Week 8

Professional Communication


This is one of my favorite topics because we communicate every day in our personal and work relationships. When I took the 16 Personalities quiz, I found that I am on the extroverted side and I become energized by being around others and observing what other people say and do. I enjoy watching peoples behaviors and how they communicate in groups. I also enjoy being part of groups and am usually described as either the "jokester," "prankster," or "comedian" in my social circles at work and among friends. I have a large group of introverted friends and have grown to understand their style of communication. For example, one time I had a lunch date with a good friend, Margaret, who was a self-described introvert. I asked Margaret if one of our friends could join us and she said "I'd like for our outing to just be about the two of us so we can talk about all the details of life." My introverted friends value one-on-one communication and they do not seem to enjoy the small talk about things like last night's game score or the weather. I find that I adapt to the communication style of my conversational partner(s) and enjoy having many unique conversations throughout my week.

When I lead a group, I like to know the preferred communication style of those I work with. For example, if someone is more introverted, I might seek their input one-on-one instead of a group setting. If my team is more extroverted I would be more likely to communicate in a group and might even bring up something interesting to get us started. One of the common themes in this week's readings is how leaders should know their group members and their individual preferences, work styles, and how they communicate. When you go over the readings this week, think about how your 16 Personalities results would naturally fit into the recommendations made in each article as I have in this introductory paragraph.

The readings this week have a lot of lists about how leaders can be good communicators. The following is a list of the items that are suggested in the articles:

I am going to cover a few of these topics in this week's module and the rest of the ideas on how leaders can effectively communicate are available in the assigned articles.

The Context

Last week one of the topics was EQ and how one knows if they have a high EQ and, if not, how to increase these set of skills. Being emotionally intelligent means you know how a context of a situation can impact communication. Nonverbal communications, look and feel of a room, time of day, temperature, current conflict (or lack thereof), political situations, and dozens of others affect the context of an environment Now that we are testing, IMing, and communication online there are other ways that the context of a situation can affect communication. Here is a humorous example of how a period, or one-word, can affect a conversation:

Most of the authors suggest that leaders have a strong grasp of non-verbal communication, the atmosphere, and the context in the workplace. Sometimes the things that are not explicitly said are the most important. If you have not taken any of the EQ assessments from last week, I suggest revisiting the information to see how you fit within that continuum because communication and EQ are inextricably connected.

Your Communication Style

One ongoing theme in this class is for you to reflect upon your own style. This week I want you to discover what your communication style is according to Mark Murphy's assessment on his LeadershipIQ blog. Please note that this assessment is most likely not scientific and that the results are meant to help you reflect on your own communication style. If you take the assessment and feel that it is inaccurate, review the different communication styles in his article to see if another type fits you better. Here is a link to the article by Murphy with gives more context to his communication styles.

Course Readings

Many of the readings this week came from the Shepherd University library and I cannot make them publicly available on the internet due to copyright restrictions. You will need to login to Sakai to download your readings for this week. Here is a list of the articles that are available online:

5 Ways to Effectively Communicate With Employees

Which of These 4 Communication Styles Are You?

10 Communication Secrets of Great Leaders

The 3 Communication Skills Every Leader Needs to Master

Three Communications Strategies For Effective Leadership