

Power point improvements:

  • Uniform slide colors (not too dark or too light)
  • Uniform font size and colors (does not blend into the background, easy to read from a distance)
  • Examples in presentation are a different color to highlight the point. (does not distract or blend with the background color)
  • Slides are not overcrowded
  • Great use of bullet points
  • Did not use unnecessary or unprofessional images
  • Did not use unnecessary or unprofessional animations/transitions.
  • Moved through slides at an even pace

 

Did you score better this time? If so then great! You are on the right track to being a Black belt at presentations! Take this information with you to help determine between good and bad presentations from here on out.

 

By: Haley Thompson, Business Major- IUPUC.

 

Communication with Foreign Co-Workers on Overseas Assignments

There is no doubt that we are globalizing ourselves and that we are more diverse than before. The United States has become a land of many cultures. Communication has become better through technology and the socialization of the human species. Yet, how can we prepare employees for an overseas assignment? This is something that can be seen in two ways, a structured plan for the assignment itself and the in-depth cultural communication factor.

In an article in the Harvard Business Review, Andy Molinsky and Melissa Hahn write that there are five ways one can succeed on an overseas assignment in a structured way.

  • Have a purpose and a person who can promote that purpose. Having the right person to make this assignment work is quite important, especially in cultural understanding and understanding of the project.
  • Having a close connection to home works well, that way the person overseas doesn’t lose touch with what he or she is doing for the company. A good mentor would work.
  • Communication between the worker and employer needs to be constant for best results.
  • Before leaving, it is ideal to start on talks of how the assignment was beneficial and what was learned.
  • The company can distribute what it learned from that experience.

We often forget that to have a successful assignment overseas, the communication between the employee and the foreign team is crucial. We need to consider cultural, social, and language barriers amongst diversity and work. There is no denying that “…English is now the global language of business.” as mentioned by Tsedel Neeley in her article Global Business Speaks English. But this doesn’t really help many. My interview with Dr. Joann Jones, Executive Director – Leadership Development for Cummins, led to these tips.

  • Prepare the assignment ahead of time so that everyone working on the assignment can understand the assignment.
  • Know that there will be a need for clarification as language and cultural barriers are present.
  • If possible, know the language and culture of where one may stay can improve results.
  • An ending follow-up on the assignment will be helpful, especially a written documentation of the progress and results. This may help clarify any miscommunications.

Making sure an overseas assignment is completely worked out is the main goal, but knowing the cultural factor and having a structured plan can lead to a successful assignment.

 

By Alvaro Garcia, Business Major – IUPUC

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