ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR: AN EXPERIENTIAL APPROACH EIGHTH EDITION
Joyce S. Osland
PART 2 CREATING EFFECTIVE WORK GROUPS
Chapter 8 Interpersonal Communication
A. Understand the transactional model of communication.
1. Communication is a major portion of a manager's job and an essential skill for anyone working in
2. Communication is the process by which information is exchanged between communicators with the goal
of achieving mutual understanding.
3. The transactional model of communication consists of two communicators who participate equally from
their own personal context or field of experience. To communicate, they must find a shared field of
experience. Over time, the nature of their communication may change as well as their fields of experience.
Noise can interfere with their intended communication.
B. List common sources of distortion in communication.
4. The arc of distortion is the difference between what the sender intended to communicate and what the
receiver understood the message to be.
5. There is much potential for distortion in the communication process. Therefore, it's best to assume that
any communication can also involve a partial misunderstanding. Active listening, requests clarification, and
checking meaning with feedback are ways to ensure that the message received is the intended message.
6. Potential barriers to communication include: poor relationships, lack of clarity, individual difference in
encoding and decoding, gender differences, perceptions, culture, misinterpretation of nonverbal
communication, defensiveness, lack of feedback and clarification, and poor listening skills.
7. Meaning lies in people, not in words.
8. The most effective communicators are receiveroriented because they take the perspective of the
receivers and customize messages for them.
C. Identify gender differences in communication.
9. Men and women communicate in different ways, primarily because of socialization and status.
D. Identify cultural differences in communication.
10. Common style differences in intercultural communication are: highcontext versus lowcontext, direct
versus indirect, and selfenhancement versus selfeffacement. Cultures also use and interpret silence and
nonverbal gestures in different ways.
11. More meaning is taken from
(1) facial expressions and posture and
(2) vocal intonation and inflection
than from words themselves.
E. Describe and identify the five response styles.
14. Five common response styles are:
probing, and understanding
These styles also contain a mesage about the relationship between the two parties. Only the understanding
response reflects an egalitarian stance rather than a oneup position.
F. Explain how to create a climate that encourages nondefensive communication.
12. Defensiveness is a common barrier to communication because the energy devoted to defending oneself
prevents attention to the message.
13. A nondefensive climate is created when people are descriptive, egalitarian focused on problem
solving, spontaneous, empathic, and provisional.
G. Recognize assertive communication and utilize Istatements.
15. Assertiveness is the ability to communicate clearly and directly what you need or want from
another person in a way that does not deny or infringe upon the other's rights.
16. Istatements (behavior, effects, feelings) are an effective way to provide feedback to others.
17. Communication channels can be rich (multiple channels) or lean (limited channels).
H. Improve your active listening skills
18. The components of active listening are:
a. Being nonevaluative
b. Paraphrasing the content
c. Reflecting implications
d. Reflecting underlying feelings
e. Inviting further contributions
f. Using nonverbal listening responses
COMMUNICATION MISTAKES ONLY REALLY SMART PEOPLE MAKE
Smart people are sometimes jerks because, if they are task oriented and have been rewarded only for
measured success with computers, budgets, and other inanimate objects, they might ignore or even disparage the
"soft" skills, such as negotiation, conflict management and delegation. But, even if you are currently successful at
building productive relationships, a change in your personal or professional situation can also change your behavior
for the worse.
Three Communication Mistakes
Keeping in the best performance state
The first key to maintaining and improving excellent communication is to take your physical and
emotional health seriously.
The wrong professional attitude
Sometimes an ineffective communication style is the result of years of conditioning, where someone
believes that being smart is the only measure of success, usually because he or she was rewarded for
succeeding at taking tests. This person thinks that all rank, authority, influence, and privilege in the
workplace should be measured by "smart."
The clueless factor
The most difficult flaw to selfdiagnose and selfcorrect in the smart person is the conviction that
one's failings are actually virtues.
communication (defined) the process by which information is exchanged between communicators with the goal
of achieving mutual understanding.
The communication model
EXHIBIT Transactional Model of Communication
Person A speaks, he or she is also "listening" and receiving a message from Person B. This is called a
transactional model because it acknowledges that our responses to speakers' messages lead them to modify
what they say next. Furthermore, the different time periods reflect the changing nature of communication
over time, depending on what transpires between people.
Our individual backgrounds and personality cause us to encode and decode messages in a unique fashion.
makes mutual understanding more challenging and explains why the two communicators must
find a shared field of experience (e.g., shared town, culture, organization, views).
noise (defined) anything that interferes with the intended communication. There are three types of noise
that prevent effective listening:
(1) environmental (e.g., hot rooms, lawnmowers, etc.),
(2) physiological (e.g., headaches or hunger pangs), and
(3) emotional (e.g., worry, fear, anxiety).
arc of distortion is the difference between what the sender intended to communicate and what the receiver
BARRIERS TO COMMUNICATION
1 Poor Relationships.
2 Lack of Clarity.
3 Individual Differences in Encoding and Decoding.
6 Misinterpretation of Nonverbal Communication.
8 Lack of Feedback and Clarification.
9 Poor Listening Skills.
1 Poor Relationships. (Barrier to Communication)
Communications must be understood within the context of the interpersonal relationship. If two
people have been involved in an ongoing, bitter argument over a business decision, it will be more
difficult for them to hear the other's messages without distortion.
2 Lack of Clarity. (Barrier to Communication)
The way Person A encodes the message may not accurately reflect the message they want to
transmit. Failure to consider how one's audience will perceive the message can result in unclear
messages. Ambiguous language causes confusion, and jargon is incomprehensible to outsiders.
3 Individual Differences in Encoding and Decoding. (Barrier to Communication)
The way Person A encodes messages and the way Person B decodes them is strongly related to