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Communication

Communication

Questions for Consideration

 How can we improve communication?


 How does communication flow in
organizations?
 Do men and women communicate differently?
Communication
Problems
 People spend nearly 70 percent of their waking hours
communicating—writing, reading, speaking, listening
 WorkCanada survey of 2039 Canadians in six
industrial and service categories found
 61 percent of senior executives believed that they did a good
job of communicating with employees.
 Only 33 percent of the managers and department heads
believed that senior executives were effective
communicators.
 Only 22 percent of hourly workers, 27 percent of clerical
employees, and 22 percent of professional staff reported that
senior executives did a good job of communicating with
them.
 Canadians reported less favourable perceptions about
their company’s communications than did Americans
Communication Terms
 Communication
 The transfer of meaning among people
 Sender
 Establishes a message, encodes the
message, and chooses the channel to send
it
 Receiver
 Decodes the message and provides
feedback to the sender
Exhibit 6-1 The Communication
Process Model

Source Receiver

Chooses a Encodes the Chooses the Decodes the Provides

message message channel message feedback


Communication Terms
 Message
 What is communicated.
 Encoding
 Converting a message to symbolic form.
 Channel
 The medium through which a message travels
 Decoding
 Retranslating a sender’s message.
Choosing Channels
 Channels differ in their capacity to
convey information.
 Rich channels have the ability to
 Handle multiple cues simultaneously
 Facilitate rapid feedback
 Be very personal
Exhibit 6-2
Hierarchy of Channel Richness

Channel Type of Information


richness message medium
Richest Nonroutine, Face to face
ambiguous talk

Telephone

Computer

Memos,
letters

Flyers, bulletins
Leanest Routine, general reports
clear
Barriers to Effective
Communication
 Filtering
 Refers to a sender manipulating
information so that it will be seen
more favourably by the receiver.
 Selective Perception
 Receivers in the communication
process selectively see and hear
based on their needs, motivations,
experience, background, and other
personal characteristics.
Barriers to Effective
Communication
 Defensiveness
 When individuals interpret another’s
message as threatening, they often respond
in ways that retard effective
communication.
 Language
 Words mean different things to different
people.
Communication Flows in
Organizations
 Downward
 Communication that flows from one level of a
group to a lower level
 Managers to employees
 Upward
 Communication that flows to a higher level of a
group
 Employees to manager
 Lateral
 Communication among members of the same work
group, or individuals at the same level
Networks
 Connections by which information flow
 Formal
 Task-related communications that follow the
authority chain
 Informal
 Communications that flow along social and
relational lines
Exhibit 6-3 Networks
and Their Effectiveness
Chain Wheel All-Channel

Speed Moderate Fast Fast


Accuracy High High Moderate
Emergence of a leader Moderate High None
Member satisfaction Moderate Low High
The Grapevine
 75 percent of employees hear about matters
first through rumours on the grapevine
 Grapevine: the organization’s informal
network
 Grapevine has three main characteristics
 Not controlled by management
 Most employees perceive it as being more
believable and reliable than formal communiqués
issued by top management
 Largely used to serve the self-interests of those
people within it
Purpose of Rumors
 To structure and reduce anxiety
 To make sense of limited or fragmented
information
 To serve as a vehicle to organize group
members, and possibly outsiders, into
coalitions
 To signal a sender’s status or power
Exhibit 6-4 Reducing the Negative
Consequences of Rumors

1. Announce timetables for making important


decisions.
2. Explain decisions and behaviors that may
appear inconsistent or secretive.
3. Emphasize the downside, as well as the
upside, of current decisions and future plans.
4. Openly discuss worst case possibilities; it is
almost never as anxiety provoking as the
unspoken fantasy.
Creating Effective Mechanisms for
Communication

 Mechanisms
 The practices that bring what you stand for
to life and stimulate change
 They are intended to demonstrate how
the communication should be
accomplished
Nonverbal
Communication
 Messages conveyed through body
movements, facial expressions, and the
physical distance between the sender and the
receiver
 Kinesics
 The study of body motions, such as gestures, facial
configurations, and other movements of the body
 Proxemics
 The study of physical space in interpersonal relationships
Communication Barriers
Between Men and
Women
 Men use talk to emphasize status,
women use it to create connection
 Women and men tend to approach
points of conflict differently
Communication Barriers
Between Men and
Women
 Men and women view directness and
indirectness differently
 Women interpret male directness as an
assertion of status and one-upmanship
 Men interpret female indirectness as covert,
sneaky, and weak
 Men criticize women for apologizing, but
women say “I’m sorry” to express
empathy
Cross-Cultural
Communication
Difficulties
 Sources of barriers
 Semantics
 Word connotations
 Tonal differences
Culture Contexts
 Cultures differ in how much the context
makes a difference in communication
 High-context cultures
 Cultures that rely heavily on nonverbal and
subtle situational cues in communication.
  Low-context cultures
 Cultures
that rely heavily on words to convey
meaning in communication
Exhibit 6-5
High- vs. Low-Context Cultures

High Chinese
context
Korean
Japanese
Vietnamese
Arab
Greek
Spanish
Italian
English
North American
Scandinavian
Low Swiss
context German
Cross-Cultural Communications:
Helpful Rules

 Assume differences until similarity is


proven.
 Emphasize description rather than
interpretation or evaluation.
 Practice empathy.
 Treat your interpretations as a working
hypothesis.
Tips for Writing and
Sending E-mail
 Don’t send e-mails without a subject
line
 Be careful in your use of emoticons and
acronyms for business communications
 Write your message clearly and briefly
 Copy e-mails to others only if they really
need the information
 Sleep on angry e-mails before sending
to be sure you are sending the right
message
Summary and
Implications:
Communication
 A common theme regarding the relationship between
communication and employee satisfaction
 The less uncertainty, the greater the satisfaction
 Distortions, ambiguities, and incongruities all increase
uncertainty
 Less distortion in communication equals
 More goal attainment, and better feedback
 Reduction in ambiguity and distortion
 Ambiguity between verbal and nonverbal
communiqués increase uncertainty and reduce
satisfaction
 The goal of perfect communication is unattainable
 The issue of communication is critical to motivation