Chapter 16

Managing Communication

©2004 by Nelson, a division of Thomson Canada Limited

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What Would You Do?

Buckman Labs is facing communication problems Answers to customer questions took too long People were unwilling to share information How can sales reps be matched with the right technical experts?
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Learning Objectives: Communication
After reading the next two sections, you should be able to: 1. explain the role that perception plays in communication and communication problems 2. describe the communication process and the various kinds of communication in organizations
©2004 by Nelson, a division of Thomson Canada Limited

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Perception and Communication Problems
   

Basic perception process Perception problems Perceptions of others Self-perception

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Basic Perception Process

Perception is the process by which individuals attend to, organize, interpret, and retain information about their environments Perceptual filters
 

how people experience stimuli personality-, psychology-, or experienced-based differences
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Basic Perception Process

Exhibit 16.1 ©2004 by Nelson, a division of Thomson Canada Limited

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Perception Problems

Selective perception

tendency to notice and accept information consistent with our values and beliefs ignore inconsistent information tendency to fill in the gaps when information is missing we assume that what we don’t know is consistent with what we do know

Closure
 

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Perceptions of Others

Attribution theory

we have a basic need to understand and explain the causes of other people’s behaviour causes can be internal or external

internal causes are voluntary or under the individual’s control external causes are involuntary and outside the individual’s control
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Attribution Error and Bias

Defensive bias

tendency for people to perceive themselves as personally and situationally similar to someone who is in trouble Tendency to ignore external causes of behaviour and attribute behaviour to internal causes
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Fundamental attribution error

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Self-Perception

People generally want to maintain a positive self-image and anything that threatens that can create defensiveness Self-serving bias

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tendency of people to attribute success to internal causes and failure to external causes 10

Kinds of Communication
   

The communication process Formal communications channels Informal communication channels Coaching and counseling: One-onone communication Nonverbal communication
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The Interpersonal Communication Process

Exhibit 16.2 ©2004 by Nelson, a division of Thomson Canada Limited

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Noise
Noise occurs if: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. the sender isn’t sure about what message to communicate the message is not clearly encoded the wrong communication channel is chosen the message is not received or decoded properly the receiver doesn’t have the experience or time to understand the message
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Meanings of the Word “Fine”
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. If you exceed the 100-kph speed limit, you may have to pay a fine (penalty) Mario Lemieux turned in a fine performance (excellent) The machine runs at a slow speed, because the tolerance is fine (delicate) The puzzle is difficult to put together because the pieces are so fine (small) Recent experiments have tried to produce drugs that are fine (pure) The pages of that antique book are extremely fine (flimsy)
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Adapted from Exhibit 16.3 ©2004 by Nelson, a division of Thomson Canada Limited

Formal Communication Channels
The system of official channels carrying organizationally approved information  Downward communication

from higher to lower levels from lower to higher levels among people at the same level
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Upward communication

Horizontal communication

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Improving Formal Communication

Decrease reliance on downward communication Increase chances for upward communication Encourage greater use of horizontal communication
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Informal Communication Channels
Transmission of messages outside the formal communication channels  The “grapevine”
    

arises out of informal networks carries highly accurate information information is interesting and timely senders can seek feedback accuracy can be verified
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©2004 by Nelson, a division of Thomson Canada Limited

Managing the Grapevine
 

Don’t withhold information from it Feed information to it to keep employees informed Use it as a source of information

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Coaching and Counselling: One-on-One Communication

Coaching

communicating with someone for the direct purpose of improving the person’s performance communicating with someone about nonjob-related issues that may be affecting performance
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Counselling

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Nonverbal Communication
Any communication that doesn’t involve words.

Kinesics

movements of the body and face the pitch, rate, tone, volume, and speaking pattern of one’s voice

Paralanguage

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Learning Objectives: Improving Communication
After reading the next two sections, you should be able to: 3. explain how managers can manage effective one-on-one communication 4. describe how managers can manage effective organization-wide communication
©2004 by Nelson, a division of Thomson Canada Limited

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Managing One-on-One Communication

  

Choosing the right communication medium Listening Giving feedback Improving cross-cultural communication
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Choosing the Right Communication Medium
The method used to deliver an oral or written message  Oral communication

spoken messages such as face-toface and group meetings and telephone calls includes letters, e-mails and memos
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Written communication

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Listening

Hearing versus listening Active listening Empathetic listening

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Becoming an Active Listener

Clarify responses

ask speaker to explain confusing statements restate what has been said in your own words review the speaker’s main points
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Paraphrase responses

Summarize responses

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Becoming an Empathetic Listener

Show your desire to understand
 

listen first talk about what’s important to the other focus on the affective part of the message

Reflecting feelings

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©2004 by Nelson, a division of Thomson Canada Limited

Clarifying, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing Responses for Active Listeners

Clarifying
 

Could you explain that again? I don’t understand what you mean What you’re really saying is … If I understand you correctly … Let me summarize … Okay, your main concerns are …
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Paraphrasing
 

Summarizing
 

Adapted from Exhibit 16.5 ©2004 by Nelson, a division of Thomson Canada Limited

Giving Feedback

Destructive feedback

disapproves without any intention of being helpful and almost always causes a negative or defensive reaction intended to be helpful, corrective, and/or encouraging

Constructive feedback

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Making Feedback Effective

Provide immediate feedback

don’t delay, give feedback while memories are strong focus on particular behaviours under the person’s control

Provide specific feedback

Provide problem — oriented feedback

focus on behaviour not personality
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Improving CrossCultural Communication

 

Familiarize yourself with cultural work norms Know the address terms Understand cultural attitudes toward time

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Cross-Cultural Temporal Concepts

Appointment time

how punctual you must be time when projects should be completed how much time should be spent in discussion with others how much time you must spend with someone before getting down to business
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Schedule time

Discussion time

Acquaintance time

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Managing Organization —Wide Communication

Improving transmission: getting the message out Improving reception: hearing what others feel and think

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Improving Transmission: Getting the Message Out
  

 

E-mail Online discussion forums Televised/videotaped speeches and conferences Corporate talk shows Broadcast voice-mail

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Establishing Online Discussion Forums
1. Perform a “knowledge” audit — identify intellectual assets and spread that information throughout the organization Create an online directory — detail workers’ expertise and make it available to all employees Set up discussion groups on the net — people can collaborate on problem solving

2.

3. 4.

Reward information sharing — make knowledge sharing part of performance ©2004 by Nelson, a division of Thomson Canada Limited ratings

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Improving Reception: Hearing What Others Feel and Think

Company hotlines

people can call and leave anonymous comments information gathered from questionnaires hear directly what people think opportunity to talk with people who have little chance to talk with upper management
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Survey feedback

Informal meetings

Surprise visits

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What Really Happened?

 

Differences of perception existed between sales reps and technical experts Online discussion forums were created K’Netix system appealed to experts, sales reps and customers K’Netix encouraged open and unrestricted communication and has helped people develop innovative solutions
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©2004 by Nelson, a division of Thomson Canada Limited