Communication is the Key

Communication is the Key

March 16, 2019 Reflections from Changemakers 47

Being able to communicate effectively is an important skill in both personal and professional spheres. Whether it be communicating with team members, supervisors, someone you disagree with, or friends, this is a skill that needs to be practiced.

When have you excelled in communicating with others?
When have you faced challenges in communicating effectively?
What have you found to be most helpful in communicating with others? How do you intend to continue working on this skill?

47 Responses

  1. Yom Ruhl says:

    I have generally excelled in professional communication, I’m great with emails. But I can face challenges with communicating when I have to express my emotions. I also have a very bad habit of cutting people off that I’m working on, but is still an issue that can make communication more difficult. I think the most helpful skill for communicating is empathy. Teaching at Troy has really shown me the value of being able to empathize with people and see where they’re coming from .

  2. A'Livija Mullins-Richard says:

    I have excelled at communicating with people during my time in college especially administration and financial aid. I have had to advocate for myself by asking questions and demanding what I need. I have faced challenges with communicating effectively when trying to express my beliefs and/or stating facts. When doing this, often I will forget my facts out of nervousness and automatically will assume I’m not getting through to the other person. I have found listening to be the most helpful in communicating. I intend to continue working on this skill by being firm with what I have to say and having confidence.

  3. Alyssa Lofaro says:

    I think my communication skills have increased greatly since becoming a Bonner and being at Siena! I have gained a lot of confidence for public speaking and I believe that I now know how to write a professional email. I think some challenges I face when it comes to communication is that I tend to be an introvert. So to have to go out and speak in front of a lot of people or to call someone who I don’t know it pretty nervewracking to me. However, I think with all the practice I have done in the past and will continue to do, I think I will be able to improve upon these skills.

  4. Rayan Omer says:

    I have excelled in communicating with others by speaking up in class and working in small groups with my peers to have desicions on a certain topic. I also have been trying to email my professors or others if I have an issue about something. I am an extremely introverted person so at times it is hard for me to speak up or ask for help, however I continue to ask for help when I need it and to remind myself to reach out to others more. I find it really helpful when the person you’re talking is actually attentive and listening to you.

  5. Alexee seifert says:

    I feel that overall my communication skills are consistently growing stronger due to me being a strong advocate for myself. I feel that i have good communication skills because i am able to get my message across to others by using my words and explaining how i feel. I feel that i excel a lot when communicating with others because it’s apart of personality to want to interact with a bunch of people. I use they everyday when talking to people in general conversations and also when addressing a problem. Sometimes i face challenges communicating effectively because let my anger get the best of me. Also In some cases i am very passionate about certain topics which doesn’t always allow me to hear others and listen which is a key component in communication. I find listening to be the most influentcial when communicating with others because this Key component allows you to hear what the other person is saying before you respond back. This is important because it is a main technique within communication. I hope to be a better listener as i continue to work on listening to others and i hope to find ways to help listening be a consistent component in communication.

  6. JustinJohn says:

    Being able to communicate effectively is an important skill in both personal and professional spheres. Whether it be communicating with team members, supervisors, someone you disagree with, or friends, this is a skill that needs to be practiced.

    When have you excelled in communicating with others?
    When have you faced challenges in communicating effectively?
    What have you found to be most helpful in communicating with others? How do you intend to continue working on this skill?

    This semester communication was a big part of getting things done. I need to talk to my advisors for capstone and Bonner in regards to making sure my service site and capstone research project is running smoothly. Challenge in effectively communicating would be articulating what I actually want to say or convey to others has always been a challenge for me. I get caught up in trying to say the perfect thing and start mixing up my words. To fix this I carry a notebook around with me and if I am in a meeting I write my thoughts and question down in an organized sentence to make sure my articulation flows correctly.

  7. Kevin Ziobrowski says:

    I am usually very good at communicating as long as I feel comfortable in the situation. I’m assuming this is something that is not exclusive to myself, and with this in mind it is easy to say I am an effective communicator in Bonner and among my friends. However, when other people are not communicating, I always try and remember to make them feel comfortable. People will usually have no problems communicating if they are comfortable as well. In order to do this it can be helpful to establish a sense of safety and equality among yourself and you’re peers. This will hopefully make communication easy.

