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Bhvs315 p5 ip reading between the lines emotions

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Paper for Interpersonal Communications class Bachelor of Science Psychology: Organizational Behavior

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Bhvs315 p5 ip reading between the lines emotions

  1. 1. Running Head: READING BETWEEN THE LINES: EMOTIONS 1 Reading between the Lines: Emotions Cherilyn Formanek Colorado Technical University Online BHVS315-1303A-01
  2. 2. EMOTIONS 2 Abstract Working Through It: Conflict and Negotiation examines a multinational hospitality industry organization known as Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, as it pertains to communication platforms, processes, channels and tools with employees throughout the organization with an emphasis on language, cultural and gender diversity considerations. Of particular relevance is the organizational communication plan from the top-down, bottom-up and cross level; other-orientation in interpersonal communications and respect for diversity in the communications process; particularly with regard to employee audiences. Also examined is the need for and implementation of a crisis management plan; how it can be utilized to benefit organizational employees; should consist of all potential crisis scenarios and both team and plan should be tested annually at a minimum. Keywords: hospitality industry, international organizations, communications processes, communications channels, communications tools, cultural diversity, gender diversity, other- orientation in communications, communications plan goals, communications audiences, crisis management planning.
  3. 3. EMOTIONS 3 Reading between the Lines: Emotions Introduction In a global organization such as Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Incorporated; a strategic internal employee communication plan is a necessity. Starwood Hotels & Resorts currently operates 1,146 properties in 100 nations and employs approximately 171,000 individuals across 9 hotel and resort brands (St. Regis, The Luxury Collection Hotels and Resorts, W Hotels Worldwide, Westin Hotels & Resorts, Le Meridien, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft, a division by W Hotels, and Element by Westin) (Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., 2013). Therefore it is imperative to examine organizational communication processes in local, regional, national and international levels; in face-to face and virtual channels with a purpose to determine the best communications platforms for Starwood workplaces (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; CTU, 2011; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., 2013). Starwood recognizes that to continue growing a healthy industry communication with employees is essential; ideas must be shared; dialogue must be open; Starwood’s management philosophy on employee communication is; “we insist” (Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., 2013). This paper will discuss the following topics: an employee communications plan, communications goals, employee audience characteristics, communication tools and channels, and crisis communication. I Overview of Communication Basics The purpose of communications is to relay information between individuals; information can be relayed through verbal and nonverbal communications and can tend to vary between individuals in accordance with culture, age, gender, and ethnicity (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; CTU, 2011). In communications transactions, regardless of message tools and channels,
  4. 4. EMOTIONS 4 there are always the following elements: the situation context; the message roles of sender and receiver which can be interchangeable; environmental and psychological noise; message content and also message feedback (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; CTU, 2011). Communications tools and channels involve important considerations such as message platforms: face-to-face and oral (in-person, conference meetings, and speeches); or virtual communications which can be synchronous (real-time; phone calls, instant messenger chats, teleconference, and videoconference) or asynchronous (non-real-time; email, cell text, and voicemail) and include oral communication or written communication (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; CTU, 2011). There are several pros and cons to face-to-face and virtual communications; deciding which is better can often be a matter of subjective opinion of either the message sender or receiver; as well as practical considerations such as time, distance and urgency of the message (Beebe, Beebe, & Redmond, 2014). Likewise, the choice between face-to-face communications and virtual communications can also come down to strengths and weaknesses of the message sender; potential bias filters of receivers; whether feedback is desired and to what extent (Beebe, Beebe, & Redmond, 2014; CTU, 2011; Kaminski, 2009). Therefore organizations should employ face- to-face and virtual communications platforms as appropriate to the situation; the nature of the message; the consideration of the message recipients; and as it regards feedback (Beebe, Beebe, & Redmond, 2014; CTU, 2011; Kaminski, 2009). Some advantages of in-person communications are: verbal as well as nonverbal communication can be seen between the message sender and receivers (facial expression, body language and tone of voice) and the message sender can appraise how well the message is being received by the recipients in real-time; recipients can ask questions and seek clarification of the message in real-time; and in-person communication can imply a personal, human touch (Beebe,
