Takeaways from a Communication Student
After hitting the halfway point in my college journey, I can’t help but look back and reflect on how much I learned. Over these two years, I’ve studied communications, social influence and PR at Temple and completed an internship at a marketing agency downtown. Throughout this experience, I have picked up on many social tips that have been helpful in my studies, career, and day-to-day life. This advice has improved my interactions and influenced others to view me in a positive light. A lot of these tips can be applied to anything you do, whether it is joining a new club, interviewing for a job or interacting in the workplace.
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions” is a phrase everyone has heard before. But in all honestly, questions are the key to success. Peyton's blog post also points this out in her reference to internship tips and tricks. If you are meeting someone new, interviewing for a job or participating in class, ask questions. Even if you are just meeting someone new, ask them questions about themselves and let them speak. Be a listener. If you step back and let them open up, it shows you are interested in their life (which hopefully you are) and it becomes a stepping stone to more conversations and opportunities.
Remembering someone’s name has more meaning than people realize. Reciting someone’s name back to them will strengthen your bond with them. Not only does this create a sense of comfort, it makes them feel like they are important in your eyes. By contrast, if you don’t remember someone's name, they will feel like they aren’t valued by you. Putting a little effort into remembering someone’s name can make a big impact by making them feel appreciated and respected.
Pay Attention to Non-Verbal Behavior
Your non-verbal behavior is just as important as your words. Your posture, body language, clothing, and even your hair color is perceived by others as a reflection of your personality. People make conclusions about you based on these factors. Some basic non-verbal behavior that always leaves a good impression is eye-contact, smiling and a poised posture!
End on a Positive Note!
The way something ends can be just as, or sometimes more, important than the overall experience. Some may know this as “end-point bias.” Think about it, if you’re watching a great movie but then suddenly the ending falls flat, you’re more likely to think poorly of the movie as a whole. People remember endings. So always try your best to end conversations or events on a positive note. In the words of Communications Professor Bruce Hardy, “Be bright, be brief, be gone!”
Strength of Weak Ties
The strength of weak ties theory, also coined by Professor Hardy, states that it is more beneficial to have a diverse network of many weak ties as opposed to a small tight-knit social network. Having numerous connections gives you more opportunities and a larger flow of information. When applying this theory to life, it will make you much happier with a diverse network of people, which helps professionally and personally in the long-run. It is also refreshing seeing a variety of different faces and groups everyday!
No matter your major, age or background, communication is a key role in everyone's daily interactions. These takeaways can be used in any environment and prove to be effective. What better way to starts classes than with positive relationships and strong connections to kick-start another successful school year!
This blog post was written by Emma McClain, Director of Fundraising