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Communication at workplace

  1. 1. This is a complete research on Effective Communication with more emphasis on workplace. Yousef AlMulla Effective Communication at Workplace © 2008 YAM
  2. 2. Table of Contents <ul><li>What is Communication? </li></ul><ul><li>Importance of Effective Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Communication Process </li></ul><ul><li>Non Verbal Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Positive Feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Active Listening </li></ul><ul><li>Barriers to Effective Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendations on How to Improve Communication </li></ul><ul><li>References </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Communication is an exchange of feelings, ideas, and information, whether by speaking, writing, signals, or behaviors. </li></ul>What is Communication? Table of Contents
  4. 4. Definition of Communication from Merriam-Webster Dictionary <ul><li>to convey knowledge of or information </li></ul><ul><li>to reveal by clear signs </li></ul><ul><li>to transmit information, thought, or feeling so that it is satisfactorily received or understood </li></ul><ul><li>to open into each other </li></ul>What is Communication? Table of Contents
  5. 5. Definition of Communication from The American Heritage® Dictionary <ul><li>The exchange of thoughts, messages, or information, as by speech, signals, writing, or behavior. </li></ul><ul><li>The art and technique of using words effectively to impart information or ideas. </li></ul>What is Communication? Table of Contents
  6. 6. When does it happen? <ul><li>When a person sends or receives information, ideas and feelings with others not only using spoken or written communication but also nonverbal communication. </li></ul>What is Communication? Table of Contents
  7. 7. <ul><li>Communication is more than merely keeping the employees updated as to what may be going on in your organization or in the company at large. To do that, all you need is an e-mail message and a computer. </li></ul>Communication is more than information! What is Communication? Real communication is far more than a few words strung together and delivered to your employees. Table of Contents
  8. 8. <ul><li>The concept that communication is the effective exchange of meaning or understanding applies to both formal and informal communication. It applies to communication up , down and across the organization. </li></ul>What level of communication? What is Communication? Table of Contents
  9. 9. <ul><li>Everyone in the organization is accountable for the effectiveness of their own communication. This especially applies to those who manage others. </li></ul>Who’s accountable? What is Communication? Table of Contents
  10. 10. <ul><li>it is important to remember that communication with an employee is not a matter of one sender and one receiver, but rather an exchange in which you and your employee are both sender and receiver. </li></ul>Employee Boss What is Communication? Communication is not one way This means that for real communication to take place, there must be interaction , with each player participating. Table of Contents
  11. 11. Is it possible to NOT communicate??? What is Communication? “No Communication” is Communication NO That's because communication does not involve just words, but it also is related to behavior, and unless one is dead, one always &quot;behaves&quot;. Even staying still is a behavior. Silence communicates. Our bodies communicate non-verbally. So, so long as there is life there is communication, even if the person is intentionally trying to cease all communication.
  12. 12. Why do we communicate? <ul><li>We communicate with ourselves and other people to fill current inner tensions, or needs. </li></ul><ul><li>The six current needs we each try to fill are... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>to feel respected by Self and others; and... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to give or get credible information ; and/or ... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to cause or prevent inner and/or interpersonal change - including changing or maintaining the emotional distance between us and others; and/or... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to vent - i.e. to feel deeply understood and accepted (vs. to get &quot;fixed&quot;); and/or... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to create excitement (reduce numbness or boredom); and/or... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to avoid something uncomfortable , like silence or a confrontation </li></ul></ul>What is Communication? Table of Contents
  13. 13. <ul><li>People in organizations typically spend over 75% of their time communicating. </li></ul><ul><li>Effective communication is an essential component of organizational success at all levels. </li></ul><ul><li>Numerous employee surveys have found that many problems in any organization can be traced back to one primary cause: poor communication. </li></ul>Importance of Effective Communication Table of Contents
  14. 14. Poor communication results in poor performance <ul><li>When there is poor communication in an organization, there can be any number of negative outcomes, including errors, productivity declines, distrust, lower morale, confusion, absenteeism, and general dissatisfaction. </li></ul>Importance of Effective Communication Table of Contents
  15. 15. Important skill for bosses <ul><li>As a boss, you are constantly advising, informing, explaining, discussing, reviewing, counseling, guiding, suggesting, persuading, convincing, coaching, humoring, and responding. </li></ul>Importance of Effective Communication Table of Contents
  16. 16. Employees seek and deserve a boss who is open, accessible, and responsive <ul><li>By having frequent direct contact with your employees, listening to what they say, and having honest two-way communication with them, you are far more likely to be the boss they deserve, respect, and trust. And you are far more likely to identify issues before they become problems, and solve problems before they become crises. </li></ul>Importance of Effective Communication Table of Contents
  17. 17. Communication Channels Report/Phone/ Meeting/Computer Receiver Receive message Decode and Convert to Meaning Respond Sender Start with a meaning/ message to send Encode (verbal and nonverbal) Send message Interact with feedback Feedback Noise Communication Process Table of Contents message
  18. 18. Continuous process of encoding and decoding Communication Process Table of Contents
