December 17, 2005

Class Reflections

I thought the most informative and interesting project was the Tipping Point presentation. The reason I feel this way is because I found the Tipping Point book to be the most insightful of all the readings from this semester. All of the ideas and examples Gladwell uses are fascinating to me. The descussion the class had each day really allowed the class to open up and question one another and their upbringing, their way of life, goals and viewpoints. This assignment really helped me to understand my classmates much more.

Overall, all of the topics we discussed in class were very clear. I would have liked to have spent more time on the Tipping Point and less on Emotional Intelligence. I was much less interested in the Emotional Intelligence topics just because they seemed like common sense ideas to me. The Tipping Point was different and made me look at every day ideas in a different light.

I also very much dislike blogging. It is one thing if someone blogs on their own time on topics they feel more passionate and interested in...if it is something you have to remember to do each week and on topics you aren't necessarily that interested in it becomes a chore as opposed as an outlet to express viewpoints and feelings. One aspect of the blogging I did like is that Aimee took the time to read and comment on all of the blogs. When you know someone will be interested in what you say and give you feedback it makes it more worthwhile. I found Aimee's comments interesting and insightful.

Overall, I had a very good experience with Rhet 3266. Aimee did an awesome job of making all of the students feel comfortable with each other. From the first day Aimee got us to talk and interact with one another which was much different from any other course I've been in. Even though I knew Chad and Jason, Jacq and Karen and Dan from other classes and other places I was able to move out of the comfort zone of people I already know and meet four new people to work with as a group. Aimee made class a place to feel comfortable and express our opinions, not just a place to sit, listen to a lecture quietly, take notes and then get up and leave at the end. It was much more than that. We may have been a little hard to control at times, but that is because of the fun comfortable atmosphere Aimee made for our classroom.

Posted by at at 11:51 AM

December 7, 2005

Fish!

I often find myself in positions like Mary Jane, just going through the motions and not having any fun with what I'm doing. I am not normally outwardly crabby or rude when I am not feeling motivated, but having flat emotions and drive to do work definately affects how it is done and the attitude while doing it. I can't give a specific example of why I would be in a rut like Mary Jane--as I have not had any traumatic experiences or life threatening experiences yet. Just the day to day monotony is enough to put someone in a rut if they do not love what they do. This is often what happens to me, same schedule every week, homework to do at the end of the day along with regular work. It gets old fast. I have noticed this semester, however, that my classes move much faster and are more enjoyable because I know my classmates much better than in the past. Having other people to have fun with and talk to about what is going on in life or in class helps to make the day go by. When I am having fun it is easy to change my attitude and be more positive around everyone. The most important thing for me is to be there. I often get caught with my head in the clouds in class, not paying attention to class or the people around me, sometimes I don't even make it to class which is even worse than when I daydream. If you aren't there you can't enjoy what you are doing. I have really noticed that being there matters this semester. In previous years I would have terrible class attendance, I slept through my alarm, not even making it to class. Now that I am going to class more frequently I know more people and it is more fun to be there than when I went once every two weeks and knew no one. My attitude, if I actually get myself to class is ususally positive....we all have really bad days sometimes....and I can see that attitude rub off on those around me. I love making my friends and classmates laugh. I'd have to say a classroom atmosphere is not the best place to play, however. We might still do it, but the instructor doesn't always appreciate students not paying attention and joking around. The most important idea Fish! left me with was to be there. Once I'm there my head is usually in the game and I'm ready to learn and have a good time while doing it.

Posted by at at 5:17 PM

November 29, 2005

Tipped

I searched on google for tipping point examples to get a broader idea of what other people are relating to Gladwell's "The Tipping Point". I came across an interesting interview of Gladwell by ESPN's Rob Neyer. This was a different context for Gladwell than in the book. He is discussing his ideas on baseball like steroid use, salary levels, and home runs. McGuire and Sosa's 1998 home run streak was the tipping point for other players to hit home runs. Gladwell says, "the truly heroic and difficult achievement is to have been the first of your generation to break through a particular mental and physical barrier", so he gives the credit of the home run epidemic to the innovators, McGuire and Sosa. Gladwell also attributes the acceptance of the use of steroids for so long to McGuire. McGuire admitted to using the drugs and suddenly other players saw that he was doing it and his lack of punishment. Another of Gladwell's sports tipping point examples was the 4-minute mile. It was an unreachable mark for years, but as soon as one person broke the barrier suddenly more and more people were able to break the barrier. Everything starts with the innovators and travels through the diffusion model.

