COM 425: Effective Communication in Organizations
Instructor: Jeremiah Convery
February 11, 2013
Communication addresses how information circulates among the employees of a company, how information is passed from one person to another in ways such as email, phone conversations and face-to-face also known as formal and informal communication. Both methods are used with the lower-level employees and within supervisors and management patterns of communication. Communication is one of the most important skills that one can have to be successful in life. Whether you’re a student, a family member, a friend, or an employee one cannot just do away with communication. Communication is not only about the exchanging of ideas, expressing our emotions, knowledge, data and information. Many organizations have various formal methods of communication that is used. Downward network is one of them, where upper management begins the delivery of the information. This allows for lower management to hear and understand the information presented and for them to convey the information to lower-level employees. Those roles are CEO, HR managers, and lower level management while informal communication usually comes from the “grapevine.” Grapevine communication can spread information quickly and can easily cross established organizational boundaries. This is a great example of informal communication, which can carry rumors about promotions, layoffs and mergers. We have learned that formal communication is based on the individual’s role in the organizations. Formal and informal communication channels exist in every organization. Formal communication requires thought and planning prior to sharing; informal communication usually succeeds on its own, mostly because of the very effectual grapevine. At times it can be very hard to formalize informal communication; therefore, the best way to cut the grapevine is to provide truthful respectful and timely formal communication. Active listening is a structured form of listening and responding that improves overall understanding. It’s a strong way to engage someone in one-on-one conversations, participating in meetings or even interviewing a potential candidate. Active listening is a clear way of understanding; it allows for clarity of the conversation and ensures that you understand the message that’s being presented. It also focuses on the speaker, so when planning for your next remarks, you are forced to listen and reflect on the other person before responding. Each of us can and will benefit from better communication in our work environments. With active listening, we are in control, and you will not need additional resources. Just like we have active listeners we also have those who at act and listen rationally. These are the one that have very limited information but make decisions based on what they have heard. This causes serious breakdown in the communication process. To ensure that communication is being conveyed successfully one should make sure that you start with the very basics, verbal and non-verbal communication. Often times these forms of communication are being used without much planning or given thought within the workplace. With that, it is not what you say, but how you say it; so keeping in mind our posture (body language), tone of voice, and eye contact. Often times we are not aware of these things and that they tend to say more than with is being said with our mouths; and people can take our body language and lack of eye contact out of context which can cause a serious breakdown in communication. Every organization has its own distinctive style of working which will contribute to the culture of the organization. And effective communication is very important for the managers in the organization, so to perform the basic functions of management like planning, organizing, leading and controlling, communication allows managers to perform...
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