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Communication is a procedure which includes sender and receiver to convey a message. Effective communications skills are the skills we assume every worker picks up along the way. The type of communication that we use at home, friends and other normal places which is known as slang can never be used at workplace. Sometimes people may get dismissed because of using such sort of language. To get success at work we need know what sort of communications skill we should at work.
Communication is a process in which message is send by a sender to a receiver. The message could be simple information and it can be verbal or non- verbal. This includes determining the meaning that the sender intends to express the other person. The person (listener) receives the message through both verbal chatting and non verbal gestures. The receiver interprets the meaning of the message. To follow on to the message receiver uses education, attitudes, experience and emotions.
Effective communication is communication which exists between two persons and the receiver interprets the same way as the sender intended it.
Communication is essential for achieving managerial and organizational effectiveness. Without communication, employees will not be able to aware of what their co-workers are doing, will not have any idea about what their goal are, and will not be able to assess their performance. In absence of channels of communication, supervisors will not be able to give instruction to their subordinates and management will not receive the information it requires to develop plans and take decision.
Good communication always helps employees become more involve in their work and helps them to develop a better understanding of their jobs. Clear, precise and timely communication of information also prevents the occurrence of organizational problems. Effective communication is essential for achieving organizational goals, but ensuring such communication has been a major problem for most organization.
Although the word “communication” is often used, there has been no consensus among communication experts regarding the definition of communication. In general, communication may be defined as the process by which the information is exchanged between individuals.
There are many components to communication. Consider verbal communication skills, listening skills, written memorandums/email, telephone skills and non-verbal communication. Also, reflect upon all the people we communicate to: subordinates, peers, supervisors, customers, and groups of people. In addition, ponder some of the reasons, why we communicate: to get and give information, to discipline subordinates, to make assignments, and so on.
We already know that communication is a big part of our daily existence. Even when we don’t want to communicate, the very actions we take not to communicate such as being quiet in meetings, avoiding people, declining to respond to emails or give feedback, communicate something about us.
In a survey of 480 companies and organizations conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers and published in the Wall Street Journal, effective communication ability ranked first among the desirable personal qualities of future employees.
Reference: December 29, 1998. Wall Street Journal, Work Week, p. A1.
In a national survey of 1000 human resource managers, oral communication skills are identified as valuable for both obtaining employment and successful job performance.
Reference: Winsor, et al., 1997
In yet another survey, executives in Fortune 500 companies indicate that college students need better communication skills, as well as the ability to work in teams and with people from diverse backgrounds (Association Trends, 1997).
The point of these examples is that honing your communication skills should be a priority for you as you seek to advance in the workplace.
Although many articles and books have dealt with interpersonal and organizational communication, most of them are not based on systematic research findings. However, the “Real Managers Study” (conducted by Fed Luthan, Richard M. Hodgetts and Stuart A.Rosenkrantz) is based on original research in communication. The researches observe managers at work in various organizational setting and also studies the self reports submitted by them to understand the process of communication in organization. They developed the managerial communication model to explain the different style of communication used by the managers and to provide a framework for understanding how managers communicate in organization.
In formal organizations, the design of communication channels is based on the assumption that all the divisions and departments are self contained and do not facilitate communication among employees at the same level. This poses the serious problem when circumstances demand such communication. If an individual wants to convey some message to an individual from another department, the message has to be passed up to the highest managerial level and then down to the individual. The reply from that individual is also received in a similar way, leading to huge delays.
Chester Barnard felt that communication played an important role in shaping organizations. According to him, Communication forms one of the three primary elements of an organization, the common goals and willingness to serve customers beings the other two elements. Communication links the number of the members of an organization with organization’s goal and facilitates and enhances cooperative action among the individual and department of the organization. Communication whether written or oral, helps an organization attain its goals, but it can also give rise to problems. For instance, if a particular message is misinterpreted, an inappropriate decision may be taken. This decision may be taken. This decision may result in losses to the organization in long-run.
Barnard related communication to the concept of authority. According to him, for authority to be delegated from a manager to sub ordinate, all communication originating from the manager must be clearly understood by the subordinate. He believed that a manager should try to understand the meaning of the message before communicating it to his subordinates. Barnards indentifies seven communication factors that helps establish and maintain objectives authority in an organization.
The member of an organization should be aware of all the available channels of communication.
Every member of organization must have access to specific formal channel of communication.
Communication with an organization must follow the shortest and most direct path.
All communication should involve the use of entire, formal line of communication.
Competent persons should serve an s communication centers.
There should be no interruption in the time of communication during the functioning of an organization, and
All communication should be authenticated.
Managers share the responsibility in communicating effectively with the individual employees themselves. The manager is 100% responsible for communicating effectively with their employees.
This includes establishing an open and trusting climate for communication, as well as demonstrating good communication techniques to their employees. The employee is 100% responsible for taking advantage of the “climate for communication” to express what is important and relevant. For example, it is expected that a manager will ask “are there any questions?” after giving an employee an assignment, but it is also expected that an employee will say, “I have a question”, if one should occur to the employee, without waiting for the manager to ask.
The following communication is useful for organizational communication.
- Non verbal communication
- Downwards communication
- Upward communication
- Lateral communication
- Interactive communication
Barriers to Effective Communication
A number of obstacles may occur on the way of the receiver to understand the message. These interruptions could lead to barriers to communications. The reason could be anything listener doesn’t under the language or sometimes it may convey the wrong meaning. Some of the barriers are discussed below.
Language: An organization has different kind of people from different cultures. In such cases language is one of the important factors for communication towards different cultural people. So inability to understand the language from either even one side of communication could lead to barrier. Even when sender uses unsuitable words while describing, it may increase misunderstanding between sender and listener.
Physical barriers: Physical barriers are one of the major barriers of effective communication in the workplace. This could be background noises and disturbances in the environment. For example roadwork, loud music, some family functions going on around etc.
Emotional barriers: Emotion could be one of the barriers to effective communication. Men are a social animal we all know about that statement and emotions play an important role in social life. It could be any personal or professional. It includes frustration, anger and fear. In such cases it may lead to trouble listening to others.
Attitudinal barriers: Attitude problem is big problem that we face everywhere now. The personal attitudes of the employees which may be dissatisfaction in workplace such as wages or the placement and comparing themselves to others could be the reason of attitudinal barriers.
Aamodt, Michael G. And Bobbiel L. Raynes. Human Relations in business: developing Interpersonal and Leadership skills. USA: Wadsworth, a division of Thomas Learning Inc, 2001.
Bartol, Kathryn M. And David C Martin. Management. 3rd Edition. USA: Irwin McGraw-Hill, 1998.
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