Human Communications in a Customer-Relations Front Office                         Shadowing Exercise                   Uni...
PrefaceSociologists live by it; it is the bread and butter of qualitative researchers, and ethnographers thrive in it. But...
Introduction – Why Airtel customer office?  My choice of shadowing environment and shadowee was ideal from several perspec...
Only two of the four desks were ‘manned’ (because both were ladies!), one by T’ina, the senior personnel, and the other by...
join, while at the same time attending to the customer already present at their desk. Obviously, they all knew each other ...
Throughout all this I was observing firsthand how actual social groups come to build meaning through their linguistic and ...
But I was glad that none of them guessed my motive for sitting there close to T’ina apparently doing ‘nothing’, because I ...
Witnessing all these made me realize I was observing micro-behaviours in real situations. Through my vantage point as non-...
Why did the Unit 4 curriculum require us to carry out this exercise? Before I started the assignment I had only the five r...
Ecological context:                                      Physical world; location,                                        ...
Finally, let us not forget the social rituals of these ladies, unrelated to their task; going vegetable shopping, for exam...
13. Taylor JR, Cooren F, Giroux N, Robichoud D. “The Communicational Basis of Organization: Between the Conversation andth...
African-American: The erstwhile ‘Negroes’ and ‘blacks’ have evolved their sense of self to a global identity and now callt...
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U-4_Effective Human Communications_Shadowing Exercise

  1. 1. Human Communications in a Customer-Relations Front Office Shadowing Exercise Unit 4 – Effective Communication Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and University of Bath Unit Tutor – Robin Beaumont Student – Sanjoy Sanyal March 2005
  2. 2. PrefaceSociologists live by it; it is the bread and butter of qualitative researchers, and ethnographers thrive in it. But I disliked it; the termshadowing. To me it conjured up images of a private eye tailing a woman whose paranoid husband suspected her of infidelity, or astalker following a woman who takes his distorted fancy. Even the Microsoft® Encarta® [1] defines it thus:• Somebody always following after another: somebody who constantly follows another person around wanting to be with the other person• Person secretly trailing another: somebody, for example, a detective or spy, who secretly follows somebodyIf there is anything I disliked more than the term ‘shadowing’, it was the act itself. But it is an accepted and hoary qualitativeresearch technique. I remembered the writing of Alice Walker [2] (US African-American* novelist and poet);“Ive found, in my own writing, that a little hatred, keenly directed, is a useful thing”. Thus, one fine day saw me sitting in the plush office of Airtel Telecom (Seychelles) Limited doing precisely that, observing and talking to the customer relations lady behind her swank desk as a non-participant observer in a mini-ethnographic exercise*; in other words ‘shadowing’ her. Basil Bernstein tells us that middle-class speakers make more use of the personal pronoun “I”. [3] I was fond of the first person reference ever since I was a child, even before I knew about Bernstein or even whether I was middle-class or not. Till my teachers taught me that the proper usage is “We”. But this is my shadowing exercise; therefore a first person account is what follows.Pictures – Hermeneutic units for Interpretivism and QDAAt relevant points in the description I have used pictures. Apart from directly pertaining to certain parts of the text, the pictureshave also been used as hermeneutic units. As Michael D. Myers tells us, hermeneutics can be treated as an underlying philosophyor as a specific mode of analysis. As a philosophical approach to human understanding, it provides the philosophical grounding forinterpretivism in qualitative research. [4] This is very important in this mini-ethnographic description.Secondly, as a mode of analysis, hermeneutics is primarily concerned with the meaning of a text or text-analogue; it suggests away of understanding textual data. [4] I have used the pictures as hermeneutic units, as a specific mode of analyzing data from aqualitative standpoint. In so doing, I have utilized a technique similar to what Thomas Muhr had done in his qualitative dataanalysis (QDA) program, ATLAS.ti. His program has a hermeneutic unit editor that can analyze pictures or parts thereof. [5] Inmy essay also I have analysed the pictures. Each picture has one or more hyperlinks. Clicking on any of the links will take thereader to the appropriate portion of the text. Hovering the mouse-cursor will display a screen-tip giving a qualitative analysis ofthat picture or part thereof.Finally, certain key words have been marked with a hyperlinked asterisk, which will take the reader to the appropriate part of theend note and also give a screen-tip description of the word. Unit 4-Effective Communication; Shadowing Exercise; RCSEd+Univ of Bath; Unit Tutor-Robin Beaumont; Student-Sanjoy Sanyal 2
  3. 3. Introduction – Why Airtel customer office? My choice of shadowing environment and shadowee was ideal from several perspectives. This was an exercise in a communication module of the MSc course. And Airtel is a major telecommunication service provider in Asia and Africa that connected people and ‘brought them closer’. Secondly, I am personally fascinated by communication technology. However, these two points do not strictly fit the bill of requirements of this study. More pertinent was the third point. I had chosen the front office of the company for my shadowing exercise, where public dealing and customer relations are the most important aspects of their work. So there was a lot of scope to observe the complexities and nuances of face-to-face communication in its richest and most variegated form. This was a world view-2 setting, ideal for this exercise. Fourthly, being an Airtel customer myself, I was familiar with the ladies ‘manning’ the swanky customer relations desks. Fifth point; I had treated a colleague of the front desk ladies, who herself was not sitting in that particular office. Thus they knew me not only as their customer but also as a doctor. Finally, and this I can say from my personal experience in tackling vast numbers of clients in the outpatient clinics, it appeared to me these ladies were in a very tough profession. In spite of dealing with hordes of customers daily, they were actually in a very solitary occupation, with no one to communicate with. I was reminded of the cry of the ship- wrecked sailor cast away on sea on a small boat; “Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink!” Whole day long they were listening to customers’ complaints; did they have anybody willing to listen to their complaints? I wanted to see how these ladies managed and coped, and what they thought and said. What were their private feelings? “You are welcome!” Therefore when I told T’ina (anagram of her actual name) that as part of a course that I was undertaking, I wanted