Effective Communication within the Workplace
In the fast-paced world that we live in, communication has become a way of life, especially within the business environment. From a manager's point of view, communication is the key to the success of many objectives and goals set by individuals and upper management. Unfortunately, management at every level is experiencing increased tension and uncertainties from lack of communication within the workplace. "Therefore, the need for new strategies such as listening preparations, which includes the mental, physical, and behavioral aspects required for communicating and listening effectively (Hybels & Weaver II, 2007)." Therefore, good communication skills in management are necessary for sufficient technical leadership within any organization.
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Throughout the next couple of paragraphs, I will be discussing different communication processes, some personal learning outcomes, as well as some learning outcomes from the Hybels and Weaver II "Communicating Effectively" textbook. First being able recognize how self-concept, defensive and supportive messages and behaviors create a positive or negative communication climate. For instance, giving employee's positive reinforcement or feedback "simply means telling them how they are doing at work which helps develop ones self-concept. However, there is also two-way feedback, which means taking feedback from employees. This means we need to be ready to listen to what others tell us without becoming defensive if it is not what we want to hear (McCoy, 2003)". If manager's approach this is technique of communication with open doors, it proves them with active listening skills that will provide a well-developed communication climate that will increase their own performance and/or the businesses productivity.
Organizations have often thought that poor communication is the biggest barrier to organizational effectiveness. Therefore, the development of communication skills is very important for management to build and maintain an employee's self-concept. By management sharing information with employees, it helps reduce any uncertainties about their jobs and futures, which also increases their well-being and perception of the work environment.
Some strategies management uses to overcome some of these communication barriers and conflicts are, clearly defining the employees' roles and responsibilities and actively listening to their concerns, which builds their personal communication skills and improves their communication competences. When employees and management have good business relationships and the feeling of equal empowerment and positive self-concepts are shared, it makes for a productive work atmosphere. Giving workers the opportunity to participate in the decision making process, that affect their jobs, is another way to build confidence between themselves and upper management. It is also important to show employees that they are valued, by praising their good work performance verbally, which maintains and develops their self-concept.
The key to any productive business is effective communication yet there are billions of dollars wasted each year, due to poor communication, therefore it is favorable for both managers and employees to include this skill within the workplace, for an enjoyable, well-organized and productive work environment. Building communication skills and becoming active role models in the workplace can have a remarkable contribution to the success of businesses and the success of employees. Some objectives to becoming a better communicator are to make personal contacts, actively listen, be a clear communicator, show respect, and most of all make compromise an option.
It is a proven fact that by improving communication skills throughout life it will make you more successful and productive within the workplace. Which simply means less stress and more rewards for both employees and companies. Moreover, you become a valued leader and your company becomes more successful, due to effective communication.
It is important to remember that good communication skills require the use of critical thinking, which allows us to take control of our opinions and mind-set in order to make better judgments without jumping to conclusions, which can ultimately lead to conflicts. Therefore, the use of critical thinking skills and good communication skills provides us with the intellectual standards needed to ask questions about the certain situations that might otherwise be overlooked.
With everything that we have studied during this class, I found that keeping an open mind and thinking outside the box is the easiest way to approach certain situations that require a special need for communication skills. "Although, our communication skills will always change throughout our lives because of our constantly changing self-concept and perceptions (Hybels & Weaver II, 2007)," I have been using strategies like actively listening and proper assessments, as a way to achieve a flexible style effectively communicating. To me, good communication skills with a positive attitude open the doors to a successful career that is beneficial to any organization, but more importantly a way of knowing and understanding those around you.
As mentioned earlier, recognizing personalities and self-concepts is very important within any organization. From a personal and a management viewpoint, the high expectations of communication skills within my career, has actually been very helpful with the development of many different skills. For instance, a strategy introduced a few years ago was going to help understand and recognize different personalities within the organization.
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The learning tool developed by Dr. Carl Gustav Jung, was actually going to help everyone understand each other to the point communication would not be an issue within the organization. The programs intent was to help treat people, as they needed to be treated, based on two of four colors, red being a director, blue being a relater, green being a thinker and yellow being one that socializes.
They had each employee take the short quiz to determine their two personal colors, one being their primary color and the other being secondary. After I took my quiz, it determined that I was red over green, which meant that I was a director and a thinker. I really had my doubts about this program until I moved up into a management position, which required me to communicate at a much higher level. Knowing and understanding that each individual requires different forms of treatment and communication being the primary form, the use of this technique has given us the ability to determine what those individual needs may be. This learning technique has had a powerful impact on the communication within the company and even if someone has not taken this quiz, it provides a way to assess their personal communication competencies, by determining a set of colors that fits each individual. Although, the assessment/ judgment may not always be correct, it does provide a foundation for emotional intelligence development.
Hybels, S., & Weaver II, R. L. (2007). Communicating Effectively 8th Edition. New York: McGraw Hill.
McCoy, J. (2003). Business Performance. Retrieved 3 26, 2010, from Employee Feedback - How to Build Staff Moral and Grow Your Business: http://www.businessperform.com/articles/workplace-communication/employee_feedback.html
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