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15 Communicating McGraw-Hill/Irwin Management, 7/e

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2 15 Communicating McGraw-Hill/Irwin Management, 7/e
Copyright © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

3 Learning Objectives After Studying Chapter 15, You will know
The important advantages of two-way communication. Communication problems to avoid. When and how to use the various communication channels. Ways to become a better “sender” and “receiver” of information. How to improve downward, upward, and horizontal communication. How to work with the company grapevine. The advantages and characteristics of the boundaryless organization.

4 Interpersonal Communication
Communication is the transmission of information and meaning from one party to another through the use of shared symbols The sender initiates the process by conveying information to the receiver—the person for whom the message is intended. The sender has a meaning he or she wishes to communicate and encodes the meaning into symbols (e.g., the words chosen for the message). Then the sender transmits, or sends, the message through some channel, such as a verbal or written medium. The receiver decodes the message (e.g., reads it) and attempts to interpret the sender’s meaning. The receiver may provide feedback to the sender by encoding a message in response to the sender’s message. The communication process often is hampered by noise, or interference in the system, that blocks perfect understanding. Noise could be anything that interferes with accurate communication: ringing telephones, thoughts about other things, or simple fatigue or stress.

5 One-Way versus Two-Way
One-way communication is a process in which information flows in only one direction – from the sender to the receiver; with no feedback loop One-way communication is more common because it is easier Two-way communication is a process in which information flows in two directions – the receiver provides feedback, and the sender is receptive to the feedback Two-way communication is more difficult and time consuming than one-way communication

6 Communication Pitfalls
Errors can occur in all stages of the communication process Encoding errors include the misuse of words, decimal points entered in the wrong place, and ambiguous phrases Decoding problems include poor listening on the part of the receiver, reading too quickly, and overlooking key points Generally it is the individuals perceptual and filtering processes that create misinterpretations Perception is the process of receiving and interpreting information Filtering is the process of withholding, ignoring, or distorting information

7 Mixed Signals and Misperception
People’s perceptions can undermine attempts to communicate People do not pay attention to everything going on around them People inadvertently send mixed signals that can undermine the intended message Different people attend to different things, and people interpret the same thing in different ways

8 Intercultural Communication
If the communication is between people from different cultures, these problems are magnified. Communication “breakdowns” often occur when business transactions take place between people from different countries. Chapter 6 introduced you to the importance of these cultural issues. This table offers suggestions for communicating effectively with someone who speaks a different language.

9 Oral and Written Channels
Oral communication includes face-to-face discussion, telephone conversations, and formal presentations and speeches Advantages art that questions can be asked and answered; feedback is immediate and direct; and it is more persuasive Disadvantages are that it can lead to spontaneous, ill-considered statements; and that there is no permanent record Written communication includes memos, letters, reports, computer files, and other written documents Advantages are that the message can be revised several times, there is a permanent record, the receiver has more time to analyze the message, and the it stays the same even if relayed through many people Disadvantages are that the sender has no control over where, when or if the message is read; no immediate feedback, and the message must be longer

10 Electronic Media Electronic media allows managers to use computers not only to gather and distribute quantitative data but to talk with others electronically Teleconferencing allows groups of people in different locations to interact over phone lines, and perhaps also to see one another on monitors during discussions , instant messaging, and blogging are other types of electronic media Most companies use instant messaging, although most people do it without their boss’s consent, and many put it to personal use. Some companies hope and pretend that employees don’t use it (they’re wrong, of course), and some ban it outright. Nonetheless, IMing will soon surpass ing. Blogging—posting text to a Web site—also has arrived in the business world. Jonathan Schwartz, president and CEO of Sun Microsystems, may have been the first top executive to embrace blogging and encourage it among his employees. He thinks managers need both and blogs to be effective.

