Here are some questions to get you thinking about some of the things we’ll be discussing in this chapter.What are the goals of work-related communication?Information is understoodProvided in timely mannerRelationship is enhancedStudent’s may offer others..How do you know effective communication took place?Student’s will have a number of responses.What indications does the communication sender have that the message is not understood?Use this question as a lead into barriers of effective communication.
In this model that describes the exchange of information and understanding, senders and receivers can be individuals, groups, or organizations.The communication flow beings with the sender encoding a message using verbal and non-verbal cues so that the message may be understood by the receiver. The medium is the mechanism by which the message is sent, such as a face-to-face conversation or an e-mail message. Decoding involves the receiver translating the communication into a meaningful message. Feedback serves as a comprehension check for the sender to confirm that the message was understood by the receiver.Noise represents any type of interference that can keep the message from being understood as the sender intended it to be understood.
With only slight changes in terminology, a number of nonmathematical schemas have elaborated on the major theme. For example, Harold Lasswell (1948) conceived of analyzing the mass media in five stages: “Who?” “Says what?” “In which channel?” “To whom?” “With what effect?” In apparent elaboration on Lasswell and/or Shannon and Weaver, George Gerbner (1956) extended the components to include the notions of perception, reactions to a situation, and message context.v. The concepts of this model became staples in communication research1.) Entropy-the measure of uncertainty in a system. “Uncertainty or entropy increases in exact proportion to the number of messages from which the source has to choose. In the simple matter of flipping a coin, entropy is low because the destination knows the probability of a coin’s turning up either heads or tails. In the case of a two-headed coin, there can be neither any freedom of choice nor any reduction in uncertainty so long as the destination knows exactly what the outcome must be. In other words, the value of a specific bit of information depends on the probability that it will occur. In general, the informative value of an item in a message decreases in exact proportion to the likelihood of its occurrence.”2.) Redundancy-the degree to which information is not unique in the system. “Those items in a message that add no new information are redundant. Perfect redundancy is equal to total repetition and is found in pure form only in machines. In human beings, the very act of repetition changes, in some minute way, the meaning or the message and the larger social significance of the event. Zero redundancy creates sheer unpredictability, for there is no way of knowing what items in a sequence will come next. As a rule, no message can reach maximum efficiency unless it contains a balance between the unexpected and the predictable, between what the receiver must have underscored to acquire understanding and what can be deleted as extraneous.”3.) Noise-the measure of information not related to the message. “Any additional signal that interferes with the reception of information is noise. In electrical apparatus noise comes only from within the system, whereas in human activity it may occur quite apart from the act of transmission and reception. Interference may result, for example, from background noise in the immediate surroundings, from noisy channels (a crackling microphone), from the organization and semantic aspects of the message (syntactical and semantical noise), or from psychological interference with encoding and decoding. Noise need not be considered a detriment unless it produces a significant interference with the reception of the message. Even when the disturbance is substantial, the strength of the signal or the rate of redundancy may be increased to restore efficiency.”4.) Channel Capacity-the measure of the maximum amount of information a channel can carry. “The battle against uncertainty depends upon the number of alternative possibilities the message eliminates. Suppose you wanted to know where a given checker was located on a checkerboard. If you start by asking if it is located in the first black square at the extreme left of the second row from the top and find the answer to be no, sixty-three possibilities remain-a high level of uncertainty. On the other hand, if you first ask whether it falls on any square at the top half of the board, the alternative will be reduced by half regardless of the answer. By following the first strategy it could be necessary to ask up to sixty-three questions (inefficient indeed!); but by consistently halving the remaining possibilities, you will obtain the right answer in no more than six tries.”vi. Provided an influential yet counter-intuitive definition of communication. From Littlejohn, Stephen W. Theories of Human Communication. Second Ed. Belmont, California: Wadsworth, 1983, p 116. Information is a measure of uncertainty, or entropy, in a situation. The greater the uncertainty, the more the information. When a situation is completely predictable, no information is present. Most people associate information with certainty or knowledge; consequently, this definition from information theory can be confusing. As used by the information theorist, the concept does not refer to a message, facts, or meaning. It is a concept bound only to the quantification of stimuli or signals in a situation. On closer examination, this idea of information is not as distant from common sense as it first appears. We have said that information is the amount of uncertainty in the situation. Another way of thinking of it is to consider information as the number of messages required to completely reduce the uncertainty in the situation. For example, your friend is about to flip a coin. Will it land heads up or tails up? You are uncertain, you cannot predict. This uncertainty, which results from the entropy in the situation, will be eliminated by seeing the result of the flip. Now let’s suppose that you have received a tip that your friend’s coin is two headed. The flip is “fixed.” There is no uncertainty and therefore no information. In other words, you could not receive any message that would make you predict any better than you already have. In short, a situation with which you are completely familiar has no information for you [emphasis added].
