Group Communication Essays and Research Papers

Instructions for Group Communication College Essay Examples

Title: Groups

  • Total Pages: 2
  • Words: 487
  • Works Cited:2
  • Citation Style: APA
  • Document Type: Essay
Essay Instructions: You are asked to write a paper (2-3 pages) in which you will relate two principles covered in the text and/or in discussion of your group experience in your life. Choose any two concepts or ideas that we have covered in the text and/or in discussion and apply them to a group situation in your life (not your family). In other words, take two group communication concepts from the book (e.g. cohesion, climate, procedural, task, power structure, group norms, limitations of groups, strength of groups), for each concept, use a full paragraph to define and explain clearly and then apply to your own experience(s), explaining how the group communication and/or output was affected by that real-world event. This paper is to be written in essay format, double spaced (2-3 pages), with an introduction, body, and a conclusion.

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References

Myers, Scott A., & Anderson, Carolyn M. Fundamentals of Group Communication. New York: Sage, 2008. Print.

Wood, Julia. Communication in Our Lives. Beverly, MA: Wadsworth. 2011. Print.

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Title: Group Development

  • Total Pages: 1
  • Words: 320
  • Bibliography:0
  • Citation Style: MLA
  • Document Type: Research Paper
Essay Instructions: Responses to the following questions no references required

You are the newly hired Executive Director for “Company X”. Prepare a note to your department heads on what you feel are the most important aspects of effective group communication in the workplace.

You are the newly hired Executive Director for “Company X”. Prepare a note to your department heads on what you feel are the most important aspects of effective group communication in the workplace.

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Title: personality and communication Affect on Supervision

  • Total Pages: 20
  • Words: 5219
  • Sources:0
  • Citation Style: APA
  • Document Type: Essay
Essay Instructions: I have included below the basic format with the beginning outline. The body of the paper that is included is direct quotes from a paper that uses the included references. Therefore, do not use the included body of the paper but rewrite.

Paper is 20 pages. You can email the completed paper to caroljlpc@yahoo.com with a copy to armstrongc@transitionsokc.com

Please use Microsoft Word. I will then complete the outline and format for submission.

All references cited must be in the bib and all references in the bib must be cited. Thanks








Personality And Communication: The Affect On Supervision
by
Carol J. Armstrong













Capella University
Sept, 2004

Abstract
Communication is the outward expression of one?s personality. Supervisor-supervisee personality traits expressed through communication forms the perceptions of trust and power. The communication accommodation theory and social identity theory is examined in the contest of the supervisor-supervisee relationship from an in-group/out-group perspective. It is clear that certain communication characteristics can result in greater trust in supervisor-supervisee relationships.
















Table of Contents
I. Introduction 4
II. Interpersonal Approach 5
III. Communication 6
IV. Trustworthiness 7
V. Social Identity Theory 7
VI. Group Status 8
VII. Communication Accommodation Theory 9
A. Approximation 9
B. Interpersonal Control Strategies 9
C. Discourse Management Strategies 10
D. Relational Strategies 11
IV. Conclusion 12










