Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Final Reflection

When you open your mouth, just within few seconds people start judging you. That is why I think verbal communication is important and my final reflection will be on this.

Think before you say.
Communication is about to deliver the message effectively across, that is why we need to be sure about what we are trying to deliver in order to transmit the message accurately. Moreover, it is always better to think the ideas in the point form, so that when you speak, you will not easily lose yourself. Personally, I feel that it is also a good practice to say the ideas in a concise way and avoid repetition. As nowadays we are all very busy and involved in a lot of things simultaneously, and our listeners’ attention normally is short. Audience is more willing to hear the result rather than the whole story given the time limit.

Be confident and smile
Personal charisma usually can attract more attention and audience. Although charisma is something that we are born with and difficult to improve, I still feel that there is also one way that can help us in attracting the audience. That is to be confident and to give smiles. We need to have strong faith in what we are saying and do not be afraid of making mistakes. Practice makes perfect. That is also applicable to verbal communication where conversations in our daily lives are our practice fields. These conversations include talking in front of non-friends or relative large audience, like discussion in our es2007 class. The more we practice the more confident we will get, and the better we will become in the verbal communication.

Minimize stereotyping and be a good listener
We need to minimize our stereotyping when we communicate.  Stereotyping not only exist in the inter-cultural communication, but even within your closest friends. The stereotype I am talking about is the pre-judgment that we have before we communicate.  In Chinese, there is an old saying: a person can change a lot with three days. Therefore, it is always a good practice to listen the message from other parties carefully before forming the replies in our minds to avoid potential miscommunication.

At last, I really want to thank all of you, especially Brad. I have enjoyed the module a lot. It has been a pleasure to exchange feedbacks or opinions with you guys both inside and outside the class. I cannot be more agreed with Brad the importance of feedback in a learning process.  And Brad, you always give me your critical comments with an encouraging tone, in which it has boosted up my morale in learning professional communication and English language.  Within so many years in Singapore, all the English relating subjects’ teachers/facilitators/tutors I have met were all very institutional style and discouraging.  (:P)

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Reflection of proposal presentation

I will break down my reflection into 3 main parts namely content, script and bring it out.

Firstly content, I strongly feel that a presentation will be half-success if the content itself is great.  A strong content is like the foundation, only with a good foundation, so that we could develop more interesting and sounding aspects for the presentation. This time round, I was presenting the same part that I contributed to the project proposal, and my group mates and I edited the part for several times before handed in. That is why I feel quite comfortable with the content I was going to present then.

Secondly it is the script. During the dry run, when I was presenting based on the materials that I wrote on the proposal, and I did not do much change to it. The feedback was not good. I felt that I was losing the attention of my audience shortly after I started. Moreover, Brad was also telling us that, presentation was actually a selling process in which we should add more our personal staff in order to make it lively. Furthermore, Brad kept emphasizing the importance of a pitch in a presentation, thus I decided to write a new script based on the content but entirely restructured and rephrased in a more interesting  way, and add in interesting staff like personal experience that I thought could be able to catch my audience’s attention.

Thirdly, bring it out. It is basically about internalizing all the materials and practicing with the group mates and on my own.  This time round I adapted the approach of memorizing the outline rather than memorizing the whole script. It is an effective way for me to avoid blank in mind when I am on stage.  Moreover, by internalizing the outline, I was more fluent in the presentation. Although I use very simple and daily language, I felt that a natural flow of the presentation is more important than good sentence structures or good choice of words.  

Last but not least, I would like to thank everyone who was there in my presentation, as your guys were really supportive. Without your attention, I would not be able to do it in a comfortable way.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Evaluating Intercultural Behavior

Last Semester, me and my flat mates decided to have a trip to Thailand during the recess week. We were a group of multinationals, who came from different countries namely Spain, US and China. Just two weeks before the recess, we started planning our trip.

Then, I realized that we all had different goals for this trip. Helena, being a Spanish, who had seen a lot of beaches in her life wanted to spend more days visiting Bangkok rather than going to Phuket. Lauren and Kelly who had come half of the globe from America, wished to experience as much Asian staff as possible, thus they preferred to see more famous attractions with a relative high budgets. I was, at that time having a thought of withdrawing from the trip, because I desperately need the recess week to catch up with the study.

I found myself hard to directly express my will to withdraw from the travel group, as I do not want to disappoint them. Instead I was addressing them about my concerns to the midterm exams later after the travel. Actually, all I need was somebody who could ‘see through’ my thought and told me, it is alright to quit. However, Lauren, Kelly and Helena were from a low context culture countries where people did not read deep in between the lines, thus they thought that I simply wanted to have a shorter trip period.

Moreover, Lauren and Kelly thought that we should go to the same city together but visit attractions separately, since all of us got different attraction-to-visit lists. That was actually a typical American way of interpreting and evaluating things where they try to embrace the democracy and the freedom rights as great as possible. On the other hand, Helena did not quite appreciate it, as she felt that we should have fun together.

Just for a simple trip planning, because of the culture differences, we had experienced quite a number of misunderstandings in our communication. In the end, we still did not come up with a plan that satisfied everyone. We got good memories from the trip, but undeniably there was a little mess here or there.

