Communication to an Audience

Question:

Write an essay on Communication to an Audience.

Answer:

The course of four weeks revolving around the importance of communication skills in a workplace has not only provided me with a great learning opportunity, but it has also unraveled to me a profound truth- hard skills are not sufficient to succeed in life. Yes, of course, hard skills are indeed important, as it provides one with the required knowledge and expertise needed for getting qualified in any job. However, once an individual gets selected, that person will undoubtedly require to communicate well with the colleagues and the officials; this communication will be required in order to increase the quality of their knowledge as well as work experience. I have realized that good communication skills are indeed needed in order to ensure that the strategy and immediate targets of the organization are clear to the employees, so that they can work towards the achievement of the particular goal. Furthermore, communication skills are also required to interact regularly with the clients, or for interviewing the employees, and hence I believe if an employee lacks in these skills he needs to be groomed (Meulenbroek et al., 2016).

Discussion:

Communication to an Audience:

Any organization needs to interact with the customers as well as the employees, in an engaging way so much so that the right kind of communication style has to be adopted. Whenever a manager of an organization is about to propose a new business strategy, he needs to communicate the benefits of the plan effectively to the employees. The manager, needs to be assertive while speaking, but he must ensure that his words or communication gestures do not exhibit any sign of aggression, superiority or dominance. According to me, a modest attitude, and an assertive communication style enable the speaker to expression his views and purpose clearly, and yet take the audience into full confidence (Savitz et al., 2015). The manager, or any leader in a meeting, should not merely state and establish his perspective, without providing a space to the listeners, about a contrary opinion. He must explain the objectives of his speech, and discuss as to why he thinks that the plan will benefit the organization. After this, he should allow sufficient time to the listeners, as to how far they agree with the proposed idea, if they would like to introduce any different idea or not. The most important function of an effective communication, is not just stating facts and asserting one’s own idea, but also listening to what the audience might have to opine about the whole idea. I totally believe that even many of the employees can give out the most novel and innovative ideas, and an assertive speaker, unlike an aggressive speaker welcomes these contradictions, rather than expressing grudges (Griffin , 2015). 

The customers are the actual assets of an organization, and it becomes an important duty for an organization to see to it that a very proper way of behavior is being meted out to them. We all know that no matter how much big the name of the brand is, an organization is always likely to face criticism, complaint or grievance from the customers. But the employees in charge must ensure that they can positively tackle with the complaints and that they do not retort with aggression. They should use humor as much as possible, and at the same time, be patient to what the client is saying. It is equally important to make the clients feel comfortable, listen to them attentively, and express an apology, on behalf of the organization, if needed. An empathetic listening is also a pre requisite of great communication technique (Goetsch et al., 2014). The most important function of empathy, in communication is that it helps to resolve conflict in the workplace. The employer must engage in co-operative communication in case any kind of difference or dispute arises among the employees. The leader of a group should not just listen to the problem, and send everyone back to his or her respective seats, asking to carry on with the work. In my opinion, this will aggravate the whole situation, as the dispute cannot be solved and the employees engaged, will retain their grudge. Hence, the leader should summon the individuals concerned, and listen to the problem empathetically and try to offer a solution without being biased (Dubrin et al., 2015). Being empathetic means, he must engage himself fully in the problem, listen to it keenly and treat both the parties with enough dignity and worth. Persuasive eloquence, I believe greatly benefits the speaker. Here, also the leader or the manager can persuade his subordinates to apologize if needed, without hurting or demeaning either of the parties (Barskey et al.,2015). 

Interpersonal Communication:

To be honest, I always held a different opinion prior to undergoing this course, as I firmly believed in professionalism, and as such I thought that it is only my working skills and enthusiasm to devote longer hours to work, which shall enhance my productivity and gain me success. However, I was wrong. I have understood that communicating well with the colleagues, sharing a laughter with them, talking out your problems and grievances can yield you a lot more. It may happen that an employee is facing any kind of problem in a task assigned to him, and owing to his poor communication skills, he shies away from approaching his seniors or colleagues about the same. As a result, the work he performs might have many mistakes in them, and may have to be re-done (Thill et al., 2013). But would it not have been way too better, if he would have stepped ahead and asked his senior officials to help him make the task comprehensible? Nowadays, the workforce of renowned organizations, such as Woolworths, consists of members of various ethnic and cultural communities. In a diverse workplace as this, in absence of sufficient interpersonal communication, there might be instances of workplace violence where the conflict arises from misunderstanding, misinterpretation of the cultural values of a different community, or even racial abuse. Hence, many reputed organizations, presently have engaged soft skill trainers to train and groom the employees, to refine their inter-personal skills and strengthen a sense of unity among them. Good communication, I believe , is not only needed to interact with the clients, but also to increase the productivity scale within the organization (Bedwell et al., 2014). 

