After understanding the journal tasks and participating in activities, I came to understand about the concept of corporate social responsibility and crisis communication. The two concepts were relatively new to me so I had to do some research to properly assess the topics. According to me, corporate social responsibility is the organisational initiative that does not involve the immediate benefit to the company. Instead it focuses on social and environmental wellbeing. I was amazed to learn about this as I always assumed corporations to be profit centric who does not care about anything else other than its financial benefits. The next topic was crisis communication (Coombs, 2014). I understood that in some situations, the business needs to tell its prospective clients and stockholders about an impending threat that can harm the reputation of the company. In these situations, it is best to share the situation through social media. But in certain cases, I think the business needs to reach out to its investors to directly explain to them about the difficult situation and tell them not to lose their trust on the company (Hamilton, 2013).
I can assume that the role of social media in promoting crisis communication is significant. According to me, using social media for crisis communication can help the business to stop the situation from escalating. However, this situation can have a negative consequence if it is not handled properly. The rise of digital era has escalated the spread of false information rapidly (Alexander, 2014). Recently, Facebook was hit with a privacy lawsuit where millions of people’s data were wrongfully handed over to an external organization. The event sparked an outrage among communities who posted Mark Zuckerberg as the villain of the new digital world. Some false news also claimed that our passwords and login IDs have been compromised as well (Wendling, Radisch & Jacobzone, 2013). In reality though, our Activity footprint was leaked which was a combination of our likes, dislikes and recommendations. This is a serious concern for me. People who have a hatred towards a particular organization can wrongly publish false information to tarnish the reputation of the company (Sellnow & Seeger, 2013). The effects of social media has been both sided according to me. The media has some advantages as it facilitates the two way communication of information during the event of a crisis helping to easily manage the situation. Moreover, I think the social media has enabled people to release and access information about a particular subject faster than other conventional methods (Ruggiero & Vos, 2014). I can assume that this can affect the organisational reputation by preventing the false news from getting worse during crisis communication.
I have always been a firm believer of team communication. Whenever the situation asks for it, I have always been the first follower in team playing. I love to work in a team as it is vital for the success of all the members present in the team helping them to elevate the morale of the team. During the completion of these assignments, a top down intersection was necessary for the completion of the tasks. Information needed to be shared and back and forth discussion was necessary (Grunig, 2013). From a business perspective, engaging people in a team helps to create happier employees and creates new opportunities for strong performance. Moreover, to combat a challenge, team management can help in creating new innovative ideas to mitigate the potential issue. I think the only downside to team communication is the cultural and language barriers that exist in our society. Another problem that I faced was complete participation from all the members of the team. If the members are not coordinated the creation of new ideas and flaw identification method slows down. From my experience, I also learnt that listening and respecting everyone is critical for proper team communication. I generally play the role of team leader within a team as I like to coordinate my fellow mates to particular tasks that they are strong at. Being a team leader, I learnt that asking questions can be beneficial for the team as it sparks richer conversation among the members helping them to tackle a single problem at a time. Proper communication can allow the voices of other members to be heard in the best interest helping them to overcome misunderstandings and unfair expectations.
Through this experience, I learned that for proper team communication, the team leader or other members of the team should learn to take ownership for the mistakes that they have done. I understand the importance of anonymity and privacy in a team. Hence, to understand the honest confessions of the team members, anonymous surveys need to be taken from time to time as people tend to be more honest when they know that their opinions will stay anonymous. As a team leader and being part of a team, it is my duty to point out everyone’s strength and use them to their maximum potential accordingly. This sends a good lesson to the team that their team leader understands them well and they get valued as part of a team. I can assume that proper team communications helps to increase team productivity and develop their understanding for each other (González-Romá & Hernández, 2014). The work projects are completed faster when team members stays productive which finally increases the revenue of the business. After researching, I found out that the for properly communicating in a team certain elements are necessary such as feedback, language usage, style, clarity, tone and organization. When I was in a team, I was taught by our team leader that as an individual differently process information, sound communication is necessary in a team so that each and every member of the team receives the same message properly. The multicultural aspect is adopted by many corporations in their workforce. For running such a diverse workforce, proper team communication is necessary according to me. I can conclude that such team members need intricate communication skills to make their projects successful and stay productive for the company in spite of their differences. Moreover, I can assume that in a business, good communication in a team facilitates the business processes and cooperation in the team allowing the team projects to be complied faster and efficient running of the processes. The proper communication provides the organization with intangible as well as tangible benefits.