  5. 5. EMOTIONS 5 Beebe, & Redmond, 2014; CTU, 2011). The disadvantages of in-person communication are: it can be costly in terms of time and travel; language barriers and cultural differences may require a message sender to be fluent and knowledgeable of language; nonverbal communications; and tone of voice when speaking to audiences; and physical appearance, biases, and noise interference can play a role in message interpretation with receiver audiences (Beebe, Beebe, & Redmond, 2014; CTU, 2011; Kaminski, 2009). The advantages of virtual communications are: they can be synchronous (real-time) or asynchronous (delayed); more cost-effective; message senders and receivers can be anywhere in the world and still communicate; messages can be more carefully constructed and proofread for errors (email, cell texting); there can be a record of message transactions to refer back to later; and virtual can obscure nonverbal communication of a more distracting nature while lending clarity to the message (Beebe, Beebe, & Redmond, 2014; CTU, 2011; Kaminski, 2009). The disadvantages of virtual communication are: they may also be expensive; they may obscure the intention and meaning of messages because of a lack of non- verbal cues; they can be synchronous or asynchronous (a problem when time differences are substantial); and they can be prone to mechanical, hardware or even software failure (noise) (Beebe, Beebe, & Redmond, 2014; CTU, 2011; Kaminski, 2009). II Goals of the Communication Plan Every communication plan should include goals; while most organizations have formal and informal internal communications channels it is a good idea to have in mind what the organization would like to get most out of a communications plan; what purpose other than transactional communication will it have (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; CTU, 2011)? For Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., communication is a critical element of doing business from local and regional markets to the upper levels of corporate management; a
  6. 6. EMOTIONS 6 communications plan must take into account daily face-to-face interactions between employees in a range of cultures and nations; as well as communications between employees in supervisory or upper management levels and frontline employees both in person and through virtual communications channels (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; Beranek, Broder, Reinig, Romano & Sump, 2005; CTU, 2011; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013). Because Starwood depends on open communications dialogue with employees; the communication plan must include feedback channels and tools that can be used both synchronously and asynchronously depending on time zone differences; length of the message; content of the message; speed of feedback needs; and language and cultural appropriateness of the message (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; Beranek, et al, 2005; CTU, 2011; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013). For this reason the communication plan must also include what kind of information is communicated to employees through which channels; for instance organizational goals and employee training may involve specific hotels and resorts; specific brands; and also include Starwood itself; and be transmitted in several different languages with a high degree of accuracy and consistency (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; Beranek, et al, 2005; CTU, 2011; Kaminski, 2009; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013). Last but not least the communications plan must stress the importance of respect for diversity; excellent listening skills; other-orientation between communicators; conflict management plan; and a crisis management plan (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; Beranek, et al, 2005; Coombs, 2007; CTU, 2011). Such a communication plan may start with an intranet website with Starwood pages provided for general organizational goals and objectives; including productivity measures; training and development (Starwood and also by brand); recommended communications
  7. 7. EMOTIONS 7 practices including conflict management plans and crisis management plans tailored to national; cultural and gender diversity considerations (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; Coombs, 2007; CTU, 2011; Hofstede, 2011; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013). Likewise such a website can include feedback channels for a range of purposes including wikis, blogs, email feedback and surveys tailored to language and culture (Kaminski, 2009; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013). Such a website would allow for accuracy and consistency across languages; while still allow for flexibility in cultural sensitivities (Beebe, Beebe, & Redmond, 2013; Coombs, 2007; Hofstede, 2011; Kaminski, 2009). Such a website could be accessed from both employee workplaces and home; allowing it to be used as a real-time reference source and also for asynchronous training or research needs on an employee’s own time (Kaminski, 2009; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013). An intranet website can also provide for communications; real time or delayed between individuals and groups working at hotels of the same or different brands within the same cities; regions; nations or even internationally through phone; email; teleconference; video-conference; webinars, podcasts, chat rooms or instant messengers (Coombs, 2007; Kaminski 2009; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013). III Target Audience Characteristics The target audience consists of 171,000 employees of Starwood Hotels & Resorts; living and working in 100 countries across all continents (with the exception of Antarctica); in 1,146 workplaces and the number of workplaces is growing (Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013). Starwood’s external website (used for marketing, employee recruitment, and guest reservation bookings primarily) includes the primary language translations: English; French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, German, Portuguese and Russian (Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013). At the very least, these would be the languages also used on the
