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Reflective Journal on Business Communication 

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The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. ” George Bernard Shaw

By this age, I have well understood the importance of “successful communication” in everyday life. But when we talk about business, apart from achieving the ultimate objective of communication that is delivering the message to the receiver, it has a strategic goal and the way it is delivered is equally important. And it is an art. Communication is not just about speaking the global languages, but speaking a language that the receiver understands; be it verbal or non-verbal.

The motive behind choosing this subject was to learn this art and I am glad that I learnt numerous new things which previously I was ignorant of. Through this essay I want to reflect upon what all from the curriculum that caught my interest, is important for me and is going to help me in my career in the long run. The concepts of the whole curriculum were divided through the time period of ten weeks. Every week had one major topic covered along with its ancillary topics. Week one was an introduction to the subject of communication both in general in the context of business. The professional communication should be ethical communication, in that, it should be clear, honest, democratic, respectful and logical. The purpose of the communication should be clear that whether it is to inform, persuade or entertain. The interesting part to learn was that communication can be intentional and unintentional. It is the judgement and knowledge of unintentional communication that is going to develop my personality and really help me in the long run.

The most interesting part was to learn about non-verbal communication in week two. The study of distances, Expectancy Violation Theory and Kinesics. The knowledge of Expectancy violation theory is vital for the business communication because I am going to interact with people of diverse cultures and ethnicities and knowledge of Kinesics is going to be a cherry on the cake for me. As in the superior and subordinate relationship it is important to understand the body language (and paralanguage) of the superior for a smooth working relationship. Week three was about communication genres. What really caught my interest in this week was the technical aspects of writing an email. As till that time, email was just another thing for me, just like writing a text. But in this class I was thrilled and at the same time proud to know the things about writing an email in a professional way which many other people outside this class wouldn’t be knowing for e. g. the acceptable and unacceptable content in an email etc. This art of writing an email is going to help me in a long way throughout my career and surely it can provide me a competitive edge over others if I horn this skill. Academic writing was the focus in week four. I came to know about the rules and conventions of academic writing. Many people speak and write English language, but very few know about the grammar rules of the language. One such aspect was covered in the form of writing in active voice and passive voice

. This is further going to add value to my personality as a writer and speaker. I got to learn about the importance of referencing too. Week five was in continuation of week four. In this literature review and reflective writing were covered. Reflective writing also has norms, this was new to me. Earlier I never gave attention to the peculiarities while writing my experiences. But it was really interesting. It would also help me in future as reflective writing is very common in all careers. At some point of time one faces the need to write it. By the time half of the curriculum was covered, I was completely in love with this subject and all enthusiastic to learn more. One thing I would like to mention here is that to make a subject interesting for a student, the teacher has a big role to play and in our case this role was played immaculately by the teacher. Week six was going to put another feather in our caps, as Dr. Cait White was going to prepare us for the professional presentations. The most dreadful part for me in the past to be professional and one of the most important skills the companies look for. I got to know about the different forms of public speaking and also of the fact that I had a communication apprehension. But at the same time I learnt how to overcome this feeling. And I must admit that it was life changing for me. I am determined to practice and be successful. This week had three major lessons for me, overcoming communication apprehension and analyzing the audience, as without knowing what audience wants, the communication cannot be successful. Last but not the least, the structure of a professional presentation. Week seven was about the complex nature and different aspects of cross cultural communication.

A very relevant topic as Australia is a home to people from diverse cultures and ones has to come across people from other cultures. This lesson is going to make me a better communicator for sure. Week eight was important as it was about the organizational structures and communication through all these networks. It was one of the most important lessons before joining into a professional organization. Formation of groups and teams and communication within and between them was the topic of week nine. It cleared many misconceptions about the different beliefs about the groups and teams. What kind of conflicts and barriers to communication can be there etc? All these lessons have a direct practical applicability in the professional career and this is the most beautiful part of this course. Week ten was more general as it focused on all the social relationships, interpersonal communication and types of interpersonal communication which happen among them. So every week had an agenda and it was met very well. But the one topic, learning which is going to be life changing for me as a professional is communicating with people belonging to different cultures. This is so because I see myself on an executive position in a multinational corporation (MNC) and being on that post, I would need to communicate with lot of people.

