December 14, 2005

Rhet 3266

I believe that this class has been one of the most important classes that i have taken during my time here at the University of Minnesota. It hits on aspects of you intuitive and social skills that are vital in the real world such as emotional competencies, group process, leadership, problem solving, and working/ personal relationships. I once learned that to be successful in the business world relations and social interaction is more important than personal knowledge or "business intelligence." This is the first class that i have taken that really highlights to me the importance of these skills.
I believe that the classroom environment that you created was a learning envirnment that was very beneficial to me when it came to learning these skills. It was an atmosphere that was not itimidating at all and a place where i, for the first time, felt comfortable expressing myself and ideas. The discussions that we had in class helped me learn about my classmates and build interpersonal relationships with them. I have made more friends in this class than all the other classes i have taken in college combined. Also the discussions taught me to have an open mind and learn from other students opinions rather than always having the mind set of, "my way or the highway." Overall it was really interesting to just be able to see issues and to approach problems from someone elses shoes. The way the class was not structured around big MIDTERMS OR FINALS really helped me approach the class and it's material a different way. Instead of dreading the material because i knew i would see it on a test I actually enjoyed the material that we were learning which i think will help me retain the knowledge better than trying to cram the information in my brain for a test.
I believe that this class and its assignments was a great environment for learning. This was the first class that really made me reflect in blogs and i believe that the blogs was a big part of me really understanding the material. They made me regergitate what i had learned helping me understand the skills better. Also by working in groups i for once got to directly apply what i was leaning about the group process in the class. Usually the teacher will tell you that later in life when you get a job you will need to apply the skills you are learning. But in this class I got to apply what we were learning immidiately.
All of the concepts that we hit on during the duration of this class were very clear to me. Three reasons why they were so clear to me was the authors of the books we read, Gladwell, Fushjisin, etc. were very easy to read for me. The second reason was the classroom activities such as disscusions. They helped me not only express what i have work out about the concept but also i get to hear my fellow classmates opinions on the concept. The last thing that really helped me understand these ideas were working in the presentation groups. These projects just re-enforced everything we have learned and also let us experience these concepts first hand.
The most helpful or must fun project that we did was the Teach the Class presentation. This was the first time that i have ever got in front of the class and actully taught a class, ITS A LOT HARDER THAN IT LOOKS! But this assignment helped me understand the material that i was presenting better than ever before. You know what they always say, "its one thing to know it but to be able to teach it is another thing." But most of all the Teach the Class presentation was fun and i believe that if a teacher can make learning fun he/she is a great teacher.
The least helpful assignment that we did was the EI paper. I don't know but for me the thought of a paper just automatically put a overcast on the material. I guess its just from dreadful papers in the past. Plus writing the paper on emotional intelligence got boring because i feel we kind of over worked those concepts. (This is a perfect example of why i think these blogs really helped me im being honest about how i feel. It feels great to finally be able to be honest with a teacher, to have a teacher that i can talk to really has helped me excel in this class.) Anyways sorry about the tangent but it really does help me learned the material by being able to express how i feel about them.
The only change i would make to any of the projects would be to the WebQuest project. I would allow the groups to pick an individual that they can relate to that also falls under the requirements of being a leader. This way i think groups can really make connections to the person they are researching.
Overall i believe that i got something from this class that i would not get else where and it was truly a pleasure working with you and all my friends that i made in the class.

Posted by at at 2:44 PM

December 7, 2005

Tipping

After reading the Tipping Point, it really made me think about items and fads in our society and whether or not they have tipped or are yet to tip. There millions of things that have tipped in my lifetime such as power rangers, cell phones, rubber bands, nike shoxs, to name a few. But the thing that tipped in such a way that it describes Gladwell’s theories of permission givers is the way the Mini Cooper exploded on to the scene after the movie The Italian Job used the cars thought-out its action packed plot. The Mini began its public life on the 26 August 1959. Its designer, Sir Alec Issigonis could not have even dreamed of the impact his little car would have on the world of culture, society and of course automobiles. The Mini was designed simply to be an affordable car which could seat four adults and still be small enough to travel in safety. Originally powered by 850cc 34bhp engine, this was the Mini in its purest form, simple, clean and agile. But the simple car though trendy never really hit it big in our society. But as The Italian Job hit the big screen the people started buying the mini car like crazy. You could not even drive anywhere without seeing them. The movie and the star power within the movie acted as permission givers for the rest of society saying in so many words, this car is cool, hip, and durable. Overall I think the way the Mini Cooper tip is a great example of Gladwell’s theory of permission givers

