Reflective Essay on Effective Business Communication
Task: 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
- 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.
- 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.
The aim of this reflective essay is to highlight the various flaws and qualities of an individual. So that the individual can take effective use of the qualities for having the best attainment of goals as well as for improving upon the flaws identified. It is basically associated with the communication competencies and skills an individual possess in respect with the business life or the professional life of the individual. The objective of this reflective essay is to identify analyze, evaluate and effectively work upon my flaws in respect with the communication competencies for helping in my future career and life. For the effective identification of various flaws, I would take use of 5 Diagnostic tools of which I have gained knowledge during the study of the models of the Course work. Once the flaws are identified with the help of these tools, I would then evaluate all the flaws in context with the academic literature developed by numerous authors in the respect with the two identified flaws. After this I would develop an action plan which will be based upon the literature so that I can work and improve upon my flaws. The Action Plan would also be explain through a Gantt chart to have adequate timeline. Rather than just creating the timelines, I would also analyze them based upon the various parameters which can help me in assisting whether there will be any improvement in my flaws or not.
Starting with the identification process of the floss I have started by taking use of SPCC which is recognized as self-perceived communication competency skin it is one of the communication application tool which fix the communication application of the individual when they are required to communicate or speak among these changes or in public, particularly with increased number of listeners apprehension tool is very significant and helpful in demonstrating that individual can comfortably speak in the crowded area which means can address the flaws or not. The second important tool which I will be using nonverbal immediacy scales self-report in short it is better known as an NIS-S (Croucher, Sommier, Rahmani&Appenrodt, 2015). With the help of this tool there will be analyzed the flaws by nonverbal behaviour of the person in respect with the body language or the gesture of an individual which is used for the purpose of communication with others. It shows that an individual is close to the communication or is very animated while putting across the opinions and views (Mehrabian, 2017).
The third tool which will be used for the identification of my flaws is PRICA which is better known as Possible Report of Intercultural Communication Apprehension. It helps in understanding the feelings and opinions of a person in various cases when they have to communicate with other individuals in respect with the cultural background which is different from their own (Zhu&Anagondahalli, 2018). It reflects the communication process in the diverse cultural backgrounds. The next tool which will be used for identification of the flaws is Talkaholic Scale, with the help of which I will get a specific score which will be an average score it shows that I am not a bad person and this is why I am not a Talkaholic person and though can keep a control over my talking in various situations which is a quality as per the use of this tool (Richmond&Hickson, 2001). The last tool which will be used by me for my flaws identification is tolerance for Disagreement. This will help me in analyzing and understanding my weak point and flaws when other people are not agreed upon my views and the way I react in that particular situations.
As soon as I have finished my identification of the flaws through the five diagnostic tools and filling up of the ratings, I have calculated my overall scores and also evaluated on the basis of the guides. When analyzed with the tool of tolerance for disagreement, I got 73 which show that I have high range of tolerance towards the disagreement communication. It helps in showing that it is not a flaw rather it is a quality which shows that I have strong tolerance towards the disagreement and I can listen to the views and opinions of other people in a positive manner. When analyzed on the basis of Talkaholic scale, I have attained an overall score of 30 which is an average score this shows that I am also not a Talkaholic person and have effective control over my communication and talking which is also a quality rather than a flaw. When analyzed with another diagnostic tool named NIS-S, I have attained a score of 93 that shows and depicts that I take higher use of the nonverbal immediacy that is body language while communicating with others. But it has been evaluated as a strong from for me which will be further explained in the paper through an example. By taking use of SPCC for the identification of the flaws, I have attained a score of 93 that again it’s been medium range of communication and also show that I face moderate apprehensions at the time of communicating in higher numbers of crowd or to address the public. The last tool among the 5 Diagnostic tools which has been used by me was PRICA, I have identified that it is one of the major communication apprehension where I have scored a total of 36. It depicts that I have a very low communication apprehension in respect with intercultural communication. In other words I can state that I face numerous issues and challenges when it comes to the communication with strangers or the people that have different cultural backgrounds. Thus it is one of the key reasons behind the low scoring on SPCC.