11 Electronic Media Advantages include: Disadvantages include:
More information is shared with greater speed and efficiency Reduces time spent raveling, talking, and photocopying Reduces costs Can improve decision making Disadvantages include: Difficulty solving complex problems that require more extended face-to-face interaction Inability to pick up subtle, nonverbal, or inflectional clues about what the communicator is thinking Information leaks Lost time from private use of and instant messaging

12 Managing the Electronic Load
Even though electronic communication media may seem essential and people wonder how they ever worked without it, the sheer volume of electronic communication can be overwhelming To manage the amount of electronic communication managers should: Separate the truly important form the routing; prioritize your time around truly important goals Make sure IM’s and s are not sent to the wrong person Don’t think of as private Don’t hit ‘reply to all’ when you should only hit reply golden rule: don’t hit send unless you’d be comfortable having the contents on the front page of a newspaper

13 The Virtual Office The virtual office is a mobile office in which people can work anywhere, as long as they have the tools to communicate with customers and colleagues Based on the philosophy that management’s focus should be on what people do not where they are Many entrepreneurs conduct business via open “offices” on the Internet, working off their computers from wherever they happen to be. Similarly, major companies like IBM, GE, and Chiat/Day are slashing office space and giving people laptops or powerful notebook computers, telecommunications software, voice mail, and other communications technologies so they can work virtually anywhere, anytime. One observer calls the virtual office “the most radical redefinition of the workplace since the Industrial Revolution.”

14 Media Richness Media richness refers to the amount of information a medium can convey The more information or cues a medium sends to the receiver, the ‘richer’ the medium is

15 Improving Communication Skills: Improving Sender Skills
Honest, direct, straight talk is important but all too rare People should be able to identify your perspective, your reasoning, and your intentions Effective writing is more than correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar (although these help!) Good writing requires clear, logical thinking Strive for clarity organization, readability, and brevity In recent years, employers have been dismayed by college graduates’ poor communication skills. A demonstrated ability to communicate effectively makes a job candidate more attractive and distinguishes him or her from others.

16 Improving Sender Skills
When called upon to present a persuasive message your attitude is very important Persuasion is a process of learning from each other and negotiating a shared solution Effective persuasion is an attempt to find an emotional connection with the other person The most powerful and persuasive messages are simple and informative, are told with stories and anecdotes, and convey excitement Remember that word choice can enhance or interfere with the communication process Consider the other person’s background Avoid jargon and slang

17 Improving Your Presentations

18 Non Verbal Skills Nonverbal messages can support or undermine the stated message You should give nonverbal signals that express warmth, respect, concern, a feeling of equality, and a willingness to listen Negative nonverbal signals show coolness, disrespect, lack of interest, and a feeling of superiority Suggestions for sending the right nonverbal cues include Use time appropriately Make your office arrangement conducive to open communication Remember your body language

19 Nonverbal Skills in Other Countries
Nodding the head up and down Bulgaria means no The American A-OK gesture is vulgar in Brazil, Singapore, Russia, and Paraguay In Buddhist cultures never touch someone’s head because it is sacred Never touch or eat anything with the left hand in Muslim cultures because I is unclean Jenna Bush was innocently gesturing the sign of love for the University of Texas Longhorns, but in Norway the gesture carries a different meaning. To the Norwegians this symbol is a sign for Satan.

20 Improving Receiver Skills
In today’s demanding work environment, managers need better listening skills Reflection is a process by which a person states what he or she believes the other person is saying Listening begins with personal contact Reading mistakes are common and costly Read thins as soon as possible Note important points Read materials that fall outside your immediate concerns Once you become effective at sending oral, written, and nonverbal messages, you are halfway home toward becoming a complete communicator. However, you must also develop adequate receiving capabilities. Receivers need good listening, reading, and observational skills.

21 Improving Receiver Skills
Effective communicators are also capable of observing and interpreting nonverbal communications A vital source of useful observations comes from personally visiting people, plants, and other locations to get a firsthand view You must accurately interpret what you observe

22 Downward Communication
Downward communication refers to the flow of information from higher to lower levels in the organization’s hierarchy Problems with downward communication include: Information overload Lack of openness between managers and employees Filtering information as it moves through the organization’s hierarchy Being a skilled communicator is essential to being a good manager and team leader. But communication must also be managed throughout the organization. Every minute of every day, countless bits of information are transmitted through an organization.

23 Downward Communication
Filtering poses serious problems in organizations. As messages are communicated downward through many organizational levels, much information is lost. The data in this figure suggest that by the time messages reach the people for whom they are intended, the receivers may get very little useful information. The fewer the number of authority levels through which communications must pass, the less information will be lost or distorted. Flatter organization offers the advantage of fewer problems caused by filtering of information as it cascades through many layers.