Posted by at at 9:36 PM

December 6, 2005

Tipping Point reflection

I think that the Tipping Point is a well written novel that explores the social impact of epidemics. I believe if we can explore these epidemics further I think we may find the solutions to some of the worlds most deadly and unstoppable epidemics. My group covered chapter seven which focuses on, which may be the two most deadliest epidemics, smoking and suicide. Gladwell states that the same reason a teen living in the United States would smoke is along the same societal stress line as suicide epidemics in Micronesia. I believe that chapter seven interested me the most because Gal dwell talks about this concept of permission giving. Gladwell states that, “Permission givers are the functional equivalent of the Salesmen.? In the example of suicides in Micronesia permission was given by an initial act of suicide, in other words, isn’t a general invitation to the vulnerable. It is really a highly detailed set of instructions, specific to certain people in certain situations who choose to die in certain ways for certain things. Once one of the most well known and respected men in Micronesia committed suicide, he acted like the permission giver, like the tipping point, sending a message to their society that committing suicide is alright and a powerful means of expression. Therefore people that are looked up too or our famous have the power to single handedly start epidemics. It took me a while to realize that this idea, but once it set in I could remember times in my life where someone that I looked up too or envied did something and I immediately thought that it was ok to do or that I wanted to also do that. Overall I believe that Gladwell is on to something big. The epidemics that are dominating this world such as Aids or smoking need to be stopped and the only way to do that is to understand these epidemics further as Gladwell has done and beat them from the inside out.

Posted by at at 10:32 PM

November 17, 2005

Teach the Class presentations review

After the Teach the Class Presentation, what are you discovering about yourself in the group process (e.g., roles, communication process, social competencies, motivation level, strengths, weaknesses, attitudes, critiques of others, regrets) and, based on what you discovered, what will you do differently in future team projects?

Group projects in my opinion is an unavoidable challenge or experience that college students need to have because most jobs require one to work effeciently in these environments. I believe that a group project is a challenge because of how busy our college lives can be. But the experience of a group project is in my opinion the closest thing you can get to the outside world of business.
I strongly believe that the roles in a group our formed naturely around the personalities of a group. At least in my group everyone was unique and brought different personalities, therefore naturely better at different roles. But that my not always be the case and you might have two leaders, where there might be a power struggle. This is where knowing and understanding these different roles within groups comes in handy because you can know the attributes of a leader, the dos and donts of a leader, so you can successfully work together with the other leader personality to reach a high level of efficentcy thourghout the group process.
Communication within our group was great in so areas and not so good in the others. We had a lot of trouble communicating when and where would be a good time to meet up and work on the project. No one took the control to make sure everyone had everyone elses email or phone numbers. So when is came time to plan to meet we struggle getting a hold of people. But on the other hand when we finally got everyone together communication towards our task at hand was great. I really felt that everyone of our group members provided videl contributions or ideas that helped us have such a great project.
Socially my group just clicked. We were able to build interpersonal relationships that easily could extend outside the classroom. For me building those friendships within my group helped me to perform at my best. It kept me from feeling uncomfortble or like i was an outsider. Overall I thought that we had great group empathy. We were very open minded and always valued everyones input.
At first I say motivation to build our friendships was higher than the motivation to complete this project. But as these unique ideas kept forming on how we would display our topic we became more exicited about what we were doing. We decied early that we wanted to do something different to catch peoples attention something out of the ordinary and it was that creativeness that i think sparked our motivation as a group.
This was the first group project in college career that i enjoyed doing. Maybe it was the people i was working with or just my new outlook of the group process that made it a great experience. Our group had strong interpersonal relationships which i think lead to or great group effciency, communication, and motivation. One area that we will need to work on for our next project will be organization. Just trying to balance out socializing time and work time. Also the organizational skills that surround meeting times, places, and overall preparation for meetings.

Posted by at at 12:56 PM

November 14, 2005

breeze

This blog question is really tough for me to complete because I have limited experience with Breeze. As we had the Breeze meeting i had techniqucal difficulties and was unable to reach my group meeting. But on the other hand i believe the breeze idea is a great one to maximize avavilibility for group members to attend meetings. I believe this is a important tool to the business world because you sometimes don't have all of your staff availible for meetings, so even when they are out of town you can still have a meeting. The downside of breeze is that you are in a meeting without the "meeting" atmosphere. So you can get distracted which will lead to one contributing less to the meeting. Also breeze is very impersonal so when you are using it for a meeting its hard for one to build working relationships. I believe that those working relationships not only build up the overall effciecy of the group but it help members of the group build off one another for ideas. Overall, i think that breeze is a tool that should be used only when needed and don't think of it as a subsitute for a interpersonal group meeting.

Posted by at at 4:13 PM

October 31, 2005

Emotional Intelligence Conclusion

I believe that emotional intelligence is knowlegde that can not be fed to someone with books or teachings. It has to be recognized and learned through one's self and experiences. Having emotional intelligence is being a different type of smart. No matter what your grade point average is or your ranking status at work, it does not mean that you internally have a good level of emotional intelligence. I don't think emotional intelligence means, "being nice" or "let it all hang out" emotionally, but rather an intuition of managing feelings so that they are expressed appropriately and effectively which will ulimately lessen the friction in social and corporate relations.