Significant after World War II because:i. The idea of “source” was flexible enough to include oral, written, electronic, or any other kind of “symbolic” generator-of-messages. ii. “Message” was made the central element, stressing the transmission of ideas. iii. The model recognized that receivers were important to communication, for they were the targets. iv. The notions of “encoding” and “decoding” emphasized the problems we all have (psycho-linguistically) in translating our own thoughts into words or other symbols and in deciphering the words or symbols of others into terms we ourselves can understand.c. Weaknesses:i. Tends to stress the manipulation of the message—the encoding and decoding processesii. it implies that human communication is like machine communication, like signal-sending in telephone, television, computer, and radar systems. iii. It even seems to stress that most problems in human communication can be solved by technical accuracy-by choosing the “right” symbols, preventing interference, and sending efficient messages.iv. But even with the “right” symbols, people misunderstand each other. “Problems in “meaning” or “meaningfulness” often aren’t a matter of comprehension, but of reaction, of agreement, of shared concepts, beliefs, attitudes, values. To put the com- back into communication, we need a meaning-centered theory of communication.
Barriers to effective communication include process and personal barriers, as well as physical and semantic barriers. On this slide you see the process barriers, all of which have to do with the inability of different aspects of the perceptual model of communication to accurately and effectively convey a message.
Personal barriers include attributes of, as well as the relationship between, the communicator and sender that can interfere with the accurate transmission and reception of a message.
You can impact your communication competence by evaluating yourself on five dimensions: assertiveness, aggressiveness, nonassertiveness, nonverbal communication, and active listening.The information on this slide will help you evaluate your assertiveness, which is described as how expressive and self-enhancing you are without taking advantage of others.
An aggressive style is expressive and self-enhancing, but takes unfair advantage of others. Evaluate yourself on this dimension.
The nonassertive style tends to exhibit timid and self-denying behaviors. Evaluate yourself on this dimension.
The fourth dimension is nonverbal communication--touch, body movements and gestures, facial expressions, and eye contactYou can improve your nonverbal communications by maintaining eye contact, occasionally nodding your head in agreement, smiling and showing animation, leaning toward the speaker, and speaking at a moderate rate and in a quiet, assuring tone.Actions to avoid are looking away or turning away from the speaker, closing your eyes, using an unpleasant tone of voice, speaking too quickly or too slowly, and yawning excessively.
Answer: B, while making eye contact intermittently is good, too much could appear intimidating. Constant head nodding actually sends a message that you are not really understanding, you should lean slightly toward the person you are talking too but not too much so that you are in their face.
The final dimension that can improve your communication competence is active listening, which is actively decoding and interpreting verbal messages.What kind of listener are you?An appreciative listener listens in a relaxed manner.An empathetic listener interprets messages by focusing on emotions and body language of the speaker.A comprehensive listener makes sense of a message by organizing specific thoughts and then integrating this information by focusing on relationships among ideas.A discerning listener attempts to understand the main message and determine important points.An evaluative listener listens analytically and formulates arguments and challenges what is being said.Each style has its place depending on the situation involved.
Let’s expand on the topic of the formal communication channels—vertical, horizontal, and external--that follow the chain of command of the organizational structure.Examples of vertical communications are a manager giving job instructions, procedures and practices, or feedback to employees. An upward communication example is an employee responding to an opinion survey.Horizontal examples include employees sharing information of best practices and coordinating work activities or cross-functional projects.External communications is often a result of a public relations function in communicating with, for example, customers or shareholders.
Informal communication channels do not follow a chain of command, they skip management levels and bypass lines of authority. Let’s discuss two types of informal communication channels.The Grapevine – unofficial communication system of informal organization and encompasses all types of communication mediaLiaison individuals – those who consistently pass along information using the GrapevineOrganizational moles – use information for personal advantageManagement by Walking Around (MBWA) is a strategy used by managers to stay more connected to the issues and concerns of their workforce. Studies have shown that learning information is directly from managers is the preferred delivery mode by most employees.Discussion question: How would this work in a virtual working environment?
The Grapevine is only 30% accurate – False, it’s 75% accurateThe grapevine moves a lot faster than formal communication channels. - TrueOrganizational moles use the grapevine to their personal advantage. - TrueManagers should try to control or stop the grapevine because of it’s negative impact on the organization. – False, manager should try to influence and monitor the grapevine to reduce untrue rumors from spreading.
According to this model, effective communication occurs when the richness of the medium, or its information-carrying capacity of data, is matched appropriately with the complexity of the problem or situation. If the richness of the medium is either too high or too low for the complexity of the problem, ineffective communication results, falling either into the overload zone or the oversimplification zone.
