COM 425: Communication in Organizations
08 October 2012
Five Concepts Important for Successful Communication in an Organization
Successful communication is one of the most important aspects of an organization. Without it, nothing can be accomplished. There are many concepts of communication that must happen within the workplace. In this paper, I will discuss the five concepts that I feel are the most important for successful communication within an organizational setting. I will discuss how to practice active listening, the importance of organizational culture, how to resolve conflict, the key principles of human communication, and the process of formal and informal communication. I will address why they are necessary for successful communication and how best to implement them within your organization.
The first concept that is important to successful communication in an organization is active listening. “Active listening means being fully engaged in paying attention to your relational partner’s communication with you” (Krebs, 2011). Some people may think that hearing what the other person is saying is enough, but just hearing a person does not guarantee that the person’s message is being interpreted as they intend it. The keyword is active; the listener has to have an active role in the conversation. This means that the listener must receive and understand the message in order for the communication to be effective. In order to do so, the listener must take into consideration the sender’s point of view and personal perspective of the subject being discussed. Active listeners should also make it obvious that they are fully engaged in the conversation.
There are many ways to be an active listener. Some ways include asking questions, repeating what the speaker said, and eye contact. When someone is communicating with you, you should ask questions relative to what the speaker is saying. For example, if an employee comes to you and complains about a lack of supplies he or she needs to do his or her job, you should ask what he or she needs in order to be more successful. Repeating what the speaker says is very important as well. You could say something like “So you’re saying that you need more supplies.” Providing eye contact will show the speaker that you are really taking in everything he or she says to you. Giving feedback is also essential. Give non-verbal signs to show that you are listening. Ask for clarity and elaboration if needed. Review what has been said along the way, and eventually summarize the speaker’s key points (Training and Development Journal, 1989).
An active listener would never let something interrupt the speaker unless it is more important than what is being communicated. As an active listener, you should never show that you’re in a rush, look around or at other people, look at or pick up the telephone if it rings, or change the subject. These examples of things you should not do would give the speaker the impression that you have other things on your mind, and they will be able to tell that you are not actively listening.
Organizational culture is also an important concept of successful communication. “Organizational culture refers to the collectively held underlying beliefs, logics, and legends concerning organizational life that organizational participants learn and use to guide their behavior” (Krebs, 2011). Just like people have culture that helps shape and define them, organizations have the same. An organization’s culture identifies beliefs, logics, and legends to members and non-members and show’s members how to properly represent the organization.
Organizations with strong organizational culture have well-developed identity, a clearly defined history, committed members, and powerful organizational values (Krebs,...