Managing Communications In Organizations Final Exam
Intercultural communication theory is a principle that allows people of different cultural backgrounds to interact, share ideas, and work together towards a goal (Mohan, 2008). The approach is applied when people of different cultures can interrelate and get meaning from the communication undertaken. Culture is the way of thinking and acting that is related to a particular group of people or a discourse community. The individuals in the community must have a common background. Communication is the exchange of information, whereby the recipient listens, understands, interprets, and can give feedback that creates meaning to the communicator. Therefore intercultural communication theory encourages the creation of meaning between people of different cultural backgrounds to enhance social interactions, solve problems, and promote socialization.
I applied the theory to interacting with peers in class during group discussions and in getting information that is beneficial in achieving academic success. The interactions helped in understanding people of different natures, with diverse backgrounds, and also increased my knowledge of my identity. This benefit is because most of the decisions made in life by individuals are based on their religion, culture, language, and also the status in society. Therefore, the understanding of my identity enhanced my decision-making skills, as I could ask for advice from fellow students and learn from the experiences of friends. Also, through the intercultural application, I have improved my speech through constant communication and vocabulary use from various cultural backgrounds.
Analysis and Insight
As the saying goes, no man is an island; interactions with other individuals from different cultures helped to improve skills in communication, problem-solving decision making, and teamwork skills (Dejanasz et al.,). I am an introvert, and at first, it was quite hard for me to speak to people, especially those from other communities. Australia comprises multicultural societies with many ethnic groups hence the background of students in school differed a lot. Therefore, I was scared to talk to people, how to start, and the method of passing information to them for easy understanding. The fear was their understanding of language and scared to say something that would undermine another person’s culture. Besides, understanding the cultural setups to know how to interact with them was a challenge, thus cutting preferring silence in class.
However, I had to instill communication skills when we started the group works. The application of the intercultural communication theory enhanced my interaction with others. Through the group works, I learned how to communicate with others and work with different personalities to achieve a specific goal. Interactions during group works are also beneficial in instilling teamwork skills. The groups consisted of five to ten individuals, who are from separate ethnic groups and cultural setups. The regulations for group work is that everyone has to participate. I started learning by watching others speak. I would watch how they handled issues affecting the group, the communication to solve problems, and slowly, I practiced the actions. I was the silent one in the group for a while, but transformation occurred.
The intercultural communication concept is essential in skill-building. Through the theory, I learned that some habits that we thought were natural in people could change and that we create the barriers for communication. Interacting with other people enables one to get new ideas and knowledge in solving problems through a different cultural way of life, and one can achieve a lot in academics and the workplace. It also reduces stereotyping, where one has a negative attitude towards a particular culture. I was surprised by how fast I learned to communicate with group members and contribute to the discussions. I expected us to perform well in the group work after everyone’s contribution and suggestions, and we did. From then on, I knew that I wasn’t naturally weak in communication but lacked the platform to learn and practice various skills, which led to developing the ability.
Culture is based on many activities and beliefs by people originating from the group. Hence before understanding the details of the culture, humor that involves a community should be avoided. Humor such as jokes or idioms can easily offend someone in the society hence destroying the communication. The first action in the plan is to avoid jokes that involve cultural activities or people believing in something. Also, during a conversation, requesting for clarification is appropriate rather than assuming words that have been spoken. The assumptions made may be contrary to the information intended hence lead to cultural-based conflict. The interpretation and perceiving of communicated information is a factor that leads to successful intercultural communication. Therefore, the second plan would involve ensuring an understanding of transmitted information before providing feedback to the person providing the information or any party intended.
Intercultural communication also involves non-virtual and non-verbal communication. Non-virtual are those that we cannot see nor hear; therefore, they require learning of concepts of various cultures. These are such as the use of body language and paralanguage in communication. The non-verbal involves the way of dressing, hairstyles, and jewelry, as it varies in various communities. Understanding of these types of communication enhances intercultural communication. In the improvement plan, I will strive to understand multiple Australian communities through reading and asking the involved individuals on the practices undertaken by their cultures. The ideas enhance understanding of the communities hence not easy to give information that contradicts one’s lifestyle. Also, there will be an improved flow of data due to prior knowledge. Therefore, the third plan would be to learn various cultural activities of the ethnic groups in Australia to improve my intercultural communication.
Lastly, the practice creates perfection. Hence the continued practice of listening and observing skills will enhance communication. Communication with a person from a different culture requires active attention and listening skills. Interactions with people nurture the listening skill as the discussion is only complete when one listens and understands (Wood,2011). Practicing the skill, as well as being attentive to dressings and way of life of people, also help to improve intercultural communication. Thus I will keep practicing through constant conversations with individuals.
