Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 25

LANG 1307-INTERACTIVE SKILLS

E-Portfolio

NAME MATRIC NO.

SYED HAMZA 202921983

1
2
Topic: Communication process 4
Factors of Communication 4
Ambiguity 5
Elements of Communication 5
Topic: Barriers and Types of Communication 7
Barriers of Communication 7
Categories of Communication 8
Formal communication 8
Informal communication 8
Topic: Verbal and non-verbal communication 10
Verbal Communication 10
Type of Communication 10
Interpersonal Communication 10
Nonverbal Communication 11
Topic: Introduction to Debating 12
Process of Debating 12
Topic: Debate Review 11
“Industry 4.0 is a disguised attempt at colonizing other nations” 14
Topic: Mock debate 16
Topic: Debate 18
“Single-sex Schools are better than Co-ed Schools” 18
“The Jack of All Trades is better than Master of One” 19
Topic: Effective Meetings 22
Topic: Forum 23
‘Does technology bring us closer together or push us further apart.’ 23

3
Date: 29/6
Topic: Communication process
Duration of time spent on this entry: 43mins

“Your body introduces you before you speak.” -Anonymous


FACTORS OF COMMUNICATION
We form meanings mostly by looking at a
person’s body language. When someone is
communicating with us, we interpret the message
using three factors; the body language, the
tonality and the words. Body language is 55% of
the meaning behind a message, followed by 38%
coming from the voice and finally a meagre 7%
that comes from the actual words. The first
thought that came to my mind was, ‘Oh my, how
unfair that is to blind people’. I am sure they have
their own unique process for interpreting
messages and to them it does not feel like a
disability rather it is the norm, but it is a
disadvantage nonetheless. Since we are on that page, it makes sense that a whopping 55% of
the meaning behind a message comes from body language, that must be why sign language
is such an effective means of communication among those who cannot speak or hear.
I feel like body language, as the name suggests, is not
just a language to some -like the disabled- but it is also
a lingua franca to all. You can read a person’s body
language like a book that tells you all about what
he/she is like, what he/she is thinking and what
he/she means. Slouched shoulders, head glued to the
ground and eyes darting all over the place means the
person is timid. On the other hand, a sharp smile,
chest up and head up, exudes confidence!
Body language even though occupying most of the pie
is still just one of the factors that provide meaning to
a message. Tonality is the next factor. Tonality is the
different variations in the loudness, pitch and
rhythm of the voice as far as I understand it. Tonality
is when someone says ‘What!’ Or ‘What?’ and one
version is out of shock while the latter is simply a
question.

4
Finally, of course a message is going to be need content, that content is in the form of
meaningful words. Words can be tricky however, sometimes the same set of words could
mean a handful of different things.
REFLECTION
I have learnt about the elements of communication before and I am well-versed on the
concept but the fact that one’s body language speaks louder than his words is a rather tough
pill to swallow. The longer I think about it, the more I realize how true it is. It even applies to
non-humans; animals do not have words but they communicate with one another with
tonality and body language. Interesting.
AMBIGUITY
“I left the ending ambiguous because that’s the way life is.” –Bernardo Bertolucci
Ambiguity is uncertainty, it is when a message has more than one meaning. The quickest
way to explain this is with an example of an ambiguous sentence because that is how I
managed to understand the concept.
‘Look at the man with one eye.’
This sentence is ambiguous. Does the sentence imply that the
man has one eye or is it telling me to look at the man using
only one of my eyes? This kind of ambiguity is referred to as
‘Structural ambiguity’. Structural ambiguity is when a
message has more than one meaning.
Let us look at another sentence:
‘I saw bats.’
It is uncertain what the speaker means by ‘saw’ and ‘bats’. Is it the bat used in sports to hit a
ball or is it the animal? Did he see it or did he slice it using a saw tool? The words ‘saw’ and
bats’ are lexically ambiguous. They are words that hold more than just one meaning.
ELEMENTS
Communication is the process of sending and receiving meaningful information from one
person to another. Communication involves six elements working together to achieve the
desired outcome.

 Encoder: This is the person who wants to pass a meaningful message to another.
 Message: This is the content, it contains information, feelings, opinions, commands,
etc.
 Channel: The medium used in order to convey the message.
 Decoder: The person who receives the message and makes a meaning out of it.
 Feedback: This is the response that the decoder gives once he has understood the
message.
 Barrier: Interruptions or disturbances that could block or distort the message.

