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CHAPTER 11 – COMMUNICATION

Communication : the transfer and understanding of meaning

Functions of Communication Communications serves four major functions within a group or organization : Control, Motivation, Emotional Expression, and Information 1.

Control

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2. Motivation

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3. Emotional Expression : 4. Information decisions

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Communication acts to control member behaviour, Usually organization have authority hierarchies and formal guidelines that have to be followed by the employee Communication fosters motivation by clarifying to employees what is to be done, how well they are doing, and how to improve their performance Communication provides for the emotional expression of feelings and fulfillment of social needs Communication provides information needed to make

The Communication Process

Communication Process = the steps between a source and a receiver that result in the transference and understanding of meaning Elements of the Communication Process : 1. 2. 3. 4.

The sender Encoding The message The channel – the medium selected by the sender through which the message travels to the receiver

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5. 6. 7. 8.

Types : a. Formal Channel – are established by the organization and transmit messages that are related to the professional activities of members. b. Informal Channel - used to transmit personal or social messages in the organization. These informal channels are spontaneous and emerge as a response to individual choices Decoding The receiver – the person(s) to whom the message is directed, who must translate the symbols into understandable form Noise – communication barriers that distort the clarity of the message, such as perceptual problems, information overload, etc Feedback – is the check on how seccesful we have been in transferring our messages originally intended.

Direction of Communication 1. 2. 3.

Communication that flows from one level of a group or organization to a lower level Used by group leaders with employees to assign goals, provide job instructions, explain policies and procedures, etc Doesn’t have to be oral or face to face Problems : Managers have to fully explained the problem, just one-way communication ( from manager to the employees)

1. 2.

Communication that flows to higher level in the group or organization Used to provide feedback to higher-ups, inform them of progress toward goals, and relay current problems Problems : increasingly difficult because managers are overwhelmed and easily distracted

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Communication takes place among members of the same work group, same level, or any horizontally equivalent workers Advantages : saves time and facilitates coordination

Interpersonal Communication  Oral Communication Such as speeches, formal one-on-one and group discussion - Advantages : Speed and feedback Copyrighted by Studev MSS FEUI 2013

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Disadvantages : Distortion of message “the more people, the greater the potential distortion”  Written Communication using memos, letters, fax transmissions, email, IM, and any other device that transmits via written words or symbols. Written communications are more likely to be well thought out, logical, and clear - Advantages : Tangible and verifiable - Disadvantage : Time consuming and lacks feedback  Non-verbal Communication Such as body movement, facial expressions, intonations, physical distance - Advantages : Supports other communications and provides observable expression of emotions and feelings - Disadvantage : Misperception of body language or gestures can influence receiver’s interpretation of message

Organizational Communication  Formal Small-Group Networks 3 common small groups :

In Chain model, we can see that there are three-level organization. In Wheel, the communication relies on a central figure to act as a conduit for all the group’s commuication In All Channel network,it permits all group members to actively communicate with each other  self-managed teams, where all members are free to contribute and none take on a leadership role.

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 The Grapevine  the informal communication network in a group or organization Grapevine characteristics : – Informal, not controlled by management. – Perceived by most employees as being more believable and reliable than formal communications. – Largely used to serve the self-interests of those who use it. – Results from: • Desire for information about important situations • Ambiguous conditions • Conditions that cause anxiety Suggestions for reducing the negative sequences or Rumors: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Provide information Explain actions and decisions that may appear inconsistent, unfair, or secretive Refrain from shooting the messenger – respond to them calmly, rationally and respectfully Maintain open communication channels

 Electronic Communications o Email  Advantages : quickly written, sent, and stored; low cost for distribution  Disadvantages: information overload, lack of emotional content, cold and impersonal o Instant Messaging and Text Messaging  Advantage : “real time” e-mail transmitted straight to the receiver’s desktop.  Disadvantage : can be intrusive and distracting. o Networking Software  Linked systems organically spread throughout the nation and world that can be accessed by a PC  Includes:  Social networks like MySpace® and Facebook®  Professional networks like Zoominfo® and Ziggs®  Corporate networks such as IBM’s BluePages®  Key Points:  These are public spaces – anyone can see what you post Copyrighted by Studev MSS FEUI 2013

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Can be used for job application screening Avoid “over stimulating” your contacts

o Blogs  websites about a single person (or entity) that are typically updated daily o Video Conferencing – uses live audio and video Internet streaming to create virtual meetings

 Managing information 1. Dealing with information overload – a condition in which information 2. Always on Call 3. Information security

Choice of Communication Channel •

The model of “media richness” helps explain an individual’s choice of communication channel - channels vary in their capacity to convey information



Characteristics of Rich Channels, such as face-to-face conversation:  Handle multiple cues simultaneously  Facilitate rapid feedback  Are very personal in context High performing managers are tend to be very media-sensitive



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Barriers to Effective Communication 1. Filtering A sender’s manipulation of information so that it will be seen more favorably by the receiver. 2. Selective Perception People selectively interpret what they see on the basis of their interests, background, experience, and attitudes. 3. Information Overload A condition in which information inflow exceeds an individual’s processing capacity. 4. Emotions How a receiver feels at the time a message is received will influence how the message is interpreted. 5. Language Words have different meanings to different people. 6. Silence - Defined by the absence of information - Silence is less likely where minority opinions are treated with respect, work group identification is high, and high procedural justice prevails. 7. Communication Apprehension Undue tension and anxiety about oral communication, written communication, or both 8. Gender Differences

9. “Politically Correct” Communication - Communication so concerned with being inoffensive that meaning and simplicity are lost or free expression is hampered - Certain words stereotype, intimidate, and insult individuals. - In an increasingly diverse workforce, we must be sensitive to how words might offend others. o Removed: handicapped, blind, and elderly Copyrighted by Studev MSS FEUI 2013

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o Replaced with: physically challenged, visually impaired, and senior. Removing certain words from the vocabulary makes it harder to communicate accurately. o Removed: garbage, quotas, and women. o Replaced with terms: postconsumer waste materials, educational equity, and people of gender.

Global Implications A. Cultural Barriers Caused by : 1. Semantics: some words aren’t translatable between cultures 2. Word Connotations: some words imply multiple meanings beyond their definitions in different languages 3. Tone Differences: the acceptable level of formality of language. In some cultures, language is formal, in others, it’s informal. 4. Differences in tolerance for conflict and methods for resolving conflicts: the differences between people who tend to be individualist and collectivist in solving the conflicts B. Cultural Context - The importance of social context to meaning

C. A Cultural Guide To reduce your chance of making a faux pas in another culture, err on the side of caution by: a. Assuming differences until similarity is proven b. Emphasizing description rather than interpretation or evaluation c. Practicing empathy in communication d. Treating your interpretations as working hypotheses

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