Thursday, May 3, 2007

The Last Days

Well, as the class winds down I must say that this class has been a very unique experience...much different then any class I've had at National! Speaking to other students in "real-time," blogging, a group was really nice to break the normal pattern of an online class. The whole idea took some getting used to and I have to admit that even now I'm not sure I was ever quite used to it! I'm glad to be heading on to a new class as I really enjoy the fast pace of National, but I'm glad for the experience of this course.

Group Experience Update

As we near the end of the class, I'm proud to say that our group has continued to work and communicate well with one another. We've each contributed to our PowerPoint presentation and I am excited to view the final presentation in it's entirety. Overall it's been a very positive experience and I am so thankful for the hard work and cooperation of our group! Thank you so much you guys!

Week 4 Handouts

I did the reading for the week 4 handouts. I found both articles very interesting reads. I liked the comparison between negotiation and selling something. I've always felt that negotiation is like selling something. You have to convince another person to "buy" what you are proposing to them. I was also intrigued by the article on anger in the negotiation process and how that can really be to someones benefit. I don't like to think that anger is the wining emotion but strength and an unwillingness to back down if something really is that strong to you. I know that I would not like to deal with an angry person and would be instantly opposed and turned off to the negotiation process if someone was showing me anger. I think about my ex-husband who has an anger management issue and how I hated to deal with him when he showed any anger. My response to an angry negotiator would be to speak to me when you've calmed down!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Week 3 Reading

I enjoyed this weeks reading, both the Week 3 Handouts and the reading in the text. I thought the article about sexual discrimination was interesting and how perception of the situation strongly affects the situation. Many women are hesitant to address the situation because of how they feel they will be perceived by others. And that the perception creates a lack of justice about the situation. I can really see the truth in this and yet this is such a sad and unjust reality.

I really enjoyed reading Chapters 9 and 10 in our text. Chapter 9 I found very interesting about the psychology behind negotiation. I found the information on perception and the stubble need for power over others in the negotiation process very eye opening. Chapter 10 was very interesting, but I was also a bit annoyed by it. I thought it was slightly condescending toward women and was shocked that it was written by a woman. Considering the year it was written though, I think that today more women are involved in the negotiation processes and they are very strong in these places. I think that what the author thought was weaknesses for women in the negotiation processes are actually strengths. I feel that women have the power to understand why people do things and can be more accepting of differences which would actually give them more strength in the negotiation process.

Telephone Roleplay Week 3

This week I spoke to Geroganna, who is also a group member of mine. We spoke for about 45 minutes and really had a good time talking. We discussed our group and the class, and got to know each other a bit.

For our role play, we took a situation straight from my life. I played the employee who was coming to my boss for a raise due to my quality of work. This is true as my boss is negotiating my pay raise with the school board due to my quality of work! In this scenario I was asking my “boss” Geroganna for a raise because I had recently created lesson plans and classroom strategies to help the anger management for a group of overly aggressive boys in my preschool classroom. I was asking for a pay raise due to these constructive strategies that have created a more peaceful classroom and helped the boys manage their anger. The lesson plans that I created involved taking the boys as a small group and teaching them specific anger management strategies and discussions about feelings because they all have difficulty with empathy. I took this into the classroom and use behavior modification charts as well as the “angry bag” which contains a variety of ways they can take out their anger without hurting themselves or others. This bag contains a pillow they can yell into or hit, clay to squeeze or pound, and different rubber balls to squeeze. Based on these lesson plans and constructive strategies, I strongly felt I deserved a raised.

Based on my strong arguments my boss, Geroganna, did agree that I deserved a raise. She said that she recognized my hard work, dedication, and strong ability to implement these strategies in the classroom. She said that they only thing she would like to see from me was to teach other teachers about these strategies and if they had questions be available to answer the questions. We both agreed to this and agreed to a 3% salary increase based on the school districts salary increase policies.

Overall this was an easy and fun conversation. It was neat to use a real situation as our example.

Group Experience

Well, overall I must say that my group experience has been really easy and enjoyable. Our group made contact with one another within the first few days of class and have continued to communicate very well. I feel very fortunate for my group members because I hear that other people are having trouble connecting with their group members. This has not been the case with us and for that I feel very lucky! I would say that communication and conflict resolution styles among all of us are to communicate and compromise. We have been able to reach agreements quickly, largely because each of us has been responsible and proactive for their aspect of the group. This has lead to easy agreements and interest in what the other group members have to say. We’ve all had strong ideas that really coincide with what the other group members want and appreciate. Overall, this has been a really enjoyable and easy experience.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Movie and more

Well, it's been a couple of days since I've blogged. I must first say this is due to a personal emergency. I have some on going health problems with my heart, congenital conditions, and they recently landed me in the hospital. I am now catching up with everything. I am fine, just a major scare.

I watched Erin Brokovich for this weeks movie assignment. This is a great film that really shows realistic conflicts between people and within Erin's life. The conflicts were very realistic. Erin faced many, many challenges as a single mother. Her constant challenges to take care of her children, find work, and maintain her job with inadequate access to resources are very real challenges for any single, working mother. The conflicts of the residents of Hinkley were also very realistic. They were faced with decisions and the realisation that they had been lied to by the company who they had assumed was helping them. The conflicts of attempting to understand what their choices were and what the best course of action was for them were very real. I really do not feel I would have handled the challenges any differently or better. I would perhaps been a bit more personable then Erin was at some points during the film. She tended to be a bit to "real" sometimes such as using inappropriate language in the courtroom during her car accident trial or wearing inappropriate clothing, but, this attitude also helped her win the residents of Hinkley and helped them understand what was going on.

I also attempted, again, to take the EQ assessment. I was again frustrated by this experience! After nearly finishing the assessment, I was redirected to the sites home page and my test and results never appeared! Did anyone else have this problem??

Well, after getting some rest and I will now be moving forward with my group work and week 3.