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Chapter 10

Lecture Outlines

Communicating for
Results
Chapter Objectives

• Identify each major link in the communication


process, and explain the concept of media
richness.
• Identify the five communication strategies and
specify guidelines for using them.
• Discuss why it is important for managers to
know about grapevine and nonverbal
communication.
• Explain ways in which management can
encourage upward communication.

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Chapter Objectives (cont’d)

• List two practical tips for each of the three


modern communication technologies (e-mail,
cell phones, and videoconferences), and
summarize the pros and cons of
telecommuting.
• List at least three practical tips for improving
each of the following communication skills:
listening, writing, and running a meeting.

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The Importance of Communications

• Effective communications help individuals to


understand and pursue organizational
objectives.
• Organizational communications cover every
management function.
• Organizational culture depends on
communications.
• Communications improve both organizational
and individual performance.

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The Communication Process

• Communication
– The interpersonal transfer of information and
understanding from one person to another.
– A linked social process of sender, encoding,
medium, decoding, receiver, and feedback.

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Figure 10.1
The Basic Communication Process

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The Communication Process (cont’d)

• Encoding
– Translating internal thought patterns into a language
or code the intended receiver of the message will
likely understand and/or pay attention to.
– Choice of words, gestures, or other symbols for
encoding depends on the nature of the message.
– Technical or nontechnical
– Emotional or factual
– Visual or auditory
– Cultural diversity can create encoding challenges.

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The Communication Process (cont’d)
• Selecting a Medium
– Face-to-face conversations – Bulletin boards
– Telephone calls – Meetings
– E-mails – Organizational publications
– Memorandums – News releases
– Letters – Press conferences
– Computer reports – Advertising
– Photographs

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The Communication Process (cont’d)

• Media Selection in Cross-Cultural Settings


– Moving between low- and high-context cultures can
create appropriate media selection problems.
– In low-context cultures, the verbal content of the
message is more important than the medium
through which it is delivered.
– In high-context cultures, the context (setting) in
which the message is delivered is more important
than the literal words of the message.

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A Contingency Approach
(Lengel and Daft)
• Media richness
– A given medium’s capacity to convey information and
promote learning.
– Characteristics of rich mediums
– Provide simultaneous multiple information cues.
– Facilitate immediate feedback.
– Have a personal focus.
– Characteristics of lean mediums
– Convey limited information (few cues).
– Provide no immediate feedback.
– Are impersonal.

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The Communication Process (cont’d)

• Decoding
– Successful decoding depends on the receiver having
– a willingness to receive the message.
– knowledge of the language and terminology used
in the message.
– an understanding of the sender’s purpose and
background situation.

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The Communication Process (cont’d)

• Feedback
– The choice factors for the form to provide feedback
are the same factors governing the encoding process.
– Feedback affects the form and content of follow-up
communication.
– Effective feedback is timely, relevant, and personal.

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The Communication Process (cont’d)

• Noise
– Noise: any interference with the normal flow of
communication.
– Understanding decreases as noise increases.
– Dealing with noise
– Make messages more understandable.
– Minimize and neutralize sources of interference.

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Dynamics of Organizational
Communication
• Communication Strategies
– Spray & Pray
– Impersonal and one-way communications
(lectures).
– Tell & Sell
– A restricted set of messages with explanations for
their importance and relevance.
– Underscore & Explore
– Information and issues that are keys to
organizational success are discussed and
explained.

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Dynamics of Organizational
Communication (cont’d)

• Communication Strategies (cont’d)


– Identify & Reply
– Responding to employee concerns about prior
organizational communications.
– Withhold & Uphold
– Telling employees only what they need to know
when you think they need to know it.

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Dynamics of Organizational
Communication (cont’d)

• Seeking a Middle-Ground (Communication


Strategy)
– Avoid Spray & Pray and Withhold & Uphold.
– Use Tell & Sell and Identify & Reply sparingly.
– Use Underscore & Explore as much as possible.
• Merging Communication Strategies and Media
Richness
– Managers need to select the richest medium possible
when employing Tell & Sell, Identify & Reply, and
Underscore & Explore strategies.

