Critical Reflection on Learning in the Course

14 weeks had passed since the start of the course. Initially, this module was just a module that I had to bear with for 15 weeks and be done with it, but as time passed the module had helped me developed lots of communication skills that I could use in my life. There are also goals that I set during the first blog post that was to understand myself better when I am communicating with someone else. I am now more aware of how I am communicating and able to understand my own conversations more now.

I have also learned communications models such as the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI) and Daniel Goleman Emotional Intelligence Management Strategy. These are the tools that we used in our project to tackle our workplace abuse problem. TKI is about the 5 conflict management mode to help us approach on solving conflicts and Daniel Goleman’s approach is to help us identify our own emotions and how to manage it.

Other than learning more about communication, I am thankful for such a group with high efficiency in producing quality work as well as spending the time to discuss and work up on the project. I appreciate all the efforts made by my team mates and such camaraderie is hard to find during a 1-trimester module. Overall the project was a great success as everyone presented well and put in their best efforts during the whole trimester. All the challenges faced during this module and the experience gained is a worthwhile one.

I wish everyone the best in their future endeavors!

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Project Summary

Introduction
The gaming industry is largely relevant to today’s world where almost everyone plays games. This piece of technology had revolutionized entertainment for the world and improved the quality of life of consumers. It is no longer a niche form of entertainment for a targeted group of people. Mobile gaming has largely improved over the years as hardware quality gets better and cheaper at the same time and hence becoming a viable option for anyone of any background and ages.

The industry had attracted lots of attention and more people are beginning to enter to course of being a game developer. With this influx of newly cultivated developers, the seeking of internship to gain knowledge from the working world is inevitable.

An article “Video games industry ‘wary’ of interns.” (2015, June 10) by Else, H. shows the potential threat of the industry being cautious of interns which translate to potential workplace abuse due to this stereotype.

A newspaper article “Abusive boss caught on video admits to assault” (2015) from The Straits Times (Chong, 2015) showed that workplace abuse is indeed relevant to our identified problem. The article is about an intern being physically abused by his manager when he failed to do what was instructed. This unacceptable behavior makes us want to go further to educate interns on how to handle workplace abuse.

 

Problem identification
Things are not going to be smooth sailing for any game developers looking for an internship. Things may often go downhill such as workplace abuse, working long hours or even doing ‘saikang’ (refers to an unpleasant and undesirable task, crudely, shit work). This raises the issues of such situation where interns are treated badly even though they are eager to learn more about the industry. Hence it is important to be equipped with skills to deal with such workplace abuse.

 

Objective and scope
Being able to handle undesired situations such as workplace abuse during internships is utmost important during the period to avoid burnout. The scope will cover different techniques that an intern can use to when faced with a similar problem in the workplace.

 

Problems and solutions
Intern VS Abusive superior

When facing an abusive superior, an intern should not let his emotions overwhelm him and find solutions to fix the problem. One of them can be the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument known as TKI which helps people understand how different conflict-handling styles  (Thomas & Kilmann, n.d.).  can affect different kinds of people and helps the user to choose an appropriate style for a specific situation.

“Compromising”, one of the five conflict-handling styles from TKI where interns can find a mutually agreeable solution with their superior. It allows both parties to come to a common consensus to solve the issue. This addresses issues directly rather than avoiding it. Another method could be “Collaborating” where both parties work together to find a solution that fully satisfies them, this means to dig into the issue and pinpoint the exact underlying needs of both parties and coming into an agreement.

Another method that could be used is from Daniel Goleman’s approach (Goleman, 2015) of “self-regulation” and “self-awareness”. Seeing the big picture of the problem is essential and the intern could see the best possible way by using this approach to solve problems. By being self-regulated a person will be able to view a problem objectively and not subjectively which is a core skill that a person can have. Emotions should be put aside when attempting to solve a problem and being adaptive to different situation will nett a better workplace environment.

 

Conclusion
Workplace abuse is something that is not that common yet not rare. This is mostly due to superiors being in a higher position than the person and hence acting in a certain way which is abusive. This problem is prevalent when interns feel that they have no power to retaliate. This shall not be condoned and should be addressed not through barbarian means. With the techniques suggested through our research, such as the Thomas-Kilman Conflict Mode Instrument and Daniel Goleman’s approach, interns should then react in the most appropriate way to abuse when they are faced with one. They then should recall on what they have learned to diffuse the tension between them and their superiors. Thus, this will improve the workplace environment of the intern as they themselves are better equipped with such communication skills to faced with workplace abuse.

 

Reference

Thomas, K., Kilmann, R. (n.d.). An overview of the Thomas-Kilmann conflict mode instrument (TKI). Retrieved from http://www.kilmanndiagnostics.com/overview-thomas-kilmann-conflict-mode-instrument-tki

Chong, E. (2015). Abusive boss caught on video admits to assault. Retrieved from http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/abusive-boss-caught-on-video-admits-to-assault

Goleman, D. (2015). How self-awareness impacts your work. Retrieved from http://www.danielgoleman.info/daniel-goleman-how-self-awareness-impacts-your-work/

Goleman, D. (2015). Self-regulation a star leader’s secret weapon. Retrieved from http://www.danielgoleman.info/daniel-goleman-self-regulation-a-star-leaders-secret-weapon/

Video games industry ‘wary’ of interns. (2015, June 10). Retrieved July 20, 2017, from https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/video-games-industry-wary-of-interns/2011803.article

 

Interpersonal Conflict Resolution [Draft]

This is a recall of a personal conflict that happened to my group when I was in Polytechnic that was never resolved. I gave up on this groupmate of ours and decided that we contribute to the project on our own without that particular groupmate and exclude that groupmate out of minor discussions. We pushed our ideas during group meetings to not have further “disturbance” in the project.