  8. 8. EMOTIONS 8 intranet website; and some Starwood workplaces are in nations in which one or more of these languages are likely spoken as a second language (such as in several African nations) (Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013). Therefore it is likely that the intranet would include localized and regionalized intranet sites for communications between employees in languages beyond the aforementioned primary languages (Hofstede, 2011; Kaminski, 2009; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013; Wardrope, 2005). In an examination of Starwood’s marketing for the Luxury Collection brand; two hotels, one in Buenos Aires Argentina and a second in Charlotte, North Carolina, United States it is very clear that cultural differences as well as language play a considerable role in providing information to guests about each hotel (Michigan State University, 2013; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013; The Hofstede Centre, n.d.; Wardrope, 2005). Therefore it could be reasonable to assume that intranet sites targeted to employees on local, regional and national levels are also likely to communicate with both language and cultural considerations in mind (MSU, 2013; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013; The Hofstede Centre, n.d.; Wardrope, 2005). Given the sheer size of Starwood as an organization, the nature of its industry, the recognition of employees as high value assets, and the critical importance of communications for this organization, it would not be possible to discuss a tailored communications plan inclusive to each nation, culture and language (Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013). However, this does not mean the organization would be unable to create a basic plan for communicating with employees from either the top-down or the bottom-up; only that details would vary with language, cultural and even gender diversity awareness; communications tools and channels (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; CTU, 2011; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013). For instance, a Starwood top executive would likely have to be highly other-oriented,
  9. 9. EMOTIONS 9 highly aware of culture and gender differences in verbal and nonverbal communications as well as potential language miscommunications before speaking to frontline audiences in person in Buenos Aires, in Charlotte, or in Penang (Malaysia); in some cases may even need to use a language interpreter (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; CTU, 2011; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013; MSU, 2013). However; a hotel manager in each of these places would be able to communicate to frontline employees (may even be able to interpret for an American Executive) in person. Likewise local management employees would be able to assist top executives in language, cultural and gender diversity across nations for other communications channels and tools, such as with recorded training videos that can be viewed by local employees via an intranet website tailored to them. Therefore a communications plan may actually start first with individual employees doing research on the backgrounds of other employees to determine the best communications medium in accordance with culture and gender (Hofstede, 2011; MSU, 2013; The Hofstede Centre, n.d.; Wardrope, 2005). For instance an American Starwood executive would have needed to research Argentina and find a third-party willing to make introductions to potential counterparts in order to open the Park Tower hotel in Buenos Aires (MSU, 2013; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013; The Hofstede Centre, n.d.; Wardrope, 2005). The executive would have needed to research the best communications tools and channels for this third-party; likely meet in person; and be present for an introduction to potential counterparts; and also select a team of subordinates to take over negotiations who are cognizant of Argentine business cultural norms as well as fluent in the Spanish language once the introductions have been made (MSU, 2013; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013; The Hofstede Centre, n.d.; Wardrope, 2005). Once the negotiations were concluded and all participants have been
  10. 10. EMOTIONS 10 familiarized with the Luxury Collection brand service standards; it would have been likely that hiring and training of employees for this hotel would have been conducted by Argentine counterparts; while marketing for this hotel would have been a collaborative process between both American and Argentine marketing teams (Beranek, et al, 2005; MSU, 2013; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013; The Hofstede Centre, n.d.; Wardrope, 2005). Throughout this entire process American employees would need to be able to communicate both verbally and nonverbally, empathetically, respectfully and with regard to long-term relationship goals, using preferred tools and channels of communication with Argentine counterparts (Beranek, et al, 2005; MSU, 2013; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013; The Hofstede Centre, n.d.; Wardrope, 2005). IV Communication Tools and Channels Organizational communications channels are usually at least top down; meaning flowing from the top leadership to the middle management to the frontline supervisor to the frontline employees. Information also moves from the bottom up; and across levels; particularly raw data about sales, production, marketing needs, resource needs, and channels can be either formal or informal (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014). Starwood Hotels & Resorts utilizes a top-down, bottom up and across levels communications approach; uses formal channels and likely utilizes informal channels and a wide range of communication tools that are either synchronous or asynchronous depending on appropriateness, amount of content, time and distance, and preferred platforms (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; CTU, 2011; Beranek, 2005; Kaminski, 2009; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013). Of the synchronous communications channels and tools; one is likely to see in-person oral communications such as conferences and meetings; distance communications such as phone and teleconference, instant messaging, video-