to observe how she worked in a typical day, she gave me a charming smile (the one she reserves for her special customers!) and said, “You are welcome”. She even suggested that I should come towards the end of the month when they got rush of customers, so that I could observe a wide variety of people and problems, and how they dealt with them. It almost seemed as if T’ina knew exactly what I wanted for the purpose of my shadowing exercise, without requiring any elaboration from me! A job well begun is half done; I patted myself symbolically on my back! Herbert Blumer’s symbolic interaction came to my mind. The initial gesture from me, T’ina’s response to that gesture and the result (my securing permission to shadow her) neatly constituted the three-part relationship of the social act that is encapsulated in George Herbert Mead’s movement*. [6] Theoretical perspective – Communication genre This was an all-female office. So my first temptation was to take a feminist perspective while tackling this exercise. But on closer observation I noticed that the femininism was not an issue here.“Communication is never a simple tool, but a way in which culture itself is produced and reproduced.” (Littlejohn and Foss, p316) [7] As Gareth Morgan has described, the third defining dimension of an organization is its culture, and he has treated culture itself as a metaphor to describe the organizational culture. Just like a society identifies with a culture because of shared values, beliefs and practices, an organization also has all of these things. [8] I had a feeling that the working of my shadowee office and the people that thronged there reflected, in a mutually dovetailing fashion, the culture of the organization and of the society in which the organization thrived. Therefore I decided to focus on organizational culture in the socio-cultural tradition. “The study of the individual as a social being is the thrust of the socio-psychological tradition.” (Littlejohn and Foss, p 43) [9] Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, one of my main interests was the shadowee and her thoughts and needs, and her feelings and attitudes about her organization. I wanted to gain an insight into the socio-psychological aspect of the organization. This prompted me to also concentrate on the organization in the socio-psychological tradition. I shall elaborate more on these in my post- shadowing reflection. ‘Facing the world’ – Literally and figuratively The customer relations front office itself was a reflection of the underlying theme, purpose and culture of the company. The entire front was in two-way see-through plate glass. I could see the pedestrians walking the pavement; the cars going down the road. And the people outside could just as easily see us inside. It was separated from outside, yet part of the outside world. Unit 4-Effective Communication; Shadowing Exercise; RCSEd+Univ of Bath; Unit Tutor-Robin Beaumont; Student-Sanjoy Sanyal 3
  4. 4. Only two of the four desks were ‘manned’ (because both were ladies!), one by T’ina, the senior personnel, and the other by R’aas(another anagram of the actual name). Between these two, this office handled ninety-five percent of the public dealing work. Theother desks were occupied only during the extreme peak days, when extra personnel was sent from the head office in Providence.T’ina being more senior dealt mostly with troubleshooting problems, requiring more experience and patience.My strategic positionKeeping Edward Halls’ kinesthetic factors and proxemics [10] in mind I had chosen my spot rather carefully. I had positionedmyself on one end of a settee not far from T’ina. This was a strategic location from several points of view, both literally andfiguratively. I was close enough to T’ina to hear her discourse with her customers without making the latter feel as if I wasbreathing down their necks. Secondly, from that position I could also converse with T’ina in a normal conversational tone anddecibel, in between customer dealings. Thirdly, I could maintain eye contact with the other lady, R’aas, who also knew why I wasthere. Finally, my position gave me a clear view of the entire customer waiting area, where I could observe and study them as theyawaited their turn.My situation and position thus included all the three key components embodied in Hall’s 1974 definition of proxemics; the studyof transactions; interactions viewed in spatial context (intimate, personal, social, and public); and behavior learned or culturallydetermined. [11]“And they said unto Halcolm, ‘Tell us, Aged One, what is evaluation?’ ‘To understand a world you must become part of thatworld while at the same time remaining separate, a part of and apart from’ ”. [12] From Halcolms Methodological Chronicle and Universal Encyclopedic Dictionary of EvaluationHalcolm was the fictional sage-like character, Sufi-Zen master, research guru and a philosophical alter ego of Michael QuinnPatton, (author of “Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods”), all rolled into one. He was known for his sage advice andanecdotes. Sitting in that office I reflected that not only was I undertaking precisely that type of qualitative study preached byHalcolm, I also felt that the glass-fronted office epitomized the theme of the organization, ‘a part of and apart from’ the world itwas trying to connect and communicate with.Informal communication atmosphereThe first thing that struck me outright was the informality of the communication atmosphere. This informality was obvious inseveral different planes of interaction.“Bon jour” – The customersFirstly, there was no token or electronic/digital numbering system for the customers. Customers would walk in, say “Bon jour”generally to the world at large and plunk themselves on whichever vacant position was available on the settee of the waiting areawith a sigh of relief. With the thermometer crossing the thirty degree centigrade mark, the air-conditioning in the office was nodoubt a welcome relief.And as if by a tacit pre-arrangement, each knew when his/her turn came to go to T’ina (or R’aas). Whenever either got free, thenext waiting person got up and walked to the appropriate desk. I never observed any confusion, grumbling, argument or anyattempt by anybody ‘to jump the queue’. The customers were from all age groups, both sexes, and came singly, in pairs (couples)and with families. The dress code was casual, by and large. The net inflow and outflow of customers to and from the office werealmost evenly matched.Customers with T’ina The second aspect of informality was in the interaction between the customers and T’ina. After the customary, “Bon jour! Comment cá vá?”, the entire exchange was invariably casual and conducted in a soft-voiced tone. Often customers would get up from their chair and go over to stand on T’ina’s side as she explained something to them. The situations ranged from paying bills to getting pre-paid / SIM cards to mobile phone troubleshooting. Watching T’ina I realized I was witnessing the actual enactment of James Taylor’s ‘double translation’ process in real life; proof positive of the validity of his theory of conversation and text in the process of organizing. [13] There was the first translation from text to conversation and then there was the second translation, from conversation to text, during T’ina’s interaction with everyone.Customer-to-customerThis office seemed to me an ad hoc meeting point. Thus I noticed the third aspect of informality. Quite often two or more in thewaiting area knew each other from before (not very uncommon in Seychelles, with its close-knit almost static population of82,000). What followed would be light-hearted banter and chatter, in which, more often than not, T’ina and / or R’aas would also Unit 4-Effective Communication; Shadowing Exercise; RCSEd+Univ of Bath; Unit Tutor-Robin Beaumont; Student-Sanjoy Sanyal 4
