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Communication: Needs, Methods and Barriers

Topics: Communication / Pages: 5 (1067 words) / Published: Apr 1st, 2013
Communication Needs

Communication needs have been identified. One need is the fact that the day shift and night don’t take the time to hand over all the relevant information relating to the work. As a result no communication is in place and the hand over shift don’t have the information required to complete tasks or make the right actions. The other communication need is the communication from the security department to the building staff reminding them of the security policies on site.

The Communication Cycle is explained below:

Communication Cycle

Sender prepares (aiming)

Receiver transmits
(Responding)
sender encodes

Receiver decodes
Sender transmits

Receiving

Communication Cycle Stages

The process of communication is not a lengthy one and is fairly simple to understand. At the onset, a communication cycle includes cause, distance, effect, with intention, attention, duplication and understanding. Let us look at it in bit more detail.

Stage #1
The first step of this cycle is aiming. Here the individual primarily encodes the message to be communicated and makes it clear with himself too, as to what is it that needs to be communicated. Here, questions like why do I need or wish to communicate, whom am I communicating with, what is the best possible method in which the message can be communicated, and so on, have to be tackled.

Stage #2
The next stage in the communication cycle is encoding, where we need to select the medium for communication - photographs, charts, words and so on. Our mentality, age, sex, education and the baggage of assumptions greatly influence our selection of medium. Whatever medium we choose to communicate with, in interpersonal communication, it should ensure we are able to follow the message clearly.

Stage #3
Transmitting the desired message clearly and at the right time comes next. So, if you have written down something to speak, see if what you are saying is consistent with what you had thought of saying. Also check for any distractions and communication barriers.

Stage #4
Now we come to the critical juncture in a communication cycle. This is the stage where the intended receiver is receiving the message. It is interesting to know for the sender or receiver that we think at least 3 times faster, as compared to speaking. So receiving will mean taking in the message thoroughly. If it is verbal communication, it will involve listening.

Stage #5
The interpretation or decoding comes after the receiving stage. This should not be a major concern and there should be no problem for the receiver to interpret the message. Of course, provided that the sender has formulated the message and has put it across clearly. Hence it is eventually the sender who is responsible for the interpretation of the message. This is where the crux and importance of communication lies.

Stage #6
Finally, all that is left in a communication cycle is the response. After the decoding and interpretation of the message, typically, it is expected that the receiver responds and reacts to it. Or let's say gives a feedback. This is where the communication techniques come in the picture.

Oral Communication Method - Face to Face

I would be implementing this method for the communication need I mentioned first. I will ensure that each shift supervisor spend a couple of minutes face to face and ensure all relevant information from the previous shift is passed on. This will be backed with the use of shift handover forms.
Advantage
The receiving shift supervisor will have an opportunity to ask questions to ensure all the information is clear and understood.

Disadvantage
Could be time consuming if a lot of information needs to be passed on and if the oncoming supervisor is late the handover could be rushed and not all the information will be carried over correctly.

Written Communication Method - Email

I will be using the email communication method to inform the building staff of instructions and required procedures that need to be followed. For example ‘security asking all staff to secure all confidential documentation and items’

Advantage
This will allow all to read this in there own time and will also act as a audit trail for when these messages are sent. This will also allow any staff member to communicate back should they have any questions.

Disadvantage
The message needs to be clear and easily understood otherwise there is a risk that staff won’t carry out the instruction correctly. This message also needs to be sent in advance to allow enough time for staff to carry out the instruction or procedure.

Barriers to communication

I have experienced that majority of people in the workplace do not perceive security of importance and would mostly make a prejudice decision based on instructions or policies that they need to carry out. Also communicating with a big audience could be challenging as emails sent aren’t always read with priority or certain staff might not be in the office at that time.

Prejudice
If Security send an email instructing all staff to secure all confidential documentation a prejudice approach is taken by most staff as to the priority of this instruction.

I have learned to ensure that emails like these are structured to inform and explain to staff as to why Security is asking for these instructions to be carried out and the importance to this. Also to add contact details on your email to offer staff the opportunity to ask contact you should they have any questions.

Number of people involved
It is challenging to ensure that a large number staff are aware of new instructions and reminded of policies that need to enforced. Some staff are out of the office and travel which might not be able to carry out these instructions if they are office related.

If have learned that it is important that these instructions are communicated to staff well in advance to allow enough time to complete these instructions or to ensure these are delegated down to fellow staff members / Secretaries to complete these on behalf absence staff.
Non-verbal communication
‘Actions speak louder than words’ and even if no direct communication is experienced by physically checking if staff have carried out the instruction will indicate if they understood the message. Also by doing a floor walk and asking staff about the instruction would indicate if staff have received the message correctly by looking at a nod of the head.

Information awareness

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