Effective Communicating at Work

Introduction

Communication is always an important process in the workplace regardless of the kind of work that is carried out. Much of the time is occupied by communication than any other activity carried out and it is communication that determines whether success or failure is acquired at work.

We will write a custom Effective Communicating at Work specifically for you
for only $14.00 $11,90/page
308 certified writers online
Learn More

In defining communication, this is a process in which the individuals occupying different environments engage in the exchange of messages within a context that is specific through a single channel or several channels and there is often a response among the participating parties via feedback that might either be verbal or non-verbal. Effective communication can be hindered by various factors which might be physiological, physical, or psychological.

Communication is a process that cannot be avoided and can not be reversible. Careful consideration of the basic communication process elements can play a great role in bringing about success in any organization.

The communication networks that are formal are ways the management uses to set up what it deems to be essential relationships among people in the organization. The communication that is formal flows in various directions. One of the directions is the downward direction in which the information flows from the top management to the subordinates. The other one is the upward flow in which the information flows from the subordinates to the top management.

Another direction is the horizontal flow in which information flows among those people in the organization that occupies equal ranks. It is quite vital to put in place the structures of formal communication as the organization grows and at this point, the tasks for this formal communication turns out to be complex, but there is a need to carefully handle them in order to evade problems that might come up (Alder, 2002).

On the other hand, unlike the case in formal communication, informal communication networks are composed of patterns of interaction that are not set up by the management. Such networks can be formed on the basis of personal friendships, the career interests that are shared, and physical closeness. These informal networks can be quite small but they can as well be large enough to enhance the connection among many people.

These informal networks can play several roles. Among these roles is that such networks can conform, elaborate on, contradict, accelerate, avoid or serve to supplement the formal messages. To have success at work, there needs to be effective communication which is realized through having strong interpersonal skills, having knowledge of the strategies of resolving conflicts, and overcoming barriers of effective communication.

Get your
100% original paper on any topic done
in as little as 3 hours
Learn More

Interpersonal Skills

For one to have success in any career, the person needs to have people skills. The people skills bring about a communication climate that is positive and in such a climate the people see themselves to be of value. A positive climate can be established by having people show respect to one another even in the midst of a conflict. In a positive climate, people put their focus on solving the problems and not engaging in imposing solutions. In such a climate, people are honest and show that they are concerned with each other and give a demonstration of an attitude of equality, and give a reflection of the open-mindedness of the one communicating (West and Turner, 2008).

Among the ways of bringing about a positive communication climate and maintaining it is to give praise. There can be enhancement of the relationship climate by engaging in criticism in a way that is as constructive as possible. According to Elmhorst (2002), “ chances for acceptance of criticism are best when a critical message is framed in a way that considers the content by limiting remarks to one topic, ensuring they are accurate, defining the problem clearly, and showing how attending to criticism can benefit the recipient” (Para, 3).

When a person is the one being criticized, various responses can offer the prevention to a communicator from turning out to be defensive. Among the approaches that can be employed is looking out for more information from the one criticizing before coming up with a decision about whether the remarks that are being made are valid or not. Among the ways of acquiring more information may involve asking for clarification, guessing about the details whenever it is vital, and seeking to know what one criticizing wants among other ways. Having to agree with the facts that are portrayed in the criticism or having to agree with the perception the one criticizing has are also ways that have the potential of being effective.

Strategies for Managing Interpersonal Conflict

In a work setting, there comes occasions when there is disagreement among people working or operating in an organization. The people in the management positions may turn out to be in conflict with the employees. There may also come a situation in which people in management positions may be in conflict with each other, or there may also be a situation where the employees may have conflict amongst themselves. In whatever the situation, there is a need to take appropriate measures to resolve these conflicts. In all these situations, there is supposed to be effective communication.

There are various strategies that can be employed in order to resolve these conflicts. It is quite important to note that several strategies do exist that can be used in conflict situations, but each and every person tends to have a habit of employing some particular strategies more than others. In order to resolve a conflict in the most effective way, there must be the use of the relevant strategy to resolve a particular conflict. However, the strategy employed might not be the one that is always employed.

One of the conflict management strategies is forcing. There is a case where one uses the power that he or she has to satisfy his or her needs with no consideration of the needs or worries of the person that they are in conflict with. Another strategy is accommodating. This is a case where there is allowing the other party to satisfy the needs or worries they have and at the same time not having care about your own needs or concerns.

Avoiding is another strategy. This is a strategy where a person or parties that are concerned do not pay any attention to the conflict that might arise and no initiative is taken to have the conflict resolved. Compromise is also employed as a conflict resolving strategy. Here attempts are made to resolve a conflict by carrying out the identification of a solution that offers partial satisfaction to either of the parties and none of the two parties is fully satisfied. Collaborating is also used as a conflict-resolving strategy. This is where there is cooperation with the other party to have the understanding of the concerns the other party has and carry out the expression of the concerns one has in an attempt to come up with a solution that is fully satisfactory as well as mutually satisfactory.

We will write a custom
Effective Communicating at Work
specifically for you!
Get your first paper with 15% OFF
Learn More

According to Anonymous (Conflict management – Style and strategy, N.d) research that has been carried out on the styles of conflict management has established that each and every person seems to employ one or two of the above-mentioned conflict resolution strategies more than the rest of the strategies. For example, some individuals mostly employ collaboration at the time they find themselves in a conflict with other people.

