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Diagnostic Tools for Assessing Communicational Competency

Using a range of diagnostic tools and feedback, so as to identify two key areas of personal capability that can be addressed (improved) so an to increase their communication effectiveness.This assessment is aimed to assess your ability to demonstrate advanced knowledge in written communication and your skill to autonomously reflect about good practices in workplace communication.

Effective business communication skills develop the successful bonding between the organisation and the customers. Both the speaker and the listener have to maintain the responsibility of developing the effective communication skills to clarify and convey the message appropriately. According to Wade and Macpherson (2016), effective communication process generally goes far beyond the simple hearing and speech delivery. The appropriate use of the voice modulation, message conveying method, body language, and word choices is necessary for establishing a clarified message during a communicative scenario. The speakers need to articulate the message in a clarified manner that will be understandable to the listener. The consistent delivery manner is needed to be maintained as it determines the type of reaction from the other end. This study would reflect on my communicational competency, including my strength and weakness. The use of the five diagnostic tools would help me in understanding my potentiality and areas of improvements. The literature study in the next section would provide the discussion regarding the issues identified in the reports derived from these diagnosis processes. Furthermore, an action plan would be formulated in this study to develop the necessary communicational attributes.

The communication process depends on both the speaker and listener. It develops the idea about the importance of message clarifications for establishing the effective communication. I have conducted some of the communicational tests by using the five diagnostic tools to measure my communicational efficiency. In this section of the study, I shall interpret the results depending on the scores received from these diagnosis processes. The five diagnostic tools that I have used in this context are as follows:

  1. Talkaholic Scale
  2. Personal Report of Intercultural Communication Apprehension (PRICA)
  3. Non-verbal Immediacy Scale-Self Report (NS-S)
  4. Tolerance for Disagreement Scale (TFD)
  5. Willingness to Listen Diagnostic

These diagnostic tools helped me in recognizing my potentiality in establishing effective communication. I shall describe the results to identify the strengths and weakness.


The first diagnostic tool was Talkaholic Scale, which measures the compulsive communication (McCroskey & Richmond, 1993). It has been observed that some of the people are usually driven by their talking ability that clarifies the messages in a significant way. On the contrary, some people are driven to talk and going forward, they face the verbal difficulties. They tend to stay quiet in presence of other people. People often confuse a ‘talkaholic’ with the people who ‘talk too much’. However, ‘talkaholics’ are those who tend to stay quiet but respond in a manner in several situations that could turn out to be much disadvantageous. In this diagnosis report, I have scored myself as the ‘talkaholic’ person as I stay quiet in usual cases. However, I speak up when it is necessary for me. McCroskey and Richmond (1995) defined that the people who talk more by developing a positive communication trait are more likely to become a leader. They are more competent in dealing with the perceptions of others in a corporate environment. As per this diagnostic report, I scored 32, which indicates that I am at the border line of being a talkaholic person. Therefore, in such situation, I speak up even when I find it very disadvantageous for me if I talk. However, I am not a compulsive talkaholic and I need to make improvements in my communication process.

Self-Analysis of Communicational Competency

The next diagnostic test is Personal Report of Intercultural Communication Apprehension (PRICA), which is measured to address the apprehensive communication, particularly in an intercultural context. The instrument is generally used for measuring the communication efficiency in the intercultural context that suggests the subcategory of the general communication apprehension. Neuliep and McCroskey (1997) explained that people score higher in this aspect are much efficient in communicating within a group associated with the people from diverse cultural background. The estimation of the alpha reliability should be above 90 when it depends on speakers of native English. It is even observed that this reliability measurement could be lower if this instrument is translated into other language. I am quite efficient in communicating with the people from diverse cultural background. Even the diagnostic report also reflects that I have scored 65, which suggests that my intercultural CA is quite high. I do not get nervous and I can maintain effective communication with the people from different culture. I even stay calm and attentive while communicating with these people and it is quite effective for establishing communicational transparency in a multinational corporation.

