Sunday, August 23, 2009

Why ES2007S? - Motivations and Expectations

"The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives", says Anthony Robbins (an American adviser to leaders).

Based on my interpretation, it means that how and what we communicate with others on an everyday basis goes a long way and eventually effects how fulfilling we would deem our own lives to be. I totally agree with that. It is not about using sophisticated, hefty language but about using simple words that bring ideas and intentions across clearly; and it is not about flaunting what we know in our conversations but instead about exchanging views which are relevant and apt to the conversations. Basically, effective communication promises a rewarding life.

Last December, I went on a community service trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia where I had the chance to experience a totally different culture and environment from Singapore. What impressed upon me the most was how body language is very likely the most powerful language that exists in this world. With just a simple smile, two strangers who just seconds ago were studying each other could reach a mutual understanding that both parties were harmless and that they were "friends", and with simple sign language, thoughts could be put across amazingly effectively as well. This showed me clearly that there exists universal standards that people all over the world have reached a consensus about, and really touched me because Singaporeans are in almost all aspects different from Cambodians, yet these universal standards still apply.

Human relations and interactions have always been one of my interests, especially those that involve communication between people of diverse backgrounds, whether in their fields of study or in their cultural upbringing. In fact, it is not just an interest, but something close to my heart. In my years of growing up, I find that having meaning in what I do is what keeps me going. And this cannot be achieved if I am not able to effectively communicate with people I come into contact with, because that is the channel through which one may reach a better understanding of the other party. One may wonder, so what has this kind of communication got to do with professional communication? I would say, of course it does; we are dealing with people afterall, whether it is orally (as in during job interviews, meetings etc) or via written works on paper. It is because of this desire to be able to understand what links different people together which in turn allows for effective communication that drives my enthusiasm and interest in this module.

And with this, I shall end my first ever serious blog entry (I am not one to blog about my feelings so this is my virgin attempt; it took me really long to get started because I had to get past a serious phase of inertia, simply because I was fretting over how to begin writing this..). I am definitely looking forward to future sessions of this module!


  1. This is quite an impressive article.

    I do agree that simple language should be used in bringing across ideas. Sometimes,the more you try to flaunt or impress, the more it will bring about the opposite.

    Human body language are universal. i think i have the same experience when i went to thailand for a community service trip. It really touches the heart to see the villagers trying their best to make our stay comfortable even though we were strangers in the first place and there exist a language barrier. However, i think there exist another universal standard of communication too-money.

    Human relations and interactions are hard to maintain. Let's try to learn as much as we can in this module and put it to good use in the near future.


  2. Hi Sui Sui Stan,

    thanks for the compliment! :)

    I think you put forth an interesting concept that money could be a universal standard of communication as well. I am curious about how you actually perceive that idea. My own take on this would be that money could be an indirest form of communication; and as the saying goes, "money makes the world go round", hence it is universal as well.

    Nice input :)

    See you in class very soon!

  3. YAY!! I finally see ur blog. And as I've said, it's a well written post.

    You mentioned things that are very close to my heart. I also have a fascination in how people communicate and react to each other especially those from different cultures. That is probably why I am interested in doing human resources instead of lab work. I need human interactions and I gain satisfaction by knowing I could help people.

    Recently, I went on a holiday to Chiang Mai, and I experienced first hand what it is like to try to speak to a person who does not know any english while I do not know any thai. In fact, there was one such incident when I was lost and needed help but I couldn't even tell the only people there that I was lost (it was late at night) because I didn't know how. Luckily,they understood anyway, and helped me. That night, despite the barrier in language, I couldn't thank them enough.

    Anyway...I'm really excited to be working with you and boon woei. I'm already beginning to see that it is gonna be fun!!! =D

  4. "But it's not who you are underneath, it's what you do that defines you". Your post reminded me this quote from "Batman Begins". Communication allows we understand each other and how you communicate will shape you in others'eyes. In view of this, effective communication skills enable one's opinion been delivered clearly and avoid misunderstanding. People around you may understand you better and of course that makes our life easier. So when my friend asked me why I chose this module, I'll said, "Why not?"