Next, from the quiz, I learnt about several interpersonal skills. From my experience, I learned that the interpersonal skills consist of the relationship with people, optimism, friendliness, personal habits, language, communication, social graces and personality traits. As the interpersonal skills define a person’s technical skills and social interactions skills, they can differentiate themselves well from other team members. As per my research, I found out that it also includes the skill for time management. I also found out that the skills are necessary for accepting feedback and work arrangement flexibility. I think the skills also helps to incorporate a strong work ethic into the individuals who practice proper interpersonal skills. Learning good interpersonal skills will enable me to learn important life skills. So, this skill is worth spending time over. It is quite evident to me that these skills are necessary for continuing our day to day lives (Hayes, 2013). These skill are necessary to prevent misconceptions in a group and prevents other members from taking negatively behind other’s back.
Talking negatively in a team and other members has its own set of disadvantages. The team members becomes less engaged. Managing the entire pressure of the workload becomes difficult if a member constantly complains about each and everything. This results in less productivity for the team. Moreover, I think that talking negatively makes the members think more about the negative talk rather than focusing on the team objective. I recently faced a similar situation like this where the end result was that my team started hating the other team members and the team eventually broke down (Neuliep, 2017). It is very evident that the negative talk makes the other members uncomfortable within the team. For a business, I think the consequences are far more serious as unhappy employees directly influences unsatisfied customers. This is evident to me from a research which showed that individuals are far more likely to complain about a bad experience rather than share a good experience. I have seen positive minded people refusing to work on a regular basis with negative minded people. This inevitably results in the entire team going down due to the negative talking. Many individuals do not like working around a person who is negative minded and pessimistic (Schwartz, 2017). For creating a successful, it is evident to me that positive attitudes need to be cultured among the team members. If the team members are facing any situation, they should use their interpersonal skills to convey to the concerned person about the issue that they are facing and resolve the situation quickly before it affects the other members of the team (Piller, 2017).
According to me, for properly learning interpersonal skills, a person should always assess his key weakness and strengths. The concerned individual should put stress on the basic communication skills. I have learned that listening is very different from hearing. For a person to listen, he or she needs to properly listen to the person with patience and should consider his or her non-verbal and verbal communication skills. According to my research, I learned about some barriers of non-verbal communication such as prejudices, expectations, emotional and physical barriers (Esser & Hanitzsch, 2013). Moreover, I have faced emotional contexts getting in way of my communication skills. To improve my interpersonal skills, I need to practice them in group so that I can learn the skills of influencing, persuading and negotiating with other people. I can only assume that meditating and resolving in conflicting situations shows a true test for the interpersonal skills that a person has.
Next, I learned about non-verbal communications. As per my research, I came to the understanding that non-verbal communications refer to the elements and behaviours of speech that are transmitted besides the words that are delivered. I learnt that an individual’s appearance, dress, listener proximity, stance, body posture, facial expressions, voice volume, tone, speed and pitch can be included in a non-verbal communication. I came across a research paper which proposed that the spoken word shows around 5% of the communication effect. It surprised me that 45% of the effect are shown through voice elements, inflexion and tone. The rest 50% are showed by eye contact and body language (Knapp, Hall & Horgan, 2013). From my personal experience, I found the data quite valid as by looking at an individual’s face we can sometimes decipher what he is looking at or what is he trying to say. Moreover, the facial expressions of fear, anger, sadness and happiness are totally different. Other examples of verbal communications are deliberate signals and movements. I have seen people trying to indicate something by moving their fingers, pointing or waving their hands (Tai & Chuang, 2014). I have seen a person signal something to another person by just rolling their eyes. According to me, these non-verbal communications play a significant role in determining how we are sharing and interpreting information with each other (Lemonnier, 2016). These actions need to be considered when working in a team. This experience has been beneficial for me as it will help me to determine what a person is saying and what is he actually trying to say with his or her non-verbal expressions. Hence, we can determine that proper understanding non-verbal communication is vital for everyone.
Online conversations generally miss the physical and visual expressions that are present in a face to face conversation. Personally, both of these conversations are different for me. I prefer face to face conversations with people whom I know personally or with whom I want to discuss something intimate. Online communications are something which I make with both close as well as distant friends. Sometimes, I prefer online conversation like sending a voice message when I am busy with something (Mehrabian, 2017). Sometimes when I am going to meet someone with whom I am not comfortable with, I prefer online conversations more than face to face conversations. Sometimes when the time duration is short, I prefer face to face conversations. Online conversations are generally lengthy and the response takes up a lot of time. Whenever, I am talking about an issue or resolving a problem, I prefer online conversations as the chat are recorded automatically giving me a history of the chats which can be used to clarify something later during issue mitigation.
