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Analysis of Personal Communication Skills

Discuss about the Principles of Digital Communication and Coding.

Communication can be described as an essential aspect of an individual`s personality whereby the individual needs to have excellent communication skills in order to prosper in the domain of the business. Hence, in order to excel in a business domain, a person should ensure that they engage in a program whereby they are easily able to improve their communications skills and thereby possess a dominating position in the business environment. Hence, the essay aims to analyses my personal communication skills and thereby examine the areas where I lag. Doing this, will go a long way in understanding my success in the long run and I will be able to identify the areas of improvement (Knapp, Vangelisti & Caughlin, 2014).

Different dimensions of communication will be discussed using theoretical as well as practical examples. I will be relating these concepts to my personal traits and draw conclusion. The essay will be following a systematic format whereby different tools will be analyzed efficiently. I undertook certain tests for this and will be presenting my results (Mehrabian, 2017). The latter half of the essay will be a review of literature and this will be analyzing my weaknesses and will be providing an action plan for the same.

In order to analyze my personal traits I decided to make use of five different diagnostic tools which will be helpful in understanding my shortcomings and assisting me in analyzing my strengths. The tools used were the Self Perceived Communication Competence Questionnaire, Personal Report of Intercultural Communication Apprehension, Talkaholic Scale, Non-verbal Immediacy Scale and the Tolerance for Disagreement tool.

The tools were developed by eminent researchers and undertook a complexity in their nature. The given tools asked a large variety of questions which covered different aspects of my personality. This went a long way in supporting me to analyze and understand how I am performing in general and the future scope of my performance. Based on these tools I was able to identify the different action which will be required for me to undertake (Shockley-Zalabak, 2014).  After undertaking these tools, I realized that this is the right step in the direction of future growth and prosperity.

The primary tool which was used was Self Perceived Communication tool.  The tool took the form of a Questionnaire analyzing the competency. I received a moderate score in this tool. This tool helps in the analysis of the competency of different people and comes in handy when the competency related to communication needs to be analyzed. Very often certain individuals tend to get very nervous when communicating with people from different backgrounds and are unable to deliver well to a crowd. It is for this reason, the tool analysis the reaction of an individual in front of different receiving groups. My score in the given tool was 78 which can be described as moderate.

Use of Diagnostic Tools

The second tool I used was the Personal Report of Communication Apprehension. In today`s complex business environment any company will be required to conduct in business relationships which are from different cultures and very different from one`s own. Hence, the tool measures the behavior of these individuals when they are interacting with people from such different backgrounds and varied cultures (Interpersonal Communication in Workplace: Importance, 2015). The score which an individual receives in the given dimensions act as a measure of his comfort around different cultured people. In the given test I got a score of 23 which is very low ad hence, this can be stated to be my first drawback and even I believe that I get nervous in front of people from backgrounds that are different from mine.

The next tool which I used for my communication skills analysis was the tool named, Non Verbal Immediacy Scale Self Report.  The given tool is a measure of different indicator which tend to contribute to examining what happens when a person communicates with another people in the group or what is their reaction during social meetings and gatherings. The tool analysis this through various examples and options in order to analyze in the right manner.  The scores of males and females tends to differ from person to person in this aspect and in this dimension I got a low score of 74 which means that there exists a high scope of improvement and that I am not efficient in communicating freely and portraying cues to an individual easily (Knapp, Hall & Horgan, 2013).

The fourth tool which I made use of was the tool of Tolerance for Disagreement. In this tool, the individual’s comfort level when he communicates with someone he is uncomfortable with is measured efficiently. Very often people who are highly communicative in nature and argumentative as well tend to engage in debates and discussions which tend to bring out an argumentative quality in them and they are unable to reflect patience. In turn they end up arguing with that individual and show no tolerance for disagreement. They are not able to take it when they are not agreed with. In general, it is fine when to individuals are unable to agree with one another but when they show high disagreement, it reflects a tendency to get into arguments quite easily. In the given tool, a score above a mere 46 shows that an individual reflects high tolerance whereas if he tends to score very low, it reflects a low tolerance level. I got a good score of 51 in the dimension and I am very tolerant as per the given tool.

