Personal Essay Example: My Experience as a Group Member

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640 words
University of California, Santa Barbara
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Communication is essential in the life of human beings. Everything that people do revolves around communication. Every profession relies on communication to produce results. Communication goes beyond talking and listening but also on the understanding among the participants. There are two primary categories of communication, namely: verbal and non-verbal communication. However, most people tend to focus on the verbal communication that they overlook the nonverbal form. Research shows that only 10% of communication is through the spoken word. Therefore, this means that 90% of the communication is non-verbal. Needless to say, this is too much of a percentage to be overlooked. Non-verbal forms of communication include body language, gestures, facial expressions, and postures (S.ST., Dr. Sakroni,). Your body communicates as much as your mouth does and it is imperative that one matches the two to avoid contradiction. This paper is going to reflect on my experience as a member of a small group.

I have always neglected non-verbal communication until it was the only option I had left. As an immigrant from Iran and studying in an American school, the language barrier was a significant challenge to me. I would experience problems expressing myself to other students, and for that reason, I mostly kept my opinions and suggestions to self. Being in a new country and relating with people of a different culture was an assignment in itself. The first and most significant concern in the math group discussion was the issue of empathy versus neutrality. The concept of empathy and neutrality focuses on how the team members relate to one another. Whereas empathy is the ability of a group member to understand and level up with other team members, neutrality is the value to demonstrate the indifference towards the group members (Valente, Faith).

I can describe my participation and relationship with other team members as neutral. My neutral attitude towards other team members is two-way and default. Being of a different culture as my team members leave me in a disadvantaged position because of ideological differences and lifestyles. I am faced with the feeling that my team members are not in sync with my needs, priorities, interests, and hobbies. For that reason, I am mostly compromising my happiness and lifestyle to fit in, and it is not usually a cup of tea for me. I am constantly bothered by the thought that I am different and that my needs will never be fully understood by my group member, at least, not as much as I would like them to.

My second major concern in the math group discussion is avoiding conflict-handling style. Being an immigrant from Iran makes me different from other students. Therefore, it is much easier to adapt to their culture than to make them adjust to mine. Whenever I have a conflict of interest with my classmates, I end up succumbing to their line of reasoning and verdict to avoid unnecessary arguments. Consequentially, my peers see it as a cynic way of life and regard me as less concerned. However, they couldnt be any more wrong. I usually refrain from conflict because of my ignorant nature of their culture and picking sides may be a coerced decision. Whenever a conflict arises, I leave the situation to avoid taking sides and creating unnecessary drama and attention to myself (Nan, Susan Allen).


Works Cited

Nan, Susan Allen. "Consciousness in Culture-Based Conflict and Conflict Resolution." Conflict Resolution Quarterly, vol 28, no. 3, 2011, pp. 239-262. Wiley-Blackwell, doi:10.1002/crq.20022.

S.ST., Dr. Sakroni,. "The Effort Of Social Workers To Nurture Verbal And Non-Verbal Communication On Client Participation Level." The International Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities Invention, 2016, Research And Analysis Journals, doi:10.18535/ijsshi/v3i3.04.

Valente, Faith. "Empathy and Communication: A Model of Empathy Development." Journal Of New Media And Mass Communication, vol 3, no. 1, 2016, pp. 1-24. Pak Publishing Group, doi:10.18488/journal.91/2016.3.1/



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