As i read thourgh goleman's emotional intelligence these concepts of intelligence were very easy for me to understand. I believe that Goleman had a very up front approach to the subject which he reflected in his straight forward writing. Overall the book really opened my eyes to the effects of emotional intelligence on individual's, group's, organization's, and corporation's overall success. Having these compacities allows us to survive life with our humanity and sanity intact no matter what the situation. As i remember how our class struggled to define emotional intelligence I think that Goleman said it perfect, "emotional intelligence is the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships."

Posted by at at 11:00 PM

October 20, 2005

Dysfunctional roles

Fujishin has consructed five types of dysfunctional roles within work groups. They are The Controller, The Blamer, The Pleaser, The Distrator, and The Ghost. In my experiences with groups i have ran into many of these roles and in some cases have even fallen into these roles. Each of these roles can have devastating effects on the group's success and are easy to fall into. The role that scares me the most and that I am most likely to fall into is The Controller. The Controller "tries to dominate, regulate, and manipulate the interaction of the group." (Fujishin) I believe that The Controller is just the groups leader gone "sour." In a way The Controller type role and the leader type role in a group is very similar minus The Controller's manipulitive, bossy, and superioritive attributes. The difference is that the leader of the group is suppose to create and atmosphere of supportive direction that can help maximize the potiential of the group and it's members. Trying to control the group will do nothing but hinder the group's ability to be affective. The best way a group leader can stop themselves from falling into this "control freak" is to make sure to involve everyone in the group and to be openminded and aware of everyone's input and feelings.

Posted by at at 5:21 PM

September 28, 2005

Mission Statement

Mission Statement: To have a never ending drive and devotion to my faith and my family and to always make the most of my abilities and opportunities that have been givin to me.

Developing this mission statement was very hard for me because I felt that it was something that could always be made better. I feel as I learn more about myself thourghout my life, my mission statement will always deepen and become more in-touch with who I really am.

What my mission statement means in regards to my role on a team is simple, am willing to do whatever I have to do to make the most of my opportunities. I think if you have this attitude towards opportunities in your life, you will be able to adapt, mold, or make sacrifices to get the most out of yourself, your efforts, and your team.

I feel that if I follow the path that God has made for me, he will not give me anything that I can't handle. So when I graduate with my housing studies major I will have many opportunities. I will just need to apply my abilities the best that I can to maximize my possibilities.

Posted by at at 11:02 PM

September 14, 2005

There's no "I" in Team


I think that the statement, "there's no I in team" promotes what I think is the most important aspect of a team, dependibility. You are only as good as the man or women that is working next to you. I have played team sports my whole life, everything from basketball to soccer. All thourghout those experiences I would depend on my teamates to do their job and they would depend on me to take care of my job. As these relationships of dependibility grow you begin to believe in them. You begin to believe that they will never give up, always keep fighting to reach the goals of the team. This is very evident in the game of football, as those players step up to the line they have to believe that man next to them is going to give it everything he has to get that 1st down, that touchdown, or that win. When the quarterback drops back to pass there has to be no doubt in his mind that his reicever is going to catch the ball. When the running back takes the hand-off he has to depend of the offensive linemen to each do their indiviual blocking assignments so he can gain yards on the ground. When a team can depend and hold accountble every person doing their job and believe in the goals they have set to reach, only then can they reach maximum effecentancy. I hope you can understand this football example of dependibility within a team. I thought that it was the best way for me to decribe my feelings of dependibility within a team. Also another characteristic within a team that will make it effective is leadership. You can lead by example, with experience, or with emotion. Leaders could be anyone or everyone on a team. Leadership will help the team focused on the task at hand and inspire the team to stay motivated to complete that task. Overall an effective team has to believe in it's own dependibility and once every member of the team does you can over come the worst of challenges. In my field of housing studies dependibility and leadership are very evident. Since this being my first year in my major classes I don't quite know what job I will apply it to. But as i look at my father's contruction company I see noticeably how teamwork is appiled. On the contruction site of one of his custom homes there is a team of subcontractors that depend on eachother to put together a house piece by piece. I hear my father all the time say "building a house is like putting together the pieces of the puzzle, one piece will make ya or break ya." He once told me that it took him a long time to find subcontractors to work for him that he could depend on. Once he could complete that team atmosphere within his buisness he finally started to make some money. To build the kind of houses that only "A TEAM" could build.

Posted by at at 7:38 PM

September 12, 2005

Emotional Competences

I believe that I am effective in two of Goleman's areas of personal competence which are self-awareness and motivation. I feel that I know what my strenghts are and the limitations of my capabilities. The motivation that drives me from day to day is internal as well as external. I feel that I am good at finding the most effective ways to motivate different people. But overall I am a very optimistic person. On the other hand, I sometimes fail to keep my emotions and impulses in check which can come across as headstrong or disruptive but I assure you that it is just derived from enthusiasm and energy. So working on the self regulation area of personal competence is a priority for me. Social Competence is made up of two parts; empathy and social skills. I believe that I have very good social skills in light of all the team sports that I have played. I am an effcient communicator that loves to inspire and to lead. I am very familiar with a team's capabilities and motivating that team to meet desired goals. However, I can see the empathy side of social competence being an area that I need to work on.

Posted by at at 11:32 PM