Improving Interpersonal Communication Skills In The Workplace

MNG81001 Management Communication

Personal communication

Assertiveness and negotiation. Communication serves different purpose of any organisation in terms of motivation, arrangement, information integration and others. Communication involves a deliberate effort. This in turn, makes it easier for the organization to send and receive information at the desired place without any kinds of hindrance. Effective communication in professional environment also preserved the work ethics and values within the employee through discussing about the goals and responsibilities. When it comes to formal communication it involve planned communication that takes place with stakeholders like suppliers or clients of an organization.

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In the initial section of this report named Personal communication, the basic components of interpersonal communication skill will be discussed considering their interrelations and involvement strategies. After that, the scope and barriers of interpersonal communication in workplace environment will be analysed. The purpose of this report is to find the most appropriate strategies to improve effective interpersonal communication in office premises. It will enable the management to resolve the existing issues in the workforce regarding the communicational cardinality. The Establishment and maintenance of formal and informal channels of communication and Components of formal communication channels in workplace will be discussed in the second section of this report. Along with that, in formal communication system the communication has to pass through definite path. In this report, the components and flow of formal communication channels in workplace along with the Scope and Barriers in formal communication channels has been discussed.

Interpersonal communication is a skill that allows the individual to communicate with others while working with a group or independently. The personal and interpersonal aspects of communication are the key points for practicing the art of persuasion (Hargie 2016). In workplace, the interpersonal communication plan is a part regular activity that involves the social skills, interpretation and presentation skill. Discussing about various aspects of the communications can help to get overall perception about potential conflicts and solutions. In this section, the basic components of interpersonal communication skill will be discussed considering their interrelations and involvement strategies. After that, the scope and barriers of interpersonal communication in workplace environment will be analysed. The purpose of this section is to find the most appropriate strategies to improve effective interpersonal communication in office premises. It will enable the management to resolve the existing issues in the workforce regarding the communicational cardinality.

Interpersonal communication can be defined as the face-to-face communication between two or more than two people. In any professional place communication can be a essential tool for problem solving, controlling, monitoring, developing and making any changes. Interpersonal communication has different components and different implications within the professional use.

Scope and barriers of interpersonal communication in the workplace environment

Interpersonal skill has six main components of implementation namely the communicators, message, noise, feedback, context and channel. Communicators refer the sender and receiver of the communication system. In order to build up a communication system at least two communicators are needed. Message is the purpose of the communication. The information that transferred between communicators are called message, which can be expression or information (Frank et al. 2012). Information Network and Grapevine are the core modes of a communication system. Information Network is the process of response given by the receiver of the message after receiving, interpreting and analysis the message. On the other hand, Grapevine is a particular type of informal communication process within the organisation. Communication network can be controlled by the organisational system however grapevine is independent and more personal way of communication. 

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 In feedback procedure, the sender becomes a receiver and a receiver becomes a sender. Context is the background and topic of the message that determines the purpose of the message and the message. The context of the message defines the quality and value of the message. Persuasions network or interpersonal communication network is the broad perception of the message flow on which the direction the communication can be developed. Channel is the medium of communication through which sender can send the message to the receiver verbally, technically and in written format. The selection of medium regulates the potential effectiveness of a communication process (Erozkan 2013). Incorrect selection of channel can cause excessive message transfer time, cost, energy and even it can creates noises.

Interpersonal communication in workplace has some divisions as per the implementation and purpose of communication. These divisions are problem solving and decision-making, Listening, Assertiveness and negotiation. Problem solving and decision making is one of the best was to maintain professional relationship with other co-workers. It is also associated with rational thinking and reasoning capacity (Lane 2016). Listening is the observation part of the communication system, here an individual closely listen the message of other communicators and interoperates them. Assertiveness is a positive response to some message. It also implies the positive attitude and approach to the topic as well. Assertiveness is a skill of special ability of communication that can help any individual to influence others. Hence, Assertiveness is the most essential quality of a successful leader (Daly and Wiemann 2013). The negotiation is the key of conflict resolution process. Communication can help to find the common ground of conflicting individual that consequently leads to the effective negotiation. 

Components of formal communication channels in the workplace

Interpersonal communication has both benefits as well as barriers in their depending on the implementation process, strategic involvement and communication environment. In the following section both benefits and barriers of the Interpersonal communication will be discussed considering the workplace environment and consequences.