After the outbreak of Covid-19, press conferences increased where leaders gave reports on progress and answered questions of the citizens. Australian Prime Minister on April 21 addressed a press conference, speaking about easing some of the restrictions kept to prevent the spread of Covid-19 disease (“PM Scott Morrison COVID-19 Briefing Australia April 21 – Rev”, 2020). It was a long speech, but from an extract, he says that the government will look for areas to ease but gives conditions for the ease. These include transmission rate of less than one, continued testing and tracing and identification of risks.
The communication shows that the ease of restrictions depends on the transmission rate; hence it is still not guaranteed by the government. Morrison starts by saying that the government is looking for areas to ease, but his later statements negate the declaration, as he gives the conditions that would lead to the ease. The possible feedback would involve the time by which the ease will take place as the citizens are anxious to step out of their homes. Also, the people would remind the prime minister about the needs that make them wish for freedom, after a while of having a lockdown.
World leaders have mastered the knowledge of effective communication due to their regular speeches to people during various circumstances. Strategic communicator is equipped with personal, business, social, and cultural literacies since they communicate to large crowds of people and require consistency of information and non-compromising information (Walker, 2011). The competencies for global leaders are evident in the communication by Australian prime minister Scott Morrison. First, in the personal literacy, he mentions that the government, of which he is part of, is trying to identify a factor that it could ease. This information encourages the citizens of the government concern about their wellbeing. Second, social literacy is evident where Morrison states the measures taken by the government to prevent spread and gives it as a reason not to ease restrictions yet. Through literacy, he shows that the actions implemented act to protect the individuals and not the government. These literacies provide a flow of information and ensure an understanding of the data.
In the systems-based models, there are system theories that incorporate the sensemaking concept in communication. Seven properties base the approach, which applies in conversation to create meaning to the recipient (Weick et al., 2005). The World leader speech has applied some of the properties of sensemaking to ensure there is an understanding of his intended communication. The identity construction is depicted in the first statement whee there is an attachment to the government of Australia. The prime minister tells the public of the source of the message. Also, there is social property as the leader tries to explain the reason for not easing the restrictions at the moment. Communication is ridden by plausibility rather than accuracy. The minister promises that the government is looking for an area to ease, but in his explanations, there is no hope for easing the factors any soon. The leader tries to please the citizens with statements rather than providing facts on the conditions of the state during the pandemic.
In the global leadership competence model, a leader conceptualizes the process of cultural intelligence. This concept occurs through a process where Awareness overcomes ignorance, leading to understanding, appreciation, acceptance, internalization, and adaptation. For the leader to get to the point of informing on updates of covid-19, he must have gone through the process of leadership competence. The leader first tells of the wish to ease the ban, the receivers understand and interpret the concepts; they then accept and decide to adapt after explanations of the reasons for failure to lift the restrictions.
The communication by the global leader in Australia can be well understood due to the flow of information. However, the leader starts by giving hope of easing the restrictions through government negotiation. But he is certain that the action will not take place at the time due to the transmission rate. Instead of asking a promise that may not be fulfilled, the leader should report the truth based on facts and say on the impossibility of easing any restrictions kept. With such the starting statement, the audience is aware of the situation at hand and would not be waiting for a positive response when the facts show a negative one. The aim to seek public support rather than communicate should not be kept as a priority, but the information described. Therefore, leaders need to value the wellbeing of people rather than think of the benefits they receive from speaking in public or communicating with people on the pandemic. Leaders are trusted individuals thus should be honest and base responses on fact.
The challenge that may occur is the audience thinking of the positive information provided without facts and hoping for the lift to take place. The information easily inconveniences the audience as they await for ease on restrictions. The information from the leader would be made seriously hence affecting their lives. This data would also lead to mistrust in the future for leaders communicating with their audience. People judge their leaders based on their communication methods they use and the techniques applied to handle crises (Seeger &Ulmer, 2003). Due to these challenges, communication should be made to the audience that easing the restrictions will only occur when the lower than one transmission rate has been achieved. The information will also be based on facts of the prices at the moments, along with a projection of the expected time. The forecast is also calculated considering the current values of new infections and recovery data.
With a well-stipulated communication having evidential proof, the audience is satisfied with the information received. It also saves time for the ‘why’ question since incomplete information has to accept the why question to find explanations. The communication with statement ensures that the leaders are respected, and positive response of contentedness received due to complete receiving, understanding, interpretation
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PM Scott Morrison COVID-19 Briefing Australia April 21 – Rev. Rev. (2020). Retrieved May 1 2020, from https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/pm-scott-morrison-covid-19-briefing-australia-april-21.
Seeger, M. W., & Ulmer, R. R. (2003). Explaining Enron: Communication and Responsible Leadership. Management Communication Quarterly, 17(1), 58-84.
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