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Effective Communication

Effective Communication

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Published by christine_salvemini
Managerial communications
Managerial communications

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: christine_salvemini on Nov 13, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Effective CommunicationEffective communication in the workplace is vital. Max De Pree, author of The Art of Leadership, wrote, "There may be no single thing more important in our efforts to achievemeaningful work and fulfilling relationships than to learn and practice the art of communication"(La Lone). Since a workplace is comprised of multiple people, the ability of those people toshare their knowledge, coordinate, and collaborate is key to the successful conduct of business. Not only is it essential for management and staff to communicate well, but communicationamong staff and between staff and customers is also closely aligned with business success.Although many companies have internal communication vehicles such as newsletters or bulletinsfor disseminating company-related information, these forms of communication are not asatisfactory substitute for direct communication in the form of conversation, because "writtencommunication is all one-way" (Osborne). Two-way communication facilitates a real exchangeof information and provides the necessary environment for innovation and teamwork. Not allcommunication is the same, however, and an understanding of the different types of communication and when they are most aptly used is beneficial. In addition, it is important tounderstand the barriers to communication that may exist, as well as the influence of personalitytypes on communication and the advantages of active listening.Types of CommunicationThe types of communication that exist in a workplace are numerous. Operationalcommunication can occur both internally among management and staff and externally withcustomers and suppliers (La Lone). In addition, communication can occur electronically via livechat and e-mail, in writing by memorandum or letter, and face-to-face in the form of formal or 
informal discussions or training situations. Not all communication is verbal; a UCLA studyfound that as much as 93% of all communicational effectiveness is "determined by nonverbalcutes," and another study found that "the impact of a performance was determined 7 percent bythe words used, 38 percent by voice quality, and 55 percent by the nonverbal communication"(Heathfield). The types of communication are also distinguished by their purpose. Somecommunication is intended only to impart information, while other forms of communication aredesigned to persuade, provoke, engender creative output, or promote teamwork. Nonverbal CommunicationWhile most people focus on how their verbal communication is designed, nonverbalcommunication tends to occur without their even being aware of it. It has been said that"Nonverbal communication speaks louder than words," and this is true because "The visual senseis dominant for most people" (Segal). Nonverbal communication relies on nonverbal cues tosend messages and on emotional intelligence to receive them. Among the most importantnonverbal cures are eye contact, facial expression, tone of voice, posture, touch, intensity, timingand pace, and sounds that convey understanding. Eye contact makes it possible to see another'semotions, and facial expression and tone of voice underscore those emotions. Posture can conveymuch information, as well; a stiff, uncomfortable stance indicates that the person is not at easediscussing the subject at hand or not comfortable with the other person. A person's touch can alsocommunicate much; a rough, forceful touch can feel overbearing, while a too timid touch mayseem weak. A reassuring touch can be more comforting than words. Even the intensity withwhich information is imparted affects the meaning and impact of communication. A bold,dramatic approach communicates a completely different sentiment than a tentative or passiveapproach. The timing and pace of communication also conveys a message. Talking to someone
who is impatient, speaking rapidly, and not listening carefully suggests that the person is nottruly interested, while talking to someone who speaks at a slower pace and takes the time tolisten patiently gives the message that the person is interested and concerned. Although theyseem extraneous, expressions such as "ah," "um, "uh-huh" are expressions of acknowledgmentand agreement that can show both understanding and emotional connection (Segal). Segal notesthat "Together, these nonverbal signals communicate your interest and investment in others" andidentifies the critical importance of the fact that "these elements are experienced much moreintensely in the pauses between words and offer us the best opportunities for emotionalcommunication."Persuasive CommunicationMuch communication in the workplace is persuasive. The boss must persuade theworkers to do a good job and complete work on time. The organization's leader must cast acompelling vision and bring everyone on board with it so that all are working toward the samegoals with the same driving purpose. Employees may persuade the boss to give them a raise or  promotion, or they may attempt to persuade him to adopt a creative idea they believe willimprove conditions at work. All of these scenarios demand skill at persuasive communication, but unfortunately, many people are not adept at persuasion. They often fall prey to the pitfalls of  persuasion-the "up-front hard sell," resisting compromise, trying to persuade with a greatargument, or assuming that a single effort will succeed in persuading someone (Harrison).Professor Jay Conger, professor of organizational behavior at the University of SouthernCalifornia, made a 12-year study of successful business leaders and change agents, in addition toreviewing the academic literature on persuasion and rhetoric (Harrison). Conger found that thereare four essential steps to persuasion: establishing credibility, framing goals along common

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