Personality And Communication: The Affect On Supervision
Of all the problems that have faced human beings since the dawn of recorded history, perhaps the most puzzling has been the riddle of our own nature. Many avenues have been explored, utilizing a variety of concepts, yet a satisfactory answer still eludes us. One important reason for the difficulty in getting a clear answer is that there are so many differences among us. Human beings not only come in many shapes and sizes but also behave in exceedingly complex ways. Of the more than five billion people who presently inhabit our planet, no two are exactly alike. The vast differences among us have made it difficult, if not impossible, to identify what we share in common as members of the human race. Consider, for example, the serial killer, the dedicated scientist, the drug addict, the corrupt politician, the nun and the chief executive officer. Except for the same bodily organs and systems, it is hard to imagine what ?human nature? these persons have in common. And when we expand our horizons to include people of other cultures, we find even greater diversity in values, aspirations, and life-styles. These diversities are often described as our personality traits.
The meanings of personality, as described by several of the recognized theorists in the field, are as diverse as the differences among us. Carl Rogers described personality in terms of self, an organized, permanent, subjectively perceived entity which is at the very heart of all our experiences (Rogers, 1951). Erik Erikson, posited that life proceeds in terms of a series of psychosocial crises, with personality a function of their outcome (Erikson, 1982). Albert Bandura viewed personality as a complex pattern in which person, behavior, and situation continually influence each other (Bandura, 1982). These divergent conceptions clearly indicate that the meaning of personality in terms of a psychological perspective extend far beyond the original ?superficial social image? concept. It signifies something much more essential and enduring about a person.
Individual behavior in face-to-face communication effects others and influences what others think and do. That individual behavior is proscribed largely by the complex sum of traits, characteristics, capabilities, beliefs, and tendencies that we refer to as personality. One individual might have a personality that lends itself to effective interpersonal communication with others; one individual might exhibit personality traits and characteristics that impede effective interpersonal communication.
Bandura?s (1982) definition adequately describes the circumstances of a supervisor ? supervisee relationship: two persons, two distinct behaviors and one common situation. This brings the question to mind: how do we address the common supervisor-supervisee counseling situation and satisfy the needs of two distinct persons who have two distinct behavior responses? To explore this question, this paper looks at the issues of personality through communication, developing trust in the supervisor-supervisee relationship.
Interpersonal Approach
Interpersonal theory asserts that the client will ?live? his or her maladaptive interpersonal style within the counseling session. This phenomenon is often referred to as the social microcosm (Yalom, 1985). The supervisor aids in the identification process by focusing on how the supervisee thinks, feels, and acts in response to the client. The supervisee also brings his or her problematic interpersonal behaviors into the counseling interaction. The supervisor can address these by pointing out the continuity between the supervisee?s behavior in sessions with clients and in the supervisory sessions. An interpersonal approach to supervision is explicitly designed to deal with transference-countertransference issues.
Rickards (1984) examined verbal interactions between supervisor and supervisee as measured by the Blumberg Interaction Analysis System (1970) using response style or response mode to describe supervisor and supervisee behaviors. Response modes refer to the ?how? or action involved in a response. Response style has typically referred to the amount of control or affiliation that characterizes a response. The findings from this study indicated that although supervisor support was the most frequent intervention, it did not lead to supervisee thinking and learning. No supervisor intervention could reliably predict cognitive responses from the supervisee. This suggests that interpersonal approaches to supervision might be best used with more advanced trainees. Reising and Daniels (1983) found that supervisees who were beginning supervision were more anxious, dependent, and technique oriented than were more advanced students. They also found that the beginning students were less ready for confrontation.
There are two equally important sides to interpersonal competence. It is necessary to become skilled in the behavior required for effective face-to-face interactions. It is also essential to learn how to interpret the behavior of others so that our own behavior can be adjusted accordingly. To acquire or enhance interpersonal competence, we must continually observe others and interpret their actions and arrange our behavior to suit the objectives of any particular interaction.
Communication
A supervisor?s communication style contains social markers that convey information about the supervisor, such as personality, social identity, status and power. In some supervisor-supervisee interactions, the relationship is mostly interpersonal and the interactants perceive each other as individuals. While, in other situations, supervisor-supervisee interact primarily in terms of group-based identities or stereotypes. The more a person identifies with his or her in-group, the more he or she will feel distinct from out-group members. Communication is more often a function of the relative status or power of the interactants than of their personality. Thus, most communication in supervisor-supervisee relationships is seen as a function of the interactants? status, role or trustworthiness.
Trustworthiness
Supervisees? perceptions of their supervisors? trustworthiness are based on features such as the supervisor?s appreciation of the employee?s worth, as manifest in praise, compliments, etc. A trusted supervisor is also seen as one who could be relied on to care for the employee?s personal and professional welfare: that is, as one who takes a mentoring approach. Openness in communication is seen as highly important, as gate-keeping of information, or keeping supervisees in ignorance, creates uncertainty, fear and distrust. Essentially, supervisors are most likely to be trusted if they are seen to take a caring, mentoring approach with their supervisees, while still being regarded as competent and deserving of their authority. By contrast, managers perceived as untrustworthy are seen as self-serving, failing to give recognition, stifling the supervisee?s potential, quick to blame and criticize, and perceived as incompetent. It can be concluded that a trusted supervisor not only manages the task responsibilities of his or her role, but manages the relationship and power differences positively at the same time.
Social Identity Theory
Social identity was defined by Tajfel (1974) as an individual?s knowledge that he or she belongs to certain social or status groups, together with some emotional and value significance of the group membership. The more a person identifies with his or her in-group (supervisor), the more he or she will feel distinct from out-group members (supervisees). When one?s social identity is salient, so too are out-group dynamics.
