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Communication Skills...

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posted on Nov, 4 2006 @ 12:31 PM
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How do we begin?

Let's start here....

Why do we login to this site? What do we intend?

Are we here merely to read the current news?

Most of us are.....but many are here to communicate their opinions and interpretations of the current news and topics. Excellent. That is the purpose of this site...a proactive interaction with regional, national, and international news that only a short time ago was given to us on a forcefed basis through the radio, or television, or word of mouth. This site is also unique in that we talk alot about subjects that would be difficult to breach in our normal lives.....

We get to talk....about many things that disturb us...please us...or just plain tweaks our interest.

So how do we talk?

In light of recent events, it has occurred to me that maybe we could use a bit of a refresher on how and why we are here to communicate....so without further adieux..allow me to present what I think to be helpful tips.....

Third Party Association

How many stories are we going to read and discuss that we had direct experience with? Indeed, the wonderful part of the internet is that we can keep abreast of events and happenings that we don't have direct experience with, yet may still affect our lives.

The consequences of a story, or rather the consequences of the actions motivated by a story will most likely determine how much it affects us on an individual level.

That said....the story has no impact on your physical well being. In which case, you most likely won't encounter a direct threat merely because someone posts an idea or thought that counters your reasoning.

Dismissing a thought merely because it disagrees with you is antithema to the purpose of ATS...

Really....if you wanted to talk to people that agreed with you all the time, you would go to church...right? Or a political convention...places where like minded people get together to reaffirm their beliefs and opinions...

ATS is not meant to be a like minded forum.

The 'who, what, when, where and how' of it

Does it matter what I think if I read a story that contains all of the above, yet I am reacting solely on the 'who'? In a situation like that, my expression is remiss because I would be ignoring other factors......

It's a good idea to establish several factors before composing a post.....in several directions....

The factual content. These are the specifics that are immediately presented within the source. They detail the actual content of the story, and represent the basis of how we respond, or choose to respond. The complexity arises when we encounter other reactions to the story.

Not often do we apply the 'who, what, when ,where and how' to the ruminations of our fellow posters. And we should. Keep in mind that we are already encountering a subject through some one else's bias. The words they choose to use will impact how we feel and respond...if you're familiar with the foxnews/cnn/msnbc debate on politaical bias, then you may have a feel for this arguement, but you don't have to follow suit....rather, it is more productive to take a breath and apply the formula....each and every step of the way....

The first reaction to an encounterance of someone else's expression/opinion should be 'why.'

Why do they say this? Are their motivations to get you to conform to their thoughts, or maybe it is a form of indirect inquiry? Asking for clarification is always preferable to an assumption of knowledge regarding their opinions...

which leads me into a cliche...

To Assume is to Make an Ass Out of You and Me

Don't assume that you have an incredible grasp of the reasoning process of a human you have never met. Human communication evolved over much time and the basis for successful communication has its' roots in social contact....facial expression, inflection, the sound and feel that can most successfully be picked up as subconcious cues.........

The internet bypasses that. So we get to communicate devoid of these seemingly minor pieces of information. We get words. On print. SOMETIMES INFLECTION CAN BE MANIPULATED......depending on how we choose to construct our words and order thereof.....rule of thumb...if someone goes out of there way to Capitalize their font, or use some other means, emphasis is being placed. Does not mean that the emphasis is valid......

It All Comes Down To...

How do you want to be percieved?

What do you want to know?

Why do you want to know?

.........

This thread is meant to stimulate conversation on how best to communicate...there is no right answer, as the motivations for communication will differ from human to human.....I do not portend to be an authority on the subject...rather I will state what I think and invite response.....I have missed points in this 'online soliquoy' and have failed to expound further.....intentionally....

Consider this an invitation....




posted on Nov, 4 2006 @ 01:21 PM
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Thanks for the invite MS.

I was overwhelmed by the level of difficulty involved in my first attempts to communicate here. Quoting, external sources, images, punctuation, grammar, spelling, or simply attempting to express my personal thoughts in writing all represented formidable stumbling blocks on any subject.

Yet each thread I read, posted to, and those which elicited a response, (both positively and negatively), increased my level of expertise and awareness of all the above, up to and including my views on a variety of subject matter as the other members supported or debunked my ideas. Even the dismissal of ideas out of hand becomes an education when viewed in this light.