  8. Lulama says:

    When have you excelled in communicating with others?
    When have you faced challenges in communicating effectively?
    What have you found to be most helpful in communicating with others? How do you intend to continue working on this skill?

    I have been able to communicate well with my peers along with my supervisors and fellow Bonners at my site when it comes to getting work accomplished. I communicate when I am in need of help or need something to be clarified as well as when I am in need of more tasks to complete.

    Communicating is especially difficult when there is minimal interactions with people. Each Bonner at my site has a unique schedule, so if I need something from them when I am currently at service and they are not, it can make accomplishing tasks difficult.

    It is most helpful communicating with others when working in a team and you can delegate different tasks to different individuals. With effective communication, not only is the task accomplished, but each person can carefully explain to others what their work was about. In this way everyone walks away having learnt something without spending a lifetime on it.

  9. Brendan says:

    When have you excelled in communicating with others?
    When have you faced challenges in communicating effectively?
    What have you found to be most helpful in communicating with others? How do you intend to continue working on this skill?

    I think that communication is a skill that can really only be learned through experiencing moments where you have to be able to communicate. For instance, I don’t think I always was comfortable with public speaking, but then when I was President of my class in High School, I was forced to be “comfortable with the uncomfortable”. Then when I got to college, I had never run a meeting before. But then with my Bonner site being the District Attorney’s Office, I had to learn to communicate with others in a meeting-setting while also providing structure and making sure everyone stayed on task. Bonner, as well as other jobs and internships I’ve had, forced me to be able to talk with people on the phone in a professional setting. Now, I find myself teaching new interns at my site how to do the same things that I once learned. I still think the most helpful way to learn to communicate with others is through experience. Along the way you will learn what to do and not do.

  10. Pierre says:

    Communication is key. No real communication is key. Communication is central to anything and everything we do. From communicating with professors, parents and out partners. Communication helps reduce the gap of no nothing what if. You never know there is a problem or a place that can be improved upon in we are not told. Communication not only better helps us understand others but ourselves as well. By vocalizing our concerns rather than thinking them we can better understand outselves as well as helping others better understand us. This is essential esspecially in the day and age in which we live now. A lot of problems can be fixed if we just communicated better. So yes, again, communication is key.

  11. Kenia Ramirez says:

    When have you excelled in communicating with others?
    When have you faced challenges in communicating effectively?
    What have you found to be most helpful in communicating with others? How do you intend to continue working on this skill?

    I usually excel at communicating when I am advocating for others or passing on important information. I have a hard time communicating when I do not feel comfortable or am advocating for myself. An important party of communication is being concise and listening to what others say. As I continue my professional career I will gain new ways and improve my communication skills.

  12. Justin Kenyon says:

    Communication is a skill I’ve grown in over the years. I may have grown, but I sometimes I communicate a message way to many times. In order to get better, I have to learn how to condense the message, and keep it simple.

  13. Jamie del Rosario says:

    I usually excel at communicating via emails because I have been focusing on professional writing from early high school. Often I am the person friends and coworkers go to for revisions and assistance in contacting supervisors and etc. I used to face the largest challenge in communicating via the phone, but working front desk at IPH and talking to friends has turned it into one of my preferred methods. Most helpful I find constant practice. If I avoid something too long due to fear then it usually becomes more difficult to communicate, but as I dive into the uncomfortability more I have progressed the most.

  14. Emerald Power says:

    Communication is a very important skill to have. I have grown immensely over the years being able to communicate confidently and effectively. One challenge is being aware of how you articulate yourself during potentially difficult conversations. whether it’s through email or person to person, understand how to communicate effectively with another is a valuable skill.

  15. Laniqua Mack says:

    I have excelled in communicating with others when speaking to individuals that have like-minded views like myself. I have found that it is easier to communicate when you agree with what the other person is saying. I also do very well when speaking to children because I do not patronize them. I face challenges in communicating when I am disagreeing with a friend or close loved one. I think when the argument is more personal I find it harder to express my emotions effectively. The most helpful way that I have found when communicating is to be as respectful as I possibly can be if the message is still not being conveyed then I’ll come back to the situation later when I have more space to think and reflect.