Results of Diagnostic Tests

The fifth tool adopted for analysis was the Talkaholic scale. Many people tend to have a habit of compulsive communication and tend to communicate more often than others. However, being a talkaholic is different from someone who tends to talk extra because talkaholics are able to attract attention. An ideal score in the given tool would be a score of 39 which means that these people tend to have immense control on themselves and do not engage in excessive communication. I got a low score of 11 in this dimension which is fairly accurate in nature.

Therefore, the results which I achieved from the different diagnostic tools are true to their nature and reflect relevancy. These tools go a long way in helping me to understand my shortcomings and reflect upon them (Martin & Nakayama, 2013). They serve as a source of motivation and help me to engage in a better sel. I came to know where I lagged and got the hint of the right direction where I could improve and excel in the business domain. I realized that I have a social awkward presence and get very conscious in social gatherings and the body language which I portray tends to diverge people away from me (Laske, et al., 2015). Secondly, I fear interacting with people belonging to a different culture than that of min which tends to make situations complex. It is my wish to improve in these two given aspects (McChesney, 2015).  As stated previously, I scored fairly normal in all tools except for the two tools which were the Non-Verbal Immediacy Scale and the Personal Report of Intercultural Communication Apprehension Assessment. I would be requiring to stress upon my immediacy skills and intercultural communication skills.


As the previous section assisted me in analyzing the areas where I lag and indicated the areas where I will be required to improve, the two different communication issues which I identified where the problems relating to unable to communicate with different cultured people and immediacy issues when I tend to interact with people, According to me both the problems are very large in nature and that they have stood as a hindrance in front of my growth aspects (Castells, 2013).

In the first problem which I face, I am unable to interact with people who belong to different culture (Thompson, 2013). The main problem in this area is that I feel scared when I interact with different cultured people, I have generally stereotyped these people as of a specific type and when they interact with me even in good spirits then, I take in a negative manner and this tends to foster an environment whereby the communication becomes difficulty. I tend to have hesitations when I contact with such people and hence I do not like interaction. This needs to be improved considerably.

Areas for Improvement

The next problem which I face is relating to my comfort level when I communicate with new people. I am not comfortable when I meet these new people and the cues which I give out in the form of body language, facial expressions and other related aspects tend to come out as negative. Hence, immediacy skills are quite important and I need to have a good approach towards meeting new people. I will then be able to make them feel comfortable and not make the worse scenario out of the interaction. Hence, my action plan will be based on improvement of these skills.

As observed, that I lack in two main areas which relate to intercultural communication and immediacy issues. I would like to narrate two incidents relating to each which went a long way in assisting me to come to the conclusion that the diagnosis done by the tool was correct and that I actually have issues.

Last year when I was on a family vacation, I went to London and was living at a relatives place. I liked to explore the city and would often stroll around the city on my own and explore the areas. When doing so I once visited a café after being hungry for hours and decided to take some sandwich and coffee. However, the person behind the café belonged to a different cultural background than that of mine and due to this I was unable to gain the confidence to communicate clearly and to be able to tell them what I needed. I started stammering and was unable to conduct in a clear communication process.

I was deeply disappointed when the incident took place and anted to improve since then. The next incident took place when I was back in the first year and was new. Due to by limited body language, my weak facial expressions and unable to give out successful cues to new people I was unable to establish strong relationships and turned out to be a loner in the given class. As I lack these immediacy skills I am unable to tell others what I feel like and they often assume that I have arrogance. Even in my school I was unable to establish long term relationships with my colleagues and this brings about a sense of isolation in me which further lead to the weakening of these skills.

Hence, after narrating the incidents, the next section will be discussing any available theory or literature relevant to the given scenario and will be concentrating on the two issues which were identified. The literature review will be based on relevant theories in order to support evidence.

Overcoming Challenges

The given literature review will be discussing relevant literature available in the given domain of communication. In order to understand the concept better various examples have also been used.

Intercultural communication is one of the major issues being identified in the above diagnosis. This refers that I am having the issues with communicating with the persons from different social and cultural backgrounds (Stüber, 2017). Thus, it is reducing my effectiveness and efficiency in communicating with the stakeholders from different cultural background. However, on the other hand, there are number of authors given different views in relation to the issues and challenges of intercultural communication. According to Ladegaard & Jenks (2015), one of the major issues that are being generated from the intercultural communication process is language issue. This is due to the reason that in the course of intercultural communication process, involved stakeholders belongs from different cultural groups. Thus, according to the authors, stakeholders from different cultural groups are having different set of native languages. It will get difficult for all the associated stakeholders to get understand the language and meanings of others.

