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Interpersonal and Organizational Communications

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1 Interpersonal and Organizational Communications
Chapter 13

2 Framework for Understanding Communications
Communication is defined as the transmission of mutual understanding through the use of symbols If mutual understanding does not result from the transmission of symbols, there is no communication The elements in the process of communication are: Source Encoding Message Medium Decoding Receiver Noise Feedback

3 Organizational Communication

4 Formal Channels The three formal channels of communication are downward, upward, and horizontal Downward Flows from higher to lower levels Key aspect—subordinates react most effectively to those matters judged to be of the greatest interest to the boss Selective screening is a problem Example forms: job instructions, memos, policies, procedures, manuals, etc.

5 Formal Channels (cont.)
Upward Flows from lower to higher levels Most ineffective of the three channels Employees need opportunities to be: Heard Anonymous Example devices: suggestion boxes, group meetings, participative decision making, grievance procedures, etc. Horizontal Flows from one level to an equal level Necessary for coordination of diverse organizational functions Most effective of the three channels Example devices: Internet, corporate intranets

6 Informal Channels Communications within organizations do not necessarily follow the formal pathways Many organizations have extensive networks of informal communications Since they are ingrained into organizational life, managers should heed and use them to benefit programs, policies, or plans Elements of informal channels are: Grapevine—75% accurate Rumor—unverified belief in general circulation

7 Interpersonal Communication

8 Interpersonal Communication
Interpersonal communication travels from person to person in face-to-face and group settings It is the primary means (75%) of managerial communication Communication problems can be traced to perceptual and interpersonal style differences

9 Interpersonal Communication (cont.)
Interpersonal styles—the way in which an individual prefers to relate to others—differ among individuals Good communicators learn to recognize their style and others’ styles as well as how to modify their style for effective communication

10 Interpersonal Communication (cont.)
Since interpersonal communications is largely focused on transmitting information from one person to another, the different combinations of knowing and not knowing the necessary facts affects communication. The four combinations of information known and unknown by self and others are: The arena The area most conducive to effective interpersonal relationships and communications All information is known to both the sender and receiver

11 Interpersonal Communication (cont.)
The blind spot Information is known to receiver but not to sender Selective perception is related to blind-spot problems The façade Information is known to sender but unknown to receiver The unknown Information is unknown by everyone Interpersonal communications can be improved by using: Exposure—be open and honest in sharing information Feedback—sender must listen and receiver must respond

12 Types of Interpersonal Communication
Two types of interpersonal communication are verbal and non-verbal Verbal Oral communication Conversations in person, telephone, etc. Major benefits—ideas can be interchanged, prompt feedback can be provided, allows use of gestures, facial expressions, and other emotions such as tone or voice Can result in poor communication—immediacy, not well thought out, not clearly encoded, noise in the process

13 Types of Interpersonal Communication (cont.)
Written communication Major benefits—allows sender to think about message, reread it, have others review it, provides a record of the communication Major drawbacks—takes more time to prepare, no interaction, no immediate feedback, discourages open communication Non-verbal Sending and receiving messages by some medium other than verbal or written 93% of message is via non-verbal content Examples: voice, face, body, proxemics

14 Why Communications Break Down

15 Why Communications Break Down
Problems occur both in formal organizational communications and in interpersonal communications Breakdown can occur whenever any one of the elements of communication is defective (sender, encoding, medium, decoding, receiver, feedback)

16 Why Communications Break Down (cont.)
Conflicting frames of reference People interpret the same communication differently depending on their previous experiences Selective perception People block out information if it conflicts with what they believe Value judgments People assign an overall worth to a message prior to receiving the entire communication

17 Why Communications Break Down (cont.)
Status differences Status in the organization is determined by position, title, pay, office size, etc. Security Security of the channel is an increasingly important consideration for employees Source credibility The amount of trust, confidence, and/or faith the receiver has in the words and actions of the communicator

18 Why Communications Break Down (cont.)
Time pressures Managers don’t have the time to communicate frequently with every subordinate Information overload Managers often are deluged by information and data Semantic problems The same words may mean entirely different things to different people

19 Why Communications Break Down (cont.)
Poor listening skills Most individuals listen at only a 25% level of efficiency

20 How Communications Can Be Improved

21 How Communications Can Be Improved
To become better communicators, managers must: Improve their messages Improve their own understanding of what other people are trying to communicate Effective listening Managers must listen with understanding Following up Managers should attempt to determine whether their intended meaning was actually received

22 How Communications Can Be Improved (cont.)
Regulating information flow Only significant deviations from policies and procedures should be brought to the managers Utilizing feedback Managers should determine whether their messages have been received and if they have produced the intended responses Empathy Managers should put themselves into the other person’s role and assume the viewpoints and emotions of that person

23 How Communications Can Be Improved (cont.)
Simplifying language Managers must encode messages in words, appeals, and symbols that are meaningful to the receiver Organizational stories Using narrative allows managers to forge relationships with diverse audiences well beyond those afforded by a technical argument

24 End of Chapter 13

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