Communication issues are essential when it comes to interaction in the workplace. The lack of mutual understanding between colleagues leads to an inability to perform daily tasks for the company’s benefit. However, there is a row of instruments that allow companies to assess their employees’ strengths and weaknesses and create a better workspace for efficient communication. They include various psychological characteristics of all the employees and directors. For the purposes of this paper, five different assessment tools have been used in order to assess the ability to use strengths and eliminate weaknesses for better cooperation.
Diagnosis and Reflection
Psychological characteristics of one’s personality are crucial for the assessment of abilities to integrate into a team in the workplace successfully. The first measurement tool I used was Jung typology tests providing descriptions of 16 personality types and specificities of their interaction with other people (“Jung typology test”). According to the results of this test, my personality type, ENTJ, is described as logical, decisive, and action-oriented. Being good leaders in a company, people of this type tend to ignore the needs of others as they do not easily recognize their motives. The inability to deal with emotions leads to the appearance of communication difficulties.
The set of characteristics attributed to this type also includes such weaknesses as the lack of empathy for people due to the preference of logical thinking and impatience in communication with others. Lack of understanding and misinterpretation of co-workers’ motives and impatience in dealing with them leads to an inability to negotiate about things that are to be done. These traits are vital to mutual understanding at work, and it is necessary to eliminate the weaknesses for efficient communication.
Other instruments used for the assessment of personal qualities complemented the results of the main personality test in order to have a complete picture of characteristics that need to be improved. The vulnerability test showed excellent skills at coping with stress and revealed no evident weaknesses (“How vulnerable are you?”). The main characteristic to improve was demonstrated in the interpersonal skills self-assessment, which is poor listening skills (“Interpersonal skills self-assessment”). Having low patience for other people at work, I tend to have listening issues that might result in my inability to compromise.
Being a tactile learner, I struggle to stay focused on what my colleagues are saying during the meetings. I also get bored while sitting for too long and cannot grasp the idea that is being proposed by my co-workers (“What’s your learning style?” 2017).
There is a need for a method to concentrate on the discussion even when it does not seem to be interesting in order to be aware of what the company’s plan can be for the upcoming period. The results of the cultural profile test have shown the possibility of trust issues and an aptitude for direct criticism (Meyer, 2016). Therefore, considering the results of all the tests, my critical areas for improvement are listening skills and patience towards other people (Chart 1). Elimination of the weaknesses mentioned above would lead to better communication in the workplace.
Over the past year, I have faced the issues revealed by the tests. The principal difficulty contains the necessity to listen to other people speaking during the meetings. The inability to follow the presented information results in a lack of understanding of the company’s chosen course of action. This issue was complemented by the lack of patience resulting in my inability to focus on gaining the information I missed during the meeting while I was continually distracting from the subject. Therefore, the work on the two key issues would allow me to gain a better understanding of a company’s processes and get involved in finding solutions for specific company issues.
Communication issues have an impact on various tasks one needs to perform at work. In order to deal with the challenges employees might face, there is a need for effective communication in a company as it is “a tool that provides an opportunity to influence others within the work environment” (Neely & Mosley, 2018, p.35). Hence, the elimination of such issues as listening and patience towards other people at work is a must for future success as an employee.
There are a number of challenges all companies face on a daily basis. They are connected to the difference in the communication styles of the employees. Poor listening skills are one of the six most common challenges in the work environment, especially when it happens with managers who ignore the personal needs of employees while changing the company’s course (“Challenges to effective communication,” 2018). Such a situation might result in the lack of motivation of the company’s employees due to the inability to express their opinion on its actions and worsen the quality of their work. Therefore, it is essential to eliminate the problems of listening and being impatient with other people in order to further my career in the future.
To achieve better performance at work, the following plan for the next six months has been developed. This plan is based on the model of S.M.A.R.T. goals (Eby, 2019). The goal is to eliminate the two key issues, which are a lack of patience and listening skills. I need to learn to listen to the people at work to ensure efficient communication by considering the difference in communication style.