5
REFLECTION
Relating ambiguity to life really helped me understand the idea better. Life is uncertain. You
do not know what tomorrow holds, you do not know where the actions of yesterday will take
you. Anything is possible. Life has more than one meaning. To me, my life is nothing
extraordinary, to me the lives of people who have wronged me are worthless, undeserving of
my attention and to me the lives of those I care about mean more than my own.

6
Date: 06/07
Topic: Barriers and Types of Communication
Duration of time spent on this entry: 34mins

BARRIERS
“Effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% how you feel about what you
know.” –Jim Rohn
Today we discussed about the barriers of communication. A communication barrier is an
obstacle that blocks the path of message that is being sent. This obstacle could either
completely stop the message or it could distort it. To distort the message is to make it so that
it is no longer meaningful or to make it so that it is easily misinterpreted by the receiver. There
are four barriers of communication:

 Physical barriers:
Physical barrier is the environment that acts as a barrier between a sender and a
receiver. Competing stress, environmental stress, subjective stress and ignorance of
the medium are some forms of physical barriers.
o Competing stimulus: This is when someone is talking over you, making it hard
for the receiver to understand your message.
o Environmental stress: The noise of traffic, unpleasant weather, a wall in
between, these are all environmental stressors.
o Subjective stress: This refers to any kind of barrier that results from oneself.
For instance, if I was under the influence of a drug when I conveyed my
message. It would sound like garbled gibberish and would not make sense.
o Ignorance of the medium: This barrier is when you did not think it would be
important to understand how the medium works or how to utilize the medium.
 Psychological barrier:
A psychological barrier is when the receiver is not willing to accept the message as it
was sent to him because he has his own frame of reference. A frame of reference is a
preconceived notion that is based on your experiences, personality and even
memories. When a receiver interprets a message in a different way than was originally
intended because of the preconceived notions and prejudices, it is a psychological
barrier due to the fact that he has a different frame of reference as compared to the
sender.
 Linguistic and Cultural barriers:
This one is plain and simple, it is when the sender and receiver do not share the same
language and culture. The sender may send a message with good intentions,
unbeknownst to him, the message when interpreted by the receiver is offensive and
taboo because of the different cultures. For instance, in the Arab culture when friends
meet one another, they kiss each other on the cheeks. In the Western world, this may
be looked at as homosexual and some might be repulsed by it.

7
 Mechanical barrier:
A disturbance in the medium being used to communicate, this mostly applies to
technology as this sort of barrier only arises when technology is involved.
REFLECTION
I was just wondering, if everyone had the same frame of reference, it would either end hatred
all over the world or it would end love all over the world depending on whose frame of
reference we are all sharing.
CATEGORIES OF COMMUNICATION
There are two categories. Formal communication and informal communication.
Formal communication follows a strict system. This kind of communication is most effective
in an office environment. Formal communication is best used to convey messages in the form
of policies, timelines, memos, rules, etc. Messages in formal communication travel in straight
lines, meaning, messages travel upward the hierarchical chain, downward the hierarchical
chain or horizontal to eh hierarchical chain.

 Upward movement: This is when a subordinate wants to send a message to the CEO
of a company, for example. The message will travel upwards in a straight line one step
at a time. The first step would be the subordinate’s boss’s assistant, then the boss,
then his boss and so on and so forth. The message is usually going to be about
suggestions to improve the trade or business, complaints, etc.
 Downward movement: Once the CEO has read the message and wants to give a
feedback to the subordinate, he sends the message back down the hierarchical chain.
Messages sent down the chain are usually policies, future goals, etc.
 Lateral movement: Perhaps the message was regarding an upgrade in the common
kitchen area in the office and let us say that in this example, the upgrade was not
approved. Now the subordinate talks to other subordinates on the same level of the
hierarchical pyramid and discusses the matter. Communication that takes place within
the same level can usually be just about anything.
Informal communication is very easy to understand. Just like a grapevine, informal
communication is a network that is linked to every individual. There are no straight lines.
Anybody can send a message to anybody. The messages spread like wildfire too
unfortunately. Therefore, the messages can no longer be reliable since they will be constantly
changing little by little. There is usually no way to obtain the original message either because
it will be very difficult to determine where the message originated from.
REFLECTION
We learnt about formal communication but so far in all the places I have worked, I was spoken
to quite informally by my bosses. Perhaps it is because the companies I worked for were fairly
small and the people who worked with me were really friendly.

