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.
This assignment has three specific components.
1. Diagnosis and Reflection
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:
The essay shall portray and analyse my personal communication skills and styles related to different areas of communication. The areas that shall be analysed are both non-verbal as well as verbal. Adding to these areas, the active listening capability and the positivity in the perception will also be analysed. The analysis will be on the basis of the outcome and result portrayed by five major communication tools. I shall also present forward the outcome of the tools along with the scores gained from each diagnostic tool. Further, it shall also be dealing with the finding of two such communication issues that have been identified by me using the diagnostic tools. Moreover, two of my recent interaction where I faced problem due to the communication issues will also be reflected.
I shall further provide an explanation from the diagnosis and also provide a definition of the key concepts and models related to the communication issues of mine. The theories and behaviours that shall be implemented for developing effective practice in my communication issues shall also be dealt with. Lastly, I shall be providing an action plan that I plan to implement and undertake in the coming six months. Undertaking short-term courses, Reading self-help books, maintaining a journal and few more are part of my action plan that shall be discussed in the essay.
In order to analyze the self-communication process, I have managed to select five key communication tools that can be used to develop the business purpose. The first tool was "Self-perceived Competence scale” at the time of verbal communication. It has helped me to indicate my own skills along with communication competency at the time of verbal communication with customers or stakeholders (Cardon & Marshall, 2015).
The second tool I have selected to make a "Nonverbal Immediacy Scale Self-report" on my personal emotional influence on communication. In order to understand the issues that controlled me at the time of communication can help me to understand the particular reasons behind individual feelings and the way of talking with them (Chaudhri, 2016). The third tool I have accessed to Write and make an analysis of my fear and anxieties at the time of communication with others. It is the “Personal Report of Intercultural Communication Apprehension” tool. It was an opportunity for me to understand the problems in detail and I can focus on the specific behavior at the time of communicating with others (Christensen, 2014).
After making some personal reports I thought it is important to evaluate and critically focus on my communication issues according to the viewpoint of others. Thus, I have managed to access “Talkaholic Scale” with which I have accessed others opinion in a form of discussion. I have engaged some of my colleagues and prepare a group discussion based on a business topic. Based on the viewpoint of Coombs (2015), critical analysis according to the viewpoint of others is a great help that can support me and imply me the faults more accurately. The last one tool was “Tolerance for Disagreement” that I have accessed is completely focused on my capability of tolerance. According to the suggestions of DuFrene & Lehman (2014), tolerance power is most important factor that can help a business person to assess his capability of keeping patience at the time of speaking with others.
Based on above tools and use the tools properly I have recognized my ability of communication properly. According to the self-perceived communication planning, I have analyzed the scores which reflected on my strong points as well as weakness. As per the SPCC score, I have scored the least at the time of talking with strangers. It is only 30 as per the SPCC Score which indicates that I have a low competency in this situation. It indicates that I have faced difficulty on my verbal skills at the time of communication or talking with a stranger (Malhotra & Ackfeldt, 2016). The score 35 in large meeting of stranger refers to the situation that I am unable to attend a meeting properly with unknown people. According to the discussion review, I have understood that I have medium verbal interaction ability at the time of talking in a large group whereas; at the time of talking with an individual, it is difficult for me to communicate properly.
As per the PRICA report, I have accessed the emotional issues that affect my communication status. I have understood that though I have the capability to manage different situation though I have specific issues at the time of Communication with people from other cultures (Lucas & Rawlins, 2015). The score 37 refers to the unnecessary usage of hand gestures and improper body language at the time of talking.
Tolerance of Disagreement score was 45 which is moderate but needs improvement as refers to the report. It refers to my capacity to communicate properly while in a compatible group as mine, prefer ability to stay with people who follow same viewpoint. Independence in the workplace and enjoying argument on different things are the part of an agreement on this report. My nature to involve in different communication at the same time helps me to communicate more but avoiding people of different opinion are also the part of this result (Engdahl & Lidskog, 2014).