  16. Tristan Hunzinger says:

    I have excelled in communicating with others within the program and also outside of the program. Within the program, I have been able to communicate with my fellow Bonners about any questions I might have. I have also been able to communicate with Katie during our one-on-one meetings. Outside of the program, I have been able to communicate with my advisor so she is aware of my goals for the future and can help me take the steps necessary to achieve those goals. I have also been able to communicate with my professors about questions I have in my classes. I intend to continue improving my communication skills by putting myself in as many different situations as possible and giving myself the opportunity to interact with different groups of people, both on campus and off.

  17. Taylor Disco says:

    When have you excelled in communicating with others?

    I have excelled communicating with others usually because I remain calm. I am bot quick to anger usually, and I think that can be really helpful when have a conversation that may be deeper than most.

    When have you faced challenges in communicating effectively?
    On the same hand, when I find myself angry, it is often an emotion I fin d hard to express. Instead, the emotion comes out in terms of overwhelming sensitivity. Luckily, as I have aged, and traveled I believe I have gotten better at articulating how I feel when I am mad.

    I think it is important to keep in mind the other persons emotions, and how sometimes their reactions and responses may have nothing to do with you. And maybe sometimes they do- but to be cognizant of that while conversations are taking place.

  18. Kayla Sweet says:

    I have faced challenges communicating with others in a couple places on campus, but especially those who don’t understand the Bonner program. I was successful with communicating with these people after I listened to what they thought and the things they had been told about the program. I found this the most effective method of communicating at my site too. Using body language, creative thinking, and patience are also helpful when speaking with clients at RISSE. The most important thing to do when trying to communicate with anyone is to meet them where they’re at and to be open to what they have to share. I will continue to work on this skill by entering into situations where my personal beliefs are challenged. This will allow me to focus on the further implementation of the methods I have found effective.

  19. Nancy Rasmussen says:

    I think I learned a lot about communicating with others by being in this program, and being a college student. I excelled in communicating with others when I went to office hours for my essay I was struggling with. I communicated my problems very clearly, and made sure I said everything I needed help with. Although I have excelled many times while communicating with others, I have had my setbacks. I would say I definitely face a challenge when communicating problems I have with others. I don’t like confrontation, and sometimes this gets the best of me. I have found most helpful in communicating with others is if I just breathe and take my time with what I have to say. I am going to continue working on my communication skill by communicating more with people I don’t know, and really step outside my comfort zone.

  20. Meg Conboy says:

    I think I excel in communicating with others because I like talking to people. I’m pretty quiet, but I’m not shy, and I enjoy conversations where I get to learn more about others’ opinions and ideas. On the other hand, a communication challenge I have is voicing my opinions and advocating for myself. This is a skill that I have worked to improve on this skill through role-play and practice. As with most things, the more I practice self-advocacy in communication, the easier it gets.

  21. Nicole Pazarecki says:

    Communication is key when working with orders because you want to make sure that your message and opinion is received by the other person. I believe I have good communication skills because I always make sure my opinion is heard and other opinions are heard also. Everyone should have an equal say in communication. Good communication is expressed an being attentive , active listening, and expressive vocally. I have faced a communication challenge in a group presentation. How I handled it was emailing them and calling them if they were responsive to communicate. They we talked about why he or she was not attending the meetings and then we settled the communication error. As a result, being vocal and not being a by standing is important because if you want to succeed you need to express yourself and not be afraid.

  22. Julia says:

    Recently I have been working on several important team projects in school that have required communication skills. For my management class my group and I decided to work with the Regional Food Bank. In order to schedule a time for service we had to email the volunteer coordinator which went very smoothly because of our experience with professional communication. This semester it has been hard to communicate with Kate Callery, a fellow Bonner and one of the best people I know. Trying to contact her while abroad has proven that communication is difficult when people are living in different places. When communicating with others it is very helpful to keep an open mind and consider the other person’s perspective while remaining true to your values. I will continue working on this skill by communicating effectively with my site supervisor, professors, and classmates. A great way to improve communication is actually practicing this skill.

