Communication in IO Psychology Education




Dr. Steven Toaddy – IO Psychologist and Professor

Dr. Steven Toaddy is an Associate Professor of Social Sciences here at our very own Louisiana Tech University. He works for both Louisiana Tech and for a company partnered with Louisiana Tech called AROS (Applied Research for Organizational Solutions).  AROS is a consulting firm for people looking for organizational solutions.


Dr. Toaddy’s Credentials

Dr. Toaddy has received three degrees in his lifetime including a bachelors in psychology, a masters in IO Psychology, and a Doctorate in IO Pschology.  He also, as stated earlier, is referred to as the associate professor of social sciences at Louisiana Tech University. But the question that’s on most people minds is, what is IO psychology?  IO psychology stands for industrial/organizational psychology, which is a discipline of psychology that applies psychological theories and principles to organizations.


Communication in Education

Dr. Toaddy said that in an educational environment all forms communication are vital to succeed.  He stated that he tends to use oral and written communication in his teaching activities, which include lecturing,  facilitating classroom activities, and communicating with students about questions or concerns they may have.  He also provides in the form of written communication a syllabus at the beginning of every quarter, a course schedule, activity descriptions, grades, and assignments.  Graphic communication is also utilized, yet not as much as those mentioned previously.  When teaching how to graph certain functions needed in IO psychology, graphic communication is then utilized.


Workplace Communication

Within his workplace, AROS, Dr. Toaddy communicates with his colleagues and graduate students via email and face to face communication.  He said that his favorite form of communication by far was email, due to its simplicity, organization, and speed of communicating. “Graphic Communication seems to be utilized more in IO compared to other disciplines of psychology,” Toaddy said. He stated that with what our field requires of us we must communicate large amounts of information into digestible amounts so that it is practical and can be learned quickly and concisely.


Comparing Formality and Tone Between Students and Colleagues

When commenting on the formality of communicating between students and colleagues he said that there was no difference from a formality standpoint.  The only thing that changed in respect to communication between students and his colleagues was the tone of communication.  He said that when students come to see me I have the assumption they are there for my help and betterment of themselves or to gain understanding.  “So, I tend to have a sort of didactic approach when speaking to them,” he said. However, when communicating with his colleagues and coworkers he said they tend to know the same information as him so there is less of a didactic tone and is more based on efficiency.  It is important to note these differences because between students and colleagues the level of skill and understanding is drastically different, although his formality doesn’t change when communicating with them.   They both receive the same formality even though tone may change dependent on the situation.


Publications within IO Psychology

When asked about how often Dr. Toaddy published he explained that he published professionally on a quarterly basis.  He said that he rarely publishes scholastically and when he does the process is a lot more in depth and tenuous. He said that when publishing anything the first thing you come to find is there are many wrong ways to write an article or journal. Once you know those wrong ways, that leaves you with all the right ways to publish pieces.  If you operate within those parameters then the time it takes to publish is based on the editor and his or her staff.  I then asked him if he reads over his colleague’s publications and how he may utilize the information attained from them.  He said he tends to read their quarterly publications when they come out and focus primarily on things pertaining to his research and in his area of expertise.  He said he reads on those areas for about a week or so and then utilizes them where he sees necessary.


Advise for Up and Coming IO Psychologists

The last question I asked Dr. Toaddy what would you tell someone looking to pursue a career in IO psychology about communication? He said, “The thing I recommend, is intimacy and transparency across all media.  I am not so sold that formality and grammatical appearance is necessary.  I would say be less formal, more direct and more intimate, so don’t hold back uncertainties or let awkwardness get in the way of communication. If you have an objective go pursue it.”  This advice is in my opinion very useful in any career that uses communication in the workplace a lot.


Donovan Henry, Guest Blogger






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