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Communication Diagnostic Tools

Discuss about the Reflective Practice for Communication Skills.

Communication is one of the most important elements that should be given much consideration in every individual interaction. The approaches in which an individual interact with people, they are connected or have a common goal to share with influences the kind of interactive relationship they will have. Communication is inclusive of both verbal and nonverbal communication (Broadbent, 2013). However, non-verbal communication may send a lot of information to another party. Best communication behaviors are influenced by the formation of effective communication skills traits. Some of the communication skills traits are inborn while others are learned. Developing effective communication skills especially from a younger age is essential as it helps the youths prepare for future interactions both socially and in the global market.

It is significant to note that students who are equipped with excellent communication skills stand a better chance to grasping better employment opportunities and passing interviews as compared to students with poor communication skills. Development of effective communication skills will require students to be more acquainted to communication diagnostic tools. Communication diagnostic tools are described as the tools that individuals should emphasis on so as to enhance their communication skills (Swineford et al.2014). Some communication diagnostic tools include Johari Window, Communications Style Questionnaire, Assertiveness Questionnaires, role play activities and practice.

 Johari Window is a communication replica whose functionality is to enhance proper understanding among two or more individuals (Reece & Reece, 2016). Johari window communication tool was developed with two key ideas. The first approach argues that people can build trust with others when they can disclose information about themselves. The second idea explains that feedback from other people or experts can help one to learn about him/her and therefore come into requisites with their personal problems.

Communication style questionnaire is an interaction model that is meant to help people develop and grow their communication techniques (Hämäläinen, Luoma & Saarinen, 2013). The communication style questionnaire as a tool for effective communication development is aimed at helping individuals to test their communication quality at a personal level and also that of others. The importance of communication style questionnaire includes; helping people to develop their perspective, it enables individuals to discover their learning strengths and that of others (Ma & Oxford, 2014). Communication questionnaire also helps in personal plan development and how to achieve their potentials with regards to communication. Communication questionnaires thus serve the role of assisting natives to develop better methods of interacting with other people as they can identify how they communicate (Gee, 2014).     

Using Communication Styles to Analyze Communication Diagnostic Tools

Assertive questionnaires use communication models geared towards helping an individual develop self-esteem and confidence while at the same time mentoring individuals towards self-understanding. Assertive questionnaire as a communication model primary significance lies in its ability to convince individuals to speak for themselves without any fear as it encourages aggressiveness (Cooper, 2015).

Role play activity is a communication model that helps individuals mainly students to prepare for difficult conversations and situations. The design often occurs among two or more individuals who act out roles with intent of exploring certain specified conditions (Barker, Quennerstedt & Annerstedt, 2015).  Role play assists in building up experience and self-confidence especially in handling real life situation that requires an efficient communication application.

Practice is a diagnostic communication technique whose aim is to help people develop better communication skills. The method can be applied by use of various methods. One of the common ways of enhancing communication through practice is by training whereby individuals are trained on different effective communication approaches. In schools, teachers help students develop effective communication by engaging them in debating, public speaking, and participation in other co-curriculum activities that require an interactive engagement (Ang, 2015). Role play can be used in the following steps respectively; identifying a situation, elaborating about the situation, allocation of functions,

Johari window can be used in enhancing both verbal and nonverbal communication skills. Johari window as interface designs can help in developing effective listening skills and better use of nonverbal communication techniques such as the use of gestures in communicating to people. The diagnostic tool is best for use among all individuals, through Johari window I can get feedback from people on my communication skills and thus find it easy to correct on my weaknesses (Quinn et al..2014).

Communication style and assertive questionnaires will help me in developing communication skills such as confidence and built up of my self-esteem. Through build, up confidence, I will be able to present myself both verbally and nonverbally without fear quickly. Communication style questionnaire will also help me built up on communication skills give me a hand to understand others and be tolerated with other people way of life and conduct. The questionnaires are therefore important in developing communication skills such as understanding, tolerance, self-esteem and confidence (Daft, Richard, and Dorothy, 2013).