  5. 5. join, while at the same time attending to the customer already present at their desk. Obviously, they all knew each other frombefore; but more on this later.T’ina with (non)-customersThe fourth aspect of informality was observable in T’ina’s interaction with those who were not waiting as customers. Many timesI noticed people walking on the pavement outside the glass front giving a cheery wave to T’ina, which she returned equallycheerily. Several times people walked in and kept plastic bags of grocery, vegetables etc on the side table and left, only to comelater to collect them. This day happened to be a general shopping day for the local population. Another time a lady came in andasked for R’aas, who had just gone out to buy some vegetables of her own, having borrowed some money from T’ina for thepurpose. Yet one more time, a lady in the waiting area offered a fruit she was eating to T’ina, which she declined to accept, sayingthat she was “on a diet”. Then there was this gentleman who waited his turn till T’ina was free. Then he showed her somedecorative pieces he had just bought for his drawing room. T’ina admired them, winked at me and mouthed, “Beautiful, aren’tthey?” They really were beautiful. Once one lady, after finishing paying her bill, pulled up another chair and sat down right there,munching an apple and talking to T’ina, while the latter continued attending to the other customers in the queue.As T’ina later explained to me, they were all ultimately Airtel (and therefore her) customers, with whom she had developed arapport by virtue of her seniority and duration of stay at the front office, not to mention the small size of the local population.“Most of these people started out as my customers and now they have become my friends and we have developed social contacts”,is how she described it.But to me all these signified something more. I was witnessing some examples of socio-emotional behaviours (seeming friendly,dramatizing etc), embodied in Robert Bales’ Interaction Process Analysis in the socio-psychological tradition. [14] T’ina wasunconsciously engaging in dramatizing behaviour as a means of relieving tension, by sharing experiences etc that did not directlyrelate to her task.I was also reminded of Michael Pacanowsky and Nick O’Donnell-Trujillo’s organizational communication performances,which I shall elaborate later. [15]Cross-cultural atmosphereSeychelles was an erstwhile French colony and subsequently a British one. Therefore French-Creole and English are the first andsecond national languages respectively. The whole population speaks Creole, while approximately ninety percent can speak and/orunderstand English. Then there is the vast influx of tourists (and exchange students), mostly from UK / European countries(notably Germany), and a few from North America. Finally there is the sizeable expatriate population (like myself) who areemployed by the various ministries, which includes people from countries as diverse as Cuba, India, China, Pakistan, Sri Lanka,Philippines, Czech Republic, erstwhile Yugoslavia, Ukraine, Bulgaria etc. The economy is almost entirely based on tourism.Even the true Seychellois citizen is actually a mixture of multiple ethnic races and communities. It is estimated that ninety-sevenpercent of the citizens are of mixed origin, tracing their heritage to Mozambique (and other African countries), India, France,England, and China. Therefore it is not at all uncommon to find a person with white skin (Caucasian), tightly curled black hair(African) and a typically Indian name (Pillay, for example), speaking fluent French-Creole and English; multi-ethnicity in itstruest form.“What we perceive, how we understand and how we act are very much shaped by the language of our culture.” (Littlejohn andFoss, p 300) [7]Tower of Babel – Multilingual communicationGiven all these, not unexpectedly, I found a virtual ‘Tower of Babel’ among the waiting customers, not to speak of the potpourriof cultural mix. Here are a few examples:A lady customer with a very short haircut sat at T’ina’s desk to pay her bills. T’ina made a complimentary remark about herhairstyle, to which the lady replied, in impeccable English, but with an indeterminate accent, “It’s too hot outside. That’s why I’vegot a Halle Beri haircut!”, which evoked a round of appreciative laughter from everybody within hearing range. Both T’ina andR’aas gave me a knowing look, as if sharing a secret joke.A middle-aged gentleman approached T’ina. He spoke only Italian, presumably a tourist. He wanted a prepaid card for his mobilephone. After his phone was charged, he wanted to know how to use it to send and receive calls to and from Italy. Some of thewaiting customers pooled in their knowledge of the country code for Italy and the difference in time zones between Italy andSeychelles. T’ina patiently explained everything to him, using a combination of English, French and a smattering of Italian, andwrote all the relevant details down on a piece of paper and handed to him.Then there was this Chinese gentleman, presumably an expatriate worker. He had a problem of high outstanding bills. “How so?”was his query. T’ina referred him to R’aas, who had the computer printout of his billing details. She gently needled him, “Chinesetalk too much, don’t they?” “Never!” came the mock indignant reply; it was all in good humour. Unit 4-Effective Communication; Shadowing Exercise; RCSEd+Univ of Bath; Unit Tutor-Robin Beaumont; Student-Sanjoy Sanyal 5
  6. 6. Throughout all this I was observing firsthand how actual social groups come to build meaning through their linguistic and non-linguistics behaviours; the precise definition of ethnography as envisaged by Michael Agar and Paul Atkinson [16,17]. Likewise,several different cultural styles of communication have been documented between different ethnic groups*.