Gallois and Giles (1998) contend that, in some interactions, the relationship is mostly interpersonal and the interactants perceive each other as individuals, while, in other situations, people interact primarily in terms of group-based identities or stereotypes (formal supervisee-supervisor relationships). Hogg & Adams (1988) argue that communication is more often a function of the relative status or power of the interactants than of their personality. Thus, most communication in supervisor-supervisee relationships is seen as a function of the interactants? status or role.
A pattern of positive interactions with an out-group member may lead to ?breaking through? the inter-group barrier and, thereby, to an increase in trust. This would mean a lower likelihood of the supervisor being perceived and related to as a member of a status out-group by their supervisee, and vice versa. Again, this has implications for trust, as we are more likely to identify with and trust in-group members than out-group members (Morand, 1996).
Group Status
Interactants? communication goals or motivations include seeking approval of the other person or signaling in-group or out-group membership (affiliation or social distance or power). In-group status may be a pre-requisite for supervisees to receive mentoring from their supervisors?. Research (Jones, Gallois, Callan & Baker, 1999) indicates that in-group members receive more attention and support from their supervisor than out-group members, while out-group members experience a more formal relationship with their supervisor. In mentoring style supervisor-supervisee relationships, in- group and out-group dynamics are salient due to the inconsistent combination of the colleague nature of the mentoring relationship and the inherent power differences in it. Thus, an understanding of how communication influences in-group/out-group perceptions is important to understanding trust in mentoring relationships.
Communication Accommodation Theory
In terms of supervisor-supervisee communication, McCune (1998) argues, it is difficult to trust someone who has a distinct advantage over you. Recent studies have found that 43 per cent of supervisees believe their supervisors cheat and lie to them, and 68 per cent of supervisees do not trust their supervisors (Davis & Landa, 1999). How supervisors and supervisees relate to each other have implications for trust and mistrust. The communication accommodation theory proposes that interactants draw upon a wide range of communication strategies including approximation, interpersonal control, discourse management and relational strategies to achieve approval of the other person.
Approximation.
Approximation strategies refer to interactants adjusting their communication style to sound more like (convergence) or less like (divergence) the other person such as vocabulary, jargon, accent and non-verbal behaviors. Supervisees utilize approximation in order to signal affinity with, or seek the approval of the supervisor. Supervisors have been found to move away from approximation in order to signal interpersonal or social distance or disapproval. Supervisors and supervisees are likely to be attracted to people who are similar to themselves, in terms of personal characteristics or group memberships. Individuals are more likely to trust in-group members than out-group members (Morand, 1996).
Interpersonal Control Strategies.
Interpersonal control strategies refer to the supervisor?s communication strategy of positioning him- or herself in a particular role or power position (Jones, Gallois, Callan & Baker, 1999). A supervisor may explicitly and implicitly communicate their superior status in the relationship. Conversely, supervisors may reduce perceived power differences by referring to their supervisees as their ?fellow team members?, or by referring to themselves in terms of a nurturing, mentoring role. The interpersonal control themes are highly salient in supervisees? descriptions of negative interactions with their supervisors. Combined with coercive power, dominance highlights the negatively perceived, power-marked inter-group dynamics in many supervisor-supervisee interactions. A supervisors? use of a domineering or coercive communication style is antithetical to supervisor-supervisee trust. By contrast, the supervisor utilizing in-group communication skills reflects communication behaviors that reduce perceptions of power differences, emphasize interpersonal similarities and position the supervisor more as an individual, rather than simply as a member of a higher-status out-group. Individualizing a supervisor, breaks down supervisees? stereotypes of their supervisor, decreases perceptions of power and maximized perceptions of trust.
Discourse Management Strategies.
Discourse management strategies are manifested in a more discourse-oriented, but equally powerful form. For instance, a long tradition of power and communication research has shown that higher-status individuals are more likely than their lower-status counterparts to display behaviors such as interrupting, dominating the conversation, controlling the choice of topic and the use of directives, and are less likely to use an informal tone or self-disclosure. Conversely, powerless communication is characterized by a high incidence of indirectness, disqualifications, hedges, hesitations and tag questions (Jones, Gallois, Callan & Baker, 1999). At the discourse level, the out-group perceptions are indicative of supervisors? lack of willingness to listen or communicate, the use of directives and negatively perceived control of conversation patterns. These discourse behaviors are clearly indicative of power and role distance, which directly and indirectly reduce supervisees? trust in their supervisors. By contrast, in-group perceptions are indicative of two-way communication, openness and pleasant interactions. Supervisors are described by this group more in terms of individual characteristics and personality rather than as stereotypical members of a higher-status out-group. Active listening is a communication skill that has long been known to indicate that the speaker is taken seriously and that the listener cares. Self-disclosure is a powerful form of communication in terms of breaking through the out-group barrier and personalizing oneself. Small talk, while not as revealing as self-disclosure, can also facilitate in-group perceptions. Over time, such positive discourse supervision would lead to an increase in perceptions of in-group membership and trust.
Relational Strategies.
Relational strategies focus on communication behaviors that indicate support, empathy, inclusion, valuing the supervisee and fact issues. Positive face is manifest in behaviors that allow the supervisee to save face, such as a supervisor not reprimanding a supervisee for making a mistake, or at least providing negative feedback privately and in a tactful manner. Conversely, face threat or attack is manifest in supervisors challenging or embarrassing the supervisee (Morand, 1996).
Face threat is a salient issue in negative interactions. Face threat is defined by Morand (1996) as communication that is perceived as diminishing the value or worth of the recipient, and includes issues of criticism, blame and embarrassment. Face threat induces the feelings of being imposed upon or criticized. Handled poorly, negative feedback (especially in public) is not soon forgotten by supervisees, and can be a major source of face threat and distrust. Fisher (1989) found that advanced students in training prefer an egalitarian relationship with their supervisor, whereas beginning students in training prefer a relationship that is more authoritarian.