These channels do not follow the chain of command or organizational structure.
Pick strong passwords. Use a mix of letters, symbols and numbers, following theguidelines at www.microsoft.com/protect/yourself/password/create.mspx.• Use different passwords for different Web services. And never use your Web passwordsfor PIN codes on credit, debit, or ATM cards.• Don’t reveal sensitive information—not even in “private” areas of services suchas Facebook or Flickr that offer public access to most material.• Don’t share files on services that offer optional sharing, such as Google Docs, unlessthere is a real need.• Keep data whose disclosure would create legal liability or embarrassment on yourpersonal hard drives and storage devices.• Avoid file-sharing services such as Lime Wire that distribute pirated files. Both theservices and the downloads can open your computer to prying eyes.• Apply the latest security updates to all your software, including operating systems,browsers, and antivirus programs.
The internet generation is coming into the workplace with a set of expectations about information sharing and communication processes. Here are eight norms identified through interviews with members of the “Net Generation”Freedom – want flexibility in work hours and locationCustomization – want to be able to personalizeScrutiny – are used to screening out good and poor sources of informationIntegrity – have lots of tolerance and strive to be considerate and honestCollaboration – desire to work with othersEntertainment – the fun aspects of the internet make the job more interestingSpeed – used to speed in communications; would like that at work, too with regard to feedbackInnovation – desire workplaces that encourage creativity and collaboration
Telecommuting comes with it potential benefits but also difficulties for employers and employees. Most of the research on this topic has been largely anecdotal.Here are some reported benefits and problems.ProblemsTakes self-discipline – can decrease productivityCareer implications – out of sight, out of mind phenomena may occurIsolation – employees report feeling isolated and disconnectedWork-life balance – expected to be always availableBenefitsReduced capital costs – less office space requiredProductivitygains – fewer distractions from office noise, politicsEmployer attractiveness – having flexible options is appealing to many employeesGreen – contributes to green initiatives
What’s Your Experience?• What are the goals of work-related communication?• How do you know effective communication took place?• What indications does the communication sender have that the message is not understood? Krietner/Kinicki, 2009
Personal Barriers 1. Variable skills in communicating effectively 2. Variations in how information is processed and interpreted 3. Variations in personal trust 4. Stereotypes and prejudices 5. Big egos 6. Poor listening skills 7. Natural tendency to evaluate other’s messages 8. Inability to listen with understanding 9. Nonverbal communication Krietner/Kinicki, 2009
Other Barriers • Physical barriers the distance between employees can interfere with effective communication • Semantic barriers encoding and decoding errors—involve transmitting and receiving words and symbols— fueled by the use of jargon and unnecessaryKrietner/Kinicki, 2009 words Krietner/Kinicki, 2009
What Do You Think?A computer sales personrelies on technical jargonto explain aspects of acomputer system to hisnon-technical customer.Which type of barrierexists? a. Semantic barrier b. Physical barrier c. Medium barrier d. Feedback barrier Krietner/Kinicki, 2009
Assertive Style Nonverbal Behavior Verbal Behavior Description Pattern Pattern Pushing hard Good eye contact Direct and without attacking; Comfortable, unambiguous permits others to but firm posture language influence outcome: Strong, steady, and No attributions expressive and self- audible voice or evaluations of enhancing without other’s behavior Facial expressions intruding on others matched to message Use of ―I‖ Appropriately statements and serious tone cooperative Selective ―we‖ statements interruptions to ensure understandingKrietner/Kinicki, 2009 Krietner/Kinicki, 2009
Aggressive Style Nonverbal Behavior Verbal Behavior Description Pattern PatternTaking advantage Glaring eye contact Swear words andof others; Moving or leaning abusiveexpressive and self- too close languageenhancing at Threatening Attributions andothers’ expense gestures evaluations of Loud voice others’ behavior Frequent Sexist or racist interruptions terms Explicit threats or put-downs Krietner/Kinicki, 2009
Nonassertive Style Nonverbal Behavior Verbal Behavior Description Pattern Pattern Encouraging others Little eye contact Qualifiers to take advantage Downward glances Fillers of us; inhibited; Slumped posture Negaters self-denying Constantly shifting weight Wringing hands Weak or whiny voiceKrietner/Kinicki, 2009 Krietner/Kinicki, 2009
Nonverbal Communication • Nonverbal Communication messages sent outside of written or spoken word – Experts estimate 65 to 90% of every conversation is nonverbal • What are examples of nonverbal communication? Krietner/Kinicki, 2009