“Next please” – Eye contactIn contrast to the beginning of the day when customers were coming in fits and starts, it was the middle of the day by now andpeople were walking in (and out) in a steady stream. T’ina (and R’aas) was able to balance the rush so neatly that the waiting areaalways had just so many people sitting on the available settees; nobody was forced to stand around. Even though there were notokens or numbering system, almost instinctively, intuitively if you will, T’ina knew who was next in the queue, in spite ofhandling a steady stream of customers. Equally tacitly, the customers themselves also knew when it was their turn. But there weresome who didn’t.At the end of her session with one, T’ina would look directly at the next person waiting and say softly, “Next please”, indicatingthereby that she knew it was his/her turn. Several times the waiting customers, seeing I had obviously been sitting before them,thought I was a customer and it was my turn, and indicated to me that I can go to sit at T’ina’s desk. I had to smile and indicate tothem, “It’s all right; you can take your turn”.Everybody was talking very softly; maybe the sedate ambience of the office contributed to it, or maybe because it is consideredimpolite to talk loudly in the Seychellois culture. That is why the visual code component of proxemics, as defined by EdwardHall, [10] seemed to play a prominent role in the communication space of the office. It would not be out of place to mention thatthe olfactory code [10] also plays a considerable role here because the Seychellois are avid users of perfumes, T’ina being noexception. Maybe the oppressively humid heat is responsible for this behaviour.T’ina, the multipurpose lady Being the senior-most person in the office, it was T’ina’s lot to handle just about anything and everything the company could think of. Even between customers she was busy. Apart from the usual chores mentioned earlier, she was also engaged in a company promotional activity. Whenever a customer purchased a scratch card and scratched the black mark to get the code number, some lucky ones also got a prize that was engraved on the card (a wrist strap, neck strap etc), which they could collect from T’ina after showing the card. Several lucky ones collected their small gifts gleefully from T’ina. One poor soul was a bit disappointed on not getting anything even after purchasing several cards. Seeing the crestfallen look on the lady customer’s face T’ina consoled her, “Don’t worry, you’ll get lucky next time!”In aid of tsunami victimsAirtel had arranged a musical evening that day. The proceeds of the sale of tickets were to be handed over to Indonesia and othercountries devastated by the recent tsunami, to aid in the rehabilitation of the survivors and bereaved families. Each ticket wasworth Seychelles Rupees (SR) 25 (approximately GBP 2.36). Of course, the event had been well advertised earlier. This officewas the outlet for the sale of the tickets and it was T’ina’s lot to dispense them. This was over and above her work of attending tothe regular customers. People of Seychelles, being music lovers, were thronging to buy the tickets, and most of them were notAirtel customers. T’ina was handling that, in between her customers, and maintaining a separate account of the collection.T’ina – The epitome of patienceT’ina was the very epitome of patience. I noticed one customer walking in four times and approaching T’ina with some problemwith his phone. Each time T’ina handled his queries with remarkable forbearance. To another who had a rather lower than usualbill, she joked, “You are not talking much these days!” At one point she even got up from her place and sat next to the customeron the settee itself to help him with his troubleshooting. T’ina handled them all with neither a hair nor word out of place.Referring to patience, “Keep your hair on” is an anonymous London street saying; T’ina may very well have coined the phrase!T’ina, in spite of being under pressure from the demanding nature of her duties, never appeared to be actually under pressure. Ican vouch from my personal experience in the outpatient clinic that it is not an easy task. Seeing her in action brought to my mindthe quotation from Comte de Buffon (1707-1788), the French naturalist, “Genius is only a greater aptitude for patience.” [1]People I knewHave I mentioned Seychelles is a small place? It is said that you cannot sneeze twice without people getting to know about it. Icannot go anywhere without bumping into a couple of persons (at least) who I know, not to speak of many more who know mebut I may not know them, since expatriate doctors are a minority breed here. Therefore, not surprisingly, two people came to paytheir bills at different times, who knew me and I them. At our cheery wave to each other, T’ina gave me a knowing look, becauseshe also knew both of them from her previous encounters. If anything, I was slightly disappointed that there were not more thantwo. Unit 4-Effective Communication; Shadowing Exercise; RCSEd+Univ of Bath; Unit Tutor-Robin Beaumont; Student-Sanjoy Sanyal 6
  7. 7. But I was glad that none of them guessed my motive for sitting there close to T’ina apparently doing ‘nothing’, because I did notwant to get into convoluted explanations regarding my presence there. Presumably they thought I was waiting my turn to pay mybill. Maybe they were incurious. Seychellois don’t believe in prying too much into affairs that don’t concern them.Diet and anklet – T’ina’s vanity or image of success?“To succeed professionally is a paradox of embodied experiences for women” (Littlejohn and Foss, p 264) [18]I had noticed that T’ina was wearing one silver anklet on her right leg. That piqued my curiosity sufficiently to prompt me toventure a remark. This time R’aas chimed in, “Indian ladies wear in both ankles, isn’t it. To distinguish from them we wear onlyone.” But then I had noticed some Cuban ladies also wearing only one. It really must be some cultural variation, I told myself.T’ina had a more down-to-earth answer. “I bought two”, she explained. “I gave one to my sister.” How typically T’ina! I have neglected to mention that T’ina is quite a handsome-looking lady, if slightly plump. She had got it into her delectable well-groomed head that she needed to reduce her weight. Therefore she had enrolled in a six-week dieting-cum-slimming-cum-exercise program designed to improve her bathroom scale readings. She rather ingenuously explained to me, “For the first two days I have to “de-toxicate” myself by abstaining from fish, meat and rice, and drink only carrot juice”! It put her behind by SR 850 (approximately GBP 81), a substantial amount by Seychelles standards. In keeping with the informality of the atmosphere, many ladies offered her fruits, chocolates etc that they were munching, all of which she politely declined to accept. “Nobody can tempt me”, is how she put it. This lady was taking her slimming venture rather seriously. At one point she even got up and did a little pirouette for my benefit, to show me how her slimming program was getting along.Being a medico, I was tempted to insinuate my ‘expert’ knowledge regarding diet, weight and exercise, but I scratched the idea.T’ina’s weight-reduction efforts had a freshness of childish enthusiasm to it that I did not consider prudent to try to dampen withmy sonorous ‘professional’ pronouncements. Instead I complimented her with, “That’s wonderful, T’ina”. Well, it did earn me athousand-watt smile sufficient to light up a dark room! Which lady does not like a show of appreciation for her figure?This ‘anklet-diet’ business reminded me of Angela Trethewey’s observations. Professional women are always in a dialectic* statebetween two opposing influences. On one hand they perceived a need to project an image of success verbally and non-verbally, forwhich they had to devise strategies to manage their professional bodies. Was the silver anklet such a strategy? On the other hand,the expectation of the female body was complicated by ‘a tendency to overflow’; they never knew when their bodies may displaymessages and meanings that were not intended. Maybe that is why T’ina was on a weight-reduction program. [18]‘Tower of bedlam!’As in any busy office there has to be the occasional diversionary exceptions to the general rule. At one point of time, by a set ofcoincidences, a number of events conspired together to prove this point. T’ina was troubleshooting a customer’s mobile. R’aaswas talking to a lady customer who was trying to listen to her and soothe her crying baby simultaneously. Anther customer waslooking around for a place to charge his mobile. Yet another group was testing and comparing their ringtones simultaneously,while three other waiting customers were looking on. Rather inanely, the unlikely phrase “Tower of Bedlam” jumped into mymind, short-lived though it was. But it did serve to emphasise that this was a vibrant active busy office, heroically maintaining itsstature in a corporate world.