  19. 19. Elements of Communication Process Communication Process Input . The sender has an intention to communicate with another person. This intention makes up the content of the message. Channel. The message is sent via a channel, which can be made of a variety of materials. In acoustic communication it consists of air, in written communication of paper or other writing materials. Sender. The sender encodes the message, e.g. the idea of &quot;piece of furniture to sit on.&quot; Thus he gives expression to the content. Noise. The channel is subjected to various sources of noise. One example is telephone communication, where numerous secondary sounds are audible. Receiver. The receiver decodes the incoming message, or expression. He &quot;translates&quot; it and thus receives the output Output. This is the content decoded by the receiver. Fields of Response. In the process, the relevance of a code becomes obvious: The codes of the sender and receiver must have at least a certain set in common in order to make communication work. That frame of reference is the sum of experiences in the form of each person's knowledge, beliefs and values. Our frame of reference is also greatly influenced by the culture to which we belong. On the basis of that body of personal knowledge, each member of the audience decodes the message. As members of the audience differ, so will their interpretations of what they hear. Table of Contents
  20. 20. <ul><li>Sender: Initiate meaning, encode, send, interacts with feedback. </li></ul><ul><li>Message: the meaning that sender transmits (words, ideas, body language, …) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Encoding: put the meaning in codes including words, voice and body language. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Noise or Interference: Things which change the meaning intended. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Physical : external noise such as the car horns or the high sound of radio. It also includes unpleasant smell, the annoying weather, strong perfume smell or distracting behavior of the speaker. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mental : In the human mind, mental models impact or block the meaning of the message. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Linguistic : the different interpretations of words. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical : noise in communication channels such as telephone or GSM. </li></ul></ul>Communication Process Elements of Communication Process Table of Contents
  21. 21. <ul><li>Channel: The medium by which the message is transmitted. Normal channels include sound and light waves. Other channels include books, newspapers, magazines, movies, radio and TV broadcast, cassettes, photos, phones and computers. </li></ul><ul><li>Receiver: Analyzes and translates it to meaning. He basically receives message, decodes and responds. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Decoding: Since the message contains codes (verbal and nonverbal), every receiver will interprets and translates it based on his background and previous experiences. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Feedback: The response that receiver sends to the sender. It shows if the message has been received and understood as intended to be. </li></ul>Communication Process Elements of Communication Process Table of Contents
  22. 22. Communication Channels (Media) <ul><li>Written/paper-based (books, newspapers, letters….) </li></ul><ul><li>Verbal/spoken (radio, satellite, …) </li></ul><ul><li>Electronic (e-mail,…) </li></ul><ul><li>Image/visual (TV, Cinema,…) </li></ul>Communication Process
  23. 23. Communication Types <ul><li>Intrapersonal Communication : It is the thinking that precedes the communication or the communication with self. It includes the internal voice, retrieval and storage of information, and problem solving. </li></ul><ul><li>Interpersonal Communication : It happens when two people or more communicate in an informal way to exchange information or build relationships. </li></ul><ul><li>Public Communication : In group communication, the message is sent from one person (speaker) to a group of people (listeners). This type is called lectures. </li></ul><ul><li>Mass Media Communication : It happens through electronic means such as radio, TV, Internet and books. (little or no feedback or interaction) </li></ul><ul><li>Intercultural Communication : Culture is the collection of values, habits and verbal & nonverbal coding that a group of people have in common. This communication happens when one person or more communicates with another from different culture. </li></ul>Communication Process Table of Contents
  24. 24. Communication Characteristics <ul><li>Continuous process. </li></ul><ul><li>Complete system. </li></ul><ul><li>Interactive, timely and ever-changing. </li></ul><ul><li>Mostly irreversible. </li></ul><ul><li>Intentional or unintentional. </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-directional. </li></ul>Communication Process Table of Contents
  25. 25. Communication Misconceptions <ul><li>Communication will solve all problems: It may result in creating new problems. </li></ul><ul><li>More communication is better: more negative communication will result in more negative results. Quality is more important than quantity. </li></ul><ul><li>Communication is always positive: It may be positive or negative. </li></ul><ul><li>Words carry meanings: nonverbal communication will carry most of the meanings. </li></ul><ul><li>Communication is natural ability: You can develop and sharpen communication skills. </li></ul>Communication Process Table of Contents
  26. 26. Nonverbal Communication Table of Contents
  27. 27. How Meaning is Conveyed? 7% spoken or written words A &quot;majority&quot; of the meaning we attribute to words comes not from the words themselves, but from nonverbal factors such as gestures, facial expressions, tone, body language, etc. 55% Face and body : non-verbal communication or face and body language. 38% voice dynamics : tone + inflection + volume + accent + non -word sounds; and... Nonverbal Communication Table of Contents
  28. 28. Non-verbal communication or face and body language constitutes 93% of message Nonverbal Communication Table of Contents
  29. 29. Non-verbal communication is two-way communication Nonverbal Communication Table of Contents
  30. 30. Reading Nonverbal Communication Cues <ul><li>A large percentage of the meaning we derive from the non-verbal cues that the other person gives. Often a person says one thing but communicates something totally different through vocal intonation and body language. </li></ul>Nonverbal Communication Table of Contents
  31. 31. Reading Nonverbal Communication Cues <ul><li>These mixed signals force the receiver to choose between the verbal and nonverbal parts of the message. Most often, the receiver chooses the nonverbal aspects. </li></ul><ul><li>Mixed messages create tension and distrust because the receiver senses that the communicator is hiding something or is being less than candid. </li></ul>Nonverbal Communication Table of Contents