The authors have also stated that in order to overcome the language barrier in the intercultural communication process, it is important to have the fair and clear understanding about the different languages of the involved stakeholders. The more will be the clear understanding of different languages, the less will be the chance for distortion of the meanings in the communication process. On the other hand, the authors have also stated that in the process of the intercultural communication, a common language should always be initiated in order to have the commonality among the all the involved stakeholders.

Thus, in order to overcome the language barrier of mine in the process of intercultural communication, I should first have to gain fair idea about the native language used by other stakeholders in the process. This will help me to determine what the other stakeholders are trying to convey. In addition, according to the authors, I should also have to initiate the use of English in the time of the intercultural communication. This will ensure that I will not face the problem of misunderstanding of the meanings and vice versa.

According to Martin (2015), another major factor that should also be considered in reducing the barrier in the intercultural communication is the listening competency. This refers to the fact that the more will be the listening skills and competencies of the particular stakeholders, the more will be the effectiveness in the process of intercultural communication. Having the competency of listening will help in effectively determining the meanings of the subjects conveyed by other in the communication process (Marinho et al., 2014). The authors have also stated that effective listening skills will help the particular stakeholder in having the time to analyze and evaluate the meanings of subject conveyed by others. In addition, it is also being stated by the authors that having the effective listening skills will also help in relying accordingly.

Thus, as per the authors, I should also have to enhance my listening competency due to the fact that it will help me to effectively determine the message conveyed by the other communicators. In order do so; I may have to give more time to the opposite communicator n sharing his message. This will enable me to have more time in decoding the message of the communicator and replying him accordingly.

According to the above diagnostic, I am also having the issue in nonverbal immediacy in the communication process. This refers to the fact that I face issues in communicating nonverbally with the others in the communication process. This also led to the initiation of the barrier in the communication process. However, according to Dixson, Greenwell, Rogers-Stacy, Weister and Lauer (2017), engagement is one of the major factors that should be initiated in order to overcome the issue of nonverbal immediacy. This is due to the reason that according to the authors, if the level of engagement can be enhanced with other stakeholders, nonverbal communication process will also get enhanced. As per the authors, enhancement in the level of engagement will reduce the lack of comfort between the stakeholders as low comfort level causes the issue of nonverbal immediacy. On the other hand, the authors have also given the example of students in the classroom. According to them, if the level of engagement between the students can be enhanced, then the probability will be more that they will be able to portray positive nonverbal immediacy. In addition, it will also ensure that students are having higher level of comfort among them in the classroom.

Thus, as per the authors, in order to have positive nonverbal immediacy in place, I should have to increase my level of engagement with my peers. The more I can enhance the level of engagement with my peers, the more I will be comfortable with them that will lead to the reduction of barrier in the communication process.

According to Riess and Kraft-Todd (2014), empathy is another effective tool in overcoming the issue of nonverbal immediacy in the communication process. In this article, the authors have given the example of communication process between the doctor and patients. According to them, if the empathy can be shown in the time of the communication process, majority of the elements of nonverbal communication can be covered. The authors have also stated that showing empathy will create a positive vibe in the communication process and also with the other stakeholders involved in the process. This is due to the reason that showing empathy will create the image among the involved stakeholders in the communication process that their opinions and views are being considered. Thus they will be more motivated to get involved in the communication process that will ensure that nonverbal immediacy will get prevented.

Thus, it can be concluded that as per the authors, I have to manage the communication process empathically in order to overcome the barrier of nonverbal immediacy. This will enable me in creating the positive vibe in the communication process and enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of the entire communication process.


Hence after analyzing the review of literature, I understood the path which I need to adopt in order to improve my skills and other actions to be taken. As globalization has increased and the need to communicate with people belonging to different cultures have also increased it is very important to ensure that one’s skills are up-to-date and that people are able to communicate with one another effectively. This guided me to improve my skills and take up different courses that will assist me. An action plan of around six months will be formed and monitored regularly to improve in my domain.

Therefore, in order to improve myself, an action plan has been formed by me which will be targeting different domains of my communication lags and help me to achieve assistance and success. In order to ensure that I am successful and take the action plan seriously. I will be maintaining and forming a journal (Argyle, 2013). This journal will be maintained by me regularly and would go a long way to provide me with a track of my actions and to assist me in achieving my set objectives. This can be reflected later on in order to analyze my progress as well.

