MGMT 100 AMU Week 2 lesson Self-Awareness Human Relations American Military University
- Lesson Overview
Welcome to Week 2! This week there will be plenty to write about. We are going to see how well you can observe a conversation then check your ability to listen! Chapter 3 will discuss our awareness to self. Chapter 4 will start us on our journey about listening. The forum is one part is watching others and learning from observing. The other part will be a self-assessment…learning about yourself!
By the end of this lesson, you will be able to:
- Identify effective interpersonal skills and specific features of cognition, personality and intelligence, necessary for understanding human behavior in a work setting.
- Examine motivational climate in work situations and apply appropriate motivation strategies.
- Apply tactics for improving relations with coworkers and customers
In this lesson, we will discuss:
- Reflecting skills
- Barriers to effective listening
- Becoming an effective listener
The following activities and assessments need to be completed this week: Week 2 Forum
How do you perceive the way others view you? How do you perceive others? These factors can contribute to our interpersonal competence and how well we communicate. This part of the lesson will let you take and introspective approach to your self-image.
What is the definition of being self-aware? As I prepared for this lesson, I was thinking of all things, machines! Maybe I’ve been watching too much of Star Wars and other Sci-Fi, but I kept going….”I’m self-aware, but machines are not….unless we start looking into Artificial Intelligence, and then those machines aren’t self-aware are they?” Whew, I think for the remainder of this lesson I’ll stick with HUMAN self-awareness. So what does it mean to be self-aware?
Self-awareness is having the knowledge of how you are perceived by others (Lamberton and Minor, 2010). You are aware of how others see you and have sought out that knowledge (usually through feedback and honest conversations) from trusted friends and relatives.
Self-concept is the way that you picture yourself.
Ok, back to Sci-Fi for just s minute here. If you ever saw the movie “The Matrix” then you know what I’m talking about here. In the film, Neo (Keanu Reeves) is taken inside of the “Matrix” by Morpheus (Lawrence Fishburn). On the outside of the Matrix, Neo is dressed in regular clothes for the period, pants, and shirt, nothing extraordinary. In the matrix, he is in a long leather jacket, black shirt; black pants, combat boots and “uber” cool shades. The Matrix allowed him to present to others what he thought was his self-concept! What would your image look like if you could design an avatar? Let’s take a look at the four parts of self-concept, without getting into a sci-fi discussion.
Four Parts of Self-Concept
LOOKING GLASS SELF
As discussed, becoming self-aware is a process that takes a lot of effort; you have to be willing to look inside yourself and how you interact with others. You can significantly improve positive interaction with others by concentrating on one of our most overlooked communication skill—listening.
How good of a listener are you? Have you ever had any formal listening training? Many people boast that they are great listeners, but are they really? After taking the self-assessment in this week’s forum, I think we are in for a few surprises! How did you do? Well, let’s take a look at some facts about listening.
Listening is Not the Same as Hearing
Hearing is the physical process of sound waves being captured by the outer and channeled into the middle ear. The sound waves then strike the tympanic membrane (eardrum), which produces a vibration; this vibration is transferred to three small bones (the ossicles), which then causes movement into the fluid of the inner ear. In the inner ear, the fluid causes movement in tiny structures called hair cells; this movement of hair cells from the inner ear sends signals up the auditory nerve to the brain. (www. Asha.org)
Listening is the mental process of hearing, it taking the signals that were sent up the auditory nerve to the brain and translating them into meaningful communication, your brain can assign meaning to it whether it is spoken word, music, a car horn, and any other signal.
Scot Ober writes that hearing is a passive process, listening is an active process. When you first become aware of a sound, you are only listening to it, and you may not understand it. When you listen, you interpret and assign meaning to the sounds you are receiving.
Think of an automobile that you drive daily is a perfect example to illustrate this. When you are driving, and everything is operating normally, you hear the noise of the engine or exhaust, however, when a new sound (perhaps a clank or clatter) you perk up and then actively listen to see if there is a problem with the car. You heard the usual hum of the engine but listened to the different strange noise. (Ober, 2006)
Listening vs. Speaking
We think faster than people talk, about four times as fast. It someone is speaking an average of 140 words per minute; we can process about 400-500 words a minute without a significant loss of comprehensions. As you can see, there is a considerable amount of extra time that we have between hearing the words and processing them. What do we do with all this extra time? Some of us daydream, others doodle, while others formulate responses and react to the information that is being delivered by others. In the vein of transparency here, I have been known to count the “pause words” such as “um,” ok,” alright”, or even the number of acronyms that the speaker was using—and I have had training in listening, but my mind still wanders off.
We are not Trained to Listen
During school, we were all given speeches to give and papers to write. We were taught to communicate through our verbal and written skills but not necessarily through our listening skills. Not to fear, you can improve your listening skills, in a recent study by the University of Minnesota show that people who receive training in listening showed improvements by 25 to 42 percent over time. (Ober, p. 65)
Listening is one of the most used (and overlooked) communication skills. Office personnel spend about 40 percent of their day engaged in some listening, but even after hearing a 10-minute presentation we only immediately retain about 50 percent of what was said and by the next day can only recall about 25 percent of the information. Even with all these facts about listening and desire to improve we still do a terrible job retaining what we have heard. Now that we have discusses some facts about listening, let’s take a look the types of listening you may be engaged in on a day-to-day basis.
Four Types of Listening
Comprehension listening is when we engage in trying to ascertain data or facts and when attending lectures. You are attempting to listen for information that you can use at a later date.
Barriers to Effective Listening
There are many barriers to active listening, see how many you are guilty of doing.