Dear Coworkers of Jaguar Sales Team,
First of all, I want to congratulate you on your recent increase in sales both locally and internationally considering Jaguar Land Rover made a record sale of its new Land Rover Discovery car model. Such an increase in sales reflects the hard work that the entire workforce at Jaguar, especially the sales team, has put up to yield a higher income. Having signed up for course in interpersonal communications, I am in a better position to offer some guidance on how the coworkers at the sales team can work collaboratively to realize the company's goals and even break the record that was set in 2010 when Jaguar achieved the highest sales satisfaction score among all the luxury car makers.
Positive work relations are very important for building a successful work career and finding satisfaction in one's job. One has to be willing to listen keenly to fellow co-workers, communicate openly, and respect the entire workforce and work schedules. Building positive work relations entails overcoming the barriers to interpersonal communications, remaining self-aware, compromising and getting to know the co-workers on an individual level, and learning to resolve interpersonal conflicts, which are ever present in work setting, amicably. Therefore, overcoming the barriers to interpersonal communications at the workplace and resolving interpersonal conflicts that may arise between coworkers complement an agenda-oriented place of work and help to keep to drive the business objective of a company in a healthy and productive fashion.
Principles of and Barriers to Effective Interpersonal Communications
It is important that I first highlight the principles of interpersonal communications and the barriers that often exist when two or coworkers interrelate while working on an assigned task. Jaguar Land Rover, being one of the biggest employers in the automotive industry, lists communication as a major component of the job requirements as the company highly values communication within the workplace. It is thus important that as coworkers, you understand that poor communication amongst yourselves is the major contributor to the deterioration in both sales and the conducive work environment that you enjoy.
The first principle of interpersonal communication is that communication is inevitable as most scholars argue that "You cannot not communicate" (Sole, 2011). When doing transactions with the consumers who buy the Jaguar products, all of the coworkers have to communicate effectively to ensure that the sales go through and the clients pay. Since communication involves both a sender and a receiver, it is important that every coworker stays aware of the type of message he or she is sending out to the receiver. This is usually the first step to developing effective communication skills in the workplace.
The second principle is that communication is irreversible, meaning once a word has been uttered, it cannot be unspoken (Knapp, Vangelisti and Caughlin, 2014). Therefore, as part of a diverse workforce that is made up of people with various attributes, it is advisable to think about what one intends to say before actually saying it. In most situations, when tensions run high, we often tend to say things that we would regret right after. It is thus prudent to remain composed when emotions run high to avoid exchanging hurtful words that would not only ruin the interpersonal relations that you have as coworkers but also delay the work or task that you have been assigned.
Thirdly, communication is complex as it involves interactions through symbols, words and non-verbal signs that have been given meaning and connotations (Sole, 2011). Within the Sales Department of Jaguar, you have your own lingo and other communication symbols that you utilize to enhance correspondence between yourselves while working. Therefore, to competently communicate with your coworkers, each of you has to minimize the possibilities for ambiguity and as well seek clarification to ensure that every message is sent and received as intended. Forth, communication is contextual, as all exchanges occur in contextual frameworks like the psychological, relational, and cultural context. Therefore, every coworker has to take into consideration the context of communication avoid interpersonal differences that inhibit the communication process.
Some of the barriers to communication that are often experienced in an organizational setting include noise, which is an interference that prevents the message from reaching the recipient (Sole, 2011). In Jaguar, for instance, the noise made by the assembly line or the engines of cars while being tested would make oral communication difficult. Noise also constitutes the technical problems in public address systems and factors such as ambiguity on the sender's end and inattention, prejudice or obfuscation on the receiver's end. Noise can be overcome by use of simple language to avoid ambiguity and the reduction of noise levels to enhance oral communication.
Secondly, cultural barriers may hinder communication in an ethnically diverse work setting because similar categories of words, phrases, signs, and actions often have different meanings in different cultures (Knapp, Vangelisti and Caughlin, 2014). This barrier can be overcome by familiarizing one's self with the connotations and meanings of different signs, words, and phrases of the cultures that are represented in the organization to smoothen communication. Thirdly, emotions as well play a vital role in decoding and encoding messages. Emotions such as anger are the greatest hindrances to communication. Therefore, one should make effective use of body language while communicating to avoid misinterpretations.