  11. 11. EMOTIONS 11 conference, live webinars and podcasts. Of the asynchronous channels and tools, one is likely to see intranet and external website content; recorded video, email, voicemail, cell texting, memos, written reports, brochures, and surveys (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; CTU, 2011; Beranek, 2005; Kaminski, 2009; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013). Communications channels most likely used in the top-down channels will be the intranet, memos, reports, brochures, wikis and blogs, and in-person conference and meeting speeches when minimal feedback is needed. Because Starwood “insists on” communication with employees, there will be bottom-up communications channels, most likely in the form of blog comments sections, email, and survey submissions through the intranet website pages; as well as encouraged channels for oral communications with immediate supervisors (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; CTU, 2011; Beranek, 2005; Kaminski, 2009; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013). All of these examples would be formal communications channels; more informal communications channels throughout the organization would be in-person oral communications, instant messaging, social media, cell phone and cell texting and perhaps informal email (though this may be unlikely due to organizational monitoring of the email system) (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; CTU, 2011; Beranek, 2005; Kaminski, 2009). While many organizations have reservations about informal channels and tools of communication (and some will attempt to curtail these channels altogether); they can be incredibly useful to management when utilized appropriately; both as a diagnosis tool and also for fast communications when formal channels prove too slow (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; Kaminski, 2009). It is likely that Starwood would utilize informal channels as well as formal channels for both purposes; however if the organization does not it, it would be recommended for at least diagnostic purposes (Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013).
  12. 12. EMOTIONS 12 V Crisis Communication Crisis communication involves communicating negative information about the organization to all stakeholders including employees; there are several recommendations for organizational crisis communication plans (Coombs, 2007). First and foremost is that an organization should put together a crisis management team and develop crisis management plans for as many scenarios as possible ahead of time. Crisis management teams should consider creating crisis templates for every scenario; these would be written communication statements that can be pre-checked by legal teams for compliance with local and national laws; and to which specific information can then be added in the event of a crisis that fits the scenario (Coombs, 2007). The crisis management team should also develop a crisis notification system for all stakeholders; particularly employees; one particular scenario for Starwood would be the potential for civil unrest or natural disaster which can affect loss of life and property damages; a crisis notification system for employees in troubled areas may be critical in saving lives; notification to other employees may allow for pooling of additional resources from the rest of the organization with which to aid those employees (Coombs, 2007; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013). An additional tool for use in crisis communication is “dark websites”; these are website pages that can be preformatted and allow for additional information tailored to the crisis to be added, but otherwise not be active until a crisis situation develops; for Starwood an intranet dark website would be as useful as an external dark website particularly for website traffic concerns (Coombs, 2007; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013). Last but not least, organizations should test the crisis communication team, plan and notification system at least once a year for effectiveness before a crisis actually occurs (Coombs, 2007). VI Communicating Results to Management
  13. 13. EMOTIONS 13 In communicating results-oriented message content to members of management within monthly reports, management briefings, updates and yearly summarized reports to board members it is important to consider the purpose of the information; who will use the information; how will the information be used (Beebe, Beebe, & Redmond, 2014; Plante, 2013). Each of these communications may have very different purposes; for instance hotel management may likely create monthly reports on the number of guests who have stayed in their locations; use of amenities; supply inventories and usage; labor hours (Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013). Preferred Guest Customer call centers may report number of incoming calls taken by employees; number of new Preferred Guest accounts that have been added; how many bookings were made on behalf of guests (Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013). This information may be forwarded to regional brand headquarters; compiled and sent to national and international headquarters; further compiled into data that will in turn be summarized for a yearly report to Starwood’s board of directors (Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013). Communication content for management briefings and updates may include the above mentioned data but also may include such information as government safety warnings to citizens abroad; information about civil unrest that may affect operations of hotels and resorts; and weather advisories that may affect supply distribution channels (as well as bookings cancellations due to flight cancellations) (Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013). Therefore critical data may be communicated in written form and include oral communication; in person or across distances; and be prioritized; a monthly report on the topic of how many new preferred guest accounts were acquired in the month of May while important may not receive the same priority as urgent warnings from the United States Government about the dangers of traveling abroad; which may affect hotel security measures; and cause