  32. 32. Nonverbal communication is made up of the following parts: <ul><li>Visual </li></ul><ul><li>Tactile (Physical) </li></ul><ul><li>Vocal </li></ul><ul><li>Use of space and image </li></ul>Nonverbal Communication Table of Contents
  33. 33. Visual <ul><li>This often called body language and includes facial expression, eye movement, posture, and gestures. The face is the biggest part of this. All of us &quot;read&quot; people's faces for ways to interpret what they say and feel. </li></ul>Nonverbal Communication Table of Contents
  34. 34. Visual <ul><li>Of course we can easily misread these cues especially when communicating across cultures where gestures can mean something very different in another culture. For example, in American culture agreement might be indicated by the head going up and down whereas in India, a side-to-side head movement might mean the same thing. </li></ul>Nonverbal Communication Table of Contents
  35. 35. Visual <ul><li>We also look to posture to provide cues about the communicator; posture can indicate self-confidence, aggressiveness, fear, guilt, or anxiety. Similarly, we look at gestures such as how we hold our hands, or a handshake. Many gestures are culture bound and susceptible to misinterpretation </li></ul>Nonverbal Communication Table of Contents
  36. 36. Tactile (Physical) <ul><li>This involves the use of touch to impart meaning as in a handshake, a pat on the back or an arm around the shoulder. </li></ul>Nonverbal Communication Table of Contents
  37. 37. Vocal <ul><li>The meaning of words can be altered significantly by changing the intonation of one's voice. </li></ul><ul><li>Think of how many ways you can say &quot;no“ </li></ul><ul><li>you could express mild doubt, terror, amazement, anger among other emotions. Vocal meanings vary across cultures. </li></ul>Nonverbal Communication Table of Contents
  38. 38. Example <ul><li>say it in a way that indicates that the employee is doing a rather average job. </li></ul>say it in a way that clearly indicates that the employee is doing a great job. “ You are doing a good job” Have you noticed the difference? Nonverbal Communication Table of Contents
  39. 39. Physical Space <ul><li>For most of us, someone standing very close to us makes us uncomfortable. We feel our &quot;space&quot; has been invaded. People seek to extend their territory in many ways to attain power and intimacy. We tend to mark our territory either with permanent walls, or in a classroom with our coat, pen, paper, etc. We like to protect and control our territory. </li></ul>Nonverbal Communication Table of Contents
  40. 40. Physical Space <ul><li>The &quot;intimate zone&quot; is about two feet. This zone is reserved for our closest friends. </li></ul><ul><li>The &quot;personal zone&quot; from about 2-4 feet usually is reserved for family and friends. </li></ul><ul><li>The “social zone” (4-12 feet) is where most business transactions take place. </li></ul><ul><li>The &quot;public zone&quot; (over 12 feet) is used for lectures. </li></ul>Nonverbal Communication Public Zone Social Zone Personal Zone Intimate Zone Table of Contents
  41. 41. Physical Space <ul><li>At the risk of stereotyping, we will generalize and state that Americans and Northern Europeans typify the non-contact group with small amounts of touching and relatively large spaces between them during transactions. Arabs and Latin normally stand closer together and do a lot of touching during communication. </li></ul>Nonverbal Communication Table of Contents
  42. 42. Image <ul><li>We use &quot;things&quot; to communicate. This can involve expensive things, neat or messy things, photographs, plants, etc. We use clothing and other dimensions of physical appearance to communicate our values and expectations. </li></ul>Nonverbal Communication Table of Contents
  43. 43. <ul><li>The use of gestures, movements, material things and space can clarify or confuse the meaning of verbal communication. </li></ul>Nonverbal Communication Table of Contents
  44. 44. Nonverbal cues can play five roles: <ul><li>Repetition : they can repeat the message the person is making verbally </li></ul><ul><li>Contradiction : they can contradict a message the individual is trying to convey </li></ul><ul><li>Substitution : they can substitute for a verbal message. For example, a person's eyes can often convey a far more vivid message than words and often do </li></ul><ul><li>Complementing : they may add to or complement a verbal message. A boss who pats a person on the back in addition to giving praise can increase the impact of the message </li></ul><ul><li>Accenting : non-verbal communication may accept or underline a verbal message. Pounding the table, for example, can underline a message. </li></ul>Nonverbal Communication Table of Contents
  45. 45. Skillful communicators understand the importance of nonverbal communication and use it to increase their effectiveness, as well as use it to understand more clearly what someone else is really saying. <ul><li>A word of warning: Nonverbal cues can differ dramatically from culture to culture. </li></ul>Nonverbal Communication Table of Contents
  46. 46. Positive Feedback Table of Contents
  47. 47. This supervisor is struggling with one of the most important yet trickiest and most difficult management tasks: providing constructive and useful feedback to others . &quot;I don't know how to turn his performance around; he never used to have these attendance problems and his work used to be so good; I don't know why this is happening and what to do.&quot; Effective feedback is absolutely essential to organizational effectiveness; people must know where they are and where to go next in terms of expectations and goals-yours, their own, and the organization. Positive Feedback Table of Contents
  48. 48. <ul><li>Lack of constructive feedback is like sending people out on a dangerous hike without a compass. </li></ul><ul><li>This is especially true in today's fast changing and demanding workplace </li></ul>Positive Feedback Table of Contents
  49. 49. How to do it? <ul><li>Maintain a high degree of feedback throughout the communication process. Feedback is a constant barometer to let you know if the message you are sending is the same one that your employees are receiving. </li></ul><ul><li>To get feedback, It is far more effective to ask open-ended questions, such as, “How would you approach this?” or “What questions do you have?” </li></ul>Positive Feedback Table of Contents
  50. 50. How to do it? <ul><li>positive question-and-answer approach </li></ul><ul><li>helps create an atmosphere in which asking questions is entirely acceptable. In addition, your behavior demonstrates some productive feedback techniques, and this can help your employees learn and apply them. </li></ul>Positive Feedback Table of Contents