What Do You Think? During a job interview, Charlie, the interviewer stared intently at the candidate while he talked, constantly nodded his head to show understanding, and leaned over the table towards the candidate. Charlie’s nonverbal communication is: a. Effective, he did all the right things b. Over the top, he would make me uncomfortable c. Pretty good, he just shouldn’t have leaned over the tableKrietner/Kinicki, 2009 Krietner/Kinicki, 2009
Effective Listening Keys • Capitalize on thought speed • Listen for ideas • Find an area of interest • Judge content, not delivery • Hold your fire • Work at listening • Resist distractions • Hear what is said • Challenge yourself • Use handouts, overheads, or other visual aids Krietner/Kinicki, 2009
Gender Differences 1. Men are less likely to ask for information or directions 2. In decision making, women are more likely to downplay their certainty; men are more likely to downplay their doubts 3. Women apologize even when they have done nothing wrong. Men avoid apologies as signs of weakness or concession 4. Women accept blame as a way of smoothing awkward situations. Men ignore blame and place it elsewhere 5. Women temper criticism with positive buffers. Men give criticism directlyKrietner/Kinicki, 2009 Krietner/Kinicki, 2009
Gender Differences 6. Women insert unnecessary and unwarranted ―thank-you’s‖ in conversations. Men avoid thanks altogether 7. Women ask ―What do you think?‖ to build consensus. Men perceive that question as a sign of incompetence and lack of confidence 8. Women give directions in indirect ways 9. Men usurp (take) ideas stated by women and claim them as their own. Women allow this process to take place without protest 10. Women use softer voice volume to encourage persuasion and approval. Men use louder voice volume to attract attention and maintain controlKrietner/Kinicki, 2009 Krietner/Kinicki, 2009
Formal Channels• Follow the chain of command or organizational structure• Vertical – up and down the organization• Horizontal - communicating within and between work units• External – communicating with others outside the organization• What are examples of vertical, horizontal and external communication? Krietner/Kinicki, 2009
Informal Channels • Grapevine - unofficial communication system of informal organization and encompasses all types of communication media – Moles – Liaisons • Management by Walking Around – Managers literally walk around an talk to people across lines of authority – How would this work in a virtual working environment?Krietner/Kinicki, 2009 Krietner/Kinicki, 2009
What Do You ThinkTrue (A) or False (B)?1. The Grapevine is only 30% accurate2. The grapevine moves a lot faster than formal communication channels.3. Organizational moles use the grapevine to their personal advantage.4. Managers should try to control or stop the grapevine because of it’s negative impact on the organization. Krietner/Kinicki, 2009
Contingency Model Rich Overload zone Richness of Communication Medium Face-to-face Interactive media Personal static media Oversimplification zone Impersonal static media Lean Low Complexity of Problem/Situation HighKrietner/Kinicki, 2009 Krietner/Kinicki, 2009
Grapevine Patterns E C K H G I X Y F B D E G J D F H I D C A B J Probability—each J C A K randomly tells others Gossip—one tells all B I B D A C FSingle strand—each tells one Cluster—some tellother A selected others; most typical Krietner/Kinicki, 2009
Internet Privacy/Security • Pick Strong Passwords • Use Different Passwords • Don’t Reveal Sensitive Information • Don’t Share Files • Update Security Krietner/Kinicki, 2009
TelecommutingProblems Benefits Work-life Green balance Employer Isolation attractiveness Career Productivity gainsimplications Takes self- Reduced capital discipline costs Krietner/Kinicki, 2009
Managing Email • Don’t assume e-mail is confidential • Be professional and courteous • Avoid sloppiness • Don’t use e-mail for volatile or complex issues • Keep messages brief and clear • Save people time • Be careful withKrietner/Kinicki, 2009 attachments Krietner/Kinicki, 2009
Cell Phone Etiquette Thou Shalt Not Forget to turn cell Speak Set ringerSubject others phone Dial louder toto cell phone off while on cell annoyingconversations during driving phone tones public shows Krietner/Kinicki, 2009
ReferencesBerelson, B., & Steiner, G. (1964). Human behavior: An inventory of scientific findings. New York: Harcourt, Brace, and World.Berlo, D. (1960). The process of communication: An introduction to theory and practice. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.Croft, R.S. (2004). Communication TheoryDale, E. (1969). Audiovisual methods in teaching (3rd ed.). New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.Kaminski, S.H. (2008). http://www.shkaminski.com/Classes/BJU_MBA_665/Laswell, H. (1948). The structure and function of communication in society. In L. Bryson (Ed.), The communication of ideas. New York: Harper.Ruben, B. D. (1984). Communication and human behavior. Hew York: Macmillan Publishing Co.Schramm, W. (1954). How communication works. In W. Schramm (Ed.), The process and effects of mass communication. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.Shannon, C. & Weaver, W. (1949). The mathematical theory of communication. . Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.Theodorson, S. & Theodorson, A. (1969). A modern dictionary of sociology. New York: Cassell Education Limited. Krietner/Kinicki, 2009