Internal communication refers to the exchange of information and ideas within an organization. Internal communication helps employees do their jobs, develop a clear sense of the organization’s mission, and identify and react quickly to potential problems. The official structure (formal communication network) is typically shown as an organization chart that summarizes the lines of authority; each box represents a link in the chain of command; each line represents a formal channel for the transmission of official messages. Information can flow in three directions. Downward flow. Organizational decisions are usually made at the top and then flow down to the people who will carry them out. Upward flow. To solve problems and make intelligent decisions, managers must learn what’s going on in the organization. Horizontal flow. Communication also flows from one department to another, either laterally or diagonally. The grapevine (informal communication network) supplements official channels. People have casual conversations at work. Most deal with personal matters, but about 80 percent of the information on the grapevine pertains to business. Some executives are wary of the grapevine, possibly because it threatens their power to control the flow of information. Savvy managers tap into the grapevine, using it to spread and receive informal messages.
External communication carries information into and out of the organization. Formal communication is the first step in creating a favorable impression. Carefully constructed letters, reports, memos, oral presentations, and websites convey an important message about the quality of your organization. Messages such as statements to the press, letters to investors, advertisements, price increase announcements, and litigation updates require special care because of their delicate nature. Such documents are often drafted by a marketing or public relations team—a group of individuals whose sole job is creating and managing the flow of formal messages to outsiders. Informal contacts with outsiders are important for learning about customer needs. As a member of an organization, you are an important informal conduit for communicating with the outside world. Many outsiders may form their impression of your organization on the basis of the subtle clues you transmit through your tone of voice, facial expression, and general appearance. Top managers rely heavily on informal contacts with outsiders to gather information that might be useful to their companies, either by networking with fellow executives or talking with customers and frontline employees.
Effective business messages have a number of common characteristics: Provide practical information. Business messages usually describe how to do something, explain why a procedure was changed, highlight the cause of a problem or a possible solution, discuss the status of a project, or explain why a new piece of equipment should be purchased. Give facts rather than impressions. Business messages use concrete language and specific details. Information must be clear, convincing, accurate, and ethical. You must present hard evidence (not just opinion) and present all sides of an argument before you commit to a conclusion. Clarify and condense information. Business messages frequently use tables, charts, photos, or diagrams to clarify or condense information, to explain a process, or to emphasize important information. State precise responsibilities. Business messages are directed to a specific audience. Therefore, you must clearly state what is expected of, or what you can do for, that particular audience. Persuade others and offer recommendations. Business messages frequently persuade employers, customers, or clients to purchase a product or service or adopt a plan of action. To be effective, persuasive messages must show readers just how a product, service, or idea will benefit them.
The changing workplace has brought the following communication challenges: Advances in Technology. The Internet, e-mail, voice mail, faxes, pagers, and other wireless devices have increased the speed, frequency, and reach of communication. People from opposite ends of the world can work together seamlessly, 24 hours a day. Moreover, people can work away from the office . Technology showcases communication skills—writing skills are revealed in every e-mail message; verbal skills are revealed in audio and video teleconferences. Team-Based Organizations. Traditional management structures are ineffective in today’s fast-paced, e-commerce environment. Instead, organizations use teams and collaborative work groups to make the fast decisions required to succeed in a global and competitive marketplace. Globalization. Businesses today are crossing national boundaries to compete globally. Workforce Diversity. A growing percentage of the U.S. workforce is made up of people with diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Employees must understand laws, customs, and business practices of many countries and be able to communicate with people who speak other languages.
Ethics are the principles of conduct that govern a person or a group. Ethical communication includes all relevant information, is true in every sense, and is not deceptive in any way. By contrast, unethical communication can include falsehoods and misleading information (or withhold important information). Every company has responsibilities to various groups. However, what’s right for one group may be wrong for another. When people must choose between conflicting loyalties and weigh difficult trade-offs, they are facing a dilemma. An ethical dilemma involves choosing among alternatives that aren’t clear-cut (perhaps two conflicting alternatives are both ethical and valid, or perhaps the alternatives lie somewhere in the vast gray area between right and wrong). An ethical lapse is making a clearly unethical or illegal choice. How do you decide between what’s ethical and what is not? You might ask yourself: Is this message legal? Is this message balanced? Is it a message you can live with? Is this message feasible? Some companies lay out an explicit ethical policy by using a written code of ethics to help employees determine what is acceptable. In addition, many managers use ethics audits to monitor ethical progress and to point up any weaknesses that need to be addressed.
•What is Communication?•Importance of Effective Communication •Communication Process •Types of Communication •Barriers to Effective Communication•Recommendations on How to Improve Communication
Transfer of messages from sender to receiver Information being understood by the receiver Means to unify an organized activity Through transfer of information Exchange of feelings, ideas and information By speaking,writing,signals or behaviors.
