Assignment Two: Communication on the Job
Fundamentals of Communication
- Denby Mackenzie
After completing a double bachelor degree at Griffith University, I aspire to obtain a career in a marketing role, either as a marketing director or a marketing communications manager. The double bachelor that I am currently enrolled in is a Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Business and the two majors I am currently undertaking is Japanese and Marketing. Ideally working in Japan or for a Japanese company is very appealing to me. Having a career that would combine these two passions of mine would create the ultimate type of future work I hope to do.
Marketing professionals are just about employable across all organisations (Griffith University, 2013), which includes but not exclusively to advertising firms, government agencies, non-profit organisations and large companies. Types of industries that employ marketing graduates that deal directly with sales and marketing, are government industries and travel, tourism and hospitality. Marketing directors have the responsibility of promoting the goods and services of their organisations or clients. Other duties that may be performed on a day to day basis by marketing professionals is knowing how to effectively manage a marketing budget, assist in the development and implementation of communication strategies and activities, write creatively and identify and analyse any strengths and weaknesses of the organisation (Australian Government, 2015). In a professional environment marketing directors would have to work closely with a team, by themselves and possibly with clients. A marketing director would need to have the ability to work independently as well as part of a team, have great interpersonal communication skills and be able to be proactive and meet set deadlines.
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As a director, it is understandable that written, spoken and unspoken communications will occur in the workplace, from formal meetings, writing emails or promotional plans to positive unspoken communications such as opening a door for a client. Key communication strategies that would be useful in becoming a successful marketing communications director, ideally working for an international company, would be knowing how to successfully influence and persuade others through the use of communication, communication and organisational structures in the workplace and the ability to effectively communicate between cultures.
If there is one thing that marketing directors contribute to in their daily work is getting people to buy into what they are selling, whether that be an idea, a service announcement that people should partake in or goods and services being sold to consumers from a particular company. Marketing personal create messages to mildly coerce audiences into believing or acting a particular way. In order to be successful at persuading others, we first need to understand our receivers, or who the message is intended for and there are many ways to understand our audience, through cultural background, language spoken, gender, location, age and many more.
There are three ways that most people will comply to persuasive messages being broadcasted; firstly, people will be persuaded by a force, sometimes this force can be aggressive or violent. Secondly, there is certain social expectation that one believes they must live up to, so they are influenced by what they believe is expected of them. Lastly when a message has become powerful enough, it will change the way that person now thinks (DeFleur et al,2005 p.298). What we must also understand is that not everybody is going to act, think or comply the same way about the messages we are telling our audiences.
To better understand why people would resist, we must look subjectively from the person or persons point of view that we are trying to persuade (DeFleur et al,2005 p.310). From a marketing and a business point of view, understanding why people would rebel against a message should help us understand where the faults are in any campaign and how it can be improved on for next time.
Being able to persuade a change in people’s habits or behaviours with the use of a reward or motivation involved is perhaps the most common way to influence people. Whether that reward or motivation is not as clear to the receiver, it is almost certainly there, from the receiver buying shampoo to buying an apple, on one hand it says that the consumer wants to look good or keep their hair clean and on the other hand it says that buying the customer buying the apple is hungry or that there is possibly some motivation for them personally to buy the apple rather than a chocolate bar.
Much like how understanding to influence and persuade others requires some thought into whom the receivers are and how they will process the message, so does communicating between cultures. For the reason that I wish to work in Japan or closely with a Japanese company, I find that knowing how to communicate between our different cultures will be helpful to my career. Learning the Japanese language as well as understanding their culture should make any communication that is to happen, be a successful one. Even if I was to work in Australia, being able to effectively communicate between cultures would be necessary given that Australia is such a diverse multi-cultural country.
