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Chapter 3 Communication and Interpersonal Skills

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1 Chapter 3 Communication and Interpersonal Skills

2 Learning Outcomes Define communication and explain why it is important to managers Describe the communication process List techniques for overcoming communication barriers (continued)

3 Learning Objectives (continued)
Describe the wired and wireless technologies affecting organizational communications Identify behaviours related to effective active listening Explain what behaviours are necessary for providing effective feedback Identify behaviours related to effective delegating (continued)

4 Learning Objectives (continued)
Describe the steps in analyzing and resolving conflict Explain why a manager might stimulate conflict Contrast distributive and integrative bargaining

5 Understanding Communication
Importance of effective communication cannot be overemphasized Everything a manager does is about communication Managers need effective communication skills Everything managers do involve communicating--not just some things, but everything! For example, a manager can’t make a decision without information. That information has to be communicated. Once a decision is made, communication must take place. Otherwise, no one will know that a decision has been made. The best idea, the most creative suggestion, or the finest plan cannot take form without communication. Further, ineffective communication can lead to a continuous stream of problems for the manager.

6 What is Communication? It is the transfer and understanding of meaning
To be successful, the meaning of what a person wants to convey must be understood Communication is about the transfer and understanding of meaning. For any communication to be successful, the meaning that you wanted to convey must be understood. For example, think about the problem Frainier in the Opening Vignette had when his employees did not understand the meaning of where to park.

7 The Communication Process (Exhibit 3-1)
Message Medium Receiver Encoding Message Decoding Noise Sender Communication can be thought of as a flow and that problems occur when there are deviations or blockages in that flow. Exhibit 3-1 depicts the model of communication. This model is composed of 7 parts: The communication source (sender) from which the message comes; it is the actual physical product. The source initiates a message by encoding the thought. The message then travels through a channel--the medium. The medium is selected by the sender who must decide if the channel is formal or informal. The message is received (receiver) and must be decoded or translated into a form that can be understood by the receiver. The final link in the loop is feedback--which is a check on how successful you have been in transferring your message as originally intended. Throughout the process, noise can disturb the transmission, receipt, or feedback of a message. Examples of noise can include illegible print, phone static, inattention by the receiver, or background of machinery. It is important to remember that anything that interferes with understanding can be noise. Feedback Source: Management, Seventh Canadian Edition, by Stephen P. Robbins, Mary Coulter, and Robin Stuart-Kotze, page 239. Copyright © Reprinted by permission of Pearson Education Canada Inc. Robbins et al., Fundamentals of Management, 4th Canadian Edition © 2005 Pearson Education Canada, Inc. FOM 3.7

8 Written vs. Verbal Communication
Written communication is tangible, verifiable, and more permanent Both sender and receiver have a record of the communication Writing takes more time than talking It is easier in verbal communication to receive feedback Written communication includes memos, letters, , organizational newsletters, or any other device that transmits written words or symbols. This method is used frequently as it is tangible, verifiable, more permanent and can be stored for an indefinite period of time. If there are any questions about the content of the message, it is physically available for later reference. For example, a written marketing plan for a new product contains a number of tasks over several months which can be reviewed by referring back to the document. But written messages have their drawbacks. While writing may be more precise, it takes more time. Also, there is no built-in mechanism for feedback--sending the memo is no assurance that it was received or understood.

9 The Grapevine Unofficial way that communications take place in an organization Typically, it is neither authorized nor supported by the organization It is questionable whether the information transmitted through the grapevine is accurate The grapevine is an unofficial channel of communication in an organization. Information is usually spread by word-of-mouth. Recently, electronic means has also been used more and more frequently to share information. The biggest question raised about grapevines, however, focuses on the accuracy of the rumours. Research on this has found mixed results. If an organization is characterized by openness, then the grapevine may be very accurate. However, if the culture of the organization is very authoritative, the information may be inaccurate.

