One week at my internship, I had to utilize a skill that is proven to be vital under the supervision of another in any line of work: effective communication.
Since the beginning of my internship, I was given approximately 3-4 projects a day. I responded to each request from my superior with the same, “Okay. No problem,” whether it was reading a 55-page licensing agreement or simply uploading a post on social media for organization updates. However, some projects took much less time than others to finish. On a Wednesday, I was asked to write a report on Copyright laws based on two articles, both slightly longer than 20 pages.
Just a side-note, one of my weaknesses during my past internships was time-management. I frequently worked at a slower pace because I aimed to complete tasks perfectly and carefully – which is very inefficient majority of the time. Therefore, my goal at this internship was to develop a work ethic that enabled me to accomplish exactly what needed to be done in a timely fashion.
After spending about an hour and 15 minutes writing my report, I notified my supervisor about the completion and asked what else I could do for him. He seemed ambivalent and hesitant to believe that I completed the assignment in less time than expected. However, I was still given another task – contact dance theaters to request licensing agreements. When he returned from his afternoon meeting (45 minutes after I started), he again was surprised that it was all done. He asked, “Are you sure?” From that moment, I knew the best way to avoid any discomfort or a misunderstanding was to speak with him at the end of the day after the other employees left the office. This circumstance, I thought, would set up a private and comfortable environment for us to communicate my work ethic. I explained to him what my work ethic was during my previous internships and my goal to transform it during this internship. Thankfully, he completely understood.
The aspect I admire most about effective communication is that it enhances office morale. What I learned from this situation was that superiors appreciate direct communication with their employees and vice-versa. The behavioral act creates a healthy work environment – which then leads employees to efficiently fulfill their duties with a positive attitude. I imagine that inadequate communication could only leave employees, at any level of position, frustrated and unsatisfied in a workplace. I strongly advocate that effective communication played a crucial role in my office from that time because it had set the tone for a collaborative and efficient environment for my team to work in.