  14. 14. EMOTIONS 14 cancellations; delayed arrivals and departures of hotel guests (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013). Likewise management briefings and updates regarding hotel closures in Cairo Egypt due to civil unrest would likely receive top priority at Starwood’s executive levels due to the potential impact on local and regional employees as well as impact to organizational profits (Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013). Depending on the information content; priority level; time and distance considerations; communications channels and tools; it is likely that such communications will include both written and oral components (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; Plante, 2013). Depending on the intended audience (employees, group of executives; board of directors); such information may be transmitted via the intranet website in recorded speech presentations; via teleconference or video-conference meetings; or in person (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; Plante, 2013; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013). Regardless of whether the information is written only, oral only, or both; there is a basic structure that should be followed in communication presentations (Plante, 2013). Reports or speeches generally have a purpose and a topic, an introduction with main points, a body of content and a conclusion in which the main points are reiterated to the audience (Plante, 2013). The message speaker must be aware of his or her own nonverbal cues and be sure to tailor these cues to the message appropriately (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; Plante, 2013). The message speaker must also be aware of the nonverbal cues of the audience and may need to tailor the message even further in order to engage and maintain interest; to clarify points; to reiterate important points of emphasis; and to provide evidence for facts and arguments (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; Plante, 2013). In written components data will need to be well organized in tables, graphs or charts; in oral communications the speaker must be able to explain
  15. 15. EMOTIONS 15 the content in a way that will make sense to the audience members (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; Plante, 2013). Last but not least the speaker must be able to communicate emotion appropriate to the content of the message; for instance if briefing executives about the need to shut down hotels in Cairo due to civil unrest; the message should be emotionally expressive of the need to minimize potential loss of life; help stranded guests get out of the city; keep nonessential personnel home; and secure the hotel property for the duration of the closure (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; Plante, 2013; Starwood Hotels & Resorts, 2013). VII Negative Emotional Reactions of the Audience: Presentation Notes Whether your audience is a group or a single individual; the process of dealing with giving someone bad news does not greatly differ; it usually results in negative emotional reactions to the bad news (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; CTU, 2011). The first step is to be mindful of one’s own nonverbal cues and be sure they are appropriate to the situation (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; CTU, 2011; Plante, 2013). Next is to listen; there will likely be questions; be sure to be ready with as much information as one can provide (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; CTU, 2011). Watch the nonverbal cues of your audience; react appropriately and with empathy; allow some time for audience members to express their feelings (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; CTU, 2011). Last but not least be mindful of what you say; respond in ways that confirm the person rather than disconfirm; do not promise what you cannot deliver; don’t offer advice when not specifically asked; and if you do not know the answer to a question; say so, offer to try and find out; and then follow up with that person (or people) (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; CTU, 2011; Plante, 2013). When giving bad news to management, make eye contact with them as much as possible; watch their body language and facial expressions (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; CTU, 2011;
  16. 16. EMOTIONS 16 Plante, 2013). If they indicate doubt or disbelief, emphasize the known facts and explain the evidence (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; CTU, 2011; Plante, 2013). When they ask questions (even angry questions) listen patiently and answer appropriately (remain calm; emotions can transfer so if you remain calm they can calm down) (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; CTU, 2011). If conflict erupts between audience members, calmly bring their attention back to you; suggest a short break (this can allow time for individuals to gain control of their emotions) (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; CTU, 2011). Upon returning to the meeting, stress the need for collaboration, encourage questions and feedback; seek suggestions and ideas; avoid dismissing feedback (or individuals); and foster a more collaborative process toward a solution (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; CTU, 2011; Plante, 2013). VIII an Example Opening for an Oral Presentation on Communication Meeting the eyes of the audience for a moment, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place”; (pause for emphasis; still meeting the eyes of the audience) these are the words of novelist, critic and Nobel Prize recipient, George Bernard Shaw and they are as true for organizations today as they were in Mr. Shaw’s lifetime (and also smiling) (Brainy Quotes, 2013; Plante, 2013; The Nobel Foundation, 2013). Today I will be communicating with all of you on the subject of communication; on communication plans; on how to improve our communications skills so that when we communicate we can be assured that there is no “illusion that it has taken place” (examine body language, posture and facial expression; the audience should look interested and attentive; most look attentive but a few look bored and one looks slightly annoyed he has to be here) (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; Brainy Quotes, 2013; Plante, 2013). May I have a show of hands from those of you who can relate to asking another person if they received your message, and the answer was “uh, what
