Knowing Your Audience

I said this phrase several times the other day during our presentation on Facilitating Across Cultures….but as much as I believe that this should absolutely ring true no matter where you may find your classroom to be; I hadn’t really considered it in true real life terms regarding a group at my current workplace.  As I think about all of the different groups and teams that I am part of, or have been; I find myself reflecting on how flexible one must be in order to ensure the success of those groups.  I consider how often I have, and still will, bend and flex my methods based on my relationship to the members in the group and what I know of them. So now as I consider our discoveries regarding the paradoxes of engagement, I can see where these tendencies to bend and flex may have been discovered through disclosure,  revealed as trust has been built, understood as intimacy and relationships have developed, and uncovered when one has reached the other side of regression.  Further still, as I reflect on all of the discussions that took place last week in class surrounding the idea of ‘knowing your audience’; I consider the final slide in our presentation and wonder if it does indeed apply to a culture that I am immersed in as I work with the diversity of the employees that inhabit it…..

Good multi-cultural facilitation starts with awareness. As we discussed during the presentation, the face of our workplace has changed so much in recent years.  And absolutely for the good!  But being aware of that diversity can truly be key in ensuring the success of your group, whether internal or externally built.

Grows with knowledge (be curious!).  Curiosity definitely still applies!  As we get to know one another better we learn what works and what doesn’t and often what to do and what not to do.  (The bend and flex :))

Can be enhanced with specific skills. This one absolutely applies.  As I’ve shared through this blog as well as in class, this semester alone has helped me deal with a group dilemma that has been plaguing me for longer than I’d like to admit.  With my newly acquired skills, I am navigating the dreaded and shaping the newly formed in hopes that all will turn out for the best.

Polished through cross-cultural and diverse encounters.  You truly do learn as you go!  No two people will ever be the same, and while you may learn what the traditions of a certain culture may be-that doesn’t necessarily make you an expert on every single person that is a part of that culture.  You must learn as you interact with each individual what works for them.

There are a great many facets and Discourses (thank you Dr. Muth for this new vocabulary word!) that can make us each so unique.  Learning as much as you can about the uniqueness of those that are in your group can be truly, well, priceless….

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About hdjackson

Graduate Student at Virginia Commonwealth University studying the theoretical world of Adult Learning along with its relation to Human Resources Developement. View all posts by hdjackson

One response to “Knowing Your Audience

  • Carol

    What a great title…and the content of this blog and how you convey your message ring so true!
    Knowing your audience is key, and that is what, many times, people, professors, leaders, presenters, etc. do not focus on. The focus is placed entirely on the content, the message or themselves, and not on how to effectively convey that message to their audience; and this is where you lose people’s attention.
    Awesome comments!

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