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How do you communicate with others in your personal and professional life? Do you partake in social media outlets? Actively arrange for in-person dates with family members or friends? Text on an informal basis, or prefer deeper conversations? Do you encourage collaboration with business relationships, or have an understanding of how cultural norms may affect a person’s communication expectation? People tend to have communication preferences they use in their personal and business lives. Here are communication factors relating to engagement and specific implications for The Traveling Volunteer.

  • Personality – There are several personality tests you can take to give you further insight into what type of communicator you are. Some people, for example, are more socially oriented while others prefer limited contact. If you are more inclined to be infrequently contacted through text-based communication, for example, you might find it a challenge to be a part of a workplace seminar where you are asked to speak. The fear associated with this experience might lead you to disengage in all workplace events! However, if one takes the opportunity to stretch beyond their personality type, they might not only discover diversity of thought of others, but find solutions to complex community problems. As a result, active solution-based communication has the potential to lead future process and project engagement.
  • Collaboration – Personal and workplace relationships tend to include elements of collaboration. Collaboration is a process through which a group of people constructively explore their ideas to search for a solution that extends one’s own limited vision. A personality type, as discussed earlier, dictates the level of individual and community engagement in a collaborative process. Due to the process of brainstorming and sharing of thought, innovative solutions and community togetherness are created.
  • Cultural norms – We come from all walks of life – a representation of various cultures and belief structures. We have standards, shared expectations, and rules that guide behaviours within our families and other social groups. These cultural norms are typically reinforced by our parents, teachers, and other impressionable people while we were growing up. If we are aware of the cultural norms evident in our homes, workplaces, or communities we visit, there is a higher likelihood of engagement due to an appreciation for the diversity of cultural backgrounds. This appreciation and cross-cultural understanding most likely will lead to deeper engagement with the people around us, and the opportunities they represent.

The Traveling Volunteer endeavours to use all forms of communication, as we understand various personality types our readers. Our social media presence is active through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. We are developing preparedness training to include self awareness of one’s own personality type and cultural norms of a destination community. The Traveling Volunteer encourages all readers to communicate their desire to share a story as a volunteer, a community member, or a volunteer organisation or non profit representative. Active participation through collaboration is welcomed and encouraged. We want to hear from YOU! Consider contacting us, whether you represent yourself, or a larger organisation.