8
9
Date: 13/07
Topic: Verbal and non-verbal communication
Duration of time spent on this entry: 32mins

TYPES OF COMMUNICATION
Today we touched on the different types of communication. Lesson was simple and easy to
understand.

 Intrapersonal communication
This is communication within oneself. It is the voice in your head that is reading this
right now.
 Interpersonal communication
A continuous process of exchanging information among 2 people is interpersonal
communication
 Small group communication
Communication that takes place among a group of 2 to 20 people. They usually aim
for the same goal. Communication taking place here is two-way.
 Organizational communication
Communication that takes place a business setting or a formal setting
 Mass communication
When messages are sent via TV, radio, internet, etc to an enormous number of people.
 Public communication
This is communication that usually takes place in the form of a public speech to a fairly
large group of people. The difference between public communication and small group
communication is that it is a larger scale and there is no back and forth exchange of
information. It is one-sided. The speaker talks and the audience listens.

INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION

“All human interactions are opportunities either to learn or to teach.” –M Scott Peck
We delved deeper into interpersonal communication to learn its nuances and features.
As mentioned earlier, interpersonal communication it a continuous two-way form of
communication where in which the sender and receiver are exchanging messages one after
the other. Interpersonal communication has several characteristics; it is dynamic,
unrepeatable, irreversible, learned and characterized by wholeness and nonsummativity.
REFLECTION
The issue with mass communication is that the wrong people have access to it. People who
spread misinformation and people who cannot keep their opinions to themselves. Prime
example for this would be the President of the US. Maybe if he could hold a small group
communication with smart people who can make the right decisions before mass
communicating to the people, the US would not have so many problems.

10
NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION
Messages can be sent to a receiver without the use of any words whatsoever. This kind of
communication is known as nonverbal communication.
When you sit with your legs crossed, when you stand with your arms folded, poor body
posture or strong body posture, where your eyes are pointed, etc are all nonverbal ques. They
each deal a message to another individual, the message is your personality. It tells people
around you what sort of a personality you have.
Nonverbal communication can also be disguised as a firm handshake or a weak one. A firm
handshake usually suggests that the person is confident and a leader whereas a weak
handshake is usually handed out by someone who is timid and does not like to mingle with
other people or take the initiative.
Facial expressions are all nonverbal ques too. They portray a person’s emotions.
REFLECTION
“Don’t judge a book by its cover.” –George Eliot
But we do judge people by how they present themselves, George. It is just the way it is. I
realize nonverbal communication is all about picking up these subtle nonverbal ques that give
us an idea of what a person is like or what a person means. Once mastered, the ability to pick
up these ques will prove very useful when trying to communicate with others.

11
Date: 20/07
Topic: Introduction to Debating
Duration of time spent on this entry: 3hrs

DEBATE
Today we learnt about debating. Debating is the act of arguing about a particular topic in a
formal setting. Keyword here is ‘formal setting’. There is a system and there are rules that
need to be followed during a debate session. During a debate a motion is put forth and two
teams pick a side, either the government team (team that supports the motion) or the
opposition team (team that rejects the motion). Each team is given a set amount of time to
speak their points and explain why their points are the right ones.
A debate is not when you argue with your mom about watching TV. That is just an argument.
There were no conditions met, no rules followed and usually no valid points made.
PROCESS
At first a motion is put forth; a motion is an idea or a proposal. Two teams each take either
the government team or the opposition team and then finally each speaker from each team
talks for a specific period of time in a sequential manner.
This is what the sequence looks like:

1) The First debater from the Government team


He/she will introduce to the judge(s) and the audience the members of the team. The
debater will then proceed to verbalize the motion for the day and how his/her team
interprets this motion. He/she will also define any terms if need be. After this the
debater is supposed to mention where the team sits; do they agree with the motion
or not? Finally, the debater needs to provide 2-3 arguments in their favor before
taking a seat.

