Communication is important from a business point of view. Business communication can take place may be externally or in-house. In today's day and age, organisations are responding to their stakeholders effectively by making use of an effective channel of communication. This is a reflective report that discusses the concept of business communication. Here, my understanding of the overall course is elucidated. In total there are ten weeks that had been covered in the whole course and various concepts and aspects of communication in a business entity have been covered in the course. For this assessment, the concepts of each week have been discussed in brief. All these processes and my learning are briefly highlighted and stated in the section-1 of the report. For section 2, the topic selected is "Small group communication and processes" has been selected.In section two, a small review of the literature has been given here. The next section covers the application part of the two concepts that can help me in my future career aspirations. The report ends with the concluding remarks.
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In this section, one concept from each week has been covered. My learning is briefly highlighted and stated.
The best part of this week in which I am very confident is the communication principles. The lecture was very much elaborated on this concept. I still remember the first principle that stated that communication can be intentional or unintentional. I am not very much aware of unintentional communication. Reading on which I came to know that it takes place due to leakage of information. The lecturer explained that communication is not always through words. Sometimes expressions can also convey the message. I realised that my non-verbal communication is not that much good and I need to improve that area.
In this week, my strength is expectancy violation theory and I am very confident with this theory. The expectancy communication theory is based on other theory namely uncertainty reduction theory. The vagueness in the behaviour of people diminishes through interaction. I learned that people predict a particular behaviour while interacting with others. If they violate that behaviour, then this can be perceived positively or negatively based (Pearson, 2017). I tried the concepts on the people I know and interact and I understood that people who behave as per my predicted behaviour are perceived positively by me and I have better relations with them.
The week three topics will be very useful for me in my career. I have never ever written any resume and in this lecture, I got some knowledge about the key elements of every resume. In addition to this, writing a business letter is also an important part of the business. Hence, every student should learn about writing them and their standard formats (Kirkman& Turk, 2012).
This week is on academic writing and this is the most important lecture for me. I like doing research and I am aiming to become a researcher. For that purpose, reading and writing research paper is important. The lecture on academic writing helped me in getting an insight into the referencing style and how to incite them in the text. I learned about quoting other researchers' work in mine. This helped me a lot in improving my work and getting high grades in my current assessments.
The week five discussed the literature review and writing the self-reflective essay. I have written many literature reviews in my earlier semester as a part of research reports but I have never prepared them while considering TOMAC. I have never done any literature review in the systematic way as was taught in the class. A literature review of any journal article is now easier for me as all I need to do is to bifurcate the whole research article in five parts and this would help me in making analysis simpler.
The week six covered a topic I am not very much strong at i.e., public speaking. This lecture helped me understand the types of public speaking. Impromptu was something I have done in high school and have never scored well. This week lecture helped me in gaining insight into ways of overcoming communication anxiety (Dawkins, 2015). I have always got demotivated after public speaking. After this lecture, I started thinking positively and I went through self-exploration that helped me realise my weakness. The reason for my poor public speaking is the fear of being judged by others. Now I am working on some contingency and improvement plan to improve my weak public speaking.
The most common problem that most of the foreign students face in the college is the intercultural communication. I myself have faced this issue many times. Week 7 lecture was a great help for me and probably for other students too. Here, I learned about the face negotiation theory. This taught me about how to face and accept criticism, appreciate others efforts and abilities, and how to be a part of a diverse group. I am very much acquainted with the concepts of individualism and collectivism that developed affirming qualities in me.
According to me, the week 8 concepts will be very helpful for me in future. It elaborated organisational communication and environmental factors affecting it. The knowledge of an organisation's environmental factors, such as uncertainty, urgency, and equivocality. Since now I am aware of these factors, I should consider these while working in an organisation.
This week, I chose the group development process. I was familiar with the concept as I read an article on this. The processes contributing to group development, such as forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning are no doubt easy to understand for me but there were many things that I found I was not familiar with. The first thing was that the forming stage is crucial for the team as it helps in gaining an understanding and getting insight into the goals and purpose of the group. Most of the members in this stage are cautious as their behaviour is compelled by the desire to get accepted by other members of the team (Bennett & Olney, 2016). This was new to me. Furthermore, the forming stage part of the lecture to has new learning for me. I read more about the group development that helped me in gaining a thorough understanding of this concept. Based on my understanding of this concept, I realised that storming is the stage the managers need to take extra care as it has high chances of conflicts among the members and head.
