Effective Communication Essay, Research Paper
As I have learned from this course, in order to become successful in your career today, you must have a very good understanding of the various ways in which people interact and communicate with one another. It is critical that good leaders display the ability to effectively communicate with their associates and subordinates as well as train and encourages others to demonstrate those same communication skills. By doing so, they will promote an efficient work environment that everyone will be sure to enjoy.
The first challenge in effectively communicating with other people is the difference between everyone. Because everyone is different from the others, the communication barriers start to appear. People are already facing differences from many levels of society. And with every new group that enters into the society, there are still the cultural differences such as traditions, beliefs, and expectations that are thrown into the mix as well. All of this, as well as many other issues only further complicates the task of achieving effective communication on all levels.
Perhaps the most obvious difference in the current work environment is the difference of the sex. Women possess a tendency to be more subtle or convincing rather than shouting out demands. Studies have shown that women are more likely to construct their requests in the form of suggestions or leading questions rather than be more direct. The conflict is evident if one considers the fact that males possess the complete opposite tendency. Men are often more direct and to the point. These two contrasting different can cause lots of misunderstandings of all sorts. Women also do not hesitate to mix business with personal talk where men are more anxious to get to the details of the business at hand. For women this seems to be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the personal talk brings down some barriers and lets each one get to know the other so everyone is comfortable. This works in their favor in situations where they are meeting a group or individual for the first time. But on the other hand, after they become acquainted, they may have trouble separating their personal feelings and allowing them to enter into their business talk as well as their daily business activities.
After the different sexes, different ethnic groups emerge as the next most noticeable distinguishing characteristics of individuals. People of different race have lived and worked together for many years but not without a fair share of problems. For example, the United States has long been labeled as the Culture Melting Pot and with good reason. American culture is by far the most diverse culture in the entire world. Not only are Americans exposed to new and different ethnics groups more often, but different ethnic groups and cultures are experiencing each other for the first time in America as well. As people become more mobile on an international level, they experience a vast array of behavior. These behaviors will even vary as one moves across the country. Take for example the difference in just the northern and southern states and their preconceived notions each holds of the other. There are people in northern states that believe people of the southern states do not wear shoes or have running water in their households. Because of this false image, they automatically assume that southern people are of a lower intellect. People of southern states tend to believe that northerners are rude and uncaring which is also a misconception.
These types of preconceived notions are also present for every race and culture on the planet and they differ from culture to culture for each other. It is very difficult but even more important for today leaders to put these preconceived notions to rest. One must remember that just because a person looks like Chinese, that it is possible that they have never even been to China. They could very well be a forth generation New Zealander and therefore hold the same values and views as most all other New Zealanders. If this is true, they may be offended if someone was to treat them noticeably different or assume that they did not know how to do something. Even though a person has not told these thoughts, their actions can communicate these thoughts just as effectively. This is just one of the many types of subtle communication in which all people notice. It is imperative that people treat others based on merit rather than assumptions made on their looks or backgrounds. A multicultural environment is an asset only if each individual is treated equally and fair as the others. As team members witness their leader treating everyone with equality and fairness, they will be more inclined to emulate these actions with one another. This will in turn help the group to value diversity and develop creative problem solving skills.
Different sexes and cultures are a couple of mindsets that people of today will have to struggle with, but what of the proper communication techniques that can be helpful? Perhaps by using the proper techniques, a person will be able to cope with a different communication environment much easier. Effective listening is probably the single most skill in which will insure clear communication. People are constantly agreeing and disagreeing with a speaker comments and basing their conclusions on this list of agreements and disagreements. People must possess the ability not only to hear exactly what the speaker is saying, but extracting what the speaker is trying to say. They must keep themselves from making any type of judgment until they are sure they understand the message the speaker is trying to express. They must be able to separate the feelings of the speaker from the statement they are trying to get across. The best method for insuring that they understand the intended message clearly is to paraphrase
What they have just heard. By paraphrasing, one of two things can happen. The speaker will agree with the paraphrased comment or correct the phrase with some clarification if needed.
Verbal techniques are not the only types of abilities that good communicator need to have. Being able to communicate nonverbally is just as important as verbal communication also. Body language and expressions are a very important part of an effectively communicating. If a person sits in a meeting with their arms crossed and their chin tucked down, this is a pretty good indication that they are not agreement with what the speaker is saying or they are unconcerned with the subject all together.
Things such as this may not be a good way of communicating but a good listener or observer will key in on crossed arms, rolling of eyes, huffs of breath, nods of heads, or the many other nonverbal clues an audience may give. By cluing in on these types of things, a speaker may see that there is a need to go back and clarify a statement or ask for a listener thoughts in order to get their point across or correct a misconception the audience may have. All to often people make decisions but are afraid to ask for clarification. If a speaker reads some body language that
Expresses disagreement, they may ask for comments on the statement, allowing the listener to express a need for clarification.
Speakers often show some nonverbal gestures in their spoken language also. By using the word you? A speaker tends to point a verbal finger at the person they are speaking to. This comes across as a personal attack and the person being spoke to automatically goes into the defense mode. By selecting words more carefully, a speaker can be less threatening and more receptive.
Another way to achieve this is whenever possible, especially when trying to give some constructive criticism. Try to takes the focus off of the individual and replaces them with their thoughts and feelings and what caused these thoughts and feelings. This helps the listener see the situation unfold in their mind and have a better understanding of what their actions may have caused. By using this type of approach, people do not feel the need to be defensive and justify their actions. If you use this method effectively, you may see that yours listeners adopt this type of talk and once again you have create another delightful communication environment!
The implementation of these and many others effective communication skill will surely be one factor that creates the most successful people in today s most careers. So, in order to become successful in my career later on, I need to learn how to communicate with the other effectively until it becomes my second nature. As today s most successful people all understand that the good, effectively communication with the other people is the vital key to become successful. Although not all techniques will apply to me, but by listening to individuals and hearing what they are truly saying, I should be able to communicate effectively with anyone.
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