I recently tutored two American students who graduated and transitioned into design. One with an extremely high level of design, but she lacks self-confidence and always feels that her work is not good enough. The other, has average design work, but he is very confident, or frank, during presentations: "I did an extremely poor job at this step, I don't even know what I was doing."
As a tutor, my task is to help boost the former's self-confidence and enhance the latter's design skills while trying to make them see the strengths they already possess - those are the diamonds in the sand that they often overlook.
Improving skills and making advancements isn't difficult: provide observations, ask for reasons, then offer suggestions and demonstrate a few examples, that's all. They usually get the hang of it. But making them see their strengths is challenging. It requires designing some communication strategies that will allow them to discover it on their own, instead of me telling them directly. This is even more challenging than expressing disagreement (debate) or persuasion.
When considering such issues, the grammar and vocabulary used in English communication will no longer be the focus for me because there is simply no time to ponder over these. The emphasis should be placed on designing your communication strategy and verifying whether the other party can understand my message. Another crucial point: in the design process, an imperfect conversation is always better than a perfect monologue.
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