  23. Kathryn Casey says:

    I think I really excell at communicating in person because that’s when I feel the most relaxed and able to express myself. Where I struggle with communication is usually when it’s via email or writing. I’m not the strongest writer so I become stressed that I won’t be able to get my point across and my message will be lost. While it does scare me a little to be bad at communicating in this way, when so much of today’s communication is heavily reliant on technology, all I can do is seek help and continue strengthening this skill until it is nothing more than a habit.

  24. Ecli Vazquez says:

    I feel that I sometimes lack when it comes to communication skills. The reason is because I can’t explain myself well enough or my words take twist and turns. Another challenge is not talking loud enough. I see myself sometimes expressing an idea but no one would hear it. The way that I see myself combating these hurdles is by not being scared but also being alert and passionate. Good tips would be doing presentations or debates.

  25. Hayley Pij says:

    Throughout the last few years with Bonner, I have learned some great communication skills. Not only am I able to communicate professionally, but I have also learned how to talk with friends. Bonner has helped me to reflect on my story and how it interacts with others. In communication, it is important to know what you are trying to say and to think before you speak.

  26. Monique Lawrence says:

    I have excelled communicating during my junior year because I was a part of different clubs and also figuring out what to do after graduation. I have faced challenges when it comes to addressing issues that I have with others more in person than through text. Something I found useful is just talking to people because they are able to give feedback overtime.

  27. Erin Spence says:

    I think I have excelled in communicating with others when I am advocating for myself. When I recognize that I need help with something or I need to as questions, I feel that I have a strong ability to communicate my needs or express my ideas to many different people. I also think I am a very good listener. When I am having a conversation with someone, I want them to know that I am really listening to what they have to say and am not just waiting for my chance to speak. I think this is important because showing another person that you care about what they have to say will hopefully lead them to give you the respect you are looking for in the conversation as well. I have faced challenges in communicating effectively when I am not able to be with the person I am communicating with face to face. Whether it be over email or a text message, these forms of communication can cause problems with relaying a message in the way it was intended. I have found it very helpful for me, especially when I am reaching out to a professor or supervisor, is to be specific about what I am asking or telling them about. I try to make my messages clear and concise so there is no confusion or difficulty in having a productive conversation. I plan to continue to work on this skill by being prepared for any professional meeting or conversation I may have by knowing what I want to gain from the conversation and making sure that I get each point across that I want to make. I never want to leave a conversation feeling that I did not accomplish what I wanted to.

  28. Meg Jones says:

    My communication skills excel when I feel passionately about something, whether it be anything from to books to injustices. It is when I have strong opinions, understandings, and prime examples when communicating then I feel more confidently about what I am saying. I also take advantage of body language as a form of communication as I feel that it adds a lot to how one is perceived and heard.

    I face challenges in communicating effectively when I either get anxious or feel that I am not be heard clearly enough. I struggle in group setting communication due to my ridiculous fear of offending someone or saying the wrong things. I often feel as though when communicating to people who aren’t actively listening or talking in a group setting that has a different topic of conversation that I can’t add to, I shut down. Often this is perceived as me being quiet or being shy or, even worse, having nothing to say. Yes, social anxiety affects people’s communication skills but no, they should not be ignored or not taken seriously.

    What has helped me in communicating with others is thinking about what I am going to say before hand and having some sort of an plan of action. It is also good to communicate it different ways such as meeting in person then following up with them, like you would for a job offer. The way we communicate (i.e. tone of voice, attitude, posture, eye contact) is also important to pay attention to. Otherwise, communication would all have the same emotionless feel of texting without emojis. I will continue to work on my communication through writing, where I tend to be a bit too bold (not entirely a bad thing). I am learning to repress my fears of embarrassing myself in order to communicate my feelings, because those are just as valid as anyone else’s. I will reach out to people when I feel passionate about something and try to start conversations, rather than waiting for them to happen and waste my time planning them all out in my head.