  51. 51. Develop your skills in constructive feedback <ul><li>Feedback taps basic human needs-to improve, to compete, to be accurate; people want to be competent. </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback can be reinforcing; if given properly, feedback is almost always appreciated and motivates people to improve. </li></ul>Positive Feedback Table of Contents
  52. 52. Develop your skills in constructive feedback <ul><li>Be aware of the many reasons why people are hesitant to give feedback. </li></ul><ul><li>It is crucial that we realize how critical feedback can be and overcome our difficulties; it is very important and can be very rewarding but it requires skill, understanding, courage, and respect for yourself and others. </li></ul>Positive Feedback Table of Contents
  53. 53. Why supervisors are often reluctant to provide feedback <ul><li>fear of the other person's reaction; people can get very defensive and emotional when confronted with feedback and many supervisors are very fearful of the reaction </li></ul><ul><li>the feedback may be based on subjective feeling and the supervisor may be unable to give concrete information if the other person questions the basis for the feedback </li></ul><ul><li>the information on which the feedback is based (eg. performance appraisal) may be a very flawed process and the supervisor may not totally trust the information </li></ul>Positive Feedback Table of Contents
  54. 54. Other factors may get in the way of effective feedback sessions: <ul><li>defensiveness, distorted perceptions, guilt, project, transference, distortions from the past </li></ul><ul><li>misreading of body language, tone </li></ul><ul><li>noisy transmission (unreliable messages, inconsistency) </li></ul><ul><li>receiver distortion: selective hearing, ignoring non-verbal cues </li></ul><ul><li>power struggles </li></ul><ul><li>language-different levels of meaning </li></ul><ul><li>supervisors hesitation to be candid </li></ul><ul><li>assumptions-eg. assuming others see situation same as you, has same feelings as you </li></ul><ul><li>distrusted source, erroneous translation, value judgment, state of mind of two people </li></ul>Positive Feedback Table of Contents
  55. 55. <ul><li>Part of the feedback process involves understanding and predicting how the other person will react. Or in the case of our receiving feedback, we need to understand ways that we respond to feedback, especially threatening feedback. </li></ul><ul><li>People often react negatively to threatening feedback. This reaction can take a number of forms including: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>selective reception and selective perception </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>doubting motive of the giver </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>denying validity of the data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>rationalizing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>attack the giver of the data </li></ul></ul>Other factors may get in the way of effective feedback sessions: Positive Feedback Table of Contents
  56. 56. <ul><ul><li>Specific : &quot;You wrote a thorough analysis on the Anderson project,&quot; rather than &quot;You've been doing a good job lately.&quot; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Timely : Give feedback as soon as possible. Excellent feedback presented at an inappropriate time may do more harm than good. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Descriptive : Give facts. Talk about your observations, rather than what you'd concluded from your observations. Focus on the behavior not the person. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sensitive : When emotions run high, allow a cooling-off period before talking. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Helpful : When feedback is negative, explore alternatives for improvement so the employee has goals to aim for. Use the &quot;sandwich technique&quot; by saying one positive statement followed by the negative feedback and then another compliment. </li></ul></ul>Characteristics of effective feedback Positive Feedback Table of Contents
  57. 57. <ul><li>Effective communication will only come if communicators at all organizational levels seek out feedback and take appropriate action to ensure that the intended meaning is passed on to the relevant audience. </li></ul>Feedback is crucial for effective communication Positive Feedback Table of Contents
  58. 58. Active Listening Table of Contents
  59. 59. What is Active Listening? <ul><li>By definition, listening to your employees means that you are truly paying attention to what they are saying. </li></ul><ul><li>It is not a passive process in which you nod and raise an occasional eyebrow. Rather, listening is an active and involved process in which you use several specific strategies to be absolutely certain that the message you are receiving is the one your employees are sending. </li></ul>Active Listening Table of Contents
  60. 60. <ul><li>Good communication is a two-way street, a process of give and take between individuals. </li></ul>What is Active Listening? Active Listening Table of Contents
  61. 61. Statistics support Active Listening Active Listening
  62. 62. Developing Active Listening Skills <ul><ul><li>interviewing candidates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>solving work problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>seeking to help an employee on work performance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>finding out reasons for performance discrepancies. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>There are a number of situations when you need to solicit good information from others; these situations include: </li></ul>Active Listening Table of Contents
  63. 63. <ul><li>When you initiate conversations with employees, greet them personally and listen sincerely. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask friendly questions, such as &quot;How's the family?&quot; and &quot;What's going on with you?&quot; Listen for hidden messages in words and actions. </li></ul><ul><li>The speaker may not want to say certain things out of fear of a negative reaction. Be aware of the other person's body language and tone of voice. Attend to non-verbal cues, body language, not just words; listen between the lines </li></ul>Developing Active Listening Skills Active Listening Table of Contents
  64. 64. <ul><li>Look at the person; listen openly and with empathy. </li></ul><ul><li>State your position openly; be specific, not global </li></ul><ul><li>Respond in an interested way that shows you understand the problem and the employee's concern </li></ul><ul><li>Use multiple techniques to fully comprehend (ask, repeat, rephrase, etc.). </li></ul><ul><li>Ask the other person for as much detail as he/she can provide; paraphrase what the other is saying to make sure you understand it and check for understanding. Ask the other for his views or suggestions </li></ul>Developing Active Listening Skills Active Listening Table of Contents
