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1:  Communication

Communication is the means by which information is successfully transmitted and understood.  When managed appropriately, communication helps individuals (and thus organizations) perform more effectively.  As such, individuals need to make decisions about which channels, method, frequency, and systems are needed to deliver their messages and satisfy their objectives.

Strategic communication is an intentional process of presenting ideas in a clear, concise, and persuasive way.  This is an important skill for a manager to have.  Strategic communication requires thinking ahead to what is the message, is it aligned with the purpose of the message (what do you want your message to accomplish?), how will the message be delivered, and other things needed to delivering the right message.

As you read, remember to pay attention to the communication process. 

Keep in mind it is the sender’s responsibility to request feedback that your messages – however they are communicated, are received and understood as intended.

Notice that effective communication flows laterally, upward to management, and downward from management to the rank and file.

Notice there is a time when verbal, written, or non-verbal communication will be more effective. You must be able to recognize proper use for each type.

Pay attention to different channels of communication and ensure that the channel you use are appropriate to the audience.

Identify how to recognize and overcome the challenges of cross-cultural communication.

Learn about some aspects of communication. 

A) Read the following on active listening – an important yet often overlooked aspect of communication:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/womensmedia/2012/11/09/10-steps-to-effective-listening/#851495626fb2

Write one paragraph describing how you plan on developing an active listening skill.  Your paragraph must address the ways in which this skill might help improve interactions at work?  You will need to explain your response with supporting theory from the OB text.

B) Read the following on cross-cultural communication.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/dorieclark/2014/06/19/how-to-succeed-in-a-cross-cultural-workplace/#3e67709252fb

http://www.forbes.com/sites/carolkinseygoman/2011/11/28/how-culture-controls-communication/#78d87cb64b8d

http://www.forbes.com/2005/10/19/morris-desmond-cross-culture-comm05-cx_lr_1024morriscross.html

Write one page (two to three paragraphs), explaining in your own words what you have learned about cross-cultural communication.  You will need to explain your response and support it by drawing from and citing the articles as well as the text. 

Post this written part of this lesson in the Assignment section of this class.

2:  Conflict

LECTURE

Conflict seems rampant in our society today.  On television it seems to be the heart of high ratings.  When you pay attention to the most successful shows, you will see that the greater the conflict, the more attention and also the more successful the TV show seems to become.  Take shows like Big Brother or Survivor where individuals are thrown together in conditions that are likely to foster conflict, or shows like The View where different points of views may stir the seeds of dissent.  Apart from good television, conflict in the work setting rarely brings good results and they make for an unattractive work environment.

Managers and business leaders are responsible for creating a work environment that enables people to thrive and perform well.  Yet, given the individual differences, experiences, personalities, and other characteristics that frame the way we are and how we approach any situation, it seems unavoidable that some conflict might occur.  While many people assume conflict lowers group performance, this assumption might not always be true.  Conflict can be constructive or it can be destructive to the functioning of the group.  Levels of conflict can be too high or too low to be constructive.  Both extremes can hinder performance.  Conflict is constructive if it prevents stagnation, stimulates creativity, allows the seeds of change without being disruptive.

Click on the following link http://www.mediate.com/articles/jordan2.cfm and as you read, reflect on how you handle conflict. Do you avoid it? Do you address conflict? Think carefully about this. For example, some people state they do not have conflict. Not because they do not experience conflict, but because they appear calm and avoid confrontation.  Remember it is possible to experience conflict even when you have not had a confrontation.

In your paper, briefly describe a conflict you may have had.  In hindsight, how could you have applied any of the guidelines in the text or in the Jordan article? What room for improvement is there in your conflict management skills?

Assignment

To sum, your assignment, to be placed in the Assignment section for this course

Part I

Write one paragraph describing how you plan on developing an active listening skill.  Describe how your understanding of the communication process can help you improve this skill. Your paragraph must draw from the communication process and explain ways in which this skill might help improve interactions at work?  You will need to explain your response with supporting theory from the OB text. I will be reading for your understanding of active listening and effective communication for a productive work environment.

Part II

Write two to three paragraphs, explaining in your own words what you have learned about cross-cultural communication.  You will need to explain your response and support it by drawing from and citing the articles as well as the text.  Explain the nuances in cross-cultural communication that affect communication that is effective.  Include how your understanding of the communication process can pose a challenge when communicating with people of diverse cultural origins.

Part III

Briefly describe a conflict you may have had. Use language from the text to explain the type of conflict you were experiencing. In hindsight, how could you have applied any of the guidelines in the text or in the Jordan article to improve the experience? What room for improvement is there in your conflict management skills? Since I haven’t worked yet, don’t give any examples that are work-related. Thank you!

 

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