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Diagnosis and reflection

Discuss about the Effective Intercultural Business Interpersonal Communication.

Interpersonal communication has become vital in intercultural professional realm. There cannot be a smoothly operating organization without effective business communication within the employees. Interpersonal communicational skills facilitate operational efficiency and teamwork within an organization (Bovee & Thill, 2012). Organizational conduct depends on intercommunication between the workers to circulate information among the employees, management and most importantly the customers. Without effective interchange between the staff, it is not possible for an organization to keep up with the market demands (Cardon, 2015).

Communication corresponds to the interchange of verbal or nonverbal messages between two or more individuals. However, the principles the skill are not concerned with the message itself, but are more focused on the way the message has been conveyed. The tone of the voice, the attitude and overall approach are the three elements taken into account to judge the interpersonal skills of an individual (Bovee & Thill, 2012).

Effective corporate communication however is a complex skill as the approach of the employees need to assertive enough to be professional but be respectful as well to not offend the recipient. This report will attempt to address three different sectors of effective business communication, diagnosing an assortment of reflective tools to improve the communication skills of the individuals, literature supporting the diagnosis of the tools and lastly production of a detailed action plan to be followed in order to attain impeccable communication skills (Spitzberg, 2014).

Interpersonal communication can be described as the amalgamation of experimental learning and reflective practice. There is a fine line between interpersonal communication and corporate communication, despite intercommunication itself being the foundation of effective business exchanges (Dainton & Zelly, 2014). The difference lies in audience, structure and appeal. For example, the recipients in case of interpersonal conversations can be friends or family, which will have a casual approach but business communication, is targeted at professional audience, which demands strictly professional frontier.  This conflict between the concept and principles can create a challenge in proper understanding and distinguishing the demands of both disciplines (Spitzberg, 2014). There are a few tools available in the market that can provide better distinction. This report in this section discusses five such tools with their application and advantages.

The modern model of communication is a new addition to the professional realm of business communication. The model is a derivative of previous theories with some modern improvisations (Evans, 2015).

Contemporary model of communication

The model is primarily focuses on the feedback skills and helps individuals identify sectors where improvement is required to construct excellent professional and interpersonal communication skills (Evans, 2015).

One of the most convenient models of communication is the Johari window model developed by the American psychologists Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in 1955 (Saxena, 2015). The idea behind the model came from University of California and was later improved by Joesph Luft. The model is also known as feedback-disclosure model of self-awareness.

  • The Johari window model is utilized to strengthen the perception of an individual on others.
  • The principle of the model is to reveal information about your own self to others and then learning about yourself from the feedback of them (Tran, 2016)
  • The model categorizes each person through four quadrants, each of which signifies personal information, motivation and feelings.
  • First quadrant is open area or arena, where the majority of the communication occurs. The others will know the behavioral characteristics of an individual such as attitude, emotions, feelings, views and skills. Larger the arena, the more dynamic relationship will the individual have with others (Saxena, 2015).
  • The next quadrant is the blind spot, where the individual is unaware of the perception others have of him or her, effective communication skills reduce this arena.
  • Façade or hidden arena is the third quadrant of the model, where the personal information about the individual is kept unknown from the rest (Tran, 2015).
  • The last quadrant is the unknown arena which features some information that is unknown to the individual as well as the rest.

The communication style questionnaire is a modern tool in the field of intercommunication. It was designed to help individuals discover their preferred style of communication (Hybels, 2014). The benefits of this tool include:

  • Encourages individuals to grow their potential,
  • Helps individuals identify the communicational strengths of themselves and the others and discover how to implement their knowledge (Hybels, 2015)
  • Helps individuals construct personal development plans to attain their communicational potential,

Assertive questionnaire is another useful tool used in effective communication and self-assessment. Assertive questionnaire helps individuals understand how well developed their interpersonal skills are and in what areas improvement is needed (Melita Prati et al., 2003). For example if an individual has a tone too assertive the co-workers may find it rude, and if an individual has a very casual air to his or her conversation, it might question his or her sincerity about job responsibility (Hybels, 2014).

Group sessions are an ultimate tool in assessment of communicational prowess as it not only judges the interpersonal skills of the individuals but also assesses the overall personality and approachability of an employee.

The context of this report demands the determination and detailed evaluation of common flaws in the communication skills of present day corporate professionals. Additionally, the format requires illustrating the details of my professional experience as an example analyzing my verbal and nonverbal communication skill, active listening and assertive perception (Disanza & Legge, 2016).

In the past twelve months, I started an internship in a multinational corporate organization, which provided me with an opportunity to analyze the issues I faced using the tools that have been mentioned above. The issues I faced in the organization is the seclusion and indifference from the coworkers which is the most common issue faced by the employees in their early days in the organization.