Conclusion
Interpersonal communication skills are used when we are behaving in a manner intended to achieve certain results or objectives in fact-to-face encounters. A few supervisors exhibit exceptional interpersonal communication skills, while a great many others demonstrate weak or negative or virtually nonexistent interpersonal communication skills.
The research discussed indicate the importance of supervisors? awareness and use of in-group communication behaviors for building and maintaining a bond of trust with their supervisees. A supervisor may maintain appropriate role, authority and status without necessarily resorting to negative power strategies, such as domineering or coercive communication. The importance of providing appropriate feedback to employees while allowing them to maintain face is also crucial to positive supervisee perceptions, and therefore supervisee trust. It is also important for supervisees to be able to relate to their supervisors not only as a member of a higher-status out-group, but also as an individual and a fellow human being.




References
Bandura, A. (1982). Self-efficacy mechanism in human agency. American Psychologist, 37, 122-147.

Blumberg, A. (1970). A system for analyzing supervisor-teacher interaction. In A. Simon & G. Boyer (Eds.), Mirrors for behavior (Vol. 3, pp. 29-45). Philadelphia: Research for Better Schools.

Davis, T. & Landa, M. (1999). The trust deficit. Management Accounting, 71(10), 12-16.

Erikson, E. H. (1982). The life cycle completed. New York: Norton.

Fisher, B. L. (1989). Differences between supervision of beginning and advanced therapists: Hogan?s hypnothesis empirically revisited. The Clinical Supervisor, 7, 57-74.

Gallois, C. & Giles, H. (1988). Accommodating mutual influence in intergroup encounters. In C.A. Bennett & M. T. Palmer (Eds.), Progress in Communication Sciences, (Vol. 14, pp. 135-162). Stanford, CA: Ablex.

Hogg, M.A. & Abrams, D.A. (1988). Social identifications: A social psychology of intergroup relations and group processes. London: Routledge.

Jones, E., Gallois, C., Callan, V.C., & Barker, M. (1999). Strategies of accommodation: Development of a coding system for conversational interaction. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 81(2), 123-152.

McCune, J. (1998). That elusive thing called trust. Management Review, 87(7), 10-14.

Morand, D. (1996). Dominance, deference, and egalitarianism in organizational interaction: A socio-linguistic analysis of power and politeness. Organization Science, 7(5), 544-556.

Reising, G. N., & Daniels, M. H. (1983). A study of Hogan?s model of counselor development and supervision. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 30, 235-244.

Rickards, L. D. (1984). Verbal interaction and supervisor perception in counselor supervision. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 31, 262-265.

Rogers, C. R. (1951). Client-centered therapy: its current practice, implications, and theory. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Yalom, I.R. (1985). Theory and practice of group psychotherapy (3rd. ed.). New York: Basic Books.

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Bandura, A. (1982). Self-efficacy mechanism in human agency. American Psychologist, 37, 122-147.

Blumberg, A. (1970). A system for analyzing supervisor-teacher interaction. In A.

Simon & G. Boyer (Eds.), Mirrors for behavior, 3, 29-45.

Davis, T. & Landa, M. (1999). The trust deficit. Management Accounting, 71(10), 12-

Erikson, E.H. (1982). The life cycle completed. New York: Norton.

Fisher, B.L. (1989). Differences between supervision of beginning and advanced therapists: Hogan's hypnothesis empirically revisited. The Clinical Supervisor, 7,

Gallois, C. & Giles, H. (1988). Accommodating mutual influence in intergroup encounters. In C.A. Bennett & M.T. Palmer (Eds.), Progress in Communication

Sciences, 14, 135-162.

Hogg, M.A. & Abrams, D.A. (1988). Social identifications: A social psychology of intergroup relations and group processes. London: Routledge.

Jones, E., Gallois, C., Callan, V.C., & Barker, M. (1999). Strategies of accommodation:

Development of a coding system for conversational interaction. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 81(2), 123-152.

McCune, J. (1998). That elusive thing called trust. Management Review, 87(7), 10-14.

Morand, D. (1996). Dominance, deference, and egalitarianism in organizational interaction: A socio-linguistic analysis of power and politeness. Organization Science, 7(5), 544-556.

Reising, G.N., & Daniels, M.H. (1983). A study of Hogan's model of counselor development and supervision. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 30, 235-244.

Rickards, L.D. (1984). Verbal interaction and supervisor perception in counselor supervision. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 31, 262-265.

Rogers, C.R. (1951). Client-centered therapy: its current practice, implications, and theory. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

The Personality Project. (2005). The Personality Project - Overview. Retrieved January

23, 2005, from the Personality Project Web site: http://www.personality-project.org/

Yalom, I.R. (1985). Theory and practice of group psychotherapy (3rd. ed.). New York: Basic Books.

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Title: Communication Evaluate the effectiveness of your communication using the means of measuring that you identified

  • Total Pages: 5
  • Words: 1530
  • References:0
  • Citation Style: MLA
  • Document Type: Research Paper
Essay Instructions: >Delivery 5-6 days
>Date: 11/18/2003
>time: 05:00pm
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Measuring Success
Choose one of your final communications and try it out.

Morality and Effective Business Communication

One of the most prevalent scenarios that involve the issue of morality and effective business communication is confronting an employee or employees of an organization who commit acts of stealing from the cash register from the customers? extra change. These are the following factors that will be included for this case:

SOURCE: Myself as the store manager for a medium-size 24-hour convenience store.

RECEIVER: Employees who are involved with the scheme of pocketing small changes and not registering it in the cash register.

SITUATION: Convenience store is losing money at small but eventually substantial amounts, due to the collective effect of employees? stealing of small changes from the customer.

PROBLEM: Employees cooperate with each other to further intensify their scheme, and leaves manager alone to figure out and solve the problem.

FEELINGS: Outcasted, angry, and ineffective

FANTASY STATEMENT: Employees would stop scheming behind manager?s back and realize that the store?s gained profits would reflect the kind of work effectiveness and sense of responsibility that their team have. Further continuance of the said illegal act will result to the firing of employees due to organizational rule/s violation and lack of sense of morality as an employee of the store.

Morality and Effective Business Communication

CASE #2

SOURCE: Myself as a team leader in a creative group working on a media planning project.

RECEIVER: Group members who experience conflict in their ideas, particularly in the media that will be used for a client?s advertisement campaign.

SITUATION: Team is divided into two in deciding whether a new advertising campaign of a popular jeans brand should be launched primarily in television or print.