  29. Sydney Maughan says:

    I excel at communicating with my friends. I do my best to not talk about myself too much and to let whoever I’m talking to express themselves equally in the conversation. So if someone asks me how I’m doing, I make sure to ask how they are as well. But, challenges I’ve faced while communicating have included making my friends feel comfortable enough to confide in me, so they can talk to me about anything. Several of my friends at college have talked to me about very serious and personal things going on in their lives and I feel that being comfortable with someone can allow you to communicate effectively. What I’ve found to be most helpful in communicating with others is finding something that we share an interest or opinion on. Also if I have a relationship with that person, even if it’s not a close relationship, it helps me feel comfortable enough to open up and truly communicate with them without feeling uncomfortable. I intend to continue working on my communication skills by working on listening to understand not just to respond. Also by truly listening to someone else’s argument and giving it a chance before I disagree with it. I need to work on constantly having an open mind, for all subjects, not just some.

  30. Aedan Raleigh says:

    With the Bonner program my communication skills have definitely improved, especially in the professional sphere. This involves verbal communication, emailing, and just how I have learned to present myself in different settings, which have all been learning experiences. I think that it has been the most difficult to learn to be flexible in communication depending upon the setting that I am in and who I am communicating with. In my opinion, though, the most important part of effective communication is listening. We have had countless trainings on this and it is not something that I feel like I always do the best job at, but I find that the most productive meeting, conversations, etc. are when both parties actively listen (in Bonner words: listen to understand not to reply) results are found effectively and efficiently. This is definitely not something that can be internalized overnight and requires practice in every interaction, but I think that recognizing when you are actively listening is a good step in developing your communication skills.

  31. Dana Wakeman says:

    I have excelled in communicating with others by being prompt when using email. I work to respond to emails quickly, and also to give someone upcoming notice via email as well. However, there can be challenges when communicating via email because there can be typos or a miscommunication. In order to correct this, I read over the email 2/3 times before sending it, and I also read it aloud to hear how it sounds.
    I have found that it is most helpful when I consistently check my emails and respond quickly. I hope to continue to work on this and respond to email as soon as possible.

  32. Andraya Perez says:

    Communicating with others and advocating for myself has always been something that I have struggled with. I have always felt nervous when asking people for help or guidance when it comes to projects. Since coming a PA because we are such a small team I have had to really work on my communication skills. I think I have really improved on my communication skills. I feel really comfortable asking Katie for help or saying this is too much for me. Also working with the PA team has taught me a lot about how to use my voice. We all are not afraid to share your opinions with each other about what we feel is best for the program, which can led into disagreements but we are very comfortable talking it out with each other our differences.

  33. Nia Colon says:

    I have excelled in communicating when talking to my professors about classes. I also can effectively communicate when I need something (from changing majors to getting help on a test). I have faced challenges when I am nervous about speaking up and I may not say what is on my mind. I have found to be helpful in several situations outside of Siena. I plan on working to improve my communication skills by pushing myself to be a little uncomfortable. I also find that I am most effective fact to face rather than over email.

  34. Michael Averill says:

    I think that I excel in communicating with others when working in small groups. Whether it be a class, retreat, meeting, or just a dinner with my friends, I feel like my communication skills are strongest in these small groups. I am able to express my feelings comfortably while also taking the opportunity to really listen to others and their viewpoints. These conversations can range anywhere from casual to professional, but my ability to communicate remains consistent.
    I think a challenge in effective communication is listening to an opinion that you don’t like. Moreover, speaking your own opinion that you know your listeners will not like is also extremely difficult. A key aspect of communicating is respect of your listeners, but it can occasionally be a challenge to overcome. I see respect as the greatest element of being a good communicator, and as Bonners we should try our hardest to give all people, even those we disagree with, the time to express how they feel, so that we can have a better understanding of how to communicate our views back.

  35. Maddie Kousoulas says:

    Throughout high school there were times where my communication skills were not the best. I was somewhat shy and quiet but ever since I have been in college, I haven’t felt that way in a long time. Whether it is for group projects, making plans, talking with my site group, or just having a conversation with someone else, I’ve become more comfortable with voicing my thoughts and opinions while also listening to the people I am talking with.

    Some challenges that I have faced in communicating effectively are when something gets lost or taken out of context of what was actually said. If I say one thing but the person I am having a conversation with thinks I meant another, often times we both begin to talk about two seperate things. Another challenge that I have faced is when the conversation is more one sided and one person either has nothing to say or is not actively listening.