I personally feel that, all these cultural issues we cannot entirely overcome them. Probably, all we need is to keep the differences but look for the similarities. Moreover, try to understand the other side rather than defending on your own.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Cover Letter

HR Department
10 International Business Park
Singapore 609928

Dear Sir/Madam
Application for Network Engineer
I will be graduating from the National University of Singapore with a Bachelor of Computer Engineering degree in May 2014. Since my specialization is in networking, M1 would be an outstanding match for my educational skills and professional interests. Recently M1 has launched the Singapore’s first nationwide 4G network, and the thought of working for such an innovative and vibrant company really excites me. I believe that my responsibility and passion will add vitality to M1.
I used to work as an intern in Star-net, one of the leading information and communication solutions providers in China. This experience enabled me to have comprehensive insight into the communication industry and a better understanding of the expectation of a network engineer. Furthermore, I have gained knowledge on various transport circuits, such as EPON, GPON and XDSL as well.
Moreover, I am a person with dynamic style of communication and people management. I have been studying abroad independently for eight years, making me capable of adapting to a new environment and settling down quickly. At the same time, I have been continuously meeting people from different backgrounds. Besides that, I have participated in many projects in school and at work. I am able to establish trust and rapport with my group mates, mediate disputes during group meetings and motivate my group members.
I am also a person with great patience and strong responsibility. I began all my three internships with zero background, and I managed to survive by holding my composure and being an active learner. Whichever the projects or work that my mentors had handed to me, I always put myself in the company’s shoes and tried hard to bring out the best results.
Building from these experiences I would be able to contribute to M1. My educational background, my internship experiences and my interpersonal skills would enable me to do an outstanding work as a network engineer. Being a M1 royal consumer, I have enjoyed the first-class service that you have provided me so far. I hope I could join you and serve the M1 community together in the future.
Thank you for considering my application.

Yours faithfully,
Zhuang Wei

edited on 10 Oct

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Resolving Interpersonal Conflicts

I found that when two individuals are too close to each other, meaning they stay together most of the time, interpersonal conflicts are unavoidable. No matter how similar the personalities they have and how much they share the same kinds of hobbies, there will be instances that they both want to slap  each other’s face. This is because all of us are unique in the world. We handle things differently and sense the world differently. Hence, I believe that a frequent communication will result in better interpersonal relationship.

I moved to a hostel when I was in the high school and lived in a two bedded room with another girl. That was also the first time I lived outside home with a stranger. Initially, everything was fine. As the time passed, we found ourselves having different kinds of living habits. Although most of them were very small issues, such as cleaning frequency, voice volume when answering to a phone and the sleeping time, we did not talk to each other about these and such issues mounted day after day.  These little unpleasant things in daily living made both of us feel very annoyed. None of us wanted to take a step back. Then it developed to the situation that we seldom talked in the room. I even tried to spend more time in common rooms in hostel rather than in the room.

Until there was one day that I felt the situation unbearable, I started to talk to her about the issues in our room. I talked about my unhappiness with the cleanness of the room and the annoying light came from her desk at night which gave me a hard time falling asleep. On the other hand, she also expressed her unhappiness about other areas. I still remember that we had a very long talk that day. In the end, both of us became more aware of the other’s feeling and watched ourselves’ behaviors in the room more often. Although we did not manage to solve the conflict totally, we manage to know the importance of expressing the unhappiness out rather than keeping it to ourselves.

Compromise is a way to solve the conflicts, however we always need a talk before that. How do you think?

edited 12/09

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Importance of Effective Communication

I was being asked what was important to me in an interview many years ago. I said to the interviewer, it was the money. I was only a 15 years old girl at that time, and all I wished was to have enough money to go out of my comfort zone to experience a different world as to where I was born. My answer seemed to appeal to the interviewers’ taste, and then I had the offer. When I recall back this interview experience, I think I had successfully conveyed the message to the interviewers that I was a girl with a clear target. Fortunately, they were looking for some students of that kind.

That was the first time I tasted the fruit of effective communication.

Many years passed. Now I am already a junior student in the university. Like many other university students, I always think about my future, such as how will I survive in this competitive world?  No matter who I have sought for the answer, there are always two very important points, which are skills and communication. Skills can prevent me from being hungry, but communication can lead me to have what you want.

If the fan in my hostel room is turning too slowly, and I make a simple request to the management office, there is always a chance that the office staff pending my request forever. However, if I do a concrete write up to clearly explain my need for a new fan, the chance for me to get a new one will be greatly increased. Nowadays, everybody is busy with things, and no one is really willing to spend time to understand others. If I am not able to express myself, my opinions clearly, I will not get my request resolved, even a very small one, like changing the fan in my room.

Moreover, I am alone in a foreign country, and I need to build up my network connection by my own. These connections will be a big fortune to my future career and life. That is why I need to communicate. An effective communication will pave my road to success.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Back to Sg

I am back to this island again. A new and busy semester is awaiting me. Lord Father, please bless me with strength to conquer all the obstacles.
Don't Worry, Be Happy