PROBLEM: Team leader is not decided whether which side he/she must side on: television group has the same effective results as the print group.

FEELINGS: pressured, confused, anxious

FANTASY STATEMENT: Team members would come up with an effective solution to the diversity between the two factions in the team. Team leader will be able to assess, through effective research, which media is more effective for the launching of a jeans ad: television or print (magazines and newspapers). Thus, group decision-making is arrived at collectively, not through team leader's discretion, which might result to personal bias in the team leader?s part and among the team members.

CASE #3

SOURCE: Myself as an employee for a small retail store.

RECEIVER: Employer who does not give out paychecks on time, delaying issuance of paychecks up to two months.

SITUATION: Employee is experiencing financial difficulties due to delayed issuance of paychecks by the employer. Employee cannot address the problem to the employer directly because of employer becomes hostile when asked about the issue.

PROBLEM: Employee cannot decide whether to confront the employer about the problem or not. Employee is too afraid to confront employer for fear of being kicked out of work. On the other hand, employee cannot work hard if she/he knows that his/her paycheck will not be given at all at the end of the month.

FEELINGS: angry, irritated, undecided

FANTASY STATEMENT: Employer would be able to pay up all the paychecks that have been delayed to the employee. Alternatively, employer would be able to have enough courage to confront the employer about the unjust situation employee is in. Better yet, the employer will remember to accomplish his duties to the employer to pay him/her for services rendered while employer will be able to express his/her feelings of indecision (about the delayed paychecks) to the employer.

Evaluate the effectiveness of your communication using the means of measuring that you identified.

Based on your outcomes, either:

write about what you would need to do to make this communication more effective (referring to and documenting text information), OR

actually revise and resubmit the communication.


Submit this information in a short report.

Note: Assignment #6 should demonstrate that you have actually communicated, that you have reflected on your experience according to your evaluation criteria (assignment 4) and knowledge of communication theory and practice (assignment 5), and that you can develop a new proposal based upon your experience, if needed.




Proposals and Evaluation Criteria (assignment 4)

COMMUNICATION PROBLEM ONE: EMPLOYEE STEALING

Details of the Problem
SOURCE: Myself as the store manager for a medium-size 24-hour convenience store.
RECEIVER: Employees who are involved with the scheme of pocketing small changes and not registering it in the cash register.
SITUATION: Convenience store is losing money at small but eventually substantial amounts, due to the collective effect of employees' stealing of small changes from the customer.
PROBLEM: Employees cooperate with each other to further intensify their scheme, and leaves manager alone to figure out and solve the problem.
FEELINGS: Outcasted, angry, and ineffective
FANTASY STATEMENT: Employees would stop scheming behind manager's back and realize that the store's gained profits would reflect the kind of work effectiveness and sense of responsibility that their team have. Further continuance of the said illegal act will result to the firing of employees due to organizational rule/s violation and lack of sense of morality as an employee of the store.

Part 1: Proposal

Source:

As manager of the convenience store, I will be the source of the message. The source of the information will also be presented as if it has come from an analysis of financial information, and not from an awareness that employees are stealing.

I will be the source of the message because I am in the position of authority to deal with such issues. As the manager of the employees, myself as the source will help ensure employees realize that they are being monitored. This will present a reason for them not to continue stealing.

The source of the information will be presented as if it has come from an analysis of financial information because this is a valid source of information. This means my concerns will be considered to be based on valid data and not on accusations. This will prevent employees from reacting in a defensive way because they think they are being accused of something.

Message:

The message will be that the convenience store has been found to be losing money, with this gradually becoming worse. The message will also include that the problem has been looked into and it appears that wrong change may be being given. This message will not suggest that I know that the employee?s are pocketing small change. Instead, I will describe the problem and suggest that I consider the problems to be caused by errors on the part of staff. I will then ask all employees to be more careful in future and to ensure that they give the correct change. I will also remind employees that the business wants to continue successfully and will ask employees to let me know if there are any problems that prevent them from doing their jobs effectively. I will also note that the problem will continue to be monitored.

Since employees are already grouping together, I consider it important not to create more of this grouping together. For this reason, I think it is important not to send the message that I know employees are stealing. I think this message will just anger employees and make them decide to continue doing it. The message I am sending is that there is a problem, it is being monitored, and it is expected to be solved. It is intended that this information will be enough to make employees decide not to steal, while not having to resort to actually accusing anyone of stealing.

Channel:

The channel selected is face to face communication in small groups.

I think face to face communication in small groups is the suitable channel for several reasons. Firstly, I am sure employees know that they are doing wrong, but since all employees are doing it, they justify it to themselves. I think discussing the problem face to face will make employees feel guilty for that they are doing and this will help them decide not to steal. I think a more impersonal form like a letter would also be more likely to result in employees thinking they are being accused of something. The face to face communication also means it is a personal communication with myself included. I think this is important, otherwise employees may just group together to discuss the problem and exclude myself from the issue.

Part 2: Evaluation Criteria

I will have succeeded overall if:

Measured amounts of money lost decline and continue to decline.

Working relationships are maintained and employees do not become defensive.

Source success will be distinguished by:

Whether or not employees are attentive during the meeting.

Whether or not employees react in the meeting as if they are being accused.

Message success will be distinguished by:

Whether or not amounts of money lost begin to decline.