10 Non-Verbal Communication
Body language--gestures, facial configurations, and other movements of the body Verbal intonation--emphasis some gives to words or phrases Approximately 65%-90% of message transmitted face-to-face is interpreted through body language Some of the most meaningful communications are neither spoken nor written. Non-verbal communications can be a loud siren or red light at an intersection or watching students who indicate to the instructor that they are bored by having a glassy eyes. Hand motion, facial expressions, and other similar gestures can communicate emotions or temperaments such as aggression, fear, shyness, arrogance or joy. This is referred to as body language. Another common non-verbal communication method is verbal intonation which refers to the emphasis someone gives to words or phrases. For example, if a student asks an instructor a question and the reply is “What do you mean by that” will get a different reaction from the student depending on the tone used by the instructor. Research indicates that from 65%-90% of the message of every face-to-face conversation is interpreted through body language. Without complete agreement between the spoken words and the body language that accompanies it, receivers are more likely to react to the body language as the “true meaning.”

11 Barriers to Effective Communication
Filtering - the deliberate manipulation of information to make it appear more favorable to the receiver Selective Perception - what people see and hear influenced by their attitudes, background, and experience (continued) A number of interpersonal and intrapersonal barriers help to explain why the message decoded by a receiver is often different than that which the sender intended. Filtering refers to the way that a sender manipulates information so that the receiver will see it more favourably. For example, when a manager tells his boss what he thinks the boss wants to hear, he is filtering information. This happens a great deal in organizations. Extent of filtering tends to be a function of the number of vertical levels in the organization and its culture. The more vertical levels, the more opportunities there are for filtering. Selection perception occurs when the receivers in the communication process selectively see and hear based on their needs, motivation, experience, background, and other personal characteristics. For example, the employment interviewer who expects that a female job applicant will put her family ahead of her career is likely to see that tendency in all female applicants.

12 Barriers to Effective Communication (continued)
Information Overload - information available exceeds processing capacity Emotions - interpretation of a message affected by the way the receiver feels (continued) Other barriers include information overload--which occurs when the information received exceeds our capacity to process. For instance, consider the international sales representative who is out of town and unable to check her and finds more than 600 s waiting when she returns. When people get more information than the can sort out and use, they tend to select out, ignore, pass over, or forget information. What do you do when you have too many s or phone calls? Emotions will help determine how a message is interpreted. Often we might interpret something differently depending on whether we are happy or distressed. Extreme emotions are most likely to hinder effective communication.

13 Barriers to Effective Communication (continued)
Language - meaning of words differs among people with diverse backgrounds jargon - specialized terminology used by a group Gender - interpretation of a message affected by a person’s gender National Culture - cultural values affect the way people communicate Words mean different things to different people. Age, education, and cultural background are three of the more obvious variables that influence the language a person uses. For example, singer Avril Lavigne probably uses language that is different than the students’ parents. Language becomes more problematic when specialists develop their own language--or jargon. An example from the textbook is the letters MBO--which stand for “management by objectives.” Managers create their own jargon. Whether any of us like it or not, mean and women do communicate differently which can lead to misunderstandings and misperceptions. Research has uncovered by men talk to emphasize status and independence whereas women talk to connect and develop relationships. To ensure gender differences don’t create communication difficulties, it is important that both men and women acknowledge that there are differences and adapt to each other. Lastly, communication differences can arise from the different languages and different cultures. For example, Canadian managers rely heavily on memos and other formal forms of communications to state their positions on issues. Countries that are more collective, such as Japan, tend to have more informal personal contact and therefore will engage in extensive verbal consultation with employees first before drawing up a formal document.

14 Overcoming Communication Barriers
Use Feedback - ask a set of questions about a message to determine whether it was understood as intended Simplify Language - tailor the language to the audience for whom the message is intended Listen Actively - listen for full meaning (continued) There are a number of things managers can do to overcome communication barriers. The suggestions includes: Use feedback. Many communication problems can be directly attributed to misunderstandings and inaccuracies. These problems are less likely to occur if the manager uses feedback--either verbal or non-verbal. Because language can be a barrier, managers should choose words and structure their messages in ways that will make those messages clear and understandable to the receiver. This means that the manager needs to consider the audience to whom the message is directed. Active listening requires total concentration on the part of the receiver. This can be enhanced if the receiver is empathetic to the sender. An empathetic listener reserves judgment on the message’s content and carefully listens to what is being said.