The next diagnostic tool is Non-Verbal Immediacy Scale-Self Report (NIS-S), which indicates the positive attitude or behaviour towards the other person. This diagnostic tool is considered as the most updated measurement tool to obtain knowledge about the non-verbal immediacy as a self-report. Neuliep (2017) implied that during the use of this instrument, it is essential to differentiate self-reports by concentrating on the male and female parameters both statistically and socially. I have observed that this diagnostic tool is more efficient than the other tools as it includes more diverse items. The substantial variance is attributed to biological sex. It provides the non-verbal gestures that I need to maintain while dealing with other people. The score is expected to be 90, in which I have scored 102. This non-verbal gestures vary on the gender based aspects. The behavioural function depends on the perspective values of males and females. The score reflects that I have quite efficient in maintaining the non-verbal gestures. This attribute is quite necessary to be developed for maintaining the interpersonal communication with the various types of people.

The next diagnostic tool is Tolerance for Disagreement Scale (TFD), which is mainly designed to for measuring the extent to which an individual can tolerate the disagreement of other people with the statement presented. Teven, Richmond and McCroskey (1998) defined that the scale is somewhat conceptualizing the argumentativeness between the people who are agreed or disagreed with any particular subject matter. It is indicated the conflicting scenario occurred during the interpersonal communication process develops the insights about the tolerance level upon the disagreement of the people interacting with each other (Richmond & McCroskey, 2001). The diagnostic tool includes the questionnaire that is involved with the questions regarding the orientation and feelings of the people. I have scored 52 in this TFD scale whereas it was expected to be in the neighborhood of 85. I have high level of TFD, which indicates that I prefer to participate in a more argumentative session. I am quite flexible in tolerating the disagreements upon my statements. However, it is also noticeable that sometimes, I feel disappointed if other people do not agree upon my statement. However, the higher tolerance level in this aspect is quite helpful for me to establish an effective interpersonal communication level.

Interpretation of Results from Diagnostic Tools

The final diagnostic tool is Willingness to Listen Diagnostic, which measures the active listening skills of the individual. Bodie et al., (2015) stated that listening is essential to establish the effective communication process by the potential employers. It has been observed that many employers develop the training programs to improve the listening skills by providing necessary instructions. The orientation towards listening determines the listening ability more than the lack of the skills. At a work place, the ineffective communication generates the sense of reluctance towards listening to the speaker. This measurement tool is thus specifically designed to diagnose my orientation towards listening. This diagnostic tool indicates that I am quite attentive towards any speech delivery process even if it delivered by a boring speaker. However, I mostly prefer to be attentive towards interesting speech delivery. The diagnostic report highlights that I have scored 70, which indicates that my active listening skill is moderate. I mostly prefer to listen when the speech is interesting and beneficial. Even though I listen to the boring speaker, it does not attract me much. It is thus implied that I need to make improvements on my listening ability. Developing the preferred listening skills would be helpful for me in undertaking the fruitful decisions and developing coordination with the people from diverse cultural background.

The above result identifies two major issues in my communicational aspects. Firstly, I need to improvise my talkaholic level. I need to be prompt enough in discussing major problems with my co-workers. I should be focusing on my words in a group discussion, which should not be aggressive in nature. Therefore, it is noticeable that I lack readiness during the group communication. Another recognized issue was in developing active listening skill. I am not a good listener, especially, when I need to have patience towards listening to any important conversation. It is necessary for me to listen to others at the first place and understand the entire situation. It would be necessary for me to develop my listening skills to understand the situation and react accordingly. Especially, in a cross cultural situation, it is essential for me to establish a greater listening skill to develop an effective communication within a multinational corporate setting.

The literature study develops the insights regarding the subject matter by exploring the subject matter. The study is based on the establishment of effective communication within the corporate scenario. The previous section of the study helped in identifying the lack of major two skills in communication, such as talkaholic personality trait and lack of active listening skills. It is noticed that the compulsive person face some of the major issues that prevents from establishing the effective communication process. On the other hand, it is also stated that the inactive listening can become the major problem when it comes to the development of effective business communication (Fleisher & Bensoussan, 2015). Especially, in a cross cultural setting, people do not pay necessary attention as they are unable to understand the language. In this section of the study, the conceptual analysis of these two major issues would be presented. Furthermore, the associated issues related to these two topics will be explored in this literature section.