Whether or not employees react in the meeting as if they are being accused.

Whether or not employees being to act defensively.

Channel success will be distinguished by:

Whether or not employees show signs they are really listening in the meeting.

Whether or not employees group together and exclude myself after the meeting.

COMMUNICATION PROBLEM TWO: GROUP COMMUNICATION

Details of the Problem

SOURCE: Myself as a team leader in a creative group working on a media planning project.
RECEIVER: Group members who experience conflict in their ideas, particularly in the media that will be used for a client's advertisement campaign.
SITUATION: Team is divided into two in deciding whether a new advertising campaign of a popular jeans brand should be launched primarily in television or print.
PROBLEM: Team leader is not decided whether which side he/she must side on: television group has the same effective results as the print group.
FEELINGS: pressured, confused, anxious
FANTASY STATEMENT: Team members would come up with an effective solution to the diversity between the two factions in the team. Team leader will be able to assess, through effective research, which media is more effective for the launching of a jeans ad: television or print (magazines and newspapers). Thus, group decision-making is arrived at collectively, not through team leader's discretion, which might result to personal bias in the team leader's part and among the team members.
Part 1: Proposal

Source:

As team leader, I will be the source of the message. The content of the message will also be based on information gained from the client.

I will be the source of the message because my role as team leader means that it is my responsibility to manage such problems. As team leader, I am also the person that guides the team and so myself as the source should result in all members of the team listening.

The content of the message will also be based on information gained from the client. This is important so that the content of the message is not considered to be just my opinion, but is based on the overall aims of the creative group, which is to satisfy the clients. This will prevent team members from feeling resentful or feeling that I am biased.

Message:

The message will be that a decision must be made and that both media options cannot be chosen. I will provide the team with a set of criteria by which the two options can be judged. This criteria will be based on the needs of the client and will express what they require of the campaign. The two campaigns can then be judged on their ability to meet the client?s needs. The message will also include that the second option will be presented to the clients as an option for expansion of the media campaign if the initial campaign is successful.

This message offers a fair way of deciding between the two campaigns and one that is based on specific clients needs and not personal bias. This is expected to help both sides of the team accept the decision without feeling any resentment.

The message that the second option will be presented to the clients as an option for expansion of the media campaign if the initial campaign is successful is also important because it gives members of the team a reason to want the best option to be selected, not just the option they were involved with. For example, if the print campaign is the best option, team members will be more willing to accept this because they will expect their own campaign to still be used.

Channel:

The channel selected is face to face interactive communication via a normal team meeting.

The team has to continue working together and so dealing with the two groups separately would not be effective. Instead, it would probably result in the side whose ideas was not chosen being suspicious. The normal team meeting makes the process of deciding open and will help ensure everyone sees the meeting as fair. The communication is also likely to result in some conflicts between the two groups. If the communication was done via a non-interactive format, these issues would be likely to exist but would not be dealt with. The interactive format will likely result in some arguments during the decision-making process, but these will be dealt with at the time and will not go on to become problems. Dealing with the problem via a normal team meeting will also give the team practice at working together and working through conflicts.

Part 2: Evaluation Criteria

I will have succeeded overall if:

Both groups take part in the decision-making process.

A decision is made that suits both groups.

Conflicts in the team are resolved at the time.

Source success will be distinguished by:

Whether or not team members accept the criteria.

Whether or not team members accept that the decision is fair.

Message success will be distinguished by:

Whether or not all team members contribute to the discussion and judgement of the two options.

Whether or not a clear decision is made.

Whether or not team members whose campaign is not chosen show signs of resentment.

Channel success will be distinguished by:

Whether or not team members are active in the meeting.

Whether or not team members openly discuss conflicts.

Whether or not unresolved conflicts remain after the meeting.

COMMUNICATION PROBLEM THREE:

Details of the Problem
SOURCE: Myself as an employee for a small retail store.
RECEIVER: Employer who does not give out paychecks on time, delaying issuance of paychecks up to two months.
SITUATION: Employee is experiencing financial difficulties due to delayed issuance of paychecks by the employer. Employee cannot address the problem to the employer directly because of employer becomes hostile when asked about the issue.
PROBLEM: Employee cannot decide whether to confront the employer about the problem or not. Employee is too afraid to confront employer for fear of being kicked out of work. On the other hand, employee cannot work hard if she/he knows that his/her paycheck will not be given at all at the end of the month.
FEELINGS: angry, irritated, undecided
FANTASY STATEMENT: Employer would be able to pay up all the paychecks that have been delayed to the employee. Alternatively, employer would be able to have enough courage to confront the employer about the unjust situation employee is in. Better yet, the employer will remember to accomplish his duties to the employer to pay him/her for services rendered while employer will be able to express his/her feelings of indecision (about the delayed paychecks) to the employer.
Part 1: Proposal

Source:

I will be the source of the message.

This is necessary since it is my problem and I am the best person to raise it with the employer. I think involving anyone else in the problem will only make the employer more likely to be angry. For example, if I got legal or union representation for the problem, I think the employer would be unhappy that I did not speak to them about it first.

Message:

The message will be that I need to be paid on time and that I cannot continue to receive late paychecks. The message will include that the problem needs to be solved and that I may take further action if it cannot be managed.