This was a very interesting interview to read from espn.com.
http://espn.go.com/mlb/columns/neyer_rob/1390690.html

Posted by at at 12:19 PM

The Tipping Point

The case studies in chapters six and seven were very interesting to read and discuss. It was so interesting to see the tipping point theories; principles of epidemic transmission, stickiness and context, and the idea of Mavens and Connectors help explain the case studies. The Airwalk example was fun to discuss because most of us had experiences with Airwalk when we were younger, seeing the ads on tv and in magazines. We all saw when they tipped, reached the mainstream and became the shoe that everyone wanted. This makes me think, what other social epidemics did we see tip as we grew up? Computers and the technology age tipped. There are so many things that have tipped. These discussions in class were very interesting, as they were easily relatable to our lives.

Posted by at at 12:10 PM

November 15, 2005

The Group Process and Me

There are not too many new things I learned about myself in terms of my role in a group in the "teach the class" project. I usually play the same role in most of my groups.

I was elected the leader of the group for this project, which is not a role I usually take on. I think I could have done a better job as leader, but it was hard to get my group together to even begin to lead them. It worked best for our group just to assign topics and research separately and do our powerpoints separately. The group then emailed the generic powerpoints to me and I formatted them and added the visuals. This technique worked well, except for one person (which happened to be me) had to do most of the "grunt work" to get the final presentation done.

A big strength for my group, as I was saying earlier is that we could each be relied upon to do our own part. We all got our section of the presentation done on time and it was done well. There was not one member that held up progress for the rest of the group, which was very nice.

As far as dysfunctional roles in a group I can often fall into the pleaser role. If I don't have a real interest in the topic I am working on I tend to just go along with the rest of the group. This is simply because I often have a hard time caring about what is being discussed.... which doesn't sound very good to say.

I do listen to group members and take in everyones ideas. If I feel we are not on the right track as far as content or presentation visual quality I will let it be known. I find that in presentations I usually end up doing the powerpoint myself. I pay close attention to detail and making presentations asthetically pleasing. I do have a hard time trusting that someone else will do a good enough job to meet my expectations. This is how I become a "worker-bee" in many group situations.

In future team projects I think I will try to trust others ability to do a good job. I don't need to be in control of that (powerpoints, visuals) aspect of projects all the time. Overall, I feel I mesh well with teammates. I have never really butted heads with anyone in a group, possibly because I am a pleaser. I feel I fit well into group situations, not usually taking the lead but filling in roles that need to be filled. I help to make sure everything is done well and in a timely fashion.

Posted by at at 7:47 PM

October 20, 2005

Breeze Reflections

Working in virtual teams was a very new and different activity. It was nice to be able to meet without having to be in the same place as your group members. I can see why corporations and other businesses use this as a tool to work with overseas clients or anyone that isn't in the same area as you. The screen switches were confusing for me at first. It is hard to keep a thought going when one of your team members pops up the drawing screen or a website. That was distracting for me. Other than that I think Breeze is a very effective tool for teams. I am glad I got to work with it now, so later in my career I will already be familiar with how it works.

Posted by at at 12:57 PM

October 19, 2005

Goleman Reflections

After completing the self-inventory based on Goleman's ideas of emotional intelligence I have a better understanding of what exactly emotional intelligence is. I feel that I have a very good understanding of all of Goleman's points, most of it seems to be common sense. This is surprising that so many people need to read and learn these things in a book.

While I understand all of Goleman's points, actually putting them into practice is another story. At times it can be difficult to keep your emotions in check. As I have been told time and time again that everyone can read my emotions by my face. Even though I'm not trying to make a face and I'm not openly talking about what is going on, people can still see it.

The most important aspect of Goleman's emotional intelligence is the respect and concern for others you are working with. It is very important to be on time or let others know if you are going to be late. There are many common courtesy things that people just don't practice. To me this is the area many people need to work on.

While this is true, I realize there are many things I need to work on too so understanding others helps keep things in check. If emotions bottle up instead of issues being discussed, there will not be an effective team environment.

Posted by at at 5:06 PM

October 11, 2005

5 Dysfunctional Roles

The dysfunctional role I worry about the most is the pleaser role. I tend to just go along with what others want to avoid conflict. Most of the time it is just easier and more pleasant to agree with others than to argue and fight about what should be done. I definately do not offer up my opinions unless I need to, I feel more comfortable on middleground, not taking sides on issues, and listening to others opinions instead of inserting my own. I will also give in if there is a confrontation that I don't feel the need to fight for.