  65. 65. <ul><li>Communicate your feelings but don't act them out (eg. tell a person that his behavior really upsets you; don't get angry) </li></ul><ul><li>Judge the content, not the messenger or delivery; comprehend before you judge </li></ul><ul><li>Be validating, not invalidating (&quot;You wouldn't understand&quot;); acknowledge other's uniqueness, importance </li></ul><ul><li>Realize that when people feel threatened they will try to protect themselves; this is natural. This defensiveness can take the form of aggression, anger, competitiveness, avoidance among other responses. Be aware of the potential for defensiveness and make needed adjustment. </li></ul>Developing Active Listening Skills Active Listening Table of Contents
  66. 66. <ul><li>Be descriptive, not evaluative. Describe objectively, your reactions, consequences </li></ul><ul><li>Be conjunctive, not disjunctive (not &quot;I want to discuss this regardless of what you want to discuss&quot;); </li></ul><ul><li>Don't totally control conversation; acknowledge what was said </li></ul><ul><li>Own up: use &quot;I&quot;, not &quot;They&quot;... not “They have heard you are non-cooperative&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Don't react to emotional words, but interpret their purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Practice supportive listening, not one way listening </li></ul><ul><li>Decide on specific follow-up actions and specific follow up dates </li></ul>Developing Active Listening Skills Active Listening Table of Contents
  67. 67. Approaches that Facilitates Active Listening <ul><li>Use various feedback techniques: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>rephrase what your employee has said. For example, after your employee presents his thoughts, you can say, “What you are saying is....” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>summarize what your employee has said. For example, when he has concluded a thought, you can say, “ Let me recap what I’ve heard and you tell me if I’ve got it right.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>interject questions in supportive and constructive tone whenever your employees’ points are unclear to you such as, “I’m not certain what you mean. Can you clarify that for me?” </li></ul></ul>Active Listening Table of Contents
  68. 68. Barriers to Effective Communication
  69. 69. Miscommunication happens! <ul><li>In any communication at least some of the &quot;meaning&quot; lost in simple transmission of a message from the sender to the receiver. </li></ul><ul><li>In many situations a lot of the true message is lost and the message that is heard is often far different than the one intended. </li></ul>Barriers to Effective Communication Table of Contents
  70. 70. Miscommunication happens! <ul><li>The key point is that everything you do during the communication process is sending a message to your employees. </li></ul><ul><li>As a result, there are countless opportunities for miscommunication and confusion, particularly as the messages go through your employees’ filter mechanisms. </li></ul>Barriers to Effective Communication Table of Contents
  71. 71. Types of Barriers <ul><li>Interpersonal Barriers </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational Barriers </li></ul>Barriers to Effective Communication Table of Contents
  72. 72. <ul><li>Perception and perceptual selection processes </li></ul><ul><li>Semantics (language) </li></ul><ul><li>Channel selection </li></ul><ul><li>Inconsistent verbal and nonverbal communication. </li></ul>Interpersonal barriers Barriers to Effective Communication Table of Contents
  73. 73. Interpersonal Barriers Perception <ul><li>Communication depends on our perception, or how we perceive people, their motives, and intentions. We consciously and unconsciously choose from streams of sensory data, we concentrate on some bits, and we ignore others. We call this process &quot;perceptual selection&quot;. Perceptual selection affects what we hear and how we hear it, and whether and how we are willing to respond (Buchanan and Huczynski, 1997). </li></ul><ul><li>Perceptual Biases: People attend to stimuli in the environment in very different ways. We each have shortcuts that we use to organize data. Invariably, these shortcuts introduce some biases into communication. Some of these shortcuts include stereotyping, projection, and self-fulfilling prophecies. Stereotyping is one of the most common. This is when we assume that the other person has certain characteristics based on the group to which they belong without validating that they in fact have these characteristics. </li></ul>Barriers to Effective Communication Table of Contents
  74. 74. Interpersonal Barriers Perception <ul><li>Interpersonal Relationships: How we perceive communication is affected by the past experience with the individual. Perception is also affected by the organizational relationship two people have. For example, communication from a superior may be perceived differently than that from a subordinate or peer </li></ul><ul><li>Assumptions-eg. assuming others see situation same as you, has same feelings as you affects the communication. </li></ul><ul><li>Receiver distortion: selective hearing, ignoring non-verbal cues. </li></ul><ul><li>How to minimize this barrier? </li></ul><ul><li>improve our self-awareness of our own values, beliefs, and attitudes and how they affect our perception; and also improve our understanding of, and sensitivity to, others. Examples include recommendations to avoid stereotyping and to improve listening skills. While this advice helps minimize the barrier, it is primarily sender-focused; i.e. it is the supplier of information who is to be more aware and empathic. </li></ul>Barriers to Effective Communication Table of Contents
  75. 75. Interpersonal Barriers Semantics/ Language: <ul><li>Semantics is the study of the meaning of words or other symbols. Typically, we view semantics as a barrier to effective communication in organizations because words can be used imprecisely, inaccurately, or may mean different things to different people. </li></ul><ul><li>The choice of words or language in which a sender encodes a message will influence the quality of communication. </li></ul><ul><li>How to minimize this barrier? </li></ul><ul><li>pay careful attention to the choice of words and language so that confusion or offence is avoided. </li></ul>Barriers to Effective Communication Table of Contents
