Communication I have always made the extra effort to express my ideas and opinions as clearly as I possibly can; idealistically hoping that most people can understand and embrace them. However, I have just realized, after reading Chapter 6-8 of my Looking In Looking Out textbook, that I have yet to develop my full potential as a communicator. Before completing this reading assignment, I did not fully understand a few critical communication concepts and principles, such as the ambiguities of non-verbal human behavior, kinesics, proxemics and the process of self-disclosure, among others. But, most likely, from now on, I will be able to engage in different types of conversations that can be more rewarding for my interlocutors and myself. As the years have gone by, I have been noticing that I increasingly listen more carefully not only to what people say and how they say it, but also, to what people do not say, knowingly or not.
May be I have been growing older and/or have been learning from my personal experiences. Since, there have been occasions in which my limited ability to read the non-verbal content of what people were “telling” me, did not allow me to achieve what I had initially intended. For instance, a few years ago, when I was beginning to sale life insurance on a part time basis, I lost numerous sales because I could not always discern what the clients non-verbal behavior was signaling or showing me throughout the sales presentation. In time, by trial and error, I learned to perceive and react more appropriately, to what my prospective clients were communicating non-verbally. However, If I had understood, at that time, what I understand now about the subtleties of kinesics and proxemics, I probably would have been a more effective and prosperous salesman.
Likewise, the process and management of self-disclosure explained in the textbook has taught a great deal not only about the subject matter, but also, most importantly, about myself. Since I was a child, I have been considered a rather extroverted individual who exercises a high level of self-disclosure with most people. Generally, my experience sharing personal and sometimes intimate information with my relatives and my friends has been rewarding, because they have always seen me as someone who is honest, reliable and trustworthy. Notwithstanding, I have been in relationships in which I have disclosed too much information about myself, perhaps too soon, and its results have been detrimental and/or counterproductive. Now, I realize that in those instances I did not follow the appropriate guidelines to choose the adequate level of self-disclosure, as explained in chapter 8 of the textbook.
In second thoughts.. I have just decided no to resale my Looking In Looking out textbook. I am sure that I will need to refer back to it many times in the future.