Without going into detail, my communication here has helped me grow in all aspects of my work, and life in general, and I didn't even realize it as it was happening. What I lack in formal education and mental ability is bolstered by the patience and thought provocation provided by all the members here. (yes even the one liners make a difference). This expansion of knowlege and ability goes well beyond merely reading and posting the news.

It is my pleasure to like to take a moment like this to thank everyone here for that!!!

In closing I would like to point out that some members may not follow all the language, or website rules, but their global insights into our world are still an invaluable tool that inadvertently aides, educates, and supports individual growth and knowledge. Show patience, respect, and understaning, so that we all may continue to grow.

I would hope that everyone here has the opportunity to experience the same feeling of expanding their universe by the simple interaction of communication with others on a global scale.

All hail the Admin's for making this possible!

makeitso



posted on Nov, 4 2006 @ 01:38 PM
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An excellent thought, makeitso...

The level of interaction we do experience on this website is indeed a motivation for many to step up their level of involvement....you can't talk with those whom you respect..(or disagree with profusely) if you don't type.....

And it seem that many here worth talking to are a stickler for presentation of expression....

Hence the purpose of this thread....how do/can we best express ourselves?

The answer is quite simple....present/express yourself in a manner you would normally...given natural inquisitive style.

"If you are not going to use us as a means to better communicate, than why do you presume to think we care what it is you have to say?"

I feel no need to pressure another member to my thought process.......I merely wish that they respond in kind......

The purpose of this thread is to encourage others to state their thoughts on communicative style.....to understand more fully what bias is...what an emotionally charged reaction is.....when and where it is relevant to allow emotion to inflect a response......

We're all different....there is absolutely no reason why that should be a hinderance....as I have witnessed....



posted on Nov, 4 2006 @ 02:59 PM
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Allow me to begin by saying, Wow! Well put.


My communication skills have enhanced extremely since joining ATS. In the past I would read an article and just accept it. Why would they be bias? What did they have to prove? The Media? Why would they lie to us? If it's on television, it must be true.

So you can imagine how quick I would jump to conclusions. I was making an ass out of you and me on every corner.

When I signed up for ATS, I jumped in head first without looking either way. I posted a few threads expecting to handle the responses. Well initially I was just dumbfounded. The level of conversation was much higher than I initially expected. So I had a choice, I was either going to leave or conform. Well, leaving was not an option.

I understood that a little bit of effort was required in our posts, as ATS carries a reputation of professionalism.

Thanks to this level, I find myself much better with words. I believe my writing has improved since coming to ATS, as I have little trouble getting my point across. As for reading, I've always been guilty of skimming. If you come across a strong post here, skimming it may lead to you missing the whole point. Which has happened before. These were basic skills that we hold, but never use on a daily basis. Thanks to AboveTopSecret, these are skills that I am using for an hour or two a day at a high level.

I had read your post in the Saudi thread about some of the topics you have addressed here, and I agree with aspects of it.


Originally posted by MemoryShock
Once again, I see hardcore reactions to a story that NOONE here has been directly involved with. Which typically means that you are responding to the presentation of a story/experience, and all of it's intricate nuances of bias.....the telephone game and all that rot.....


This does happen all to often on ATS. People read a story and jump to conclusions without examinating the circumstances of the article. These circumstances may not always be accessible immediately, so we should acknowledge the existence of other possibilities. This is a discussion board, extenuating circumstances are what we live for.



posted on Nov, 4 2006 @ 03:31 PM
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Originally posted by chissler
Allow me to begin by saying, Wow! Well put.


Thank you...


Originally posted by chissler
My communication skills have enhanced extremely since joining ATS. In the past I would read an article and just accept it. Why would they be bias? What did they have to prove? The Media? Why would they lie to us? If it's on television, it must be true.



Precisely the point of this thread...to examine how we interpret the information we ingest. I can react all day long to stories and interpretations that do not agree with mine own...however...its not going to get me anywhere...
I would prefer to talk with people who agree on this point...yet, if I am wrong...please detail how I may in fact be....short of this...I will not give credence to your arguement...


Originally posted by chisler
When I signed up for ATS, I jumped in head first without looking either way. I posted a few threads expecting to handle the responses. Well initially I was just dumbfounded. The level of conversation was much higher than I initially expected. So I had a choice, I was either going to leave or conform. Well, leaving was not an option.


