Posted by: Mike Plett | October 21, 2013

Strategic models and diversity

The model of strategic communications, according to “Strategic Communication in Business and the Professions,” has four elements: situational knowledge, goal setting, communication competence and anxiety management. Situational knowledge is information derived from an understanding of a variety of factors, ranging from an organization’s values and ethics to its politics and communications climate. Once communicators gain situational knowledge, they can then work on developing communication goals through identifying problems, mapping out a strategy, setting performance goals, identifying resources, recognizing what can go wrong and obtaining feedback. Communications competence is informed by situational knowledge, and is defined by the textbook as being able to “appropriately and effectively” communicate with people. This means communicators need to craft messages for specific audiences and being able to choose the most effective channels to get that message across.

Anxiety management, the final element of the strategic communications model, was a bit surprising to me, though it makes sense in my experience as a communicator. Anxiety can result in negative perceptions that undermine one’s communications competence.

The chapter on diversity stressed the importance of using situational knowledge to help understand different perspectives, especially one’s own. The process of resolving conflict caused by diversity can be understood as interactions between one’s own cultural perspective, the organizational context and the discussion resulting from the conflict.

This week’s reading left me with two questions: Other than perhaps medication, what’s the best way for naturally anxious communicators to manage anxiousness? How do you safeguard yourself from stereotyping?

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