When thinking about the assignment this week, I realize that I communicate with some groups differently. However, I’m not necessarily talking about people from different cultures. Professionally, I find that I communicate with the parents in the same manor. I may change the method of communication based on the preferences of the family. There were a couple mothers who preferred receiving a few short texts about their child’s progress throughout the day instead of waiting until pick up time. One mother told me that this helped her feel better while working knowing that her child was having a good day. There are some families who I have a better rapport with. I find that it’s easier to communicate with outgoing and inquisitive parents than those who are more distant or don’t initiate communication. This is partly due to my personality. I am generally quiet and it takes time for me to feel comfortable with new people. So if the parents are more outgoing and ask questions or share other information it helps shape our conversations. When parents are less comfortable communicating with me, it’s more difficult because I’m the one asking questions or giving most of the information.
With coworkers, it depends on the situation. I remain professional, but there are coworkers who I can laugh or joke around with. If they come to me with concerns, I do my best to listen and respond appropriately. One example was when another teacher wanted my opinion about whether I felt a child in her classroom should be referred for services. This was before I knew the child well, but I told her that I saw some things that might be red flags, but I wanted to observe the child more. As I spent more time with the child and in the classroom, it was apparent that he needed help in several areas. During our first conversation about him, I wanted the other teacher to know that I was listening and understood her concerns, but I did not want to jump to conclusions without enough information.
With my friends and family, I’m not formal, but I may or may not discuss certain topics depending on whom I’m talking to. In most cases, I feel more comfortable speaking my mind or offering advice or my opinion. One rule of communication that I feel applies no matter who I’m talking to is talk less and listen more. I get so frustrated with people when they ask me questions that they would’ve heard the answers to if only they were listening. Over these past three weeks, I have learned a lot about the patterns of my own communication.