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EDL 685 Personal Reflections

February 24, 2014
Doug Van Pelt
Gender Communications Goal

I believe this activity is one of the most fascinating activities Cadre 29 has been
assigned. I truly enjoy learning about personality types and behaviors. I also enjoy
developing goals and strategies to act on this information. However, I have experienced
a great deal of frustration attempting to implement these plans and while I plan to
continue to focus on the stated goals, I am attempting to develop alternative plans to
reach desired results with my personal goals.
For my personal communication goals, I have chosen to work on improving my
listening skills while tempering my tendencies of wanting to fix a problem when
women are simply wanting to vent; and/or to refrain from giving advice unless asked.
This has turned out to be tougher than I thought it might be, as I am discovering my
personality, shaped by a lifetime of specific actions is pretty difficult to change. I have
limited experience with my efforts involving close family friends, but I have struggled
making significant changes with my immediate family members. I guess the best I can
say at this point is that I am aware of the issue and have been working on altering my
behaviors, but I often seem to fallback to old habits.
For my professional communication goal(s), I am working on sharing the full
story behind my proposals/decisions and to be a more proactive listener by focusing
completely on the speaker and not allowing a show of emotions to color my
perspectives. I also plan to carry over my personal goal to my interactions with female
peers. These goals seem to be a little easier to accomplish than my personal goal, as I
have noticed modifying my professional behavior provides immediate positive feedback.
Also, I am focused on achieving our stated mission of educating all students and less on
personal status. This allows me to separate my ego from my actions. Finally, I realize
I do not have the emotional connection to peers that I have to family and this helps me
see issues from a clearer, more objective perspective.
I believe the process of identifying problems and issues, which have caused some
of the difficulties in achieving positive changes, establishes the initial step of reaching my
communication goals. I will continue to revise and evaluate while trying to live the
change by modeling positive communication efforts. I will redouble my efforts to see
the big picture and limit the influence of emotional responses in my communication
efforts with my closest family members!