After the identification of my flaws, I have successfully identified that there are two major flaws that is the overuse of the nonverbal immediacy as well as the intercultural communication apprehension. There are some of the personal life experiences which I will be used in explaining that how these flaws were identified. When I look back on the personal experiences which I have experience in my life, I remember that few years back when I was there at my uncle's law firm as from starting I had keen interest in law and therefore I was interning at his firm. There were a number of clients with whom I have to deal with on daily basis. Many a times there were clients which were from diverse cultural backgrounds. Out of those few of the clients possessed diverse set of cultural values and beliefs as they were from different cultures. One day I had a chance to speak with one of his American client and at that time point of time I realize that I am very apprehensive in my communication as because of the cultural differences, believes and norms, I got hesitated and had not communicated in an effective manner. Such kind of situation revealed that I have issues and problems while communication with people who are from diverse cultural backgrounds. This has shown by intercultural communication apprehension. I found myself to be weak enough while communicating with people of different cultures or I can say I have certain issues or flaws in the intercultural communication.
The next incident that has helped me in realizing that I have certain for related to the overuse of nonverbal immediacy was at my uncle's firm only. While interning once I was supposed to write notes when my uncle was dealing with one of the client I had written all the notes and in the end it was told to me that I had to repeat all the things so that the client can have a better and improved understanding of all the things. When the session was over and the client had left from there, there was a session or communication between my uncle and me. There he made me understand and realize that I took over use of my body language and hand movements while making the client understand and this was not adequate as well as right from the viewpoint of the client. The next thing in respect with the nonverbal immediacy he cleared me that I should not touch the client as it can be apprehensive and make the client feel awkward. At that point of time, I realize that there are flaws related to the nonverbal immediacy in my communication and I need to improve on the flaws for having a better career and future ahead as these flaws can ruin my dreams of a good lawyer if not been improved.
Both these flaws which I have explain through the incident made me realize that I had issues in related to nonverbal immediacy as well as intercultural communication apprehension. In both these aspects I am a little weak and need to have improvements so that in the further career I can have some intercultural communication. It was also understand that as I must not take much use of my body language rather I must make the client and other people understand through the verbal communication only. With the help of such Diagnostic tools there was effective understanding about all these flaws and behavioral aspects.
Communication apprehension is one of the most common issues or problems which is usually identified among the individuals as the major flaw in communication. When it is in respect with the public speaking or the intercultural communication it has been identified that face people usually face the intercultural communication apprehension (Gumus, Hamarat&Dursun, 2005). It is recognized as the founder or father of the communication apprehension both in the terms of intercultural communication apprehension as well as public speaking apprehension. As per the various researchers and authors, it has been identified that when the people communicate with the culturally diverse individuals there are several barriers and challenges which are the result of intercultural communication. Because of the differences in the cultural values and beliefs, one of the most common intercultural issues that took place while communicating among the culturally diverse people is the linguistic issues. There is a major role played by the thoughts and emotions of the individual as they also act similarly in the intercultural communication apprehension (Kim, 2015).
The communication apprehensions are grounded by the audiences, situation, context and trait (Hsu, 2015). The researchers and authors identified that when any person has to experience any circumstance or situation where the anxiety level is high in the individual when he is speaking with any other individual who is culturally diverse in nature or has to experience or face the audience of such culturally diverse individual, then there is developed an apprehension which is called as intercultural communication apprehension (Mak, Brown&Wadey, 2013). The authors explained that the intercultural communication apprehension is developed when two individuals who have negative perceptions and thoughts associated with each other that belongs to diverse cultural backgrounds and believes (Lane, 2016). They stated that when there is a communication takes place among those individuals who are culturally diverse then their takes place a sort of negativity which is because of the differences in their respective cultures and therefore it leads to intercultural communication apprehension. As per the researchers, the imminent cross cultural interaction or communication resulted in negated because of the already developed viewpoints about any specific culture. For instance, if there is a preconceived notion that a culture being more efficient and sound in any specific language in comparison with other language, then there occurs intercultural communication apprehension (Titsworth& Okamoto, 2017).
The various other authors have also researched and have presented literature about the intercultural and inter group communication anxiety. The authors also believe that the negative feelings or aspects are the one that leads to other individual having a sense of restlessness. In such a circumstance, when the person is needed to have a communication channel with another individual having diverse and different cultural backgrounds and identity. The authors also stated that the specific negativity that took place from the intergroup interactions poses a direct impact upon the individuals’ cognitive apprehension performance apart from the negative effect which has been there on the social interactions (Pederson, Tkachuk,& Allen, 2008). Therefore, it is identified by the authors that apart from the non-cultural elements, the cultural aspects also have a direct and major impact in the contextual incapability that develops from the intercultural communication apprehension (Adamson, 2014). The researchers have identified that the intercultural communication apprehension are the outcome of diversity in culture of the individuals in respect with the places to which they belong to. For example, there has been identified the intercultural communication apprehension when the communication had taken among the individuals who belongs to diverse regions such as Western Europe, Australia, East Asian nations, US, Arabic Nations and particularly between the non-English speaking culture and the native English speaking cultures. When the communication takes place is affected by such aspect then there occur intercultural communication apprehensions at a high level (Pederson, Tkachuk,& Allen, 2008).