Role play activity and practice will help me develop effective communication skills such as relaxation, confidence, and self-belief. Through role play, I can deal with nervousness during difficult conversations. Thus dealing with nervousness will help me relax and built on confidence. Through role play, I am also able to gain self-experience that will assist me in being assertive as I will be able to believe in myself as an individual and develop aggressiveness. Practice will also help me in developing both verbal and non-verbal communication skills as through continuous practice I can evaluate myself and at the same time receive feedback from people thus leading to the development of better communication skills traits.

Communication Issues That Require Development

The two primary communication skills that need developments are practice and role play. Practice as a communication diagnosis needs to be continually developed so that it is in line with modern communication trends. Development of method should be influenced by globalization which has led to changes in technology and cultural modes of communication (Cornelissen, 2014).   Roleplay should be developed to suit professional standards, and this is an implication that only experienced and qualified personnel should be allowed to mentor students on role play roles. People can gain better experience when trained by qualified personnel than nonprofessionals.

Recently, I was assigned the responsibility of representing my school in project presentation outside the country. This was a fulfilling opportunity for me to develop my talent in public speaking. Two months ago, I had the chance to work as a social worker at a hospital in my town. My roles involved counseling and dealing with other social issues reported by patients.

Relations between My Professional Interactions and Communication Issues Requiring Development

Through my professional interactions, I realized that practice still required development. For instance, during my project presentation, I had to be confidence and audible so that everyone would understand what I was explaining to them. This was made possible by continuous practice before presentation of the project. I also realize that I was not nervous as I had participated in a role practice. During my apprentice as a social worker, I had to exercise a high level of self-esteem and also to be tolerant with the patients as they were from different backgrounds. Understanding the patients and effective listening to their problems were my essential communication skills as I was playing the role of a professional social worker. Through the two interactions, I realize that personal communication development is crucial as it precipitates development of self-esteem, understanding, confidence and patience.

Concepts of Practice

Effective communication practice requires the application of various communication concepts. Best communication practices can help people even the most reluctant individuals to become better effective communicators. There are different concepts of practice in communication. Some of these concepts include; being relatable, use of emphasis to communicate key points, active listening, and customization of communication styles for each employee and ensuring audience comfortability. Other methods include asking questions before one speaks and being available.

Being relatable as a communication practice requires an individual to be well acquainted with people that they work with or share a common goal. Some of the relatable actions that one can apply in developing effective communication skills are making exceptional efforts of getting to know your colleagues at a personal level (Gasparini, 2014). This may include engaging in informal chats or showing interests on their livelihood.

My Recent Professional Interaction

Use of emphasis to communicate key point is an effective communication practice that enables the audience to realize the importance of the point being conveyed to them. This creates a better understanding and also increases self-esteem and confidence of audience as they can confidently apply what they have learned without fear. Emphasis is created through repetition of the main key points.  A trainer can also use focus on certain key point by using them as slogans in events or any other relevant meeting places.

Active listening is a strong communication practice as it sends a message of tolerance during a conversation. It is advisable for individuals to frequently listen to other people matters of concern even if they may look dull. Active listening enhances confidentiality and enables individuals to practice patience and tolerance.

Customization of communication styles for each employee is an equity approach. This model of practice is based on the argument that workers or people that we interact with regularly are different from each other and we can therefore not use one approach in dealing with them (O'Sullivan & Partridge, 2016).

Ensuring audience comfortability, on the other hand, means using words and language that is best understood by audience and people associated with you during a communication pattern. Asking questions before one speaks is a communication practice that discourages assumptions and encourages awareness creation (Omilion-Hodge & Baker, 2014). 

Role play is a communication diagnostic tool that requires individuals to engage in a speaking activity. Effective communication is best developed when people can speak and express themselves (Light & McNaughton, 2014).  During a role play, an individual is expected to put themselves in someone else's shoe or fit into an imaginary situation. Theoretically, role play helps individuals develop self-confidence as they can get used to some awkward conversation through practice (Akey, 2016).

