Communications 101

Written by Cheryl Tay on . Posted in Cheryl Tay Blog | Blog Post of Cheryl Tay

Sometimes I fail to understand why some people are so quick to put others down, completely not mincing their words and being entirely critical.


There will definitely be one instance in our lives where we learn of negative comments about yourself being said behind your back.



Look at why Top Gear is so successful – they are wicked, brutally honest and extremely witty. How many motoring journalists out there can crash a car while ‘testing’ it and get away with it the way Jeremy Clarkson does?


The Asian context, or at least the Singaporean context, is nowhere near ready to accept such vile; not now, maybe never.


As a journalist or reporter, our duty is to state facts and relay them to the public. I do form an opinion or derive a perception from the facts, but you can choose not to agree with me.


Frankly, do you think Jeremy Clarkson cares about what you think about him or what you think about what he thinks?


The world is made up of a myriad of personalities and varied mindsets. I formulated my own theory of communications – Awareness, Acknowledgement, Agreement, Approval, Application.


Basically, these are five stages of communications: When an issue first arises, you become aware of it and you acknowledge that it exists. Thereafter, you may agree with the issue but not approve of it. However, once you do approve of it and are convinced, you will then apply it.


Try relating these five stages to your argument (Nope, I am not encouraging you to start quarrelling) or the next time you find yourself in a conflict. Try to identify which stage you are stuck at.


For example, your husband might be suggesting for you to go and try yoga after he has seen his female colleagues practise it and benefit from it.


So, applying my five ‘A’s of communications: You are aware that yoga is good. You acknowledge that people who have tried it and practise it regularly reap benefits. After doing your own research by asking around or surfing the internet, you agree that yoga is truly good. You decide to give it a shot and you go for a trial class. The class was enjoyable and so you have now approved of yoga. After a few more lessons, you begin to realise how yoga can be part of your lifestyle so you apply it and start practising yoga regularly.


Typically, the gap between agreement andkapproval is quite wide. Some may ask, what’s the difference between both? Agreement is nodding your head and saying that one is not wrong to have such an opinion, but approval is giving consent that something must be done about it. Then application comes in last when you really put into action a solution for the issue.


Hence, when Jeremy Clarkson gives his review of a particular car model, you are aware that he thinks that way of that car, you acknowledge that the car can be thought of that way, but whether you agree with it or not is a completely separate matter.


Later, you may agree with him after some consideration, and assuming it is a positive review, you approve of it and you eventually apply it by buying the car


Remember – it is not how good you are, but how good you want to be.




*This was first published in 9tro magazine, issue #6.

Cheryl Tay

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Singapore’s only female full-time motoring and motorsports photojournalist. Independent automotive consultant and prominent local motorsports personality Cheryl Tay is uniquely passionate about all things cars and motorsports. She also has a strong passion to share her interest and knowledge, hence having a dream to become the ‘Oprah Winfrey of cars and motorsports’ and create a multimedia platform for her sharing. - A female in a male-dominated world, Cheryl Tay is Singapore’s only female full-time motoring journalist and motorsports blogger and she regularly writes for prominent titles in Singapore, Asia and internationally. (See full list of titles that Cheryl Tay writes for here.)

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