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Diagnosis and Reflection

Discuss about the Interpersonal Communication for Competence and Contexts.

This main objective of this report is to conduct a study on self-reflection to understand personal capability. In order to identify and understand personal capability, some reflective analysis tools are used. After using those analysis tools it was seen that some areas require serious improvements (Amati & Hannawa, 2014). Therefore, in this report a discussion is also added based on the steps that must be undertaken for enhancing the drawbacks that exist in the interaction method. A literature review is also added in this report that contains concepts and models related to those issues of communication that are identified.

Diagnostic tools that are used in order to carry out the self evaluation are Johari Window test, Assertiveness Questionnaire, Emotional Intelligence test, Quinn Management Questionnaire and Communication style Questionnaire. The connection between an individual and others was identified by using the Johari Window test (Arnold & Boggs, 2015). Johari Widow Test helped me to know that I belong from an open arena where I have ample amount of knowledge about other people who are either living with me or associated with me. On the other hand, Communication Style Questionnaire helped to figure out that I am comfortable while communicating with people, even if the topic is something that I do not like. I do not become angry easily and I always try to agree with others which show that I value opinion of others. Besides, it also shows that I am a good listener and never hurt anyone’s feelings by using harsh words. However, it is also true that I feel guilty when I am surrounded by several types of issues and problems. From this test, I was able to find out a negative point about myself. If was found that I cannot maintain eye contact with other people while communicating with them.

Another assessment tool that was used was the Self Assessment assertiveness questionnaire. This questionnaire has helped me to evaluate my attitude with others. After analyzing the results I got from this analysis I understood that I am determined towards my work and I am able to take decisions as per the demand of the situation. I always ask for opinions from others as I believe any individual can offer better ideas that can provide competitive edge in today’s market place. Therefore, I always put more focus on perspective of others. Quinn Management Test was conducted to understand my competences along with how I can apply particular things in real life that can enhance my communication capability (Baxter & Norwood, 2015). From this test, I could understand leadership and managerial values that I have in me. This test identified that perspectives and opinions of others are immensely valued by me and I always put more emphasis on accomplishing a collective result by gathering point of view of others.

Professional Experience

In order to find out two major issues in my communication style, I would like to share a small incident that took place few days ago. Some days ago, I went to a well-renowned multinational organization for interview purpose. In the interview process, everything was smooth until I was called for face-to-face interview method. As it was a multinational company, where the main focus is to develop a diverse workplace, all the interviewers were from different backgrounds. As a result, I had some serious issues while understanding the accent of them. Besides, I also had problems because of different communication styles which are direct communication and indirect communication. As per Australian culture we are habituated to direct communication. On the other hand, Japanese, Chinese, Indian and Saudi Arabian people prefer indirect communication styles. Two of the interviewers were from India and other one was from India. I was saying a direct “No” or “I don’t know” to show an honest and respectful side of mine; however the interviewers were considering it as impolite and crude behavior. I had no idea how to communicate through indirect communication style.

From the evaluation that was done using five diagnostic tools and professional experience, I could figure out two major communication issues that I have. Those issues are hereby discussed below.

After thorough analysis of my professional capacities, I was able to comprehend the results of my tests more clearly. First of all, I got to know that I am comfortable while communicating with people, even if the topic is something that I do not like. I do not become angry easily and I always try to agree with others which show that I value opinion of others. However, I do not possess a strong grip over cross-cultural communication and as a result I do encounter serious issues while understanding the accent of foreign employees or managers. Besides, I also had problems because of different communication styles which are direct communication and indirect communication. As per Australian culture we are habituated to direct communication. On the other hand, Japanese, Chinese, Indian and Saudi Arabian people prefer indirect communication styles. Hence, it is evident that I do lack a clear and through understanding of the linguistic and cultural differences existing in the overseas market, which makes me unsuitable a candidate to work abroad. Needless to say that I do not have a strong grip over the accent of foreign languages and my accent is quite different from the traditionally accepted accents of the foreign languages. Besides, I need to develop my awareness regarding the behavioral traits and cultural patterns as well as the professional ethics expected in the foreign nations. Despite possessing some of the most interesting traits of a leader, I believe that I am incompetent to work in a diverse workplace as of now.

Discussion of Results

I realized that interaction style in Western cultures, from where I belong is more direct where the meaning is seemingly obvious. However, other cultures tend to be more discrete in the way their present their message (Berwick & Chomsky, 2015). As a result, a communication between a Westerner and a non-Westerner can result in confusion. Exactly the same thing happened in the interview that I talked about earlier. It is true that how workers of different cultures respond to one another is a major determining factor towards the cohesiveness of an organization. In western culture the question can be “Is option A or option B more efficient?” where in a culture that is non-Western employees may need to entail or suggest a specific option without describing it directly (Brannen, 2014). Therefore, it is important for me to learn to communicate in an indirect manner.