“Doctor, meet my mother” – ‘Social point’Towards the end of the day, an Airtel official came to collect the proceeds from the sale of tsunami concert tickets. Seventy fivetickets had been sold so far; T’ina tallied the total (75 x 25) and handed over one thousand eight hundred seventy five SR(approximately GBP 177). As the office hour began to draw to a close, the rush of customers began to dwindle, marking the end of another long day for the hardworking souls. Armed with a little free time the naturally ebullient spirit of the sociable Seychellois began to surface. The office became more of a ‘social point’ than before. “Doctor, meet my mother”, said R’aas, introducing me to a cheerful matronly lady who had just dropped by to say hello to her daughter. The lady pumped my hand hard enough to shake it off its socket. From nowhere ice-cream cones appeared. R’aas took one but T’ina refused. And the chatter continued… I took this opportunity to take a few pictures. T’ina of course had no objections; in fact she seemed rather pleased to be shot on film! She even volunteered to take a snapshot of me sitting on one of her ‘hot seats’. Even more interesting, the few customers stillpresent, especially the ladies, also enjoyed the photo session. That is Seychellois culture for you; no falseairs, no snobbishness, and no suspicious attitudes. Unit 4-Effective Communication; Shadowing Exercise; RCSEd+Univ of Bath; Unit Tutor-Robin Beaumont; Student-Sanjoy Sanyal 7
  8. 8. Witnessing all these made me realize I was observing micro-behaviours in real situations. Through my vantage point as non-participant observer I was looking at the way the participants were managing their back-and-forth flow of communication withlanguage and non-verbal behaviours. Though I was not engaged in one, this was similar to Harold Garfinkel’s ethno-methodology*. [19] I have many mini-ethnographic reflections on these assorted observations later in my essay.“Just like you came and sat here…company should show more appreciation”I had some free time again with T’ina, now that the office time was drawing to a close. I wanted to question T’ina about herselfvis-à-vis her organization. “How long have you been with the company?” I asked her. “Well, six years now. I am the senior-mosthere, and have to report only to the manager at the head office in Providence. That’s why so many people know me. Most of themstarted out as my customers, and now they have become my friends.” I could detect a little pride in her voice.I was curious to know what her feelings for her company were. So I worded my next question a bit obliquely, “What does yourcompany think of your work?” That sort of opened the floodgates, and T’ina began to pour out her woes. I guessed no body hadasked her that in as many words. “Just like you came and sat with me the whole day, I wish my manager would come and seeunder what pressure we work,” she started off. “Quite often we have to miss our lunch just to cope with the rush of customers. Wedon’t like to keep them waiting. At the same time, we see to it that every person goes from here satisfied. But nobody from thehead office sees that. Why, we have never received even a word of thanks or a gesture of appreciation from the head office, leavealone a visit.”“Don’t you get any time off for all the hard work that you are doing?” was my next question. “Whenever I ask for leave the firstthing they asks me is, ‘For how many days?’, because they have difficulty finding a replacement to sit in this office; nobody elsewants to sit on my chair. I have never been able to take a long Christmas or New Year leave. I have never been able to take myfamily on an overseas holiday.”I wanted to know what her clients thought of her work, though, after seeing her interacting with people the whole day, I was prettymuch sure of the answer. “As you have noticed, doctor, we have to tackle all sorts of problems, not just collect payments and issuereceipts mechanically”, she told me. “Yet my customers are so satisfied with me. They often ask for me by name when they don’tfind me here – when I’m away for some reason. They go away, only to come back later when I am back in my place, even thoughmy replacement could have handled the job equally well. That is the type of rapport I try to establish with my customers.”Muzafer Sherif’s social judgement theory focuses on how we make judgments about the statements we hear. [20] After havingwatched T’ina in action, I got the impression that she did not consciously orchestrate the situation to be like the way she describedit, so as to make her feel more needed. She appeared to be naturally and genuinely the conscientious type, who worked hard for itsown sake rather than any need to define herself by her work. Maybe that is why she felt hurt that she was not being recognizedenough by her bosses, though I have plenty more reflections on this issue later.“Au revoir” – Winding upIt was time for T’ina to start counting the day’s collection, tally them with the computerized receipts and store them safely in thestrong-room for depositing in the bank first thing next morning. Predictably, T’ina had to do all that. After I thanked her, shewalked me to the door and locked it to get on with her final chore.Armchair reflectionShadowing, unit course and professional careerI arrived home with mixed feelings of exhilaration and relief. Relief, because the essential field-work for my unit 4 assignment wasover. The task of collecting my scattered thoughts together and putting pen to paper was for tomorrow. Exhilaration, because myshadowing exercise was a tremendous success, and it changed my earlier concept and attitude about shadowing. I had gone indragging my feet; I came out with a spring on my steps. Shadowing wasn’t that bad after all!“Practice without theory is like sailing the seas without a compass. Theory without practice is like never setting sail at all.”The unit material per se was largely meaningless to me initially, probably partly because of its dry, featureless presentation. As anaside, I may venture to suggest introducing some diagrams and pictures in the text, not only to relieve the monotony of the barrenliterary landscape of the material, but also to aid those students who, like me, possess ‘visual’ (as opposed to ‘verbal’) Felder-Soloman learning styles. [21]After the exercise I not only read the text with greater understanding, it was a relatively simple matter to relate portions of the textto the exercise. Now I realize there is no way the exercise could be avoided or rendered less painful, if I were to gain a true insightinto the mini-ethnigraphic art of shadowing. I have to “go get the seats of (my) pants dirty” (Park, in Gomm and mcNeill 1982) ifI am to engage in real research later in my career.I am still interested in quantitative research more than qualitative, but now I know how to go about the latter and what to look forin qualitative results when I decide to use them to pave the way for more objective quantitative evaluation of any query of interest. Unit 4-Effective Communication; Shadowing Exercise; RCSEd+Univ of Bath; Unit Tutor-Robin Beaumont; Student-Sanjoy Sanyal 8
