In the fast-paced world in which humans live, effective communication is important as it is a way of life especially in the environment of business. According to Sapp and Zhang (2009) communication is a major contributor to the success of many goals and objectives set by the upper management and business leaders. However, various sections of business management experience increasing uncertainties and tension due to the lack of proper communication in the work environment. Additionally, understanding various aspects of business communication and their importance is critical for sufficient technical leadership and work progress in every organization. Therefore, in this paper, I will summarize what I have learned from the unit and how I believe I could apply my learnings in my future career goals. Throughout the paragraphs to follow I will discuss the purpose of communication, the purpose of business writing, writing a literature review, general and specific purpose of written academic documents, intercultural communication, the work groups and team, internal and external organizational communication, intrapersonal and interpersonal communication, visual aids and non-verbal communication.
Communication Competency Development
Effective communication is important for organizational effectiveness. In this unit, I have learned that developing proper skills in communication is useful for managers to build and maintain the self-concept of employees. I have realized that sharing of information between employees and managers is important as it assists in the reduction of employees’ uncertainties about their duties and responsibilities at the workplace, an aspect which improves their perception of the work environment and their general well-being. Research conducted by Hooker (2012) shows that when employees and managers share positive self-concepts and have a feeling of equal empowerment and practice business relationships that are good, the organization maintains a productive work atmosphere. Communication allows employees to effectively participate in the organizational decision-making process which strengthens confidence between the employees and upper management.
In addition, the unit has enabled me to learn more about internal and external organizational communication. I found out that internal communication occurs inside an organization. According to Ruck and Welch (2012) internal communication connects various actions being undertaken inside an organization and confirms that all employees understand their roles and responsibilities to ascertain that they are heading towards similar goals. People in an organization can communicate internally through emails, faxes, telephone or face to face thus establishing a connection between workers, managers and directors. On the other hand, external communication entails businesses communicating with consumers and the public outside of the organization. The type of communication includes banks, shareholders, communities, suppliers and customers and can be achieved through advertisement, letters, video, email and fax.
Intercultural communication, as I have also learned, is generally regarded to be a bit challenging as compared to normal communication since it occurs between people with extensively different views of the world. The type of communication commonly occurs in everyday business dealings where individuals from different cultural communities interact while undertaking business interactions. Effective intercultural communication occurs when people communicating have knowledge of the behavioral tendencies of each other when being involved in the process of communication. In their research, Arasaratnam (2009) found out that the cultural norms differences lead to communication styles differences in individuals who belong to different cultures. However, the differences may at times lead to hostility and confusion in business transactions.
Furthermore, the study of this unit has widened my knowledge of intrapersonal and interpersonal communication. According to Vu and Gehrau (2010) intrapersonal communication refers to the communication that happens within an individual. It involves feeling, contemplating, assessing, interpreting, analyzing, thinking etc. Intrapersonal communication reflects a person’s self, with an aim of making a clarification on something. On the other hand, interpersonal communication is the communication between two individuals whereby the exchange of messages, information and ideas occurs through a channel. I have realized that in the type of communication, what is being said and how it is being said are equally important.
I have also learned about non-verbal communication and understood that it refers to all communication messages excluding words which are spoken. The non-verbal communication messages are body language which includes body posture, eye contact, facial expressions and gesture. In addition, touch is another cue of non-verbal communication. As I have learned, touch assists in indicating the closeness, expressions or feelings of a person and illustrates their characteristics. For example, a stiff and firm handshake signifies obviously different than a loose handshake. In addition, non-verbal communication supports how people interact verbally by giving full meaning and supplementing each other. The personality of an individual is also reflected through non-verbal communication. The communication embraces people’s characteristics including attitudes, morality, skill, temperament and intellect. Non-verbal communication is also important and effective in the performance of rituals such as goodbyes and greetings.
The unit has also assisted me in understanding the purpose of business writing. I have understood that creating written documents in business is critical as it reveals a lot of information about the business itself and the business skills of the writer. The way in which the document is written gives the reader insight into the writer’s educational background, business expertise and pride. The emergence of web pages, internet, email and the paperless office has highly improved the power of the written word. Effective business writing is important in the preparation of essential promotional materials for the purpose of developing the business. Although speech came before writing, writing is considered to be effective and more formal than speech. Business writing requires choosing words carefully and organizing them correctly. Generally, business writing assists in the laying down of apparent rules, procedures, policies and principles required for the effective running of an organization.
Moreover, I have understood the general and specific purpose of written academic documents. According to Biber and Gray (2010) the general purpose of academic documents is for the provision of information in a thoughtful, appropriate, clear image to the specified topic. Additionally, there exist various types of academic documents which are written for the provision of their specific purpose including subject explanation, description, reflection, narration etc. I have therefore learned that academic documents are written to provide precision, detachment, correctness, density and accuracy of the subject matter.
Through the study of the unit, I now know how to write a literature review and understood its importance. A literature review is a reproducible, explicit and systematic method for the interpretation, evaluation and identification of the existing body of recorded work by practitioners, scholars and researchers. I have learned that a literature review assists in the placement of research in a context of what has already been researched, thus providing for the making of comparisons. It is generally an assessment and critical summary of the range of existing information which deals with understanding and knowledge in a given field.
