Personal Communication Styles

“Individuals who fail to consider other cultural perspectives are said to suffer from cultural myopia, a form of nearsightedness grounded in the belief that one’s own culture is appropriate and relevant in all situations and to all people” (O’Hair & Wiemann, p. 45, 2012).

Along with that thought we were asked this week to examine the The Platinum Rule” (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2011). Basically the rule implies that we should treat others in the manner in which we want to be treated. With those two thoughts in mind for this blog I will examine my own personal communication styles.

Around people I know really well that includes my family and inner circle, my posture is relaxed and animated. I feel comfortable expressing my thoughts and opinions. Because we have an established rapport, shared experiences and beliefs we can talk about anything and work out our differences quickly. At work, I have a professional courtesy that I extend to my colleagues and customers. My demeanor isn’t as relaxed but I display a smile and openness to be willing to exchange ideas without drama or conflict. When conversing with individuals I’m meeting for the first time again my tone is polite but I try to exhibit a body language that promotes a willingness to engage in conversation.

In every setting, I try to be an emphatic listener and look for cues, both verbal and non-verbal communication that helps me understand the message that is being conveyed. Sometimes it talks asking probing questions or paraphrasing the context back to ensure that we both are aligned with the topic being discussed. If I am familiar with the presenter, then I can adjust my response accordingly. On occasions where I’m not familiar with the presenter, I try to obtain as much information as possible to keep the lines of communication open, honest and continuous. I try to take into account that my cultural upbringing and background may be similar, but each of us has walked a different path to get to the same endpoint and there is always a lesson to be learned or shared.

Becoming an effective communicator and listener is a lifelong practice of self-evaluation. As we age and experience new life journeys, the people and events we encounter change how we view ourselves and others. Being aware of our cultural and social differences and making the necessary adjustments to learn and not prejudge others helps to keep conflict to a minimal when communicating, written or verbally with others.

Reference
Beebe, S. A., Beebe, S. J., & Redmond, M. V. (2011). Interpersonal communication: Relating to others (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

O’Hair, D., & Wiemann, M. (2012). Real communication. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

7 thoughts on “Personal Communication Styles

  1. I like what you said about “In every setting, I try to be an emphatic listener and look for cues, both verbal and non-verbal communication that helps me understand the message that is being conveyed. Sometimes it talks asking probing questions or paraphrasing the context back to ensure that we both are aligned with the topic being discussed.” Also I like the statement you said about “Becoming an effective communicator and listener is a lifelong practice of self-evaluation. As we age and experience new life journeys, the people and events we encounter change how we view ourselves and others.” I agree that it is a lifelong learning experience that we all have to partake in. As another peer once stated “Everyone has their own experiences in life which led them to have their specific beliefs and I have to respect that. I must listen and analyze information before I respond;” it is important to remember that everyone does have their own life experiences or “schemas” that they are referring back to. Schemas are “mental structures that put together related bits of information and once put together, these chunks of information form patterns to create meaning at a more complex level” (O’Hair & Wiemann, 2012).

    References
    Derman-Sparks, L., & Edwards, J. O. (2010). Anti-bias education for young children and ourselves. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
    O’Hair, D., & Wiemann, M. (2012). Real communication: An introduction. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s.
    Walters, J., & Fenson, S. (2000). A crash course in communication. Retrieved from http://www.inc.com/articles/2000/08/20000.html

  2. I agree that communication is a life long practice as we learn from day to day how to interact with others verbally or non-verbally. We also must take into consideration that we play an integral part in what takes place during communicating with others and we must be mindful of how we respect one another.

  3. I like how you talked about times you are more comfortable to express your thoughts and opinions than other times, for instance when you are around your friends or family members. Many times I am the same way, being more comfortable to express what I am thinking with people who are close to me than with others.
    I also like how you were talking about how when we are meeting with people for the first time we display body language that tells them we are open to conversation. When I first started my new job, my desk was arranged in such a way that it was between me and the person I was meeting with. Most of the times, these were new families to the center, or families who have been there for awhile but had a problem they needed to speak with me about. I felt that by having a desk between us, I was giving off the wrong message. So I rearranged my office so that there was nothing between me and them. I could move my chair to sit closer to them and answer questions as they needed. I felt this has helped me to build a stronger relationship of trust and respect for one another. I think it is not always about our body language, but also our positioning when we speak with others.

    1. Kelly, I like you example about moving your desk furniture and setting up your office to encourage good communication! I have never thought about that before. Our director always had her desk in between her and who ever she was talking to. However, in her case I think she was trying to seek authority because she had very little respect from the staff members. I wonder if she would have made this simple change in her office if people would have opened up to her more.

  4. I like how you explained emphatic listening. I was trying to make that point this week and I don’t think I worded it well. It is so important in intercultural communications that we are getting the whole picture. We have to be very aware of those nonverbal cues that tell us what other people are comfortable with. Then we can ask clarifying questions to be sure we are not misinterpreting signals. Thanks for you post, it was very helpful in clarifying my thoughts on this issue.

  5. I enjoyed reading your blog this week. the one thing that stood out the most for me was your statement about being an empathic listener. I can completely relate to that. I look for cues when talking to individuals and make sure that I can comment effectively as well to show that I am listening and hearing them at the same time. Great blog this week.

  6. I like that you mentioned that the process of being an effective listener and communicator is a lifelong process, I think that we as humans can always stand to learn more from ourselves and the people around us, as we mature and grow. “We are constantly changing” as you stated and our communication should be an ever evolving reflection of that change. Great post!

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