The authors also identified that when there is belongingness in respect with the culture of the individuals high emphasis is placed upon the requirements and needs of the individual their activities as well as upon their personal space. On the basis of the communication traits of any individual there has been depicted the cultural context of the oral communication. There are both low context cultures as well as high context culture which have been identified in the intercultural communication apprehensions (Shi, Brinthaupt&McCree, 2015). The low context culture comprises of US and on the other hand the high context culture comprises of the Korea, Arabic Nations, China and Japan (Kim, 2015). In the opinion of the authors, that there is sharing of information among the individuals in high context culture of the perception of shared communication which has been developed by them in respect with their specific communication (Sabri& Qin, 2014). While in the low cultural context, there is no sharing or limited sharing of information among the individuals as there is a tendency and culture of remaining straight forward. Because of this, the high context cultures are termed as highly intercultural communication apprehensive (Petry, 2016).
When there has been a discussion about the overuse of the nonverbal immediacy, there has been presented high amount of literature in respect with the communication (Neuliep, 2017). The author stated that the verbal communication is taken used for conveying the info but if there are negotiations then there is a need to use body language. In respect with the business communication the body language is a vital and significant player (Arquero, Fernández-Polvillo, Hassall& Joyce, 2017). But the overuse of the body language shows that the individual is highly anxious about anything. When any individual take extreme use of their hand movements then it is identified that the individual is anxious and is not much confident. All this reflects the individual's mind in respect with the non-verbal communication (Cohen, 2015). The authors have also identified the body language in respect with the acts performed by the individual which are often involuntary and are based upon the sounds, space, time, smell, the appearances and use of objects which are perceived by other individual. Such kind of nonverbal communication cues can be effectively used for bringing a sense of clarity in any point or to transform the basic meaning of it; for example when any individual rolls the eyes and say that the individual agrees with the another person than the rolling eyes depicts the individual actually not agreeing with other person (Nelson, 2012). Therefore, there fits best the saying that the actions speaks more loudly than the words.
Few authors have also stated are complex in nature (Butland, 2012). For example, in this reflective essay, I have stated an issue where I touched the client of my Uncle to have a better communication and to comfort them but it was seen and regarded as wrong act by my uncle. There are also situations when the individuals even do not realize that they are taking much use of the non-verbal communication (Sham&Azmi, 2018). It has been identified that the use of body language is a vital medium for depicting the displeasure towards anything (Pease& Pease, 2004). Therefore, it is necessary to have a better control over the non-verbal immediacy or communication while there is business communication, so that the individual's emotions are not been shown in front of the other party (Powell& Powell, 2015).
From the literature, it has been highlighted that I am required to work upon the nonverbal immediacy and also to open up when there is communication with the individuals who are culturally diverse. In this respect, I have also developed an action plan which could be helpful in dealing and improving my flaws. The first initial step in the action plan is that I would take help from my tutor and will ask them to provide me with cues so that I can remove my communication apprehension in respect with being a less effective communicator when compared to various other individuals who are from native English background (Richmond, Mccroskey&Mottet, 2015). Secondly, I would be reading enormous amount of literature as well as the one that has been suggested so that there can be effective identification of the causes behind my inhibition as well as to identify the way by which I can reduce as well as remove them. I would also keep a regular online journal that could help me in tracking my regular progress. By making it publicly available, it would help me in effectively working upon my goals as I would have an intention that other individuals are continuously watching it so I have to work hard to obtain these desired goals. I would also start communication with the students who are culturally diverse who are basically belongs to UK or US, so that there can be established strong communication channels with them. It would assist me in the enhancement and improvement of my public speaking skills as well as it will also help me out in my intercultural communication apprehension removal.