12
2) The First debater from the Opposition team
Just like the first debater from the government team, this debater needs to introduce
the members of the team, verbalize how the opposition team perceives the motion
and make clear if the opposition agrees to the motion or not. The debater can then
rectify the definitions provided by the government team if he/she wants to and then
he/she needs to explain why the new definition is the better one. The debater should
then give 2 to 3 arguments before taking a seat.
3) The second debater from the Government team
The work of the second debater from each team is the same. It is to make a rebuttal
to refute the arguments stated by the opposition team with sensible reasoning
followed by 2-3 points of their own.
4) The second debater from the Opposition team
5) The third debater from the Government team
The third debater from each team share the same roles as well and this is to prepare
closing statements to end their debate. It could be said that the third debater is usually
the one that will deal the greatest damage. The third debater should be the strongest
speaker in the team. His/her job is to summarize the points dealt by his/her respective
teams. Make rebuttals and also defend any arguments made by the other team
against their own team. Finally, he is to give his own points and end the discussion
with a closing statement.
6) The third debater from the Opposition team
During the debate when someone is talking, members of the opposing team are allowed
to ask questions but the debater can choose to accept or deny them the privilege. If
accepted, the person asking the question will only be allocated 15 seconds.
REFLECTION
The sequence was easy for me to memorize, I visualized a zigzag since that is the pattern it
seems to be making. I have had many arguments in my lifetime but most of them were
informal, there was no system. Personally I feel like without a system, though chaotic, a
debate would be more fun to watch or participate in. These kind of debates usually get pretty
heated and that is thrilling!

13
The debate between SPP and MCKK was entertaining to watch. Both sides had solid points
and both sides did fall back in certain parts. The motion for the day was:
“Industry 4.0 is a disguised attempt at colonizing other nations”.
The moment I read the motion I knew there would be mention of the past where nations with
more power subjugated people from smaller nations for materialistic purposes. In the back
of my mind, I had an argument ready in case anyone attempted to bring the past up. Funnily
enough the 1st speaker of the opposition read my mind and pointed out that the motion is
‘Industry 4.0 is a disguised attempt at colonizing other nations’ not ‘Industry 4.0 was a
blatant attempt at colonizing other nations’ which was exactly what I thought as well!
It felt like I was biased and leaning more towards MCKK because I oppose the motion myself.
MCKK made strong points that were very close to what I would have said. Their points
touched a lot of ground; SPP did not. SPP’s points were repetitive and boring by the end of
the session. According to SPP, “MCKK is living in a bubble”, if that were the case, SPP is stuck
in the past. MCKK proved at least twice that the heinous crimes of the past are no longer legal
nor morally accepted in the modern world. IR4.0 is inevitable and you cannot stop it.
However, nothing is perfect and MCKK did fall back in responding the Points of Information
put forth by SPP. It was regrettable how the 3rd speaker managed to botch such an easy
response. The 1st speaker from the Government team mentioned how the opposition lacked
imagination and how in 2063, when IR4.0 is at full capacity, we will all suffer the
consequences. My first issue is that what she mentioned was on the basis of nothing. She had
no evidence that this would happen. She imagined it. It is in the future thus you cannot prove
it. To me, that is not sustainable. I can give her proof but the proof would be in favor of the
opposition. If we looked at the past (like the government team is so fond of doing) and
envisioned a curve in a graph we would see how colonialism is at its peak and technology is
not so. As time goes by, the curve that symbolizes colonialism goes down whereas the curve
for technology rises exponentially. According to the 1st speaker from SPP who said, “We
should learn from the past.” I’d say the past is teaching me that the world is becoming a better
place where people are abusing power lesser and we all get to enjoy the fruits of advanced
technology. Again, just like her I cannot predict the future but the data and ‘learning from the
past’ favors the opposition, rather than the government. The 1st speaker also proceeds to
elaborate her Point of Information in her reply speech when she says, “… you will have robots
replacing your governors.” Come on, now there is a girl who watched the Terminator movie
series far too many times.
The Government team comprised of three speakers from SPP. I need to give them credits for
being more confident. A lot of winning a debate has to do with how confidently you can land
your points. The more confident you are with what you say, the more you will be able to sway
the audience and the judges to be on your side. The 3rd speaker from the Government side is
actually my favorite from the entire session even though I do not support their side of the
debate. She had great rebuttals, her astute responses to the POIs from the opposition were
spot on and her own points were pretty good too. She managed to tug on the audience’s
sympathy and moral strings which is a powerful tool.

