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Module 1: Communication: Understanding the process

Discuss about the Effective Business Communication for Personal Reflection.

In the course I have learned that effective business communication is the key for organizations to move forward. The last few weeks have been a great learning experience for me where I have learned about various aspects of effective business communication. I have learned about the open and the closed communication systems. Using the Open Systems Theory in organizations can create certain challenges. For example, large corporations include several internal departments which may face challenges in determining how to implement open systems for some departments while maintaining other departments as closed systems.  In some organizations, some departments are closed systems due to specialized nature of the department and it is assumed to function better in a closed system this way. The learning from each of the six modules of the course can be discussed as:

This was the first module of the course that lays down the foundation of the entire course. My reflection on the two of the learning concepts and one of the assigned journal article can be discussed as:

Learning Concept 1: Professional communication and ethics of effective communication

Learning Concept 2: Communication process and types of communication (verbal, non-verbal and listening)

Journal Article: The role of non-verbal communication in service encounters: A conceptual framework

Gabbot, M., & Hogg, G. (2001). The role of non-verbal communication in service encounters: A conceptual framework.  Journal of Marketing Management 17(1/2), 5-26.

I agree with Gabbot & Hogg, (2001) who brings up a valid point to which the personal values would shape future leaders.  In is in those actions, followers would be grounded in the overall culture of the organization. There is also a valid point from the communications aspect. From my experiences, it goes beyond the codes of ethics that organizations often set at a foundational element for one’s beliefs, values and actions to where the perceptions of follows see leaders ‘walking the talk’ that is communicated to the mass noting the discrepancies between the words and actions. Gabbot & Hogg (2001) suggest moral principles are often grounded through the inter-relationships, communication, reinforcements and decision-making in one’s morals, values and integrity to shape the culture as a whole. The role of non-verbal communication is particularly more important in service encounters as consumers may make their decision based on the expression of customer executive.  

I have also learned about various types of communication like verbal, non-verbal and listening. In an informal setting, the verbal communication is the most common form of communication. The non verbal communication like eye-contact, expressions are also a powerful form of communication. I have learned that the people can face certain challenges to exercise the non-verbal form of communication. I believe that I have decent communication skills and I can communicate effectively with different stakeholders in the organization. There is definitely a scope of improvement and I believe that I am on a continuous learning path of communication and ethics in communication. As a conclusion, I can say that listening is also an important form of communication and it is important that the people should have good listening skills. If I want myself in a stage where people listen to me then I should first listen to other people.

Module 2: Presentation: Communicating to an Audience

In this module I have learned about the presentation techniques. A leader must be careful about the use of some words in the workplace. While some words may not mean anything sensitive to the leader, it may mean a big deal to others. My reflection on the two of the learning concepts and one of the assigned journal article can be discussed as:

Learning Concept 1: Art of oral presentations and training presentations

Learning Concept 2: Audience engagement through effective measures

Journal Article: Winning more business by using presentations as part of a solution roadmap

Lipson, R., & Teodorescu, T. (2015). Winning more business by using presentations as part of a solution roadmap. American Salesman, 60(9), 14.

Lipson & Teodorescu (2015) suggested that there is a gap between what organizations say and what employees actually do.  Finding ways to align all parts of the organization and communicate is clearly is a great way to do this.  I have seen organizations spend a lot of time creating a strong strategic plan on paper and then implement it in a different way or not clearly communicate the plan resulting in a mess. This gap could be bridged with effective training presentations.

In this module I have learned that the presentations are effective only when they can catch the attraction of audience. There is no science to make this happen. However, the presenter can take several small steps to ensure that the presentations are effective in nature. I believe that delivering the oral and the training presentations are an art and it is important that the business professionals should learn this art.

When I think about my presentation skills, I can say that I do not have very effective presentations skills. I still face certain challenges while making the presentation. One of the most basic challenge for me while doing any presentation is to understand the audience. However, I would also like to say that I have learned a lot about the art of making presentation. This course has provided me a platform where I have learned about the intricacies involved in effective presentations making skills. There is definitely a scope of improvement and I believe that I would be able to improve on my presentation skills. It is also important that the formal training presentations should be targeted to increase the employability skills of individuals. I wanted to highlight that Employability includes more than just skills and experience you are also dealing with human beings who demonstrate prejudice so learning if there are any general judgments that take place in the industry you are trying to break in to could help you become a more attractive prospect.

Module 4: Business Writing: Genres of Writing Business Communication

In this module, I have also learned about the various ways to keep audience engaged. I believe that effective listening is a simple but a powerful way to keep audience engaged. As a presenter, it is important to listen to all the comments of audience. I have also learned that the presentation or any other material should be interactive in nature. The audience would be engaged in the presentation if they can ask the questions and they can be pull into the interaction mode.

