BA 15 Chapter 2


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Improving Personal and Organizational Communications

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BA 15 Chapter 2

  1. 1. Chapter Two Improving Personal and Organizational Communications
  2. 2. Chapter Preview: Improving Personal & Organizational Communication <ul><li>Communication process and filters that affect it </li></ul><ul><li>How filters can distort communication </li></ul><ul><li>Ways to improve communication skills </li></ul><ul><li>Communication flow in organizations and methods for improvement </li></ul><ul><li>Effective communication using technology </li></ul>
  3. 3. Communicating Effectively in a High-Tech World <ul><li>Information age is characterized by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>rapid advances in technology-based communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>information glut </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>average person still processes the same way </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. The Communication Process <ul><li>Basic communication process is always the same </li></ul><ul><li>Differences in: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>cultures, countries, lifestyles </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>methods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>technology, face to face </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>individual interpretation </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Figure 2.1 - Diagram of Simple Communication Process
  6. 6. Impersonal Communication <ul><li>Is a one-way process that transfers information such as instructions, policies, and financial data </li></ul><ul><li>Methods include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>memos letters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>e-mail voice mail </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>manuals electronic bulletin boards </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gets the word out </li></ul><ul><li>Limited feedback </li></ul>
  7. 7. Interpersonal Communication <ul><li>Is the exchange of information between two or more people </li></ul><ul><li>Descriptions include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>share -discuss -argue -interact </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Formats include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>meetings -interviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>phone calls -classes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Feedback essential for effectiveness </li></ul>
  8. 8. Total Person Insight <ul><li>Many skills are valuable at work, but one skill is essential: the ability to communicate. Whether you are presenting your ideas at a committee meeting, dashing off fifteen e-mails in a row, chatting with a coworker at a copy machine, evaluating an employee, or closing a deal over the phone, what you are doing is communicating. These exchanges are the backbone and the life blood of every organization and every relationship. </li></ul><ul><li>Eric Maisel </li></ul><ul><li>Author, 20 Communication Tips @ Work </li></ul>
  9. 9. Communication Process <ul><li>Effective communication loop: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A sender </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A receiver </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The message </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feedback </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Figure 2.2 - Diagram of More Complex Communication Process
  11. 11. Complex Communication <ul><li>Most communications are complicated </li></ul><ul><li>Messages travel through filters, which can alter the way your message is understood </li></ul><ul><li>Need to be aware of possible distortions so miscommunication can be intercepted </li></ul>
  12. 12. Communication Filters <ul><li>Semantics </li></ul><ul><li>Emotions </li></ul><ul><li>Language/Culture </li></ul><ul><li>Attitudes </li></ul><ul><li>Role expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Gender-specific focus </li></ul><ul><li>Nonverbal messages </li></ul>
  13. 13. Semantics <ul><li>Study of relationship between words and their meaning(s) </li></ul><ul><li>Words are not things, they are labels </li></ul><ul><li>Assumptions about meaning can be dangerous </li></ul><ul><li>Abstract terms are subject to more interpretations of meaning </li></ul>
  14. 14. Language and Cultural Barriers <ul><li>Language </li></ul><ul><ul><li>English has been the dominant language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Considerations when using English with non-native speakers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>speak slowly, clearly </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>avoid jargon </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>avoid slang </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Globalization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Diversity </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Language and Cultural Barriers <ul><li>Culture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An accumulation of values, expressions, beliefs, and behaviors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shapes one's interpretations of what events mean </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Past experience can change meaning </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Emotions <ul><li>Receivers may think with their emotions </li></ul><ul><li>Strong emotions can prevent reception or distort the strength of a message </li></ul><ul><li>May shift attention from the message content to feelings </li></ul>
  17. 17. Attitudes <ul><li>Can be a barrier to effective communication like emotions </li></ul><ul><li>Negative and positive attitudes can create resistance or bias to a message </li></ul><ul><li>Attitude may be based on: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>voice -accent -gesture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>dress -delivery -mannerisms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>speaker’s topic </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Role Expectations <ul><li>Influences how people expect themselves, and others, to act </li></ul><ul><li>Two ways they can distort communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People may identify others too closely with their roles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People use their roles to alter the way they relate to others or “position power” </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Gender-Specific Focus <ul><li>Learned gender roles can influence the way men and women communicate </li></ul><ul><li>Genders conditioned to approach communication in different ways </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Boys: compete, negotiate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Girls: confirm, support </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Nonverbal Messages <ul><li>Messages without words or silent messages </li></ul><ul><li>Not spoken or written </li></ul><ul><li>Include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>posture facial expressions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>voice tone gestures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>appearances eye contact </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Messages Without Words <ul><li>More impact than verbal message </li></ul><ul><li>Being more conscious of nonverbal messages improves communication </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure verbal and nonverbal messages are consistent: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>message clarity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>builds trust </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Improving Communication through Nonverbal Messages <ul><li>Eye Contact </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most expressive part of the body </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In business setting meet other person’s eyes 60 - 70% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Continuous eye contact may offend </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Facial Expressions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identifies inner feelings and emotions of person </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most observations are accurate </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Improving Communication through Nonverbal Messages <ul><li>Gestures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Send messages about you </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meanings vary across cultures </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Personal space </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hall identified four “zones” of comfortable distances in the United States </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Distances vary across cultures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Watch for signals of discomfort </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Leg swinging, foot tapping, or gaze aversion </li></ul></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Figure 2.3 - Same sign different meanings
  25. 25. Responsibility for Effective Communication <ul><li>Senders and the receivers share equal responsibility </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Senders for sending a clear and concise message </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Receivers for receiving the message that the sender intended </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of feedback to ensure accurate message </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Steps to Improve Communication <ul><li>Send clear messages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use clear and concise words </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use repetition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use appropriate timing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider the receiver’s preferences </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Steps to Improve Communication <ul><li>Develop effective listening skills </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Listening is a learned behavior </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Effective listening can facilitate creativity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Listening may help reduce costs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Active listening, critical listening, and empathic listening </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Active Listening <ul><li>Intense involvement and concentration on what one is hearing </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gain stronger relationships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn new information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make fewer mistakes </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Develop Active Listening Skills <ul><li>Develop a listening attitude </li></ul><ul><li>Give the speaker your full attention </li></ul><ul><li>Clarify by asking questions </li></ul><ul><li>Feed back your understanding of the speaker’s message </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Add depth and dimension with critical and empathic listening skills </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Total Person Insight <ul><li>Listening effectively to others can be the most fundamental and powerful communication tool of all. When someone is willing to stop talking or thinking and begin truly listening to others, all of their interactions become easier, and communication problems are all but eliminated. </li></ul><ul><li>Ken Johnson </li></ul><ul><li>Author, </li></ul>
  31. 31. Critical Listening <ul><li>Attempt to see topic from speakers point of view </li></ul><ul><li>Listen for evidence </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze source validity and credibility </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid perpetuating erroneous information </li></ul><ul><li>Ask “why have I been given this information” </li></ul>
  32. 32. Empathic Listening <ul><li>Listening with the intent to understand how the person feels </li></ul><ul><li>People often have need to talk without expectation of advice or guidance </li></ul><ul><li>Listening with “ears, eyes and heart” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid being judgmental </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Acknowledge what is said </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be patient </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rare in American culture </li></ul>
  33. 33. Communication Channels in Organizations <ul><li>Organizations depend on teamwork </li></ul><ul><li>Good communication builds teamwork by enhancing trust </li></ul><ul><li>Use both formal and informal channels </li></ul>
  34. 34. Formal Channels <ul><li>Horizontal channels </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People on the same level </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Vertical channels </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Top through lowest levels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Less opportunity for feedback </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Upward flow highly susceptible to distortion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Email helps avoid misinterpreting, sabotaging, or blocking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sensitive matters should be face to face </li></ul></ul>