Cross cultural communication is what I think I would like to excel in. Lot of researchers and authors have given literature on cross cultural communication. Kim (1988) presented an interdisciplinary and multidimensional theory which emphasizes the stress-adaptation-growth dynamics of cross cultural experience which helps to evolve the cultural stranger’s gradual transformation towards enhanced functional fitness in the host country. Sue & Sue (1990) emphasizes the damaging effects of political and racial biases and the need for developing helping language or ways for them to counsel them. They also provide a framework to view the complex interrelationships of values, beliefs and methods for counseling cultural minority groups. Herring S. C. (1996) in the collection of research works introduced another new dimension to the cross cultural communication that is Computer mediated communication which takes place between the human beings through the computers. The collection of descriptive and empirical research works suggest that in face to face interactions people take more care of linguistics that computer mediated communication and also in CMC, the individuals tend to omit unnecessary linguistics thus bringing more efficiency. Carbaugh D. (1990) in his book explores the process how communication takes place in cultural contexts and how communication displays membership in communities. It displays various models through which we can see culture(s) in communication and communication in culture(s).

The two problems; shared identity and common means and meanings; inherent to the cultural practices and theory of communication are discussed throughout. Casmir F. L (1997) in his book concludes that culture, morals and ethics should not be seen as static but dynamic. They do change. However as per the theorists who say that change is necessary for human survival and development of cultures, then the point of concern should be that how these changes can be brought about in a non-threatening, cooperative and mutually beneficial way. Natale S. M. et al (1994) in their study on the American corporations suggest that the managers should possess the cross cultural understanding and skills. The global businesses should have knowledge about the other cultures as well as should know how to apply that knowledge. The three main issues for cross cultural managers are communication, adaptable management strategies and adequate investment in human resources. Pradhan R. K. et al (2016) in their paper focused on cross cultural training effectiveness, intercultural training benefits. Their findings confirmed the link between cross cultural training and adjustment and performance.

According to Gudykunst W. B. & Mody B. (2002), Cultural communication refers to that communicative conduct that possesses the cultural particulars of the means and meanings of communicative conduct and also the activity through which people of a community enact and negotiate a communal sense of communicative conduct. Tannen D(1984), described eight levels of differences on which cross-cultural communication can go wrong, when to talk; what to say; pacing and pausing; listenership; intonation and prosody; formulaicity; indirectness and cohesion and coherence. She says that the meaning is communicated in talk. Hall E. (1959) asserts that culture is communication.

All the communication is cross cultural and no two personal are from the same communicative background. Understanding cross culture communication is understanding the language. So there is lot of interesting literature available on cross cultural communication. From the whole curriculum, I think the two topics which have a practical applicability in my career is the professional presentations and learning cross cultural communication ways. As I want to pursue my career in a multinational corporation. So giving presentations is a norm over there. I would really like to excel in this part to have competitive edge over my peers and colleagues. Secondly, the studying cross cultural communication is my personal as well as professional interest as it will help me to handle diversity in my job and also overcome cultural hindrances as I am fond of travelling. So in the end I would like to conclude by saying that studying this course was a delight for me. I got to learn so many things and develop my personality with the lessons I learnt during these ten weeks course.

The topics which I am really fond of and see myself applying in my personal life are many but to name a few, these are non-verbal communication (Kinesics) like body language etc. Apart from this, learning to give professional presentations is vital for my career as an executive in MNC. Also to handle the human relations at my work place (due to the diversity there in Australia) I would like to practice cross cultural communication. Also I would like to thank the teacher for building and pursuing my interest in the class.

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