Your instructor will tell you how to use this book. For example, if you’re in a flipped classroom, each chapter will prepare you for the activities and discussions you’ll have in class. Still, you’re a busy student with a lot to do. You might not have time to read every word. So how can you still benefit from the book?
Ideal Scenario: The ideal way to use this book is to do a few reflection questions by freewriting, thinking about the questions or discussing them with a friend or partner. You’d then read each chapter, including the stories and examples. You can also do the interactive content.
Short on Time: If you’re short, just skim the reflection questions and activities and skip the interactive content. You might also skim the student stories, but make sure to read Brenda Knights’ narratives, since these are important to the learning.
Very Short on Time: If you’re very short on time, read the headings and anything in bold or bullet points. You won’t get the full benefit, but at least you’ll be aware of the general principles.
At the beginning of each chapter, you’ll find a short narrative by Brenda Knights. Ms. Knights is the President of Səýeḿ, the economic development branch of the Kwantlen Nation. Səýeḿ has 11 companies in a wide range of industries, including a gift shop, a security services company, a marketing and design company, an IT company, land development and a restaurant. In addition, Ms. Knights is a member of the Indigenous Business and Investment Council and a Member at Large of Tourism Langley, and she’s pursuing an MA in Leadership through Trinity Western University. This means that Ms. Knights has extensive workplace communication experience and uses her communication skills every day.
Səýeḿ is guided by the seven traditional laws of the Kwantlen Nation: health, happiness, generations, generosity, humbleness, forgiveness and understanding. You will see these principles throughout the narratives.
These narratives have been included in the book to help you explore the nuances of workplace communication and to see how some of the issues we’re discussing in theory play out in reality. The goal is not to give you an easy answer, but to help you understand the material in a deeper way and encourage you to reflect on your own communication values. When you read the narratives, ask yourself:
- What parallels can I draw between the story and the rest of the chapter?
- Are there places where the narrative seems to oppose the material in the rest of the chapter? How can I make sense of this apparent contradiction?
- Can I find connections between the narratives and my own life experience?