After my interview, it was clear to me that another problem that I will face while working in a multinational organization is language barrier that includes accept and fluency (Danziger, 2013). It is obvious that in a multinational organization, lots of employees will work who are from different country, background and ethnicity. Therefore, the chances are high that I will have critical problems while communicating with them. It is evident that such communication will raise confusion between my colleagues and me that I turn can hamper the work that we do. On the other hand, using wrong words and pronunciation can also cause frustration or interpersonal conflicts. Besides, this problem related to language can also cause problems at the time of meeting or one-to-one sessions (Dragojevic & Giles, 2014). It is possible that people of higher management do not belong from Australia. Therefore, while communicating with them, I might say something that is relevant from my side but is not from their point of view. Therefore, it is necessary for me to improve my cross-cultural communication skills to survive in multinational companies.

Apart from the problem of cross-linguistic problem of communication discussed above, I also realized that I am not good in interacting with clients and subordinates while I have to communicate an important strategy to them. I usually am a withdrawn person, and hence I do lack the confident and assertive style of communication needed to exercise authority over my subordinates.

According to Harzing & Pudelko (2014), all types of communications can be called as cultural as it draws on ways we have taught to speak and give non-verbal messages. In terms of cross-cultural communication, it is outlined and demonstrated by examples of ideas, attitudes, and behaviors involving four variables which are time/space, fate/individual responsibility, face/face-saving and non verbal communication.

Identification of Two Communication Areas Seeking Improvement

Time and Space: Time is known as the most central different that separate cultures and cultural paths of doing things (Hybels, 2014). In Western culture, time is seen as quantitative object that is measured in units that reflect the march of progression. There, time is logical and sequential. On the other hand, in the East, time is seen like it has unlimited continuity. The best place to understand the Eastern idea of time is India. There time is seen as moving continually via several cycles. There time stretches far ahead of the human ego or lifetime.

It is another important variable that is affecting communication across different cultures. It means to the degree to which the people feel themselves the masters of their lives, versus the degree to which people see themselves as subject to things that are outside of their control. As mentioned by Lane, (2016), this variable is extremely important to understand cultural conflicts in workplaces. In this expensive landscape, it is seen that a lot of people row up with a major sense of life where ideas are big and hope stays for eternity (Bochner, 2013). These people, when face setbacks, encourage themselves to redouble their efforts. They try again and again until they gain success.

Face is also an important part across cultures, yet the dynamics of face and face saving play out separately. Face is described dissimilarly in the cross-cultural communication literature. As mentioned by Asante et al., (2013), the beginning points of individualism and communitarianism are closely connected to face. If someone sees himself as a self-determining individual, then face will preserve his image with others. If someone sees his main identification as a group member, then considerations about face includes this group. Direct confrontation or problem solving with other people may reflect poorly on his group or can hamper the overall community harmony.

Non verbal communication is significant while communicating with others. According to Pekerti and Thomas, (2015), non verbal communication is multiplied across cultures. This is because people tend to look for nonverbal cues in case where verbal message are not clear and ambiguous. Cultures that are low-context like the United States of America and Canada tend to provide relatively less emphasis to non verbal interaction (Myers et al., 2014). It does not mean that non verbal communications never rake place or it is unimportant. However, people in these settings are to place minimum importance on it than on the literal meaning of words themselves. On the other hand, high-context setting such as Japan and Colombia, it is significant to understand nonverbal components to understand the intended meaning of the interaction as a whole.  Some elements in nonverbal communication are constant across the culture (Neuliep, 2014). For example, from several studies it was seen that emotions of enjoyment, anger, fear, disgust and surprise are expressed in equal ways by the people around the world.

Through direct communication people tend to say what they think. In this type of the communication message is initially conveyed by the words used by the people. The primary goal of communication is to gaining and providing information. In the low-context culture direct communication is seen. Low context culture means those cultures where more emphasis is given on individualism and self-reliance (Pekerti & Thomas, 2015). On the other hand in the case of indirect communication, mostly high-context cultures follow it. In this type of communication, any message is not conveyed only using words but also using nonverbal behaviors, implications and understatement.  In this type of communication, the overriding objective of interaction is to maintain harmony and saving face. Indirect communication, as mentioned by Ihator, (2015), look to avoid any type of conflict, tension and unwanted situations. In cultures that are high-context and may be homogeneous and tend to highlight interdependence and social relationships, people establish deep and sometimes unconscious understandings of what is expected in that culture. As a result of shared anticipation, about behavior, the context can be changed by the speaker to convey more amount of information.

Direct Communication

Indirect Communication

In this type of communication facts and data speak for themselves

If a person who is communicating does not have anything to say, he must not say anything.

In this form of communication it is said that the squeaky wheel gets the grease.  Besides, it is also seen that honesty is the best policy in this type of communication.

In this type of communication, the nail that sticks out gets hammered back in (Bochner, 2013). Besides, being polite is extremely important than being honest in this form of communication.

In this type of communication process saying no is allowed and not considered as impolite.

Saying no in this type of communication is absolutely not allowed. While in indirect communication, it is expected to say “may be” or “possibility”, even if someone means “no.”

It is important to say what the person mean. Precisely (Lane, 2016). In this type of communication, interaction must be done at face value.

In this type of communication it is not expected that someone will directly express what he wants. Besides, communication must be handled to save face.

Time is money in this type of communication. Therefore, in direct communication it is expected that people will get to the point without wasting any time.