Talkaholic scale report score was 27 that indicate I prefer to talk much. It is an improper characteristic that can damage my impression and business image in front of my fellow workers. I need to talk but it should not be excessive that affect the image of my business personality (Hannon, 2018).
Based on the nonverbal immediacy scale report I have scored 83 that refer to low communication capability. The issues indicated here is frowning, avoiding eye contact, position body in a tense manner and hand gestures are the part of issues in this section. Being a male person I need to follow some basic guidelines at the time of talking. The issue I have identified most important at this part is to move closer to people while talking to them. Based on the viewpoint of Lauring & Klitmøller (2015), this can harm my communication ability as well as my personality in front of my colleagues.
In analyzing the self-perceived communication competence report I have understood two critical issues that affect hugely affects my communication ability. The tools of self-diagnose have helped me a lot to make a clear focus on these perspectives. Moreover, these are responsible to rouse my consciousness critically, about finding out the specific ways to modify and improve my characteristics in according to the business context (Turnage & Goodboy, 2016).
The first one I have identified from SPCC scale is the issue of lack of verbal communication in meetings with stranger. Based on the viewpoint of Mishra, Boynton & Mishra (2014), in order to conduct a business properly, communication is not only the way of business development but the owner has to maintain a formal representation quality in business process. At the time of meeting with strange people, I feel uncomfortable and unconfident. It is not at the time of talking in a group but at the time of talking with individual stranger. Reflection from SPCC score has more clearly analyzed the issue that I need to develop.
The Second issue is based on the score of Tolerance for disagreement that refers to my anxiety and fear at the time of communication. Though, the outcome of this part is moderate that refers to high excessive anxiety level within me. As suggested by Ocasio, Loewenstein & Nigam (2015), excessive anxiety and nervousness can affect my ability to speak. It also misinterprets and misguides my words to another person at the time of talking. I have a nature to avoid different conflicts and diplomatic situation that is inevitable in business process. Thus, this issue must be rectified as early as possible. On the other hand, in this same scale, I have made a moderate score due to my ability to engage in multiple conversion that is effective to gain more knowledge from others point of view (Tourish, 2014).
Professional interaction is an important criterion of business communication that acts in favor of a business person to convince and control different personalities. As per the suggestion of Trittin & Schoeneborn (2017), public interaction should be proper and effective that should not be influenced by personal issues.
From the memory of past 12 months, I can remember about a business meeting with 25 people and 3 company representative regarding the partnership with my company. At first, I was present at the meeting where I have interacted properly with everyone. Before the meeting, I felt nervous about the flow of talking. I knew specific reasons behind individual interest in approaching our partnership but I felt a little confused in case they want to make the deal in another way. After that, my experience and skill have helped me and I overcome it successfully.
In contrary to this situation, I faced real difficulties at the time of individual meeting with company representatives. They were much senior to me and I feared if they found me inappropriate and irrelevant to talk with them. Fortunately, every one of those people was enough understanding and had the patience to figure out my words properly.
Another event that I can refer to communication issue is the Tolerance of disagreement that I have faced at the time of visiting a firm. I was entrusted with the duty to make a detailed survey of the work practices in that firm and find out the flaws properly. I was not experienced to deal with the workers directly. Moreover, I did not have any idea to face such situation yet I had to commit my work. I have faced the issue of fear and anxiety to talk with strangers. In addition to this, I was afraid of argumentation with strangers on different fault of workforce. As they were not much interested to explain the errors I had only marked them and complete my work.
According to the diagnosis, it can be seen that two of my communication skills are at lower rate. One is the self-perceived communication competence scale and the other is tolerance for disagreement. Self Perceived Communication Competence Scale- This method was developed for obtaining the percentage of competence which people feel when communicating with a variety of peoples (Haegeman et al., 2016). The communicating ability of people varies in different situations. Lam & Hannah (2016) discussed that sometimes a person will react as more competent in a situation than other. Few people feel shy about communicating in meetings whereas they can freely communicate publicly. Within friend groups, they can openly talk but in strangers, they feel difficulty in communicating. It is diagnosed that my verbal communication skills are at a lower rate.
