The narrative theory is important for understanding how human communication works. A narrative is a verbal or nonverbal representation of an event, experience, or concept organized logically to convey meaning. The experiences and other elements from the person’s past shaped the communication process. This concept suggests that communication happens between the speaker and the listener in the form of a story. These stories contain events and activities the speaker wants to share with the listener and usually cannot be classified into one category.
The Narrative Theory is a communication tool used to effectively deliver stories by relying on the principles of Coherence and Fidelity. Coherence is the extent to which a narrative makes sense to the listener, and it is affected by factors such as the structure of the narrative, the resemblance between stories, and the credibility of the characters within the story. On the other hand, Fidelity is the reliability and credibility of the story. To establish Fidelity, one must ensure that the facts described in the story are accurate and not distorted, that the reasoning pattern follows the narration, that the arguments within the story affect the decision-making process of the listener, and that the story’s significance can be established. When using the Narrative Theory to communicate, it is essential to ensure that the content is meaningful and makes sense to the target audience. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the story is factually accurate and consistent with the reasoning pattern and that it impacts the listener’s decision-making process. Following these principles, the Narrative Theory can effectively communicate stories and help the listener understand their meaning and importance.
Communication is natural among humans regardless of their race and culture. Fisher identified the significance of communication and its effectiveness when achieved through storytelling. The theory acknowledges that humans teach and learn by communicating their stories with one another in their families, friends, and at work, among other social setups (Palanca 103). The narratives across different cultures, times, and societies relate to the truth and convey meaning or intended message to a specific audience.
Despite being a practical concept of explaining communication, the theory faces criticism from time to time. The narrative paradigm is a wide concept in human communication, and it is nearly impossible to conduct a study. Various philosophers believe that communication is not always a story. For example, fantasy narratives cannot be classified as factual stories because they are contents created out of one’s imagination and go against the principles of reliability and structure. The narrative theory of communication can be applied as an innovative concept that demonstrates the way humans communicate in their natural environments. While considering communication as a type of array of events, humans judge the credibility of the communication by understanding its reliability and structure (Palanca 106). Narrative theory is vital because it helps humans understand how texts work and enables people to think about the authors’ choices while making the stories. This argument is based on the idea that various ways of telling a story exist.
Data Collection and its Presentation
This conversation occurred between a manager and his employee at a workstation. The objective was to catch up on the status of affairs at the workstation, following a trend of activities in the organization. The communication was face-to-face and oral. Additionally, the nature of the interaction between the two individuals was formal. The employee had worked in the organization for the last year and sought to engage his boss about a pay increment.
Osman: Good afternoon, sir! May I come in?
Boss: Good afternoon to you too, Osman; please come in. How have you been? I hope all is going on well in your office. You may have a seat.
Osman: Yes, sir! All is well in my office. I am soon submitting a report on impact assessment for your kind review. However, I have other reasons for calling on you right now. Therefore, I would like to request that you secure me an appointment if you are busy right now.
Boss: It is okay, Osman; we can discuss it immediately. What is it that you want us to talk about?
Osman: Sir, I have worked in this organization for the last year and have been loyal and honest to this organization and my department leaders. Economic situations are changing, and inflation is hitting us hard as a country. Therefore, I would like to request a salary increment to help me meet my daily living expenses and focus on my work without worrying about my bills.
Boss: Alright, Osman. That is a wonderful concern. Our organization values employees so much, and we care about the welfare of the workers at all times. Let me give you a short story before you continue. A friend of mine was managing an organization that had 50 employees. The management-focused more on sales than on employees. He focused more on ensuring that employee satisfaction was always top-notch. One day, employees decided to go on a go-slow, and the manager did not see it coming. He lost significant profits, and the company was closed down in the long run. As an organization, we learned from the situation and sought to improve our relationship with employees.
Osman: I am encouraged by your sentiments and hope the company will consider my plan through your intervention.
Boss: I have been going through your work and receiving feedback from your immediate supervisors. They are talking highly of you, and I believe you add tremendous value to this institution. Consequently, I will table your request to the HR and finance manager for consideration. Expect feedback within the next two weeks. However, you will get the same salary next month, after which a review will be done.
Osman: Thank you, sir.
Boss: You are welcome, and do have a lovely day.
Analysis of the Data
The data presented in the conversation above presents significant communication concepts that show how humans interact in contemporary society. The data presented reveal that the two individuals come from the same country and work for the same organization. Therefore, they share the same values and other cultural practices. Both the boss and the employee are aware of the work environment and the things that go on within it. Technically, the culture presented demonstrates a high level of respect for people in authority and submission from the subordinates. It also outlines how the people relate with one another at the workstation.
Overall, the conversation reveals the significance of feedback and story in conversations. When communicating with an individual in this setup, it is vital to give them a story that relates to their situation and a true reflection of what they are going through. Both boss and the employee understand that they are committed to the organization just as much as they are to their personal lives (Palanca 98). The employee explained the difficult economic situation and referenced the inflation issue for the boss to understand. The situation helped the employer to understand that the employee was going through financial challenges which required immediate intervention. Technically, the story given by the employee was factual, and the boss agreed with the information.
On the other hand, the boss responded positively to the employee because he understood the issue of inflation that Osman tabled. The boss offered a detailed explanation and a listening ear to the employee following the presentation of the challenge. The boss also told the employee about the payment issue and the relationship between the administration and the employees. Consequently, he managed to pass a piece of information to the employee that the organization would react positively to the plea presented before it. In a conflict between the employee and the management, the two individuals can engage one another personally and formally to find an amicable solution. However, the culture of using stories to explain situations makes it easy for communicators to understand one another during communications. Regardless of the tension, the parties must find a way of relating what they are going on to achieve the intended message through storytelling.
Palanca, Fitch. “Chapter Four.” A Narrative Genre, pp. 97–128.