Critical Reflections

Part 1: 

Hi guys! Time really flies by fast when you are enjoying yourselves. Let us talk about the two objectives I set for myself at the start of the course. I said that my two objectives that I had for Communication 150 was that I would want to handle difficult situations better and handle difficult people and not let them affect me emotionally as some of their behavior might be very draining on a day-to-day basis.

I am now able to handle difficult situations better because I have learnt that communication is emotionally-driven. When the sender is emotional, I am now able to empathize why he or she feels and sees, and respond accordingly. When I am more flexible in my communication, difficult situations can be resolved more easily when the receiver of what I say knows that I am on his/ her side, and has his/ her interest at heart. Of course, when the difficult situation arises from having a difficult task to begin with, that requires coordination, I am now able to use WhatsApp, web chats, phonecalls and shared documents to coordinate a group response to an assigned task. Timely response, and an awareness that nobody is perfect, helps me accept any issues that arise. When I am more understanding, others are also more understanding towards me.

I am also now able to handle difficult people and not let them affect me emotionally. People are complex and interactions require great patience. In addition to the empathy which I mentioned earlier, I feel that being nice all the time is not useful in signaling my own beliefs and intentions. I have been affirmed at times, when I assert my opinion in a strong manner. It is not to show disagreement, but it shows others what I value, and they will know the degree to which I am committed to an idea. Thus, they will find it easier to work with me. For me, I have to continue to respect others, regardless of how they treat me. Prioritizing the need to be tolerant allows me to be happier, as I know that in future, perhaps we can be better friends, because I did not crack under pressure and become emotionally affected. We must avoid burning bridges because life is one long, cool journey, where everyone who is part of our lives, might be someone we bump into again later in this journey.

To further enhance my skills, I would like to interact with more people from different backgrounds, from different jobs, different income levels and different life experiences. This will broaden my empathy, when I realize how others have overcome setbacks and achieved interesting things in their lives. Having a good sense of perspective will make me a much better communicator, and give me more resilience to overcome difficult situations. 

Part 2:

Let us talk about what I learnt in doing the project. I would like to pin point on the delegation of task. We started the project with not really having a clear direction of where we were heading. Our team was feeling rather low as we had a missing team member who was a nice guy and he and I actually shared a vision of helping those who had anxiety issues that was where our first idea start for our project but unfortunately he had to leave for personal reasons so we had to merge with another team who had a totally different view on things and a different direction. 

For some weeks we had a hard time coming to a decision on how to continue but as we talk with the lecturer to settle on the direction we were heading it got clearer and clearer and it soon lead to the decision to choose Managing Emotions as the Topic of Study. 

The next issue was, we had trouble delegating task to the member as two of us my self and another member had problems with deciding on what to do and what to focus on. We had to work past that both of us never did see eye to eye and we both have different views. As we work together more with the mini group assignments we had to do in class it opened my eyes and gave my confidence in voicing out my opinion when I did not like it. 

Before this I was always very quiet I would not voice out what I did not like to avoid conflict within the group but it always ended up not benefitting me but rather inhibiting me from just enjoying the process of how the project would play out. 

It also taught me to trust in my team. I was sometimes afraid to ask for help as I was overwhelmed but Sing Yiing and Eugene my two team members always encouraged me and told me if I needed help I should voice out instead of being silent. This really has been an enriching experience. 

Every lesson I take in life is an experience for me and a chance for me to learn more about myself to improve myself in any way I  can as no one is perfect. No matter how good you are at something you should never be arrogant or show off but humbler. With the help from my classmates who helped give me constructive feedback on how to present better also helped. Since I was doing the introduction I had to come off as strong to give the audience a clear understanding of what my project was about and why we were researching the topic and how we would implement it. I would say that my presentation skills have improved slightly as well after having to do many presentations during lesson and having so little time to prepare and be creative at the same time.

This module has also helped me with my other module where I have another group project and I tried my best to help as much as I can to push my project forward and try not to take things too heard when we had arguments as it is just at the “heat of the moment”. To end this off I believe so far this has been the best team I have had in years in Project work as it never really felt like a chore to work on it and discuss with the group on how to improve the project. Thank you, Eugene, Sing Yiing, Merville and Kok Leong for being a great team and it was always a pleasure despite our set backs It was still a blast and last but not least, a Big thank you to Dr Lee Hwee Hoon and Mr Brad Blackstone our lecturers who have been so patient and always approachable and made learning such a joy. 


  1. Thank you, Zhen Yang, for this comprehensive reflection. In the two parts, you address the main task areas of the assignment. In part 1, you cover what you see as your learning in terms of the goals you had set for yourself in the first blog post. It warms my heart that you see so much personal growth. I suppose if I could ask for more focus in this section, I'd want you to explain what is was specifically, which activities or readings or discussions, that led to the various takeaways that you mention.

    In Part 2 you elaborate on your project learning, and in particular, the way you seem to have developed more confidence in your own voice, i.e., your own views. That is heartening, and it is especially gratifying to know that some of your teammates helped you along on this learning journey. That shows the extent to which you actually internalized some of the fundamental ideas that we discussed, from Goleman's to the Six Second's Model.

    I appreciate all the work you did this term, and the many contributions you made both to the lessons and to your project team's efforts. All the best as you continue your learning journey!

    1. Hi Brad! Thank you for all the fun times we had during lectures. It really is a joy to have lecturers who take their time to explain things and to make lessons fun with having co-operations and learning about other people. From the bottom of my heart thank you brad and Dr Lee for a wonderful semester!.


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