Communication Structure for an Organization
COM425: Communication in Organizations
Prof. Demetra Blacknell
September 10, 2012
Human communication is the lifeblood of any organization. The interactive social process of communication is what enables organizational participants to elicit cooperation from others (Kreps, 2011). There are several different concepts that are important to an organizations communication structure. The concepts to be discussed in this paper are active listening, verbal and nonverbal communication, conflict resolution, leadership strategies, and relationship development. I feel these are some of the most important concepts in organizational communication.
Active listening is one of the key concepts to successful communication. Active listening is a person’s willingness and ability to hear and understand (Hoppe, 2006). Six skills make up active listening: paying attention, holding judgment, reflecting, clarifying, summarizing, and sharing. One important aspect of paying attention is being quiet. Many times we want to answer a question before it is done being asked. We have to put ourselves in the mind-set of wanting to listen and hear a point of view other than our own. Along those lines is the skill of holding judgment, or also know as, having an open mind. Good listeners with strong view need to hold criticism and judgment. Putting yourself in the other person’s shoes can help with this aspect as well as practicing patience.
Listening and then being able to recap what a person has said is reflecting. This is good for clearing up any misunderstanding of what was said prior to giving a response. Assuming that you understood exactly what a person has said can be as big mistake. When you paraphrase what someone has said to you it shows that you are actually listening and it gives them a chance to clear up any misunderstandings.
Identifying a persons’ emotion behind their message shows that you recognize feelings that are involved in their communications, which they may or may not be aware that they have. A Robert Frost quote says “Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it” (Rayuda, 2010). I believe this is something important to remember when reflecting during active listening. Being able to discern whether a person really has valid points or, if they are just talking to just hear themselves talk is a time saving skill to have.
Clarifying is basically clearing up any issues or points that may be unclear or not detailed enough. Proper questions, such as open-ended, probing, and clarifying, are essential when getting clarification. Often times, even when we are practicing active listening, we are thinking about our own needs and planning what we want to say instead of focusing on what the person speaking is saying (Kreps, 2011, Ch. 4.3). Clarifying is a way of clearing up something we may have missed or misunderstood due to not paying full attention.
Restating themes and points presented by the person speaking is referred to as summarizing. A summary of what was said shows that we were listening and understood their point of view. A summary doesn’t mean that you are in agreement with their point of view, just merely an understanding. A problem solving dialog may begin from a summary due to additional questions that may arise.
The final skill is sharing. Now that you have listened and confirmed you understand the point of view presented, it is time to share your thoughts. It may be easier, when in a leadership role, to introduce your ideas and suggestions after you’ve understood someone else’s thought process. Sharing your thoughts and ideas opens a dialog and can lead to an understanding between the two parties. Verbal and nonverbal communication work together in organizational communication (Kreps, 2011, Ch. 2.3). Communication...
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