This implies that even if there exist five strategies that can be employed to resolve a conflict, an individual like this has a high likelihood to employ collaboration other than employing such other strategies as forcing, accommodating, avoiding, or compromising. Many advantages do exist in using collaboration as a strategy to deal with interpersonal conflict. Collaboration boosts having a conflict resolved in a way that is very much creative and this brings in a situation in which people have mutual respect amongst them and there is also promoting rapport.

However, one of the weaknesses of the collaboration strategy is that it is time-consuming and sometimes there arise conflicts that need to be handled with a lot of urgencies or there can also arise conflicts that are too trivial to offer a justification of the time it takes to be resolved that is offered by collaboration. There exist several conflicts that are supposed to be dealt with by employing the rest of the other four conflict resolving strategies and not collaboration.

People in the management positions who are experienced in conflict resolution are in a position to have the understanding of the interpersonal conflict situations and they are also in a position to employ the strategies for resolving the conflicts that are relevant for each and every conflict that may come about.

For each and every conflict that arises, there is a need to have to take the appropriate measures to employ relevant strategies to resolve it. In all these, there is a need to have effective communication in order to come up with a solution to each and every problem that arises from the conflict. Both the managers and the employees of an organization at the workplace are supposed to have effective communication skills that will have to enable them to exchange ideas in such a manner that will enhance conflict resolution.

Barriers of Effective Communication at Work

Even if communication among people starts from childhood, the process of giving out information from one person to another or to a group of people is a very much complicated process with several sources of the possible errors. By the time the recipient gets the information from the sender there exist four fundamental points at which there is the occurrence of the transmission errors and each of these points there are a number of possible error sources.

Estimates have been carried out by the social psychologists which suggest that in most cases, there is about between forty and sixty percent loss of meaning in the carrying out of the transmission of information from the person sending and the one receiving the information (Jenkins, 2007). Individuals operating in organizations engage in spending more than seventy five percent of the time they have in interpersonal situation. Following this, it is not a big surprise to make a discovery that at the base of most of the problems in the organizations is poor communication.

Not sure if you can write
Effective Communicating at Work by yourself?
We can help you
for only $14.00 $11,90/page
Learn More

In a work situation, the interactions among people have the involvement of people who, in most cases, don’t have experience of many years engaging in communication amongst them. Much more complications are brought in these interactions by the relationships that are at the work place which are very complex relationships (Jenkins, 2007).

Therefore, it is quite crucial to have the awareness and understanding of the possible sources of the barriers to effective communication and evading these barriers on a constant basis by taking the necessary steps to ensure there are very minimal loss in the meaning of the messages passed over to others in the work place. There are various barriers to effective communication.

One of the barriers to effective communication is the possibility of misreading the body language, and the tone used in the course of communication among other non-formal forms of communication. More so, distorted perception is another possible barrier. This involves the idea that the way people perceive communication is affected by the various experiences these people have. More so, there is affecting of perception by the relationships two individuals have within the organization. For instance, the communication coming from a person in the senior management position might not be perceived in the same way as the communication that is coming from a subordinate or a person at an equal rank in the organization.

Another barrier to effective communication is cultural differences. In order to have effective communication, there is need to decipher the fundamental values, aspirations as well as motives and assumptions that are held across various geographical lines. In the case where there are great differences on the basis of culture, there are higher chances of having miscommunication in the cross-cultural conditions.

The quality of communication can also be affected by the way the language or words are chosen by the sender of the message. Taking for in stance, in the English language, each day there is use of 500 words that are basic. These basic words carry more than ten thousand meanings. For the reason that language represents a symbol of a phenomenon, this brings in the possibility that the meaning can be distorted in the course of the interpretation of the communication made (Anonymous: Barriers to effective communication, 2010).

Another barrier to effective communication is stereotyping. This involves a case where assumptions are made about the other person having particular characteristics on the basis of the group to which they belong with no validation of whether they posses these characteristics (Jenkins, 2007).

Many more barriers to effective communication, especially at work, do exist. Among these we have distrust, selective hearing, hesitation, defensives, value judgment, ignoring no-verbal language, guilt, and distortions from the past among others.

Conclusion

Communication is always an important process in the work place regardless of the kind of work. In order for success to be realized at work, there need to be effective communication which is realized through having strong interpersonal skills, having knowledge of the strategies of resolving conflicts and overcoming barriers of effective communication.

The interpersonal skills bring about a communication climate that is positive and in such a climate the people see themselves to be of value. A positive climate can be established by having people showing respect to one another even in the midst of a conflict.

There are various strategies that can be employed in order to resolve conflicts. It is quite important to note that several strategies do exist that can be used in conflict situations, but each and every person tends to have a habit of employing some particular strategies more than others. These strategies include; forcing, compromising, collaborating, avoiding, and accommodating.

It is quite crucial to have the awareness and understanding of the possible sources of the barriers to effective communication and evading these barriers on a constant basis by taking the necessary steps to ensure there are very minimal loss in the meaning of the messages passed over to others in the work place. There are various barriers to effective communication. These barriers include distrust, selective hearing, hesitation, defensives, value judgment, ignoring no-verbal language, guilt, distortions, misreading the body language, and cultural differences among others.

Reference List

Alder R. B., (2002). Communicating at work: Principles and practices for business and professions. Web.

Anonymous, (2010). Barriers to effective communication. Web.

Anonymous, (N.d). Conflict management – Style and strategy. Web.

Elmhorst, J. M., (2002). Interpersonal skills. Web.

Jenkins, M. N., (2007). Barriers to effective communication at work. Web.

West R. and Turner L. H., (2008). Understanding Interpersonal Communication: Making Choices in Changing Times. Cengage Learning. ISBN: 0495502464, 9780495502463.

Check the price of your paper