  9. 9. Why did the Unit 4 curriculum require us to carry out this exercise? Before I started the assignment I had only the five reasons that my unit tutor Robin had given in his handout. Now I have added a sixth one. In today’s cyber world, communication has been ‘technologized’, ‘mathematized’ and digitized beyond recognition. But we should never forget that right from the dawn of mankind’s history, communication has always been an intensely human and personal affair. No matter how much we reduce communication, like patient anamnesis, into ‘0-1’ binary codes or XML tags and data entry masks, [22] it will always remain a human interaction. The semantic richness of patient communication/anamnesis can never be captured in code. [23] I think the purpose of this assignment was to drive home this point to us the hard way, in the form of an object lesson. T’ina’s fortitude – Socio-psychological correlation As mentioned at the beginning, one of my main interests was the shadowee and her thoughts and needs, and her feelings and attitudes about her organization. Therefore I had decided to concentrate on the organization in the socio-psychological tradition. After the shadowing exercise and observing and talking to T’ina, I had greater insight into the socio-psychological aspect of her organizational relationship. Especially my last discourse (in the sense that Leslie Baxter* describes it [24] rather than Jurgen Habermas’* definition or Robert Craig’s discourse/meta-discourse* or Michael Foucault’s discourse*) with T’ina had a profound impression on me. Still waters do run deep! Under that cool, professional, cheerful and sociable exterior, there was a significant amount of bitterness at the fact that her management was not giving her the recognition that she justly deserved. It also indirectly told me that she welcomed my presence there. Maybe that is why she agreed to my shadowing proposal with such alacrity. Maybe she found in me a proxy of her manager. Maybe she was glad there was somebody who wanted to see her in action. I definitely did not get the impression that she was politely accommodating me because I was also her customer. She genuinely seemed happy to see me sitting there. I got reminded of Rensis Likert’s theories on human relations. Is Likert’s management premise correct that if you care for and nurture workers, employees will be more highly motivated and productive? [25,26] If I were to diagrammatically represent Likert’s model of organizational systems (figure 1), it would be a continuum, with exploitative authoritative system and participative management occupying opposite ends of the spectrum, and benevolent-authoritative leadership and consultative system coming in the middle.Figure 1: Continuum of Likert’s Four Systems of organizational managementSystem 1 System 2 System 3 System 4Exploitative authoritative system Benevolent-authoritative leadership Consultative system Participative management As per this model, the organization I shadowed, of which T’ina’s office was a representative, would come somewhere between Systems 3 and 4. It had features of the consultative system where management exerted control and sought occasional consultations from T’ina, and also features of participative management insofar as T’ina had full decision-making power within her office, in her immediate sphere of influence. Every human being is just that, a human being. Every body has a need to be recognized and appreciated. Carolyn Aydin and RE Rice, though they were investigating something totally unrelated to our present discussion, proved through their qualitative and quantitative studies that workers feel they need to receive adequate praise from supervisors and co-workers. [27] Likert’s premise was that if management cares for and nurtures its workers it would increase their productivity. I had the feeling that T’ina was being marginalized by the management. Not that T’ina was in any way less productive, but perhaps if management had shown a little more appreciation for her work, it would have given her the psychological boost that human beings, especially the conscientious ones, secretly crave for. It has been my general observation based on personal experience, and corroborated by T’ina’s statements, that during the course of our routine work, provided everything goes satisfactorily, we do not get any praise. However if anything goes wrong, criticism is quick to come from all quarters. I have learned to accept such a state of affairs as a universal phenomenon; I do not feel marginalized. Therefore when I go about my professional work, I put my best foot forward without any expectations of praise. But now, I have made a firm vow that I shall show appreciation to my colleagues, peers and juniors for the hard work they are doing. As a beginning, I had promised myself that whether her head office appreciated her or not, I was going to present a letter of appreciation to the company, as a satisfied customer, mentioning T’ina (and R’aas) by name. That was my way of showing that they were not marginalized. Note: I did post such a letter to the head office recently. I let T’ina (and R’aas) have a sneak preview before I mailed it. The look of undiluted joy on their faces was a sight to behold! “Never before has anyone ever given us a written appreciation of our work”, is what they said. The organizational culture – Socio-cultural correlation Socio-cultural tradition captures the situational and emergent nature of meaning and action within cultural groups (Litlejohn and Foss, p. 312). [7] Unit 4-Effective Communication; Shadowing Exercise; RCSEd+Univ of Bath; Unit Tutor-Robin Beaumont; Student-Sanjoy Sanyal 9
