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Workplace Communication Essay: Analysing Competency And Incompetency In Australia


Task: You are a country manager for an international agricultural products supplier. The main office is in Australia. You have recently hired 10 new employees from overseas (you may choose the home country of the new employees). They will be arriving in Australia within the next six weeks, and in preparation for their arrival you will write a document about communicating competently and incompetently within the Australian workplace. This document has two parts:

1. An overview of academic literature relating to communication practices/styles/recent research about business communication in Australia.
2. Recommendations for these new employees about competent and incompetent business communication practices (you may focus upon verbal, nonverbal, written, and CMC). There will be four recommendations—two competency behaviours and two incompetency behaviours. That is to say, how should the new employees communicate and how they should not communicate within the Australia workplace. You will need to explain why each of the communicative behaviours are competent or incompetent. The recommendations should be supported by existing academic articles.


The role of workplace communication examined within the study of workplace communication essay suggests the process of exchanging ideas and information, both non-verbal and verbal between one people to another or one group to another within an enterprise. Effective communication in business is considered as a prerequisite in order to cater to the requirements of the business environments (Thomson et al., 2015). It can further make a significant difference between failure and success. Incompetent workplace communication may result in conflict in the workplace. The present paper is written depending on the case scenario where the manager of an international agricultural products supplier has recruited 10 new employees from India. The main branch of the company is located in Australia. The newly recruited employees are supposed to join the company at its main branch within six weeks. The manager is responsible for preparing a document on competency and incompetence in communication based on the Australian workplace. The current workplace communication essay is going to talk about competency and incompetency in workplace communication, focussing predominantly on Australian workplace. Several recommendations will also be jotted down for the newly hired employees so that they can cope up with the workplace environment of Australia.

A symposium of academic literature
Discuss about business communication style followed in Australia in this workplace communication essay and why?
Though Australia is comprised of a polyglot population, English is the official language of the country. It is also regarded as the most frequently spoke language of the nation. In their business communication, Australians are clear-cut and direct. They are hardly intimidated by the importance of others and communicate plainly while exchanging their business ideas (Ntoumanis et al., 2017). Another most important fact associated with the communication style of Australia is that the Australians expect to be presented with the straight facts and will shun facts or points that are tinged with emotional hype. They also turn down any kind of claims that are exaggerated and far-fetched. In their business communications, Australians wish real figures, facts and objectives. Owing to their matter-of-fact communicating approach, they do not emphasise on establishing personal relationships before do businesses. Instead, they provide significant emphasis on the credential and experience of the others. Since Australia is an amicable and multicultural society, one needs to be sensitive to various lifestyles and cultures while interacting with others in their workplace (Hiew et al., 2016). In the domain of Australian workplace communication, it has been noted in this workplace communication essay that humour has been frequently used. Jokes pertaining to situational conditions are sometimes employed to ease difficult approaches in an indirect manner. Australian sarcasm is quite witty and dry. Therefore, it might be troublesome for the foreigners to perceive when people are joking as Australians don’t always provide clarification. 

Among the most prevalent non-verbal communication in the Australian workplace encompass eye contact, physical contact, pointing, personal space and beckoning (Jackson, 2017). In their workplace, Australians use eye-contact an emblem of trustworthiness, approachability and sincerity. However, holding eye-contact for a long time can make them feel quite uncomfortable. While communicating in a group, it is important to maintain equal eye-contact with all the members present. It is discussed in this workplace communication essay that Australians seek to maintain an arm’s length space between one another while communicating, and often a little extra between women and men based on their acquaintance. Australian people do not like to touch one another while communicating unless they are friends.

Effective communication for business
Australians are considered down to earth who always remain mindful in terms of not providing the impression that they are more efficient than anyone else. They provide much value to sincerity and authenticity. However, they do not like pretentiousness and exaggeration. In Australia communication is straightforward and functionally proposed in terms of disseminating one’s message with much clarity. Criticism can be carried out indistinctly in order to mitigate the prospect of conflict and remain polite. People of Australia like tend to use precise words while establishing communication with others. Australians tend to converse with reasonable sensitiveness. Therefore, the newly hired employees need to acquire a clear understanding of the different style and approaches associated with the workplace communication style in Australia. One of the predominant things discussed in this workplace communication essay is the establishment of effective communication in the workplace. Knowing about the cultures and etiquette of the Australians will abet the newly hired Indian employees to cope up with the multicultural and multilingual paradigm of the country (Jackson, 2017). Possession of effective communication skills can abet them to set up an effective team that can work with much dedication in terms of meeting the objective of the company. Some of the other major advantages of effective business communication mentioned in this workplace communication essay encompass increased consumer satisfaction, improved productivity, and high morale among co-workers.

