Saturday, August 30, 2008

Resolving interpersonal conflicts

During my national service, I was a regimental policeman in a naval base. Our responsibility was mainly to ensure that security was not being compromised in the base. In short, our duties basically involve doing hours of sentry work and prowling around the base. We have to be on duty once every two weeks and were given an off the following day. When it came to the third week, our duty schedule was determined by the amount of manpower needed to fill up all the positions in the base. Thus if there was insufficient manpower, we will be activated back to base to be on duty at the discretion of our section commander JX. Weekends were very precious to us so we will go to great lengths to try to escape from doing duty on weekend.

I remembered that was one incident where JX had to activate 3 of us for duty on a particular Saturday. In our section, there were 7 of us including JX. So on Friday, he gathered all of us in our bunk to discuss who should be activated. Subsequently, he told us who he will be activating this Saturday. Naturally, those who were chosen turned defensive and argued with him, citing reasons such as they had did their fair share of duty previously and they already had appointments over the weekend. Then, JX changed his mind and ask those who were not chosen initially to volunteer for duty instead. Those people who were not chosen initially became upset on too on why they should volunteer for duty and started to argue back with JX. Out of frustration, JX spewed vulgarities at us and scolded us for being too selfish. In the end, he simply walked out of the bunk, leaving the rest of us to further debate on who should do duty instead.

I must admit JX was in a difficult position since he had to do the unpleasant task of selecting people for duty. Perhaps there is a better way of handling this type of situation. What will you do if u were placed in such a situation ? :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Effective communcations is important !

Developing effective communications is definitely of paramount importance. I had encountered all sorts of problems to do with communications for the past twenty-four years that I have existed on this planet. That ranges from telling my band members that the tone oozing out from their instrument does not sound too inspiring while he may think that I am trying to imply that he is lousy, to frequent quarrels with my other half in the past simply because her yes sometimes means a no or a yes perhaps while to me, it seems that a yes always means a yes whereas a no always represent a no.

In all the social spheres of our world, be it from the school to the workplace or back at home, communication processes affects us and they are everywhere. Thus it is important that we are able to articulate our thoughts and feelings properly to the other parties to prevent miscommunications. As we all know, miscommunications can be a very thorny issue to handle and it is much better if we can prevent that at the beginning to spare us from much anguish. Effective communications can also help us to exchange information and ideas more efficiently.

I always think that in this world, there are invisible walls that separate each individual apart. That wall can be made up of our experiences, culture, religion and the list just goes on and on. I hope for a world where all such walls can be broken down and a world where people can truly understand each other :)