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Communicative competence

2015-07-15 来源: 51due教员组 类别: Paper范文


Communication Competence Reflection Paper
Part 1 Personal Profile
I come from a country which has the most ethnic groups, but to me, it’s a country which has the least ethnic identity salience since I belong to the majority group. Hofstede’s cultural distinctions have inspired me a lot to think of my own cultural expression. After studying in America, I realize for the first time the influence of both American and Chinese culture on me. China is a country which highly advocates collectivism and high power distance. Born as a 90s, I am more of an “individualism” and “low power distance” person, which is totally different from my parents’ generation. However, I am a typical Chinese girl in front of my American friends. I often have too many concerns and care my parents’’ opinions too much. While talking about the future, I often use the phrases “My parents want me…” while my American friends normally say “I want…”. When they invite me to hang out and have some fun, I often refuse for fear that I may not catch my study schedule or my parents would worry about me even though I really want to. Chinese people are also famous for speaking in low-context. I used to be this type but now I think I prefer voicing things explicitly which can avoid unnecessary misunderstandings. Giving that I always have too many concerns, I guess I am a person who likes to avoid uncertainty, which may cause me much anxiety. In terms of cultural communication codes, I am a combination of both verbal and non-verbal codes.
Being a single child in the family, I have grown up to be both an independent and spoiled one. Being the only one child in the family, we are often more spoiled than those who have siblings. However, my parents make great efforts to make me an independent kid. Mostly they respect my decision except when they assume it would be dangerous for me. Being so far from my parents, we miss each other very much, and sometimes I would even cry during important Chinese holidays. I think my mother may also cry sometimes, but we have never told each other. 
Based on previous test, my conversation style is the feminine one despite of some masculine tendency. As independent as I am, I have typical feminine attributions. I am very much into my looks and spend a lot of time shopping with my friends. I love speaking with less determination which would build me a gentle image. My listening style is a combination of Appreciative Listening, Comprehensive Listening and Active-empathic Listening. To sum up, my listening style is more of an emotional one. In most of my conversations, secondary goals of identity and interaction are especially important to me. I always worry about my self-image and worry if I can act in a socially appropriate and competent way. Other aspects of love styles, conflict styles and self-disclosure types also count much in making who I can be. I think my conflict style is a combination of integrating and obliging. If I am with someone who is much more aggressive but really cares me, I would rather be the obliging one so as to avoid conflicts, otherwise I belong to the integrating style. My love styles are both Mania and Pragma. Sometimes I love drama, but most of the time I love practical feelings. My self-disclosure type belongs to the category of Evaluative Intimacy. Instead of simply describing things, I express more about my values, attitudes and feelings.
Based on the above self-analysis, I think I am a practical and independent but also an emotional girl at the same time. I cherish my own country’s culture but embrace other cultures. I care my family and my friends very much, so I am willing to sacrifice part of myself to keep good relationships with them.
Part 2 Communication Competence
I think interpersonal communication competence refers to the ability to communicate with other people, including the ability to clearly express opinions, achieve the primary goal of starting the conversation but keep conversation partners in a good mood at the same time. 
I got 67 scores in my previous Spitzberg & Cupach’s Interpersonal Communication Competence Assessment, but this time I get 76. I get 3 scores higher for each area of knowledge, motivation and skill. After taking the first assessment, I began to improve my competence on purpose. My weakness still lies in knowledge and skill. I have read some articles online for social customs and norms. I am still far from being familiar with the knowledge, but I think I have much more knowledge in American culture because it was the first area I began to work on. So far, I think I have made the most improvement in the specific area of empathy. The inattentiveness was a big problem for me last time, so I have kept telling myself to be attentive during conversations. However, the area of skill is still my weakest point. Though I have tried very hard, I find it very hard to manage my conversations. I still don’t know when I should change the topic and how I can make it go the way I desire. So I think conversation management is the area I especially want to improve in future. 
Contextual Analysis
For this part, I would like to choose the contexts of family and school. The family context happened between me and my dad. Two years ago, my dad got promoted at work. He went to have dinner with his colleagues to celebrate that night, but in the end, my mom and I got to “celebrate” with my dad in the hospital because he drank too much. I felt so angry that as a grown-up, he didn’t have any control. The next morning when my dad finally pulled himself together, the first thing I did was blaming him for drinking too much rather than asking him about his health. He was so hurt and fragile. But I was too furious to notice. It was my mother who noticed that and asked me to put aside my anger and show him more concern. I was so bad at managing my emotion and so lack of empathy. I could have let out my anger after he recovered, but the first and foremost thing I should do was showing empathy towards the patient. I think the mistake I made in this context was my verbal behavior. Fortunately my mom told me about that in time, or else I would have hurt my dad so much on both his happy but sick occasion. I find that my inattentiveness or lack of empathy often happen between me and my family. Maybe many of my beloved have been hurt without my consciousness. So it’s very necessary for me to take that into serious consideration.
The school context happened between me and my high school English teacher, who had just graduated from university. I had always been the favorite of my English teacher because my English was much better than my classmates. However, it changed one day during Grade 2 when my cellphone kept ringing in one of his classes, which was also the last class of the day. We were forbidden to open our cellphones during school, but a friend came to my city that day and I worried she might get lost. Somehow, there was something wrong with my phone, it rang for at least three times even under the mute mode. After class, I went to my teacher and simply apologized “Sorry, Mr. Chen, one of my old friends came here, so I didn’t turn the phone off”. He was busy answering other students’ questions, and I was in a hurry to pick my friend up, so I left before he responded I just assumed that he wouldn’t mind since I had been the apple in his eye. But I was wrong, he was so indignant and later accused me of paying no respect to him. He said that I could have asked my friend to wait a little longer, and then I waited for him to be free to give him sincere apology. But I just left after a simple, insincere apology, leaving him so embarrassed and humiliated in front of the other students. Back then, I thought he was so mean, and teachers were not suppose to care so much about their students’ behavior. But now I can understand his reaction. He treated me as a special student and would expect more from me than other students either in my academic performance or psychological support such as respect. I think I have committed both verbal and non-verbal mistakes in this context. I left with “no big deal” face even before he responded to my apology. But non-verbal mistakes seldom took place after I became a college student. My words were also very simple without too much sincerity since I myself didn’t take it as a big issue. Just because of my attitude, I cost myself a dear teacher and may have hurt him very much, which is bad in either way. 
Compared with non-verbal behavior, I think I should pay more attention to verbal behavior. I find the message type of HPC can help me most in improving my weakness. During the two contexts, I didn’t think from the counterparts’ perspective, and more of the LPC type. With my father, I should first express my happiness about his promotion and then voiced my concern. With my teacher, if I had first shown my understanding for his fury, I guess we would still be on good-terms now.  
Based on my own experience, I think the most important is to show more empathy for our conversation partners, which is also the easiest aspect we can improve. Because showing empathy is what we are capable of only if we really care our conversation partners. We should be less self-centered and think from their perspective. Whatever conversation we are involved, we should think what is on our partners’ mind and what hurt they may get if we are not cautious about our words. Sometimes, we may hurt people without even our own knowledge by inattentiveness or false assumption. So the uttermost advice I want to give is be attentive and show more empathy.


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