In terms of the communication style, Australian culture has indebted much from the European nations that can be classified into two categories verbal and non-verbal. In the non-verbal communication method, Australians greet a person by adopting a handshaking method when they are meeting for the first time. Furthermore, it is discussed in this workplace communication essay that they tend to maintain reasonable distance while interacting with others in order to remain polite to the speaker. It is also worth mentioning that Australians provides significant importance in terms of maintaining eye-contact while interacting with others in order to express their sincerity, confidence and trustworthiness (Jackson, 2017). On the contrary, aboriginal Australians tend to divert their eyes while interacting with others. Direct eye contact can also be illustrated as confrontational as per the indigenous culture. In an Australian workplace, touching somebody on the arm or shoulder in order to focus on a specific point is quite acceptable, but unnecessary touches are not at all acceptable. Although most of the Australians use their index figure in order to point out something, pointing the index figure directly to someone is regarded as rude behaviour. It is also relevant to point out that in Australia lifting one’s middle figure or making the “V” sign while interacting is seen as obscene gestures.

According to Joseph, (2016), it is noted in this workplace communication essay that the widespread influence of colony culture and isolation has resulted in a distinct nature communication style in Australia. Verbal communication in the country is direct. One's status cannot be easily perceivable by their appearance. Australians like to converse honestly while maintaining reasonable sensitivity during the colloquy. While engaging in verbal communication, most of the Australians tend to use a strong Aussie accent that sounds more impressive and refined. It is relevant to point out that Australia is considered as one of the few nations where humour plays a significant role in business communication. Humour is not only considered acceptable in all circumstances but also it is desired in all circumstances (Ai & Wang, 2017). Therefore, foreign employees should not undervalue an Australian manager because he/she utilises humour frequently while interacting with them. In the case of all business situations, first names are predominantly used. In Australia, it is quite unusual to address business contact by using their surname (Forrest, Lean & Dunn, 2016). Likewise, educational title does not play a bigger role in various business circumstances, except academic and medical worlds. While replying to some basic questions, Australians tend to use multiple responses containing conflicting meanings. In this scenario, the last word needs to be taken as final. For instance, "Yeah, Nah" should be taken as "no" and "yeah, Nah, good” should be taken as “good”.

Apart from non-verbal and verbal communication, there is another way of establishing communication discussed in this workplace communication essay which is written communication. In any business organisations, written communications are crucial starting from the employees to the CEO. Although Australian English holds much importance in the country for being the official language, it differs from other variations of English prevalent in the country. As an integral part of written communications, employees need to write business letters and e-mails. It is worth mentioning that one needs to master effective communication skills, both oral and written, in order to become a successful leader (Brink & Costigan, 2015). As per the expectations of the Australians, it is noted in this workplace communication essay that written communications need to be compelling, succinct and professional. Most of the letters need to bear a professional tone as well as robust English skills. Both in email and business letters, the purpose need to be noted down clearly. Choice of words and solid grammatical skills play a crucial role in written communication. While writing emails for business purposes, precise words should be used as the Australians do not prefer exaggeration or pretention. There are an appropriate place and time for using creative and long-winded language. Therefore, using the precise word would be a perfect choice while establishing written communications in Australia because most of the reader of the communication would be time-poor.

Communication competence is regarded as Holy Grail in communication science. There are predominantly two types of competent behaviours discussed in this workplace communication essay that can be noticed among the employees: ethical responsibility and adaptability. Communication can only be successful when both the receiver and the sender can be able to make out the same information. Based on today's complicated business environment, ensuring success in business is not solely dependent on the simple interaction. An enterprise needs to behave ethically in terms of ensuring success in business. Therefore, it is further recommended to the newly hired employees that they should develop a proper understanding of the audience by leveraging the predominant principles of effective business communication. In order to communicate ethically, it is mentioned in this workplace communication essay that the newly recruited employees are recommended to follow the seven principles of ethical communication: clear, concise, objective, consistent, relevant, complete and making out the knowledge of the audience. For instance, they should not use tricky language while establishing effective communication in Australia. If they do not divulge coherent information, then they are not being considered as ethical as per the standards of ethical communication.

The adaptability competency mentioned in this workplace communication essay suggests possessing flexibility in terms of handling the change, coping up with new situations with the abetment of innovative approaches. It not only provides significant emphasis on staying focused on objectives but also on adjusting in order to achieve the objective (Howes et al., 2015). Therefore, it is recommended to the newly recruited employees from India that they should shape their behaviour in compliance with the standards of the business. The employees are further recommended that after arriving in Australia they need to indulge themselves in relentless learning and acquiring knowledge in order to address an umpteen number of complicated challenges associated with effective communication. It is relevant to point out that adaptability is considered as a natural skill and it can be mastered with the help of a number of processes, such as monitoring the transformation of the environment, shunning out procrastination, acknowledging that changes are bound to take place and developing interests in learning. Although adaptability is not a very complicated process, it may take a considerable amount of time. The newly recruited employees can not perceive the necessity of change if they fail to monitor the changes in their environment.

