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Communication Theory

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Communication Theory
Barbara Langston
August 5, 2011
University of Phoenix

Communication is very important whether in a group or as an individual. Group communication is becoming more common in many work places as well as in classrooms. When working as a group, one must always remember to consider their team mates religions and cultures as well as their abilities to perform the tasks assigned to each individual. When working in teams, it has become more common to have multicultural individuals within one group. Gender and culture are obstacles that must be overcome when working in a group setting such as a work place or organization.
The organization I work for has many different cultures within the company. We have employees that are from different countries, as well as from different cultures. Our patients also come from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures and this must be respected at all times. Culture can greatly impact the way we communicate within the organization because some of the employees that are from different cultures or countries may not understand everything that is going on and why the United State’s laws are so different from the laws of their country. Also, patient’s families that are from different cultures may not understand why we can not release all information to them without them being the Power of Attorney over the patient.
Gender can greatly affect communication within the organization that I work for because there are more females than males working within the organization. The males within the organization must always be aware of the way they say things to the female employees as well as patients because sometimes a female may take a male’s comment the wrong way and file a sexual harassment suit against the male employee. Females also have to be aware of what they are saying because the sexual harassment can go both ways. Males however, must be more sensitive to the female’s feelings because some females do not understand being stern with other employees or patients. When working with a wide variety of patients, one must always to remember that they must understand the patient’s personality so that communication is not “boggled”. When speaking with a male patient, a female should always be careful of their actions. In my organization, most of the male patients are laid back and will take a joke, but the female patients must be approached with care and compassion.
When speaking with a family member of a patient, communication can be difficult if they do not have a wide English vocabulary. When speaking with patients and their families, as health professionals, we must always be sure to speak in Layman’s Term because there are not many people who go through medical training and can understand all of the technical terms that are used when speaking about a patient’s condition.
Improvements that could be made within my organization would be to always be mindful of all of the patients, employees, and family members. We must remember that not everyone agrees with the same religious beliefs or cultural beliefs because of their upbringing. As professionals, we must try to listen to what the person’s beliefs are and respect them to the full extent. Especially if a patient passes away and their family has a different ritual for their loved one’s passing. If the cultural or religious beliefs are not respected, the family member could become greatly offended and can actually sue the organization for this. I would recommend that the organization get to know the family and know their beliefs and have a plan of action for when or if the patient should pass away while living in the facility. If the family knows they are respected, they will be more cooperative with the organization.
Religious and cultural beliefs of employees are also very important to respect. If the employee needs time off for a cultural or religious holiday, the employee should be granted the time off. If the employee knows their work is valued and their culture is understood, the employee is more likely to stay with the company. Communicating a person’s beliefs from the time they are hired will greatly improve the quality of work within the organization.
Communication is greatly affected by the wide variety of cultures in the world today. All cultures and religions should be respected to ensure that the communication barrier is not compromised. Communication keeps businesses and organizations running, so understanding everyone’s beliefs and respecting them will allow communication to flow. Being mindful of who you are speaking with will also keep people from being offended and will allow communication to never be compromised.

References
Aritz,J., Walker,R. Cognitive Organization and Identity Maintenance in Multicultural Teams. Journal Of Business communication; Jan 2010, Vol. 47 Issue 1. Pp.20-41. Retrieved from ebscohost.com
Lam,S., Shaubroek, J. Improving group decisions by pooling information: A Comparative Advantage of
Group Decision Support Systems. Journal of Applied Psychology vol. 85(4), August 2000. Pp. 565
-573. Retrieved from ebscohost.com

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