  10. 10. Ecological context: Physical world; location, time, social context within which organization operates Collective understanding: Common ways of interpreting events Individual Differential domain: interaction: Practices, Networks actions of individuals Figure 2: John Van Maanen and Stephen Barley’s four domains of organizational culture, represented in the form of Venn diagram with overlapping circles, where the domains overlap.I had also decided to focus on organizational culture in the socio-cultural tradition, and see how it relates to the wider culture. Theworking of my shadowee office and the people that thronged there reflected, in a mutually dovetailing fashion, the culture of theorganization and of the society in which the organization thrived. Again after the shadowing exercise I recalled John VanMaanen and Stephen Barley’s four domains of organizational culture in the socio-cultural tradition (figure 2). [28] Theecological context (physical world; location, time, social context of organizational operation) and the individual domain (practices,actions of individuals) seemed particularly relevant to my shadowee setting.The office was a cross-sectional representative of the country as a whole. All the features that I noticed in the office with T’ina aspart of the shadowing day; the politeness, customer-friendliness, the informal self-imposed discipline, all represent theorganizational as well as the Seychellois culture. Underlying the apparent casualness of the whole shadowing atmosphere (eating,shopping, chatting etc), there was an element of self-imposed discipline that ensured there was no deviation from the essentialwork that had to be done. An analogy can be drawn between the atmosphere of the office and a person who wears slightly rumpledcasual clothes and walks around with a carefree air, which actually masks a serious-minded disciplined individual.Organizational performancesIn the course of a shadowing day I had a chance to observe first hand many of the organizational communication performancesdescribed by Michael Pacanowsky and Nick O’Donnell-Trujillo. [15]First there were the passion performances through storytelling. T’ina (and R’aas) put on performances that made their otherwiseboring routines lively. They made lively stories about T’ina’s efforts at weight reduction (personal storytelling). T’ina dramatizedhow other people in the head office, especially managers, are ‘scared’ to visit the front office because of the rush of customers(corporate storytelling).Then there were the sociality performances (“bon jour”, “comment cá vá”, “tres bien” etc), which reinforced a common sense ofpropriety within the office. ‘Bitching’ about the heat, weather, cost of vegetables and ‘talking shop’ drawing room decorationartefacts, constituted the sociability aspects of the performances. Confessing about T’ina’s weight problem and her dietingexercises were the privacy aspects of sociality performances.Thirdly, T’ina was talking about organizational politics when she mentioned about her head office, the fact that the manager nevervisited the front office, nor did he ever send anybody to cover for her because nobody wanted to sit on her ‘hot’ seat.Then there were the task rituals; counting cash at the end of the day, tallying it with the computerized total, storing them in thestrong room and banking them first thing next morning. Unit 4-Effective Communication; Shadowing Exercise; RCSEd+Univ of Bath; Unit Tutor-Robin Beaumont; Student-Sanjoy Sanyal 10
  11. 11. Finally, let us not forget the social rituals of these ladies, unrelated to their task; going vegetable shopping, for example.Perhaps the only thing I did not notice was enculturation, because both T’ina and R’aas were veterans in the office. Maybe if I hadundertaken the shadowing exercise when a newcomer was there, perhaps I would have witnessed that also.Cultural correlation on a wider contextAll that I observed and described represent the Seychellois culture in general, reflected in a miniature form within the confines ofthe office. However, it is not a universal phenomenon in all work group settings. In my clinic for example, things are much moresomber and serious. Perhaps because it is a hospital setting where there is sickness and death; perhaps it is the ‘white coatsyndrome’, when people automatically become apprehensive and serious in a doctor’s clinic. Maybe it is because I am anexpatriate doctor in a small culturally close-knit community, who does not ‘belong’ there, and therefore people unconsciously feelthey have to behave differently, perhaps more formally or respectfully with me. Whatever may be the reason, I have always beenaddressed as ‘Doctor’ either in or out of the hospital. On a personal level I do not particularly care whether, or if at all, I ambestowed with the sobriquet.ConclusionWhat could have been a rather boring and monotonous job turned out to be a lively and interesting exercise, thanks to a rich andvariegated tapestry of informally-formal communication paraphernalia; customer dealing, chatting, small talk, raised eyebrows, theknowing looks, olfactory proxemics, vegetable shopping, dietary discussions and musical mobile ringtones – a true example ofcommunication in its richest form.References1. Encarta Dictionary Tools - Microsoft® Encarta® Reference Library 2003. © 1993-2002 Microsoft Corporation.2. Walker A. In Search of Our Mothers Gardens: Womanist Prose, “The Unglamorous But Worthwhile Duties of the BlackRevolutionary Artist, or of the Black Writer Who Simply Works and Writes”. 1983.3. Bernstein B. Class, Codes, and Control: Theoretical Studies Toward a Sociology of Language. London: Routledge & KeganPaul; 1971. pp. 76-117. Cited in: Littlejohn SW, Foss KA. Chapter 11 Culture and Society. In: Littlejohn SW, Foss KA, editors.Theories of Human Communication. Eighth Edition. Belmont, CA, USA: Thomson Wadsworth; 2005. pp. 300-40.4. Myers MD. “Qualitative Research in Information Systems”. MIS Quarterly June 1997; 21(2): p.241-2. MISQ Discovery.Updated July 2004. www.qual.auckland.ac.nz. (Accessed 12 March 2005).5. Muhr T. ATLAS.ti The Knowledge Workbench version 5.0. ©2002-2005 - ATLAS.ti Scientific Software Development GmbH.http://www.atlasti.de (Accessed 12 March 2005).6. Mead GH. Mind, Self, and Society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 1934. Cited in: Littlejohn SW, Foss KA. Chapter 6The Conversation. In: Littlejohn SW, Foss KA, editors. Theories of Human Communication. Eighth Edition. Belmont, CA, USA:Thomson Wadsworth; 2005. pp. 142-85.7. Littlejohn SW, Foss KA. Chapter 11 Culture and Society. In: Littlejohn SW, Foss KA, editors. Theories of HumanCommunication. Eighth Edition. Belmont, CA, USA: Thomson Wadsworth; 2005. pp. 300-40.8. Morgan G. Images of Organization. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage; 1986. Cited in: Littlejohn SW, Foss KA. Chapter 9 TheOrganization. In: Littlejohn SW, Foss KA, editors. Theories of Human Communication. Eighth Edition. Belmont, CA, USA:Thomson Wadsworth; 2005. p. 239-72.9. Littlejohn SW, Foss KA. Chapter 3 Traditions of Communications Theory. In: Littlejohn SW, Foss KA, editors. Theories ofHuman Communication. Eighth Edition. Belmont, CA, USA: Thomson Wadsworth; 2005. pp. 34-59.10. Hall ET. “A System for the Notation of Proxemic Behaviour”, American Anthropologist 65. Cited in: Littlejohn SW, Foss KA.Chapter 5 The Message. In: Littlejohn SW, Foss KA, editors. Theories of Human Communication. Eighth Edition. Belmont, CA,USA: Thomson Wadsworth; 2005. pp. 99-141.11. Ickinge WJ. Proxemics Research. http://sharktown.com/proxemics/intro.html (Accessed 11 March 2005)12. Old Dominion University. http://courses.lib.odu.edu/business/wpindur/Urban804Spring2001.htm (Accessed 10 March 2005) Unit 4-Effective Communication; Shadowing Exercise; RCSEd+Univ of Bath; Unit Tutor-Robin Beaumont; Student-Sanjoy Sanyal 11