As a measure of the plan’s success, I will start to pay attention to all the cases, in which I asked my colleagues for an additional explanation after the meeting. Therefore, the feedback would come from the managers and employees, which is beneficial in terms of following the plan. As a result, in six months, I will become self-aware and empathetic. This plan will let me learn to take into account other people’s personality traits and characteristics while communicating and listening to what they are saying.
The use of psychological assessment tools and instruments contributes to a better understanding of oneself in order to improve general performance in the workplace. Such instruments as the Jung typology test, vulnerability test, interpersonal skills self-assessment, cultural profile, and learning style tests help to understand their differences better and learn to communicate with any type of people regardless of their preferred communication style. Implementation of various models of goal achievement such as S.M.A.R.T with consideration of a person’s psychological characteristics allows eliminating the weaknesses, which might lead to worsening of work performance. They also contribute to the creation of a healthier work environment and better communication between employees and directors.
Challenges to effective communication in the workplace. (2018). Web.
Eby, K. (2019). The essential guide to writing S.M.A.R.T. goals. Smartsheet. Web.
How vulnerable are you? (n.d.). Web.
Interpersonal skills self-assessment (n.d.). Web.
Jung typology test (n.d.). Web.
Meyer, E. (2016). What’s your cultural profile? Global Leadership Network. Web.
Neely, P. R. Jr. & Mosley, M. (2018). Communication problems in management. International Journal of Research – Granthaalayah 6(9), pp. 34-40. Web.
What’s your learning style? (2017). Web.
Jung typology test
Extravert (62%); iNtuitive (34%); Thinking (66%); Judging(38%).
- You have a distinct preference for Extraversion over Introversion (62%);
- You have a moderate preference for Intuition over Sensing (34%);
- You have a distinct preference of Thinking over Feeling (66%);
- You have a moderate preference for Judging over Perceiving (38%) (“Jung typology test”).
Interpersonal Skills Self-Assessment
Your total score is 60%.
Based on the answers you provided, your interpersonal skills are about average – compared to other people. Although you have a basic grasp of the key interpersonal skills, there is still a lot you can do to improve them further. Spend some time practicing and developing your interpersonal skills to enhance your relationships with others further.
Your score: 33% (Below Average)
Based on the answers you provided, your listening skills need some work. Listening is not a difficult skill to learn but may be more challenging to master – try to consciously listen when others are talking, clearing your mind of distractions and preconceptions. Listening is fundamental to strengthen interpersonal relationships and requires a lot more than simply hearing.
Your score: 62% (Average)
You achieved an average score for the emotional intelligence part of the assessment. Emotional intelligence is a measure of how well you understand and deal with your emotions and the emotions of others. Developing a better awareness of emotions and understanding why you and others behave in certain ways will enhance your interpersonal skills. It is worth taking some time to understand and improve your emotional intelligence as it could be the most important aspect of personal development. Research has shown that people with higher emotional intelligence enjoy more satisfying and successful careers and relationships.
Your score: 73% (Above Average)
Your verbal or spoken communication is above average: you normally use appropriate language and know when to talk and when not to talk. Having good verbal communication means that you can express yourself well to others – explaining your ideas and opinions in such a way that they are usually understood by others. Of course, you can always further improve your verbal communication.
Communicating in Groups
Your score: 69% (Average)
Based on the answers you provided, you have average confidence levels when communicating in group situations. You are likely to handle most group situations adequately, although you may well be nervous in some situations. Communicating effectively in groups is an important part of your overall interpersonal skills and is useful in many different areas of life. Next time you’re in a group situation, watch the other participants pick up some ideas of what you can do and what you can avoid doing to improve your presence in group situations (Interpersonal skills self-assessment).
How vulnerable are you?
30-59 indicates that you are doing fairly well at coping with stress
60-74 indicates that you may be vulnerable to the impact of stress
75-119 indicates that you are fairly vulnerable to the impact of stress
120 + indicates that you are extremely vulnerable to the impact of stress. It is time to rethink how you are living and pay careful attention to positive coping strategies (“How vulnerable are you?”).
