By Louise Bauer Davoli
Frequently communication is identified as a barrier to effectiveness in the work setting. No matter what the job, communication is both a common and a critically important process. We spend more time focused on communication than any other activity in the workplace.
Communication often is a key element that makes the difference between success and failure for an organization as a whole and for its individual members as well. When asked, most managers will name poor communication as a factor in a multitude of workplace woes. Common difficulties arise because of dysfunctional relationships and a flawed flow of information between managers and the employees they supervise. Other problems are widespread within an organization itself, generally the result of a breakdown in communications by management to employees, or deficient systems and infrastructure that supports the effective exchange of information in the work setting.
Communication is a process in which people who occupy differing environments exchange messages in a specific context via one or more venues and often respond to each other's messages through verbal and nonverbal feedback. The effectiveness of communication can be weakened by physical, physiological, or psychological noise, that often exists within the sender, receiver, or channel.
Types of Communication at Work:
-Formal vs. Informal
-Verbal vs. Nonverbal
-Internal vs. External
Formal communication is pictured in flowcharts and organizational charts. It also is management's way of establishing what it believes are necessary relationships among people within an organization. Conversely informal communication is the interaction patterns that are not planned by management. Informal networks can be based on physical proximity, shared career interests, or personal friendships. An informal network can be small or a large grapevine that ties many people together who share information. Informal networks serve many purposes: they can confirm, expand upon, expedite, contradict, circumvent, or supplement formal messages. Because these functions can serve a purpose within a work setting, it is important to cultivate and use informal contacts within an organization.
Elevating the Communication:
-Make it Personal
Be consistent and
clear in your workplace communications. Consistency builds trust. Checking in with someone by asking if what you just said was clear or made
sense can dramatically improve information sharing. As convenient as email and voicemail messages
are, nothing replaces the personal touch. Make an effort to be friendly with people from differing
departments. Listening shows respect and