  12. 12. 13. Taylor JR, Cooren F, Giroux N, Robichoud D. “The Communicational Basis of Organization: Between the Conversation andthe Text”. Communication Theory 6; 1996. p. 1-39. Cited in: Littlejohn SW, Foss KA. Chapter 9 The Organization. In: LittlejohnSW, Foss KA, editors. Theories of Human Communication. Eighth Edition. Belmont, CA, USA: Thomson Wadsworth; 2005. pp.239-72.14. Bales RF. Interaction Process Analysis: A Method for the Study of Small Groups. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley; 1950. Citedin: Littlejohn SW, Foss KA. Chapter 8 The Group. In: Littlejohn and Foss, editors. Theories of Human Communication. EighthEdition. Belmont, CA, USA: Thomson Wadsworth; 2005. pp. 213-38.15. Pacanowsky M, O’Donnell-Trujillo N. “Organizational Communication as Cultural Performance,” CommunicationMonographs 50. 1983. Cited in: Littlejohn SW, Foss KA. Chapter 9 The Organization. In: Littlejohn SW, Foss KA, editors.Theories of Human Communication. Eighth Edition. Belmont, CA, USA: Thomson Wadsworth; 2005. p. 239-72.16. Agar M. Speaking of Ethnography. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage; 1986. Cited in: Littlejohn SW, Foss KA. Chapter 3 Traditions ofCommunication Theory. In: Littlejohn SW, Foss KA, editors. Theories of Human Communication. Eighth Edition. Belmont, CA,USA: Thomson Wadsworth; 2005. pp. 34-59.17. Atkinson P. Understanding Ethnographic Texts. Newbury Park, CA: Sage; 1992. Cited in: Littlejohn SW, Foss KA. Chapter 3Traditions of Communication Theory. In: Littlejohn SW, Foss KA, editors. Theories of Human Communication. Eighth Edition.Belmont, CA, USA: Thomson Wadsworth; 2005. pp. 34-59.18. Trethewey A. “Disciplined Bodies: Women’s Embodied Identities at Work.” Organisational Studies 1999; 20: 423-50. Citedin: Littlejohn SW, Foss KA. Chapter 9 The Organization. In: Littlejohn SW, Foss KA, editors. Theories of HumanCommunication. Eighth Edition. Belmont, CA, USA: Thomson Wadsworth; 2005. p. 239-72.19. Garfinkel H. Studies in Ethnomethodology. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall; 1967. Cited in: Littlejohn SW, Foss KA.Chapter 3 Traditions of Communication Theory. In: Littlejohn SW, Foss KA, editors. Theories of Human Communication. EighthEdition. Belmont, CA, USA: Thomson Wadsworth; 2005. pp. 34-59.20. Sherif M, Hovland CI. Social Judgment. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press; 1961. Cited in: Littlejohn SW, Foss KA.Chapter 4 The Communicator. In: Littlejohn SW, Foss KA, editors. Theories of Human Communication. Eighth Edition. Belmont,CA, USA: Thomson Wadsworth; 2005. pp. 62-97.21. Zywno MS. A Contribution to Validation of Score Meaning for Felder-Soloman’s Index of Learning Styles. In: Proceedingsof the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition. American Society for EngineeringEducation; 2003.22. Crudele M, Iannello G, Cinque M. Universita Campus Bio-Medica di Roma (Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome).http://research.unicampus.it/Hiss/ (Accessed 11 March 2005).23. Walsh SH. The clinicians perspective on electronic health records and how they can affect patient care. BMJ 2004; 328:1184-87. British Medical Journal website. May 2004. http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/current.shtml (Accessed 1 March 2005).24. Montgomery BM, Baxter LA. “Dialogism and Relational Dialectics,” in Dialectical Approaches to Studying PersonalRelationships, ed. Barbara Montgomery and Leslie Baxter. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum; 1998. p. 160. Cited in: Littlejohn SW, FossKA. Chapter 7 The Relationships. In: Littlejohn SW, Foss KA, editors. Theories of Human Communication. Eighth Edition.Belmont, CA, USA: Thomson Wadsworth; 2005. pp. 186-212.25. Likert R. New Patterns of Management. New York: McGraw-Hill; 1961. Cited in: Littlejohn SW, Foss KA. Chapter 9 TheOrganization. In: Littlejohn SW, Foss KA, editors. Theories of Human Communication. Eighth Edition. Belmont, CA, USA:Thomson Wadsworth; 2005. pp. 239-72.26. Likert R. The Human Organization. New York: McGraw-Hill; 1967. Cited in: Littlejohn SW, Foss KA. Chapter 9 TheOrganization. In: Littlejohn SW, Foss KA, editors. Theories of Human Communication. Eighth Edition. Belmont, CA, USA:Thomson Wadsworth; 2005. pp. 239-72.27. Aydin C. Rice RE. Social worlds, individual differences, and implementation: Predicting attitudes toward a medicalinformation system. Information and Management. 1991; 20: p.119-36.28. Maanen JV, Barley SR. “Cultural Organizations: Fragments of a Theory.” In: Organizational Culture, editors Frost PJ et al.Beverly Hills, CA, USA: Sage; 1985. pp. 31-54. Cited in: Littlejohn SW, Foss KA. Chapter 9 The Organization. In: LittlejohnSW, Foss KA, editors. Theories of Human Communication. Eighth Edition. Belmont, CA, USA: Thomson Wadsworth; 2005. pp.239-72.End notes Unit 4-Effective Communication; Shadowing Exercise; RCSEd+Univ of Bath; Unit Tutor-Robin Beaumont; Student-Sanjoy Sanyal 12
  13. 13. African-American: The erstwhile ‘Negroes’ and ‘blacks’ have evolved their sense of self to a global identity and now callthemselves African-American. This is in keeping with Mikhail Bakhtin’s views on dialogue as a shaper of world culture. [Back]Ethnography: Michael Agar and Paul Atkinson define it as observation of how actual social groups come to build meaningthrough their linguistic/non-linguistic behaviours. This process being very arduous and time-consuming, it has been toned down toa more user-friendly ‘mini-ethnography’, of which shadowing is a component. [Back]Symbolic Interactionism: George Herbert Mead of the Chicago School is considered the founder of classical symbolicinteraction movement, though Mead himself never actually used the expression; the phrase was coined by his pupil HerbertBlumer. [Back]Cultural Styles of Communication: People from different cultures have different styles of communication. Bahraini men talkwith animated gestures and making direct eye contact (Encarta Encyclopedia Charlie Westerman/Gamma Liaison), Polish teensavoid eye contact as they talk (Carlos Freire/Hutchison Library), Eskimo women talk with considerable space between them(Gamma Liaison), and Kashmiri women talk at a very close distance (Wolfgang Kaehler/Gamma Liaison). [Back]Dialectic: Leslie Baxter in her ‘Dialectical Approaches to Studying Personal Relationships’ defines it as a tension betweenopposing forces within a system. [Back]Ethnomethodology: Ironically, the originator of the term, sociologist Harold Garfinkel himself was rather dismissive of the term,claiming too much importance was being placed on it (Turner 1974, p 15) [Back]Discourse: In Baxter’s vantage points for viewing the process of relational dialogue, one of them is that ‘dialogue is discourse’;practical and aesthetic outcomes are created in communication. [Back]Habermas’ discourse: The special kind of communication required when a speaker’s statements are challenged [Back]Discourse-metadiscourse: In Craig’s “Communication Theory as a Field”, he considers theories as a form of discourse or adiscourse about discourse (metadiscourse). [Back]Foucault’s discourse: Includes written speech, spoken language and non-verbal forms; discourse shapes knowledge. [Back] Unit 4-Effective Communication; Shadowing Exercise; RCSEd+Univ of Bath; Unit Tutor-Robin Beaumont; Student-Sanjoy Sanyal 13

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