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Malfunctions of communication

• Introduction: We have seen that the symbols we use in our efforts with
imperfections and at best only loosely fit the reality to which they refer. As if this
sources of miscommunication were not enough. We shall see that additional
malfunctions exist in our communication effort

• Definition

We have noted five malfunctions of communications. So we should summaries some

suggestions to overcome miscommunication in business organization or effective

communication in a proper way. So that here is one basic bit of advice stands out “keep

in touch with reality”

If we try to communicate better .We must become better acquainted with the real world

and cheek our communications against it. Where our communication and the real world

are not in harmony then we have miscommunication.

We have seen that the symbols we use in our efforts to communicate are plagued with

imperfections and at best only loosely fit the reality to which they refer. As if these

sources of miscommunication were not enough, we shall now see that additional

malfunctions exist in our communication effort.

These malfunctions may be described as patterns of miscommunication that are common

in human communication effort .Others involve the logical thought patterns that are part

of our cultural heritage – specifically, of the system of thinking handed down to us from

past generations.

• These malfunctions may be described as patterns of miscommunication that are

common in human communication efforts. Some of these patterns are products of
language and result from the language imperfections. Other involves the logical
thought patterns that are parts of our cultural heritage.

• Malfunctions of communication are described below:

1. Two value thinking

2. Fact inference confusion

3. Two blocked mind

4. The static view

5. Failure to discriminate
1)Two value thinking: Two valued thinking exists when we consider only
two possibilities in a situation.
The True Dichotomy
Some situations may properly be “either/ or’s”
(“You will pass this course or fail”)
Many business examples illustrate two-valued logic(buy or not buy; invest or not
1. Two value thinking exist when we consider only two possibilities in situations.

• Characteristic of two-valued thinking

(a) The true dichotomy: - Some situations may be correctly described in two-valued
terms. For example- “in a lifetime we either will marry not marry. We either will
be parent or will be a parent”. Two-valued thinking is quite appropriate in this
instance. It fits the realities involved.

Two-way situations are quite common in business. In fact , many business

reports concern two way decisions. Because in an effective business
organization the decisions are taken systematically.

Example: - In a life time you either will marry or will not marry. You either will
be a partner or will not be a partner. You either will pass this course or you will
fail this course.
Business example: Many business example illustrate two-valued logic
Buy or not buy. Invest or not invest. To hire or not hire. To fire or not
(b) Multi valued situations:- Not all the situations involve only two values,
however. In fact, most involve many values, for most concern an infinite number
of gradations between extremes.For example, it is illogical to classify all people
as either fat or skinny. True, some are fat and some are skinny, but most are in
between. Also, not all fat people are equally fat. If we stand in a queue from the
skinny to fat people, the people who is standing in the middle of The queue is the
infinite gradation or average size of people who are many in number

(c) For example: It is logically classifying all people as either fat or skinny. Some
are fat and some are skinny. But most are in between not all fat people are equally
fat and not all skinny people are equally skinny.

It is the same with many other situations. Not all people are either short or tall. The
weather is not always either hot or cold. One does not run only a fast or slow.
Children are not either good or bad. Students are not intelligent or stupid.

(d) The danger involved: The danger is making two valued statement. That is
they do not always fit reality. Thus they can lead to miscommunication. Thus not
to say, however, that they should be forever eliminated from our vocabularies.
Two valued statement often are appropriate devices in communication.

(e) Value of specific reference: The only possible solution to the problem of
two-valued thinking is a two step one. First, we must continually be aware of this
communication difficulty. We must keep our eyes on the reality with which we
are concerned.

Second we must try as hard as we can to be specific in our choice of symbols. As the
first step involves an awareness of what we have been discussing.
Applications in business communication: The dangers of two-valued
thinking are especially vivid in certain business communication situations. In
writing reports. For example, frequently the assigned goal is to arrive at a yes or
no decision. As we have noted, true in business , compromise decisions or other
alternatives often are possible.

We can find either/or thinking in oral situations as well. For instance, a job
interview might be viewed as and either/or situation. Either the persons
interviewed will be hired or they will not. But variations between extremes often
are possible. An interviewer could postpone a decision to permit investigating
references, interviewing other applicants, collecting more information, or
scheduling further interview

2) Fact-inference confusion: Communication about our experiences is true

communication it fits reality. But factual communication is not always
possible. After we must infer communicate about the unknown. Confusing
inferences with fact creates miscommunication.