According to DeFleur et al (2014), there are seven steps for successful intercultural communication. Firstly, we have to acknowledge that everybody is different and therefore we all have different emotions and needs. Secondly, we have to try to understand any cultural backgrounds of who we are communicating to. Thirdly, we should respect any cultural customs or traditions that our receiver might have. Fourthly, and a good tip for any successful communication, is to actively listen. Fifthly, being able to handle or expect some uncertainty with intercultural communication. Sixthly, when working or speaking with people who are different form ourselves, we should steer clear of making any assumptions or stereotypes. Lastly, we should be aware of our own ethnocentrism and how we may judge another person or culture based off our own values and beliefs.
Researchers have found four main cultural features that alter the way in which we relate to one another; individualism and collectivism, high and low context, masculinity and femininity, and high and low power distance (DeFleur et al,2005 p.222). Understanding that all societies have these features can affect the way we communicate with one another. Some cultures value social status over equality, some find nonverbal communication more important than accuracy of what is said and other cultures value assertiveness and wining rather than cooperation and nurturance. From a business point of view, before encoding a message, getting to know the audience it is being distributed to, including their culture, customs, influences and what cultural features they might value would make it easier to do business with.
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Another communication strategy that would be useful to any career in any organisation is learning how to successfully communicate in an organisational setting. In most organisations there is a bureaucracy set in place, this includes job titles, ranks and roles of staff and goals and a strategic plans made by the organisation. Presidents and CEO’s are responsible for making decisions when it comes to the organisation of employees in the workplace. Successful managers will change the division of the labour roles and the level of authority that some employees have when the nature of the environment in an organisation is changing (Francis-Smythe, Robinson & Ross, 2013), this includes any promotions or wage raises and even demotions. Presidents and CEO’s that acknowledge a change in the environment at work and make appropriate adjustments to suit, receive a more productive work setting for all employees as a result.
Previously in Japan, workers were reassured that they would work for the one company for their entire life. Now in Japan, any worker, from even the lowest of positions, can suggest ideas to their seniors, without feeling out of place (DeFleur et al,2005 p.189). In Japan a full-time workers day is 8 hours long, however, more than 60 per cent of full-time workers have often recorded working more than 10 hours per day (Nemoto, 2013).
In conclusion, I personally find these three communication skills would be necessary to become a successful marketing director. As marketing professionals are employable across all industries, all of these communication skills are transferable. Marketing personal not only use persuasion in the messages that they transmit to the public, they would also use persuasion in a business setting, from talking to client to organising tasks for a team to complete.
From a business perspective, understanding that most organisations have fixed rules, various positions held by employees within the company and goals and strategic views of that organisation. When securing a senior position within a company, recognising the organisational system that the business has in place would set me up for success. Working as a director or manager in charge of a small team would be the ideal position for a career in marketing for me. Working overseas, in Japan or for a Japanese company would allow for intercultural communication to take place.
Understanding our audience before encoding a message will positively assist in the receivers decoding the message as close to how it was intended to be understood. There are many ways to understand our audience, through cultural background, language spoken, gender, location, age and many more (DeFleur et al,2005 p.222). Acknowledging that everybody is different and that we all come from different backgrounds and all make different choices should make better intercultural communication occur. As Australia is a diverse multi-cultural country, understanding how to improve communicating between cultures is a great skill to have in any professional setting.
Australian Government, April 2015, Department of education and training, Marketing Officer, Accessed 30 May 3015 from: <http://www.jobguide.thegoodguides.com.au/occupation/Marketing-Officer>
DeFleur, M, Kearney, P, Plax, T & DeFleur, M (2014).Fundamentals of Communication: Social Science in Everyday Life. New York: McGraw-Hill. pp.189, 222, 233, 298, 310,
Francis-Smythe, J., Robinson, L. & Ross, C. 2013, “The role of evidence in general managers’ decision-making”, Journal of general management, vol. 38, no. 4, pp. 3-21.
Griffith University, April 2013, Careers and Employment Service; Career options: Marketing, Accessed 30 May 2015 from: <https://intranet.secure.griffith.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/507113/Marketing.pdf >
Nemoto, K. 2013, “Long Working Hours and the Corporate Gender Divide in Japan”, Gender, Work & Organization, vol. 20, no. 5, pp. 512-527.
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