    Having a lot of information or background about something that I am talking about has really helped me in communicating with others. Being able to bring up good points or a different point of view helps the conversation go more smoothly and efficiently. I can work on this skill by being an active listener and taking in what others are saying in order to be as informed in the conversation as possible.

  36. Emma Henderschedt says:

    One area of communication that I have improved on this semester has been in my facilitation skills. I run three different women’s support groups at my site and have had to learn to be confident in serving as a group facilitator. While I lead the discussions, I need to make sure that I am not over powering the group members.
    I have faced challenges in communicating when I am tired or not having a great day. Often times my emotions can get control over the conversation and I can be blunt or non-communicative because of my frustrations that are typically unrelated. I want to work on balancing these feelings so that I can effectively communicate peacefully.
    The more I engage at my site, the more confident I get. My supervisor did a good job of throwing me into sessions with clients which forced me to get comfortable talking to people. This practice has been super beneficial in allowing me to be brave and confident as I form relationships with clients.

  37. Gregory Winkelstern says:

    I have excelled in communicating with others in a variety of places. To name a few that come to mind immediately… HOBY (Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership), The Boy Scouts, martial arts class and marching band.
    I have faced challenges in communicating effectively in a variety of places as well. To name a few that come to mind right off the bat… Student Senate, Executive Club and at home with my family.
    I find it very difficult to differentiate between the two. I would say that in every single group or situation that I was communicating in one way or another there were items communicated well, but also items communicated poorly. This can even swap sentence to sentence. If there is one thing though that I could pinpoint to really be the difference maker between the two it would be my passion level for whatever I am communicating for. The more excited I am, the better I communicate.
    What I find to be the most helpful in communicating with others is first and foremost opening your eyes and ears. In order to have a two way conversation this is a must. I also find it really important to prepare your communication. In simple terms, thinking about what you’re going to say before you say it.
    I intend to continue to work on this skill by widening the platforms in which I communicate and the methods I do so. I also plan to reflect more on my communication and how effective I was.

  38. Amelia Butler says:

    Since coming to college, I have gotten, overall, much better at communicating with others. I used to be much more shy than I am now which sometimes made communication of any kind difficult. Speaking to people in person has gotten much easier, to the point that I even kind of enjoy it now. I have gotten really good at email communication, though I still struggle sometimes to answer emails in a timely manner when things get a little crazy and overwhelming. I also struggle with talking to people on the phone. For some reason, I find this to be significantly more difficult than speaking with some in person. I think the best way for me to improve in my communication skills is practice, so I will continue pushing myself outside of my comfort zone with regards to communication in order to promote improvement.

  39. Liliana Sanchez Adames says:

    I admit my communication skills are not perfect, but they sure have improved over the years. When communicating with others, word choice is very important. This is why I try to think before I speak and articulate my thought in a way that it does not come out as disrespectful or hurtful to the person or group of people in am speaking with. At times, I find it hard to actually come up to the person, that being my supervisor at my site or my own parents and say whatever it is I’ve been meaning to communicate to them and this is because I am scared that things my take the wrong turn and I end up having a conflict with the person. So, before I come up to the person I make sure I have a plan or an idea in my head on how I will approach the person and the make sure my word choice is pre-planned.

  40. Kylie Gilbride says:

    When communicating with other, I always try to be as prompt as possible. It is so important to recognize that everyone’s time is valuable, therefore it is essential to respect it. Emails could come in as such a rapid rate that it can be difficult and overwhelming to keep up so I always to try respond to them as quickly as they come in to stay on top of them all.

  41. Samantha Gisleson says:

    One specific time that I excelled in communicating with others was when I was the Vice President of my high school’s Community Service Council. I had to make sure that all appropriate information was communicated between the council, our president, our faculty advisor, and the rest of the school. This role really helped me to develop greater communication skills. Although I have become better at communicating, I have faced some regarding communication at my site. I sometimes struggle to ask questions when I am confused or unsure of something because I do not want to bother my supervisor, however this just ends up causing delays for both of us. Although it has been a challenge, this has actually helped me to realize the importance of clear communication and has encouraged me to better communicate my ideas and questions to my team at my site. When communicating with others, one thing that I have found most useful is remembering that the others I am communicating with are also human. This meaning that they make mistakes too, and that no one is expected to be perfect. Recognizing this has helped me to be more confident in my communication and public speaking skills. I intend to keep working on my communication by forcing myself to speak up and ask questions until it no longer makes me nervous or uncomfortable.

