Chapter 7: Context and Communication


During our orientation in Pittsburgh, it was noted that Ireland, compared to the U.S. is considered to have a lower context regarding communication in the workplace. This can include communication of task or project requirements, or even friendly conversations. From what I’ve noticed at my job, it has been relatively on point with that description. For example, regarding most of the tasks I’ve been given, I was given little information on what they were looking for specifically, but rather a general idea of what they wanted from me. This, on one hand, allowed me to be more creative on some projects, but on the other hand, put me in a situation to ask questions to clarify certain specifics regarding projects. I remember when working on one of my first tasks, I was asked to research marathons around Europe, the U.S. and Australia to compare sponsorships between those and ones for the big 6 marathons that were already noted. The big 6 marathons include the New York city marathon, the Boston marathon, the Chicago marathon, the London marathon, the Tokyo marathon, and the Berlin marathon. These marathons are considered world major marathons and as a result, have a wide variety of sponsorships. For my project, I was tasked to research and note the location of the marathon, the name of the marathon (if different from just the location), the company sponsoring the marathon, the industry the company is a part of, and the type of sponsor it held. Sponsors could include a title sponsor, a main sponsor, a co-sponsor, or an industry specific sponsor such as official hotel sponsor. Industries also covered a wide range and with more and more marathons being researched, the more industries I stumbled upon. Many of these new companies fell outside the categories already noted with the world major marathon sponsors, so given little context at first, I was put in a position where I had to clarify not only industries already listed but also what my teammate thought some companies would be considered. These questions mainly came about for European companies due to the fact that I was unfamiliar with them, and it was more likely my teammate would recognize them. This project helped me understand the different kinds of industries around the world outside of the U.S. and gave me a broader perspective on how diverse companies can be around the world. There was also a miscommunication situation I faced in the beginning of my internship. One of my first tasks given by my supervisor was to research whether potential sponsorship deals were in the works for the women’s world cup. The reason for this task was because the Irish Women’s Soccer team had made it to the finals which is a huge deal for Ireland and Core has clients who sponsor the team. To sponsor a sports team usually results in the company’s logo on their jerseys. However, I was unaware of this and thought it meant company names on the jersey and/or around the stadium. So while I was researching I would regularly check-in with my supervisor on any information I found and sometimes, some of the information I found would be irrelevant and unnecessary. As a result, I asked my supervisor to clarify on what I should be looking for so he explained the task and key items to look for in a different method, using examples on the internet and in the U.S. that would be relatable to help me understand it more clearly. After he reiterated what he was looking for, it made much more sense to me, and I was able to research more effectively. This to me is a prime example of a situation in which I encountered miscommunication due to the low context nature of communication in Irelands workplace. Additionally at Core, they operate on a hybrid work schedule. This means that employees can choose when to come in person and when to work remote. The only requirement for my team is to come in on Wednesday for weekly check in meetings. Throughout this hybrid schedule, I haven’t noticed much difficulty communicated with my team as it is very similar to covid and communicating during the school year when Covid forced us to work remotely. This is because Core utilizes the same Microsoft 365 applications as my school did, such as Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Excel and more. Due to this, I haven’t experienced any difficulties communicating over these applications and if I need more context on any tasks assigned to me via Outlook or Teams, I always make sure to ask for clarification. 

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