As I take much use of the non-verbal communication which leads to nonverbal immediacy, so I have to learn to have an effective control upon the body language. There is a need to use sign language rather than using body language as it would be helpful for me to control my communication as well as also worked as an additional skill. I would also have a regular communication with the individuals who are from diverse backgrounds other than the one in my University. Once they will be completed a period of 6 months of my overall Action Plan, I would evaluate my progress based upon the online journal where I would score myself out of 10 on each activity. For passing, I would be requiring a minimum of 65%. Following is the action plan with timelines:
Concluding with the reflective essay, I have undergone an amazing experience and self-reflective journey where I have identified my various flaws on which I needed an improvement. After having an analysis of the literature, the Action Plan which is based upon the literature would support me in the improvement over my flaws and will also support in removing my intercultural communication apprehension as well as reducing the use of nonverbal immediacy.
Adamson, N. A. (2014). Outcome effectiveness in counseling: The role of nonverbal immediacy behaviors and the therapeutic relationship. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Arquero, J. L., Fernández-Polvillo, C., Hassall, T., & Joyce, J. (2017).Relationships between communication apprehension, ambiguity tolerance and learning styles in accounting students. Revista de Contabilidad, 20(1), 13-24.
Butland, M. (2012).Achieving Communication Competence: An Introduction to Human Communication. Iowa: Kendall Hunt Publishing Company.
Cohen, D. (2015). Body Language: Overcome Common Problems. London: Sheldon Press.
Croucher, S. M., Sommier, M., Rahmani, D., &Appenrodt, J. (2015). A cross-cultural analysis of communication apprehension: A comparison of three European nations. Journal of Intercultural Communication, (38), N_A-N_A.
Gumus, M., Hamarat, B., &Dursun, M. (2005). Intercultural communication apprehension: An empirical study on ANZAC people. Journal of Administrative Sciences, 3(1), 179-193.
Hsu, L. L. I. (2015). A Comparison between Native and Non-Native English Language Teachers Regarding Immediacy Behaviors in English Classrooms. ?????, 2(1), 99-116.
Kim, J. Y. (2015). The effect of personality, situational factors, and communication apprehension on a blended communication course. Indian Journal of Science and Technology, 8(S1), 528-534.
Kim, Y. Y. (2015). Achieving synchrony: A foundational dimension of intercultural communication competence. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 48, 27-37.
Lane, S. D. (2016). Interpersonal communication: Competence and contexts. Routledge.
Mak, A. S., Brown, P. M., &Wadey, D. (2013). Contact and attitude toward international students in Australia: Intergroup anxiety and intercultural communication emotions as mediators. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 45, 491.
Mehrabian, A. (2017). Nonverbal communication.Routledge.
Nelson, R. (2012). Body Language 101: The Ultimate Guide. North Carolina: Lulu Publishing Services.
Neuliep, J. W. (2017). Intercultural communication: A contextual approach. Sage Publications.
Pease, B., & Pease, A. (2004).The Definitive Book of Body Language. New York: Bantam.
Pederson, J., Tkachuk, H., & Allen, M. (2008). How perceived situational frequency and situational importance affect communication apprehension: A cross cultural analysis. Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, 37, 189–198.
Petry, A. C. (2016). Communication apprehension affects performance. Powell, R. G., & Powell, D. L. (2015). Classroom communication and diversity: Enhancing instructional practice. Routledge.
Richmond, V. P., &Hickson, M. III. (2001). Going public: A practical guide to public talk. Boston, MA: Allyn& Bacon.
Richmond, V. P., Mccroskey, J. C., &Mottet, T. (2015). Handbook of instructional communication: Rhetorical and relational perspectives. Routledge.
Sabri, U., & Qin, T. Y. (2014).Communication apprehension among Nilai college students. Advances in Language and Literary Studies, 5(5), 46-49.
Sham, R. M., &Azmi, M. N. L. (2018). Causal Relationship Between Oral Performance and Communication Apprehension. KnE Social Sciences & Humanities, 3(4), 769-783.
Shi, X., Brinthaupt, T. M., &McCree, M. (2015).The relationship of self-talk frequency to communication apprehension and public speaking anxiety. Personality and Individual Differences, 75, 125-129.
Titsworth, S., & Okamoto, K. (2017).Communication Competence. The International Encyclopedia of Organizational Communication.
Zhu, L., &Anagondahalli, D. (2018).Predicting Student Satisfaction: The Role of Academic Entitlement and Nonverbal Immediacy. Communication Reports, 31(1), 41-52.