Role play concepts can be both theoretical and practical. The useful concept of role play includes; acting and being an imaginary person (Barber et al. 2016).  Acting is a role play idea where individuals put themselves in the shoes of someone else and try to portray behaviors of the persons. Role play is essential in helping an individual in developing high self-esteem and confidence. Through acting, individuals get an experience of easily doing things that they were not able to do before. For instance, through role play, people or even students can learn on how to express and defend themselves. Self-expression is one of the most important keys to winning a job interview or clients for business personnel. Acting as a role play is, therefore, an important tool for developing effective communication skills that can be used both formally and informally. Besides, putting yourself in other people shoes will enable me to practice tolerance and patience with other people. Tolerance and patience are key professional concepts required of every individual at the workplace or in any organization.

Relations between My Professional Interactions and Communication Issues Requiring Development

Another role play concept is imaginary people, in this concept an individual practice on a behavior of fitting into someone shoes.  Imaginary role play is most commonly used in schools to help students develop effective communication patterns. During the imaginary process, students are often allowed to take in the opinion of others. Some activities that students engage in during an imaginary process include debates and public speaking; these activities often help students in developing communication skills such as being audible, maintaining nonverbal conduct with people they are addressing and develop self-confidence. Role-play can also be developed through a theoretical situation concept.  During this process, the use of functional language for various situations is often expressed and practiced through role play. For instance, arranging and distribution of important office documents to different stakeholders at their residence or workplace is an example of a role play by staff.

Theoretically, it is agreed upon by psychologists that learning can best be improved when individuals especially the preschool children are involved in memorial and engaging activities. However, role play does not only apply to children but people of all ages.  Roleplay should be encouraged because it is fun, allows people the chance to express themselves and broadens the reasonable relationship to include external relationships. Roles play also enable people to understand the consequences of their behaviors.  Through role play, professionals can develop theoretical and practical approaches to dealing with conflicts as role play helps in identifying problem options and solutions.

Role play is valuable as it allows people to make mistakes in a nonthreatening condition. This is because it permits people to test various solutions until they come up with a more appropriate solution (Baile & Blatner, 2014). For instance, in schools students are given a chance to compete in public speaking through the different level. Due to motivation, most students often struggle to continuously update their presentation skills until they are convinced they have earned the best skills for presentation.

Practice and role play as diagnostic communication tools requires implementation of effective techniques that will ensure that the tools are well developed and can be easily understood. The following are action plan methods for the diagnostic communication tools.


As an action plan practice can be developed through various techniques. First practice can be developed through training. Training can either be through learning or through attending training workshops. For instance, one can practice effective communication skills but enroll for short courses programs whose aim is towards enhancing communication skills. Such course titles are ‘Developing effective communication relations" and communication and public relations courses.' Undertaking such courses will enable people to acquire skills that are required when communicating. Achievement of effective communication skills through training and learning in an institution can be measured in several ways. One way is through making the students do both practical and theory in exams so as to test their understanding. The second way is through observing students daily interactions with others after the lessons and during the institutionally based programs.

Another mode of active communication practice is to read articles and journals, watching and listening to sources that guide on the development of effective communication techniques. Continuous books reading habit enable individuals to gain knowledge and also to learn from others people achievements and mistakes (Fischer & O’Connor, 2014). People mainly students or employees at the workplace may decide to form a small group which can help them develop each other communication techniques.  For example, during the group meeting, everyone should be allowed to participate so as to get an overview of the presentation quality after which a feedback should be realized.  Feedback release enables people to identify their mistakes and come up with solutions to their issues. For instance, comments on poor presentation will push a worker or student in getting to know how a quality performance should be conducted. Over time, the person will be able to gain confidence in presentation due to awareness of the communication techniques. Success in these situations measured when an individual can present themselves in front of people without nervousness or fear of making mistakes.

