16th February 2014

We started the class taking a Card of the Universe from Silvia’s bag. Mine said:

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“We either make ourselves MISERABLE or we make ourselves…STRONG. The amount of work…is THE SAME”.

I don’t remember if I was thinking in a specific thing. It was fine for me on Monday because during the weekend I had been reflecting on how to take advantage of the opportunity to study. For me and my family means a lot of effort. So the amount of work we put on it has to be rewarded and it has to make ourselves STRONG. After sharing everybody Cards, we finished self reflections with Bill Gates quote: “If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss”. Silvia wanted to continue with theoretical class but anyone wanted. It was related to the principles of supportive communication, which they are:

Congruence: both verbal and non verbal messages match exactly what the individual is feeling. In my opinion, when you perceive that someone doesn’t respect you it’s because there is a mismatch between the content of your words and your feelings or thoughts.

Descriptive, not evaluative: we made a role-play about it. The conclusions were that we need to be objective, as much as dispassionate as possible, we have to concentrate on facts avoiding subjective interpretations and we need to describe the consequences of the behavior and to suggest an acceptable alternative. It was very interesting. I will offer myself as a volunteer for the next time! As I said before, I want my effort makes me strong!

Problem oriented, not people oriented: as the item before, we made a role-play about it. And the conclusions were that managers must focus on problems, not on people. I guess I wouldn’t be this kind of boss in the future. Unfortunately I had some unpleasant and painful experiences.

Validation: means be understood, recognized, valued and accepted. We saw a video about validation.

On Wednesday we started the class with the Cards of the Universe. This time I have no question for the Universe. It said:

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“A frightened captain…makes a frightened crew…”

I used to post a photo in Instagram and the caption I wrote was “Am I a captain?” A friend of mine answer “Yes, you are! But not frightened at all !! ;)” Maybe this day I don’t feel a captain and Universe made a wake-up call to me.

We shared Cards and started discussing about languages. I mean, which is the better language to start studying, which one is the easier, why Chinese is so difficult, etc…

In spite of the interesting discussion we were having, Silvia wanted to continue with the explanation of the principles of supportive communication:

–  Specific, not global: avoid extremes and absolutes with specific statements.

Owned, not disowned: accept responsibility for our statements and behaviors. Managers must use the reality therapy in order to guide subordinates from disowning responsibility toward owned behavior.

Conjunctive, not disjunctive: there has to be equal opportunity to speak. It means not to interrupt the other and not to speak at the same time. Pauses can’t be extended. Managers must control timing, turns and topic in order to be perceived as competent and powerful. Even more, in order to be competent and powerful.

–  Listening: I think this is the hard part of the supportive communication because the previous items are related to the message you deliver and listening has to be with pay attention and responding to the other people involved.

San Valentine’s Day was coming and Silvia wanted to celebrate. It was very nice. Everyone talked about their own description of what love is. For me, LOVE builds up my life. It makes me happy, complete and a better person.

We read a sheet about the origin of this celebration and we also saw a video that mix all of the legends and supposed origins.

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