Communicating with Technology PDF Ebook

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Communicating with Technology

Communicating with Technology

Communicating with Technology

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Page 1 Page 2 Renee Robinson, PhD Communicating with Technology A Guide for Professional Digital Interactions 2 Download free eBooks at bookboon.com Page 3 Communicating with Technology: A Guide for Professional Digital Interactions 1st edition © 2014 Renee Robinson, PhD & bookboon.com ISBN 978-87-403-0613-2 3 Download free eBooks at bookboon.com Page 4 Communicating with Technology Contents Contents Preface 7 1 Understanding Communication Competency 9 1.1 Communication Competency 10 1.2 Impression Management 11 1.3 What do employers desire in employees? 14 1.4 Personal Branding 16 1.5 Summary 16 2 An Introduction to Communication: Building a Communication Competency Foundation 18 2.1 The Communication Elements 19 2.2 Communication Forms 25 2.3 Communication Effects 26 2.4 Summary 27 A C A R EER W I T H I N F I N A N CE & I T Denmark’s largest provider of financial software solutions needs YOU! Offering you personal and professional growth We are a leading sup- The SimCorp culture is characterized by open Who are we looking for? plier of highly specialized dialogue, empowerment and fast decision-making. Our core competencies lie within economics, software and expertise Reporting lines are clear, thus action is not bogged finance and IT, and as a result the majority of our for financial institutions down in bureaucracy. We believe in solving work- employees have a master degree within business and corporations – related challenges together, and you will find that and finance, IT, mathematics or engineering. activities, which have established our repu- both management and colleagues are very receptive tation as “the house to suggestions and new ideas. Are you completing of financial know- your master degree this year? how”. We are listed As newly hired employee in SimCorp you will go Then apply now – why wait – a fast tracked inter- on the OMX Nordic through an extensive introduction period, in addition national orientated career is just around the corner! Exchange Copenhagen to being provided with a mentor. This gives you the and have 800+ emplo- opportunity to secure the know-how necessary to yees. perform efficiently. Care to join us? – Visit us at www.simcorp.com SIMCORP A/S · Oslo Plads 12 · DK-2100 Copenhagen O · Denmark · +45 35 44 88 00 · www.simcorp.com 4 Click on the ad to read more Download free eBooks at bookboon.com Page 5 Communicating with Technology Contents 3 Communicating Competently via Email 29 3.1 What is email? 30 3.2 Uses of Email 31 3.3 Email and the Communication Process 32 3.4 Components of an email 36 3.5 Impression management, Personal Branding and Email 40 3.6 Summary 41 4 Communicating Competently via Voicemail 42 4.1 What is voicemail? 43 4.2 Uses of Voicemail 43 4.3 Voicemail and the Communication Process 43 4.4 Impression management, Personal Branding and Voicemail 49 4.5 Summary 49 5 Communicating Competently via Video Chat 51 5.1 What is a video chat? 52 5.2 Uses of Video Chat 53 Lighting, beyond illumination In 10 years 2/3 of people will be living in big cities. At Philips we focus on providing lighting beyond illumination to make these cities more livable, enjoyable and safe. #makeitmeaningful What will be your impact? www.philips.com/careers 5 Click on the ad to read more Download free eBooks at bookboon.com Page 6 Communicating with Technology Contents 5.3 Video Chat and the Communication Process 53 5.4 Impression management, Personal Branding and Video Chats 62 5.5 Summary 62 6 Communicating Competently via Social Media 64 6.1 What is social media? 65 6.2 Uses of Social Media 65 6.3 Social Media and the Communication Process 67 6.4 Communicating Competently on LinkedIn™ 74 6.5 Impression management, Personal Branding and Social Media 75 6.6 Summary 75 7 References 77 Communication Elements Checklist 82 Personal Branding Planning Document 84 Email Checklist 85 Voicemail Checklist 85 Video Chat Preparation Checklist 86 LinkedIn™ Checklist 87 Start your career as a trainee and get ahead. #PIONIERGEIST Our trainees talk about their work at innogy and what #PIONIERGEIST means to them. Click and see! 6 Click on the ad to read more Download free eBooks at bookboon.com Page 7 Communicating with Technology Preface Preface Effective communication, both oral and written, is one of the most sought after skills employers desire in employees. And individuals who communicate effectively are frequently rewarded in the workplace with promotions and advancements. Usually when people think about communication we describe it as how individuals relate to one another using a common set of signs and symbols to share feelings, ideas, and thoughts with one another. However, communication isn’t only about sharing information; it’s about creating appropriate messages via different communication channels to obtain shared understanding among interacting people. Communication is a complicated human activity and to