14
Hats off to the 1st speaker from the government side; she had gusto! However, I do not think
it was appropriate in this setting at all, regardless of the fact that her reply speech won over
the crowd (and made me chuckle) in the end. I do not know if the cheers from the audience
would influence the marks in any way, if it did then that is good because she got a lot of them,
nevertheless, I would not risk getting emotional and attacking the opposition with those
comments because the judges are highly-educated people who have most likely participated
and witness countless debates that are held in more prestigious milieus where such remarks
would not be tolerated. I would not want to risk all that I have achieved in the debate so far
with a bunch of cheeky insults like she did. Rule no. 1 is that you need to read your audience
before you say anything and make sure it will not offend them in any way, especially if you
are trying to win them over to support your side of the motion. In this case, rather than the
audience, the priority was the judges and the ruling still applies.
“You don’t win a debate by suppressing discussion; you win it with a better argument.” –
Frank Sonnenberg.
I do not know who won the debate. If I were to put myself in the judge’s shoes, I think it was
SPP who won it mainly due to their confidence and how witty their responses were to the
POIs stated by the Opposition. It was a debate competition among colleges so I am assuming
the grading system favors confidence and quick-thinking more than it gives importance to the
actual points that the members of the debate have prepared. They grade that way to
encourage students to be quick on their feet and emanate dominance and power while
they’re at is. If MCKK won instead (which rightfully they should), it would be because they had
compelling points and they always addressed everyone with the utmost of respect.

15
Date: 27/07
Topic: Mock debate
Duration of time spent on this entry: 21mins

'This House Believes that Living with Housemates is Better than Living Alone'.
I am debating today against group 3. In my team I have Maram as the first speaker, Rizal as
the 2nd and then me coming in at the end. We opposed the idea of the motion, we thought
living alone is better than living with housemates.
The purpose of this debate was to learn how the whole process works rather than the debate
itself. It was to teach and familiarize all the students in class by order of example.
The government team comprised of TJ, Ayoub and Indran and they began the debate led by
TJ who was the 1st speaker for their team. He started by greeting us all and introducing his
team, immediately after he gave us his point as to why their team believes living with a
housemate is better. The point was on the fact that you can split the bill for rent and utilities
therefore reducing the burden for each renter.
Once he was done, Maram from my team greeted everyone and introduced each member of
my team, followed by what our roles were and then finally addressing the motion itself. She
dictated the motion and proceeded to explain what it meant and then she defined any terms
that may be confusing to the listener. After making clear that we represent the opposition,
she moved on to explain two strong points that she held regarding why having a housemate
is a bad idea.
The first was that you get your own personal space and privacy. There is no one to stick their
nose into your business and therefore you can live with peace of mind.
Her second point touched supported her first point. She mentions how living alone meant
there would be no clashes with anyone regarding anything. There would be not fighting over
who ate the food from the fridge, if the toilet seat should be left up or down or excess noise.
The 2nd speaker for the government was Ayoub who introduced himself and presented his
argument. He did a rather good job at making the listeners sympathize with him. He also used
his personal experiences to strengthen his argument. His argument suggested foreigners like
himself valued a housemate highly because they make it easier to settle in Malaysia. Having
a housemate helped him feel less homesick and lonely. The housemate also guided him and
taught him the lifestyle in Malaysia.
The 2nd speaker for our team was Rizal who not only presented an argument but also
fashioned it in the form of a rebuttal for TJ, the first speaker in the government team. His
argument was that sure dividing rent and utilities amongst housemates is great but how can
you trust someone else to pay the rent every time? There are so many instances where one
housemate had to pay for both himself and his housemate for the month. Now instead of
saving money, there is a massive loss involved. Instead he could have rented a smaller space
for cheaper by himself.

16
The 3rd speaker closed the debate for the government team. He summarized all the points
made by them thus far and ended when some closing statements.
I was the 3rd speaker for the opposition and the final speaker for the session. I had reminded
everyone of the argument presented by my team and then continued to make my own. Life
is full of struggles, if you stay in a comfortable bubble all the time you will not grow as a
person. You will remain dependent on someone all the time. You have to take the initiative.
Living alone prepares you for the hardships as you learn to take care of yourself. Waking up
on time, exercising and going to bed on time teaches you to be disciplined. Cooking, working,
studying, cleaning and laundry everyday forces you to manage time effectively. Not having to
rely on someone else for anything makes you a strong, independent person. When you desire
company go out and meet your friends or family or invite them over to your home. So it is not
like the benefits of living with someone is completely inaccessible to you, if you live alone you
have the option to actually reap the benefits from both staying with someone and living by
yourself.
REFLECTION
It was a trial debate and we were all still learning the ropes. Next time I’m going to have to
refute arguments from the other team. During the debate I actually made the fatal mistake
of referring to a ‘housemate’ as a ‘roommate’ several times throughout my speech. This
triggered TJ from the government team to present a point of information. I knew I was wrong
but thankfully I was able to think on my feet in time to explain how a roommate can be a
housemate as well and the two terms can be interchangeable in some cases; like in the case
of a studio apartment. Your housemate is also your roommate since there is only one room
in the apartment albeit a giant one. I need to be careful about not mixing words with one
another and giving the other team ammunition to attack us! BIG lesson learnt!!

