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Reflection Paper – Self Assessment Learning Plan

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    Self assessment learning plan is a process in which you examine yourself in an attempt to discover and learn more about yourself. Your likes, dislikes, behaviors and attitudes can be found during this process. You can use the discoveries to your advantage by accepting or changing strengths and weaknesses. I plan on using this course to enhance my personal skills to become a better student and find success in earning my diploma at McMaster University in business management. Self Assessment is the first step in my successful future.

    Communication is a difficult art to learn. A story is told of an unsophisticated oil magnate from Texas who was making his first trip on a ship to Europe. In his first night while eating his dinner, he noticed he was seated beside a Frenchman. Casting his look to the stranger, the Frenchman responded with a nod and said in typical French way, “Bon Appetit.” Because naïve and it was his first to have a face to face chat with a Frenchman, he replied thinking that the man was introducing himself, “Barnhouse.” For some days the same exchanges have transpired between them. Every time during meals, the Frenchman would nod and say, “Bon Appetit,” and the man from Texas would smile and reply, “Barnhouse.” As days progress, each time that the Frenchman would express the same courtesy, the Texan’s reply was becoming louder and clearer: “Barnhouse!” One afternoon, the oil baron shared his encounters with the Frenchman to another passenger whom he befriended on the same trip, and the man quickly and tactfully corrected Mr. Barnhouse. “You have misunderstood his show of civility. The man was not introducing himself. ‘Bon Appetit’ is the French way of wishing someone to enjoy a meal.” Mr. Barnhouse, after understanding everything, was terribly embarrassed. Now he was determined to make things straight. So, that evening at dinner, the Magnate came in, nodded at his friend and said, “Bon Appetit!” With equal enthusiasm, the Frenchman arose and answered, “Barnhouse!”


    Like what happened to those two gentlemen in our story, misunderstanding or miscommunication happens frequently between people. We, on a daily basis, misunderstand because we simply do not make an effort to understand. Because we tend to think that we know already, we take for granted one or two of the basic rules of communication, namely: listening and understanding. To merely listen does not automatically mean understanding. You can listen to everything a person has to say but to understand all of them is a totally different matter.

    My name is Bum-Suk (AJ) Kim and I’m an undergraduate student from McMaster University, studying bachelor degree in Economics. During this particular summer, I could graduate with BA in Economics but I have decided to take Communication course for diploma in business management, to better prepare myself for the future that awaits me. Once I made my mind up to get diploma, the only decision that was left was what would I major in? Then it just came to me, I should go back and get my diploma in Business management. I was always considering going into graduate study in media management, and I could use my diploma and degree to help myself into my field of choice. I’m planning to finish this diploma course in six months but how would I accomplish these new tasks in quite a short span of time? I would need a feasible time schedule to accomplish my short term goal. I have already begun changing my daily routines to have room for studying time. Even at work I take 15 minutes to look over my assignments due for the following week. Managing my time has been something that I have been able to do throughout my time in theatre management experiences. Making the best use of my time by analyzing my use of time is what I am learning from work experiences.

    I believe that it is necessary for a successful future to discover my strengths and weaknesses. According to my scores in “The Pathways to Learning Assessment,” I am highly developed in Art and creative learning and underdeveloped in the communication skill. After I came to Canada first time, in high school, it seemed like I was always one of the last students to finish with a test. I was sometimes slower at completing a written paper or an assignment. In open discussions, things weren’t sticking with me after reading for me to feel confident to raise my hand and be active with discussions. I became frustrated in school often, and eventually developed a negative attitude toward school. I realize now that Communication course is essential would help me to understand organizational communication skill, leadership and motivation, problem-solving and decision making skill for my career and graduate study. In the course, I’m not expecting high grade. I would like to improve my communication skill that will help me in my field of choice.

                I realized that listening is an uncommon skill among people. It is not something that we were naturally born or endowed with. It has to be intentionally developed for one to really learn how to listen. In the case of my grandma, her problem was her difficulty in listening; I mean, it’s not that she has hearing problems.

                Another important thing in communication is understanding. Having an old woman like my grandmother for a time with us was an opportunity to fully understand the value of communication as it elucidated further the need to see how people truly lack communication skills. During my grandma’s adjustment period, while she was “learning” the art of listening (you cannot teach an old dog new tricks) under me, I noticed that at the beginning, she would pretend to be listening just to get over it (what I was saying) and be left alone to her old business of doing things “her” way. At times, this is the case in most of us. We appear to be listening but in fact, we are not. If this be the case, then there is no understanding. The aim of communication is to be understood and to understand. “Real communication only takes place when both parties move beyond speaking and hearing to understanding” said Kenneth Boa.  If there’s no understanding in both parties, interpersonal communication is not achieved.


    It’s helpful to see this stage as a final preparation for a lifetime career. I don’t want to see myself as a professional who barely make it in the field. I want to be an authority in the particular arena that I have chosen. This can only be possible if I will take seriously each step of the learning process in my curriculum. I need to cooperate, and this is done by preparing myself for in-class activities, doing my homework and reading ahead the course’s material/s, and participate (be engaged) in every class discussion.

    As I have stated at the outset, being enrolled in the course is in real sense, preparing for a career of a lifetime. It is not an excursion. Many things are developed within a person along the learning process. Like the marines preparing for real life combat, becoming a professional is a preparation for real life solutions in the world in general. Turning into an expert in a distinct field is, in a way, becoming a part of the solution. I think this is what professionalism is all about. The entrance to the new world and learning the ropes such as what I truly learned here, and all of its challenges and demanding trainings are all meant to make one a whole person fit not only for the job but in the particular contributions that one has so prepared him/herself while in school.

    In the course of writing this paper, I have learned a great deal about the styles of learning. This will aid in strategically creating a plan to use in improving my time management and study skills. I understand my styles and behaviors better now. I have a clear goal that includes focusing my studies. Managing time wisely through the use of a daily planner will be of key importance. Taking advantage of opportunities within the learning team is also a high priority. There is a need to have an open exchange of ideas, getting others perspectives on course material as well as sharing my own thoughts and opinions.


    Boa, Kenneth, Communication Skills. Communication Skills In http://www.

    Jacob, Mary. The Aim of Communication. In Mary Jacob ([email protected])

    Robertson, Arthur, The Language of Effective Listening (Scott Foresman Professional Books, 1991), p. xv in Kenneth Boa, Communication Skills.

    ______ Listening Skills.


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