  76. 76. Interpersonal Barriers Channel Selection <ul><li>When improving communication in organizations, attention is rightfully given to how to send the message, or the selection of a channel (oral or written media). Selecting a channel that does not fit the message can lead to a breakdown in communication. </li></ul><ul><li>For example, we know that emotional or complex messages are usually most effectively communicated face-to-face. </li></ul><ul><li>How to minimize this barrier? </li></ul><ul><li>To date, research has shown that matching characteristics of the message (how clear vs ambiguous, how rational vs emotional, and how routine vs non-routine) to the channel can improve the effectiveness of communication. A complicated message should be sent through a &quot;rich&quot; channel, such as a face-to-face meeting (e.g. Lengel and Daft, 1988). </li></ul>Barriers to Effective Communication Table of Contents
  77. 77. Interpersonal Barriers Inconsistent verbal and non-verbal communication <ul><li>We often find in organizations that inconsistent verbal and non-verbal communication can lead to a communication breakdown. Inconsistency confuses a receiver who tries to figure out the &quot;true&quot; message of the sender and then relies heavily on the non-verbal actions to decode meaning. </li></ul><ul><li>How to minimize this barrier? </li></ul><ul><li>Minimize any inconsistencies between words and manner of speaking, facial expressions, and posture. </li></ul>Barriers to Effective Communication Table of Contents
  78. 78. Organizational Barriers <ul><li>Physical distractions </li></ul><ul><li>Information overload </li></ul><ul><li>Time pressure </li></ul><ul><li>Technical and in-group language </li></ul><ul><li>Status differences </li></ul><ul><li>Task and organization structure requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Absence of formal communication channels </li></ul>Barriers to Effective Communication Table of Contents
  79. 79. Organizational Barriers Physical distractions <ul><li>Physical distractions in organizations include interruptions, noise, and equipment breakdowns. The reality of organizational life is that at best we can try to minimize distractions instead of eliminating them altogether. </li></ul><ul><li>How to minimize this barrier? </li></ul><ul><li>advise supervisors to minimize these distractions whenever possible. </li></ul>Barriers to Effective Communication Table of Contents
  80. 80. <ul><li>Information overload can be a by-product of the sheer volume of information and data that managers deal with on a daily basis. A large part of a manager's job is information-processing (Mintzberg, 1973). One off-cited study has estimated that managers spend up to 80 per cent of every day communicating (Luthans and Larsen, 1986). </li></ul>Organizational Barriers Information overload <ul><li>How to minimize this barrier? </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce the amount of information that requires processing or to develop time-management skills to cope with higher amounts. </li></ul>Barriers to Effective Communication Table of Contents
  81. 81. Organizational Barriers Time pressure <ul><li>Time pressure is another barrier to communication that is ever-present in organizations. We have advised managers to recognize that the timing of a message can affect whether the message influences the receiver in the way intended. </li></ul><ul><li>How to minimize this barrier? </li></ul><ul><li>Recommend sensitivity to organizational time periods. Select the best time when you communicate important messages. </li></ul>Barriers to Effective Communication Table of Contents
  82. 82. Organizational Barriers Technical and in-group language <ul><li>Technical and in-group language is another barrier to communication in organizations, particularly when organizational subunits are highly differentiated or when organizational members are highly professionalized. Technical and professional vocabularies make it hard for one individual or group to communicate with another. </li></ul><ul><li>How to minimize this barrier? </li></ul><ul><li>have prescribed recognizing and minimizing specialist vocabularies whenever possible. </li></ul><ul><li>Simplify terms and consider the technical level when communicating. </li></ul>Barriers to Effective Communication Table of Contents
  83. 83. Organizational Barriers Status differences <ul><li>Status differences can be large or small in an organization. Large status differences are thought to contribute to problems with communication. </li></ul><ul><li>How to minimize this barrier? </li></ul><ul><li>Advocate minimizing status differences with the responsibility on the higher status person to reduce the distance (Hunt, 1985). </li></ul>Barriers to Effective Communication Table of Contents
  84. 84. Organizational Barriers Task and organization structure requirements <ul><li>Task and organization structure requirements can provide barriers to effective communication. The tasks people perform will affect who talks to whom, the urgency and speed of messages, and what information people need to share. As a direct consequence of hierarchy, we can find filtering (intentionally or unintentionally leaving out parts of a message), distortion (to serve individual goals), and refusal to communicate (either because of oversight or deliberately not sharing information) (Hunt, 1980). </li></ul><ul><li>How to minimize this barrier? </li></ul><ul><li>Use structural devices such as multifunctional teams, task forces, or integrating supervisors, or decentralize decision making and access to information so that authority is aligned with responsibility. </li></ul>Barriers to Effective Communication Table of Contents
  85. 85. Organizational Barriers Absence of formal communication channels <ul><li>When there is an absence of formal communication channels, it is difficult to get information from employee to manager, from manager to employee, from subunit to subunit, and from customer to supplier. In organizations we need channels to transmit information about performance, goals and goal achievement, procedures and practices, and to foster coordination and problem solving across the organizational boundaries. </li></ul><ul><li>How to minimize this barrier? </li></ul><ul><li>Develop many ways to improve upward communication (e.g. suggestion systems, performance reports, attitude surveys), downward communication (e.g., videos, newsletters, briefings and meetings) and horizontal communication (e.g. electronic networks and intranets, and quality circles). </li></ul>Barriers to Effective Communication Table of Contents
  86. 86. Internal Noise <ul><li>These are the internal noise going on in your own head that can distract you and distort what you are saying and hearing including your expectations, biases, wandering mind, or attention focused on other matters. </li></ul><ul><li>How to overcome? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When you are communicating with your employees, the best approach is to give them your undivided attention. </li></ul></ul>Barriers to Effective Communication Table of Contents