15 Overcoming Communication Barriers (continued)
Constrain emotions - stop communicating until composure has been restored Emphasize non-verbal cues - ensure that actions align with words Additional suggestions to overcome barriers are Constraining emotions. It would be naïve to assume that managers always communicate in a fully rational manner. A manager who is emotionally upset over an issue is likely to misconstrue incoming messages and fail to express his or her outgoing messages clearly and accurately. Because language can be a barrier, managers should choose words and structure their messages in ways that will make those messages clear and understandable to the receiver. This means that the manager needs to consider the audience to whom the message is directed. Emphasize non-verbal cues. If actions speak louder than words, then it’s important to watch your actions to make sure that they align with and reinforce the words that go along with them. Remember that non-verbal messages carry a great deal of weight.

16 Communications and Information Technology
Information technology has changed organizational communication Communications among organizational members are no longer constrained by geography or time Information technology has radically changed the way organizational members communicated. For example, it has significantly improved a manager’s ability to monitor individual and team performance, it has allowed employees to have more complete information to make faster decisions, and it has provided employees more opportunities to collaborate and share information. In addition, information technology has made it possible for people in organizations to be fully accessible 24/7.

17 Networked Communications
Linking computers through compatible hardware and software provides instantaneous transmission of written messages Instant messaging (IM) is interactive real-time communication Voic digitizes a spoken message (continued) In a networked computer system, an organization links its computers together through compatible hardware and software, creating an integrated organizational network. People in the organization can then communjcate with each other and tap into information whether they’re down the hall, across town, or any place in the world. is the instantaneous transmission of messages on computers that are linked together. is fast and cheap and can be used to send the same message to many people at the same time. Given that it is fast and cheap, people sometimes forget there is business etiquette surrounding the sending of . Some people in organizations find that is too slow and therefore will use instant messaging (IM). This is interactive real-time communication that takes place among computer users who are logged onto the network at the same time. For example, ICQ is a type of instant messaging. A voic system digitizes a spoken message, transmits over the network and stores the message to retrieve later.

18 Networked Communications (continued)
Fax allows transmission of documents containing both text and graphics over ordinary telephone lines Electronic data interchange (EDI) permits the exchange of standard business transaction documents Teleconferencing permits simultaneous conferral using telephone or group communications software (continued) Faxs allow the transmission of documents containing both text and graphics over ordinary telephone lines. Electronic data interchange (EDI) is a way for organizations to exchange business documents, such as invoices or purchase orders, using direct computer-to-computer networks. Organizations prefer this method as it can save time and money. Meetings have always been one way to share information. With technology there is no longer a physical limitation. Teleconferencing allows a group of people to confer simultaneously using telephone or group communications software. Networked computer systems have allowed the development of organizational

19 Networked Communications (continued)
Intranet is Internet technology that links organizational employees Extranet is Internet technology that links an organization with customers and suppliers Internet-based voice communication allows users to talk with each other Networked computer systems have allowed the development of organizational intranets, extranets and Internet-based voice communications. An intranet is an organizational communication network that uses Internet technology but is accessible only by employees of that organization. They are used as a way to share information and collaborate on documents and projects from different locations. An extranet is one that uses Internet technology and allows authorized users inside the the organization to communicate with certain outsiders such as customers or vendors. Lastly, the Internet is now being used for voice communication. For example, Yahoo lets users chat verbally with each other. Managers can greatly benefit from using the Internet to not only access information from a wide variety of sources but as a means to facilitate access to others. Further the Internet can be used to seek feedback from customers.

20 Wireless Communications
Relies on signals sent through air or space without any physical connection Wireless devices include smart phones, notebook computers and other pocket devices Employees no longer need to be at their desks to communicate While the communication possibilities for a manager in a networked world are exciting, the real potential is with wireless communication. Wireless communication relies on signals sent through air or space without any physical connecting using such devices as microwave signals, satellites, radio waves and radio antennas. There are a wide range of wireless devices and more being produced all the time. For example, there have been a number of references in this book to BlackBerry produced by RIM. It is a wireless device. Globally, millions of users have wireless technology that allows them to send and receive information from anywhere. As technology continues to improve in this area, we’ll see more and more people using wireless communication as a way to collaborate and share information.