17
Date: 03/08
Topic: Debate
Duration of time spent on this entry: 1hr

DEBATING SESSION
Today we have two debates scheduled. I am in trouble… I did not prepare for my own debate.
I need to gather my thoughts in the time before and during my debate while the other
speakers talk. The first debate was on the motion:
“Single-sex Schools are better than Co-ed Schools”
Alright let us begin with defining the important terms stated in the motion. By ‘single-sex
schools’ it is referring to schools where all the students are of the same gender, a school
where male and female students both go to, to study, is called a ‘co-ed school’.
A research study run by The Strategic Council proves the benefits of co-ed study over single
sex education.
The motion suggests that single sex schools are better than co-ed schools but I strongly
disagree. Let us brush aside the obvious advantage co-ed schools have over single sex ones,
they teach the students to communicate with the opposite sex. There are so many cases
where boys and afraid to talk to girls and vice versa. This behavior is normal and easily fixable.
Kids are gifted with the ability to make friends quickly at a young age through play and story-
telling and as soon as you enroll a child to a single-sex school, you rid him/her of that
opportunity. He will grow up not having the skills necessary to interact with the opposite sex
which is essential in real life or at least he will hone these skills at an unnecessarily slower rate
than students who join co-ed schools.
A common argument made is ‘co-ed schools are a distraction for the children’. One gender
will be interested in the other gender; it is totally natural. When a child enlists into a single-
sex school, these feelings are suppressed. Talks among peers about the opposite gender only
further worsens the situation as children grow more and more curious. All these questions
and feelings will over time become intolerable to some and it will lead them to hold the other
gender as ‘alien’ or ‘unknown’. They no longer treat the other gender as humans but rather
as something they do not understand. Worst case scenario, in the quest of learning more
about the other gender it may lead some children to do things they might regret. On the other
hand, when a child is enrolled into a co-ed school from the get-go, the other gender is a norm
that they see every day. They make healthy relationships and treat one another with respect.
Personally I believe it all comes down to proper schooling. When a child is taught to respect
one another and treat one another with kindness, exposing them to the other gender should
not affect them negatively. Once a child has these qualities, he should be able to collect far
more benefits studying at a co-ed school than he/she would if he/she studies in a single sex
school.
“People share a common nature but are trained in gender roles.” –Lillie Devereux Blake

18
The second debate was on the motion:
“The Jack of All Trades is better than Master of One”
Right before the debate my team and I came up with an attack plan where in which we
decided that Maram would be the opening speaker where she would introduce all the
members, define the terms and announce our opposition to the motion. Then she would
defend our stand her arguments which were themed: ‘advantages of being a master of
one’. Rizal would attack the government by talking about the disadvantages of being the
Jack of all Trades. Finally, I would neatly compile all the points made by our team and deliver
my pair of arguments, followed by a closing statement. Of course any speaker that wants
to refute can make a rebuttal. I believed this strategy would provide a good balance of
strengthening our claims as well as attacking the government team.
This section will only focus on the arguments presented by our (the opposition) team, this is because the entry was made on a later date
and therefore it has been proven difficult to recall the points suggested by the government team.

We began our session when our 1st speaker Maram took the stand and introduced us to the
listeners. She made familiar our names, our roles and what we would be talking about during
the debating session. Maram then helped the listeners understand the meaning behind the
motion, ‘The Jack of All Trades is better than the Master of One’. In this motion, ‘The Jack of
all trades’ is someone who is learned in all fields but is not a specialist in any. He possesses
many skills that make him good at everything but he is not the best at anything. ‘The Master
of One’ is an individual who stands exactly opposite to ‘The Jack of all trades’. ‘The Master of
One’ is someone who has achieved mastery in a single skill. He knows the odds and ends, the
little details and every nuance, the ins and outs of this single skill. He is probably someone
who has spent a great deal of time learning everything this is to learn about this single skill.
Maram then declares that the opposition team does not support the motion but instead
believes that ‘The master of one is better than the Jack of all trades’. She then enlightened us
with her arguments, her arguments were two-fold:

 Maram believed that someone who has mastered one skill will produce highest
quality. This would be essential in a business point of view where high quality
goods/services are in demand. A Jack of all Trades may be good at everything but he
would not be able to produce the best quality of anything, only the average of
everything.
 Her second point was an extension of the first where she mentions that a Jack of all
trades would waste valuable time trying to produce the best results he can. Maram
once again brought it into a business environment where time is of the essence.
Someone who is the master of one could be valued in a business because he can
produce high quality goods and services at the quickest time possible. All businesses
strive to be efficient and effective.
Once Maram has proven her points, she was supported by Rizal who came next. Rizal was
told to be on the offensive to try and break a piece of the armor that the government team
had. Rizal set forth his two arguments:

19
 A Jack of all Trades is not considered a specialist at anything. This is especially
damaging when trying to apply for a job. Usually big companies are not looking to see
if you can solve all the different types of problems to a certain extent, no they want to
hire you to solve a single type of problem a hundred percent! They would hire a master
of one. This is why those who are the specialists in their respective fields are held at
such high-esteem with such handsome salaries.
 There is only so much a single person can do, when you attempt to do everything you
get burned out and tired; this is the life of a Jack of all Trades. A life full of physical and
mental burnout. On the other end of the spectrum we have the master of one who is
trying his level best to learn one skill a hundred percent and not wasting time in
anything that is unrelated to his skill of choice.
It was the time to end the session and that is where I come in to offer my two cents in the
matter.
I tackled the task at hand by summarizing and compiling my fellow teammates points into one
short, comprehensive paragraph. I presented a few rebuttals and finally I said my own piece,
my argument had two levels:

 SOS, or in full form ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’ is a terrible habit that some people suffer
from. People who are fairly good at everything (Jack of all Trades) tend to get their
fingers into every kind of investment, business idea and/or invention they can find.
They find it difficult to concentrate on just one business, grow it and succeed. Instead
they find themselves giving up prematurely and taking up a new business plan until
they are bored of that one as well. The cycle repeats itself. People like these never
succeed. You need to fully learn a single trade in order to succeed in it.
“Success in business requires training and discipline and hard work.” –David
Rockefeller (ex-Chairman of Chase Bank USA)
 Being business students ourselves, we have been fixated in commerce and have so far
linked every argument with it. Therefore, I will present an argument that does not
involve business, rather it involves interacting with one another which is the core of
this subject. Being the Jack of All Trades also means you have knowledge on everything
only to a certain extent but you do not possess the depth of knowledge in a single
subject matter like a master would have. It becomes difficult for you to truly connect
with anyone and make lasting bonds because you can kind of follow along when they
talk about a topic but once they delve deeper, you will be lost. A master of one would
find it easy to mingle and talk to other people that coincide within his field because
they are all passionate in one common thing.

REFLECTION
I will be honest when I rushed to gather my thoughts and research on the topic for ‘The Jack
of All Trades is better than the Master of One’ I thought it was unfair to me because at the
time I supported the side of the government. As I finalized my talking points, I began to sway
towards the opposition as I gained insight in the world of both someone who knows
everything well and someone who knows one thing very well. Further contemplation led me

20
to realize most of the people at the top: Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Waren Buffet, etc are
not experts at everything. They are experts at only one single type of thing; business.

21
Date: 17/08
Topic: Effective Meetings
Duration of time spent on this entry: 15mins

MEETINGS
A meeting is a gathering of people who can contribute to achieving a common goal. There
are a number of reason why a meeting would be held some of which are:
 To solve a problem
 To make an informed decision
 To build a timeline or future plan
 To collect opinions and feedbacks for future reference.
Just like how there is a list of reasons why a meeting is held, there is also a list of the different
types of meetings:
 Status-update meetings: These are meetings that are held in order to keep everyone
in the team informed of the latest happenings of a project. During this meeting the
leader could also proceed to discuss about the future plans of the project.
 Information-sharing meetings: Just as the name suggests the sole purpose of this
meeting is to either gather or share information to a group of people. In the case of
an information-sharing meeting the group is usually much larger.
 Decision-making meeting: In such a meeting there is usually a smaller group of people
who are experts on the topic at hand so that their combined knowledge and
experience can result in the making of the best decision possible. The purpose of such
a meeting is to come to an agreement through a consensus.
 Innovation meetings: In these meetings, attendees are invited to think creatively to
come up with new and innovative ideas, designs and products. These meetings can
old be held to think up of unorthodox solutions to complicated problems.
 Team-building meetings: Often featuring activities for attendees to participate in,
team-building meetings are effective for ice-breaking and bonding. Team-building
meetings are not only held among people who have never met one another but these
meetings are also held with attendees who are already familiar with one another to
strengthen their relationship if the leader thinks that the teamwork has gone down.