Being paid for the work I do is a basic requirements of working and I think what the employer is doing is completely unreasonable. Based on this, I think it is justified that I take a strong approach to the problem and state that I cannot continue to accept late payments. The employer has shown little regard for me with their late payments, so I think it is reasonable to assume that just asking nicely will not have a great effect. Therefore, I think it is necessary that I state that I will take further action if the problem is not managed.

Channel:

The channel will be via a professional letter.

This is not an example of a problem where there is discussion needed on what should be done. In short, I deserve to be paid on time for the work I do and it is the employer?s responsibility to do this. I think a one-on-one discussion will only cause unnecessary conflict and bring up irrelevant issues. I also think I need to take a strong and professional approach. In a one-on-one meeting I am more likely to become emotional, angry, or scared, with all of these reactions meaning I will not be able to get my point across as effectively. I think showing these signs of weakness in a one-in-one meeting will also result in the employer not taking my demands seriously. By choosing the format of a professional letter, I am making the problem a business problem and not a personal one and I think this will help prevent damage to the working relationship.

Part 2: Evaluation Criteria

I will have succeeded overall if:

The employer agrees to pay me on time from now on.

The employer pays me the outstanding amount.

The employer continues to pay on time.

The employer apologizes for past delays.

Source success will be distinguished by:

Whether or not the employer takes my demands seriously.

Whether or not the employer reacts with anger or resentment.

Message success will be distinguished by:

Whether or not the employer agrees to pay me on time from now on.

Whether or not the employer pays me the outstanding amount.

Whether or not the employer continues to pay on time.

Channel success will be distinguished by:

Whether or not the working relationship is damaged.

(assignment 5) Create the actual texts that you have been developing during the term--your three messages (one for each communication case), directed to the receivers you identified in the first assignment and addressing the three cases you selected at the outset of this course.


Now write a paper analyzing your strategies and decisions for the three cases. Throughout this course you have been reading rhetorical and communication theory in the required texts and applying this theory to real-world situations. You have just written up texts or scripts appropriate for the actual situations. Now think in the other direction--working from these scripts back to theory and texts. Using your final communications, write a short paper justifying the strategies you have used in each of your three final communications, drawing concepts and citations from the required texts.


CASE ANALYSIS #1

The situation for case 1 involves a convenience store manager and employees, where conflict arises because of an ongoing scam concerning the employees, where small changes are stolen instead of being credited in the cash register. The store manager wants to confront the employees about the organized scam, but is hesitant because there is increasing hostility between the manager and the employees. As a result, the manager cannot find a way to let the employees know that he monitors and has proven that the employees concerned are indeed stealing from the convenience store?s earnings. In order to discuss the issue further, the manager arranges a meeting where s/he will discuss the issue, proofs of the scam, and resolution agreed upon by the store management/ administration to the employees involved in the scam.

The mode of communication will be face-to-face group communication via a weekly assessment report on the employees facilitated by the manager. The manager must adapt a straightforward style of communication, a character of business communications. Since the scam issue is primarily a business issue, while the manager-employees relations a secondary concern only, it is important that the manager must adopt a serious and direct manner in presenting the problem to the employees. Content of the manager-employees meeting must be the nature of the meeting, i.e., the alleged small scam among the employees, and support of these allegations through financial statements proving that indeed, substantial decreases in profits are due to small changes not credited in the cash register. Hard evidence proving the anomaly decreases defensiveness on the employees? part, and supports decisions arrived by the management.

The flow of the manager?s message to the employees in the meeting must establish first the nature of the scam and proof of this anomaly through analyses of financial reports for the period where the scam had purportedly started. After laying down all the ?facts about the issue, the manager must also inform the employees about the actions taken by the management (the manager himself, in fact) after learning of the scam. Close monitoring of employees, particularly, suspected employees involved in the scam are conducted by checking the cash registers after every (suspected) employee?s shift. Comparing the cash register returns with the financial documents will prove that the employee is involved in the scam and the scam had indeed decreased the store?s profitability, affecting the store?s financial stability. After the manager?s presentation of the management?s side of the issue, employees are then given the opportunity to defend their side. If no sufficient evidence were given that will prove the employee/s? innocence, then appropriate action must be taken, which is to fire all involved employees in the scam. In addition, new reforms will be implemented, such as employee rotation in the store, so that no organization will be established that might encourage employees to commit a similar scam within the workplace again.

An important guideline that must be followed during the assessment employee meeting is that the manager must not present the scam issue as an accusation to the employees. Instead, the issue must be discussed in an objective manner, discussed in a direct yet non-accusatory tone. Non-verbal communication modes such as tone fluctuations, facial expressions, and body gestures must not convey the manager?s feelings about the issue. Thus, in order to maintain a business-like atmosphere in the meeting, the manager must remain serious, direct, and objective in relating with his employees.

CASE ANALYSIS #2

The situation for case 2 is about a conflict between two groups within a media planning team, where the team leader is at a dilemma on what media (group) to choose: television or print media. The team leader wants to assess the effectiveness of each medium in extending the client?s (a popular jeans brand) message to its customers. Furthermore, resolving which between the TV and print media plans are effective also resolves the conflict between the two arguing groups within the team. The team leader is the channel, through which the conflict and resolution to the media plan problem will be resolved. The audience, on the other hand, is the team leader?s co-workers in the team and the client of the team (jeans brand company).