This was the last lecture week and it helped me in developing an understanding of using assertive communication. I understand that being assertive while communicating is important. This week emphasises on effective communication skills that are characterised as being expressive and standing up for the issues faced by a person while being respectful of others. I relate the assertive communication to boosting self-esteem and gain respect from others. Applying the concepts helped me in gaining confidence while speaking to strangers.
Overall, this course helped me in understanding the concept of business communication and the importance of team meeting. It was a learning experience for me and the learnings can help me in my future aspirations.
Section 2: Literature Review
According to Lesikar (2015), the small communication is characterised by interaction between two or more individual that are connected by a common objective, shared identity, and mutual inference. Small group communication in an organisation has many benefits.Bovee & Courtland (2012), highlighted four benefits of small group communication. The first advantage emphasises on the accessibility of the resources, such as time, money, talent, expertise, or ability and information. It has been seen that a successful and high performing team or groups take the benefits of better accessibility of the resources. The next advantage is that it results in a better understanding of the concepts and their retention for a longer duration. The third advantage is that it brings diversity in the decisions in the group. The fourth is that it provides creative idea generation. Some disadvantages of working in the group. The first is that with group work, the problem of group coordination arises. The second disadvantage is social loafing which means the performance of an employee decreases as the number of group member increases. Communication gets also affected due to this. The third disadvantage is that conflicts might occur due to a difference in opinion and poor communication channel. The fourth disadvantage is that the poor attitude of the member might affect the flow of information of the company.
Pearson (2017) highlighted the primary and secondary features of small group communication. The primary features are related to group size, interdependence, and tasks. For efficient small communication, the group must have a minimum of three members and not more than 15 members. Kirkman& Turk, (2012) outlined that five to seven individuals are enough to have a prominent communication. Increasing the group size will directly affect the influence of the information on the small group. The concept of interdependence comes from the system theory that emphasises that every component of a particular system work together in order to adapt to its surrounding environment. Interdependence in the small group takes place when members coordinate to complete a task. When something good or bad takes place with a particular member, it will affect all the member in the group. The task is the most crucial part of small group communication. With an efficient group communication, the team members can carry out a task in an efficient manner.
Bovee, & Courtland, (2012) highlighted some barriers to effective communication in a small group. These comprise differences in perception and viewpoint, use of non-verbal communication and symbols, irrelevance to the receiver. In addition to this, stereotype and prejudice in the small group often affect the group communication. To top it all, the cultural differences among the team members also affect the group communication. It is important for the organisations to consider these barriers while forming a team and establishing the team communication process. This would be helpful for better efficiency of the team and effectiveness.
Section 3: Application of the concepts for future aspirations
For this section, I have considered two concepts taught in the course. The first topic is week 7's cross-cultural communication and the second topic is week 4's academic writing.The academic writing is all about writing professional reports and documents. Being a part of the education sector, writing a top-notch academic document is a part of the curriculum. It is important to write a grammatically correct, professional document in order to grab good grades. In this week lecture, I came across various conventions and generic norms of academic writing. In the future, if I have to write a formal document, then these norms have to be followed. I understand if I have to write a research paper, then I have to refer some researchers' work. For that reason, I have to use the right reference style in order to avoid plagiarism and collusion problem (Pearson, 2017). In short, this week helped me in understanding the concept of academic writing that will help me in my future research.
Talking about the inter-cultural communication concepts that I learned in the week 7 lectures, I learned about various cultural communication styles. Being a student in a university where the majority of students belong to other countries that have different culture and traditions, it is important to understand their views. The cultural difference might impact the communication process and affect the bond between them (Lemonnier, 2016). Hence, the knowledge of intercultural communication can be very useful for me. In addition to this, I have the desire to join a multinational company. Such an organisation employs people from different background and countries and have clients from an overseas company. Therefore, to have a better career in such companies, I need to make use of the concepts of intercultural communication.
Here, we have seen that business communication is an integral part of a business and if it gets hindered, then this might create a big problem for the company. In the following report, there were three sections. The first one discussed the concepts of small group communication taught in week 9 of the course. It was found that there is a major difference between a group and a team. In addition to this, section two covered the literature review part on the same topic. The third section discussed the application of academic writing and inter-cultural communication taught in week 4 and 7, respectively.
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