Although the journal will assist me in analyzing my progress, I also plan to hire a mentor who will assist me in my progress (Ruesch et al., 2017). The mentor will be able to guide me to the right path and will also measure my performance. This performance measurement will be done depending upon the time frame. The given mentor will be hired for a period of 5 months. Although the plan has been formed for a period of six months which is a limited time frame, the mentor and guide will be hired for a period of 5 months.

The mentor will be able to guide and assist me in my future progress. The name of the mentor being hired will be Mr. Weld Hans.  Along with hiring a mentor, I would be undertaking an 8 week language program whereby I will be achieving learnings how to interact with people belonging to different cultures and will be trained on the different communication aspects of the program. This will help me to gel with different cultured people and also assist in improving my linguistic barriers.

I would also be enrolling in a 10 week personality development and body language class which will guide me to perform well in the immediacy issues being faced by me. These classes will help me open up as a person and also go a long way in assisting me to communicate effectively in the future (Samovar et al., 2015).

I would like to be more outgoing in nature and for this purpose I will be attending different social group gatherings and meets to work well. The progress made by me will be measured against my performance before and after the six month time frame. The feedback attained by the mentor and my tutors will be used as a token of feedback and improvement. The Gantt chart for the same has been given as follows:


Activity

Month 1

Month 2

Month 3

Month 4

Month 5

Month 6

Maintaining the journal

Mentor assistance

8 week language program

10 week personality development program

Gatherings

Conclusion

Hence, from the given analysis it could be observed that the given diagnostic tools went a long way in assisting me to overcome the crisis and my shortcomings. I made use of various tools in this process and those tools assisted me towards an oath for improvement. I scored low in immediacy and intercultural tools. The essay outlined my personal experience based on it and helped me to form an action plan to improve myself and become a better version of me.

References

Argyle, M. (2013). Bodily communication. Routledge.

Castells, M. (2013). Communication power. OUP Oxford.

Dixson, M. D., Greenwell, M. R., Rogers-Stacy, C., Weister, T., & Lauer, S. (2017). Nonverbal immediacy behaviors and online student engagement: bringing past instructional research into the present virtual classroom. Communication Education, 66(1), 37-53.

Interpersonal Communication in Workplace: Importance (2015) [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tG9YHeZT2A

Knapp, M. L., Hall, J. A., & Horgan, T. G. (2013). Nonverbal communication in human interaction. Cengage Learning.

Knapp, M. L., Vangelisti, A. L., & Caughlin, J. P. (2014). Interpersonal communication and human relationships. Pearson Higher Ed.

Ladegaard, H. J., & Jenks, C. J. (2015). Language and intercultural communication in the workplace: critical approaches to theory and practice. Language and Intercultural Communication, 15(1), 1-12.

Laske, C., Sohrabi, H. R., Frost, S. M., López-de-Ipiña, K., Garrard, P., Buscema, M., ... & Bridenbaugh, S. A. (2015). Innovative diagnostic tools for early detection of Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's & dementia: the journal of the Alzheimer's Association, 11(5), 561-578.

 Marinho, A. C. F, Mesquita de Medeiros, A., Gama A. C. C, & Teixeira, L. C. (2017). Fear of public speaking: perception of college students and correlates. Journal of Voice, 31(1), 127.e7–127.e11. doi: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2015.12.01

Martin, J. N. (2015). Revisiting intercultural communication competence: Where to go from here. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 48, 6-8.

Martin, J. N., & Nakayama, T. K. (2013). Intercultural communication in contexts. New York: NY: McGraw-Hill.

McChesney, R. W. (2015). Rich media, poor democracy: Communication politics in dubious times. New Press, The.

Mehrabian, A. (2017). Nonverbal communication. Routledge.

Riess, H., & Kraft-Todd, G. (2014). EMPATHY: a tool to enhance nonverbal communication between clinicians and their patients. Academic Medicine, 89(8), 1108-1112.

Ruesch, J., Bateson, G., Pinsker, E. C., & Combs, G. (2017). Communication: The social matrix of psychiatry. Routledge.

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Shockley-Zalabak, P. (2014). Fundamentals of organizational communication. Pearson.

Stüber, G. L. (2017). Principles of mobile communication (Vol. 3). Springer.

Thompson, J. B. (2013). Ideology and modern culture: Critical social theory in the era of mass communication. John Wiley & Sons.

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