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No matter how clever and valuable our idea, it is worthless unless we can share it with others. Communication is talking to someone by voice, phone, e-mail, sign and even body language. It is also a process of exchanging ideas and information. Communication starts with us. When we decide to communicate, we are sharing our thoughts, feeling, beliefs, and preferences. It involves others to understand what did we said and we too understand what others said in return. If we send a message but the receiver does not understand, it means communication has not occurred. Communication can involve a variety of forms, including verbal, nonverbal, written, representative visual and representative aural. All forms of communication require a sender, a message, and receiver. The communication process work as: The sender has something to communicate, a message. The sender will encode his message with words, behavior and body language. The sender will transmit the message through a channel, such as face to face, e-mail, phone conversation, letter or presentation. The receiver will then decode the message and send feedback.
The picture above shows communication process. [http://www.mindtools.com/CommSkll/CommunicationIntro.htm]
Effective communication is important at every level of an organization especially in the hospitality and tourism industry. For example, forward information effectively will help in avoiding any misunderstanding; without feedback from customers and employee, it is impossible to understand the wants and needs of consumers. However, the ability to communicate effectively does not come easily to many people. It requires a set of skills and always practices. The following are some steps that will help in effective communication.
USE SIMPLE, CLEAR LANGUAGE
It means state our point simply. Using formal language will cause barrier to communication. All organizations, professions, and social groups have their jargon-their own specialized language. Within professions, jargon helps communication, but it can lead to confusion when used outside the groups. So, it is important to keep language short, simple and straight to the point. Hence, it is wise to use the K.I.S.S. principle when communicating-that is, keep it short and simple. People are able to understand simple message. Too much information at once will cause them unable to absorb. In addition, although they may know what we are talking about, but they hard get through our meaning unless we package message in short and simple enough to be understood. When this is done effectively, even the most complex ideas can be clearly communicated.
Paying attention means concentrating on what the person is saying. Most of the time, we thought we are listening. But in fact, we are not. We may interrupt by sigh, laugh or even cough. Besides, we pause with our own thoughts or theories. If feel the speaker or the topic is boring, we always daydreaming about other matters. Sometimes we may look at our watch or around the room. We think about the next meeting, or the next report or the next meal. We are not stopping thinking our own thoughts. Actually, real listening means closing our own thinking and allowing other person's thinking to enter. Listening help receiver find out the sender's idea. If we are paying attention to them, they will become more active and intelligent because we show to them we are interested in what is being said. While poor attention will make them hesitate and even doubt of their own thinking. They will become more unconfident and stupid.
MAKE EYE CONTACT
Eye contact is a nonverbal behavior that may help improve communication between two people. So, whether we are speaking or listening, looking into the eyes of that person in conversation is essential. It naturally shows that we are interest in the conversation. Consequently, eye contact will encourage our partner to be more confident and express his thoughts effectively. If we are listening closely to them, we are easier to catch their meaning. If giving speech in front of several people, catching all audience's eyes is important to ensure that they pay attention to us and understanding what we say. During conversation, if absence of any direct eye, it is easy to close a communication because both sender and receiver are feeling far-away.
DO NOT INTERRUPT
Interrupt is the most obvious bad habit carried out during conversation. Mostly people interrupt because they are making assumptions that their idea is better and more important. Besides, they scare they will lose their chance to speak out their idea or forget that idea. In fact, we must listen to the whole message first if we are not the speaker. We must wait until the speaker completely express his or her ideas before make a reply. If we allow them to continue, they will often come up with something more interesting, and more cheerful idea. Once we interrupting, the conversation will become quiet suddenly. The person will stop talking and we do not know how to fill the silence.
AVOID MESSAGES OVERLOAD
Overload means receiving too many messages and information at one time. When messages are overloaded, misunderstanding is easily to happen. This means messages may be either changed or left out when passing from one person to another person. So, we must always try to make our messages interesting, important, and straight to the point. However, messages overload can be minimized by using gatekeepers and queuing. Organization may employ gatekeepers, individuals who control the flow of information. For example, newspaper and television directors decide what news will and will not be shared with public. Queuing refer to lining up incoming information so that it can be send in orderly pattern.