24 Downward Communication
Some of the most important downward communication occurs when managers provide performance feedback Coaching is dialogue with a goal of helping another be more effective and achieve his or her full potential on the job Open-book management is the practice of sharing with employees at all levels of the organization vital information previously meant for management’s eyes only Coaching is dialogue with a goal of helping another be more effective and achieve his or her full potential on the job. When done properly, coaching develops executives and enhances performance. When people have performance problems, or exhibit behaviors that need to be changed, coaching is often the best way to help a person change and succeed. And coaching is not just for poor performers; as even the greatest athletes know, it is for anyone who is good and aspires to excellence. Although coaches for executives sometimes are hired from the outside, coaches from outside your organization may not understand fully the context in which you are working. So don’t take advice automatically. The best use of coaches is as sounding boards, helping you think through the potential impact of your ideas, generate new options, and learn from experience. Open-book management is the practice of sharing with employees at all levels of the organization vital information previously meant for management’s eyes only. This includes financial goals, income statements, budgets, sales, forecasts, and other relevant data about company performance and prospects. Opening the books, done properly, is a complete communications system that makes sense to people on the shop floor just as it does to the top executives. The basic steps toward open-book management include: (1) provide the information; (2) teach basic finance and the basics of the business; (3) empower people to make decisions based on what they know; and (4) make sure everyone shares directly in the company’s success (and risks), such as through stock ownership and bonuses.

25 Upward Communication Upward communication travels from lower to higher ranks in the hierarchy Upward communication is important because: Manager’s learn what’s going on Employees gain from the opportunity to communicate upward Effective upward communication facilitates downward communication as good listening becomes a two-way street

26 Upward Communication Problems common in upward communication are similar to those for downward communication People tend to share only good news with their bosses and suppress bad news because they: Want to appear competent Mistrust their boss and fear that punishment for their actions Fear the boss will punish the messenger Believe they are helping their boss if they shield him or her from problems

27 Managing Upward Communication
Generating useful information from below requires that managers both facilitate and motivate upward communication Use an open door policy Have lunch with employees Use surveys Practice MBWA (Management by wandering around)

28 Horizontal Communication
Horizontal communication is information that is shared among people on the same hierarchical level Horizontal communication has several important functions It allows sharing of information, coordination, and problem solving among units Helps solve conflicts Provides social and emotional support to people

29 Informal Communication
Informal communication is generally unofficial communication between organizational members at all levels Grapevine is the social network of informal communication Many times the grapevine will carry rumors and gossip which can be destructive Managers must work with the grapevine by Talking to the key people involved to get the facts and their perspectives Preventing rumors from starting through open communication Neutralizing rumors once they have started

30 Boundarylessness A boundaryless organization is one in which there are no barriers to information flow It implies information is available as needed moving quickly and easily enough so that the organization functions far better as a whole than its separate parts As GE’s chief learning officer said to managers, “I bet every one of you goes home at night with stuff in your head that would help the company and you don’t tell your boss” because “it’s awkward or risky. Imagine if you could just unleash the power of the collective knowledge right in this room; imagine the good it would do.” The chief learning officer uses the metaphor of the organization as a house having three kinds of boundaries: the floors and ceilings, the walls that separate the rooms, and the outside walls. These barriers correspond in organizations to the boundaries between different organizational levels, different units and departments, and the organization and its external stakeholders—for example, suppliers and customers. GE adds a fourth wall: global boundaries separating domestic from global operations. GE’s famous Workout program is a series of meetings for business members across multiple hierarchical levels, characterized by extremely frank, tough discussions that break down vertical boundaries. Workout has involved over 222,000 GE people; in any given week thousands may be participating in a Workout program.

31 Looking Ahead After Studying Chapter 16, You will know:
Why companies develop control systems for employees How to design a basic bureaucratic control system The purposes for using budgets as a control device How to interpret financial ratios and other financial controls The procedures for implementing effective control systems The different ways in which market control mechanisms are used by organizations How clan control can be approached in an empowered organization

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