21 Knowledge Management and Communications
Knowledge is an important resource Managers must deliberately manage that base of knowledge Knowledge management involves cultivating a learning culture Organizational members systematically gather knowledge and share with others Part of a manager’s responsibility in fostering an environment conducive to learning and effective communications is to create learning capabilities throughout the organization. This must extend from the lowest to the highest levels in all areas. To illustrate the value of knowledge, think about how you register for college classes. Do you talk to others who have had a certain instructor? Do you listen to their experiences with this individual and make your decision? If you do, you’re tapping into the value of knowledge.

22 Developing Interpersonal Skills
Interpersonal skills for managers are critical Approximately half of all managers have some type of difficulty in dealing with people Managers ultimately get things done through other people and therefore managerial effectiveness is linked directly to leadership, communication and other interpersonal skills Would it surprise you to know that more managers are probably fired because of poor interpersonal skills than for a lack of technical ability? What’s more, a survey of top executives at Fortune 500 companies found that interpersonal skills were the most important consideration used for hiring senior level employees. We will focus our attention on aspects of interpersonal skills, with our first area being active listening skills.

23 Active Listening Behaviours
Paraphrase Don’t overtalk Be empathetic Make eye contact Exhibit affirmative head nods and appropriate facial expressions Active Listening Avoid distracting actions or gestures Avoid interrupting the speaker Ask questions Listening requires paying attention, interpreting, and remembering sound stimuli. Effective listening is active rather than passive. There are a variety of suggestions to improve active listening. As you can see, there is a combination of both verbal and non-verbal cues to help improve the transmission of the message. © Prentice Hall, 2002 Robbins et al., Fundamentals of Management, 4th Canadian Edition ©2005 Pearson Education Canada, Inc. FOM 3.16

24 Feedback Skills Positive feedback is likely to be responded to quickly and enthusiastically Negative feedback is often treated defensively Negative feedback is often avoided, delayed, or distorted As a manager about the feedback he or she gives to employees, and you’re likely to get a qualified answer: if the feedback is positive, it’s likely to be given promptly and enthusiastically; if it is negative, it is often avoided, delayed or distorted. It is important as a manager to provide both positive and negative feedback.

25 Giving Effective Feedback (Exhibit 3-4)
Focus on specific behaviours Keep feedback impersonal Keep feedback goal oriented Make feedback well timed Ensure understanding Direct negative feedback toward behaviour that the receiver can control Since managers treat positive and negative feedback differently, it is important to learn how to give feedback effectively. There are 6 suggestions that can help all of us to become more effective in giving feedback. Focus on specific behaviours--feedback should be specific rather than general. For example, as your instructor, you might say that I’m not communicating clearly. That is too vague for me to deal with. However, if you said, “Your voice is too soft,” then I know that I have to speak more loudly. Keep feedback impersonal--it should be descriptive rather than judgmental or evaluative. For example, instead of telling a person that they are being rude, it would be better to say that they interrupted you when you speaking. Keep feedback goal oriented--feedback is not to “dump” on someone. Ask yourself whom the feedback is supposed to help. Make feedback well timed--it is most meaningful to a receiver when there is a very short interval between the behaviour and the receipt of feedback about that behaviour. Ensure understanding--check to see if the receiver understands the feedback by using any of the active listening techniques such as asking the receiver to paraphrase the message. Direct negative feedback toward behaviour that the receiver can control--there is little value in reminding a person of some shortcoming over which they have no control. For example, speaking to someone about being late when the alarm didn’t go off is different than speaking to the same person about being late if the reason for being late is a because there was a power failure on the bus or subway.

