The following example illustrates my ability to actively listen, think critically, and respond mindfully to messages.
Giving Feedback to Peers
In most of the Applied Communication classes I have taken at UALR, we give feedback to each other on our assignments, specifically papers we write. This is something I have done numerous times, each an opportunity to actively read my peers’ content and respond with a useful message. Providing feedback is more than saying “good job” or “I like your story.” It’s about affirming those things, but explaining why they are “good” and what the person did well. If they know specific things they did well and why it functioned properly in the paper, they know what to keep doing. I gave this kind of feedback as well as giving suggestions for ways they could strengthen their paper. This goes beyond saying things such as “this part is confusing” or “I’m not sure this makes sense.” Although those type of statements are good starting points, they aren’t useful if not further explained. So if I was confused after reading a certain paragraph, I told them. But I also explained which specific phrases were confusing to me and why, as well as gave suggestions for how they might make it more clear for their readers. Learning how to give helpful feedback has been a valuable skill I’ve gained through this department. Because of the experience I’ve had in this area, I am now equipped to provide feedback for settings outside a university setting, such as for programs, procedures, or in any situation where somebody asks me “so what do you think?”