HONESTLY SAY WHAT WE MEAN
Too often, people do not speak out their true feelings to avoid difficulty. They say everything is fine even it is unclear. Sometimes, they are hesitant to speak because they do not feel they have valuable opinions and they scared will hurt their friend. When we are believed in our own thought and certain issue, we better convey it honestly. For example, don't be afraid of saying, "I'm disagreed with you," if that is how you really feel. In this big world, maybe someone is agreeing with us, but if we can accept other's opposite opinions, maybe they can open our eyes or have an even deeper perspective. If we have courage to say what we think, it means we have opportunity to learn more. It also helps others to understanding our thoughts and opinions better.
ALWAYS ASK FOR FEEDBACK
Feedback is the mirror of communication. It is mirrors that reflect what the sender has sent. The receiver sending back to the sender the message he received. Without feedback, communication is one-way. Feedback happens in a variety of ways. For example, asking a person to repeat what has been said is a very direct way of getting feedback. Feedback is helpful especially if someone has problems with carrying out task. After give them task, always ask, "So what do you understand that I am asking you to do?" If they repeat back exactly word by word what we said, it shows that they do not completely understand us because they only copying what we said.
As we know, communication is one way to know each other's thoughts. After knowing the common barriers to communication, we can try to improve our skill to be effective communicators. These are several things we can do to become a better communicator. First, keep our messages brief and clear and avoid using jargon when communicating with those who may not be familiar with specialized terms. Secondly, concentrate and paying attention to the speaker. Third, always make eye contact with partner to show that we are interested in the conversation. Forth, do not interrupt during conversation to enable the sender convey his or her message wholly and completely. Firth, minimize the problem of messages overloaded by using gate-keepers or queuing. Sixth, we should honestly say what we mean to let others know our own thoughts. Lastly, we should always ask for feedback to reassure that receiver understand what we mean wholly. If we keep in mind these few tips and try to practice them in our interactions with other people, we will see that we soon will become much more effective in communication.
Explain in detail the five (5) functions of management process (planning/organizing/staffing/directing & coordinating/controlling).
According to Henry Fayol, "To manage is to forecast and plan, to organize, to command, & to control". It is an ongoing process. It involves continuous handling of problems and issues. Every step in management is very important because it will influent and affects the performance of others. Top level of management consists of director, chief executive. In this level, it has ultimate source of authority. It spends more time in planning and coordinating functions of an enterprise. In middle level of management, it consists of branch managers. They spend more time to organize and directing functions. Supervisors are in lower level of management. They are concerned with directing and controlling function of management. The main purpose of management is to get maximum results with minimum efforts and resources. It is the process of working with and through others to achieve the goals of organization. For example, in organization, human beings work with non-human resources like machine, materials, financial assets etc. So, cooperation among people is a must, and knows how to use organizational resources wisely.
The diagram shows five functions of management: planning, organizing, staffing directing, and controlling.http://www.managementstudyguide.com/images/management_functions.jpg
THE 5 FUNCTIONS OF MANAGEMENT
Planning is a very important management function. According to Urwick, "Planning is a mental predisposition to do things in orderly way, to think before acting and to act in the light of facts rather than guesses". It is concerned with the future impact of today's decisions; it predicts what the future should look like. For example, if you want to become a successful doctor in future, then you need to have plans and study hard from now. Besides, planning required logical thinking process. For instance, if a 4 stars hotel aims to become 5 stars within 5 years, they need to have a plan that list down the methods and steps to achieve this goals and objectives. Planning also involves selecting a course of action from available alternatives because sometimes accident will occur. Hence, it is rightly said "well plan is half done". In additions, planning provides the framework for other functions and activities, such as organizing, staffing, directing and controlling. We have to have a plan in order to know ongoing process. For example: how to organize, how to staff, what to direct and coordinate, and how to control. Without planning, the end results could be disorder. A well plan will help in avoiding confusion, uncertainties, risks and wastages. Top managers are involved in strategic planning that sets board, long-range goals for an organization. Middle managers determine specific departmental objectives that will help the organization make progress toward the broader, long-range goals. Three types of planning are standing plans, single-use plans, and day-by-day plans. A standing plan is set of procedure that used in a repetitive situation. For example, a recipe is a standing plan for preparing a dish. Single-use plan is one-time plan developed for a single occasion or purpose. For example, ball room decoration for wedding. Sometime, supervisors come early to design day-by day plans. They must ensure that everything is enough. For example, enough people to do work, enough food, linen, cleaning supplies and so on.