However as the internship progressed and I started to interact with the fellow employees I realized that the seclusion I faced was due to my own behavior to some extent. The regular group sessions using questionnaire tools was meant to resolve the employee misconduct issues in the organization but it originally helped me in identifying my weaknesses from the feedback I got from my coworkers.

Johari communication model

The analysis of their feedback indicates to key factors in my communication skill, lack of assertiveness and communicational apprehension. The co-workers did not know me well enough and I was too concentrated in my own work, and the apprehension I felt in early days only pushed me further towards the inevitable seclusion. Furthermore, my apprehensive attitude and lack of assertiveness added indifference to list of issues I faced.

Putting the findings on the Johari model a clear and informative fractal is generated which can be used in analyzing the flaws and how it can be improved (Tran, 2016)

The majority of the employees working in the intercultural professional world face the issues of lack of assertiveness and communicational apprehension. Employees often face the dilemma between being too communicative and appearing too reserved. That eventually intervenes with the professional conduct and productivity of the staff and hampers the teamwork of an organization as well. This section will illustrate each issue in detail and relevant theories and concepts (Cornelissen, 2014).

Assertiveness can be defined as the quality of self-assurance and confidence, a behavior distinguished by confident affirmation of a statement, without either aggression or passive acceptance (Peneva & Mavrodiev, 2013). Assertive individuals can easily get their point across without displeasing or offending the recipient. It is concerned with being able to express demands, desires and feelings in a clear, broad and reasonable way. Often accompanied by active listening and delegation skills, assertiveness is considered to be the equilibrium between aggressive and passive behavior (Peneva & Mavrodiev, 2013).

The importance of assertiveness in corporate professionalism surpasses any limit in the present day, especially in business communication. For example, in consultancy services, assertiveness becomes inescapable when clarity is a mandate and you have to be your own advocate (Peneva & Mavrodiev, 2013). This is the scenario for every business agency, as adequate assertiveness in the communication skills not only increases productivity of employees; it also improves the personality of them drastically. That inevitably increases the viability and importance of them and eases their daily professional conduct as well (Peneva & Mavrodiev, 2013).

The business world is all about effective collaboration among the employees and teamwork is an integral element of it. Teamwork relies on effective cooperation and communication between the team members. The productivity and competence of the team decreases if one or more members are too passive to work with (Peneva & Mavrodiev, 2013). Passive attitude brings compliance in the mix and that can severely undermine the productivity and competence of not only the employee but also the team itself. The organization will always favor competent staff and if lack of assertiveness is decreasing the competence of an individual, he or she is progressing toward a rapid destruction of their career (Peneva & Mavrodiev, 2013).

Communication style questionnaires

Contrarily, another aspect of assertive behavior is that in most cases is the perception of individuals can vary from person to person. Hence the employees have to walk a fine line to ensure that their assertive approach is professionally appropriate. There are several theories that illustrate various elements of assertiveness, but arguments state that implementing these steps into practice proves to be critical (Peneva & Mavrodiev, 2013).  However amalgamating the theories the following steps can be summarized:

  • Scripting will ensure that the remarks are assertive but at the same time are at par with professional etiquette (Peneva & Mavrodiev, 2013)
  • Using simple sentences with clear understandable language to ensure that the recipient can easily interpret the message
  • Being approachable and compromising when the situation is demanding will ensure there is respectful and effective conduct in the team (Peneva & Mavrodiev, 2013)
  • Utilizing fogging techniques in tricky situations to avoid conflict
  • Lastly, being able to take a stand and stick to it so that others can interpret integrity and sincerity in the approach of the individual (Peneva & Mavrodiev, 2013)

Another common communicational issue that arises often in the business world is the secrecy. Confidentiality is an important trait to hold in the corporate world but excessive secrecy in the individuals of a team is often the cause of sinking ships in teamwork. It has to be considered that a team functions only by collaborative cooperation of team members. When the members are secretive around each other, it will defeat the purpose of teamwork (Fatt et al., 2013).

However, the secretive attitude may not be deliberate at all times. Taking the example of my professional experience illustrated above the secrecy I was orchestrating was due to apprehension. The lack of interaction from my end was representing me as unapproachable and that is the reason I was undergoing seclusion. Millions of employees face the problem of communicational apprehension, especially during the early days of placement.

This issue can be broadly classified as the anxiety or inhibition in anticipated or real communication with others. Studies suggest that this apprehension has the distinction of being either trait or state level anxiety (Bryon, 2005). There are four types of communicational apprehension, trait-like, context based, situational and audience based. Each types has distinct characteristics and symptoms.

  • Trait like communicational apprehension is a comparatively enduring personality type orientation towards a particular mode of communication across different contexts (Bryon, 2005).
  • The apprehension related to a specific context is defined as context based and has several diagnostic subdivisions
  • Situational apprehension is transitory and is focused at a given person or group, for example the apprehension employees feel when communicating with authorities or superiors (Bryon, 2005).
  • The last type is audience based and is faced by employees that are assigned to a group and have to communicate with the new team-members (Bryon, 2005)

Communicational apprehension has been the personality trait drawback in millions and it surpasses age, gender, and societal position. In order to combat such a deep-rooted issue strategic steps need to developed and implemented.

