How Communication Theories Help Leaders to Communicate More Effectively

Topics: Communication, Communication theory, Rhetoric Pages: 67 (26819 words) Published: January 10, 2008
The Abstract

Communication is an important aspect in our lives and an even more important aspect in the lives of people who play the roles of leaders. We often see articles or books expounding on leadership traits or skills that a leader should possess. Among these traits and qualities, communication is almost always one of the most commonly listed ones. This comes as no surprise since we now know that researchers and professors in the leadership field have come to recognize being able to communicate as a crucial skill that leaders have to grasp before they can become an effective leader. However, becoming a good communicator requires one to know the basis behind what effective communication means. Hence, the writer puts up the proposition that the knowledge and understanding of communication theories will help leaders to communicate more effectively.

The field of communications is very broad and thus communication theories also spread over a wide variety of situations and contexts. It becomes imperative for us to look at only the theories that will be relevant to our topics and specifically, theories that will help leaders in communicating better. The writer also recognizes the fact that there are many different kinds of leaders who have varying leadership styles and job scopes. This paper will thus focus on a few possible kinds of managers we can find in our society today and how the theories chosen will be able to help specifically these few managers. The few types of managers that we will be exploring in this paper would include "The CEO – Chief Executive Officer", "The MLM – Middle-level Manager", "The Self-Employed Leader" and "The Marketing Manager". We will thus be looking at five communication theories in detail, namely The Rhetoric, General Semantics, Critical Approach of Communication Approach to Organizations, Groupthink and Genderlect Styles. Through these theories, the writer will touch on the properties of each theory and the basis of their applications in real life.

After looking at the five theories mentioned above in detail, a few other theories will be explained briefly which might be relevant to leaders as well. This will be followed by a section regarding effective communication and the basis of what makes up effective communication.

The mere knowledge communication theories will not be able to help leaders to communicate more effectively. They must be able to understand these theories and apply them in context. This means knowing exactly what kinds of theories will be relevant to what kind of situations they are in. Moreover, different leaders will find that certain theories will be more relevant to them than others. The writer wants to emphasize this point because only when leaders can apply the theories correctly will they be able to truly communicate more effectively. Hence, the last part of this paper looks specifically at four case studies and the use of the theories explained in the earlier part of this paper when applied specifically to these case studies.

The paper ends with a conclusion of the ideas presented in this paper and the possible future implications for leaders regarding the use of communication theories.

Contents Page

Chapter 1: IntroductionPg. 4
Chapter 2: Overall Summary:
i)Research ProblemPg. 9ii) Literature ReviewPg. 15 iii)History of Communication TheoriesPg. 20

Chapter 3: Communication Theories
i)Theory I: Aristotle's RhetoricPg. 24 ii)Theory II: Alfred Korzybski's General SemanticsPg. 34 iii)Theory III: Stanley Deetz's Critical Theory of Communication Approach to OrganizationsPg. 41 iv)Theory IV: Irving Janis's GroupthinkPg. 47 v)Theory V: Deborah Tannen's Genderlect StylesPg. 54vi)Other Theories:

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