Victor Ellerbee/ Class 6: Communication Skills

by Victor Ellerbee

151. Describe situations you can recall when inadequate communication skills led to decreased opportunities in your life.

When I was a young man, 18 years old and trying to apply for a job and not looking the part.

152. Describe situations where stronger communication skills may have enhanced your prospects for success.

When I was a part of a few candidates that was chosen by American Express for the next phase of interview and I wasn’t chosen because I didn’t communicate effectively with the head of human resources.

153. What do communication skills mean to you?

Everything, to further oneself you must master effective communications skills.

154. In what types of ways can improving communication skills assuage the burden of confinement?

It puts your focus on sharpening your interpersonal skills.

155. What types of influence do communication skills have on an individual’s prospects for success upon release?

Positively, if used correctly.

156. How can developing communication skills open opportunities through imprisonment?

It will show to the improvements to your counselor and case manager that you are trying to fine tune yourself.

157. In what ways can an individual take clearly-defined, measurable steps toward improving communication skills?

One step at a time and through consistency, you will get better at it.

158. In what ways have you taken measurable, deliberate steps to improve your communication skills?

Practice, practice, practice.

159. What value do enhanced communication skills offer to a prospective employer?

A high value because it is in line with the first impression scenario, your would be employer is measuring every word even the unspoken ones as well.

160. How can a prisoner convey the extent of his communication skills and his personal investment to improve such skills?

Every day through his actions.

161. How does the prison experience influence an individual’s development of communication skills?

There is people and very limited resource around that can assist you in your journey in self-improvement

162. In what ways do developing communicating skills resemble the development of physical fitness?

Because you must be consistent to see improvement.

163. What does it mean to read with a purpose?

When you read anything, it is a learning experience.

164. Describe the pattern of books you have read throughout your term in prison. What kind are they and why do you read them?

A wide variety, I enjoy a good story.

165. In what ways do books you read prepare you for success upon release?

You can increase your vocabulary thru an assortment of books.

166. When you consider the amount of free time available to you on a typical day, how do you determine the most effective ways to use it toward preparations for success?

I don’t have much “free time” but I use it wisely like staying in touch with my mother.

167. In what ways do you work to improve your dexterity with language, using words, sentences, and paragraphs to communicate ideas?

I use a new word in my speech all the time to expand my vocabulary.

168. How would you describe the argot of the imprisoned class?

90% literate but chooses not to use it.

169. In what ways does the jargon of imprisonment compare of contrast with the language in the society you expect
to encounter upon release?

Mine has always been the same from the time I’ve entered until now.  The only change in my jargon was improvement.

170. What does an individual speaker’s enunciation convey to his listeners?

Their level of intelligence.

171. In what ways do an individual’s grooming habits or manner of dress communicate his values?

Same as in speaking, your appearance is the first thing people see before you speak.

172. To what extent does documenting a prison journey communicate an individual’s commitment to success upon release?

I don’t see how it could.

One of the exercises Michael embraced to develop his communication strategy included writing book reports. In Earning Freedom, he wrote that books opened opportunities that contributed in meaningful, measurable ways to prepare him for triumph over the obstacles he expected to encounter. Each book had a purpose, and to stay on course, he used the following format to write his book reports:

  • How I came across the book (title
    of book):
  • Why I choose to read (title of
  • What I learned from (title of
  • Ways in which (title of book)
    will contribute to my success upon release: 

173. In what ways would writing similar book reports contribute to the development of your communication skills and preparations for success upon release? 

It would improve your memory and overall, your communication skills.

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