26 Empowerment Skills Employees and teams making key decisions which affect their work Two forces are driving increased use of empowerment: Quick decisions needed by those most knowledgeable about issue Downsizing has left managers with large spans of control Empowerment requires delegation Millions of employees and teams of employees are making key operating decisions that directly affect their work. They’re developing budgets, scheduling workloads, controlling inventories, solving quality problems and engaging in activities that until receently were viewed exclusively as part of the manager’s job. The reason for this is that today’s organizations need quick decisions by those most knowledge about the issue. That is frequently people much lower in the organizational hierarchy than has traditionally been the case. Also, with the amount of downsizing during the past 20 years, managers have larger spans of control. To cope with the demands, managers have had to employer their employees. However, for empowerment to be workable, a manager must delegate authority to another person to carry out specific activities. That is, a shift in decision-making authority occurs from one level of the organization to another.

27 Effective Delegation Clarify why you are delegating Specify boundaries
Set up support mechanisms Give employees space to make mistakes Inform others that delegation has occurred Establish feedback channels Keep practising Assuming that delegation is to be done, it is important to use a number of methods to ensure that the delegation is effective. Clarify why delegation is occurring--be sure that the person is willing to accept the responsibility. Specify boundaries--make it clear what an employee has control over and what would require your decision. Set up support mechanisms--be sure that you are available to help employees when they get stuck or need some encouragement. Give them space to make mistakes--people make mistakes and need to know that within certain ranges, it is OK. Establish feedback channels--delegation isn’t abdication. There is a need to ensure that the expectations are in line with the actual. Keep practising--effective delegation is a learned skill. Also, as has been stated before, managers must support the code by both word and action.

28 Conflict Management Conflict must be PERCEIVED to exist
Exists when one person (party) PERCEIVES that another person (party) has deliberately blocked (or about to block) their goals A process that begins when one party perceives that another party has negatively affected, or is about to negatively affect something that the first party cares about (continued) The ability to manage conflict is undoubtedly one of the most important skills a manager needs to possess. According to an AMA survey, the average managers spend approximately 20% of their time dealing with conflict. Conflict management skills have been rated as more important than decision-making, leadership or communication skills. It is important to understand that conflict is about perception--perception by only one party that someone is interfering. Whether or not the differences are real is irrelevant.

29 Conflict Management (continued)
Is a struggle or contest Can be functional or dysfunctional Happens whenever people work, play or live together And of course, conflict happens whenever people interact. The conflict can be positive or negative.

30 Three Views of Conflict (Exhibit 3-6)
Traditional view - conflict must be avoided Human relations view - conflict is a natural and inevitable outcome in any group Interactionist view - some conflict is absolutely necessary functional conflict - supports the goals of the work group and improves its performance dysfunctional conflict - prevents group from achieving its goals Over the years, differing views have evolved around conflict in organizations. The traditional view of conflict indicates that conflict must be avoided within the organization. The human relations view argues that conflict is a natural and inevitable outcome in any organization and that it need not be negative but that it has the potential to be a positive force in contributing to the organization’s performance. The interactionist view, which is the most recent perspective, suggests that some conflict is abosolutely necessary to perform effectively. However, it does suggest that dysfunctional conflict can be destructive.

31 Conflict and Group Performance
Functional or dysfunctional conflict is a matter of judgment. Exhibit 3-7 illustrates the challenge facing managers. They want to create an environment within their organization in which conflict is healthy but not allowed to run to pathological extremes. Managers should stimulate conflict to gain the full benefits of its functional properties yet reduce its level when it becomes a disruptive force. Robbins et al., Fundamentals of Management, 4th Canadian Edition ©2005 Pearson Education Canada, Inc. FOM 3.31

32 Conflict-Handling Styles
Forcing Resolving conflicts by satisfying one’s own needs at the expense of another’s Assertiveness Unassertive Assertive Collaborating Rewarding conflict by seeking an advantageous solution for all parties Compromising Resolving conflict by each party giving up something of value Accommodating Resolving conflicts by placing another’s needs and concerns above your own Avoiding Resolving conflicts by withdrawing from or suppressing them In dealing with conflict, it is important to first determine the intention of the other party. One’s handling will depend on the assertiveness or cooperatives of the other person. As you can see from this graph, the more unassertive and uncooperative the person is, the best way to handle the conflict is to avoid. Likewise, if the person is very assertive yet cooperative, the best handling style is collaborating. Uncooperative Cooperative Cooperativeness Robbins et al., Fundamentals of Management, 4th Canadian Edition ©2005 Pearson Education Canada, Inc. FOM 3.32

