Chain of Command Communication
Instructor Robert Strain
January 13, 2014
Chain of Command Communication
In the world of business, communication has to exist for any company to meet the goals of employees and of its own. As in the military a chain has been developed so that all troops can understand that flow of communication and authority. This style is known as the chain of command which is defined as: “The order in which authority and power in an organization is wielded and delegated from top management to every employee at every level of the organization. Instructions flow downward along the chain of command and accountability flows upward.” (Web Finance, 2013) In 14 years of personal experience in the military this style would benefit the current organization I am employed by and have been for the last 2 years. In our current structure we have two Managers- direct and 2nd level, then a Director and at the highest level our Vice President. In this format sometimes our direct manger is left out of the loop and never giving a chance to perform his duties when the 2nd level Manager comes directly to us. According to Kelchner (2013), “An established chain of command creates efficiency when reporting problems or communicating with workers. For example, when a worker communicates a problem to his supervisor’s manager, the supervisor doesn't have an opportunity to correct the problem.” Since our current format of management has a fault, corrections need to be made and all of us as an organization need to follow it so the chain stays strong by working effectively. This chain of command theory is just the start and when used with 5 subcomponents will in the end help reach personal and company goals. The first and most valuable subcomponent is being an active listener; this would apply to all individuals in the chain of command. Being an “active listening means being fully engaged in paying attention to your relational partner's communication with you.” (Kreps, 2011) This means not just hearing what a person has to say but remembering too, if you can’t remember then you are not really listening. According to Kreps (2011), “organizational participants often do not engage in active listening or pay close attention to others' messages.” When an individual is not active they generate the potential for missing a key instruction, a possible problem with safety or something as simple as an employee not feeling well. These all affect the overall task of accomplishing goals which can cost an individual their job and lose money for them self along with the company. It can also cause someone to get hurt or even worse cost them their life simple because they were not engage in conversation properly. “To be an effective listener, you need to pay attention to not only the words being said, but you must also be cognizant of non-verbal cues. So much of communication is non-verbal.” (Waikato Times, 2012) The one thing all individuals in our organization can do is stop whatever they are doing, focus on the person speaking, hear and watch body language and paraphrase back what they are trying to say so the know you understand them. When this finally takes place organizational communication begins to rise and lines stay open because no one should feel like the individuals they work with do not care. The second subcomponent is developing and maintaining the highest leaders’ idea of how his organization should work. In other words it “is the idea that when you walk into any organization, you are entering a place that has a set of shared understandings, and they will be different depending on whether you are walking through the front door at Hewlett-Packard or the front door at Southwest Airlines.” (Kreps, 2011) These shared understandings make up the culture of the work place which has become the norms of the group. In our group the Quality department, it is understood by all that safety and...
References: Fay, M. J. (2011). Informal communication of co-workers: A thematic analysis of messages. Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management, 6(3), 212-229. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/17465641111188394
Hear, hear: Hone the skill of active listening. (2012, Aug 18). Waikato Times. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1033758287?accountid=32521
Kreps, G.L. (2011). Communication in organizations. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Kelchner, L. (2013). The importance of following the chain of command in business. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/importance-following-chain-command-business-23560.html
McCormack, M. (1996, Dec 23). A human being can be found in chain of command. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/260485706?accountid=32521
WebFinance, Inc. (2013). Chain of command. Retrieved from http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/chain-of-command.html
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