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Ch 7 - Communication.docx

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COMM 292
Leah Sheppard

Communication Chapter 7 The Communication Process  Communication – transfer and understanding of a message between two or more people  Both sender and receiver are part of the communication process  Sender: establishes message, chooses channel to send it through  Receiver: decodes the message and provides feedback  Interaction and iterative process  Significantly affected by the sender’s perception of the receiver and vice versa Encoding and Decoding  Messages: encoded (converted to symbolic form) by a sender  decoded (interpreted) by a receiver  Four factors that affect encoding and decoding: skill, attitudes, knowledge, socio-cultural system  Messages sent and received by people of equal rank are sometimes interpreted differently than people in different ranks The Message  What is communicated  Actual physical product from the source after it is encoded  Affected by the code, group of symbols, we use to transfer meaning  “Lost in translation” – when two parties formalize their understanding through contracts (only meant to be understood by lawyers) The Channel  Channel – medium through which a message travels  Selected by the source: formal vs. informal  Communication apprehension – undue tension and anxiety about oral communication, written communication or both  Channels differ in capacity to convey information o Rich: Face to face – provides maximum amount of information to be transmitted  Ability to handle multiple cues simultaneously  Facilitate rapid feedback  Very personal  Channel richness – the amount of information that can be transmitted during a communication episode  Choice of channel depends on whether the message is routine or non-routine o Non-routine messages = high ambiguity = rich channel better The Feedback Loop  Feedback loop – final link in the communication process; it puts the message back into the system as a check against misunderstandings o Lets us know whether understanding was achieved  Receivers: have the responsibility to give feedback to avoid miscommunication The Context  Communication takes place within a context  Violation of that comtext  creates additional problems in sending and receiving messages  Workplace: more formal interaction  At a bus stop: informal  Informal communication in the wrong places can look unprofessional  Formal communication in the wrong places can make people feel awkward Barriers to Effective Communication Filtering  Filtering – a sender’s manipulation of information so that it will be seen more favorably by the receiver  Personal interests of those doing the synthesizing + perceptions of what is important = filtering  Major determinant of filtering: number of levels in an organization Selective Perception  Selective Perception –selectively see and hear based on their needs, motivations, experience, background and other personal characteristics  Receivers: project their interests and expectations into communications as they decode the messages Defensiveness  Defensiveness – when people feel threatened, they act in a way to reduce their ability to achieve mutual understanding  Ex. verbally attacking others, sarcastic remarks, overly judgmental, questioning others’ motives  If they feel threatened, they’ll respond in a way that hinders effective communication Information Overload  Information overload – the state of having more information than one can process  Email, phone calls, faxes, meetings, memos, etc…  When this happens, individuals tend to select out, ignore, pass over or forget information OR put it off further for processing until overload situation is over  Result: lost information and less effective communication Language  Words mean different things to different people  Based on age, education and cultural background – 3 variables that influence the language we use and the definitions we give to words  Specialists develop their own jargon  Operations in different countries will use terms and phrases unique to their area  Vertical levels – language of senior executives can be mystifying to operative employees  Be aware that your understanding of a word may not be shared Communicating Under Stress  Speak clearly. Be direct about what you want to say.  Be aware of the nonverbal part of communicating. Tone, facial expression, body language may not be consistent with the message you’re sending.  Think carefully about how you state things. Better to be restrained so you don’t offend your listener. Organizational Communication Direction of Communication  Downward – communication that flows to a lower level o Managers communicating with employees o Assign goals, provide job instructions, inform employees of policies and procedures, identify problems, offer feedback o Must explain why a decision was made  More likely to be behind change when fully explained  Upward – communication that flows to a higher level o Inform them of progress towards goals, relay current problems o Keep managers aware of how employees feel about their jobs, co-workers, and the organization o Ideas on how things can be improved o Have become increasingly difficult: managers overwhelmed and easily distracted  Lateral – communication among members of the same work group o Save time or ease coordination o Informally created to short-circuit the vertical hierarchy and speed up action o Bad: when members go above and beyond their managers to get things done Small Group Networks  Communication networks – channels by which information flows: formal or informal  Formal networks – ta
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