Tolerance for disagreement- This is another method which states the scale of tolerance in case of thought disagreements. As asserted by Wagenhouser et al. (2016), people who have high argumentativeness will deal with more disagreements. The report shows that people who have low rate of tolerance often changes the topic of the arguments. They either avoid facing an argument or don't talk with those people who disagree with them. On the other hand, sometimes arguments are good to participate since it develops the communication skills (Tourish, 2014). In workplaces, the people with lower tolerance like to work independently to avoid disagreements with colleagues.
There are different communication models like the Berlo model, Schramm model, Barnlund model. As commented that Cardon & Marshall (2015), the Berlo communication model is the simplest application of the communication between people. Chaudhri (2016) supported that Berlo model includes the source of the information, encoding the language, message, channel of passing, decoding the message and then the receiver of the communication. On the other hand, Christensen (2014) argued that the Schramm model says that the communication process includes the transmission of the information from the source to the receiver by three different levels. However, it has been identified that differing from both the above the Barnlund model proposes a different transactional communication model (Sepúlveda et al., 2015). The individuals simultaneously engage in the sending and the receiving of the messages.
In Berlo model, the factors of the communication include the skills to communicate, the level of awareness, the cultural and social system and the attitude of the person. As argued by DuFrene & Lehman (2014), the Schramm model indicates that first is should be examined that whether the message is impacting on both the targets of the message or not. Engdahl & Lidskog (2014) argues that the Barnlund model discusses that the sender of the message and the receiver must be reciprocally linked internally. Coombs (2015) supported that Barnlund model can also be referred as the constructionist or the constitutive model. As stated by Hannon (2018), constructionist model mainly focuses on the communication of an individual by determining the factors in which the message is interpreted. On the other hand, Johansson, Miller & Hamrin (2014) argued that Berlo model communication factors put an influence on the process of communication between the two specific persons.
There are other model also relating to the communication of people like the linear model and the Interactive model. The linear model is the one directional communication model for communicating with other people. Lam & Hannah (2016) argued that linear model consists of the sender who encodes a message and channelises it towards the receiver in the presence of different kinds of noises. On the contrary Malhotra & Ackfeldt (2016) stated that, interactive model there are two linear communication models which are stacked on the top of each other. Here the sender channelises the message to towards the receiver. After that the receiver changes and becomes a sender and sends the message towards its original sender. As stated by Lucas & Rawlins (2015), in the linear model there are no feedbacks or any type of responses. This model might not allow the continuous exchange of the information or messages. However (Johansson, Miller & Hamrin (2014) argued that the Interactive model involves responses and the feedbacks which indicates that the communication is not only a one way or two way process.
Thus I feel that during communication between two people, both have to respond equally then only the communication can be fruitful (Mishra, Boynton & Mishra, 2014). The diagnosis report states that my responding skills are much developed. I feel shy while talking in a group but within friend groups I can argument or discuss easily. Since the Linear model is a one-directional model, here the message starts to travel from one direction and moves towards the endpoint. On the other hand in the Interactive model, the message travels in different directions.
There are few behavioral models also in the communication skills. The two models from of them are the Social Learning theory and the Social Cognitive theory. The social cognitive theory is used in the psychological education and communication of people (Ocasio, Loewenstein & Nigam, 2015). This model states that few portions of a person's acquisition of knowledge can be related to the observation of other people in various social interactions, media influences and different experiences. Whereas the social learning model stated that people learn from others through different imitations, observations and modeling. The social learning theory is also known as a bridge between cognitive learning theories and the behaviorists.
Based on the pieces of literature that are being discussed in the above section it is identified that I must improve my communication skills from different aspects. I need to improve every element of my communication to be a good communicator in my workplaces. I also have to overcome the issues of connecting with different people that have been identified with the help of diagnostic measures. Along with these I also must develop both of my verbal and nonverbal communicating power so that I can make the opposite person agree with whom I will communicate. The expressions and message projection must be enough clearance to make people understand better. I need to develop both my speaking words and the facial expressions.