  87. 87. Internal Noise <ul><li>They are also the internal noise of the people with whom you are communicating (can be detected by their questions, their distracted appearance, or their off-target comments.) </li></ul><ul><li>How to overcome? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When this occurs, run a reality check to find out what the blockages may be. The best way to do this is to ask a few questions based on what you are observing, such as, “Have I missed something?”. By focusing the question on your own actions, you make it much easier for your employee to answer honestly. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Depending upon what you learn from your positive questioning approach, you can then adjust your comments to increase the likelihood of having real two-way communication. </li></ul></ul>Barriers to Effective Communication Table of Contents
  88. 88. The Johari Window <ul><li>The open (public) area contains things that are openly known and talked about - and which may be seen as strengths or weaknesses.  This is the self that we choose to share with others </li></ul><ul><li>The blind area contains things that others observe that we don't know about.  Again, they could be positive or negative behaviors, and will affect the way that others act towards us. </li></ul><ul><li>The unknown area contains things that nobody knows about us - including ourselves.  This may be because we've never exposed those areas of our personality, or because they're buried deep in the subconscious. </li></ul><ul><li>The hidden (private) area contains aspects of our self that we know about and keep hidden from others. </li></ul>Barriers to Effective Communication
  89. 89. A Fact <ul><li>Communication skills and effectiveness can be improved </li></ul>The following Slides show some recommendations on How to Improve Communication Table of Contents
  90. 90. Have a Clear Message <ul><li>your message should be clear in your own mind before you ever send it. If your thinking is a little vague, or if your objectives are rather sketchy, that is exactly how your message will be communicated and received. </li></ul>How to Improve Communication Table of Contents
  91. 91. Understand Your Employees <ul><li>The fact is that your employees have a vast array of motivations, expectations, values, and styles that need to be recognized if you want to communicate effectively with them. By understanding as much as possible about your employees, you can then select the best style, channel, vocabulary, volume, sentence structure, content, format, and timing to communicate successfully with them. </li></ul>How to Improve Communication Table of Contents
  92. 92. Getting out of the e-mail box <ul><li>Some bosses tend to rely excessively on e-mail, with some believing that once they have sent a particular message, the communication process is complete. </li></ul><ul><li>This is merely one-way communication of the most limited form, because matters of intonation, volume, pace, and inflection are missing. </li></ul>How to Improve Communication Table of Contents
  93. 93. Getting out of the e-mail box <ul><li>E-mail can be very helpful and productive for transmitting specific facts or data </li></ul><ul><li>but all sorts of problems can arise when the issues are even slightly complex, and that describes most business issues today. </li></ul><ul><li>Why? </li></ul><ul><li>Because e-mail is one-dimensional and lacks so many of the elements present in face-to-face communication, there is a tremendous potential for conflict and confusion. The main reason is that neither the sender nor the receiver picks up sufficient cues to really know what the other is trying to say. As a result, even the most basic e-mail communication has the potential to quickly escalate into a war of words. </li></ul>How to Improve Communication Table of Contents
  94. 94. Getting out of the e-mail box <ul><li>When your employees ask you to intervene electronically to resolve a misunderstanding, do not do it. </li></ul><ul><li>Rather, pick up the phone to discuss the situation, or, preferably, set up a face-to-face meeting. It’s rather amazing that many of these meetings actually involve people who work just down the hall from each other. </li></ul>How to Improve Communication Table of Contents
  95. 95. Don’t Be Defensive <ul><li>A major source of problem in communication is defensiveness. Effective communicators are aware that defensiveness is a typical response in a work situation especially when negative information or criticism is involved. Be aware that defensiveness is common, particularly with subordinates when you are dealing with a problem. Try to make adjustments to compensate for the likely defensiveness. </li></ul>How to Improve Communication Table of Contents
  96. 96. What does effective communication require? <ul><li>Effective communication requires awareness and a committed, cooperative effort among all people involved, so it is not always possible at the moment - unless all people voluntarily contribute these. </li></ul>How to Improve Communication Table of Contents
  97. 97. <ul><li>Some subjects should not be matters of public discussion in the workplace. These include an employee's work performance, your feelings about company policy and difficulties you have with your boss. </li></ul><ul><li>It's also important to keep confidential any personal problems employees bring to you and anything anyone tells you in confidence. The only exception to this practice would be when keeping quiet involves breaking the law or company policy. </li></ul>Learn When It's Better to Keep Quiet How to Improve Communication Table of Contents
  98. 98. <ul><li>Ensure that one of your key values is open communication. </li></ul><ul><li>Unless told otherwise, supervisors are authorized to communicate. </li></ul><ul><li>Management credibility and trust should only come with a demonstrated track record of truthful, open communication. </li></ul><ul><li>Communication about significant happenings needs to be thoroughly planned. Being too busy is not an acceptable excuse for inadequate or ineffective communication. </li></ul><ul><li>Care should be taken to decide what requires formal communication and by whom, and what can be communicated informally. </li></ul><ul><li>Significant information should show who has authorized its release and be released in all locations at the same time. </li></ul>Open communication How to Improve Communication Table of Contents
  99. 99. <ul><li>In communicating, favour local issues, especially serious business issues (such as business results, customer feedback, and the future of the business). </li></ul><ul><li>Communication issues which arise at local level (e.g. cross-functional issues, rumours) should be addressed by those involved without delay. </li></ul>Local business issues are favoured How to Improve Communication Table of Contents