On the other hand, if there does happen to be an issue I feel passionate about and I am with friends or people I feel comfortable with I will let my opinion be known. It really depends on the situation if I will qualify myself as a pleaser or not. With strangers or co-workers I will most likely take the pleaser role, however.

In order to avoid falling into this role, my whole demeanor would have to change in a work, school or other situation that isn't at home with friends or family. I have always fallen into this role for as long as I can remember. It seems to me it would be very difficult to change from this role at this point in my life because it is all I know. I am the master of the "smile and nod" technique. If I don't agree with someone instead of arguing or suggesting another option, I will just agree and move on to another issue. I guess to avoid this role one would just have to speak up when they know they need to. It is as simple as that...and as hard as that. Don't be afraid of the concequences of your opinions, even if they aren't popular, which is a hard thing to do.

Posted by at at 11:57 AM

September 29, 2005

Personal Mission Statement

My personal mission statement was a fairly simple and straightforward one:

To look hard at what pleases me and harder at what doesn't. To live life with humor and also have compassion for others in both personal and private areas.

Since my personal misson statement was fairly basic it was easy to come up with. This is how I have always tried to live my life, it was just a matter of putting it into words. As it relates to my role in a team, I feel that I need to make sure I'm happy with the way things progress. If the team isn't working well together I feel obligated to say something. For example, in todays class activity (which was very fun by the way!) my group (the robbery group) split into several smaller groups that only talked among themselves to figure a small portion of the problem. Seeing this I stopped the progress and suggested we all speak as a group to see the whole picture. It seemed to help quite a bit. In a group situation it also helps to balance the heavy aspect of work with something lighter...humor. As always having compassion for others is necessary in any aspect of life. The first sentence of my mission statement sums up how I will handle my future, if I am not happy with something, I need to step back and assess why I am unhappy and what I can do to change that.

Posted by at at 9:58 PM

Fujishin Inventories

Inventory 1: Who are you?
1. I am caring
2. I am sensitive
3. I am fun
4. I am sincere
5. I am compassonate

Inventory 2: What do you believe?
1. I believe you should open your eyes to the world around you
2. I believe you should follow your dreams
3. I believe you should strive for your greatest sucesses
4. I believe you should move at your own pace
5. I believe you should be sensitive and empathetic

Inventory 3: Six Months to live...
1. I would visit and say goodbyes to my family
2. I would visit and say goodbyes to my friends and boyfriend
3. I would take out loans and travel with my boyfriend and friends to anywhere in the world I could go
4. I would eat exceptionally well during my travels
5. I would enjoy wines from around the world

Inventory 4: Your communication behaviors
1. I speak in a pleasant tone of voice (5) strongly agree
2. I speak at an adequate rate of speech (3) unsure....depends if I'm nervous or not...
3. I speak without verbal fillers (4) agree
4. I have a relaxed posture when speaking (3) I may lean on something, a little too relaxed
5. I use expressive gestures when speaking (2) disagree
6. I smile when I speak with others (4) agree
7. I make eye contact when speaking with others (2) disagree...working on it!
8. I often nod my head in agreement when listening (4) agree
9. I share my opinions with close friends (4) agree
10. I share my opinions with acquaintances (3) unsure, I will if the occasion arises
11. I share my feelings with close friends (5) strongly agree
12. I share my feelings with acquaintances (3) unsure...if the occasion arises
13. I share my needs with close friends (5) strongly agree
14. I share my needs with acquaintances (4) agree
15. I am comfortable when I disagree with others (3) unsure, depends who the other people are
16. I can disagree without disliking others (3) unsure, depends what we disagree on
17. I can verbally admit when I'm wrong (5) strongly agree, do it all the time
18. I can ask for forgiveness when I have hurt others (3) unsure, don't usually hurt others
19. I make others feel good about themselves (4) agree
20. I am optimistic and positive in my interactions (5) strongly agree

Inventory 5: You're not perfect
1. Listen to others
2. Speak up for myself when necessary, don't be so passive
3. Stop unhealthy habits
4. Work more on school
5. Be more self-sufficient

I learned a lot of things by completing Fujishin's inventories. It made me think more about myself than I normally would. Overall, it gave me a good impression of myself, but also brought to my attention what I need to work on. The communication behaviors section was interesting to complete. I often keep my opinions to myself, except when with close friends and family. Only if a topic comes up where opinions are necessary will I offer my own. I prefer to accept people for who they are as a person, not what they believe politically or socially. It will be interesting to complete the inventory in 5 years and see how I have changed!

Posted by at at 9:38 PM