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REFLECTIVE REPORT: THE DEVELOPMENT OF MY INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS THROUGH UNIVERSITY, WORK AND HOME.

REFLECTIVE REPORT: THE DEVELOPMENT OF MY INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS THROUGH UNIVERSITY, WORK AND HOME.

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An essay for the 2011 Undergraduate Awards (Ireland) Competition by Jennifer Scullion. Originally submitted for BSc (hons) Human Resource Management at University of Ulster, with lecturer Dr Paula O'Kane in the category of Business
An essay for the 2011 Undergraduate Awards (Ireland) Competition by Jennifer Scullion. Originally submitted for BSc (hons) Human Resource Management at University of Ulster, with lecturer Dr Paula O'Kane in the category of Business

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Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Aug 31, 2012
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10/27/2013

 
 
Page 1
REFLECTIVE REPORT: THE DEVELOPMENT OF MY INTERPERSONALCOMMUNICATION SKILLS THROUGH UNIVERSITY, WORK AND HOME.ABSTRACT
The aim of this piece of work was to reflect upon the development of my interpersonalcommunication skills from learning the theory behind interpersonal communication toapplying this both in the practical scenarios and in my personal life. To this end I haveboth reviewed theory in the field and critically analysed how this applies in my life. Thepractical exercises gave me an opportunity to practice in a safe environment andidentify how key skills and behaviours develop. I was subsequently able to reflect uponmy personal develop of interpersonal communication skills.Please note the appendices are not part of the main assignment.Key Words: Interpersonal Communication; Reflection; Development; Skills
 
 
 
Page 2
REFLECTIVE REPORT: THE DEVELOPMENT OF MY INTERPERSONALCOMMUNICATION SKILLS THROUGH UNIVERSITY, WORK AND HOME.
HR is an evolving and specialised area of business that is becoming increasinglyimportant in the life of what can be deemed a successful organisation (CIPD, 2009).Current economic conditions have threatened organisations,
placing a “
particular accent
on the purpose and role of HR”
(Palmer 2009, p9), forcing it to
change in response,whilst still dev
eloping dynamically” (Foot and H
ook 2005, p5). As a result,
“HR
areunder pressure to become more accountable
(Cockroft 2006, p20) and there is nowconcern surrounding the interpersonal skills of HR professionals (Bambacas andPatrickson 2009, p109). Palmer (2009, p9), argues HR must recognise
“people
-management skills can influence the bottom line
and how it is vital that managers are
equipped with essential people management skills, enabling them to set strategicdirection
and improve team performance and morale”
(Politt 2009, p19). Interpersonalskills are interlinked and often used simultaneously. However, for this paper I will reflecton each of my interpersonal skills individually, focussing largely on an analysis of myhandling of four prominent HR scenarios.
1. PERFORMANCE COUNSELLING SCENARIO
In this scenario I played the role of manager counselling a new employee within mydepartment on her issue of late time-keeping.It was clear from the outset listening was going to be key to remedying the issue, as it is
one of the
most crucial skills necessary” Graham and Lewis (2003, p23).
I was involvedin comprehensive, empathic, appreciative and dialogic listening (See Appendix One,p10). I was not involved in discriminative listening as its focus
“is simply to scan andmonitor”
(Hargie and Dickson 2004, p175)
. Despite
managers equating listening with just hearing
” (
Fulweiler 2007, p50), I was aware to remedy the issue I needed to
truly
understand [what] the person was saying and meaning” (
Tanda 2000, p20). I feel mylistening skills were good in this scenario, as when I worked as a recruitment consultantfor Intel, I had to work across three sites and effective listening was essential for operations to run smoothly. This scenario reinforced why
“there will always be a place
 
 
Page 3
for listening in your institution, particularly when it revolves around attracting, developingand retaining people, as it does
in HR” (Cock
roft 2006, p2) and why listening is
“the
golden thread linking the main points to be a clear communicator and sens
itive leader”
(Brown 2009, p8). Although Hargie (2007, p511) argues the root of ineffective listening results from it being
“being primarily a human issue”
, in this scenario I did not experience any obstacles andoften used open questions to reflect my listening skills (See Appendix One, p12).However, as demonstrated in Appendix Two (p23) and Appendix (p33/34) Three, whenit came to areas of conflict or negotiation, I found mental blocks hindered effectivelistening as I focused on my agenda, instead of what the employee was saying.Scarnati (1998, p80) supports this by suggesting ineffective listening largely results fromit bei
ng a “physically and psychologically fatiguing task”, often impeded by the “biases
w
e all have” (Losky
2002, p8). The concept of ineffective listening extends to reality TVsuch as The X-Factor, particularly when the controversial Jedward were judged more onpersonality than talent, linking back to t
he “person
-
like effect” (Hargie
2007, p513).Regarding my personal life, friends are now turning to me in times of crisis. Previously, Iwas quick to finish sentences or try resolving problems before hearing the full story; Inow understand effective listening can allow for comprehensive information, leading tomore appropriate advice. I
realise why “the successful manager should not have the
loudest voice, but t
he readiest ear” (Richman
2002, p24).Whilst I feel listening was key to resolving the issue, it worked simultaneously with mynon-verbal skills, which Talley (2009, p30) argues are valuable in building relationshipsand portraying correct messages. By tuning into the employees tense body language, Iused non-verbal methods such as guggles, head nods and open palms (see AppendixOne, p11/12) to overcome her shyness. I chose a softer approach, as being demandingwith this timid employee would have caused her to retreat into herself and withholdinformation, making the process void of purpose.This scenario highlighted the power and influence of non-verbal skills, as
Harris‟ (2009,
p17) argues,
“observing body language and looking for non
-verbal cues certainly has its
place”. Until this scenario, I didn‟t regard body language as relevant; however, I now

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