  100. 100. <ul><li>Important information must be made available to team leaders (Supervisors) in a timely manner to enable team leaders to communicate it to their teams. Information should be both cascaded down the organization and communicated direct to team leaders as appropriate. </li></ul><ul><li>It is better to over-communicate than under-communicate. Team leaders should make clear what information is available and communicate as requested. </li></ul><ul><li>Effective team leaders should regularly communicate with team members on a formal and informal basis, and actively seek feedback from their teams on the effectiveness of communication with them. </li></ul>The team leader’s role is critical How to Improve Communication Table of Contents
  101. 101. <ul><li>Training in effective communication should always be available to team leaders, supervisors and managers. </li></ul><ul><li>Communication materials and support should be provided to managers, supervisors and team leaders as appropriate. </li></ul>Training should be provided How to Improve Communication Table of Contents
  102. 102. <ul><li>All communication must be truthful, and the impact and consequences of communication determined in advance and taken into account. </li></ul><ul><li>It also means effective communication of job requirements and standards, and keeping everyone informed of how they are performing. There should be &quot;no surprises&quot; when it comes to individual performance feedback. </li></ul><ul><li>Information provided to any one person should be also provided at the same time to all others involved or likely to be interested. </li></ul><ul><li>The special communication needs of shift employees or employees located in remote locations should always be considered. </li></ul><ul><li>Mischievous communication (e.g. starting or spreading rumours known to be untrue) should not be tolerated. </li></ul>Communication must respect individuals How to Improve Communication Table of Contents
  103. 103. <ul><li>Be committed to communicating both good and bad news speedily, in advance if possible, even if the full impact of the decision or message are not yet clear. Rumours in the workplace should be addressed with effective communication as soon as is practicable. </li></ul><ul><li>Communicating on a &quot;need to know&quot; basis, avoiding controversial issues, or delaying communication &quot;until all details are clear&quot; are contrary to this goal. </li></ul>Communicate both positive and negative news How to Improve Communication Table of Contents
  104. 104. <ul><li>Print, both hard copy and electronic, remains the primary means of communication in most medium to large organizations even though this is popular with only about 10 percent of frontline employees. Employees say they want face-to-face communication. </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail is very popular as a source of timely news. But employees typically think that this is &quot;information not communication&quot;. </li></ul><ul><li>Only when communication is largely face-to-face with the immediate supervisor will it stand any real chance of being effective. Forget print. Communicate directly from senior executives to supervisors face-to-face (with printed support materials if appropriate) and get supervisors to communicate with their people. </li></ul>Increase Face-to-Face Communication How to Improve Communication Table of Contents
  105. 105. Ensure Supervisors' accountabilities <ul><li>Obviously, supervisors need to be responsible for effective communication in their teams. They need to communicate face-to-face but not necessarily in meetings. Some supervisors may be nervous of speaking in public, and some employees do get militant in meetings. If they prefer to communicate one-to-one that's fine. </li></ul><ul><li>Supervisors should consult with and involve their people in decisions to do with their work as much as possible. They also need to represent employees to management, passing on employees' feedback, ideas, questions and concerns. </li></ul>How to Improve Communication Table of Contents
  106. 106. Ensure supervisors communicate <ul><li>On one hand it's critical that supervisors have a good knowledge of what's going on in the organization. On the other hand it's important that supervisors' effectiveness is measured. As Tom Peters reminds us &quot;what get measured gets done&quot;. </li></ul><ul><li>This can be done with an upward or 360 degree review (or appraisal) system, or with a simple communication survey. This asks subordinates to rate their supervisor's communication effectiveness in terms of quality and frequency and to make comments to help their supervisor improve their communication skills. The results are fed back to the supervisors and their managers. </li></ul>How to Improve Communication Table of Contents
  107. 107. Measure communication effectiveness <ul><li>If you're serious about internal communication, it's important to measure your communication effectiveness from time to time. This can be done by way of a communication audit or employee survey. </li></ul><ul><li>Your choices are to use a questionnaire or focus groups, or both. Questionnaires are good for measurement (especially longitudinally over time) and for gathering the opinions of employees in far flung locations (such as one of my recent surveys which covered 15 countries in almost as many languages). With questionnaire surveys it's usually cost effective these days to survey all employees. </li></ul>How to Improve Communication Table of Contents
  108. 108. Measure communication effectiveness <ul><li>Focus groups are good for getting very detailed feedback from employees when knowing exactly how to improve is more important than measurement. They are often used when it is easy to get to a representative sample of employees in a few key locations. </li></ul><ul><li>Obviously it's best to use both a questionnaire to all employees followed up by some focus groups to investigate specific problems or areas where there are especially good or bad results. </li></ul>How to Improve Communication Table of Contents
  109. 109. References <ul><li>Several Internet Resources in Effective Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Employee Communication & Surveys http://www.employee-communication.com.au/index.jsp </li></ul><ul><li>Using vision to improve organizational communication (An Emerald Article by Dawn Kelly) http://www.emeraldinsight.com/10.1108/01437730010318183 </li></ul><ul><li>Be the Boss Your Employees Deserve (A book by Ken Lloyd) http://www.box.net/shared/uhu990qeji </li></ul><ul><li>The Importance of Effective Communication (Research by HRD Specialist Edward G. Wertheim) http://web.cba.neu.edu/~ewertheim/interper/commun.htm#introd#introd </li></ul>Visit my e-Library @ http://yousefmulla.4shared.com E-mail @ [email_address]