During spring and summer of '98 I underwent a six month internship in the information services department of a major company in my country Botswana. The company , Botswana power corporation is the sole producer and distributor of electricity in Botswana. As a company with branches all over the country it is easy to understand why communication would be crucial to the day to day operations of this company as a whole. For the sake of clarity however I'm going to limit the focus of this paper to the Information servives departmentin which I worked.
My internship position was at the companies head office in Gaborone .As intern it did not take me long to realize that almost all the departments needed the services of the IS department in one way or the other.The IS department was essentially responsible for user support,themaintainance ,repair and upgrade of computer systems and training of company personnel.
By far the greatest responsibility of the department was user support.Employees from departments all over the complex would call in any problems they had with their computers. These problems would be written down on a work order form and the handled in due course.Because of this members of the department staff had to have effective listening skills .I realized that when dealing with a user it was important for me to solicit as much feedback as possible from them. I would ask questions and paraphrase what they were saying so as to better understand the nature of the problem.This was important because many a time the problem would be Just a simple matter of rebooting the computer and could easily be resolved over the phone.When trying to get to the root of the problem it was important that I display as much patience as possible with the users often vague responses to my questions. I made a conscious effort not to interrupt them and to refrain from distractions that would hinder my ability to listen... [continues]
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