  17. 17. EMOTIONS 17 message” (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; Plante, 2013)? (Wait for a show of hands before continuing); how many of you can relate to giving someone else an update on some important information only to have that person say “I’m sorry, what were you saying (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; Plante, 2013)?” (Carefully watching nonverbal cues of the audience while continuing to make eye contact, now no one is looking bored; the man in the back is now looking a little less annoyed); how many of you have felt like something you had to say has been dismissed by another person who was more interested in speaking than listening to you (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; Plante, 2013)? (Now the audience is silent, all eyes forward on me, attentive, leaning forward in their seats; I smile back and nod) then you have each encountered the illusion of communication that Mr. Shaw was talking about (now lead into the formal introduction) (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; Brainy Quotes, 2013; Plante, 2013). Conclusion While organizational communications plans are essential and should be as strategic as possible; when the organization is multinational, multicultural and as large as Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc; one quickly realizes there is no one size fits all communication plan (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; Beranek, et al, 2005; Kaminski, 2009; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013). And yet given the nature of the industry, communication is a critical process requiring interpersonal skills; multiple communications channels, tools and platforms; and a forthright and genuine other-orientation at all levels of the organization (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; Beranek, et al, 2005; Kaminski, 2009; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013). Likewise it requires an awareness of and respect for national, international, cultural, and gender diversity that are forthright and genuine not just for guests staying in Starwood properties but also for the employees as representatives of each brand and of
  18. 18. EMOTIONS 18 the organization as a whole (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; Beranek, et al, 2005; Kaminski, 2009; MSU, 2013; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013). By tailoring communications through an intranet website as well as an external website; using multiple languages, communications channels and tools, taking employee audience characteristics into account for in-person and virtual channels and having a crisis communication team and plan ready for any crisis contingency, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc expresses a sincere message in both word and deed that employees are critical assets to be cared for and respected no matter where they live and work in the world (Beebe, Beebe & Redmond, 2014; Beranek, et al, 2005; Coombs, 2007; CTU, 2011; Kaminski, 2009; MSU, 2013; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013). Communication is essential for employees to care for guests in Starwood Hotels and Resorts; but it is also essential to Starwood to communicate with and care for their employees, all 171,000 of them and growing (Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, 2013).
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  21. 21. EMOTIONS 21 Google (2013). SPG: Starwood Hotels & Resorts- Android Apps on Google Play. Retrieved from https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.starwood.spg&feature=search_result& ES=SW_HP_Android Hofstede, G. (2011). Dimensioning Cultures: The Hofstede Model in Context. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture (2/1) p. 1-26. Retrieved from Google. Kaminski, K. (2009). Society for Human Resource Management: Using Technology for Communication and Training. Retrieved from http://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/global/Pages/GlobalCommunication.aspx Michigan State University (2013). Global EDGE: your source for global business knowledge: Argentina: Culture. Retrieved from http://globaledge.msu.edu/countries/argentina/culture Michigan State University (2013). Global EDGE: your source for global business knowledge: United States: Culture. Retrieved from http://globaledge.msu.edu/countries/united- states/culture Plante, R. (2013, July 15). CCL Series File 4 Responding to Nonverbal Audience Cues [PDF]. Retrieved from Colorado Technical University, Virtual Campus, Communication Concepts Lab https://campus.ctuonline.edu Plante, R. (2013, July 18). Creating the Introduction: The Attention Getter. [Communication Concepts Lab Announcements]. Retrieved from Colorado Technical University, Virtual Campus, Communication Concepts Lab https://campus.ctuonline.edu Plante, R. (2013, July 8). Speech Communication Tips: Organizing a Presentation [Communication Concepts Lab Announcements]. Retrieved from Colorado Technical University, Virtual Campus, Communication Concepts Lab https://campus.ctuonline.edu
  22. 22. EMOTIONS 22 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (2013). Associate Experience. Retrieved from http://www.starwoodhotels.com/corporate/careers/experience.html Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (2013). Investor Relations: Company Overview. Retrieved from http://www.starwoodhotels.com/corporate/about/index.html The Hofstede Centre (n.d.). Argentina- Geert Hofstede. Retrieved from http://geert- hofstede.com/argentina.html The Hofstede Centre (n.d.) United States- Geert Hofstede. Retrieved from http://geert- hofstede.com/united-states.html The Nobel Foundation (2013). Nobelprize.org: George Bernard Shaw- Biographical. Retrieved from http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1925/shaw-bio.html Wardrope, W. (2005). Beyond Hofstede: Cultural Applications for Communicating with Latin American Businesses. Association for Business Communication. Retrieved from Google

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