The reason for it was that the particular groupmate would debate on any ideas presented upon but never gave a proper solution to any problems. That groupmate of ours also messes things up during other projects that he/she had teamed up with. For examples, that person would edit the word document and made the outcome worse, that person would give unimportant opinions during discussions and most of the time messed up the entire project idea through his/her inputs. We eventually gave up trying to work together as a full group, this decision was also enforced with past experiences with that person in other projects too. We couldn’t care much about that person anymore and strive to complete the project on our own. Within a few weeks, tension can be felt and that groupmate also decided to take a step back as the person felt hostility during group discussion.

Over the semester, most of this particular project was done by me as I was the group leader group. I stood strong throughout the entire period and held up well in my opinion. It turned out well for us as we all attained a good grade for it.

Our intention was to just shut off this person from the project and proceed on with it as it will be more time consuming to have long and draggy meetings with someone who will only be a nuisance.

What could I have done to make this situation turned out better?

What will you guys do if you are in my shoes?

 

Tackling the problem

Here are some of the plausible steps that I could take to turn things out better:

  1. I could have been more open and flexible and not shut off the person even though the person was disruptive. Listening and really hearing the person’s opinion and asking questions to gather more information on what the person is debating about could, in turn, helped out the situation at that moment.
  2. Be much more assertive and not aggressive in how I face the problem. It would turn out better if I could ignore the past issues and communicate directly to the person to correct his/her behavior.
  3. Forgiving could have a large impact on the situation as well. Resentment often does not solve problems and instead make things worst.

All of these steps might be a better approach than what I had done, that was to ignore the person’s behavior and continuing the project indirectly without the person.

Reference:
Marter. J. (2014). 10 Tips for Resolving Conflict. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joyce-marter-/conscious-relationships_b_4504510.html

Edited: 9 July 2017

 

Strengths and Challenges in Communicating (Final)

27 May 2017 [EDIT]

Communication by definition is the imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium, such as telephone lines or computers.

My own definition of communication is the idea of a communicator being brought forward to one or more communicator through a medium. If an idea fails to reach the intended recipient the way you want your recipient to receive it, then it is a failure in communication.

In this post, I would like to share more about my personal views on my own strengths in communications and the challenges I face while communicating with others or rather more of my weakness in communications.

Strengths
My strengths in communication are of understanding the situation speedily and having a grasp of what is wrong in communications between other communicators. A third party usually has a better understanding of a dispute that happened in front of their eyes but that is someone else’s communications and not mine. This strength makes me a good mediator with the skills of understanding a situation better as a third party. Being a mediator is not an easy task if either party in an argument would not give in, and personally, I felt that I am a slightly above average mediator if a problem would occur between my friends and I would be confident enough to help them out and explain the problems of each party and what they are wrong at. An example could be two of my friends got into an argument and both are so stubborn that giving them a clear picture of what is wrong and what is right, but neither party wants to accept the fact and get the problem solved.

Challenges/Weaknesses
My weakness lies in not being able to understand my own communications as well as being able to listen to others. It is difficult for me to understand another person’s view when I have a clear picture in my mind of the same idea while conversing. This usually makes my conversation with others awkward and thus breaking down eventually as we both have different images in our mind. This is definitely what causes most of my communications breakdown in my conversations with others. The other weakness is bringing up or mentioning unimportant stuff that would affect other’s mood. Not being sensitive enough in my own conversations as I tend to bring up unnecessary things that could affect another person’s emotions. This sensitivity issue could sometimes cause unnecessary harm to others.

Personal Goals
With a better understanding of my strengths and weaknesses, my goals in this course are to understand more of my own conversations and be able to look at them like how I look at others’ by gaining communications tools in this course and applying it in my life. Lastly, instead of being someone who spoils the mood in a party, I would want to think even more before I speak by learning more about communications in this course.

Strengths and Challenges in Communicating (Draft)

Strengths in communication and the challenges you have when communicating with others.

Communication by definition is the imparting or exchanging of informaton by speaking, writing, or using some other medium or the means of sending or receiving information, such as telephone lines or computers.

My own definition of communication is the idea of a communicator being brought forward to one or more communicator through a medium. If an idea fails to reach the intended recipient the way you want your recipient to receive it, then it is a failure in communication.

In this post, I would like to share more about my personal views on my own strengths in communications and the challenges I faced while communicating with others or rather more of my weakness in communications.

Strengths
My strengths in communication are of understanding the situation speedily and having a grasp of what is wrong in communications between other communicators. A third party usually has a better understanding of a dispute that happened in front of their eyes and however, that is someone else’s communications. Being a mediator is not an easy task if either party in an argument would not give in, and personally, I felt that I am a slightly above average mediator if a problem would occur between my friends and I would be confident enough to help them out and explain the problems of each party and what they are wrong at.

Challenges/Weaknesses
My own weakness lies in not being about to understand my own communications as well as being able to listen to others. This is definitely what causes most of my communications breakdown in my conversations with others. The other weakness is bringing up or mentioning unimportant stuff that would affect other’s mood. In short, I am not sensitive enough in my own conversations as I tend to say unnecessary things that could affect another person’s emotions.

Personal Goals
My goals in this course would be able to understand more of my own conversations and be able to look at mine like how I look at others by gaining communications tools in this course and applying it in my life. Lastly, I would want to think even more before I speak in order to not being someone who spoils the mood in a party through learning more about communications in this course too.