  • Firstly, the individuals need to embrace that they have this issue and work towards eliminating it. Denial will only escalate the problem further.
  • It has to be considered by the individuals that it is an anxiety and determined regular actions can eliminate this completely (Bryon, 2005).
  • Support from visual aids or friends and family can always effectively help can reduce this anxiety and gain confidence.
  • Lastly, Scripting and vigorous practicing is vital to communicational problems and following these steps religiously can easily help one overcome their communicational apprehension and become more and more interactive Bryon, 2005).

The purpose of the report was to determine the major drawbacks in the communication skills of business professionals and  relate that to my professional experiences. The report also demanded that I illustrate two of my major flaws in communication skills, classify and correlate them and lastly find a strategic plan of action to overcome these flaws and improve my communication skills.

   SL NO.

                   GOALS

    STRATEGIC ACTION

  TIME FRAME

       1.

Improvement in basic skills

Developing customized reading plans based on acquired conceptual knowledge

First month

      2.

Monitoring the improvement and identifying any loopholes

Maintaining a journal to monitor the daily progress

From the second month onwards

      3.

Eliminating deep rooted problems communicational apprehension

Taking professional help by the means of short courses

In the second month

      4.

Overcoming behavioral flaws like lack of assertiveness

Taking target specific courses or even a degree if needed

Third month onwards

       5.

Overall improvement to gain excellent communicational competence

Engaging in public communication and evaluating the improvement graph

Fifth month onwards.

Conclusion:

Communicational prowess is vital in not only a smooth professional life but is also essential in constructing a professionally acceptable personality. Moreover, in a field like business communication it becomes inescapable. It has to be considered the issues chosen by me were common flaws experienced by millions. Combating such broad spectrum complexities step by step actions are required.

From the extensive evaluation of the report it can be concluded that communicational problems can be of various degrees and dimensions and each requires a specified approach to tackle. It has to be considered that these problems are very common and discrimination or seclusion will not solve the problems. Only by effort and support can help in obliterating flaws ad gain excellent communicational prowess.

Reference list:

Borghans, L., Ter Weel, B., & Weinberg, B. A. (2008). Interpersonal styles and labor market outcomes. Journal of Human Resources, 43(4), 815-858.

Bovee, C. L., & Thill, J. V. (2012). Excellence in business communication. Pearson Higher Ed.

Byron, A. L. (2005). Communication apprehension in the workplace and its effects on employee job satisfaction (Doctoral dissertation, Texas Tech University).

Cardon, P. (2015). Business communication: Developing leaders for a networked world. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

Chaney, L., & Martin, J. (2013). Intercultural business communication. Pearson Higher Ed.

Cornelissen, J. (2014). Corporate communication: A guide to theory and practice. Sage.

Dainton, M., & Zelley, E. D. (2014). Applying communication theory for professional life: A practical introduction. Sage publications.

DiSanza, J. R., & Legge, N. J. (2016). Business and professional communication: Plans, processes, and performance. Pearson.

Evans, L., (2015). Communication skills: A word to the wise. PS Post Script, (Jul 2015), p.38.

Fall, L. T., Kelly, S., MacDonald, P., Primm, C., & Holmes, W. (2013). Intercultural communication apprehension and emotional intelligence in higher education: Preparing business students for career success. Business Communication Quarterly, 76(4), 412-426.

Grunig, J. E. (2013). Excellence in public relations and communication management. Routledge.

Hybels, S., (2014). Communicating effectively. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

Manning, C. A., Waldman, M. R., Lindsey, W. E., Newberg, A. B., & Cotter-Lockard, D. (2013). Personal Inner Values–A Key to Effective Face-to-Face Business Communication. Journal of Executive Education, 11(1), 3.

McQuail, D., & Windahl, S. (2015). Communication models for the study of mass communications. Routledge.

Melita Prati, L., Douglas, C., Ferris, G. R., Ammeter, A. P., & Buckley, M. R. (2003). Emotional intelligence, leadership effectiveness, and team outcomes. The International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 11(1), 21-40.

Peneva, I., & Mavrodiev, S. (2013). A historical approach to assertiveness. Psychological Thought, 6(1), 3-26.

Saxena, P. (2015). JOHARI WINDOW: An Effective Model for Improving Interpersonal Communication and Managerial Effectiveness. SIT Journal of Management, 5(2), 134-146.

Spitzberg, B., (2014). COMM 245: Interpersonal Communication.

Tran, B. (2016). Communication: The Role of the Johari Window on. Handbook of Research on Effective Communication, Leadership, and Conflict Resolution, 405.
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