As I read the article, Common Misconceptions Preventing Job Advancement, I couldn’t help but consider my current job role and how it may relate. In the article, persons with learning disabilities are said to have many misconceptions regarding job advancement and reasons that they may or may not be eligible or a good fit. One of the common misconceptions listed, difficulty with getting along with others, is said to be a skill that can be strengthened or improved; a thought or theory that I tremendously agree with. Successful and positive social interactions among coworkers are becoming more and more crucial in the workplace. We are in a world that holds great value in getting along with others, team work, and high levels of productivity; all of which are impossible if you do not get along with the individuals that are part of it. So as I read all of this information and thought about the importance that social skills truly do play in the workplace, I began to question whether or not we consider those individuals that may struggle with these skills as we plan for educational activities during the year. Should we perhaps consider offering a class that would speak to these needs, assuming there are some individuals that struggle with these skills? But then I thought about it, perhaps we already do…….
Consider first the recommendation found on page 2 of the article, “while on the job try to make friends.” Currently I offer a class called Building Positive Relationships at Work. The entire premise behind the class is considering your actions and how they may impact your relationships with others. We also discuss the importance that those relationships play in each individual’s success in the workplace. Would this assist an individual that needed more than just a “review” of social skills in this particular area? Consider the next two, “observe body language” and “trust nonverbal cues if they are different from the verbal communication”; both topics of intense discussion during a class that I do on Communicating and Listening as well as sessions on Cultural Interactions. Further still, “in stressful situations make an effort to observe nonverbal behavior”. While this is touched on in Communicating and Listening, we do specifically discuss the importance of observing these cues in my sessions on Working Through Conflict.
“Try to see things from the point of view of others as well as your own.” I could not help but end this particular entry with this one final quote from the 2nd page of the article because of my sincere belief in the statement itself. As I lead the sessions mentioned above, my true goal is to help someone step outside of the world that they see and consider how important it can be to align their interactions with the expectations or needs of others in order to be successful in life and especially in the workplace. Understanding the variances in perspectives can be so huge in helping someone consider the changes they need or should make; could these simple and short discussions also prove valuable to someone with a learning disability that struggles in the social realm?