Students should value communication skills regardless of major

Students should value communication skills regardless of major

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Illustration by: Israel Gonzalez | Staff Illustrator

Conflict can be seen across the globe, and much of this conflict is fruitless, destructive and divisive. If the next generation of students can educate themselves on the power of effective conflict and communication, the world could be a more productive place.

Communication skills are invaluable, especially with the rise of social media, political tension and cross-cultural interaction. Students in any major should be focused on learning to communicate with integrity and accuracy. It is also vital that students obtain the ability to learn from conflict.

Students will see conflict in everything they do, especially in the work place. However, knowing how to grow from strife will better them and their businesses. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, around 70 percent of employers surveyed said effective communication is one of the most valuable skills an applicant can have.

Having effective communication skills involves the ability to handle conflict. With the election of President Donald Trump, the United States has seen a rise of conflict nationally. Some people may look at this conflict as negative, while others look at it in a more positive light. People sharing ideas and fighting for what they believe in can be great, but it needs to be productive.

Particularly in this election, Trump has contributed greatly to negative conflict. Mocking a handicapped reporter and referring to a race of people as rapists and murderers are attacks on peoples’ characters.

On the other side, there are violent protesters. In some instances, violence is arguably necessary to protect civil rights. On the other hand, it can cause people to become ineffective in their quest for justice.

It is important to learn that all conflict is good conflict until one side tries to discredit the other side personally—something that has happened consistently throughout the election process on both conservative and liberal sides.

Many people try to avoid conflict, negating the ability to learn from it. Many people unwittingly turn good conflict into bad conflict—this is done when insults are thrown, voices are raised and avoidance tactics are used. Giving in is not an option either, as it is completely unproductive.

When people debate, solve interpersonal issues and raise questions on both personal and world scales, their relationships with each other can benefit and grow. Conflict can literally bring people closer together, rather than farther apart.

According to Thought Hub, the main causes of negative conflict are poor communication skills, a lack of understanding and the abuse of power. If students can fine-tune their communication skills while studying art, business, science and more, they can improve their likelihood to find a job on top of making the world a more tolerant and knowledgeable place.

Conflict is a collective responsibility, so show some respect.

­-Katie Burrell is a journalism sophomore

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