In my opinion Sam had a miscommunication with his new supervisor and took it for granted that he knew what steps he wanted him to take in order to fix the problem. Sam assumed that the words and terms he used meant the same to the Paul as they did to him. Sam’s knowledge and experience may have been too extensive, and made it possible for his new supervisor Paul, to misinterpret what he was trying to convey during the situation. Sam also stressed or emphasized, “Find out what the problem is out on the line, and get rid of it”. Then Paul repeated his orders back to Sam for verification and upon verification interpreted the way he received it.
2. How could the problem have been prevented? In your answer, discuss the requirement for active listening.
Effective communication means the transference and understanding of meaning. With that being said, I feel if Sam would have taken the time to identify the problem and then communicated the situation with clarity the shutdown would have been avoided. In Paul’s case being thrown into a situation without a full understanding of what the problem is. Paul couldn’t be and effective listener, because he could not concentrate on what Sam wanted him to do. Paul was pulled in the middle of job he was trying to accomplish and Sam wanted him to stop what he was doing and fix another problem, so Paul’s mind was in between jobs and could not focus on what was asked of him. Another reason Paul couldn’t be an active listener is because he was the new supervisor in the division and didn’t have prior knowledge of how Sam’s work and supervision experiences were. I think if Paul had have prior knowledge of Sam’s background and experiences he would have known Sam’s expectations of how to handle the situation. This way, Paul would have increased the likelihood of what Sam was asking and intended. Paul however did repeat what his directions were, with hope for some clarification and/or direction, but accepted the decision and response then went about accomplishing his orders.
3. Discuss the barriers to effective communication. What should Sam and Paul learn from this experience that will make them better communicators and more effective supervisors?
Sam and Paul can become better communicators by speaking to one another with clarity and perception by the receiver exactly the same as the sender envisioned it. Sam can be a better communicator if he thinks before he speaks, for example, if he understood the problem first, he could have communicated his expectation of how to fix the problem. Sam can also improve on understanding that the receiver also projects their interests and expectations when interpreting what is communicated, because senders and receivers of communications each bring their own set of perceptual biases. They both and always communicate in a fully rational manner, because if you’re emotionally upset over an issue, you’re likely to misunderstanding of incoming messages and fail to express your thought clearly and accurately. Simplify their language and consider the audience to whom the message is directed so that the language is tailored to the receiver and understood clearly. Sam can ensure understanding when directing feedback with improvement rather than personal.