33 Stimulating Conflict Are you surrounded by “yes” people?
Are people afraid to admit not knowing? Do managers believe it is important to “keep the peace”? Do employees resist change? Is there a lack of new ideas? Do managers place so much emphasis on reaching a compromise that they lose sight of the longer-term? If you accept the premise that some level of conflict is good, what then can a manager do to stimulate conflict? If a manager were to answer “yes” to one or more of these questions, there might be a need to stimulate conflict in order to improve organizational performance. 24

34 Negotiation Skills DISTRIBUTIVE Zero-sum
Any gain is at the expense of the other party Aggressive Win-lose INTEGRATIVE Long-term relationships Shared information Flexibility Open and honest Win-win If managers need to manage conflict, what is one of the skills that help? Managers today need good negotiation skills. Remember that negotiation is a process in which two or more parties who have differences must come to an agreement. Negotiations happen every day in everyone’s life--whether it is within the family setting, the work setting, or in other activities you are involved in outside of work. The two types of bargaining approaches are distributive and integrative. Distributive is based on the premise that someone loses and someone wins. This is the traditional style of labour-management negotiations. An integrative approach is gaining popularity as it enables all parties to win. However, the success of this approach is based on the ability of the parties to see their relationship in a long-term perspective and be willing to share information openly and honestly. Even though this is a preferred style, not all organizations use. Sometimes the conditions are such that people aren’t able to think beyond the idea of win-lose. We’ll now turn to what you can do to develop your negotiating skills. 25

35 Effective Negotiation Skills
Research the other party Begin with a positive overture Address problems Little attention to first offers Focus on win-win Be open to accepting help from others Here are 6 suggestions to improve your negotiation skills. Research the other party--try to understand the interests and goals. This information will help you predict the behaviour and response to your offers. Start with a positive overture. By being positive in same way--such as a concession--it can signal to the other party that you are willing to understand their point of view. Always address problems, not personalities. Do not let personal characteristics of the other party cloud your approach. Even when negotiations get difficult and you want to attack, keep personal differences out of the process. Frequently first offers are intended to get people going and thinking. Don’t get too excited--either positively or negatively. Keep in mind that you want to find a solution that works for everyone--a win-win outcome. Last, be open to accepting help from a third party that is neutral to the situation. You can use a mediator who will help the parties work toward a solution that everyone can live with. 26

36 Presentation Skills Prepare Opening comments Points Conclusion
Questions The last interpersonal skills for managers that we will cover are presentation skills. This is an important skills for career success in today’s business environment. But what is necessary for a good presentation. Perhaps the single most important item is to prepare. You need to consider why this is being done, who is the audience, and what questions might be put to you. Knowing this ahead of time will help you better prepare what you need to convey. Take a few minutes at the beginning of the presentation to welcome the audience and describe what you are about to cover. You’ll also want to let the audience know what you are looking for at the conclusion of your presentation. It is similar to when this lecture started and you were informed that we would be covering communication and interpersonal skills and that I wanted you to have a better understanding of these topics at the conclusion of our time together. Making your points is the heart of your presentation. Here you may want to justify a point of view, such as why the organization ought to give your unit more operating funds. Any supporting data, such as charts, graphs, sales projections, etc. would be presented at this point. It is important to conclude your presentation. Be sure there is nothing new presented at this time. Restate what you know about the matter--in a summary fashion--and why you have requested. If some decision was expected try to get people thinking about what they need to consider to make the decision. Lastly, encourage questions and be prepared. If you are not sure of the question, use your active listening skills and see clarification. If you don’t know the answer to the question, say so and indicate when you can get the answer and when you’ll get back to the person. 27

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