What’s your learning style?
• Auditory: 20%
• Visual: 20%
• Tactile: 60%
You are a Tactile learner.
If you are a tactile learner, you learn by touching and doing. You understand and remember things through physical movement. You are a “hands-on” learner who prefers to touch, move, build, or draw what you learn, and you tend to learn better when some type of physical activity is involved. You need to be active and take frequent breaks, you often speak with your hands and with gestures, and you may have difficulty sitting still.
As a tactile learner, you like to take things apart and put things together, and you tend to find reasons to tinker or move around when you become bored. You may be very well coordinated and have good athletic ability. You can easily remember things that were done but may have difficulty remembering what you saw or heard in the process. You often communicate by touching, and you appreciate physically expressed forms of encouragement, such as a pat on the back (“What’s your learning style?” 2017).
What’s your cultural profile?
This scale measures the degree to which a culture prefers low- or high-context communication, a metric developed by anthropologist Edward Hall. In low-context cultures (such as the U.S., Germany, and the Netherlands), good communication is precise, simple, and explicit. Messages are expressed and understood at face value. Repetition and written confirmation are appreciated, for clarity’s sake. In high-context cultures (such as China, India, and France), communication is sophisticated, nuanced, and layered. Reading between the lines is expected. Less is put in writing, and more is left to interpretation.
Often confused with the Communicating scale, Evaluating measures something distinct: the relative preference for direct versus indirect criticism. The French, for example, are high-context communicators relative to Americans yet are much more direct with negative feedback. Spaniards and Mexicans are equally high-context communicators, but the Spanish are much more direct than Mexicans when it comes to giving negative feedback.
This scale measures preference for principles-first versus applications-first arguments (sometimes described as deductive versus inductive reasoning). People from Germanic and southern European cultures usually find it more persuasive to layout generally accepted principles before presenting an opinion or making a statement; American and British managers typically lead with opinions or factual observations, adding concepts later to explain as necessary.
This scale gauges the degree of respect and deference shown to authority figures, on a spectrum between the egalitarian and the hierarchical. The former camp includes Scandinavia and Israel, whereas China, Russia, Nigeria, and Japan are more hierarchical. The metric builds on the concept of power distance, first researched by Geert Hofstede, who conducted 100,000 management surveys at IBM in the 1970s and later researched by Robert House and Mansour Javidan in their GLOBE Study of 62 Societies.
We often assume that the most egalitarian cultures in the world are also the most consensual and that the most hierarchical ones are those where the boss makes top-down decisions. That’s not always the case. The Japanese are strongly hierarchical but have one of the most consensual cultures in the world. Germans are more hierarchical than Americans but also more likely to make decisions through group consensus. This scale explores the differences between building group agreement and relying on one person (usually the boss) to make decisions.
This scale balances task-based trust (from the head) with relationship-based trust (from the heart). In a task-based culture, such as the United States, the UK, or Germany, trust is built through work: We collaborate well, we like each other’s work, and we are fond of each other—so I trust you. In a relationship-based society, such as Brazil, China, or India, trust is built by weaving personal, affective connections: We have laughed together, have shared time relaxing together, and have come to know each other at a deep, personal level—so I trust you. Many scholars, such as Roy Chua and Michael Morris, have researched this topic.
Everyone knows that a little confrontation is healthy, right? The recent U.S. business literature certainly confirms that viewpoint, but different cultures have varying ideas about how productive it is. People in Indonesia, Japan, and Thailand view the public airing of disagreement very dimly, whereas those in Germany, France, and the Netherlands are quite comfortable with it. This scale measures how you view confrontation—whether you feel it is likely to improve group dynamics or to harm relationships within a team.
All businesses follow timetables, but in India, Brazil, and Italy, people treat a schedule as a suggestion. In Switzerland, Germany, and the U.S., people typically stick to the plan. This scale measures whether you view time as linear or flexible, depending on how much value you place on structure or adaptability. It is based on the monochronic/polychronic distinction formalized by Edward Hall.