Oral Communication: Principles and Practice

Communication Self-evaluation
Understanding the Self: An Analysis of Identity and Cultural Orientation on Personal Communication Style
This assignment requires an honest and “naked” examination of the self as a communicator. It is
introspective, self-reflexive, and intrapersonal. This assignment is based on the assumption that an
awareness of your own perspective, communication style, and cultural orientation will better your
understanding of others. It is difficult to understand, let alone respect others’ cultural orientations and
communication styles unless you know something about your own frame of reference. When your own
system of rules and meanings can be understood as simply “another voice heard from,” a foundation is laid
for the mutual respect that is necessary for constructive interpersonal and intercultural communication.
Write a word or phrase that best describes you in response to the following categories of cultural identities:
1. Nationality
2. Regionality
3. Race
4. Heritage/Ethnicity
5. Religious orientation
6. Political orientation
7. Rural/Urban/Suburban
8. Sex
9. Gender
10. Sexual/Affectional orientation
11. Vocation
12. Age group/Generation
13. Marital status
14. Family background
15. Personal identity
16. Language/Dialect orientation
17. Disability/Impairment
18. Class
After you have responded to each item, put a mark by the ones that play the most significant role in your
everyday life. They may be significant because they are meaningful to you; because of the amount of time
they consume; because you are experiencing dissonance; because you struggling with them; or because
they are constantly show up, etc. The key categories can be said to make up your cultural communication
profile. Each of these categories also carries with them a set of postulates (assumptions, basic beliefsthose notions that are unspoken and “taken-for-granted”), means (norms, rules, “shoulds/oughts”), and ends
(values, goals, desired or ideal outcomes).
Write a 3-4-page essay (typed, double-spaced, size 12 font, and Times New Roman) in which you do the
following three things:
Describe and explain three of your cultural identities. (What are your cultural beliefs? What are
your cultural values? What cultural rules, norms, values, traditions, customs, and rituals do you
follow? What history do you share and identify with other members of the same cultural identity
group? Are there some things that you may experience because of your cultural identity?)
 Describe how each of the three cultural identities affects your personal communication style and
behavior. (Describe and analyze how you perceive the world, your communication style, listening
style, interpersonal style, intrapersonal communication, group interaction style, verbal, language
usage, and nonverbal communication)
You must integrate the concepts and terminology from your textbook into the essay.
Adapted from
Abhik Roy, Ph.D.
Howard University