Conceptual Analysis of Two Major Issues in Communication

Talkaholic Personality or compulsive communicator

A talkative personality is often perceived as the positive trait of an individual. The friendly and outgoing nature of a person is often appreciable since these traits put others at ease, especially in a social setting (Goetsch & Davis, 2014). A person who is much talkative is described as the natural leaders and much confident. However, on the contrary, overly loquacious folks are often perceived as the opinionated and disrespectful. The conversation with these people is often revolving around the latest exploits, which have the negative influence on others. In most of the cases, these people interrupt others and redirect the attention back onto them once again. Cornelissen and Cornelissen (2017) defined that compulsive talking is a mixture of two completely distinct traits. First, a person can be highly verbal and second is the person fails to accurately read the social cues (Sidelinger & Bolen, 2015). The compulsive person face some of the major issues that prevents from establishing the effective communication process. The compulsive communicators usually face some of the considerable issues during any group discussion. These issues are highlighted below:

Issues faced by the compulsive communicators

A talkaholic person or a compulsive communicator usually faces some of the considerable challenges in a corporate setting. Goodman-Deane et al., (2016) stated that a talkaholic person often stays quiet when it is necessary to speak up. It is always important to present the speech when there is the advantage to open up. Secondly, it has been observed the compulsive communicator often talk too much even when it is unnecessary. Therefore, it would be effective to change the subject and invite others to in the conversation. This method would help in diverting the mind of the talkaholic person for preventing the unnecessary speeches. Third, as implied by Tong and Walther (2015), in spite of knowing the advantage of being quiet in a situation, a talkaholic person tends to speak. This trait can be disadvantageous if the simple situation is led towards more complexity. In order to mitigate this issue, it would be beneficial if people can interact in a larger group. In such discussion, a communicator lets other to speak first. It minimizes the risks of the disadvantageous situations that might be influenced by the compulsive communicators.

The next issue with the compulsive communicator is their nature of talking more than they should talk. According to Macht and Nembhard (2015), maintaining the balance is necessary while communicating with others. If people tend to talk too much, it might make others reluctant to listen to their stories all over again. Therefore, it is necessary to share the observation with the talkaholic person. The appropriate communication with them would work to some extent in pointing out the ineffectiveness of this trait. Bao and Le Ha (2016) pointed out another issue with the compulsive communicator that indicates their struggling nature to stay quiet. In some of the cases, the compulsive communicator feels that they are compelled to stay quiet, which is against their nature. It might bring down their morale. During such situation, it can be helpful to ask for their opinions and making the interrogative statements. Another most identified issue is the lack of conscience. The compulsive communicator does not always think of what is right and what is wrong (Ahmadi, 2016). Their impulsiveness sometimes may create the considerable challenges in the business scenario. Hence, it is necessary to develop their knowledgeable aspects to develop a balanced and appreciable communication skill. In some of the aspects, it is also noticed that a compulsive communicator or a talkaholic person has the zero ability of listening to others. They often do not pay attention to the conversation and tend to interpret the situation on their own way. This issue can be bigger disadvantage in a corporate setting, especially when they need to communicate with the people from diverse cultural background (Brink & Costigan, 2015). The organisation can provide the adequate training program for developing this listening skill.

Conclusion

These specific issues in a talkaholic person can turn out to be much disadvantageous in a multinational corporation setting. In the next section of the study, the discussion of another issue that is identified through the diagnostic tests would be presented.

According to Masalimova, Porchesku, and Liakhnovitch (2016), the inactive listening determines the incapability of an individual to focus on any particular conversation. In some of the cases, it has been observed that the individuals listen to the communication process, but do not pay much attention to understand it in details. The inactive listening can become the major problem when it comes to the development of effective business communication (Vandergrift and Baker, 2015). Especially, in a cross cultural setting, people do not pay necessary attention as they are unable to understand the language. Furthermore, this trait can be observed when the speaker cannot create the interesting speech delivery in a conversation process. The following issues are identified in a person who is an inactive listener.