I have few of the skills and I always try to create interactive presentations. However, it would be correct to say that there is no end to the learning and this module or this course has provided me a platform to learn about the various ways to conduct the oral and training presentations.

My reflection on the two of the learning concepts and one of the assigned journal article can be discussed as:

Learning Concept 1: Understanding the reader

Learning Concept 2: Genres of written communication (Reports, Mails and Resumes)

Journal Article: Positioning Resumes and Cover Letters as Reflective-Reflexive Process

Randazzo, C. (2012). Positioning Resumes and Cover Letters as Reflective-Reflexive Process. Business Communication Quarterly, 75(4), 377-391

Throughout my studies at the university I came to understand that effective communication is more than just sending and receiving messages properly and, indeed, is one of the qualities required in today’s business leaders. Therefore, developing this skill is one of my main priorities and on my current agenda. My initial steps for securing the role include being successful in the degree I am currently undertaking, understanding the value of reflecting and putting the skills and knowledge I learn in to practice in real life scenarios which I have found effective to date. On graduation of this course I would like to be knowledgeable about business so I can set a good example to the organisation and people who I manage on a day to day basis. The barriers and challenges that I currently face are that the job market is competitive, it is widely noted in many papers that graduates face tougher challenges due to the volume of applications employers receive when applying for graduate positions. There was a survey conducted and this indicated there was a 33% increase in job applications for graduate positions, supporting the notion that the job market is increasingly competitive.

In this module I have learned that it is important to have effective resume so that the employability skills are improved. In this module, I learned about the various genres of effective business communication like report writing, email communication, etc. I have learned that the resumes should only have precise information. It is also important that the resume should communicate the entire story of the job candidate. Personally, I like the resumes that are short and crisp. I like the resumes that are one page or maximum two pages in length. Before starting this module, I was not aware of the need of the cover page. In this module I learned that cover page is a powerful platform that would enable the candidates to get the immediate attention of recruiters. Therefore, it is important that the candidates should not only focus on the resume but also on the Cover Page. The Cover Page should contain only the relevant information. It is also important that the people should use the professional fonts

As a conclusion to the learning of this module, I can say that the skills we will need includes: Communication skills such as active listening, clarification, reflection, effective questioning skills, building good rapport that will create trust, empathetic skills rather than sympathetic as this will help you to ask the appropriate questions that lead to positive results and outcomes. We should always ask for Feedbacks as this will help you to continuously improve the skills.         

This module has also helped me to increase my report making skills. Today, I can say that the reports should be developed in a formal manner. For example, the reports should start with an Executive Summary and it should have effective Conclusion. All these skills are important to learn that I have learned in this module. 

My reflection on the two of the learning concepts and one of the assigned journal article can be discussed as:

Learning Concept 1: Understanding the process of group decision making

Learning Concept 2: Formal and Informal meeting processes

Journal Article: Meetings matter: Effects of team meetings on team and organizational success

Kauffeld, S., & Lehmann-Willenbrock, N. (2012). Meetings matter: Effects of team meetings on team and organizational success. Small Group Research, 43(2), 130-158.

The nature of our workplaces has changed. We have moved away from the monochromic make-up of our offices to one that is now colored by team members from all over the world. Business leaders send a powerful message when they demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion that goes beyond rhetoric. This foundation opined that when leaders commit to the acceptance, tolerance and willingness to understand and respect other cultures, it leads to the existence of tolerable behaviors towards each country’s culture which would promote global peace. I do agree to a large extent especially in the context where the culture of the people has room to embrace to acceptable way to grow a company in this global setting. It is true that leaders must respect people's local culture.

Working for an organization with many departments often affords the opportunity to work or meet in cross-functional teams. An example is out operating department includes three sub-departments; engineering, mechanical, and transportation. While we are all working towards the same goals we often have separate goals or objectives conflicting with each other.

One of the greatest challenges that I have seen in a cross-functional team is the skewed goals and their priorities. What we have learned is the reward or the measuring base is not the same across all team’s performing the same assignment.  This tends to create the lack of interest and concern since the employees across platforms are not being measured nor compensated with the same measuring tool.

I have learned that in the process of group decision making, Leadership is important.  The key with the leadership style is that leaders do set clear and concise expectations and consequences.  At least staff knows the line and what to expect.  I think that’s a great way to ensure things run smooth the next go around. Cohesiveness is great and makes for a great working environment. Having a go to person that knows about every function is also a great way to ensure every area is supported.

With this course and particularly this module, I have learned about he differences between the formal and informal meeting processes. It is important that the office meetings and the official meetings should happen in formal environment. Before starting this course, I only had a high level view of formal and informal communication. This module helped me to deep dive in the concepts of formal and informal communication.