Characteristics of fact-inferences confusion

(a) Need for inferences: Inference is necessary for communication. We must

evaluate interept, and predict. There are inferences, inferences involves risks. To
live we must calculate risk and make inferences.

(b) Effect on communication: As necessary as they are to our living,

inferences are a source of human miscommunication. The trouble is not that we
make inferences; it is that all too frequently we confuse what is fact and what is
inference. More specifically, we tend to make inferences from the facts we
perceive, and we tend to treat these inference as if they were facts. Thus, because
we fail to see reality as it is, we fail to communicate accurately.
For example, we may see a man in the street who is unshaved, dirty clothed and
it is the reality. We may think that he is a vagabond or uncivilized but he may be
the most civilized person we ever seen.
So, inference or reality is not same in every matter.

(b) Calculating the probabilities: We must calculating the probabilities of

correctness of our inferences.

 With adds of a thousand to one of an inference being incorrect. Think

about the one
 Be aware of reality and check inferences against it.

 Importance of business communication fact inference confusion has many

consequences for business communication.

3)The block mind: The blocked mind means is closed to reality. It considers only
limited information.
A result of opinion, attitudes and beliefs. We covered one of the causes of this form
of miss communication with respect to opinions, and beliefs. Our tendency to reject
ideas approach our viewpoints is a cause of the block mind.

 A result of all ness:- All ness (judging the whole by apart) contributes to the
block mind.
 Knowing all about reality is possible. We select parts which to communicate.
 Concentrating on one characteristic in the belief that it is the whole produces

Extreme of the block mind:- A miscommunication pattern that affects us all is that
of the blocked mind. As the term implies, a blocked mind is one that is closed to reality. It
works on-limited information and ignores or rejects additional information. Thus,
because it uses only a part of the available information, its communication efforts are
necessarily only only partially correct.The blocked mind is closed to reality. It considers
only limited information.

 Know it. All ness result from block minds.

Unblocking the mind:- Unblocking the mind from the effects of our viewpoints and
our tendency to allness is no simple undertaking. Explaining how to do it involves the
most general of instructions. Nevertheless, it can be done, at least to some extent; and if
we are to improve our communication, we must try.

In unblocking our minds of the effects of our opinions, attitudes, and beliefs, we are
striving to do nothing new. Since the beginning of civilization, intelligent human beings
have sought to free their thinking from the grip of their human limitations. They have
sought truth. They have striven for rational approach to their problems. To date, however,
even the best have failed miserably-and there is likely to be no change in the foreseeable

 Thinking human beings have tried to be rational for years. Most have not
4) The static viewpoint:- we often view reality as static. Because reality is always
changing. Such a view causes miscommunication.

• Characteristics of static viewpoint

(a) The static nature of things:- Communication must reflect changes in

reality. We must have up-to inference of people and places. The reality changes.
But the symbols remain the same.

(b) The contributing factor of language:- Language contributes to static

thinking. Even tense, dates, and time references do not permit language to
account for all change in reality, but the symbols remain the same.

(c) The static viewpoint in business communication: Written and oral

communication in business must reflect time changes. If they do not
miscommunication will occur.

5)Failure to discriminate:- When we see similarities rather then differences in

reality we miscommunication . Language, built on broad categories forces us to view

Characteristics of failure to discriminate

(a) Miscommunication from stereo types forces up to from stereotypes. But stereo
types are not totally true they emphasize one thinks common to a group. We hold
many stereotypes, but all distort reality.

(d) Developing awareness of differences:- One way to solve the failure to

discriminate problem is to be continually aware of differences with in categories.

 Another way is to index reference

(d) Discrimination failure and business communication:- We need precision

is selecting words for our letter writing business speaking tasks.

• Miscommunication summarized

This review of patterns of miscommunication is by no means exhaustive. At best, we

have pointed out the major communication violations that can be categorized. In terming

these categories.

In summarizing the suggestions given for correcting these miscommunication patterns,

one basic bit of advice stands out: Keep in touch with reality. If we are to communicate

better, we must become better acquainted with the real world and check our

communications against it. When our communication and the real world are not in

harmony, we have miscommunication.