be an effective communicator, knowledge about the communication process, skills for interacting with others and understanding the different rules that guide human interactions in various environments is required. Therefore, to master the skills employers want in their workforce, individuals must carefully think about different factors that affect the communication process and the likelihood of success in each interaction – especially as it occurs in the workplace. The breadth of the communication discipline coupled with the circumstances in which it occurs has produced a number of different books dedicated to the study of communication and how to effectively interact with others such as family members, friends, significant others and workplace colleagues, to name a few. Some communication topics consist of computer-mediated communication, group communication, interviewing effectively, listening, public speaking, and writing. Each of these topics is valuable and happens in our daily lives. For many of us, the majority of our day is spent at work or in a professional setting related to our career. Given the significant role that work plays in the human experience and our personal/professional identities, it is critical to understand the relationship between image and communication. In studying this relationship, it is also important to highlight another pervasive component of our lives, interpersonally and work related: technology. Technological devices have changed how we communicate and interact, perform workplace tasks and shape our professional images. Regardless of the industry or position, the ways in which employees fulfill tasks and manage relationships, involves both communication and technology. The ability to communicate effectively in the workplace is essential for your personal and professional success. Over your career you will have a number of opportunities to participate in organizational communication exchanges. Some conversations will occur in business meetings, corporate presentations, departmental/unit gatherings, and email messages among various other communication and technology- based activities. Each interaction creates an opportunity for you to enhance or diminish the impression or professional image you wish to leave on others. Although there are a variety of different types of business communication (e.g., business writing, managerial communication, or presentation development), this text focuses on helping you to become a competent communicator when communicating digitally in professional contexts. Consequently, email, voicemail, video chat and social media, as digital forms of workplace communication, will be explored in relation to the theories of communication competency, impression management and personal branding. 7 Download free eBooks at bookboon.com Page 8 Communicating with Technology Preface Therefore the purpose of this book is to: • Acquaint you with the theory of communication competency and what it means to be a competent communicator in a digital environment • Familiarize you with the communication process as well as the elements and forms of communication occurring in professional settings • Introduce you to criteria for communicating effectively in digital workplace environments and contexts • Provide you with tips and best practices for communicating competently in the workplace when using digital channels such as voicemail, email, video chat, and social media. Author’s Note: Dr. Renee Robinson has over a decade of teaching experience. In her work with students the questions she most often receives concerns how to transition from the classroom to the workplace and how to use communication effectively to meet professional goals and obtain positions of interest. In response to those questions and for the opportunity and privilege of working with college students, Dr. Robinson dedicates this book to them. Her students have been a guiding source of inspiration, which made this book possible. 8 Download free eBooks at bookboon.com Page 9 Communicating with Technology Understanding Communication Competency 1 Understanding Communication Competency In this chapter you will learn about: • Communication definitions. • Communication competency. • Impression management. • The characteristics employers desire in employees. • Personal branding. The term communication competency consists of two words: communication and competency. Before we can begin to understand what communication competency means we must first explore what communication and competency mean separately. To many people, communication means talking. More advanced examples of communication involve two or more people exchanging their feelings, ideas and thoughts with another person. However, this description of communication is problematic due to the word exchange, which implies that a person’s feelings, ideas or thoughts (information) are merely transmitted to another individual. In reality, people don’t transmit information; we seek to have the information we convey to others understood. Therefore, a fundamental component of communication is the creation of shared meaning or the level of understanding communicators possess of the feelings, ideas and thoughts that a person conveys to them. Shared meaning is significantly influenced by what is said, how it is said and the channel used to share the information. The degree to which an individual is successful at creating a shared understanding of what was communicated to another depends upon competency. Competency is the required knowledge, skill or ability to perform a specific task (dictionary.com). In this instance, communication is the specific task explored in relation to competency. Figure 1 provides some definitions of communication. Term Definition Citation Communication is the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, Dictionary.com or information by speech, writing, or signs Communication is the process of sharing ideas, feelings, thoughts and Ojomo (2004) messages with others Figure 1: Communication Definitions Now that we have a better understanding of how communication and competency are defined, let’s examine what the terms mean when combined. 9 Download free eBooks at bookboon.com Page 10 Communicating with Technology Understanding Communication Competency 1.1 Communication Competency Communication competence is influenced by a variety of variables. For example, • Language (a set of shared signs and symbols used to communicate in oral or written form) • Grammar (sentence structure, word choice, rules of effective writing and speech) • Jargon (a language associated with an industry or specialized group) • Culture (the attitudes, beliefs or values shared by a particular group or groups) • Relationship rules (rules and expectations that guide relationships like those found in romantic partners or supervisor-subordinate connections) • Channels of communication (the mechanism we use to interact) • Social structures (the hierarchy and arrangement of people within a group or groups) • Situation (the context and factors associated with a communication act) • Tone (the sound and feel of an interaction or message) Because each of these variables affects communication and the effectiveness of human interactions, communication competency varies by situation. To better understand the complexities of communication competency, let’s examine how it is defined and the components associated with this communication phenomenon. 1.1.1 Communication Competency Defined Communication competency is a person’s ability to select communication behaviors and strategies best suited for a specific communication act (Spitzberg & Cupach 1984). Implicit within this definition of communication competency is the notion of goals or the desired effect(s) that a sender has when interacting with other individuals. Spitzberg and Cupach identified three components of interpersonal communication competency: knowledge, skills and motivation. Knowledge is to the amount of information a person possesses about communication. Skills are the ability to apply communication knowledge to a specific situation. Motivation is the communicator’s desire to apply the knowledge and skills they possess about communication to a specific communication interaction. A person can possess knowledge and skills regarding communication but lack the motivation to employ that knowledge and skill. To be a competent communicator, a person must possess each aspect of communication competency: knowledge, skills and motivation. Because communication is complex communication competency is, too. For example, the communication knowledge and skills needed to deliver a public presentation are different than the communication knowledge and skills an employee needs to be an effective team member. To gain a better understanding of communication competency, some additional definitions are provided in Figure 2. 10 Download free eBooks at bookboon.com Page 11 Communicating with Technology Understanding Communication Competency Term Definition Citation Communication competency “refers to accuracy, clarity, comprehensibility, coherence, Spitzberg (1988, p. 68) expertise, effectiveness and appropriateness” Communication competency “an impression formed about the appropriateness of Rubin (1985, p. 173) another’s communicative behavior” Communication competency “a situational ability to set realistic and appropriate goals Friedrich (1994, p. 24) and to maximize their achievement by using knowledge of self, other, context, and communication theory to generate adaptive communication performance” Figure 2: Communication Competency Definitions In the next chapter we will examine the elements and forms of human interaction to advance your knowledge about communication. For now, it is important to understand that communication competency varies by situation. This text focuses specifically on digital communication competencies in the workplace. The most appropriate definition of communication competency related to the digital communication situation discussed in this text is offered by Friedrich (1994); when referring to communication competency this definition will guide our examination of communicating with technology in professional settings. Communication competency is a situational ability to set realistic and appropriate goals and to maximize their achievement by using knowledge of self, other, context, and communication theory to generate adaptive communication performance. Friedrich (1994, p. 24) As previously noted, communication competency consists of three components: knowledge, skills and motivation (Spitzberg & Cupach 1984). Communication knowledge requires us, in part, to understand ourselves as communicators. An examination of impression management will assist us in learning more about ourselves as communication interactants. 1.2 Impression Management The concept of impression management was introduced by Goffman (1959) and refers to the ways individuals perform in different situations with different audiences. Because situations and audiences change, individuals possess multiple selves consisting of the authentic self, ideal self and tactical self (Goffman 1959). The authentic self is the self that aligns with how we see ourselves. The ideal self is the self that embodies what we wish we could be or who we wish we were. The tactical self is a public image usually viewed by others favorably. We use various presentation techniques to reveal each of our selves. For example self-disclosure and appearance management are two strategies we employee to reveal or conceal aspects of ourselves. Self-disclosure is the sharing of personal information with others that would not normally be known to them. Self-disclosure is discussed in greater detail in chapter 6. Appearance management is how we negotiate situations to communicate particular messages about ourselves that may or may not be accurate. Examples of managing appearances can be seen in our ability to control emotions in a heated discussion, the ways we dress to convey a particular socioeconomic status such as wearing a particular brand of clothing or the props we use associated with characteristics admired by others (e.g., carrying an iPad or smart phone to denote being tech savvy). 11 Download free eBooks at bookboon.com Page 12 Communicating with Technology Understanding Communication Competency Although Goffman articulated the selves and ideas about impression, Kacmur and Carlson (1999) discussed the process of impression management and defined it as the “attempts carried out by the individuals to portray the desired images in their social networks” (as cited in Acrif, Rizvi, Abbas, Akhtar, & Imran 2011, p. 711). Norris and Porter (2011) further explained, “people interested in making positive impressions present themselves in socially desirable ways” (p. 69). After reading this section, you are probably wondering: • what strategies do people implement to create a desired image? • who engages in impression management? • what is a desirable image? • is this ethical? In terms of strategies, Jones and Pittman (1982) noted ingratiation, self-promotion, exemplification, supplication and intimidation as some of the impression management tactics that people use when trying to control what others think of them. Figure 3 provides a definition of each tactic. �e Graduate Programme I joined MITAS because for Engineers and Geoscientists I wanted real responsibili� www.discovermitas.com Maersk.com/Mitas �e G I joined MITAS because for Engine I wanted real responsibili� Ma Month 16 I was a construction Mo supervisor ina const I was the North Sea super advising and the No Real work he helping foremen advis International al opportunities Internationa �ree wo work or placements ssolve problems Real work he helping fo International Internationaal opportunities �ree wo work or placements ssolve pr 12 Click on the ad to read more Download free eBooks at bookboon.com Page 13 Communicating with Technology Understanding Communication Competency Tactic Definition Ingratiation To establish oneself in the good graces or favor of others, especially by deliberate effort (dictionary.com) Self-promotion Promotion, including advertising and publicity, of oneself effected by oneself (thefreedictionary.com) Exemplification An illustration or an example of something (dictionary.com) Supplication To make an earnest, humble petition (thefreedictionary.com) Intimidation To make timid, to fill with fear (dictionary.com) Figure 3: Impression Management Strategies and Definitions (Jones & Pittman, 1982) To convey an image that is appropriate for a situation, everyone uses impression management. For example, organizational leaders use impression management when they seek to control what subordinates, colleagues and other stakeholders think of them (Harris, Kacmar, Zvnuska, & Shaw 2007). Employees also want to convey a credible, competent image as well as to influence their supervisors (and perhaps their performance appraisals) to elevate their standing in an organization (Gilmore & Ferris 1989; Jones, Gergen, Gumpert & Thibaut 1965; Jones & Pittman 1982; Linden & Mitchell 1988; Ralston 1985; Rao, Schmidt, & Murray 1995) that also results in their use of impression management. Regardless of organizational position and status, we all seek to manage and control the impressions we leave on others. As Goffman (1959) notes we each possess multiple selves: authentic, ideal and tactical. Louw (as cited in Norris & Porter 2011) refers to the selves as faces and explains that when individuals adopt an impression unlike their personal beliefs and values, the self resembles a mask. The masks can be changed to interact with various people and circumstances. These interactions create the dramatic acts that play out in our day-to-day lives and ultimately shape the impressions we leave on others (Leary as cited in Norris & Porter 2011). Since we have a greater understanding of impression management, the tactics people use to control what others think of them and the intricacies of the selves, we need to explore the concept of the desirable self in relation to others. More specifically, how can we use communication to create the appropriate messages that align with the image we wish to convey to others and that deem us as desirable when interacting in professional digital spaces? As you will read in the next chapter the messages we share with others have a direct impact on the perception that other individuals have of us. Knowing about this relationship and the power of message construction in digital environments will help you have some control over the image you create and that image is influenced by the traits deemed desirable by others. 13 Download free eBooks at bookboon.com Page 14 Communicating with Technology Understanding Communication Competency Identifying desirable traits sought by various people is challenging. It requires each of us to analyze and identify what others value. Since the topic of communication is vast and the meaning of communication competency broad in terms of context, this text focuses on the personal/employee traits that employers and organizations find desirable in an employee’s tactical self only and aims to assist you in creating appropriate messages that reflect those values in digital interactions and spaces. 1.3 What do employers desire in employees? The skills needed by an employee to meet the requirements of a specific job vary. However, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (2013), employers generally seek communication and interpersonal skills in their employees. Some additional desired skills involve problem solving and work ethic as well as teamwork and professionalism as noted in the publication Essential Skills for Getting a Job: What Young People with Disabilities Need to Know produced by the Office of Disability Employment Policy (2013). Specific skills were also identified in the SCANS Report, a document presented by the U.S. Department of Education National Center for Educational Statistics to the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration in August 2000. The SCANS Report’s purpose was “to document the skills and behaviors that have been identified as essential for a workforce facing the challenges of global competition in an environment of rapidly changing markets” (p. xiii). These skills are noted below in Figure 4 and can be located in the original report on page 2. WHAT WILL YOU INNOVATE? www.skoda-career.com 14 Click on the ad to read more Download free eBooks at bookboon.com Page 15 Communicating with Technology Understanding Communication Competency Workplace Competencies Resources Allocates Time; Allocates Money; Allocates Materials and Facility Resources; Allocates Human Resources Information Acquires and Evaluates Information; Organizes and Maintains Information; Interprets and Communicates Information; Uses Computers to Process Information Interpersonal Participates as a Member of a Team; Teaches Others; Serves Clients/Customers; Exercises Leadership; Negotiates to Arrive at a Decision; Works with Cultural Diversity Systems Understands Systems; Monitors and Corrects Performance; Improves and Designs Systems Technology Selects Technology; Applies Technology to Task; Maintains and Troubleshoots Technology Foundation Skills/Basic Skills Reading; Writing; Arithmetic, Mathematics; Listening; Speaking Thinking Skills Creative Thinking; Decision Making; Problem Solving; Seeing Things in the Mind’s Eye; Knowing How to Learn; Reasoning Personal Qualities Responsibility; Self-Esteem; Social Self-Management; Integrity/Honesty Figure 4: Workplace Essential Skills: Resources Related to the SCANS Competencies and Foundational Skills (see p. 2 of the original report reference ACT, INC) As you can see from the skills noted above, communication plays a fundamental role in most of the desirable qualities outlined in the SCANS Report. Now that we identified some of the desirable traits sought by employers, how can we create a tactical image that conveys those skills? One way to go about developing an appropriate message that articulates these skills is to reflect on your personal brand. The following section of this chapter will assist you in learning about a personal brand, its components and how to establish the goals of your communication acts based on Friedrich’s (1994) definition of communication competency that entails the use of goals, self knowledge, context and communication theory to inform your thinking about how you wish to develop your tactical image and communicate that image digitally. 15 Download free eBooks at bookboon.com Page 16 Communicating with Technology Understanding Communication Competency 1.4 Personal Branding According to Stanton and Stanton (2013), a personal brand “is a perception held in someone else’s mind that must be managed effectively in order to influence how an individual is viewed” (p. 81). Your personal brand is created and recreated with each interaction you have with others. This is especially true of online interactions and the different technologies you may use to interact with various communities (e.g., friends, family or co-workers). Wetsch (2012) notes that what individuals generate now [in online spaces] will become part of their online identity in the future. Personal branding consists of various types of interactions (e.g., face-to-face, online) and we will explore what this means to each of these contexts in the following chapters as it relates to the channel of communication selected to interact with another and how your personal brand should be authentic and consistent. For now, we need to consider the purpose of a personal brand. A personal brand is a communication concept that allows you to differentiate yourself from others (Morgan 2011). In order to set yourself apart from similar job seekers or professionals in a given field, you need to think carefully about your authentic, ideal and tactical self. This requires a substantial amount of time to reflect on your career aspirations, personal and professional attributes and goals and the development of a personal/professional mission statement (Schawbel 2009). From a communication perspective, you must think about how your brand will be communicated in every interaction ranging from emails to voicemails to social media to video chats. This text will help you to identify the best practices associated with using these devices as well as other factors to consider when communicating across these channels. In this chapter, we have discussed communication competency, impression management, the characteristics and traits that employers seek in employees, and personal branding. Now, let’s turn our attention to building your communication competency skills by: 1) examining the communication process, elements and forms of communication; 2) exploring specific communication channels; and 3) learning how to communicate competently with technology in the workplace. The remainder of this book presents these topics. 1.5 Summary In this chapter you have learned: • There are many definitions of communication. • The ideal purpose of communication is to establish shared meaning between interactants not to simply transmit information from one person to another. • The amount of knowledge, skills and motivation a person possesses about communication in a given situation is referred to as communication competency. • Communication competencies vary based upon the context of the communication act. 16 Download free eBooks at bookboon.com Page 17 Communicating with Technology Understanding Communication Competency • Impression management consists of the authentic, ideal and tactical self and how individuals construct and negotiate the selves. • The desirable self is most associated with the tactical self. • Employers desire employees who possess a variety of communication skills. • A personal brand is the message you seek to influence in other individuals’ minds. It is the message you create that best articulates your tactical self. Key Terms Communication Communication competency Appearance management Self-disclosure Impression management Authentic self Ideal self Tactical self Personal brand Reflection to Action 1. Identify some previous communication interactions you experienced with a colleague or friend. Recall an experience where shared meaning was not achieved. What variables contributed to the lack of understanding? What was the result? Now, recall an experience when shared meaning was achieved. What variables contributed to that understanding? What was the result of the communication interaction? 2. How do you define communication? Locate some different definitions of communication and identify how they are similar and different. 3. Describe your authentic self, ideal self and tactical self. Is there a difference between your selves? If so, how do they differ? How are they similar? 4. What image do you desire others to have of you? Select five adjectives that convey that image to others (see the Personal Branding Adjective List at the end of this text). How will you use this information to shape your tactical identity? How will these adjectives influence your communication behaviors in digital environments? 5. Research how to write a personal brand statement. What suggestions do scholars and practitioners provide? Using this information, construct a draft personal brand statement. 17 Download free eBooks at bookboon.com Page 18 An Introduction to Communication: Communicating with Technology Building a Communication Competency Foundation 2 An Introduction to Communication: Building a Communication Competency Foundation In this chapter you will learn about: • The communication process and its characteristics. • The elements of the communication process. • The communication forms. • The effects of communication. • The basic communication principles. 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The process of communication consists of seven elements: sender, receiver, channel, message, feedback, noise, and context (Shannon & Weaver 1949). The elements are interdependent which means that a change in one element impacts the other elements in a communication interaction. To understand how communication works, some explanation regarding the elements is needed. 2.1 The Communication Elements Elements of the communication process play an important role in communicating. Understanding each element helps us to communicate more effectively and maximize our ability to express what we intend to say in a way others can share our message meaning. Your ability to increase communication competency and to create a positive tactical self depends upon the knowledge you possess about these elements. 2.1.1 Sender and Receiver A communication act involves a sender and receiver. Essentially, the sender is the individual who conveys a thought, idea or feeling to another person, the receiver, using verbal or nonverbal symbols and/or signs (e.g, language, gestures). The sender is also referred to as the encoder or message creator. The decoder is another term used to refer to the receiver given their role in interpreting (decoding) messages. The sharing of messages requires that the sender and receiver occupy both roles simultaneously as they work to decode and encode messages accordingly. Senders and receivers form impressions of one another based upon the verbal and nonverbal information shared between them. The sender and receiver’s frames of reference also inform how each of them will form impressions of the other. The frame of reference or field of experience refers to all of the experiences a person possesses that helps them to make a judgment about something. Figure 1 shows some of the different variables that affect how we interpret individuals and interactions when communicating and decoding messages. †—…ƒ–‹‘ ‘…‹‘Ǧ ƒ‹Ž›Ȁ ‡…‘‘‹ …•–ƒ–—• ”‹‡†• ‡Žˆ ‡Ž‹‰‹‘ ‡†‡”  Figure 1: Frame of Reference Variables 19 Download free eBooks at bookboon.com Page 20 An Introduction to Communication: Communicating with Technology Building a Communication Competency Foundation Each of these variables play a part in our ability to analyze what we experience and see in the world (or perceive). As you obtain more experience in personal and professional settings the more information you consider about a situation based on those experiences and knowledge before forming an impression or making a judgment. For example, as a college student you have a different understanding of significant relationships than when you did as a child. Chances are you now have a different understanding of work, professions and careers than you did just a few years ago. Your ability to identify a person’s frame of reference along with the image you wish to convey based upon what is deemed desirable in a specific situation will influence whether or not you are successful in meeting your goal. 2.1.2 Message The message is the idea, feeling or thought that a sender conveys to the receiver. The message can be articulated verbally, using words and language, or nonverbally, using signs and symbols. Some examples of nonverbal messages include body movements, eye contact, facial expressions, or gestures. Other nonverbal messages involve color, space and status symbols such as the cars we drive, the clothes we wear or the way in which we arrange or decorate our office or home spaces. Another type of nonverbal communication is referred to as paralinguistics. Some paralinguistic examples are vocal cues such as um, ah, er or rate of speech. These vocal cues influence a person’s credibility and image. Messages are essential components to the image we create in others’ minds. Consequently, it is important to attend to your verbal and nonverbal messages when interacting with others. 2.1.3 Channel The channel is the mechanism the sender uses to communicate a message to a receiver. There are a variety of channels in which senders and receivers can share information. Some channels include face-to-face interaction such a conversation between you and your colleague at work. However, other channels of communication involve computing devices and software such as Facebook, documents like letters or print media, and television broadcasting. This text focuses specifically on workplace communication via digital interactions. Consequently, we will explore email, voicemail, video chat, and social media tools as communication channels to enhance your communication competencies hopefully resulting in your ability to create desirable professional impressions and an effective personal brand. 20 Download free eBooks at bookboon.com



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