In this modules I learned that knowing the culture of new business operations areas gives better perspective to understand how leaders would interact in their normal life activities. Each culture must be handled with lot of wisdom and observation. My reflection on the two of the learning concepts and one of the assigned journal article can be discussed as:

Learning Concept 1: Barriers to intercultural communication

Learning Concept 2: Non verbal communication and culture

Journal Article: The meeting genre across cultures: Insights from three German-American collaborations

Kohler, T., Durnell Cramton, C., & Hind, P. J. (2012). The meeting genre across cultures: Insights from three German-American collaborations. Small Group Research, 43(2), 159-185.

In an organizational setting, the communication could depend on the context. In the organizations within low context culture, people are on email all day, every day—that’s how things get done, plus, people count on having the written record of conversation and agreements. People all use our in-boxes as filing cabinets, tracking decisions and commitments through email. Leadership sends an email; people confirm (or ask more questions); and act. It’s fairly unusual to be invited to a meeting to discuss it further.  I can imagine this is a very difficult adjustment for those joining us from higher context cultures, especially those in which an agreement or directive is the beginning of the conversation.

I definitely agree with authors standpoints regarding a harmonious workplace if leaders and employees have knowledge about ones’ cultures and countries. The probability is that these individuals will have mutual insight about others’ cultures, especially information that can minimize the occurrence of prejudice, discrimination and ethnocentrism. This signifies that building respect and trust can be nurtured within these kind of environments, as leading and directing is correlated with building strong relationships between leaders and followers by influencing followers positively to achieve a common goal. Mutual understanding of the different cultural values, interests and needs could balance a positive interaction. However, in reality it is a matter of people’s acceptance, tolerance and adaptation. Working with a cross functional team takes a lot of compromising. It can be very challenging, especially when you have people on your team that are counter-productive.  I've experienced this on several occasions.  It's like fighting an uphill battle.  When you're dealing with people on your team who are very difficult to deal with, it's important to restructure your department, otherwise you will continue to have problems. 

As a conclusion I can say that I used to have a lot of personal constraints while indulging in the interpersonal communication. I used to think that I would not be able to communicate well. In this module, I learned that personal hindrances are one of the biggest challenges of interpersonal communication.

My reflection on the two of the learning concepts and one of the assigned journal article can be discussed as:

Learning Concept 1: Plan an Interview 

Learning Concept 2: Conduct an Interview

Journal Article: Improving the writing of literature reviews through a literature integration exercise

Dwyer, J.  (2016).  Chapter 25 The Job Search, Resumes and Interviews In Dwyer, J. (2016). Communication for Business and the Professions: Strategies & Skills. (6th ed.) (pp. 600-628). Australia: Pearson

In this module I have learned that a decision framework should be established prior to making a critical decision such as hiring a potential employee or evaluating an existing employee. Dwyer (2006) recommend creating a framework which is objective and impartial in the form of a rubric. The rubric which is common in academia defines expectations relative to different levels of competency. In the case of new hires the rubric can help in the evaluation of competing candidates. The rubric helps leadership determine how committee members evaluated each candidate during the application process and during the interview process. The researchers recommend the rubric contain thresholds to meet the minimum requirements of the job qualifications. The users of the rubric require training on the applications of the rubric.

According to Dwyer (2006) for the evaluation of current employees the rubric needs to support the employees’ demonstration of the qualifications required to fulfill the job application. For example, additional rubric thresholds focus on the details of performance, communication, problem-solving, managing, and other areas applicable to an organization’s job functions. According to Dwyer (2006) the rating of the threshold can be defined as exceeding the expectation, acceptable work, or not exceeding expectations. For current employees the opportunity to measure managers is also important. For example, a manager may perceive the manager has communicated job accountabilities effectively to an employee.  As part of the leadership role it is important to train and evaluate managers on an ongoing business. Real time feedback between leadership and managers and real time feedback between managers and employees can support ongoing communication on accountabilities. 

References

Dwyer, J.  (2016).  Chapter 25 The Job Search, Resumes and Interviews In Dwyer, J. (2016). Communication for Business and the Professions: Strategies & Skills. (6th ed.) (pp. 600-628). Australia: Pearson

Gabbot, M., & Hogg, G. (2001). The role of non-verbal communication in service encounters: A conceptual framework.  Journal of Marketing Management 17(1/2), 5-26.

Kauffeld, S., & Lehmann-Willenbrock, N. (2012). Meetings matter: Effects of team meetings on team and organizational success. Small Group Research, 43(2), 130-158.

Kohler, T., Durnell Cramton, C., & Hind, P. J. (2012). The meeting genre across cultures: Insights from three German-American collaborations. Small Group Research, 43(2), 159-185.

Lipson, R., & Teodorescu, T. (2015). Winning more business by using presentations as part of a solution roadmap. American Salesman, 60(9), 14.

Randazzo, C. (2012). Positioning Resumes and Cover Letters as Reflective-Reflexive Process. Business Communication Quarterly, 75(4), 377-391

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