BY: Hongnapha Phommabout


This is my second time of my blog post; it is so exciting when the time of my turn coming. I have many things that I would like to mention in this post.

Today we have taught about Intercultural Conflict Resolution & Negotiation from Dr. Phyllis Ngai, UM Faculty, Communication Studies. We have learned and discussed about the communication process basic model through the case study and each fellows’ experience on communication. The highlight message of this session is how cultural differences add to challenge of communication and how are messages encoded and decoded, and what we need to pay attention to make mutual understanding benefit, effective negotiation to deal with all the conflict which we will have while we communicate with different people. Many people have their own style of talking and in each country have different style of speaking and express their felling. So when we start communication with people, we should know who they are, where they from and what is the main message that you want them to understand what you want to say and how they can interpret the message. For example in Lao, people speak softly and we always use indirect communication while we talking with people around us. If we use direct communication, it may be hurt their feeling and they won’t communicate with you anymore. But in U.S. people use more direct communication to each other.

For afternoon session, we have learned about Leadership “Lead from where you stand” from Ms. Karen McNenny, Owner Made You Think Consulting. Ms. Karen starts this session by give us an exciting exercise about Reward & Worried leadership. She asks all of the fellows to select two post card to show about our own leadership, then everybody have to work in a pair in order to share each other leadership reward and worried style. It is a good activity for all fellows to learn and understand more about their own leadership. In addition, we learn about the three P’s of the Leadership Axis such as participation, praise and purpose, if the entire boss uses these tools for their leading, I believe that boss will be the one who many staffs would like to work with. Moreover, I have learned about my own leadership and my boss leadership style and how the leadership had been use in my office place. So it reminded me that sometime we should know that everyone is not perfect on being a leader. Leader must give the space/chance to your staffs to grow their professional skills by learning and practicing.

Finally, the main message that I got from the two sessions is how to be a good leader for your own community. First, you must know how to listen, open minded and accept the people that have different perspective. Second, you should learn how to engage all the people who see something different and try to find out why they think different us, sometime we think it is good but it still has something better that we expect, and third, we have to learn how to building the mutual understanding which it should be fair and reasonable for the all the people who work with us. Because sometime the misunderstanding can bring us a big problem and we may be lost all the good relationship.

I would like to end my blog post by this message “I have a wonderful time with my host family and my fellow coordinator in Montana after three weeks. I learned more about U.S. Culture especially the way of how people express their idea, how the people talking to each other, how they spend their free time and how they teach their children. It is really interesting to me. Some of these, I will bring back to use in my daily life and my work place. Time is so fast while I was enjoy at learning and the environment around me. It will be end of my home stay in the coming week. Thank you so much to my host family for taking care me and give me warmth like my own house. I will miss both of you.


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