  35. 35. Informal Channels: The Grapevine <ul><li>Carries unofficial information </li></ul><ul><li>Exists in all organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Can be both positive and negative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information passes quickly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can clarify message from formal channels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides for employees’ social needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Messages can be distorted, abbreviated, exaggerated, or completely inaccurate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“Verbal terrorism” </li></ul></ul>
  36. 36. Improving Organizational Communication <ul><li>Encourage upward communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>employees sharing feelings and ideas with management </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Remove barriers that prevent open communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>builds trust among all employees, regardless of position </li></ul></ul>
  37. 37. Communicating via Technology <ul><li>Traditional </li></ul><ul><ul><li>memos </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>letters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>phone calls </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>face-to-face conversations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>High-tech </li></ul><ul><ul><li>virtual office telecommuting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>e-mail </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>cellular phone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>instant messaging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>fax modem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>electronic documents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>voice mail </li></ul></ul>
  38. 38. Communicating via Technology <ul><li>Advantages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Time efficiency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cost effectiveness </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Disadvantages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Receiver’s impressions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Frustration and stress </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Must be used with care to avoid miscommunication </li></ul>
  39. 39. Voice Mail <ul><li>Avoid phone tag </li></ul><ul><li>For incoming calls: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Update your recorded message </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Include your first and last names, and when you will be retrieving your messages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explain how to reach ‘live’ person for urgent calls </li></ul></ul>
  40. 40. Voice Mail <ul><li>When leaving a voice mail message: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Be courteous </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Speak clearly and slowly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep message brief </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establish why you are calling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Give name and contact number </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>State the best time to reach you </li></ul></ul>
  41. 41. E-Mail <ul><li>Advantages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Faster than letter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Record of communication </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Disadvantages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can take longer than other methods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Careful planning and writing skills required </li></ul></ul>
  42. 42. Guidelines for E-Mail <ul><li>Know your company’s e-mail and blog policies </li></ul><ul><li>Create an appropriate e-mail address and signature </li></ul><ul><li>Use the Subject: line </li></ul><ul><li>Watch your language </li></ul>
  43. 43. E-mail Tips <ul><li>Do not send when angry or exhausted </li></ul><ul><li>Do not substitute for face-to-face meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Scan subject lines </li></ul><ul><li>Always try to have error-free messages </li></ul><ul><li>Do not use to share rumors, innuendos, or sensitive information </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid unprofessional abbreviations </li></ul>
  44. 44. Chapter Review <ul><li>Communication process and filters that affect it </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Impersonal one-way communication is best to share basic facts, policies, and instructions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interpersonal two-way communication is best when feedback is necessary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Two-way communication is often a complex process </li></ul></ul>
  45. 45. Chapter Review <ul><li>How filters can distort communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sender and receiver filters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Semantics </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Emotions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Language/culture </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Attitudes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Role expectations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gender-specific focus </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Nonverbal messages </li></ul></ul></ul>
  46. 46. Chapter Review <ul><li>Ways to improve communication skills </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The sender and the receiver share equal responsibility for effective communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Send clear messages by choosing words carefully, using repetition, timing the message correctly, and considering the receivers’ preferences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Receive with active, critical, and empathic listening </li></ul></ul>
  47. 47. Chapter Review <ul><li>Communication flow in organizations and methods for improvement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Formal communication channels can be vertical or horizontal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The grapevine can rapidly transmit true and untrue information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Progressive organizations are constantly searching for ways to improve upward communication </li></ul></ul>
  48. 48. Chapter Review <ul><li>Effective communication using technology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Virtual offices are now quite common </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The increase in the use of email, voice mail, teleconferencing and other technology methods often create human relations problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication must still be carefully created before it is transmitted </li></ul></ul>