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Improving Interpersonal Communication

Getting your message across

To get your message across to the other persons:

1. You need to empathize with the receiver, such as being sensitive to the words that may be
ambiguous or trigger the wrong emotional response.

2. Be sure that you repeat the message such as by, rephrasing the key points a couple of times.

3. Your message competes with other messages and noise, so find a time when the receiver is
less likely to be distracted by these other matters.

If you are communicating bad news or criticism, focus on the problem, not one the person.


Nature give us one tongue, but two ears, so we may listen twice as much as we speak.

- Greek Philosopher Epictetus

3 Components of Listening:





Is the process of receiving signals from the sender and paying attention to them.

Active Listeners improve sensing in 3 ways:

They postpone evaluation by not forming an opinion until the speaker has

They avoid interrupting the speakers conversation

They remain motivated to listen the speaker


Is understanding the message meaning, evaluating the message, and

remembering the message.

To improve the their evaluation Active Listeners empathize with the speaker.
They try to understand and be sensitive to the speakers feelings, thoughts, and

Evaluation improves listening by organizing the speakers ideas during the

communication episode.


Is a feedback to the sender, which motivates and directs the speakers communication.

Active Listeners accomplish this by maintaining sufficient eye contact and sending back
channel signals, both of which shows interest.

They also respond by clarifying the message, such as by rephrasing the speakers ideas
at appropriate breaks.



Executives in Brazilian branch Diageo arent cloistered into their own private offices.
They sit together around a massive desk called star trek table in an open plan

Diageo and many other companies are improving communication by tearing down walls,
Diageo has created shared space for the executive team, whereas Zappos and some
other firms have created an open office design for everybody.

Shared Workspace Open Workspace

Face to Face communication increased when GlaxoSmithKline employees moved to its

new open office environment in Raleigh, North Carolina, where the volume of e-mail
dropped significantly.

These open space arrangements increased the amount of face to face communication,
they also potentially produce more noise, distraction, and loss of privacy.

Another workspace strategy is to cloister employees into team spaces but also
encourage sufficient interaction with people from other teams.

Pixar Animation Studios constructed a office design that encourage communication

among team members. Pixar executives call this the bathroom effects, because team
members ,must leave their isolated team pods to fetch their mail, have lunch, or visit the
Internet-based organizational communication

For a decades, employees received official company news through hard copy newsletter
and magazines. Some firms stills use these communication devices, but most have
supplemented or replaced them completely with web-based sources of information.

The advantages of these e-zines is that company news can be prepared and distributed

IBM are encouraging employees to post their own news on internal blogs and wikis.

Wikis are collaborative web spaces in which anyone in a group can write, edit, or
remove material from the website.

Wikipedia is one of the popular online encyclopedia and one of the massive public
example of a wiki.

Direct communication with top management

For decades ago, people at Hawlett-Packard coined a phrase for this communication
strategy: Management By Walking Around (MBWA).

I dont have my own office, and I very often move around to different departments for a
day at a time.- Brian Scudamore

Along with MBWA, executives communicate more directly with employees through town
hall meetings. Some executives also conduct employee roundtable forums to hear
opinions from a small representation of staff about various issues.

These direct communication strategies potentially minimize filtering, because executives

listen directly to employees. They also help executives acquire a deeper meaning and
quicker understanding of internal organizational problems.

One of the benefit of direct communication is that employees might have more empathy
for decisions made further up the corporate hierarchy.

Communicating through the grapevine

Grapevine- is an unstructured and informal network founded on social relationships

rather than organizational charts or job descriptions.

It is a carrier of news and gossips and affects the affairs of the organization in a big way.
Some managers considered grapevine as an evil because they think that it spreads
rumors and can destroy the morale of the employees. But since grapevine can not be
eliminated we must learn to live with it. We can not control it completely but we can
certainly influence grapevine.
The main characteristics of grapevine

As compared to formal communication, the speed of grapevine is fast. In a study
it was found that in the case of manager who had an addition in his family at a local
hospital at eleven O clock at night, by 2 P.M. next day 46% of the whole management
group knew of the event. The news had traveled via the grapevine, coffee break in the
morning contributing the most.

Degree of Selectively:
Contrary to general belief grapevine shows a highly selective and discriminating
path way. It chooses what interests it.

Locale of operation:
The company grapevine mostly operates at the place of work, Since
management has control over work environment, this phenomenon can be made use of
tremendously in influencing worker opinion.

Relation to Formal Communications:

Formal and informal communication systems trend to be jointly active or inactive.
If formal communication is slow, grapevine is slow too. The two supplement each other;
formal communications step into stamp seal of authority to it.

Grapevine benefits

Improved relationship: Any problem between the workers and the management can be
solved by informal system. So it makes good relationships among the employees and
the management.

Improve interpersonal relationship: Cooperation and coordination in informal

communication leads to improve interpersonal relationship which is very much essential
to carry out the business activity smoothly.

Flexibility: Informal communication is more flexible than formal communication because

it is free from all type of formalities.