  42. Kiara Woodward says:

    I feel as if I have excelled in communication through body language. I have noticed that being aware of how you present yourself while communicating impacts if people perceive you as listening actively. I’ve noticed I need to work on listening to understand and not to respond. I often find myself rehearsing what I am going to say instead of listening to what another is saying. Now that I am aware of what area I have room to grow in I will work towards it.

    I find my communication is most challenged when it is not face to face. This year has put me in a position where I rely on emails to communicate much more. This method of communication leaves a lot of room for miscommunication. I have had a tough time with reaching people who do not rely on email as much as I do.

    I have found the most helpful skill in communicating with others is active listening. Being able to retell what a person has said back to them and process what they have said is helpful. I plan to continue to improve on this skill by practicing!

  43. Alexis D'Aloia says:

    I have excelled in communicating with others in all different settings. I communicate best with professors and other people in administrative/supervision roles. I never have any issue advocating for myself and addressing my superiors in an appropriate manner for any given situation. I also have an easy time talking to friends in casual conversation. I have faced challenges in communicating effectively when expressing myself and my feelings to friends. I was actually challenged in my Social Work class to improve this skill and have a contract for this semester stating that I am not allowed to respond to questions about my feelings with “I don’t know.” What I have found to be most helpful in communicating with others is to prepare what I need to say prior to the conversation to ensure that I communicate my thoughts effectively. I intend to continue working on my communication skills by having my friends and peers hold me accountable to work on it.

  44. Marlie Frisco says:

    When communicating with others, I feel as though I am good at being prompt and making sure that if there are major points or takeaways, that I make them clear as soon as possible. With technology, it is increasingly easier to communicate with individuals as well as large groups. I find this to be beneficial as it is easy to convey as well as receive new information. However, technology can also make it more difficult to communicate because it is hard to know people’s tones and what they actually mean. Therefore, it is important to speak in person if it is a more difficult or complex conversation.

  45. Abby Hoekman says:

    I have excelled in communicating with others such as my peers and supervisors in Bonner during the process of planning and executing major events or ideas such as the pop up shop at Siena. I have done this by maintaining an organized to-do list and by emailing or speaking face-to-face with those that are helping to facilitate the event. This communication proved to be effective as the event was a success and fundraised a thousand dollars for Unity House of Troy. I have faced challenges in communicating effectively during group work in various classes. It has often been most difficult to find a time and place that is convenient for all parties involved, therefore some members of the group (typically myself) make more sacrifices in adjusting their schedule in order to make the group meetings possible and will take on added responsibility because there has been miscommunication between group members and some portion of the work goes left undone. I have found it most helpful to connect face to face when communicating with others as it allows you to have a much more complete and accurate read of the other person’s mood, intentions, etc. as you are able to analyze one’s body language and tone in a conversation, all of which add many dimensions to the conversation. I intend to keep working on this skill, particularly with larger group projects by being more intentional during class time and asking my partners directly to find a time that they are able to meet, which also adds a level of accountability that encourages people to respond or do what needs to be done.

  46. Grace Harris says:

    I have always had strong communication skills and that is something that I had always prided myself on. However Bonner has really take those skills I already had and made them much stronger. In my Bonner site communication is a key aspect and it is super important to us to function as a team. I have had a hard time with communication when someone is not willing to work with me and struggles with effective communication- then I tend to get frustrated . I think communication is easy with the motto- say what you mean but don’t be mean. I think being straight forward and saying what you need to is the perfect way to communicate.

  47. shaylaencarnacion says:

    I have excelled in communicating when advocating for change or trying to explain my perspective to someone on a specific topic. I have faced challenges in communicating usually when I feel targeted and struggle to express what I am feeling or thinking. What I have found to be most helpful in communicating with others has been to listen. A lot of people often forget that when communicating, you need to listen as much as you want to be heard in order to make it effective. I intend to continue working on this skill by always participating in different conversations, whether uncomfortable or not, to push myself.


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