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PSYC 100
Charles Scott

Chapter 7 - Communication The Communication Process  People spend nearly 70 percent of their waking hours communicating—writing, reading, speaking, listening  Work Canada survey of 2039 Canadians in six industrial and service categories found: o 61 percent of senior executives believed that they did a good job of communicating with employees. o Only 33 percent of managers and department heads believed that senior executives were effective communicators. o Only 22 percent of hourly workers, 27% of clerical employees, and 22% of professional staff reported that senior executives did a good job of communicating with them.  Canadians reported less favourable perceptions about their company’s communications than did Americans. • Communication – The transfer and understanding of a message between two or more people. • Sender – Establishes a message, encodes the message, and chooses the channel to send it. • Receiver – Decodes the message and provides feedback to the sender. • Encoding – Converting a message to symbolic form. • Decoding – Interpreting a sender’s message. 4 factors that affect message E + D: - Skill, attitudes (perception), knowledge (clarity of message), sociocultural system  rank in hierarchy • Message – What is communicated. – Actual physical product from the source after it is encoded – Affected by method/gesture/codes/decisions Communication depends on writing/reading skills  also includes speaking, listening, and reasoning skills • Channel – The medium through which a message travels. – Selected by the source (who made the message)  formal or informal? – Informal: personal/social messages – Formal: established by the organization • Transmit message that pertain to the job-related activities of members • Follow authority network of organization – channel can distort a communication if a poor one is selected or if the noise level is high • eg. Voice mail, email, meetings – Why do people choose communicating via email rather than face-to-face? • Communication apprehension • Undue tension +_anxiety about oral communication, written communication, or both Chapter 7 - Communication • People use email even if its more appropriate to go things over in the phone Information richness of communication channels - Rich channels are: o Handle multiple cues simultaneously  words, postures, gestures, intonations o Facilitate rapid feedback  immediate (verbal/non-verbal) o Be very personal (being there) - Channel richness: amount of information that can be transmitted during a communication episode - Choice of one channel depends o Routine : straightforward, not a lot of ambiguity o Non-routine: complicated, potential for misunderstanding (closing, layoff, restructuring, introduce new policies) - Delivering bad news thru email? Could be effective because can be accurate, but face-to-face shows you truly care about the people around you (co-workers) - Feedback loop: final link in the communication process  puts message back into the system as a check against misunderstandings  use 2 way communication : receive must tell sender comments - Context: workplace  formal, bus-stop  informal (one has to be careful) Barriers to Communication 1) Filtering a. Sender manipulating info so that receiver looks at it more favorably b. When condensing information to managers c. Lower-ranked employees: might use personal interests to determine what it impt. And what should be filtered d. Major determinant: # of levels an org. has i. More levels = more filtering 2) Selective perception a. Receivers: process selectively see + hear based on their needs, motivations, experience, background, and other personal characteristics b. Stereotypes 3) Defensiveness a. Engaging in behaviors such as verbally, attacking others, making sarcastic remarks, being too judgmental, questioning others’ motives b. Insensitiveness to others 4) Information overload a. Condition in which information inflow exceeds an individuals’ processing capacity b. If more info is selected out, ignored, passed over, and forgotten  lost info and less effective communication 5) Language a. Diverse backgrounds, different patterns and jargon b. Globalization  new languages + cultures c. Vertical levels: different language for managers/employees 6) Communicating Under Stress a. How to make less stressful communication i. Speak clearly – direct/straightforward ii. Be aware of the nonverbal part of communicating – gestures, figurative, tone, facial expression iii. Think carefully about how you state things  calmly = accurately ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION - Direction of communication o Downward  Flow from 1 level of a group or organization to a lower level (manager  employers)  Assign goals, provide job instruction, inform employees of policies and procedures, identify problems that need attention, offer feedback about performance o Upward  Floors to a higher level in the group/org Chapter 7 - Communication  Performance reports by lower management  middle/top management, employer attitude surveys, grievance procedures, manager employee discussion, information sessions where employee discuss problems with management)  Unionized orgs are more likely to use upward communication o Lateral  Same work group, work groups @ same level, managers @ same level  Horizontal  Necessary to save time/ease coordination  Formally sanctions  informally created to speed up action/short-circuit vertical hierarchy  GOOD: formal vertical structure can be inefficient/too slow so lateral  BAD: dysfunctional conflicts when vertical communication = breached Small Group Networks - Communication networks  define
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