In this type of communication, small conversations are extremely important to make the environment comfortable.

In this type of communication, employees and exhibit their disgrace with their boss. They can directly talk about any issue of problem they are facing.

In the case of indirect communication, employees are expected not to criticize anyone, especially against the people of higher authority.

The people, who are more direct and assertive in their way of communication, not only manage to get their works done, but also succeed in maximizing employee efficiency rate. Besides, a direct communication style helps in creating a positive workplace free from employee conspiracy and selfishness.

In the end, it can be concluded that after evaluating the results of five diagnostic tools, it is seen that I have issues related to cross cultural communication and direct-indirect communication. In this paper, the importance of cross cultural communication and is described through literature review. On the other hand, a complete description on direct and indirect communication is also provided in this study. From the literature part, it is clear that both the communication aspects are extremely important for a person to become successful in professional world. Without learning these two skills it is not possible to interact properly in multinational companies. Therefore, it is extremely important to improve these skills through several learning programs.

Months

Action

Timeline

Success Measure

January

It is important for me to get rid of the problem of successful cross-cultural communication. Hence, I will enroll myself in a communication development training course that will enrich my vocabulary in foreign language and improve the fluency of the same.  

30 days

I will have to sit for cross-linguistic knowledge and aptitude tests so as to have an understanding of the level of my learning. I would also try to interact with my friends or colleagues belonging to different ethnic groups, so as to test my multilingual capacities.

February

I will also enroll myself in a soft skill developing program, so that I can enhance and improve upon my skills of communicating with my colleagues.

10 to 15 days

I will interact with my employees or even friends and will ask them to provide me the feedback. I should try to assess and evaluate my mistakes based on these feedbacks.

March

I will also try to improve my non-verbal skills, as these are highly important while interacting in a foreign set up. Hence, I will attend workshops and seminars that intend to enhance our soft skills, grooming us to use the tight gestures and body languages.

15 days to 20 days

I will try to assess my non-verbal skills at the end of the scheduled period, with the help of various self-assessment tools. Besides, I will also try to assess my skills by sitting before the mirror and checking my own style while communication. Self-reflection can largely help in evaluating my skills.

April

I will also develop my indirect communication skills by enrolling myself in training programs.

10 days

After following this objectives, if I being a direct speaker can communicate properly with indirect speaker, then it can be said that I have made improvements. This is how I will evaluate myself here.

May

Since I am shy while delivering speeches, I will arrange a speech and will ask my friend or father to sit before me and listen while I communicate. This can help to prevent my shyness and social awkwardness while communicating my thoughts.

30 days

I will create a response schedule to understand what the listener thinks about me.

June

I will also regularly follow communication  skill videos so as to enhance my fluency and understand the desirable way to communicate.

20 days

I will jot down the important points of desirable communication from the videos and then practice the same before the mirror or in presence of an active listener.

References

Amati, R., & Hannawa, A. F. (2014). Relational dialectics theory: Disentangling physician-perceived tensions of end-of-life communication. Health communication, 29(10), 962-973.

Arnold, E. C., & Boggs, K. U. (2015). Interpersonal relationships: Professional communication skills for nurses. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Asante, M. K., Miike, Y., & Yin, J. (2013). The global intercultural communication reader. Routledge.

Baxter, L. A., & Norwood, K. M. (2015). Relational dialectics theory. John Wiley & Sons, Inc..

Berwick, R. C., & Chomsky, N. (2015). Why only us: Language and evolution. MIT press.

Bochner, S. (Ed.). (2013). Cultures in contact: Studies in cross-cultural interaction (Vol. 1). Elsevier.

Brannen, M. Y., Piekkari, R., & Tietze, S. (2014). The multifaceted role of language in international business: Unpacking the forms, functions and features of a critical challenge to MNC theory and performance. Journal of International Business Studies, 45(5), 495-507.

Danziger, K. (2013). Interpersonal Communication: Pergamon General Psychology Series (Vol. 53). Elsevier.

Dragojevic, M., & Giles, H. (2014). Language and interpersonal communication: Their intergroup dynamics. Handbook of interpersonal communication, 29-51.

Harzing, A. W., & Pudelko, M. (2014). Hablas vielleicht un peu la mia language? A comprehensive overview of the role of language differences in headquarters–subsidiary communication. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 25(5), 696-717.

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

Ihator, A. S. (2015). Communication style in the information age. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 6(4), 199-204.

Lane, S. D. (2016). Interpersonal communication: Competence and contexts. Routledge.

Myers, S. A., Goodboy, A. K., & Members of COMM 600. (2014). College student learning, motivation, and satisfaction as a function of effective instructor communication behaviors. Southern Communication Journal, 79(1), 14-26.

Neuliep, J. W. (2014). Intercultural communication: A contextual approach. Sage Publications.

O’Sullivan, P. B., & Carr, C. T. (2017). Masspersonal communication: A model bridging the mass-interpersonal divide. New Media & Society, 1461444816686104.

Pekerti, A. A., & Thomas, D. C. (2015). The role of self-concept in cross-cultural communication. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 15(2), 167-193.

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