Strayer University Communications Discussion

Please Respond to the two discussion responses below. I have included the initial discussion question for your reference. Also please include in-text citation and a reference list.

Initial discussion question

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Please introduce yourself to your classmates and professor.

Considering the course materials for this week, list your top three (3) communication strengths and why you feel these are your strengths.

Watch Elizabeth Lombardo’s TEDx Talk on your inner critic. When you think about the areas of communication you would like to develop more, explain how your inner narrator gets in the way of your ability to communicate well.


Mika Beckley

Greetings Classmates and Professor March!

My name is Shamika but I prefer to go by Mika. I currently serve in the United States Space Force as an E-8, Senior Master Sergeant. I was in the Air Force for 16.5 years and then transferred over after its inception, two years ago. It is quite an honor to be one of the pioneers of the sixth military branch and I love what I do. My current role in my organization is the Senior Enlisted Leader (SEL) of Innovation at Patrick Space Force Base and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. The ultimate goal of the teams I run is to make it more efficient for Guardians and Airmen alike to conduct their mission through AI, design thinking, and utilizing industry partners to support the primary objective of Assured Access to Space.

As for my personal life, I have a nine-year-old daughter, Aryanna. She is my life’s blessing! We like to golf, do outdoor activities, and travel. I enjoy reading and watching Youtube videos on real estate investing and going to the gym.

I believe my top three communication strengths are empathy, open-mindedness, and confidence. I am a huge Berne Brown fan and love her model of leading with empathy. I’ve taken all kinds of personality tests and one thing stands true: I’m a person of vulnerability and emotion which is why it is my true passion to help others. While some may see that as a weakness, I’ve learned over the years to stay authentic to who I am and use it as a strength. Due to my keenness for empathy, I am the leader that most feel comfortable talking to, sometimes telling their most inner personal fears, goals, and the like. I think emotional intelligence is necessary as a leader because if you can connect with your team(s) and figure out what motivates them, productivity and quality of life are exponentially returned on both ends. I also try and be open-minded as possible. Being in the military, there are lots of rules and regulations that we must adhere to which prohibit us from thinking outside the box at times. Well, times are changing and the Space Force is definitely taking a different approach to a lot of cutting-edge, non-bureaucratic processes and procedures. Transparency is fluid from the top-down, respectfully of course and leaders are taking into consideration the youngest Guardians’ ideas and voices to shape what the Space Force is becoming. After all, they will be the leaders of it one day. While there is a rank structure that is still respected, there is a lot more autonomy to try new things, and if it doesn’t, work, vector and try again while annotating lessons learned so as to not repeat the same mistakes. Confidence is also key in the military. As a woman of color, I have caught myself worrying about if I’m overly confident if I would appear overly aggressive. But I learned just as with anything else, balance is key. Confidence is a presence that is learned over time. Body language, spoken words and truly and intently listening to others with a sense of passion that shows you care is what’s important and a great communication skill to possess. I feel that as a leader, I do have these qualities and am self-aware to ensure that it is maintained so my subordinates don’t lose faith in me.

Elizabeth Lombardo’s TEDx talk was very relatable. I know that it takes very hard work and practice to get to as she calls it, “unconditional self-worth”. I recall hearing that we hear double as many negative thoughts in our head as we do positive ones. Our minds naturally go there. I’ve had to train my brain to speak gently to myself. The self-talk can either elevate you or be destructive. One example of how my inner narrator got in the way was social media and feeling like I was comparing myself to my counterparts. Elizabeth stated, “Statistics show the longer someone is on social media, the more likely they are to be depressed.” I can attest to the fact that this was the case before I got off social media for a while to test the theory. I cut off Facebook and Instagram for a month to see how I would feel. I found that while I didn’t have the addicting scrolling distraction of “where did that last hour go?” I also found myself to be more productive and learning and delving into things that I had been putting off for a while. I found myself more present for my daughter and with overall less negative news and back and forth banter that I had to scroll past that diluted my mind. I’ve been off social media for a while now and honestly, the reason I am here, earning my MBA after two years of a break from completing my Bachelor’s. I felt a major shift in my energy and direction in life and felt it was time to elevate. So, here I am, practicing every day the unconditional self-worth that will ultimately bring me a peaceful and successful life I define myself.


George Roberts

Hello Dr. March and Classmates,

It is my pleasure and honor to start this class, and I look forward to getting to know everyone better through this class.

My name is George Roberts and was born and raised in Baltimore Maryland in the mid-1950s. My hobbies are varied, but my most enjoyable is photography. I love capturing moments in time, and to look at the photos from an artist’s perspective is very gratifying. I also started playing and enjoying music as a young man, and played all through school, loving the creative process of playing, hearing various parts of a band or orchestra come together, listening to composers from long ago, and getting a chance to compose a song that gives me a sense of accomplishment, and having a composition that may touch people in an emotional way. This entre into music led me to have a long career in the music industry, which I still continue, where I have worked with some extremely talented artists, some of whom you may be familiar with, (If you are old school). I also love drag racing. I remember as a young kid, my sister and her husband took me to a local drag strip, and I was mesmerized at the sounds of the motors roaring as they came up to the start line to take off, and I always remember being next to a 1955 Chevy, that was candy apple red and standing there next to the fence, I saw the driver get in and start the car, It was just so exciting to hear and smell the racing fuel. As a photographer, I went to work for a newspaper in Baltimore and covered lots of topics such as politics, entertainment, social issues, and human interest stories. I also covered NHRA Drag Racing events and saw things from a very different perspective.

As a self-employed person working in the entertainment field, real estate development, and politics, I have had many occasions where I have tried to get a real estate project completed, but for some reason, it did not come together, and fell flat, or did not close, but I have learned over the years, that you must keep trying and you will get it done, as well as learn a new way to approach a situation, along with meeting new people in the process, and I feel this class will help in the process of being a better communicator.

My three strengths are mainly, My ability to listen: This skill has been most impactful in my life, and enjoyable. I say this because many times when someone is talking you have that inner voice talking at the same time, and you may not hear just what the person is trying to convey to you, which if you really paid attention you would find some gems. Now I really take the time to hear people, and understand, by asking questions about what I am hearing. This way I am able to see things a bit from their perspective.

My ability to put together the pieces; for me is also a wonderful trait that has served me well over the years. As I listen to my team or person, I can start to put together just what is needed in the process of getting a project started, or moving further along, or at whatever point we are in process of.

Being compassionate; This trait in my opinion is one that is most needed for me, and I feel is needed overall with everyone. My ability to see human issues regardless of what is going on, I feel is most important in the process of being my authentic self.

These skills or traits are what make me who I am. Being flexible is part of being able to bundle all of what you hear, and how you place things together in order to get a project, or deal completed, or to have a better personal life.

Looking at the Ted Talk with Elizabeth Lombardo was great. She talked about issues that are very important, and the inner critic is something to really understand and get a handle on. As it was stated, “The inner critic can take over your life, which can be disastrous, but under control, can be a wonderful asset to your communication tools.


Your inner critic:

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