With this course I came to discover that one of the skills that is needful in this competitive world is the communication skills because of shifts in the economy all through the globe. It helps an individual more likely to secure a job and be successful in their chosen job or career, to the benefit of themselves, the workforce, the community and the economy. It is a skill that one can fall back on when all things fail. For example one with good communication skill can decide to use it as a means of earning a living. Berger (2014) suggested that two thirds of graduate employers valued practical work experience alongside a degree, employability skills are important as they are need across all disciplines to be successful in a position regardless of what degree the graduate has completed, skills such as team work, leadership skills, positive work ethics and communication being paramount to an employee’s success. In order to gain competencies in these skills work experience and practice is needed to ensure skills are refined. I remember that I lacked effective communication skills when I started this course. This course has provided me a platform to sharpen my interpersonal communication skills. The objective of this paper is to reflect upon my learning experience. In this paper I have reflected on my interpersonal communication experiences during this course.
In this course I have learned that everyone involved in the planning should be communicated through proper channels and right information must reach the right person. This does not mean every employee needs to know every point included in your most recent new product idea. It means having regular sessions with employees with seniors either face-to-face, one-on-one, small groups, e-mail, postings, presentations, video conferencing, and so forth. Coalition of team is another element of planning. I always believe that Organizational leaders are important to communicating organizational values because leaders are the ones who drive the vision of the organization.
My interpersonal communication style closely matches with the value based leadership communication. Under values based leadership, the manager communicates his/her own personal values and the values of the organization through both words and actions. In other words, under value-based leadership, leaders personify and embody the values of the organization both inside and outside of the organization. Therefore, it is important that communicate the right values authenticity, ethicality, and charismatic leadership constructs.
When I look back now, I realize that this course was a platform of immense learning for me. In this course, I got a chance to work across multiple groups. I learned a lot from the group members. Communication by organizational leaders during a change initiative is critical. Unfortunately, a fair number of employees or group members will interpret any change as negative regardless of identified positive purposes underlying the proposed change or changes. That is why it is absolutely critical for organizational leadership to follow the multi-step change approach. Positive communication specifically tailored to identify desired change with organizational need and resulting utility will promote personnel acceptance of the proposed changes.
There were various situations where there were conflicts in the group. The effective communication is the key to avoid and to overcome the conflict. In our group work we used to follow the ambidextrous approach to communicate effectively at the time of conflicts. I look at this approach very simply: combining two seemingly opposing positions to come up with the best solution. By combining new ideas with established methods, or finding ways to discover new things while also taking advantage of solutions already in use, organizations are using an ambidextrous approach. As experts suggest, organizations must often act ambidextrously. They must look at the past (what has worked and what hasn’t) and also look to the future for new opportunities. While there are many different approaches that may work in fostering organizational change, this approach allows for everyone to be involved. Younger employees can have their voices heard while older employees can share their wisdom. Processes that work remains in place while those that don’t can be replaced with processes that do work.
When I came into the group there had just recently been two members leave and one had been on medical leave and his return was questionable. We were a young group in nature with relatively little leadership experience. The first two meetings that I attended it were clear that we did not have a leader and that one was needed. I spoke with the gal heading the initiative who assisted the group in re-defining or establishing the group roles. It was a project that had been done at the beginning of the project but with the loss and gain of the new members it was necessary again. The exercise was worthwhile as it provided accountability, definition, and confidence and assisted in the vision for the future. It worked out well and could have been done earlier but the group appreciated it was we all felt we were struggling. I have been in charge of leading team meetings. I have found that even if a concern voiced by a certain group of the team isn't resolved immediately, sincere acknowledgment of the concern goes a long way and is appreciated because they feel heard and understood, which lays the foundation for positive progression.
On one project in particular, I experienced several challenges ensuring group members were on the same page due to compliance variations. Even though we all work for the same company, compliance rules vary from customer service to collections, all the way to charge off and recovery. There was often setback getting through the project due to some people failing to realize this, which caused a lot of rework. The project was completed on time, but it could have been completed sooner with the proper controls in place.
I believe that the employability skills such as effective communication, problem solving, team working, etc. that I was able to build over this course would be more visible to employers with the backing of a university degree. In this fast paced environment and internationalization employers are looking beyond the degree to what competences employees have and can offer. Prior to creating groups or assigning work, we used to have brainstorming sessions to determine and alleviate cultural challenges (Caughlin, 2016).
During the group projects, I felt that the communication style and the interpersonal communication skills would differ for different group members. For the group leader, it is important that a common ground or a single platform of communication is established. There were times, when different group members chipped in to take the leadership position. I believe that this is the best way that an informal group can take. There were groups, which I was part of, without any defined hierarchy. I would say that this caused some problem in the group forming stage. However, after the initial group phases of forming and storming, the overall performance of the group was great. We were able to achieve the goals and objectives and I think this is the most important thing that matters. When I look back, I realize that interpersonal communication is the key to ensure that the goals and objectives are not under achieved. As a group we used to communicate often and communicate frequently. This ensured that there information sharing was effective in the group and our group was able to achieve its goals and objectives.
Individuals may conform to the group norm, consciously or unconsciously; change their attitudes to justify their overt behaviors; abandon their personal responsibility; or adhere to social roles, even when their morals are tested. I think that what I am lacking at this stage is a development plan for additional soft skills. Moreover, I think I might hugely benefit from getting involved in a volunteer work. A volunteer work would improve my curriculum and would prove to employers that I have the initiative and discipline. As a conclusion, I can say that the outcome of the project or the performance of the group would depend on the communication style of different members in the group rather than the communication style of any single member. When I look back now, I can say that communication is much more than saying or speaking the things. The interpersonal communication and the communication at work place include active listening. As a group we used to listen to the ideas of other group members and then we used to decide the best course of action. It resulted in the better outcome in difficult situations. I can say that the overall journey of this course has been satisfying for me and I am thankful that I got a platform where I learned a lot about the interpersonal communication.
Berger, J., 2014. Word of mouth and interpersonal communication: A review and directions for future research. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 24(4), pp.586-607.
Caughlin, J.P. and Basinger, E., 2016. Measuring Interpersonal Communication. The International Encyclopedia of Interpersonal Communication.