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Nov 01 2017
Communication Competence: Western Region Credit-Con
Christi Cupp, CBA, Midwest Floor Coverings


One of the sessions that I attended at Western Region Credit-Con in San Diego was titled "Communication Competence" taught by Michael Rapp. Michael is the Director of Public Speaking Program at San Diego University where he also teaches Theory of Communication and Public Speaking.

I was interested in the class because I am always looking for ways to increase my communication skills and gain new knowledge that will help me in my career.

He started out by defining the term communication as being understood. He also pointed out that you can understand even though you don't agree. He then spoke about the two meanings of competent; effective and appropriate. Effective communication means that the intended message was received. Being appropriate means that the message fits the context or the situation you are in.

Three things are needed to be a competent communicator - motivation, knowledge and skills. Motivation means that you want to be competent, knowledge means that you know how to be competent and skills, because you must have the ability to show competence.

Michael refers to Charles Darwin's "The Theory of Evolution" stating that the key to this theory is adaptation. "The person who adapts to their environment and is effective and appropriate will be successful."

In order to build your communication competence, you need to have several characteristics. Adaptability, you must be aware of what is effective and appropriate in each situation and have empathy for others. You have to have the ability to think and feel what another person is thinking and feeling. Ethics are important, because you need to be able to judge what is morally right or wrong. You need cognitive complexity, the ability to understand a situation from multiple perspectives and also self-monitoring, you must be aware of your behavior and how it affects others.

For many people this might come naturally, but for me this class had a lot of useful information. It made me stop and think about all of the different aspects that go in to communication with others. All of the classes that I attended were great and it was a good opportunity to attend this conference.