Managers communicate every day. The employees in the organization communicate with their managers and with each other.
And all communication in the organization is often related to external stakeholders. Projects, product development, and sales require daily communication. And this is the most popular process in management practices.
Communication is not just work-related communication. Communication in management is a regulated process and often requires rules and even planning. Reference: “Communication Plan”, https://bvop.org/learn/documentations-management/#section1.1.8
Communication is a complex management process
Communication is a complex process that consists of interconnected stages.
Because the manager cannot perform any activity without exchanging information, communications are also called a connecting process.
Communications are communications between the organization and its external environment; communications between different levels and divisions in the organization and informal communications.
The communication needs of the organization depend on all the factors that belong to the external environment and influence the activity of the organization.
Information and communication
Information that moves vertically in the hierarchy of an organization is called vertical communication.
It can run in ascending and descending order. In descending order, the communication is carried out by announcing current tasks, change in priorities, recommended procedures, etc.
In ascending order, the information takes the form of reports, suggestions, and explanatory notes.
Communication between the various departments in the organization is necessary to coordinate tasks and coordinate actions. It is also called horizontal communication.
There is also communication between the manager and subordinates, which is expressed in clarifying tasks, clarifying expected results, participating in solving tasks, discussing problems, gathering information, receiving information, ideas, and suggestions, and more.
There are also communications between the leader and the working group when working in a team.
All members of the team participate in the exchange of information, but the communication is done both in groups and individually.
Informal communications are also called rumors. It disseminates information that often turns out to be incorrect:
- For forthcoming redundancies;
- For new measures and penalties for delays in work;
- For structural changes in the organization;
- For future increases and decreases in degree;
- Detailed information about the dispute between managers and others.
The communication process is the exchange of information between two or more persons.
Its main purpose is to provide an understanding of the information that is exchanged, ie. message. The exchange of information alone does not guarantee the effectiveness of communication.
It is divided into several stages with the corresponding elements.
Elements of the communication process are:
Sender – a person who generates ideas or collects information that he transmits;
Message – information that is encoded using symbols;
Channel – a means of transmitting information;
Recipient – a person for whom information is intended and who interprets it.
Stages of the communication process
Loading the idea – ie. its formulation or the choice of information. At this stage, the idea has not yet been transformed into words and is not ready for information exchange;
Coding and channel selection – before transmitting the idea, the sender is obliged to encode it with the help of symbols, using words, intonation, and gestures. Such coding turns the idea into a message.
Publicly known channels are – the transmission of speech, written materials, electronic means of communication, video conferencing, and others.
The choice of means of communication should not be limited to the choice of channel, because it is often necessary to use two or more means of communication in combination;
Transmission – by physical transmission of the message;
Decoding – by the recipient, by translating the sender’s symbols into the recipient’s thinking. The exchange of information is effective if the recipient has demonstrated an understanding of the idea and has taken the actions expected of the sender;
Feedback and communication process – in the presence of feedback, the sender and the recipient exchange communication roles, ie. the recipient becomes a sender and goes through all stages of the communication process, transmitting his understanding of the idea.
When the communication process is without feedback it is called unilateral, when it is carried out with feedback it is bilateral;
Interference and communication process – it represents what distorts/distorts / the meaning of the transmission. Noise sources can be different.
Direct interpersonal information exchange is influenced by factors such as perception, semantics, non-verbal information exchange, poor feedback, and inability to listen.
Perception – people do not react to what is happening around them, but what they perceive as reality. There are some barriers, one of which arises as a result of the conflict between the sender’s and the recipient’s areas of competence.
People may interpret the same information differently depending on their experience. Another barrier is due to the selective perception of information depending on the range of interests, needs, emotional state, and more. The third reason is the individual norms of human behavior.
Semantic barriers – semantics studies how knowledge is transmitted through words. It is well known, however, that the same word can have several meanings.
There is no guarantee that the one who interprets the word will interpret it in the same sense as the sender, and this leads to major misunderstandings. The interpretation of the meaning of the symbols depends on experience and varies depending on the context in which the symbol is used.
Non-verbal barriers – they use any other symbols, except for words such as – posture, gestures, voice intonation, etc.
Often, nonverbal transmission occurs simultaneously with verbal transmission and can amplify or alter the meaning of the word.
Poor feedback – is a cause of misunderstanding in interpersonal communications. It is not clear whether the message was received and interpreted correctly.
The inability to listen is due to emotional state, lack of experience, age, lack of qualifications, and more.
Organizational communications are performed during the exchange of information between the structural units of the organization. Very often, however, they can be disrupted due to message distortion; information overload, and poor organizational structure.
Deformation of messages – in the movement of information in the organization, its meaning can be deformed for various reasons – difficulties in interpersonal contacts, filtration.
When information moves from the bottom up, the lower level tracks the information before providing it to the higher level. Deformation can also occur during sieving. In the movement of information from the bottom up there is a psychological moment – how the superior would accept negative information and how it should be presented to him.
Information overload – the channels of information due to the receipt of a large amount of information. The judgment is not always correct about which information to use and which not.
Poor organizational structure – due to a huge organizational structure with many levels of management, it is possible to distort the information.
Strategies for improving communication in the organization
Popular communication problems
Non-verbal barriers – when exchanging non-verbal communication, many misunderstandings may arise due to various factors such as culture, nationality, traditions, etc.
Poor feedback – can be the cause of many misunderstandings.
Poor organizational structure – with a poorly designed structure in which duties and responsibilities are not adequately distributed.
Differences in competencies – there is a discrepancy between the encoding and decoding processes.
Selective perception – based on the rule that everyone still has their views and if they violate them is demotivated. He rejects the information beyond his views. This leads to stereotyping.
Inability to listen – the “disease” of the century according to many leaders.
Valuation of values - is expressed in the effective and accurate personal assessment of the values of the individual.
Reliability of sources – in the age of information technology and the huge flow of information, accurate assessment of the reliability of information is especially important.
Semantic problems – or misinterpretation of words.
Information filtering – due to personal and organizational traits.
Lack of time – one of the modern catalysts of problems in everyday life.
Information oversaturation – congestion of communication channels. This leads to a random selection of information, ie. some information may be omitted.
Strategies for improving communication
Follow-up – to allow for the possibility of misunderstanding and to monitor whether the messages are received and interpreted correctly.
Regulation of information flow – one of the most commonly missed symptoms of overcrowding and ineffective management is precisely the huge amount of information that is poured into the organization, often without being filtered properly.
Empathy – the ability of a person to take on the role of another person and to accept their views and emotional attitudes.
Language simplification – depending on the environment and work situation, accessible and understandable language is a serious indicator of successful communication in the organization.
Effective listening – one of the rarest qualities in managers.
Using rumors as a management tool. Although the effect of its use is often manipulative.