Role play can be developed through maintenance of personal journals whereby students keep detailed information of what they have learned pertaining certain actions on their journals. This will help the students to reflect on what they have learnt easily. Another mode of developing role play is through developing reading and research plan before they embark into any acting role activity. For instance, students, who want to learn on how to communicate to a large crowd should first consult different reading sources on the topic, summarize the information they get then act out for others. This will help them to easily remember what they have learned and also act as a point of emphasis (Luna, 2015). Reading of self-help books will also assist individuals in developing the imaginary process during a role play. Self-help books are meant to acquaint individuals with divergent ideas that will improve on their imaginary process. Role play can be measured by observing people actions and reaction towards certain situations and on how people involved in a role play handle difficult communication processes.

Both role play and practice requires an identification of mentors who will help individuals develop their desired effective communication techniques. In an institutional setting, the teacher is always the mentor while in a role play or during a training process the supervisor is always the mentor. Individuals may also decide o have personal, professional mentors who will help them develop their communication skills and guide them through various problem-solving techniques.

References

Akey, B. C. A., Jiang, X., Antwi, H. A., & Torku, E. (2016). Evolution of Diversity Management projects Among Multinational Firms: Lessons from Developing Economies.

Ang, S. C. (2015). Developing Social and Emotional Learning approach in Physical Education: The Contextualized Appropriation of Sports Education (Doctoral dissertation, University of Waikato).

Baile, W. F., & Blatner, A. (2014).  Communication skills techniques applicable during teaching: using action methods to enhance role-play in problem-based learning.  Healthcare Simulation, 9(4), 220-227.

Barber, Saffo, Gilpin, Craft & Goldstein, H. (2016). Peers as clinicians: Examining the Impact of Role Play Talk on social communication in young preschoolers with autism. Journal of communication disorders, 59, 1-15.

Barker, D., Quennerstedt, M., & Annerstedt, C. (2015). Interaction among and student learning in health and physical education: A post-Vygotskian analysis. Sports and Sports Pedagogy, 20(4), 409-426.

Broadbent, D. E. (2013). Perception and communication. Elsevier.

Cooper, C. (2015). Individual differences and personality. Routledge.

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

Daft, Richard L., and Dorothy Marcic. Building management skills: An action-first approach. Cengage Learning, 2013.

Fischer, C., & O'Connor, B. N. (2014). Informal learning at workplaces: Understanding learning culture as a challenge for organizational and individual development. In Discourses on Professional Learning (pp. 11-24). Springer Netherlands.

Gasparini, D. H. (2014). Self-Advocacy; The relevance of Building Interpersonal-Communication and Help-Seeking Skills in Elementary School Children.

Gee, J. P. (2014). An introduction to discourse analysis: Theory and method. Routledge.

Hämäläinen, R. P., Luoma, J., & Saarinen, E. (2013). Necessities of behavioral operational research: The case of understanding and communicating with dynamic systems. European Journal of Operational Research, 228(3), 623-634.

Light, J., & McNaughton, D. (2014). Communicative competence for individuals in need of augmentative and alternative communication: A new definition for a new era of communication.

Luna Scott, C. (2015). The Futures of Learning 3: pedagogies type for the 21st century.

Ma, R., & Oxford, R. L. (2014). A study guide focusing on listening and speaking: The evolving interaction of learning styles and learning strategies in a motivated, advanced ESL learner. System, 43, 101-113.

Omilion-Hodges, L. M., & Baker, C. R. (2014). Daily talk and convincing conversations: Utilizing strategic internal communication. Business Horizons, 57(3), 435-445.

O'Sullivan, C., & Partridge, H. (2016). Organizational Change and Renewal: Application of Strategic Communication Methods in relieving the Pain. A Case Study from the University of Southern Queensland. New Review of Academic Librarianship, 22(2-3), 282-293.

Quinn, R. E., Bright, D., Faerman, S. R., Thompson, M. P., & McGrath, M. R. (2014). Becoming a master manager: A competing values approach. John Wiley & Sons.

Reece, B., & Reece, M. (2016). Effective human relations: Interpersonal and organizational applications. Cengage Learning.

Swineford, Thurm, Baird, Wetherby & Swedo, S. (2014). Social communication disorder: a research review of this new DSM-5 diagnostic category. Journal of neuron developmental disorders, 6(1), 41.

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