I have also learnt about three different modes and styles of communication, which are Assertive, Aggressive, and Passive forms of communication. The first and mostly recommended style is the Assertive style of communication. Usually, the leaders of an organization possess such a style. Here, the speaker is usually very clear and confident about the content of the speech he is going to deliver. I believe, great leaders, such as Barrack Obama also possesses this style. Here, the speaker is confident about exactly what he is going to communicate, and hence his sentences are marked by brevity and a clarity of purpose. They do not prefer divergence from the main issue. It may happen that an employee encounters a problem in performing the task entrusted to him; in this case he should instantly approach the boss and communicate about his problem to him (Weissensteiner et al., 2015).  What I really appreciate about the Assertive style of communication, is that it enables the speaker express his thoughts , doubts or perspectives clearly, without letting him attach his personal emotions of fear, disgust or rage with it. The speaker retains a balanced demeanor all throughout, and yet manages to communicate his problem. Just imagine a situation, where an employee has a problem with any of his colleagues, and instead of negotiating it well, he retorts back with slangs and behaves unethically. This will aggravate the problem, instead of solving it. Similarly, I believe that even a boss or anyone who enjoys authoritative position in the organization, should do away with Aggressive style of communication (Nelson et al., 2013). Aggressive communication involves openly assassinating the character of an employee, or attacking his socio-economic background, or ridiculing someone, giving him threats, etc. This Aggressive style of communication generates a negative impact on business operations of an organization. It may have a disastrous effect on an employee, being subject to such kind of harsh and ruthless communication, whereby he may lose confidence, his self-worth and dignity. I believe it may happen at times that the employee has not worked well to the content of his employer, and the employer expresses his discontent and disgust by employing harsh, abusive language that ultimately de motivates the employee. This will never benefit the organization, nor the employer, as the employee will lose confidence in himself and his capabilities. By hurting his self-esteem through abuse or misconduct, the employer will unknowingly reduce his level of commitment and responsibility towards the success of the organization. I have also learnt about the Passive style of communication (Borg , 2013). The people using this communication lack in good social skills, and I think it is indeed disadvantageous for a firm to have such passive communicators. Although, these people maybe discontent with the tasks being allotted or the duties assigned to them, they will scarcely speak up. Passive communication does not let a person complain or protest openly against a problem he or she is facing. Although this can be thought to be an advantage by many, I believe it is actually far from so. This is because, even if an employee is facing any problem, in terms of workload or misconduct from employees, he will never communicate the problem to the higher authority for negotiation purpose, but may simply resign and opt out all of a sudden. Hence, Assertive style of communication is the most desirable one, as it can balance itself well between professionalism and politeness (Pope 2015). 

Communication for Interview:

Furthermore, communication skills are also of paramount importance to an individual, when he or she appears for an interview. It often happens, that an individual, owing to poor social and communication skills, fumbles and stammers, and even forgets to do the most obvious things, such as greeting the interviewer or asking for his consent before taking a seat. But since the interview determines if the employee will be able to secure his job or not, good communication skills are needed. Once again, assertive communication technique should be followed. I have learnt the importance of clearly and confidently asserting yourself before your interviewer. The body gestures such as proper eye contact, precise yet accurate replies to the questions asked a smile on face and relaxed body language is much required in a job interview. A sense of unease and discomfort can be disadvantageous to the employee, as his fear can get on his nerves, and make him forget the answers of the most fundamental questions being asked (Sweigert et al., 2013) . 

Conclusion:

To conclude I must say that I am very thankful that I attended the course, which has been one of the most educative experiences for me. First of all, I understand now the importance of interacting with all , so that it not only increases my productivity, but also enables me to share my problem, stress, anxiety with my colleagues. Another thing, which I have learnt from here, is the importance of Intrapersonal communication skills, apart from the interpersonal skills. I have understood, that at times, I shall reflect and ponder over my plans and strategies, and determine how far they can be beneficial for my organization, or even if implemented, what are the possible factors that need to be considered (Kilic et al., 2013). Again, Passive Aggressive communication has to be avoided in a workplace, as it generates negative impact on the workplace. Muttering, denial of the problem, sarcastic comments or personal attacks can adversely affect the work environment, may de motivate the employees and consequently reduce the productivity. I think there is no right procedure of communication, but what is needed is, striking a proper balance between assertiveness and responsiveness in a workplace (Dozier et al., 2013). 

Reference List:

Bedwell, W. L., Fiore, S. M., & Salas, E. (2014). Developing the future workforce: An approach for integrating interpersonal skills into the MBA classroom. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 13(2), 171-186.

Goetsch, D. L., & Davis, S. B. (2014). Quality management for organizational excellence. pearson.

Borg, S. W., & Johnston, W. J. (2013). The IPS-EQ model: interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence in a sales process. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 33(1), 39-51.

Griffin, R. (2013). Fundamentals of management. Cengage Learning.

Barsky, A. (2014). Conflict resolution for the helping professions. Oxford University Press

Sweigart, L., & Hodson-Carlton, K. (2013). Improving student interview skills: The virtual avatar as client. Nurse educator, 38(1), 11-15.

Kilic, K., Tavacioglu, L., & Bolat, P. (2013). Influence of Emotional Intelligence on the Work Performance of. Marine Navigation and Safety of Sea Transportation: STCW, Maritime Education and Training (MET), Human Resources and Crew Manning, Maritime Policy, Logistics and Economic Matters, 169.

Weissensteiner, J. R. (2015). The importance of listening: engaging and incorporating the athlete’s voice in theory and practice. British journal of sports medicine, 49(13),839840.

Savitz-Romer, M., Rowan-Kenyon, H. T., & Fancsali, C. (2015). Social, Emotional, and Affective Skills for College and Career Success. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 47(5), 18-27.

Dubrin, A. (2015). Leadership: Research findings, practice, and skills. Nelson Education.

Dozier, D. M., Grunig, L. A., & Grunig, J. E. (2013). Manager’s guide to excellence in public relations and communication management. Routledge.

Meulenbroek, P., Bowers, B., & Turkstra, L. S. (2016). Characterizing common workplace communication skills for disorders associated with traumatic brain injury: a qualitative study. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 44(1), 15-31

Nelson, D. (2013). ” Management Works in the System; Leadership Works on the System” The Interpersonal Skills on Corporate Threshold. Language in India, 13(4), 22-31.

Pope, S. A. (2015). Strategies for Developing Interpersonal Communication Skills for Business Students.

Thill, J. V., & Bovée, C. L. (2013). Excellence in business communication. R. B. Chatterjee, & K. Subramanian (Eds.). Pearson.

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