I have a similar story....Bryd sent me on this direction....if she hadn't called me on my b.s., I wouldn't be here...she caused me to re-evaluate my perspectives....

And such is the point of this thread....let's talk about tactics and strategy of communication....not just affirmations...as relevant as they may be...


Originally posted by chissler
I had read your post in the Saudi thread about some of the topics you have addressed here, and I agree with aspects of it.


Originally posted by MemoryShock
Once again, I see hardcore reactions to a story that NOONE here has been directly involved with. Which typically means that you are responding to the presentation of a story/experience, and all of it's intricate nuances of bias.....the telephone game and all that rot.....


This does happen all to often on ATS. People read a story and jump to conclusions without examinating the circumstances of the article. These circumstances may not always be accessible immediately, so we should acknowledge the existence of other possibilities. This is a discussion board, extenuating circumstances are what we live for.


Precisely. The point of this thread is to address this.....FYI...I stepped out of my comfort zone in that thread....I agreed with the dominant thought....I disagreed whole heartedly with the presentation....and as such, I think we need to understand why and how we communicate.....

Further thoughts...please...



posted on Nov, 4 2006 @ 04:32 PM
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To reaffirm my motivation.....

This thread is to detail how and why we communicate....

Please offer your thoughts...!!

One of the overwhelming themes is that each entity here believes they are right....which may actually be true...in context.

If I(we) don't understand where you are coming from...than how do you expect reaction in kind....

Add to this thread!!!!

Or I'll be forced to interpret as I see fit..!!



posted on Nov, 4 2006 @ 04:51 PM
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I'm not really a new user... but I'm a lurker and I generally go on lots of the forums here and I go on much of the types of topics that bring up a viewpoint and a counter viewpoint. I used to go on ATS a lot but I was for some reason displeased with the amount of topics that I was interested in, in actuality, the conception that I perceived from most of the ATS viewers was that they are against the WOT, and that I got bored of.

I like ATS. I have met many members along the way since I joined and all of the members I have shared many original points...

what to think... what not to think... why do people lie... is it part of human nature... is it part of a conceptual process... are people controlled? The mass media stinks... I've learned lots since I joined the site.

I also do think that my writing has improved greatly since I joined and I plan on staying on ATS.

>___>.



posted on Nov, 4 2006 @ 07:20 PM
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Originally posted by MemoryShock
How do you want to be percieved?


I think it's important that first, one understand the need to perceive one's self in a favorable light. One which allows the comfort of being able to sleep at night with a clear conscience. Once a person comes to grips with that, then it becomes much easier to process input from others rather than the tone or manner in which that message is delivered. It allows for the acceptance of change, when another's opinion or presentation of facts superceeds one's own, and allows for one to make the change- not as a matter of ego- but as a matter of necessity to further that favorable status within one's self.

Some here read to respond, while others read to understand. Some here will only read the thread title topic, and regardless of what else is said in the thread, respond with whatever comes to mind. Rarely for me do those kind of posts contribute, because the poster at that point has not taken into account all of the available information, processed it, and then returned the output as a contribution back to the board. I have always searched for a way to separate those types of posts, but it is often difficult. One suggestion I had a while back was a required reading forum with various options, in the interest of more truely collaborative, as opposed to responsive, threads. The collaborative writing forum sort of does this, but not for the typical topics discussed on the domain as a whole.

Once I had lurked here a long time, I realized that I was just taking. I wasn't giving anything back. And probably am still not in some members eyes.
But hell, I have tried, and I can honestly say that nine times out of ten I read every single post in every thread to which I respond. And I sleep at night. Soundly.



posted on Nov, 12 2007 @ 06:24 PM
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*bump*

I'm back and would love to stimulate conversation...



posted on Nov, 13 2007 @ 03:31 AM
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This is easily one of the most important threads here as it deals with the essentials of being here and having everyone log off with a feeling of gain rather than pain.

I will add one communication tool I have found to be productive and constructive at ATS (this Forum indeed trains and improves ones communication skills):

First understand then be understood

This also means that someone of a different opinion will be much more willing to listen to you, if he notices that you have listened to him and actually understood what he is saying.



posted on May, 18 2009 @ 03:14 AM
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my grammar and spelling is dire

But on the other hand some people can get what i am saying and other don't.