In addition, studying about visual aids has assisted me in broadening my knowledge on how the power of visual technology in teaching captures the minds of individuals. Audio-visual aids are usually in the form of movies, animation videos, powerpoint presentations etc. which are especially useful when there is a large number of learners in a single lecture. As I have realized, visual aids support lectures by emphasizing on key points being explained. The projection of printed or written information on transparencies via a computer-based system or an overhead projector (OHP) assists learners to quickly grab the concept being taught. Media projectors and power point slides have greatly revolutionized teaching since audio-visual clips and texts can easily be played on power point slides. Animations provide a visual simulation which is effective in sustaining understanding and interest among learners. Additionally, students prefer being taught using visual aids as opposed to blackboard traditional lectures. However, for effectively deriving the benefits of audio visual aids, their optimum use is recommended.
Lastly, the unit has enabled me to learn more about business teams and workgroups. Generally, business teams and groups are important in the association and performance of a business as they play an important role in the breakdown and achievement of organizational goals and objectives. Joshi, Lazarova and Liao (2009) define a team as a small group of individuals having complimentary abilities and skills and have a commitment towards a common approach and goal for which they hold themselves accountable. Diverse and multiple opinions are presented where inferred agreement or a vote is undertaken to reach a final decision. On the other hand, a workgroup is a small fraction of employees having complimentary abilities and skills and are accountable to the leader through his goals and approaches.
Intercultural communication is important for various reasons. According to Baker (2011) intercultural communication plays a great role in global economics leading to the production of positive economic outcomes. For example, on a daily basis from the global economic perspective, people in the USA carry out business transactions and trade with other diverse nations like China, Germany and India that have totally different cultural identities. Without effective intercultural communication, global business would not be effective.
Further research by Ting-Toomey (2010) shows that the benefits of intercultural communication usually multiply in enormity when viewed from the context of the new age employee, where assignments that are work-related slowly stretch onto the intercultural terrains. In this regard, the employees must possess intercultural communication skills of high quality.
Peltokorpi (2010) believes that employees working in a multicultural environment must appreciate the multicultural differences that might arise in the organization. Effective intercultural communication ensures that multicultural employees relate well in their daily activities since they are able to understand each other’s culture. Intercultural communication of high quality results the people communicating know how the other party behaves.
The intercultural communication literature reviews have all emphasised its importance in a global work environment and when doing business with diverse cultures. Since most international businesses require doing business with people from other cultures, knowledge of effective intercultural communication is critical for carrying out business. However, Peltokorpi (2010) emphasizes on employees appreciating each other’s differences while Baker (2011) emphasizes on the purpose of intercultural communication on global economics. On the other hand, Ting-Toomey (2010) focuses on how intercultural communication benefits a global work environment.
Application of Business Writing and Non-verbal Communication for my Future Career Aspirations
The knowledge of business writing and non-verbal communication in business will assist me in different ways in my future career. As a manager, I will be able to lead team members and other employees effectively. As a business team member, the use of non-verbal cues and business writing skills will assist me in communicating information to people inside and outside of the organization. Non-verbal communication and business writing skills will assist me in effectively communicating information to competitors, clients, consumers or colleagues in a complementary industry.
The paper has summarized what I have learned from the unit and how I believe I could apply my learnings in my future career goals. Communication is a critical aspect for the success of every organization since employees are able to clearly understand their duties and responsibilities in the workplace. Moreover, managers are able to direct the workers for the achievement of the common organizational objectives. Therefore, organizational directors, managers and employees should practice effective verbal and non-verbal communication for the achievement of organizational success.
Arasaratnam, L. A. (2009). The development of a new instrument of intercultural communication competence. Journal of Intercultural Communication, (20).
Baker, W. (2011). Intercultural awareness: Modelling an understanding of cultures in intercultural communication through English as a lingua franca. Language and Intercultural Communication, 11(3), 197-214.
Biber, D., & Gray, B. (2010). Challenging stereotypes about academic writing: Complexity, elaboration, explicitness. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 9(1), 2-20.
Halualani, R. T., Mendoza, S. L., & Drzewiecka, J. A. (2009). “Critical” junctures in intercultural communication studies: A review. The Review of Communication, 9(1), 17-35.
Hooker, J. (2012). 19 Cultural Differences in Business Communication. The handbook of intercultural discourse and communication, 29, 389.
Joshi, A., Lazarova, M. B., & Liao, H. (2009). Getting everyone on board: The role of inspirational leadership in geographically dispersed teams. Organization science, 20(1), 240-252.
Peltokorpi, V. (2010). Intercultural communication in foreign subsidiaries: The influence of expatriates’ language and cultural competencies. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 26(2), 176-188.
Ruck, K., & Welch, M. (2012). Valuing internal communication; management and employee perspectives. Public Relations Review, 38(2), 294-302.
Sapp, D. A., & Zhang, Q. (2009). Trends in industry supervisors’ feedback on business communication internships. Business Communication Quarterly, 72(3), 274-288.
Ting-Toomey, S. (2010). Applying dimensional values in understanding intercultural communication. Communication Monographs, 77(2), 169-180.
Vu, H. N. N., & Gehrau, V. (2010). Agenda diffusion: An integrated model of agenda setting and interpersonal communication. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 87(1), 100-116.