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COM 537 Week 1 DQ 1

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Reflect on an experience when you misunderstood a set of directions, a procedure, or an
assigned task. What element in the transactional communication model went wrong?
What could have made the communication more effective?
My experience of misunderstanding a set of directions is a simple one, but it taught
me a life lesson early in my business career. I was working an entry-level position for a
company, in the sales and marketing department. I was handed a file labeled "completed
jobs". My manager asked me to "send a thank you postcard to all of our completed job
customers". I asked if all of the work orders in the folder were complete. He looked at me,
pointed to the file label and said slowly, as if I were slow to understand, "completed jobs".
Over the next couple days, I worked diligently to create a mailing list and send thank you
postcards to the nearly 1000 customers whose work orders were in the completed jobs folder.
Another employee walked in my cubicle and asked me what I was working on and had an
alarmed reaction when I showed her. The folder had been recycled, the label not replaced, but
she recognized the stack and said they were customers who had been given estimates, but
whom had not purchased from our company. I sent thank you cards to 1000 people who never
used our services.
Obviously, the small company had more than communication issues, but lacked
organization and process standards as well. The experience taught me to be a better
communicator with the individuals I manage. I try not to assume and encourage two-way
communication. Although I had asked my manager about the folder, he quickly shut down
my attempts to clarify the directions and to get more information. I felt intimidated and did
not feel the I was in a position to ask questions. The message delivered was not based on
valid information and therefore the direction of the project was not effective. Critical
thinking, asking questions, and open two-way communication would have made the
communication more effective.

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