I think my brain works faster than my fingers


so im going to shut up and flag


took out star :/ "was no star to give" meh

[edit on 18-5-2009 by symmetricAvenger]



posted on May, 18 2009 @ 08:03 AM
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I have been (or is it being?) a member hear for a short time and it has improved my critical thinking skills, spelling and grammar no end.

I have learned so much about things I had never even heard of before and also about many different people and cultures; that's when I learned Texas was the best state in the USA


As mentioned in True Americans post



Some here will only read the thread title topic, and regardless of what else is said in the thread, respond with whatever comes to mind. Rarely for me do those kind of posts contribute, because the poster at that point has not taken into account all of the available information, processed it, and then returned the output as a contribution back to the board


This is one of the most annoying things on ATS for me.
I am a very quick reader but sometimes popular thread grow quicker than I can read and you keep seeing the same point of view over and over.

There was a thread I posted on yesterday which the OP had stated something happened in London, England but actually it was over 250 miles away. Further on someone else then mentioned about it been in London, so they had not of read my post correcting the error, what was most annoying was that it was only a two page thread!

My listening and memory skills have improved too.
When I see politicians on TV I notice straight away when they have answered a different question to the one asked.
But this all has had a negative affect on friends and relatives because I question what they say.

I never tell lies in my posts because I am only deceiving myself. But I do sometimes use a bit of poetic licence on thread titles to attract peoples attention.

The worst assuming on this site has to be that everyone else is American and their first language is American English.

The OP stated



ATS is not meant to be a like minded forum.


But in many ways it is, but for the right reasons!



posted on May, 18 2009 @ 04:58 PM
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Originally posted by lightchild
I am a very quick reader but sometimes popular thread grow quicker than I can read and you keep seeing the same point of view over and over.


What I have personally found, as I am fairly quick reader as well, is that the posts in a thread beyond the second page (approximately) are either repetitious or argumentative...meaning that all of the relevant information is contained and hashed out in the first page and sometimes second.

As a result, I rarely view the recent posts of a longer thread because it is comprised of social interaction. That is not to say that there isn't relevant information, but that I feel better suited to not get caught up in a discussion unless it is very important to me.

This thread was motivated by those "excess" pages because the information provided as a thread gets longer dissolves into subjective reasonings...which isn't conducive to an objective comprehension.



posted on May, 18 2009 @ 06:04 PM
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Dismissing a thought merely because it disagrees with you is antithema to the purpose of ATS...

Really....if you wanted to talk to people that agreed with you all the time, you would go to church...right? Or a political convention...places where like minded people get together to reaffirm their beliefs and opinions...

ATS is not meant to be a like minded forum.



I agree with you however one of the main things i observe in ATS in which people disagree with each other are the christian/athiest and ufo/skeptic threads. I think it would be better if people joined in to contribute information and their thoughts on the subject but they shouldn't post if their only thoughts are
______ is full of crap and not true because ......
The only real enemy which everyone should team up against is false information.
If a christian wrote a post about a coin marked 1 B.C with a picture of jesus on it and how it is proof. A typical response would be something along the lines of jesus being a fictional character about a sun god. A respectable response would be, "This thread is bogus, no coins were marked B.C".
ATS is not a forum of like minded people however people should not jump in threads just to start arguments especially on subjects that can't be proven either way. the 4 groups mentioned above should look at the hypocracy of their own viewpoints. Can a christian really deny some sort of evolution going on with all the evidence that has been discovered in the last 100 years? Can an athiest hold true to his no soul/spirit belief, look his wife in the eye and tell her that his attraction and love for her is only physical and a result of chemical reactions in his brain?
Post on the threads of others the way you would want them to post on the threads of yours.
ATS was the truth is in here and now is Deny ignorance posting false information is ignorant and the truth is still in here. Everyone can shoot down false information we should not all spend time bickering about the beliefs of others.



posted on May, 19 2009 @ 02:32 PM
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This is the most important, well written thread I've read on ATS and the responses on perception invaluable.

I'm reminded of the following quotation:

"The worst readers are those who proceed like plundering soldiers: they pick up a few things they can use, soil and confuse the rest, and blaspheme the whole." ~ Nietzsche



posted on May, 19 2009 @ 07:58 PM
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This is a really good thread!