Organizing is the function of management which follows planning. According to Henry Fayol, "To organize a business is to provide it with everything useful or its functioning that is raw material, tools, capital and personnel's". It means that it combines essential equipment, financial and human resources in organizing process. For example, for a cleaning company, there must be enough cleaning equipment, enough cleaners, and enormous corporate assets to carry out work. The focus of organizing is determines what tasks are to be done in systematic manner. Firstly, managers divide an organization's labor and design tasks to be done. Then, managers must determine who will perform these tasks. Managers must choose a qualified person fulfilled with knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the task. Next, managers will group person who doing same type of job into a department. This process is call departmentation. Lastly, managers will delegate the authority to someone. The clarification of authority helps the process running smoother. Hence, all things will be done under control and in a correct way.
Staffing is the process that involves in recruiting right people for an organization. The main purpose of staffing is to put right man on right job. According to Kootz & O'Donell, "Managerial function of staffing involves manning the organization structure through proper and effective selection; appraisal & development of personnel to fill the roles designed to the structure". It is the basic series of human resources activities such as determining human resource needs, and recruiting, selecting, hiring, training, and developing staff members. For example, it fist plan how many people, what kind of people needed in particular department. Then, it hires best-qualified candidate (within or outside an organization) by searching candidate and drawing up a job specification. After that, it chooses the best candidate with best abilities, skills and knowledge for the required job. In addition, training may provide to enhance the knowledge, skills and attitudes of an employee to achieve better performance. After that, it evaluates the employee's performance to know the growth patterns of that employee in a period time. If the employee performance is good, then promotion is awarded to a higher position with greater responsibilities and increase in salary.
Directing can be described as providing guidance to workers to do work. Today, directing is more related to leading. Direct starting an action; it is the starting point of the work performance of subordinates. Through directing, the superiors are able to guide, inspire and instruct the subordinates to do work. For example, a leader is a person who influences a group of people towards a specific result. He has ability to get others to willingly follow. Then, he oversees the productivity and progress of his subordinate. He also provides them instruction and guidelines. Besides, he also motivate, inspiring, or encouraging the subordinates with willingness to work. From this, subordinates understand their jobs and do according to the instructions laid. For this, efforts of every individual to achieve goals of a company are required. According to Human, "Directing consists of process or technique by which instruction can be operations and can be carried out as originally planned". So, it is heart of management process and helps in achieve goals. Planning, organizing, staffing has got no importance if direction function does not take place.
Controlling is an important function because it helps to check the errors occur during the progress. Besides, it also acts as corrective action to ensure deviation from standards is minimized. Earlier concept of control was used only when errors were detected. But now, control is a foreseeing action. According to Theo Haimann, "Controlling is the process of checking whether or not proper progress is being made towards the objectives and goals and acting if necessary, to correct any deviation". For example, a sugar company sets a list of performance standards. It is plans or the targets which have to be achieved. After that, superior measures the actual performance to finding out deviations between predetermined. Then, they compare actual performance with the standards. The manager has to find out degree of deviation and cause of deviation. Once the deviation is identified, the manager has to think about various causes which have led to deviation. Finally, corrections are taken immediately or revise the targets.
The above 5 functions (planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling) are essential in management process. In simple words, we plan what to be done. Here, we set targets and goals need to be achieved. Then we organize how task to be done. We list down the steps and methods to achieve those targets. Next, we recruit and select qualified person. After that, we direct work being done. Here, leadership and supervision are needed to leading subordinate. Finally, we control or evaluate what has been done. If there are any negative deviations, we must correct it. Each of the function is very important because it will influent directly to the next function. For example, if we already plan a project, but do not have qualified staff to carry out, it is only wasted. Hence, the following function will not be able to carry out; it will only stop at planning process. So, superiors must very carefully when perform each function to achieve goals efficiently and effectively.