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Communication skills are some of the most important skills that you need to succeed in the workplace. We talk to people face to face, and we listen when people talk to us. We write emails and reports, and we read the documents that are sent to us. Communication, therefore, is a process that involves at least two people – a sender and a receiver.
For it to be successful, the receiver must understand the message in the way that the sender intended (Mind Tools).
Baack also states that the sender needs to assess what type of message is being prepared. Proactive messages are more unsettling to receivers compared to reactive messages. The sender needs to be able to anticipate responses that will be made to their messages (2001). Assessment Description: For this assignment I used the communication quiz from mindtools.com. The following questions were used to determine my score of 61: Statement Not at all Rarely Some times Often Very Often
I try to anticipate and predict possible causes of confusion, and I deal with them up front.
When I write a memo, email, or other document, I give all of the background information and detail I can to make sure that my message is understood. If I don’t understand something, I tend to keep this to myself and figure it out later. I’m sometimes surprised to find that people haven’t understood what I’ve said. I can tend to say what I think, without worrying about how the other person perceives it.
I assume that we’ll be able to work it out later. When people talk to me, I try to see their perspectives. I use email to communicate complex issues with people. It’s quick and efficient. When I finish writing a report, memo, or email, I scan it quickly for typos and so forth, and then send it off right away.
When talking to people, I pay attention to their body language. I use diagrams and charts to help express my ideas. Before I communicate, I think about what the person needs to know, and how best to convey it. When someone’s talking to me, I think about what I’m going to say next to make sure I get my point across correctly. Before I send a message, I think about the best way to communicate it (in person, over the phone, in a newsletter, via memo, and so on). I try to help people understand the underlying concepts behind the point I am discussing. This reduces misconceptions and increases understanding. I consider cultural barriers when planning my communications.
Total = 61 Improving Communication Skills My score of 61 means that I understand my role as a communicator, both when I send messages, and when I receive them. I anticipate problems, and choose the right ways of communicating most of the time. People respect me for my ability to communicate clearly, and they appreciate my listening skills. Communication Gaps Additional Communication Training Communication is critical for organization success. While leaders may know the basics of communication, everyone can improve in communicating with focus and purpose (Carnegie). I do feel I could use more training in communication. There are times I have deadlines to meet and tend to get lazy in proofreading what I wrote. There are also times when I am not fully listening to a conversation due to thinking about something else that I need to do or being tired. I plan to attend more trainings and practice improving areas of communication in order to be more successful in my current position and future advancements.
I feel that the use of college classroom forums is another way to practice improvements in my communication with others. I also like the use of role playing during trainings. I recently attended a two-day training on Suicide Intervention and the role plays were crucial to learning what to say, how to say it, listening to the other person, using empathy, watching my body language and the body language of the other person. Without all of these skills combined, I would not be able to be successful in helping someone who is suicidal.
Baack, D. (2012). Management Communication [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://ashford.content.edu Mindtools (1996-2013). How Good Are Your Communication Skills? Retrieved May 4, 2013, from http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newCS_99.htm Senseng, Kevin J., Vice President and Global Brand Champion, Dale Carnegie & Associates, Inc. (2010). Communicate for Action Effective communication is a critical competency for organizational success.
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