Megan Handley Self Intervention

For the past 2 weeks (intervention began Monday November 12th and ended Sunday November 25th) I have been working on my vocabulary. I have a bad habit of saying “umm” and “like” when I am speaking and I’ve realized it is interrupting my communication with others. My initial objective was to stop using those thought fillers completely, however I added some other goals as my awareness increased: to use better vocabulary and only speak when it’s important. I am currently in CD230 which is the Cal Poly Preschool Lab class, where you are being recorded and observed the second you step in the room. This is where I discovered my tendency to struggle with words, when I wasn’t aware of it before. The amount of “likes” and “ums” is horrifying. I noticed that I talk really fast and when I slow down my thoughts and words, I communicate more clearly. Sometimes I have to take a pause and a deep breath and I am not used to it. I have always been this way, I like to get my point across fast rather than speaking articulately. I saw a quote on pinterest by Gandhi that said something along the lines of “speak only if it improves the silence” and I think that really enhanced my intervention because I was more aware of what I was verbal about in each moment. I’ve found that I don’t need to speak out every little fleeting thought that goes through my head. And when I speak with a purpose, I find myself using “filler words” less. I opened my new book on mindfulness (its called The Little Book of Mindfulness) and found that the techniques they suggest to be more present also help with communicating with more clarity. And when I am more mindful I tend to have a better/more precise vocabulary. This newfound awareness is beneficial for the professional growth as well because as a child development major, it is critical to model clear sentence structure and big vocabulary in order to promote a child’ brain growth. I already see improvements at work (for some reason it’s easiest to practice purposeful and precise language with preschoolers) and around my friends, though habit breaking is a hard and slow process.

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