This part of the essay contains the action plan that I have made and plan to implement in the coming six months to overcome the communication issues of mine. Moreover, I also plan to do so in order to acquire and gain the required knowledge, techniques and the related behaviours for developing my communication issues (Stacks & Salwen, 2014). First of all, I plan to undertake and enrol myself in a good short-term course related to my communication issues. I have shortlisted a few training centres that provide good communication training and have chosen the PDT training center or the Professional Development Training Centre. It has multiple centres all over Australia including Sydney, Perth, and Brisbane.
I have decided to enrol myself with PDT because they provide proper and appropriate training related to active listening and proper speaking in different situations that are well related to my communication flaws (Cornelissen & Cornelissen, 2017). The training centre also aims at improving the body language while engaging in a conversation. Moreover, I personally think that my flaws in verbal communication identified by the SPCC tool can be well dealt with by enrolling in the course. I face problem while speaking during a meeting and engaging in conversation with strangers. Thus I feel that undertaking a short course with PDT shall help me overcome my problem related to verbal communication (Watson & Hill, 2015).
The Communication Skills Training course lays emphasis on effective communication skills such as the usage of body language. Further, openness on asking and laying forward questions, implementing the S.T.A.R. method during conversations and many more are also a part of it (Chaudhri, 2016). Thus, I think that my flaws in communication that are identified by the SPCC tool and the TFD tool in both verbal and non-verbal aspect can be developed by undertaking the communication development course at PDT.
Secondly, for the proper development and learning of effective communication skills, I also plan to join the Advanced Post-Graduate Communication course at CQU. In the course, I plan to implement the course insights in my communication issues and further the course shall also be an added benefit for the long run in my communication career (Berger, 2015).
Further, I also plan to undertake a reading plan in order to gain the knowledge related to my communication issues. Thus I plan to implement effective communication skills by taking guide and help from several self-help books (Cardon & Marshall, 2015). I have shortlisted a number of books that I plan to read in the six months action plan done by me. Some of the books are ‘101 Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills Instantly’, ‘The Assertiveness Workbook: How to Express Your Ideas and Stand Up for Yourself at Work and in Relationships’, ‘Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most’, ‘Messages: The Communication Skills Book’ and ‘The Messages Workbook: Powerful Strategies for Effective Communication at Work and Home’ (Jaber, 2016). I hope that reading these self-help books will help me develop my issues on communication both verbal and non-verbal by providing a useful guide on the improvement of my communication and also help me get rid of the issues or flaws in my communication.
Finally, I also plan to maintain a personal journal of mine wherein I plan to note down every instance when I commit the communication flaw (Mottet, Richmond & McCroskey, 2015).
I think that doing so will help me understand and have a clear vision of my repeat of the communication issues of mine.
Table 1: Timeline for Action Plan
(Source: Created by the author)
Hence, it can be concluded that by using the different tools of communication, two of my communication issue have been identified and analysed. Further, the essay also contains two recent interactions of mine which resulted due to the communication issues of mine. I feel that those two recent interactions have helped me identify my flaws in communication. I have thus discussed and identified the concepts and models of communication-related to my communication issue. I feel that by using and implementing the various concepts and models of communication, I can improve and develop my communication issues. Further, by following the communication behaviours discussed in the essay, I feel that my communication issue can be overcome.
Lastly, it can be concluded that for improving and implementing development in my communication issues, I have opted for a six months action plan. From the action plan that I have prepared I expect a good development in my issues on communication. Herein I feel that the short-term course at PDT shall be helpful for my development in communication. By applying and implementing the skills taught in the training course, I aim at developing my flaws in communication. Further, I aim at achieving proper knowledge and skills from the reading of famous self-help books on communication skills. Moreover, I also feel that maintaining a proper journal and noting down the daily activities related to the communication issues of mine, I can understand and evaluate my prevailing flaws.
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