By Angela Nepomuceno & Sophia Laforteza
From what we have learned in the lecture, miscommunication in the workplace is in fact common and must be addressed by infusing sociocultural competence and strategic competence in the corporate setting. One of the main factors preceding this is that individuals tend to obtain wrong signals which result in misunderstandings and internal conflicts that could affect the entirety of an organization.
Expounding on these, each one has different definitions when something is newly presented. Therefore, people activate their blindspots and ignore what the other has to say about a certain topic.
We have reflected on the lecture and agreed that it is not a matter of who is right or wrong, but it is about the perspectives.
As mentioned, it takes another to fully understand the truth and be in others’ shoes.
People must be aware that miscommunications are bound to happen in any environment which means that it is also up to us in the future to be active listeners,
as well as accommodating when it comes to building healthy relationships in the workplace.
Prior to this, it is important to anticipate breakdowns and avoid cracks so that peace will be established little by little. It won’t be an easy task but nevertheless, we think that the main solutions and goals are to be kind, open, trusting, and most importantly, to consider the audience — their age, culture, gender, sexuality, nationality, and ethnicity.
There are also emotional variables to consider that could become a hindrance to the way people communicate.
It could be that time of the month for some people, a personal dilemma may have occurred at home before coming to work, or they have something in the back of their minds that they can not seem to stop thinking about.
Despite having something emotional and personal that may be bothering an individual, it is best to avoid allowing it to get in the way of one’s responsibilities in the workplace.
We believe that this could show a lot of character and professionalism for an individual to still deliver and communicate well enough for others to understand despite having personal obstacles.
Relating to one’s emotional variables, there are also personal life experiences that affect how some words, phrases, or even actions are interpreted.
For example, it’s not particularly a trauma but we have a pet peeve when it comes to smokers around us. Growing up, the smell of smoke and having people exhale it around us has always been bothersome. When a colleague mentions that they are going out for a smoke, we get triggered by the idea and then worry about the smell when they return or if they are going to do it in the area.
One of us also has a life experience relating to someone holding a gun up their head. When people usually joke about the gesture, it triggers some kind of anxiety or emotion that can hinder the way communication takes place.
These experiences and how it affects us can be hard to speak up about at that moment so it leads to avoiding confrontation as well as involuntarily dwelling in the emotion that begins to take over.
Keeping in mind that not everybody can be focused or jolly about their responsibilities the majority of the time can help those in the workplace empathize more and keep the environment humanized.
What Harrington said about communication being an art that you can hone and develop as a skill truly stood out. Just like different forms of art such as painting, singing, dancing, playing an instrument, and more, to master it, you must be aware of its concepts and the like.
Professionals in a field have worked to hone their skills and although they may be intelligent and highly equipped for what they specialize in, they lack practice in communication. The domino effect is being unable to communicate their ideas effectively with others in the workplace that have not studied or are familiar with their field.
There could be a soft-skill issue which is not knowing how to interact properly with others. They are not able to translate or communicate their thoughts and ideas in such a way that others could understand where you are headed.
Several moments occur wherein we have a thought or an idea that is pictured vividly in our heads but we are unable to put it into words and paint it to those we are speaking to. This happens often when we are faced with people who may not be from the same generation, area, school, and more. It gets difficult to connect with them.
The bottom line lesson learned was not to expect everyone to be the same. There will always be different perspectives, interpretations, ways of decoding messages, and levels of understanding.
Moreover, we believe that there should be a healthy balance between personal affiliations and professionalism. One should not overpower the other to maintain a lifelong bond in the workplace.
We live in an imperfect world, therefore, the expectation of perfection all the time is unrealistic.