The mode of communication is through group communication, via an interactive media-planning meeting. Although in the business setting, the media planning team will conduct the meeting informally, since the creative process of coming up with a media plan requires the team members to ?loosen up? in order to conceptualize creatively about the advertising campaign project of the client. However, the team leader must be serious and direct in discussing the conflict issue between the TV and print media group. This will let the team members know that their leader means business in this particular meeting, conveying the seriousness of the matter to be discussed.

The meeting will start with the team leader discussing media plan reports from two sources: the research department and the client. Through the media research department, the team will know which media, according to research, is suitable and effective for the jeans ad campaign. The research will be reconciled with the client?s specifications about the jeans advertisement that will be conceptualized.

After presenting these reports, an interactive discussion about the pros and cons of subsisting to both reports, whether they are conflicting or not, takes place. In this regard, the team leader now centers on the conflict between TV and print media planning. Through support from the research, the leader decides which media is most suitable for the brand to be advertised and the client?s specifications. Since the client already predetermines the ad concept, the client?s specifications must be followed, thus resolving the issue of which media plan must be used. If client?s specifications do not match the media research report, the media planning team must arrive at reconciliation between the research and client?s specifications. Otherwise, the team can now produce the ad campaign according to the research and client?s specifications.

Important guideline that needs to be followed during the meeting is the manager should avoid sharing his personal views about the issue (TV and print conflict). The manager must be objective and deal the issue directly, but must do so with regard to the members, whom the leader knows personally and interact with informally (outside the workplace environment). Thus, the leader must be a cross between a friendly but resolute and unbiased leader, who considers the client?s needs primarily before the team?s opinion regarding the jeans ad campaign.

CASE ANALYSIS #3

The situation for case 3 differs from cases 1 and 2 since this case involves interpersonal relationship between an employer and employee on the issue of delayed paychecks. The employee had not received salary payments for the last 2-3 months of working in the employer?s business, and employee wants to confront the employer about these delays. However, due to fear of hostility or anger from the employer, the employee does not know what action s/he must take in order to receive her delayed paychecks and ensure that there will be no delays next time. The employee decided to communicate through a business letter with the employer, in order to maintain objectivity and neutrality on a very sensitive and crucial issue concerning employee-employer relations?confronting the delayed paychecks issue.

Since the mode of communication is interpersonal via the business letter, the employee assumes a serious and direct tone, which is helpful in conveying the weight or seriousness of the matter discussed (in the letter). Furthermore, letters avoid face-to-face confrontations between the employee and the employer, who might discuss the problem subjectively, which further intensifies the problem and worsening employee-employer relations.

The development of the letter should contain a detailed account of events starting from the day the delayed paychecks began happening until the last month or day the employee?s salary went unpaid. A detailed listing of these dates will help the employer take note, check this information, and verify if, indeed, no paycheck had been released for the employee on that date.

If indeed a paycheck had been released but the employee did not receive it, then the problem may have originated somewhere, maybe at the employee in charge of issuing the paychecks/salaries of the employees. Alternatively, the employer may acknowledge that there had been a delay in releasing the employee?s salary. Whichever episode occurs, it is important that the employee knows the employer?s reason/s why his/her salaries were delayed. Thus, knowing the employer?s reason gives opportunity for the employee and employer to discuss the issue face-to-face, since the employee?s side had already been presented through the letter. A follow-up discussion, then, can possibly be a meeting between the two, where the employer can discuss the reason/s behind the issue, and both the employer and employee will be able to come up with an effective solution that concerns two important issues: (1) payment of the delayed salaries of the employee and (2) a promise or guarantee from the employer that there no longer be any delays that will happen. These resolutions may be agreed upon between the concerned parties either through written or verbal communication, whichever is convenient for both, especially for the grievant (the employee).

Just like in case 1, it is important that the employee must refrain from accusing the employer of intentionally neglecting his/her responsibilities to his/her employees. In order to argue fairly and achieve positive results easily, the employee must confront the problem with the employer objectively, giving room for doubt, i.e., whether the employer is negligent or not. The employer may be experiencing financial difficulties or has an opportunistic employee in the business who steals from other employee?s salaries. Whichever reason the employer may have, knowing and hearing out these reasons maintains a harmonious, yet, formal relationship between the employee and employer. Thus, in this case study, it is evident that written (letter) communication is effective in discussing a sensitive issue such as delayed employee salaries, while face-to-face interaction is suitable for in-depth discussion of issues not thoroughly evaluated in the letter.

CASE ANALYSIS (Integrated analysis of cases 1, 2, & 3)

The case analyses conducted on communication case studies 1, 2, and 3 establishes the following generalizations about the nature and dynamics of business communications, particularly communication and interaction in the workplace setting:

In business communications, it is imperative that arguments and messages are objective and presented through foolproof or ?hard? evidences and logical conclusions.

Face-to-face interaction is imperative in group communication, since facilitation of group communication through other communication modes (i.e., written or conference conducted via other media such as telephone or video conference) will only result to miscommunication. Face-to-face interactions among groups bring about synergy within the group, where positive resolutions are formulated and group harmony is maintained.

Interpersonal communication in the workplace environment is best expressed through written communications, particularly in business letter writing. Face-to-face interactions are advisable only for in-depth discussions, where basic points about an issue had already been discussed in a prior mode of communication (e.g., letter writing).

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