Quicker problem solving Stronger decision making Increased productivity Steadier work flow
Stronger business relationships Clearer promotional materials Enhanced professional image Improved stakeholder response
Nonverbal Communication Verbal Communication
Non-verbal communication or face and body language constitutes 93% of message
Nonverbal communication is made up of the following parts: Visual Vocal Tactile Use of space and (Physical) image
Consists of words arranged in meaningful patterns. Takes less time Needs no composing But, cant be revised Not used when permanent record required or Audience is geographically dispersed and interaction is unimportant
Includes internal and external structure Messages pass through these structures Consists of formal and informal forms
Official Structure The Grapevine Formal Chain Informal of Command Networking Up, Down, Across Unofficial Lines Formal Power Lines of Power
Establish and disseminate goals Develop plans for their achievement Organize human and other resources effectively Select, develop and appraise members of the organization Control all the activities
Formal Contacts Informal Contacts Marketing Employees Public Relations Managers
External communication helps be aware of:•Need of customers•Availability of suppliers•Claims of stockholders•Regulations of government•Concerns of communities•Create a favorable impression
Businesses reach across international borders. Difference in age, gender, culture, etc. Technology can help or hinder communication. Tall structures restrict flow of information. Flat and flexible structures make communication easy. Working in team makes effective communication necessary
Noise Sender Receiver Receiver Sender Start with aa Receive Receive Start with message meaning/ meaning/ Communication messagemessage to send message Communicationmessage to send Channels Decode and Channels Decode andEncode (verbal Report/Phone/ Convert to Convert to Encode (verbal Report/Phone/ Meaning(and nonverbal (and nonverbal Meeting/Computer Meeting/Computer MeaningSend message Respond Respond Send message Interact with Interact with feedback feedback Feedback Feedback
Elements of Communication Process Channel. The message is sent via a channel, which can be made of a variety Noise. The channel is of materials. In acoustic subjected to various sourcesInput. The sender has an communication it consists of noise. One example isintention to communicate of air, in written telephone communication,with another person. This communication of paper where numerous secondaryintention makes up the or other writing materials. sounds are audible.content of the message. Receiver. The receiver Sender. The sender decodes the incoming Output. This is encodes the message, message, or expression. the content e.g. the idea of "piece He "translates" it and thus decoded by the of furniture to sit on." receives the output receiver. Thus he gives expression to the content.
Sender: Initiate meaning, encode, send, interacts with feedback. Message: meaning that sender transmits Encoding: put the meaning in codes including words, voice and body language. Noise or Interference: Things which change the meaning intended. • Physical: external noise or distracting behavior of the speaker. • Mental: mental modes impact or block the meaning of the message. • Linguistic: the different interpretations of words. • Technical: noise in communication channels such as telephone or GSM.
Channel: medium by which the message is transmitted, includes sound and light waves, books, newspapers, magazines, movies, radio and TV broadcast, cassettes, photos, phones and computers. Receiver: Analyzes and translates it to meaning. Basically receives message, decodes and responds. Feedback: response that receiver sends to the sender. It shows if the message has been received and understood as intended to be.
Types of Barriers Interpersonal Barriers Organizational Barriers
Interpersonal Barriers Perception Interpersonal Relationships: affected by the past experience with the individual or the How to minimize this barrier? organizational relationship. Assumptions-assuming others see situation improve our self-awareness same as you, has same feelings as you affects the communication. our understanding of, and sensitivity to, Receiver distortion: selective hearing, ignoring others non-verbal cues. avoid stereotyping improve listening skills. the supplier of information has to be more aware and empathic.
Interpersonal Barriers Semantics/ Language: Semantics is the study of the meaning of words How to minimize this barrier? or other symbols. Words can be used imprecisely or inaccurately. attention to the choice of pay careful words and language so that confusion The choice of is avoided. language will or offence words or influence the quality of communication.
Interpersonal Barriers Channel Selection Attention should be given to how to send How to minimize this barrier? the message, or the selection of a channel match characteristics of the message to (oral or channel media).. the written For example, we know that emotional or clear vs ambiguous complex messages are usually most effectively communicated face-to-face. rational vs emotional routine vs non-routine
Interpersonal Barriers Inconsistent verbal and non-verbal communication Inconsistent verbal and non-verbal communication can lead to a communication breakdown. How to minimize this barrier? Minimize any inconsistencies between words and manner of speaking, facial expressions, and posture.
Organizational Barriers Physical distractions Information overload Technical and in-group language Absence of formal communication channels
Organizational Barriers Physical distractions Physical distractions include interruptions, noise, and equipment breakdowns. How to minimize this barrier? Try to minimize distractions instead of eliminating them altogether. advise supervisors to minimize these distractions whenever possible.
Organizational Barriers Information overload Can be a by-product of the volume of information and data that managers deal with. How to minimize this barrier? Large part thea managers job is that Reduce of amount of information information-processing to develop time- requires processing or management skills to cope with higher Managers spend up to 80 per cent of amounts. every day communicating
Organizational Barriers Technical and in-group language When organizational subunits are highly differentiated or members are highly professionalized. How to minimize this barrier? Technical and professional vocabularies Simplify terms and consider the make it hardlevel one individual or group to technical for when communicating. communicate with another.
Minimize distractions Have an audience centered approach Fine tune your business communication skills Constructive Feedback Using technology Making Ethical choices
Create lean,efficient messages Minimize physical distractions Minimize emotional distractions Reduce number of messages
Facilitate feedback It is a constant barometer Taps basic human needs to improve, compete and be accurate. Can be reinforcing Is motivating and appreciated Realize how critical feedback can be and overcome our difficulties.
Specific Timely: Give feedback as soon as possible. Descriptive: Give facts and observations. Impersonal: Focus on the behavior not the person. Sensitive: When emotions run high, allow a cooling-off period. Understanding: When feedback is negative, explore alternatives for improvement.
Redefining the office Collaborating Sharing latest information Interacting Communicating with customers Communicating about products and services
Observing Business Communication Ethics Unethical practices • Plagiarism • Selective misquoting • Misinterpreting numbers • Distorting visuals