Perception and Communication
Stephen Robbins (2010) famously defined perception as ‘the process by which individuals organise and interpret their sensory impressions in order to give meaning to their environment’.
People relate to certain stimuli because of internal and external factors. Those internal ones are sensory limits (IQ, physical differences), psychological factors (personality, motivation), needs of individual and cultural differences (attitude to time, male/female roles in different cultures). External factors which affect perceptual world are for instance familiarity with an experience, intensity, size and contrast.
My incorrect perception
There have been a lot of situations in my life when my initial perception of someone was incorrect. The one which stuck in my mind concerns the person who nowadays is one of my really good friends. I got to know that person few months ago, when I started education at Bucks New University. During one of the lectures me and that guy were supposed to work together for the exercise as a group. When I looked at his face it appeared to me as he is angry that he has to work with me. Moreover the way he was going to sit next to me seemed quite ‘gangster’ what gave me to understand that probably he is conceited. When we started to discussing the topic he turned out to be very polite and even shy. He let me first to tell my point of view as a real gentleman and wasn’t interrupting, waited till I had finished. When it was his turn to say his opinion on the issue he started blushing and was stammering slightly. I didn’t expect that he will turn out to be another kind of person as I considered him to be. As I got to know later on he has got this self-confident and arrogant body language, the way of looking and walking because he was brought up in the dangerous quarter, where more of the guys have got this manner.
My perception of the guy was completely wrong. I think it was mainly caused by the stereotypes which are still quite popular these days. First of all to avoid making the judgement of a person which often can be inappropriate I will try to first talk generally with the person for few minutes and get to know about him/her more information and then decide how they are. Secondly I will stick to an idiom ‘do not judge a book by its cover’ which is famous not only in England but also in Poland. It means that you shouldn't prejudge the worth or value of something, by its outward appearance alone.
Ways in which the university can improve communication with the students:
Have a shared purpose
Firstly I think that Bucks New University can improve the communication with students by ensuring that they are well informed of the fact that everyone is working towards the same goal. The shared target is to get a degree at a desired level. The University could have a mission statement ‘we all are working towards the same goal’ and use this University’s website. I feel that this would improve communication between students and lecturers and perhaps bring them closer together and make their ties stronger.
Consider your channels
Second idea for improving communication is to look at other channels for communication such as communicating on Blackboard instead of emails. For instance if there was just a group on Blackboard for the lecture group then it would make it much easier for students to communicate while working together and also the tutor can see that these teams are communicating. This idea means it would be like an academic version of a social network site. This means that they can access it 24/7 and they will also be able to have permanent access to each other and the lecturer.
Lastly I feel that Bucks New University should work collaboratively with students to improve the communication together. In my opinion students would be very happy to do this as they would be giving their own ideas into the discussion. The University could run some classes with students where discusses ideas on how to improve communication and they all together would put the best thoughts into action. This would make lecturers and students to work together and would give them not only a sense of belonging but also pride if the outcome was successful.
Clake, R. (2010) People Management [online]. Available from:
http://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/pm/articles/2010/07/how-to-improve-staff-communication.htm [Accessed 5 May 2011].
Mullins, L. (2010) Management & Organisational Behaviour. 9th ed. Harlow: Prentice Hall.
Unknown. (Unknown). Perception. Available from: