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In this self-reflection essay, I will examine the two communication problems which have been identified using the five diagnostic tools during the individual diagnostic class. The two communication problems are I talk less compare to the average people and have moderate willingness listen to other others. Furthermore, this essay will outline literature review by defining key models and concepts as well as theoretical and interpersonal skills that I need to obtain in order to deal with my communication issues.

Moreover, the key events and activities such as joining two professional courses, reading self-help books, finding a mentor and keeping of personal journals are developed on an action plan. With the help of five other diagnostic tools, I have analysed my personal communication capability in different communication scales. The first tool was a Self-Perceived Communication Competence Scale which is to identify how people communicate differently in one situation than another (McCroskey, J. C. , & McCroskey, L. L, 1988).

The second tool was a Personal Report of Intercultural Communication Apprehension (PRICA) which measures communication anxiety in 14 different intercultural situations (McCroskey, J. C (1997). The third tool was the Talkaholic Scale, which is the measurement of how much people are prone to talk with each other. Either they prefer to sit quietly by observing the situation or driven to talk a lot by positively evaluating themselves amongst others (Croskey & Virginia, 1995).

The fourth tool was the Nonverbal Immediacy Scale- Self Report (NIS-S), the instrument can examine positive feelings towards another person (Richmond, McCroskey & Johnson, 2003). Last but not least, the fifth tool was the Willingness to Listen Diagnostic where the title says itself that how one can listen to others carefully without any distraction (Richmond & Hickson, 2001). Personally, I strongly agree with the outcome of the communication competence survey, which was most of the time precise and up to date.

According to the Self-Perceived Communication Competence Scale’s (SPCC) final score, I feel confident to talk with my close friends and present within a small group of friends but I feel not comfortable to talk with strangers or have a presentation to a group of strangers. The outcome from the Personal Report of Intercultural Communication Apprehension (PRICA) further says that I like to interact with people from different culture and my total score was 56 which indicates that I have a high intercultural communication apprehension.

The talkaholic scale score of 29 proves that I am not a talker at all and hardly engage a talk with strangers. The next diagnostic tool, Nonverbal Immediacy Scale gave me with a score of 93 implying that I have a positive feeling for other people. Last but not least, Willingness to Listen scale provided me with a score of 81 showing a moderate level of willingness to listen. Even though talkaholic scale and willingness to listen belongs in the category of moderate, I acknowledge that these two are the critical areas that I really need to improve myself in order to continue my future career successfully.

It seems like in regards to engaging a conversation with strangers or from a different culture I do not talk much because there seems no common thing for us to talk. Although I am completely aware that I live in Sydney and it is a perfect opportunity to learn different culture and language by interacting with new people from different background. In terms of willingness to listen, during the meeting listening to a colleague’s presentation, I feel like to state an example of what happened 2 months ago when I worked in one of the Accounting firms in Sydney as an internship student.

That day a group of our internship students were having a summary presentation of what we have learnt and practised during our time in this firm. I was really concentrated and nervous on my presentation and was not really attentive of what other students were presenting in front of me. When the presentation was about to finish one of the senior accountants asked me specifically about my opinion and unfortunately, I have not really followed all the discussion and not able to give any professional feedback.

Although my presentation went very well I knew that I could give more attention to other people’s speech and I realise that it is hard for me to concentrate as I easily get bored. The next example of a communication issue is relevant to talkaholic scale and happened in the same accounting firm. There was a little competition among internship students about how to know about each other well just in a few minutes of talking. I suppose to talk and ask questions about with 6 other students and the winer will the one who has collected more information.

When the competition started I participated actively but I felt like I run out of topic and new idea easily. I would prefer to be quite and listen rather than talking continuously. James McCroskey defined communication apprehension is the anxiety and fear that people encounter when about to be judged by others (McCroskey, 2001). This psychological signal during the communication prompts is designed to support the body respond. Physical reactions to pressure make the awkward feeling of unease called speech anxiety and it might carry pain in the stomach, shaking, dry mouth and sweaty palms (Sapolsky, 2004).

To overcome the public speaking anxiety it is usefull to tell joke to open up, memorise the speech or just imagine the audience naked. According to the research on the effect of talkativeness counts as a leadership ability, powerfullness, and attutude similarity has found positive, strong, linear relationship (Allgeier, 1974). So, the more a person talks, the more that person will look like a strong, attractive and powerful leader. Moreover, people tend believe that the less talking indicates that low self-esteem, introversion and not enough communication skills (Daly & McCroskey, 1984).

However, there are difference in between compulsive talk and highly verbal and vary their amount of talk. Compulsive talkers talk frequently, dominate conversation most of the time, and are less shy than the others (Bostrom & Harrington, 1999). Talkativeness has been so much evaluated that most of the research has been only concentrated on issues of communication avoidance rather than problems of unnecessary communication (McCroskey, 2001). McCroskey & Richmond (1993) indicates that there is no amount of talking might be approximately measured as talking “too much”.

Participants who getting high score on the “talkaholic scale” are mentioned as “talkaholics”, the name as taken to overly and compulsive attitude of “alcoholics” and “workaholics” (Daly & McCroskey, 1984). They are guessing that probably alcoholics and workaholics are the ones who are compulsive communicators but just they are do not admitting themselves. Probably it is hard to measure such people on the ‘Talkaholic scale”. The positivity or negativity and whether talkaholics constantly undergo unpleasant communication results are need to be studied in the future.

Research works suggest if one talk more than other people does not make one talkaholic but “compulsion’ might be the critical distinction. Moreover, it looks like compulsive talkers are drawn to the communication discipline and its connected to their occupation (Bem, 1974). To sum up, it is clear that to be a talkaholic it is not enough just being an extrovert but also being highly interested to communicate, being extremely responsive, being not anxious and see yourself as a capable communicator (Bostrom, Grant & Davis, 1999).

People who are conscious of they are talkaholics are usually satisfied with their position and do not take it as a problem. Although they admit that occasionally they involved in trouble by talking when they shouldn’t but usually they are much better opportunities for them to grow than for sitting quiet. Listening is the most crucial ability of people communication. Within the field of communication studies listening viewed as having emotional, cognitive, behavioural elements (Worthington, 2016).

Another research also mentioned that listening as the ability to keep actual information or to garner meaning from monologue and we refer good listener as a good behaviour about the situation, rather than retentive ability (Bostrom & Harrington, 1999). According to Coakly (1994) engaging in competent listening almost unanimously defined as a willingness to listen. Keaton & Bodie (1992) explained active listening as a behavioural process and those behaviours include not only verbal responses demonstrating understanding or asking question but also those gestural acts such as smiling and eye contact.

Moreover, there is a communication technique called an active listening first introduced by Reed (1985) in order to train and conflict resolution. It needs from the listener full concentration, understanding, and remember what is being said. During the listening process meaning is created from words, therefore memory is crucial to maintain the information. It may the speaker and listener captivate contrasted meaning to the same information due to every person has unequal memories. But memories are fragile and it is information to be forgotten.

Body language and speaker’s posture are the essential parts that listener needs to observe. Analysing the talker’s body language and gesture gives the listener more precise understanding of the talker’s message. According to Verma (2015) active listening technique can be used during small talk or conversation or even in community organising, tutoring and helping suicidal person. Different use of active listening gives so much benefit such, opening up to each other, stay away from confusion and retaining trust.

Some problems can arise due hunger and tiredness of the listener distracted to listen or unable to concentrate to the speaker’s talk. Sometimes also it can be a language barrier, using highly professional words, slangs, noise and visual distraction. As Scuka (2005) mentioned active listening technique is highly recommended to advance interpersonal communication if one holds personal emotion away during the talk, seek for a clarification, restate back to the talker and one also stay away any type distraction.

There is no necessity to hold one’s strict individual belief as takes to an argument, but instead holding an eye contact and observing body language are the crucial part to active listening. Speaker’s word intonation or stress will make a huge difference too. Active listening is a must have skill in modern days, because it makes one to earn trust and respect from your colleagues and helps to solve the issues with better solutions as well as reduce conflicts in the workplace.

After all these researches it can be concluded that in order to gain a success and career advancement one need to be talkative leader that communicates positively with others and have an ability to listen actively to avoid any conflicts in the workplace and in personal life. After recognising the two communication problems requiring an evolution, I have decided to develop an action plan for the next six months to resolve my communication issues.

First of all, I would like to attend a course called “Assertive communication skills course’ at the University of Sydney in order to gain fundamental, practical techniques and to learn express myself freely. This three weeks course will assist me to express myself confidently in a professional manner. I will be taking another one-week course called “Active listening training course” at the Professional development training (PDT) training to improve my active listening techniques and participate more effectively during the work meeting.

Secondly, I am planning to attend two days post graduate communication courses at UNSW during my semester break. These courses should teach me the way one should interact with team and develop and keep the positive balance in the workplace, with managers and peers. I should achieve a fundamental skill for effective communication and strong leadership. I will participate an online interpersonal course from universal. com, which is basically concentrates on communication within two people.

This course offers fundamental concepts to understanding the compound dynamics that go into building and keeping our relationships, offering a large number based insight that will make it easier understand themselves and peers. These evaluated concepts can be applied on personal and professional circles. Thirdly, I have chosen three books to read “How to win friends and influence people” by Dale (Amazon. com, 2017), “Crucial conversations: Tools for talking when stakes are high” by Kerry & Joseph (Amazon. com, 2017), “Difficult conversations: How to have conversations that matter the most” by Douglas & Bruce (Amazon. com, 2017).

Reading books improve one’s general life knowledge, and especially are able to spot patterns faster by boosting analytical skills. Fourthly, I would like to have one-on-one mentoring session with Mark Aiston, who is a radio and television personality and most successful corporate host in Australia. The main reason I had chosen him is I love listening to famous people stories and also, they give me an extra strength to my daily life. Aiston is currently a breakfast radio presenter on FIVEaa and he had covered many sporting events including Australia day celebrations.

Therefore, I am really keen to meet him personally. Lastly, I would like maintain a personal journal in order to track my achievement and where I can reflect my own accomplishment. After all these activities I should overcome two of my communication problems and start to talk confidently as well learnt to listen assertively. Figure 1, Gantt Chart of the Action plan In conclusion, this communication essay presented a quick understanding to the five communication diagnostic tools that I used to analyse my own communication issues.

During the individual diagnostic tutorial, I find out that I have a moderate level of willingness to listen and talkaholic ability. These two communication issues were outlined both conceptually and behavioural. In order learn to listen without any environmental distraction it is compulsory to learn active listening technique. The effect of talkativeness counts as a leadership ability, powerfullness, and attutude similarity has found positive, strong, linear relationship. Finally, action plan has been developed to undertake key activities and events for the next six months.

Allgeier, A R. (1974). The effects of differential amounts of talkativeness on interpersonal
judgments. Unpublished dissertation, Purdue University

Amazon.com (2017). How to win friends and influence people.
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Amazon.com (2017). Crucial conversations: Tools for talking when stakes are high.
Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com.au/Crucial-Conversations-Tools-Talking-

Amazon.com (2017). Difficult conversations: How to have conversations that matter the most
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Reed, W.H. (1985). Positive listening: learning to hear what people are really saying.
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Self-Report (NIS-S). Development of the Nonverbal Immediacy Scale (NIS):
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Richmond, V. P., & Hickson, M. III. (2001). Going public: A practical guide to public talk.
Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Sapolsky, R. M. (2004). Why zebras don’t get ulcers (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Henry Holt
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Worthington, D.R. (2016). Listening: Processes, Functions and Competency. New York, NY:
Routledge. p. 87

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