Issues faced by the Inactive Listener

Active listening skill is conceptualized as the efficiency that can be developed with the effective practices. There are some of the considerable barriers associated with the inactive listening. These are as follows:

  1. The inactive listeners try to listen to more than a conversation at a time as they do not pay attention at the first stage (Lakshmi, 2017). For instance, if someone keeps the television or radio on during a conversation, it would distract from paying attention in a speech delivery. It is necessary to stay focused during the communication.
  2. When the speaker is boring, the inactive listener feels reluctant to pay attention to their speeches (Schmidt, 2017). The physical appearance of the communicator needs to be interesting for attracting the other people.
  3. The lack of active listening limits the knowledge about the customer needs and demands. While dealing with the customer services, the individual needs to pay attention to the demands for fulfilling their expectation level (Xu, 2017).
  4. The active listening leads to self discovery. When the listener is paying attention during any conversation, it helps in strengthening the perceptive values. Without paying attention to the communication process, it is quite difficult to understand the requirements (Wade & Macpherson, 2016).
  5. When an individual is not paying attention to what others are saying, it would create the sense of disturbance on the speaker. The speakers would not be interested anymore t communicate with the person.
  6. The inactive listener often misses out the major concerns in a corporate setting (McCroskey et al., 2014). Due to such reluctance in listening, they misinterpret the conversation.
  7. In a cross cultural setting, the development of the inactive listening skill is important. People from the different lingual background present their concerns which are needed to be observed much patiently. If the individual does not pay attention to their speeches, it would be difficult to develop a dynamic work scenario.
  8. Active listening is much necessary to become an efficient leader. A good leader actively listens and then interprets the situation in a significant way (Stern et al., 2014). The inactive listening skills would affect the entire organisational scenario.

The above issues identified in the individuals with inactive listening skills need to participate in a training programs for improving this trait. The discussion provides the insight about the significance of listening skills that create the opportunity of a good leader. However, many of the organizations develop the separate training programs to improve the active listening skills of the individuals.

Gaps in the Literature

The literature study provides the insights about the effective business communication by recognizing the underlying issues. In spite of delivering the adequate information about the subject area, the literature study is somewhat limited. The lack of the updated information based on the subject area is quite insignificant for the study. On the other hand, the literature study does not provide any suggestive scenario that could improve the organisational functionalities through the effective communication process. Moreover, the lack of in-depth analysis of the different research areas has also made this study limited.

The action plan suggests the development of my active listening skills and promptness in communicating with others. It is necessary for me to identify the major issues and work on improving such area of concern accordingly. The following action plan would help in developing my attributes within a scheduled time.

Action Plan

Activities

Start Date

End Date

Duration

1. Identification of the areas of improvements by analyzing the diagnostic report

01/06/2018

03/06/2018

3 days

2. Presenting the proposal to the organisation regarding the required training session and waiting for the approval

03/06/2018

04/06/2018

2 days

3. Selection of the people require training  

04/06/2018

06/06/2018

2 days

4. Starting the training session

07/06/2018

18/06/2018

10 days

5. Keeping the track of their learning progress

19/06/2018

22/06/2018

3 days

6. Identifying the result and making necessary improvements

22/06/2018

26/06/2018

5days

7. Presenting the final report

27/06/2018

29/06/2018

2 days

Table 1: Action Plan

(Source: Created by the Author)

The above action plan suggests the need for the training programs to develop the active listening skills and promptness in responding back in a conversation. I would involve the people who are compulsive communicators and those who are inactive listeners. The association of the business managers would be helpful in such context. The entire action would be completed within a month. I need the approval from the upper management to select the people who actually need this training period. After the approval I shall develop the proper training scenario in which the people would invest their time for their improvements in the communication skills.  I shall even use some of the measurement tools and conduct the examinations to keep the track of the progress. The success of the training process would help these individual to develop an effective communicational transparency within an organisational setting. However, I believe that the business managers are present in providing adequate support to us for developing our communicational skills. In a multinational corporation, people from diverse cultural background work together to meet the same organisational goals. Therefore, the establishment of the effective communication would help in establishing the cohesiveness among the employees. I have gathered knowledge about some of the basic requirements while communicating with the other people in an organisation. The appropriate use of the voice modulation, message conveying method, body language, and word choices is necessary for establishing a clarified message during a communicative scenario. The speakers need to articulate the message in a clarified manner that will be understandable to the listener. The consistent delivery manner is needed to be maintained as it determines the type of reaction from the other end. The action plan focuses on such objectives to develop the efficiency level in a business communication context. Moreover, the improvement in the communicational efficiencies would help an individual to develop their professional and personal skills as well.

