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Marla and Marcus Communication Problems
Asked: Jun 17th, 2015
WRTG 394 students,
The following scenario describes another communication situation in a workplace.
Marla has been
planning the company’s first annual conference. She has been consumed by
this responsibility for weeks—working nonstop, even on weekends.
Several days earlier, her colleague, Marcus, thinking that she might
need some help, asked, “How’s the conference planning going?”
“It’s fine, everything’s under control,” Marla muttered.
The Friday before
the conference is scheduled to begin, Marcus notices that Marla seems
even more frantic. Wanting to be helpful, he asks again how things are
going. “They couldn’t be worse,” Marla snaps. “Two speakers dropped out
yesterday, and the room they had promised us for breakout sessions won’t
be available after all. Now I hear there might be an airline strike.”
“I’m sorry,” Marcus said. “How can I help?”
Marla stared at him. “Now you offer help? Where have you been? I could have used help weeks ago!”
Marcus was stunned. “But I thought. . .You never asked,” he said.
“A blind man could see how busy I was,” Marla exclaimed.
Taken from Chan, J. (2009). Chapter 3: Getting Your Message Across. In, Communication skills for managers, 5th Edition (pp. 27-50). American Management Association International
Please answer the following questions:
1. What happened in this situation? What did the Sender perceive, and what did the Receiver perceive?
2. Comment on some assumptions Marla
might have been making. What were they, and how might those assumptions
have informed this situation?
you experienced similar situations in your workplace or community
interactions? If so, briefly describe the situation (without divulging
people’s names, the names of organizations, etc.) A short paragraph will
suffice in answering this question.
watch the following video on low-context cultures and high-context
languages and cultures. The video is 4:44 long. Then answer the
question below the video.
you had to guess, would you say that Marla comes from a high-context
culture? Or would you say that she comes from a low-context culture?
Why? Write a sentence or two in answering this question.
Feel free to interact with others on their responses to any of the questions above.