Incompetent communication illustrated in this workplace communication essay may affect the performance of a business to a great extent. One of the most prevalent incompetent behaviours is the inability to listen. Poor listening is regarded as one of the common hindrances of effective communication. It not only affects the productivity of an individual but also the entire organisation as a whole. Some of the most common elements that may result in poor listening encompass prejudice, frequent distractions, interruption, misunderstanding and lack of confidence (Bloomer et al., 2017). In today's high-speed, high-stress and high-tech world, communication has become more crucial than ever. Despite the fact, employees tend to devote little time in terms of developing their listening skills which are considered as a prerequisite in terms of establishing effective communication. Therefore, it is recommended to the newly recruited employees from India that they need to spend a good amount of time in order to reinvigorate their listening skills. It might abet them establishing a fruitful relationship, ensuring understanding, addressing workplace conflicts, improving accuracy. It is also recommended in this workplace communication essay that they should maintain an eye-contact while interacting with others in Australia because it will abet those employees from avoiding distractions. It is also recommended that they do not allow their mind roaming across their work while interacting with others. They need to avoid random thoughts in order to get rid of distraction that may result in poor listening. While interacting with others, they should provide significant emphasis on making out the context of the speech before responding.

Another instance of incompetent communication mentioned in this workplace communication essay is mouth-covering. Some people tend to cover their mouth while interacting with others. It provides implication of anxiety and makes them quite difficult to listen. Thus, it is recommended that the newly recruited employees from India should avoid the practice of mouth-covering while communicating with others. It will abet them to get rid of creating negative images in Australia. The newly recruited employees need to undergo certain skill-enhancement training in order to brush up their communicative skills by addressing the darker spots in communication.

The current workplace communication essay has noted down both the competency and incompetency associated with workplace communication. As the current essay demonstrates, Australia is a multicultural and multilingual country. Moreover, communication styles in Australia are quite distinct comparing to the rest of the world. Business communications can be classified into two main categories: verbal and non-verbal communication. Apart from these two communication style, written communication is equally important in business. Going through the distinct nature of communication style in Australia, several recommendations have been incorporated in the present workplace communication essay. The employees should develop effective listening skill and avoid the practice of mouth-covering while interacting with others.

Reference List
Ai, B., & Wang, L. (2017). Workplace communication essay Transnational business communication and identity work in Australia. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 60(2), 201-213. [Retrieved from:]

Bloomer, M. J., Endacott, R., Ranse, K., & Coombs, M. A. (2017). Navigating communication with families during the withdrawal of life?sustaining treatment in intensive care: a qualitative descriptive study in Australia and New Zealand. Journal of clinical nursing, 26(5-6), 690-697. [Retrieved from:]

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. [Retrieved from:]

Forrest, J., Lean, G., & Dunn, K. (2016). Challenging racism through schools: teacher attitudes to cultural diversity and multicultural education in Sydney, Australia. Race Ethnicity and Education, 19(3), 618-638. [Retrieved from:]

Hiew, D. N., Halford, W. K., Van de Vijver, F. J., & Liu, S. (2016). Communication and relationship satisfaction in Chinese, Western, and intercultural Chinese–Western couples. Journal of Family Psychology, 30(2), 193. [Retrieved from:]

Howes, M., Tangney, P., Reis, K., Grant-Smith, D., Heazle, M., Bosomworth, K., & Burton, P. (2015). Towards networked governance: improving interagency communication and collaboration for disaster risk management and climate change adaptation in Australia. Workplace communication essay Journal of environmental planning and management, 58(5), 757-776. [Retrieved from:]

Jackson, D. (2017). Exploring the challenges experienced by international students during work-integrated learning in Australia. Workplace communication essay Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 37(3), 344-359. [Retrieved from:]

Joseph, D. (2016). Promoting Cultural Diversity: African Music in Australian Teacher Education. Australian Journal of Music Education, 50(2), 98-109. [Retrieved from:]

Ntoumanis, N., Thøgersen?Ntoumani, C., Quested, E., & Hancox, J. (2017). The effects of training group exercise class instructors to adopt a motivationally adaptive communication style. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 27(9), 1026-1034. [Retrieved from:]

Thomson, K., Outram, S., Gilligan, C., & Levett-Jones, T. (2015). Workplace communication essay Interprofessional experiences of recent healthcare graduates: A social psychology perspective on the barriers to effective communication, teamwork, and patient-centred care. Journal of interprofessional care, 29(6), 634-640. [Retrieved from:]


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