Thursday, October 12, 2006

Finding my self... and my voice...

I've got a confession to make, I dread speaking in front of a class and giving my opinion. Funny thing is that I don't mind compering at events or even acting in plays where there is a large audience, and I'm a really chatty person with friends. What really makes me nervous is just to express my opinion. I guess it maybe cos I'm worried about what the rest of the class and the lecturer would think of my point of view. When acting and compering you have a set script and you don't have to worry about others ridiculing your ideas.

Thesedays I've been feeling this even more strongly, cos here the students are always speaking their thoughts out loud, and sometimes even challenge the lecture if they don't agree. I guess the fact that most of the students have over 7 to 8 yrs work experience and I only have 2 yrs, also play a part. So in general I try to sit in the front row so that I pay more attention and cos it's always easier to tell my point of view to the lecture when I'm closer and don't have to yell across the room. (though many do this)

Finally after about 3 weeks today I managed to speak up and contribute to the class so I'm feeling really pleased with myself. Ok it was just a tiny step but an improvement. I'm hoping to be more confident by the time I finish this.

The class that we had today was 'Management Practice' right now this is my favourite course. Here we're mainly learning the soft skills necessary in management like communication and to illustrate certain points the lectures organize little games and though we think we'll see through these the learning is unbelievable. Today the discussion was about assumptions and we project our assumptions to others when we communicate. we were divided into many teams of 8 and each of these groups were further divided into 2 and the 2 parts of each team were physically separated and given certain information and were to obtain the maximum points we could only communicate in messages and a short meeting where we didn't get to show each other the info we got. We realized soon enough that the 2 parts of the team did not have the same info but not a single team realized that the objective of each team was different. It was unbelievable.

One of the main things we learnt today was how when we speak our communication has certain holes and each person who listens to us fills these holes with their own perceptions and assumptions, and often this is how many misunderstandings happen. It is very apparent in this class atmosphere where part of the perceptions are cultural.

Another reason that I enjoy this class is that it's all about reflecting inward and trying to understand my self. I find being on my own and having long walks (now cycle rides) to uni and back to be very useful for this kind of thinking. That's going to be one of my main objectives for the year... To find my self...


Blogger Brony said...

Life is about taking fears and weakness and learning from them. It wounds like you are doing just that.

Thanks so much for commenting on my 100th post.

7:23 am, October 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Smiley ~ Congratulations on your small victory, and there will be many
more as you gain confidence. Thanks for your comments on The Apron Post. Good luck with your endeavours. Take care,

8:35 am, October 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Nice to a see a Cambridge MBA student blog.(I could not find many active student blogs)

I'm a MBA aspirant from India and look forward to know more about ur experiences in JBS.

Wish u start speaking up more in class.


9:09 am, October 12, 2006  
Blogger smiley said...

Brony & Merle : Thanks for visiting and your wishes :0)

Ashok : It's nice to know another JBS MBA aspirant. So far I'm really enjoying it even though there's a lot of work. Let me know if you'd like to findout more about it.

1:15 am, October 13, 2006  
Blogger Turtle Guy said...

It's interesting that you posted about your fear of public speaking... I have something of that nature floating around my head for a future post.

May I use some of what you've written here? You have my wheels turning agian!

2:04 am, October 13, 2006  
Blogger smiley said...

turtle guy : Ofcourse you can you what I've said.

10:23 am, October 13, 2006  

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