The learning experience from this unit was eye opening for me. The experience helped me to gain knowledge about certain experiences and helped me to determine the skills that I need to improve on. At first, I got an idea about corporate social responsibility and why it is important for various organizations. In the second situation, I gained some insight about crisis communication which I was not familiar with. The experience helped me to determine how and what to communicate in the vent of a crisis. The team communication helped me to learn the various aspects of working in a team and how cooperating with other members can increase the productivity of the entire team (Collis & Hussey, 2013). Next, in interpersonal skills I learned about the effective methods of communicating properly and what it is vital in a team. In the last unit, I learned about non-verbal communication. The experience helped me to understand the different methods of communication besides speaking.
Considering the above options, I think I need to develop my interpersonal skills a little bit more. I researched about the topic a little bit more to determine some strategies for developing the interpersonal skills. To my surprise, the learning experience was not that difficult. First of all, I need to maintain a positive attitude to show the other person a level of maturity in my speaking skills. The positive gesture not only helps to bring happiness to my teammates but also develops a proper atmosphere in the working environment for more interactions (Butchibabu et al., 2014). Next, I have to learn some efficient problem solving skills. In a working atmosphere, the conflict of ideas and ideologies is common. For developing interpersonal skills, I need to first thing of possible solutions of resolving the problem instead of aggravating the situation. I need to set up personal objectives for effective communication about the issue to increase productivity. Another aspect of interpersonal skill is taking accountability and responsibility during a crisis (White, 2016). Properly dealing with the crisis helps the team to effectively reduce the tensions between the team members. If the mistake was done by me, it is my duty to accept the mistake instead of blaming the other person and reducing the overall productivity of the team in the long run. Last but not the least, I need to develop a sense of general as well as social awareness. Having this understanding will allow me to identify the opportunities and possibilities of resolving situation and improving it helping me to achieve quality interpersonal skill in the process. This whole learning experience was very educational for me.
Alexander, D. E. (2014). Social media in disaster risk reduction and crisis management. Science and civil engineering ethics, 20(3), 717-733.
Butchibabu, A., Sparano-Huiban, C., Sonenberg, L., & Shah, J. (2016). Implicit coordination strategies for effective team communication. Human factors, 58(4), 595-610.
Collis, J., & Hussey, R. (2013). Business research: A practical guide for undergraduate and postgraduate students. Palgrave macmillan.
Coombs, W. T. (2014). Ongoing crisis communication: Planning, managing, and responding. Sage Publications.
Esser, F., & Hanitzsch, T. (Eds.). (2013). The handbook of comparative communication research. Routledge.
González-Romá, V., & Hernández, A. (2014). Climate uniformity: Its influence on team communication quality, task conflict, and team performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 99(6), 1042.
Grunig, J. E. (Ed.). (2013). Excellence in public relations and communication management. Routledge.
Hamilton, C. (2013). Communicating for results: A guide for business and the professions. Cengage Learning.
Hayes, J. (2013). Interpersonal Skills: Goal directed behaviour at work. Routledge.
Knapp, M. L., Hall, J. A., & Horgan, T. G. (2013). Nonverbal communication in human interaction. Cengage Learning.
Lemonnier, P. (2016). Mundane objects: Materiality and non-verbal communication. Routledge.
Mehrabian, A. (2017). Nonverbal communication. Routledge.
Neuliep, J. W. (2017). Intercultural communication: A contextual approach. Sage Publications.
Piller, I. (2017). Intercultural communication: A critical introduction. Edinburgh University Press.
Ruggiero, A., & Vos, M. (2014). Social media monitoring for crisis communication: process, methods and trends in the scientific literature. Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, 4(1), 105.
Schwartz, M. S. (2017). Corporate social responsibility. Routledge.
Sellnow, T. L., & Seeger, M. W. (2013). Theorizing crisis communication (Vol. 4). John Wiley & Sons.
Tai, F. M., & Chuang, S. H. (2014). Corporate social responsibility. Ibusiness, 6(03), 117.
Wendling, C., Radisch, J., & Jacobzone, S. (2013). The use of social media in risk and crisis communication.
White, C. M. (2016). Social media, crisis communication, and emergency management: Leveraging Web 2.0 technologies. CRC press.