Effective Communication Skill Development Using 5 Diagnostic Tools
Task Description: The purpose of this assessment is to provide students with the opportunity to engage in reflective practice, using a range of diagnostic tools and feedback, to identify two key areas of personal capability that can be addressed (improved) 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. Through the process of self-reflection, you will be able to improve your communication competencies through your knowledge of and ability to perform contextually appropriate communicative behaviours
Should you wish to use a tender template from the organisation you work for then you may do so. However, you must ensure that all of the ten items in the task definition below are included in your tender.
This assignment has three specific components.
1. Diagnosis and Reflection
- Using 5 diagnostic tools related to communication, you are to analyse your own communication style across various areas such as verbal communication, active listening, non- verbal, and assertiveness perception. You will be given the individual diagnostics during the tutorials. Your tutor/lecturer will check and sign-off that you have completed each individual diagnostic during the tutorials. This means that if you fail to attend some or any of tutorial you will not be able to receive and complete the diagnostics. The signed diagnostics must be submitted as a separate PDF file.
- You are to present the findings of the tools. The scores for each diagnostic must be included in your essay. In doing so you will show your understanding of the results as they apply to your personal situation.
- Based upon your analysis of the findings you are to identify two key communication issues that you have identified as requiring development
- Reflect on two recent professional interactions that you have had within the past 12 months. Analyse these interactions from the perspective of the two key communication issues that are identified as requiring development. To what extent are these evident and support the need for personal communication development?
2. Literature review: You are to identify and explain the two issues from your diagnosis and reflection. You are to define the concepts, outline key models and or behaviours that need to be developed to demonstrate effective practice. This literature review needs to outline both the conceptual (theoretical) and behavioural (interpersonal) skills that you need to acquire to demonstrate competence in your chosen area of communication.
3. Action Plan: As a conclusion, you are to develop an action plan of key events and activities that you can undertake over the next 6 months to acquire the knowledge, skills, and behaviours identified as requiring development in component one. This can include the following:
- Undertaking specific short courses, to develop skills based on actual courses that are available.
- Undertaking advanced post-graduate communication courses at CQU or other institutions.
- A reading plan to acquire conceptual knowledge, which may include specific communication texts and self-help books which must be specified.
- Maintaining of personal journals reflecting on communication interactions.
- This section must include actionable items with timelines (such as a Gantt chart) and an indication of how you will measure their successful completion.
1. Diagnosis and Reflection
1.a) Analysis using 5 Diagnosis tool of Communication: Communication skill is the most required skill in the workplace. Hence the students must develop effective communication skill through their coursework. There are five diagnostic tools that assist the professors to assess the communications skills of the students (Kwiatkowski, 2017, p.25). The five diagnostic tools including self-perceived communication competence scale, nonverbal immediacy scale intercultural communication apprehension, talkaholic scale and tolerance for disagreement have guided me to find out the areas which I need to improve to get better employment (Kernbach, Eppler & Bresciani, 2015, p.180).
I have scored medium in the overall process under self-perceived communication competency scale. There were twelve activities including talk in a talking with a small group of unknown people, interacting with the friends in a small group, delivering a speech in front of a group of unknown individuals, communicating with the friends while a large meeting, communicating with only one known person, talking with the acquaintances in a large meeting, communicating with an unknown person, presenting a speech to a group of known individuals, delivering a speech in front of a group of friends, communicating in a large meeting with strangers, talking with a friend and talk with the acquaintances in a small group. As opined by Holmes and Parker (2017, p.80), being efficient in public speaking, a student needs to be efficient in good presentation in front of strangers, friends and acquaintances. To be efficient in a meeting a student needs to perform well in meeting with strangers, acquaintances and friends. A student must be efficient in communicating with small groups of all the categories like friends, acquaintances and strangers to be an efficient group communicator. A student needs to develop the communication skill to interact with an individual person, either the person be stranger to him, or a friend or an acquaintances. As opined by Lauring and Klitmoller (2015, p.50), a student also needs the communication skill to face friends, acquaintances and strangers both individually, in a small group and in a large group. I have scored high in talking to strangers where I have got medium rate in talking with friends and acquaintances.
Under the non-verbal immediacy scale there were assessment criteria including using hands as a gesture when talk to people, keeping eye contact constantly with the listeners, voice modulation, distant standing from the audience, looking away from the listeners, possessing a tense body gesture with interacting with people, sitting criteria while talking to people and making reluctant facial expression like frowning while communicating (Penrose, 2015, p.500). The high score in this assessment tool was considered greater than equal to 104 the low score was less than 83. I scored 97 and this is tending to high score.
There were assessment criteria under intercultural communication apprehension that include the level of comfort with interacting with people of different cultures, developing a sense of nervousness while interaction with them, feeling tensed and fearful to initiate conversation with people not having the same culture of the student, preference and liking to get involved in discussion with them and possessing calm and relaxed gesture with communicating with those people (Kernbach, Eppler & Bresciani, 2015, p.180). The low score criteria was under 30 and I got 28. Hence I need a considerable improvement in this aspect.
The assessment criteria in talkaholic scale are the tendency to talk excessively that how much is expected and the openness to speak when an individual should talk. According to Pearson (2017, p.88), it is also a good habit to talk when the turn has come to speak and not disturbing others while speaking. The score is needed to be between 30 and 39 to be a borderline takaholic where I have got 22 that mean I am not a talkaholic at all and I can speak exactly how much I need to speak as per the situation.
The diagnosis tool namely tolerance of disagreement include the criteria like enjoying different views in a discussion, clarifying all the views, showing more interest to listen to different views and getting interest to talk more to clarify own view when disagreement occurs (Coombs, 2015, p.144). I have got 50 where the score higher than 46 is considered as high tolerance level of disagreement.
1.b) Findings of the Tools: The students need to have competency both in oral and written communication so that he or she can perform better in either meeting or in preparing documentation (Mets, Ojea, & Develder, 2014, p.1780). I have scored overall moderate marks in all the criteria under the SPCC tool. I have scored 97 that is tending to high score in NIS-S, 28 which is a low score in PRICA, 22 that is a high score in Talkaholic Scale and 50 that is a really high score in Tolerance for Disagreement scale. As I am strong enough in Talkaholic scale, tolerance for disagreement and NIS-S, I will be able to be an effective communicator in guiding teams. These skills will help me to get into a production organisation along with the specialization of that field as that kind of field needs innovation while discussing with others. As I have the high level of tolerance for disagreement, I will be able to accept the different views of others and take a suitable decision after evaluating all the different perspectives and that is highly demanded in the professional field where innovation is the key tool of success. I will face difficulty to get into a retail sector where the organisations have to deal with the clients who are from different cultural backgrounds. As I am not strong enough in PRICA I will not be able to participate in the meetings with the clients in any service sectors where the service is completely dependent on the clients’ perspectives. I will also face difficulty in the large-scale organisation where I need to make presentation in front of the huge number of audience because of my deficiency in confidence to communicate with large number of people.
1.c) Identification of Key Communication: The assessment using these diagnostic tools lead the students to identify the areas in which they need to make improvement (Kernbach, Eppler & Bresciani, 2015, p.180). As per the assessment by the professor using the five diagnostic tools, I need to improve verbal communication skill and confidence in speaking to people. Verbal communication skill is mandatory in each and every service sector rather than the manufacturing sector. According to Ayob (2017, p.106), the students have an ample number of opportunities to get employment in the service sector than the production sector where specialization in a particular discipline is mandatory. Hence I need to improve my verbal communication skill to generate the opportunity to get into the service sector. As I feel nervous and tensed to communicate with the people from different culture due to lack f awareness of standard language used in business sector, I need to make an impressive improvement so that I can recover myself from this issue.
According to Lear, Hodge & Schulz (2015, p.80), Confidence is necessary in each and every professional skill, be it is a production or service sector. An employee must be confident enough to communicate with the organisational people. I may have to communicate with a large group of people including subordinates, colleagues, superiors and clients. Hence, I do not possess confidence to communicate properly; I will fumble and create a mess. The lack of confidence to clarify my responsibilities with the help of colleagues involved in the same team and the superiors would lead me to make mistakes in executing my assigned tasks even with having the skill in that field. Apart from this issue, I would have to face difficulty express my own opinion in front of a large group of people freely and that would lead me to frustration and dissatisfaction in work. I would develop a sense of getting dominated if I cannot present my saying before people present in the meeting. Apart from that, my presentation in organisational seminars in front of the management and the clients would not be attractive if I do not feel comfortable in facing and communicating a large audience.
1.d) Reflection on Two Professionals Interactions: I have been able to assess and realize my difficulty in the mentioned issues including lack of confidence and verbal communication throughout my coursework. Two incidents that have guided to understand the requirement of improving these two skills include a seminar and a workshop.
In the seminar I had to present a research paper in front a huge number of people including my peers, professors and many external professors. Due to lack of confidence I got nervous and I could not perform to my expectation. I was well prepared in my paper but only due to lack of confidence to face that kind of huge audience ruined my preparation and expectation. I was also feeling nervous to response to the asked queries made by the audience due to deficiency in the knowledge of verbal communication. It is not that I did not know the answers of those questions whereas; I was unable to frame the answers due to nervousness.
There was also a workshop where we had to complete a project with the collaboration of the students of other universities. We had to arrange several group discussion and meeting to set the next activities and there were several participants of different cultural backgrounds. I was feeling uneasiness to express my opinions.
2. Literature Review
2.1 Concept: Confidant and strong verbal communication skills are extremely important in both personal and professional life of a person. A clear confidant communication with poise, fetch respect from others and helps to build rapport with others. Confidence helps people to take up every opportunity (Chua & Chua, 2017). They do not shy away from them. Confidence helps us move forward and explore our own capabilities It takes courage and confidence to be real. But the more real we are, the more self-confident we become. It takes real courage and confidence to be successful.
2.2 Theories and models
2.2.1 Theories: Verbal communication means sharing thoughts by means of words. Human being shares information, feelings, thoughts, support and memories through verbal communication. Words must be involved in verbal communication (Kernbach, Eppler & Bresciani, 2015, p.180). Written communication also use words and thus it is also considered as verbal communication, Human communication system is a vast system and verbal communication system can be considered as a sub system of it (Rodríguez & Roxana, 2017). The following points will provide some information about verbal communication.
- Energy is imported from outside of the system. This energy is achieved through the Communication between individuals.
- Many subsystems of communication such as conceptualizing, verbalizing, articulating, perception and interpreting the thoughts proceeds through verbal communication.
- The result is achieved as the intention is passed on other person.
- Verbal communication system is process which involves activities in recurring patterns. It represents cycle of events.
- Verbal communication always breaks down when the purpose of the verbal communication is lost.
- To avoid any failure in communication system there should be a balance between the system of languages and the process of communication.
- In a negative communication the reactions of the partners are monitored in a reciprocal manner and adjust their behaviour accordingly.
- Where communication continues for a long time it requires developed and refined skills in the concerned language.
- Similar goals in communication can be achieved through different ways.
As opined by Varner & Varner (2014, p.9), some special features of verbal communication make it unique and distinguish it from other forms of communication. The basic purpose of verbal communication is transferring the information based on facts. The mode of verbal communication also depends on the status of the concerned person in society (Hardianti, Taufiq & Pamelasari, 2017). Peoples desire and hope, their attitude is also reflected through their communication skills. The symbolic signs, like the movement of hands and facial expressions are also used along with verbal communication.
2.2.2 Models: There are some important components which are included in the verbal communication system model. They are listed below:
- Actual message conveyed by the communication
- Means of communication
- Network of communication
- Certain activities involved in communication
Actual message conveyed by the communication: Several types of messages are conveyed through verbal communication (Deeley, 2018, p.440). In some particular social conditions such as congratulating someone, offering one’s condolences or meeting someone casually to show gratitude, the message is not planned or defined clearly many situations which are stereotype in nature, the speaker’s appearance, his initial reactions become more important than the content (Mets, Ojea, & Develder, 2014, p.1779). When a person greets, congratulates or thanks another person he uses some prefabricated mode of communication (Arya, Singh & Singh, 2016).
Means of communication: Codes and signals represent communication means. In verbal communication natural language is the dominant code. Some signs which are non-linguistic in nature are also used parallel. There are some extra linguistic means also.
Network of communication: A message generally passes through certain channels. There is face to face communication, communicating through gestures, writing letters, the advancement of electronic media also radically changed the mode of verbal communication (Quintanilla & Wahl, 2015, p.88).
