Essay about Employee Communications

Submitted By mig6462
Words: 1122
Pages: 5

Since my first day as a Logistics Inventory Manager at General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, I felt marginally inapt in comparison to everyone else who worked there. I reflect that my trepidation embedded from the circumstance that I had never worked in such a highly technical field, and most of my colleagues were all above the age of 50. When I interviewed, there were three people present, whom were all as they called themselves “the gray hairs” of the company, and they explained to me that they were looking for a younger, qualified workforce to start training and take over for the people that are on their way out. I was very excited to have this opportunity, and since they were such a reputable employer, I was very much hoping to be hired. On my first day at GDAIS, I quickly realized that I needed to find a way to fit in with my colleagues and integrate myself into their effortlessly operated working group, though our differences were vast in my eyes. I was mainly to work with this woman, whom I came to find out was 58, and had moved up through the levels at GDAIS by on-the-job-training and had no college education whatsoever, never married, no kids and very much an expert in the Logistics field. Already we were very different as I am a 26 year old, working on my Master’s Degree, married with a child, and no Navy Logistics knowledge of any kind, and I had no idea how to communicate with her and find common ground in which would make it a friendly and comfortable experience for the both of us. I already knew that I had a lot to prove to my experienced colleagues, in respects of displaying that I, too, could be as professional and become as knowledgeable as they all were. I also knew that my colleague was not excited about the fact that I was hired into this group and I was so young and inexperienced which stressed her out as she needed someone in my position that could successfully support hers. Within the first weeks on the job, I had realized that even though my colleague did not have a profound feeling about the decision of my joining her group, I was picking up their Logistics dialect a lot faster than we both anticipated. I started feeling comfortable around her and look up to her so much in the way she presents ideas and pitches to our customer, the way she communicates with upper management and our colleagues, that I started adapting her speech pattern. I wanted her to feel comfortable talking to me so I wanted to accommodate that, by mirroring the orientation in which she communicated for her comfort as well as mine. Dimitrios Thanasoulas wrote an article titled Accommodation Theory, and in it he states that “we accommodate to others by adjusting our communicational behaviour to the requisite roles that participants are assigned in a given context.”(Thanasoulas, 1999). I found this to be especially true in this situation because she was in a role that exuded the standard of the company, and I too wanted to be in the same position. As time has passed since my first day, I’ve taken notice of the fact that while presenting to the customer, I often find myself thinking of how my colleague would answer a specific question, as she effectively usually does, and realize that the reason I relate to her so much is because she is a woman in a predominately male environment, and her position in the company illustrates that she is someone I should model myself after in order to thrive in this field. In chapter 3 of Applying Communication Theory for Professional Life: A Practical Introduction, Marianne Dainton and Elaine Zelley describe “minority employees (including women and member of racial and ethnic minorities) typically must converge to the “standard” to achieve status within the organization.” (Dainton & Zelley, 2011 p. 42) and I very much attribute this view to be the reason for which I practice Communication Accommodation Theory, in order to better fit in my environment. I knew that my being a woman,