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Dynamics of Organizational
Communication (cont’d)

• The Grapevine
– The unofficial and informal communication system in
an organization
• Managerial Attitudes Toward the Grapevine
– Managers have predominately negative feelings
about the grapevine.
– The grapevine is more prevalent at lower-levels of the
managerial hierarchy.
– The grapevine appears to be more influential in larger
organizations.

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Dynamics of Organizational
Communication (cont’d)

• Coping with the Grapevine


– Managers can keep abreast of grapevine
communications by regularly conversing with known
gatekeepers.
– The grapevine cannot be extinguished; attempts to
stifle the grapevine as likely to stimulate it instead.
– Monitoring and officially correcting grapevine
information is perhaps the best strategy for coping
with the grapevine.

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Nonverbal Communication
• Body Language
– Nonverbal communication based on facial
expressions, posture, and appearance.
• Types of Body Language
– Facial
– Gestural
– Postural
• Receiving Nonverbal Communication
– Awareness of nonverbal cues can give insight into
deep-seated emotions.

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Nonverbal Communication (cont’d)

• Giving Nonverbal Feedback


– Nonverbal feedback from authority figures
significantly affects employee behavior.
– Smiles, positive head nods, and eye contact
– Frowns, head shaking, and avoiding eye contact
– Positive feedback builds good interpersonal relations
– Sensitivity and cross-cultural training can reduce
nonverbal errors when working with individuals from
other cultures.

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Upward Communication
• Upward Communication
– The process of encouraging employees to share their feelings
and ideas with management.
• Options for Improving Upward Communications
– Formal grievance procedures
– Employee attitude and opinion surveys
– Suggestion systems
– Open-door policy
– Informal meetings
– Internet chat rooms
– Exit interviews

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Communicating in the Online
Workplace
• Getting a Handle on E-mail
– Put short messages in the subject line.
– Be sparing with graphics and attachments.
– Never assume privacy with company e-mail.
– Workplace e-mail is for business only.
– Typing in ALL CAPS is considered shouting.
– Use bullet lists for brevity and clarity.
– Inform recipients when no reply is needed.
– Save only e-mail that is likely to be needed again.
– Always include your name in the message.

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Hello! Can We Talk?

• Cellular Telephones
– Advantages: mobility and convenience.
– Disadvantages: distracted drivers and disturbing
calls in public places, and the risk of disclosing private
information.

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Communicating in the Online
Workplace (cont’d)

• Video Conferences
– A live television exchange between people in different
locations that reduces costly and possibly dangerous
travel time.
– Video conferencing tips:
– Test the system and the seating setup beforehand.
– Dress for the occasion.
– Introduce everyone.
– Speak loudly and clearly.
– Keep background noises to a minimum.

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Communicating in the Online
Workplace (cont’d)

• Telecommuting
– Sending work to and from one’s office via a computer
modem while working at home.
– The key to successful telecommuting is selecting the
jobs and the employees best suited for working away
from the office.

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Becoming a Better
Communicator
• Effective Listening
– Tolerate silence; keep listening.
– Ask stimulating, open-ended questions.
– Encourage the speaker with attentive eye contact,
alert posture, and verbal encouragers.
– Paraphrase what you have just heard.
– Show emotion to show your sympathy with speaker.
– Know your biases and prejudices.
– Avoid premature judgments.
– Summarize by reiterating what the speaker said.

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Becoming a Better
Communicator (cont’d)

• Effective Writing
– Effective writing is the product of regular practice
1. Keep words simple.
2. Don’t sacrifice communication to rules of
composition.
3. Write concisely.
4. Be specific.

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Becoming a Better
Communicator (cont’d)
• Running Meetings
– Prepare ahead of time.
– Have a reason for the meeting.
– Distribute an agenda.
– Give participants at least a day’s notice.
– Limit attendance and designate a leader.
– Have a specific start and end time.
– Encourage participation but keep to the agenda.
– Use visual aids.
– Follow up.

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