References

Ahmadi, S. M. (2016). The importance of listening comprehension in language learning.

Bao, D., & Le Ha, P. (2016). 12 Silence as literacy and silence as mobility. Languages and Literacies as Mobile and Placed Resources, 170.

Bodie, G. D., Vickery, A. J., Cannava, K., & Jones, S. M. (2015). The role of “active listening” in informal helping conversations: Impact on perceptions of listener helpfulness, sensitivity, and supportiveness and discloser emotional improvement. Western Journal of Communication, 79(2), 151-173.

Brink, K. E., & Costigan, R. D. (2015). Oral communication skills: Are the priorities of the workplace and AACSB-accredited business programs aligned?. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 14(2), 205-221.

Cornelissen, J., & Cornelissen, J. P. (2017). Corporate communication: A guide to theory and practice. Sage.

Fleisher, C. S., & Bensoussan, B. E. (2015). Business and competitive analysis: effective application of new and classic methods. FT Press.

Goetsch, D. L., & Davis, S. B. (2014). Quality management for organizational excellence. Upper Saddle River, NJ: pearson.

Goodman-Deane, J., Mieczakowski, A., Johnson, D., Goldhaber, T., & Clarkson, P. J. (2016). The impact of communication technologies on life and relationship satisfaction. Computers in Human Behavior, 57, 219-229.

Lakshmi, R. (2017). Effective Listening Enhances the Process of Communication. IUP Journal of English Studies, 12(1), 7.

Macht, G. A., & Nembhard, D. A. (2015). Measures and models of personality and their effects on communication and team performance. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 49, 78-89.

Masalimova, A. R., Porchesku, G. V., & Liakhnovitch, T. L. (2016). Linguistic foundation of foreign language listening comprehension. International Electronic Journal of Mathematics Education, 11(1), 123-131.

McCroskey, J.C., & Richmond, V.P. (1993). Identifying compulsive communicators: The talkaholic scale, Communication Research Reports, 11, 39-52

McCroskey, J.C., & Richmond, V.P. (1995). Correlates of compulsive communication: Quantitative and qualitative characteristics. Communication Quarterly, 43, 39-52.

McCroskey, L. L., Teven, J. J., Minielli, M. C., & Richmond McCroskey, V. P. (2014). James C. McCroskey's instructional communication legacy: Collaborations, mentorships, teachers, and students. Communication Education, 63(4), 283-307.

Neuliep, J. W. (2017). Intercultural communication: A contextual approach. Sage Publications.

Neuliep, J. W., & McCroskey, J.C. (1997). The development of intercultural and interethnic communication apprehension scales. Communication Research Reports, 14. 385-398.

Richmond, V.P., & McCroskey, J.C. (2001). Organisational Communication for Survival: Making Work, work (2nd Ed.) Chapter 14. Needham Heights, MA:Allyn & Bacon

Schmidt, G. B. (2017). Listening Is Essential: An Experiential Exercise on Listening Behaviors. Management Teaching Review, 2379298117748927.

Sidelinger, R. J., & Bolen, D. M. (2015). Compulsive communication in the classroom: Is the talkaholic teacher a misbehaving instructor?. Western Journal of Communication, 79(2), 174-196.

Stern, S. E., Chobany, C. M., Patel, D. V., & Tressler, J. J. (2014). Listeners’ preference for computer-synthesized speech over natural speech of people with disabilities. Rehabilitation psychology, 59(3), 289.

Teven, J. J., Richmond, V.P., & McCroskey , J.C. (1998) Measuring tolerance for disagreement. Communication Research Reports, 15, 209-217

Tong, S. T., & Walther, J. B. (2015). The confirmation and disconfirmation of expectancies in computer-mediated communication. Communication Research, 42(2), 186-212.

Vandergrift, L., & Baker, S. (2015). Learner variables in second language listening comprehension: An exploratory path analysis. Language Learning, 65(2), 390-416.

Wade, N. T., & Macpherson, A. (2016). Human Behaviour II for Public Safety Communicators.

Xu, J. (2017). The Mediating Effect of Listening Metacognitive Awareness between Test-Taking Motivation and Listening Test Score: An Expectancy-Value Theory Approach. Frontiers in psychology, 8, 2201.

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