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Leadership and Communication: Individual Case Case Study

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Updated: Apr 28th, 2021

What do you consider the two strongest characteristics of your typical communication style?

I work as a passport control officer at the airport in Dubai, and I have to deal with difficult situations daily because some of our passengers feel nervous or even forget to take their documents. Being a responsible employee, I understand that people may need my help, and the strongest characteristics of my communication style are patience and politeness. Along with my colleagues from the immigration office, I face numerous situations that require being patient.

For instance, it can be necessary to explain to clients that some of their flight documents are expired or damaged. In such cases, I should be extremely enduring since many passengers do not speak my native language or English fluently. The second feature that characterizes my communication style, politeness, is also manifested in cases when people get extremely upset due to problems with the process of identification. To calm them down, I try to be very polite even when they show their bad temper.

Why do these characteristics make your communication so successful?

I try to make the process of collaboration with both passengers and colleagues more comfortable and be patient and polite despite my problems. These characteristics ensure the success of my communication with passengers since they help to avoid potential conflicts related to problems with people’s documents for identification. Among the situations that formed the basis of my communication strategy is my personal experience of being an international traveler.

During the procedure of passport control in other countries, I noticed that some passport controllers were indifferent towards passengers and their problems or explained something about the formal requirements acidly. I use these observations as a motivator, and the positive impact of my polite and patient communication style on passenger outcomes is evident. Conflicts may arise when clients misunderstand my requests, but seeing that I am ready to explain what is needed, again and again, they do not surrender to panic.

Describe two ways that you might improve your communication skills

Even though I manage to be flexible in problematic situations, there are two ways to improve my skills. First, I am quite autocritical, but it can be difficult for me to accept negative feedback from other people because I take it personally. To improve my performance, I am planning to ask my managers for feedback and keep a diary to analyze its importance and my emotional reactions to it. I suppose that after two weeks of self-reflection practice, I will become more receptive to the opinions of others. The second area of improvement is the ability to present complex ideas. Some passengers can misunderstand me since I present too many details. The measures that can be taken to improve it are the expansion of my vocabulary when it comes to my non-native languages and the use of feedback from my colleagues. I will be able to start using all practices next week after work.

What conflict management style suits you best, and why?

Conflict management styles are extremely different in terms of the number of benefits received by the conflicting parties. In case of disputes, I tend to choose the line of behavior depending on personality traits that can be regarded as the strong sides of my character. Many people consider me as a person who values responsibility and honesty and tries to help others when it is possible. At the same time, I do not think that it is right when people avoid persisting in their stand and fail to voice their concerns and expectations. Based on that, I prefer using the collaborative style of conflict management that has numerous advantages.

This strategy is aimed at reaching a consensus and satisfying the needs of both parties. The ability to strike the right balance between being assertive and too compliant is what makes me choose this style in the majority of cases.

Provide one specific example when you used this style successfully

About my personal experience, there are several cases when the use of collaborative conflict management style helped me prevent the exacerbation of argument and maintain good relationships with others. One of the most difficult conflicts that were resolved with the help of the aforementioned strategy occurred between one of my co-workers and me about three years ago. That officer was less experienced than me, and I noticed that he had made a range of mistakes in one statistical report that he needed to complete.

I asked him to re-check the report and add new data as soon as possible, but he refused to do it since he did not see the mistakes. In the end, I quickly explained to him what was wrong and how to avoid it, and he corrected everything very soon. This decision was extremely helpful since the requirements of both sides were met.

Imagine you conflict with someone about something you find very important. Which conflict management style used by the other person would you find the most difficult or horrible to deal with, and why?

Communication between individuals is one of the key values for humanity since it enables the society to negotiate over various things and, therefore, acts as a basis for development in different spheres. Thus, to me, the unwillingness to share information and engage in decision-making is among the most counterproductive things when it comes to conflicts. This is why I regard an avoiding style of conflicting management as a strategy that has no benefits for the resolution of important disputes. If I had arguments with people demonstrating avoidant behaviors, it would be extremely uncomfortable for me due to the lack of initiative.

When there is an obvious problem that can be eliminated with the help of different parties’ concerted efforts, stonewalling does not help to improve the situation at all. In the context of work, the use of this conflict management style can become a barrier to success because it is contrary to collaboration.

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