REFLECTION
I think two types of meetings can be combined too for the right occasion. For instance, when
a patient walks into a hospital with a rare sickness, the doctors will all gather to discuss a
creative way to treat the patient. This is a marriage of two meeting types, the decision-making
meeting and the innovation meeting. I have also noticed during every orientation in IUKL,
IUKL hosts a number of team-building meetings to help students to get to know one another
and create bonds.

22
Date: 02/10
Topic: Forum
Duration of time spent on this entry: 5min

FORUM
We learnt about forum discussion but rather than the lecture, I found it easier to understand
how a forum is held by participating in a forum discussion that we held.

A forum is the discussion of a topic among panelists which is hosted by a moderator. Unlike a
debate where speakers try and prove one another wrong, in a panel discussion or forum,
panelists are simply having a conversation with one another.

A forum discussion is held in the presence of:


 A moderator: His job is to keep the conversation flowing at all times and to encourage
panelists to ask questions and offer points.
 Panelists: The panelists are required to be well-equipped with the knowledge
pertaining to the topic at hand so that they can extensively share their views and
opinions.
 Instructor: Where, how and when the panel will be held is the responsibility of the
instructor
 The audience: The audience is there mainly to listen to the discussion but they are
allowed to ask questions if they would like.

We held a panel discussion of our own and the motion to discuss was:

‘Does technology bring us closer together or push us further apart.’

This is how the forum went:


- Introduction
Syed Hamza:
Introduction to the topic and participants of the forum discussion.

- Content
The content is divided into two sides. One party believes that technology brings us closer
together while the other party believes that technology pushes us further apart.

Party that believes that technology brings us close presented first and set forth the following
points:

Maram Shawqi:
1- Being in touch with family and friends
Technology allows us all to keep in touch with family and friends at all times through
the help of social media and calling.
2- Exchange viewpoints

23
We’re able to exchange views with one another over long distances with the press of
a button.
3- Sharing information
Data sharing has never been easier. In the matter of seconds you can show to your
friends and family who are thousands of miles away about the happenings of your
daily life.

Salsabeel:
1- Helps to communicate with one another during the ongoing pandemic
During the pandemic when it is so risky to meet with one another due to the virus,
technology has helped us to communicate with one another. If a member of your
family or a friend was brought down by the virus, you could still keep in touch with
them as long as they had access to technology. This helped immensely to keep friends
and family together during these tough times.
2- Makes traveling much easier with the help of transportation
Technology not only connects us virtually but it brings us closer to one another
physically as well with the help of planes and cars. Due to the advancements of
technology it takes just a couple of hours to meet your loved ones who are thousands
of miles apart.
3- Online businesses
Back in the day in order to start a business an individual needed to invest a startup
capital of several tens of thousands. These days you can connect with a seller as a
buyer almost completely for free! Everyone is encouraged to try e-commerce for this
sole purpose and it has brought buyers and sellers closer together than ever before.
Party that believes technology pushes us away presents second.

Shazarul Haq:
1- Less face-time
Due to the invention of technology people these days spend lesser time physically
being there with someone and more time behind a screen. Technology has drastically
lessened face-time with loved ones.
2- Promotes independent learning in students
With the help of technology, students are not learning in their homes, locked up in
their bedrooms all by themselves. Without technology, students would have been up
and about, meeting their friends in person and spending time together to study.

- Q/A session
1- How do you think people before the technology were communicating with each
other?
Before technology people communicated mainly with the help of trained carrier
pigeons who had a small canister tied to their feet. In this canister a small rolled up
letter containing a message was put. The pigeon would then fly to the receiver and
deliver the message. Of course people using nomads and olden-day-postmen to
deliver messages and parcels too.

24
2- Do you think it was easy or difficult to communicate with each other?
It was easy to communicate with one another; it was just very slow.
3- Do you think the technology really help to communicate with someone when in
emergency?
For sure! One of the greatest gifts of technology is that it can be used to connect to
emergency services instantly and these emergency numbers are totally toll-free!

- Conclusion
Syed Hamza:
Highlight and summary of the important points made during the session followed by a
concluding statement to end the panel discussion.

25