The Role of Communication in Developing Self-Concept, Self-Image, and Self-Esteem
Self-concept is defined as the general idea of one's self that stems from the beliefs that one holds about themselves and the feedback from other people (Carlock, 2013). Therefore, each worker's self-concept is derived from the interpersonal relationships with fellow coworkers who help in shaping the way one views themselves. Communication thus plays a crucial role in constructing one's self-concept since honest and complimentary remarks helps each coworker feel good about themselves and that they contribute to the company's success. However, biased remarks or derogatory comments about one's performance at work would lead to negative self-perception as one would alienate from the rest of the team. Therefore, honest remarks communicated in a constructive manner would enable one to reflect positively upon his or her contribution to Jaguar. This gives room for improvement and positivity in the organization rather than feelings of disappointment.
According to Carlock (2013), self-image is the mental picture that one has of his or her own abilities and personality. It is important to note that your self-image is quite different from how the world, specifically your coworkers, see you. Therefore, interpersonal communication can, by projecting positive self-impressions, improve one's own self-image. As workers of one of the most thriving automotive companies, I would say that the society holds you in high regard. Therefore, it is only right that you convey to each other positive and constructive feedback to give every worker confidence in their thoughts and actions that translate to a positive self-image.
Self-esteem is the emotional evaluation of one's self-worth. Both self-concept and self-image help in developing one's self-esteem (Carlock, 2013). How one values themselves is important because it affects the way he or she relates to other people who also respond either positively or negatively according to how confident one is. Therefore, uplifting a coworker through positive evaluation of their abilities can help to improve their self-esteem while downplaying of one's contribution can equally lower their self-esteem. Therefore, since the sales team is the face of Jaguar, it is only right that every team member is confident enough to talk to the customers to convince them to buy into the brand. This can only be achieved by uplifting one's self-esteem through praiseworthy comments about their major contributions.
Levels of Self-disclosure and Emotional Intelligence
Self-disclosure is the purposeful disclosure of one's personally held information to other people as defined by Knapp, Vangelisti and Caughlin (2014). Interpersonal communication and self-disclosure are at the core of any sort of work relationship since the reciprocated revelation of personal information helps to create a bond between 2 people. Therefore, as coworkers, you should note that the back and forth disclosure of personal information would influence how your interpersonal relationships form and how close they become. However, it is important to remain aware of the kind of information that one is putting out there as it could drastically change the way one is perceived. I would advise that as you relate with your coworkers, be keen not to overshare some of your personal information that may change the way others view you. For instance, you cannot reveal to your coworkers that you had ever been involved in a misdemeanor and got penalized for it because it would make them keep away from you for fear of getting hurt or violated.
Emotional intelligence refers to one's ability to perceive, understand and manage their emotions and feelings at any particular time. Emotional intelligence affects the daily decisions that coworkers make while working on assigned tasks. This means that every coworker has to be able to reveal their emotions maturely while exercising restraint whenever required rather than imploding and throwing tantrums at everyone. Exercising self-regulation, therefore, improves the work relationships between co-workers and attracts empathy and understanding. That is, when one is feeling down, the other co-workers who already have an idea of whatever their fellow worker is going through, would thus step in to assist.
Emotional intelligence and self-disclosure thus interrelate as a person with a high emotional intelligence can restrain himself or herself, thereby only letting out emotions in a way that does not make the other workers feel uncomfortable. Therefore, in order to increase your emotional intelligence, you need to reflect on your own emotions to help you become more mindful and in control. You also need to pause every time you feel offended or hurt and think of the impact of your actions after which you should seek the perspective of other level-headed people and inquire how they view your actions whenever tensions run high. Finally, like every skill, you have to practice how to always be in control by learning to pause first and reflect on your actions or responses before engaging with your co-workers.
Using Communication to Resolve Interpersonal Conflicts
In every workplace, the resolution of conflicts is challenging due to the personal differences that coworkers have, pride, and intolerance for other people's opinions, especially when one feels more superior to the others (Eaves and Leathers, 2017). Since you have managed to work as a team to increase your sales, I trust that you relate well with one another. However, should any conflict arise, here are some strategies that you can use to resolve it to find common ground and understanding.
First, as coworkers, you have to embrace conflict whenever it arises as you are all multi-dimensional people and are thus bound to clash at some point. Do not avoid conflict but rather sit together and talk it through by listening keenly to every party's concerns. I would also advise that the two conflicting parties use a mediator to ensure that one party does not monopolize the conv...
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