There have been several times where I've disagreed with people and I wanted to yell at them and say names at them.

But you really gotta just hold your own.

I've learned a lot about how to communicate with other people through ATS. My communication skills too have improved vastly through ATS.

I've learned how to work out disagreements with people. I've learned how to have intelligent disagreements with others.

People need to keep in mind that the other people who they're talking to aren't just robots. They're real people on the other end. You always need to keep that in mind before you say something that might hurt their feelings like in real life.

yeah. Communication skills is really important.



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 12:09 AM
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Originally posted by MemoryShock

Dismissing a thought merely because it disagrees with you is antithema to the purpose of ATS...

Really....if you wanted to talk to people that agreed with you all the time, you would go to church...right? Or a political convention...places where like minded people get together to reaffirm their beliefs and opinions...

ATS is not meant to be a like minded forum.


There's much talk on the forum of open minds and closed minds. However I feel I have learned more from those that disagree with my point of view. This is how I perceive open mindedness yet so many times in threads I see the derogatory 'closed mind' statement leveled at those that disagree with a hypothesis or pet theory.

I agree with the Op that differing opinions are the essence of a healthy conversation & discussion forum. We as members need to look more closely at why another person may disagree... what experiences led them to this point of view and why they consider it a valid alternative.

We need to do away with 'closed minds' and 'dis-info agent' statements within discussion (as they are every bit as derogatory as calling someone a wacko), accept that not everyone thinks as they do and see the alternative standpoints for what they truly are... An individual perspective.

Then let healthy, constructive communication ensue!

IRM


[edit on 20/5/09 by InfaRedMan]



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 01:50 AM
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Well first thank you Memory, for explain this vital part of ATS, especially in light of all the new members we are acquiring. It is nice to see some real, sincere, moderation and contribution as we've come to expect here.

My thoughts on the issue are very much the same. In an environment vast in opinions and beliefs such as this, it is important to remember that you will most certainly disagree with people every day in almost any thread.

This community has been built through the strong foundation of respect and integrity of information. In order to achieve the level of quality information and healthy environment, arguments and heated discussions are necessary to find the true meanings behind the stories and personal experiences found here.

The way in which we compose ourselves is vital to that end. Trying to find the reason and proper response to another's belief is something every poster should learn.



Tact [n]
1. Acute sensitivity to what is proper and appropriate in dealing with others, including the ability to speak or act without offending.

Tact

We all are capable and guilty of having of lack of tact on the boards at one time or another, what I have noticed, is that the silliest things are the ones that tend to inflame members most.

I can often see a 9/11 thread that is somewhat outrageous in it's claim be very straight forward with civilized responses. Yet something as simple as a UFO sighting or "Is That Bright Star Nibiru?" thread get buried under flaming posts and personal attacks.

What's said above about posts that are seemingly offensive or opposite to another's way of thinking being inquisitive in nature is very true. Perhaps the poster himself does not know themselves.

I have many times been "schooled" by another member because I posted something I felt was very true, yet false or not complete. However, I only learned something when those reply's were given with well thought out, well researched and respectfully written information.

I have never learned anything by being arbitrarily dismissed or ridiculed.

Personal attacks and posts that serve and are intended to do nothing but dismiss the information at hand, only distract from the true purpose of the website. We are here to learn the truth. We are not here decided what the truth is from each person's biased standpoint. We are all biased in our opinion. If not, opinion really would not exist.


Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.

-Albert Einstein

We are all a product of our static environments, ATS is not limited by that, it strives to be the opposite. In order for it to be a stable yet ever evolving place, it is imperative we make a conscious attempt at giving each other the utmost respect. Especially when trying to convey thoughts to thousands of individual and unique people.


When we argue amongst ourselves, the terrorists win.

-George Bush

I don't like the man as much as the next guy, but that's perhaps the smartest thing said this decade.



~Keeper



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 02:55 AM
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Well i always thought ATS was a place for discussion of topics that were a little unconventional so it would be a place for one to find agreement to a certian degree.
I also find it ironic that people will post about their open-mindedness and at the same time have a signature that screams the opposite. Untill today i do not think i have never been called a charlatan.

[edit on 20-5-2009 by The Mack]



posted on May, 21 2009 @ 12:42 AM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



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