I have chosen three types of communication behavior to improve. First, I planned to improve my assertiveness by openly speaking to my boss about my needs and thoughts. The situation to apply this skill could be the Friday meeting we usually have and sharing our feedback about work there. Second, the opposite of assertive behavior is passive communication with patients and their families. I had plenty of opportunities to have a conversation with them as it takes most of my working time. I implemented more active listening during my interactions with them so that they felt valued, and I improved my skills of compassion. Third, I decided to work on my behavior by evaluating how I communicate with my friends. I planned to have a conversation with a bunch of them and see how I interact.
Evaluation of Planned Conversations
Planned conversations appeared during the two weeks of working on the assignment. I met my boss on August 14 in the meeting, and assertive behavior worked for me, but with a nuance: I could not speak freely among my colleagues. I tend to think that I feel uncomfortable because of the boss’s authority, but it turned out that I am not afraid of telling about my needs and thoughts when we are alone. I was able to reveal my concerns regarding the working schedule, and the boss reacted well. Next time, I will try to communicate assertively when the colleagues are in the room as well.
I had conversations with patients every day, but there were several significant occasions to mention. On August 11, I communicated to a patient’s parents who were worried about their child’s treatment. Instead of telling them supportive words, I let them share all of their emotions and actively listened. I noticed these people looked relieved after our conversation. On August 18, I spoke to a patient, and my listening made them feel better again. I thought that I have to perform such behavior more often instead of the small talks I usually do.
Planned conversations with friends made the most significant impact on me. Three of my friends and I met on August 15 to discuss one’s wedding, and I felt that active listening did not work with friends the way it did with patients. I did not want to listen carefully and wanted to share my stories instead. People in close relationships or who frequently interact sometimes transfer attitudes and unconsciously share them (McLean, 2018). Most of my friends only spoke about themselves as well, and I will try to change this behavior pattern next time.
Evaluation of Unplanned Conversations
Unplanned conversations occurred in my personal life more often than at work, and I kept in mind that the new behavior has to be applied. On August 10, my husband had some issues with his work, and I tried to actively listen to him instead of sharing how my day was. My passive communication helped him find the root cause of his issues while he was discussing them, and I decided to have such conversations with him at least twice a week. Then, on August 17, I met with my sister, who often insults me with her statements about my life choices. I decided to have an assertive conversation with her and was straightforward in sharing my discontent regarding her behavior. We had a robust discussion, however, it was clear that she understood why I acted that way. Both of these situations were successful for me, and I will perform these behaviors again if I have a condition that requires assertiveness or passive conversation.
McLean, S. (2018). Exploring interpersonal communication. Flatworld.