Certain activities involved in communication: Verbal communication is both circular and continuous process. The speaker conveys news or asks for some favor from the listener. So is type of communication is done to achieve some goal. Both the partners achieve their goals when the listener complies with the speaker (Yuningsih & Mulyana, 2017). Communication problems may arise in any level of the communication. At the time when a listener receives a message he may misinterpret the message and use certain signals like sarcastic smiles to convey his message to the speaker (Kernbach, Eppler & Bresciani, 2015, p.180). There is always a threat to discontinue the communication when the participants cannot control their actual intentions and that can have some adverse effect on the speaker and the listener.
2.3 Probable practices for improvement: According to Cornelissen & Cornelissen (2017, p.78), in case of preparing for improvement policies and strategies, practice is required regarding every realm of self-development processes. In case of building up self-confidence during the time of any kind of communicational interval, several types of practices are exercised. Some good habits are to be acquired for increasing the self-confidence. The well-known fact about practice is that, it makes a human being more and more perfect day by day. Following practices can be provided for development of the self-confidence according to the requirement of the current project context.
- Good listening habit is essential for increasing confidence (Ruben & Gigliotti, 2017, p.25). This kind of habit helps in acquiring in-depth day to day knowledge and confidence. Other than this, a good listening habit makes a life aware with full of practical life experience of the listener and the conveyor. It can be stated that most of the well known speakers also use to build their good listening habit to gather more knowledge and experiences. Good knowledge helps in enhancing the level of self-confidence.
- Positive mindset is to be kept in case of giving any kind of speech to the audience. Some influential and harmful factors like stage fear, audience feedback and others are to be ignored during the complete speech or presentation (Hardianti, Taufiq & Pamelasari, 2017). Self-belief is important in such cases.
- In depth background study regarding the topic of discussion is required in case of any meeting or presentation. This factor helps in enhancing confidence level.
- Practicing in front of mirror can be considered as one of the most effective weapon to improve the body language with positive energy. It helps in having a good experience through higher level of audience interaction with the speaker (Lucas & Rawlins, 2015, p.190).
- Other than self confidence, verbal communication skill is also diagnosed to be weak. This is why some key factors are to be kept in mind for obtaining continuous improvement in building up verbal communication skill.
- It is important to talk according to the requirement. Mikkelson, York & Arritola (2015, p.350) stated that neither excessive talking nor silence is good in case of communication. Identification of the requirements is important.
- In order to obtain good skill of verbal communication, humility is to be practiced.
- Clear knowledge about associated topic is required for being a good speaker with higher clarity and depth.
- In case of face to face verbal interaction, body language also plays a pivotal role by influencing the level of interaction (Raina & Roebuck, 2016, p.120).
- Reliable feedback from the audience helps in identifying the defects and the deficiencies in communication skill, which can be considered as the key portion for having a development plan in communication.
3. Action plan: In order to develop the communication skills which lacked during the diagnosis, an action plan is to be prepared. According to Mazzei & Ravazzani (2015, p.335), action plan helps in gathering all the events relevant with the development program of communication skills in the best possible format or orientation. It is considered as a plan that includes all the relevant tasks or events that are essential for the completion of the objective and the aim. It helps in clarifying the resource specification according to the capacity and the requirements of the outcome. It is a kind of timeline and framework.
Several types of development programs are availed such as –
- Undertaking short courses: Different kinds of short courses regarding the enhancement of the communication skill are served by PR universities in Australia (Gallois, Watson, & Giles (2018, p.310). Media and journalism courses might be effective for public relation courses. This courses start from 1st of June.
- Different post graduate course can be obtained in CQ University. The courses are mainly termed as the masters of advanced communication or professional communication. This post graduate programs are inclusive of different kinds of communication oriented certified work shop. These workshops are of two kinds, paid and non-paid. Course is of two years and it starts from 1st June of the running year.
- A comprehensive reading plan is prepared for acquiring efficient knowledge from 1st may onwards. Knowledge prepares the basic platform for enhancing communication skills.
- Obtaining self-diagnosis can be considered as the integral part of this improvement program. For this kind of effort, reliable feedback system is to be prepared. This type of feedback systems is consisted of reliable persons, who are able to monitor the development of communication skill. This is to be start from August month.
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