Communication Competency Workshop 2014


Comm. Comp.

This past Thursday, The Schey was thrilled to invite Dr. Mark P. Orbe back on campus to conduct part 1 of the Communication Competency series. He not only provided amazing insight and knowledge, but his fun personality and sense of humor kept Schey students on the edge of their seats the entire time.

Dr. Orbe is an Ohio University alumni with a B.S. in Organizational Communication and a PhD. in Interpersonal/Intercultural Communication Studies, and he has published numerous professional works.

For part 1 of this two part series, Dr. Orbe discussed some of the basic communication concepts for a multicultural society. In college and beyond, each and every student will experience communication gaps and differences, and Dr. Orbe did an excellent job of providing Schey students with the tools necessary to prevent miscommunication and encourage a mutual understanding.

Cultural competency is defined as a set of academic and personal skills that allows us to increase our understanding of cultural differences between various groups. In his lecture and activities, Dr. Orbe provided Schey students with a great foundation.

Key take-aways given by Dr. Orbe during part 1 of the Communication Competency workshop are below:

  • Communication Competence is the ability to be judged as both effective and appropriate in a given situation Effectiveness means achieving one’s goals, and appropriateness is taking others’ needs into account.\
  • Communication is a transactional process. In order to be a competent communicator, it is necessary to be in tune with another person’s message. Body language, demeanor, language, and appearance are all included in transactional communication.
  • Communication is inevitable and irreversible. It is impossible to not send any messages.
  • Communication is contextual. Meaning is created through people.
  • Effective communication involves shared meaning. Understanding communication through decoding the same meaning the other person is encoding.
  • Both verbal & nonverbal codes are used to create meaning. Upwards of 93% of meaning is not in what you say, but how you say it.
  • Culture and communication are inextricably linked. How you communicate is culturally linked. For example: Do people from Ohio have an accent? Yes!
  • All human beings are similar and different. Men and women are different, but they are simultaneously similar.
  • All human beings have multiple parts of their identity; some are more important than others.
  • The key to communicating with others is to be a mindful communicator. Mindfulness is an increased awareness of your thoughts and behaviors and what motivates them.
  • Competent communicators take a receiver orientation approach when talking with others.


How do you communicate to most efficiently interact with people of different backgrounds and cultures? Tell us in the comments below!


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