Interpersonal communication serves different purpose of any organisation in terms of motivation, arrangement, information integration and others. There are five basic benefits of this interpersonal communication in a workplace namely, improving the integrity, regulating work process and principles, Preserving value and ethics, identifying needs and problems,  and developing solutions (Berger 2014). Network building in Communication is one of the effectives process to increase and stabilise the information integrity in a group or within an association. Interpersonal communication allows interchanging various information and expression within the communicator. Therefore, through the Network communication more specifically from wheel communication network, any organisation can have an in depth ideas about the work process and employees of the organisation. Interpersonal communications between employees and leaders as well as between leaders and managers holds the structure of organisational work process and principles (Jensen 2013).

Effective interpersonal communication in profusion preserved the work ethics and values within the employee through discussing about the goals and responsibilities. Communication allows the management of any organisation to keep them informed about any discrepancy in the system (Gainforth et al. 2014). This process is also known as observation and reporting system, which is also used in Human resource for hazard identification issues. Developing solution and negotiation is one of the key activities that must need effective interpersonal communication.  It allows the involved participants to communicate with each other and find most appropriate solution to resolve the issues.

There are some barriers in an interpersonal communication that can lead to miss interpretation, distorted information, failure of information interchange system and many more. One of the major barriers or limitation of this interpersonal communication is it has excessive dependency on geographical position, cultural, social and psychographic background of the communicator (DeKay 2012). As an example, language barrier can act as the major obstacle in any organisational work process and communication flow especially in grapevine communication. The major issue in this dilemma is the information cannot be developed as a message and the receiver has no idea about the message that the sender has sent.

Apart from language barrier geographical differences is another essential factors. In can be clearly seen in case of the communication between a Scottish English speaker and an Australian English speaker. In spite of having same spoken language they can feel several obstacles in the communication process (Keyton et al. 2013). Along with that, the cultural and social background can influence the perception of the speaker as well as listener. In American English so many words are used, which will be considered as inappropriate word in other part of the worlds. Apart from that in a particular society, the cultural background of speaker and receiver can lead to miss interpretation of same information. Channel or medium is another essential factor in the communication.  Inappropriate communication channel can cause disruption and distortion within the message. Noise is one of the major results of inappropriate channel or medium selection (Robles 2012).  

Establishment and maintenance of formal and informal channels of communication

Formal communication can be defined as the process of interchanging information officially. Unlike interpersonal communication, the flow of formal communication is controlled. Along with that, formal communication involves a deliberate effort. This in turn, makes it easier for the organization to send and receive information at the desired place without any kinds of hindrance, at a less amount of cost and in an appropriate way. Thus, formal communication is also known as “Through proper channel Communication”. Formal communication includes several characteristics that includes written or oral communication, formal relations and prescribed path. Formal communication is generally adopted in organization where the relationship between the employees is   kept formal. Along with that, in formal communication system the communication has to pass through definite path. In this report, the components and flow of formal communication channels in workplace along with the Scope and Barriers in formal communication channels has been discussed.

A formal communication channel transmits information like policies, goals as well as procedures of an organization. Information in formal communication flows in a chain of command.  That is, information flows from manger either to subordinates or vice versa. The components of formal communication can be segregated based on two kinds of formal communication. This includes internal formal communication and external formal communication. Internal communication can be defined as planned communication that taes place in the company and follows the chain of command among the individual inside the organization. The major formal communication channel for internal communication includes email, letters, memos, conference calls, reports, presentation and executive blogs. 

When it comes to external formal communication it involve planned communication that takes place with stakeholders like suppliers or clients of an organization. In a nutshell, external formal communication takes place with individuals who are outside the organization. The major communication tools used for internal communication includes letters, instant messages, reports, speeches, news releases, websites, advertising and executive blocks (Carsten and Uhl-Bien 2015). When it comes to communication channels, the number of channels available to the managers of an organization has increased with the development inn technology. Considering the fact that with the enhancement in the size and growth of organizations, managers are no longer capable of relying only on the face-to-face communication alone (Tourish 2014). Hence several virtual communication channels like mobile technology, video conferencing, electron In order to make the task of manager’s easier, communication channels are grouped into three chief groups namely formal, informal and unofficial channels.

Benefits and limitations of interpersonal communication

Internal informal communication is refer to casual communication between the employees that do not follow any chain of command. Major internal informal communication channels include e-mail, instant messages, phone calls, face-to-face conversations, team blogs. External internal communication, on the other hand can be defined as the casual communication that takes place with the outsiders like suppliers, consumers or investors.  Informal external communication channels include emails, instant messages, phones, calls, face-to-face conversations and consumer support blogs.

Both formal as well as informal communication is highly dependent on the structure of the organization. Formal communication pattern can be segregated into upward, downwards and horizontal communication. While upward and downward communications are the primary and traditional form of formal communication, today’s organizations mainly emphasize on horizontal communication.

This type of formal communication I based on the assumption that individuals working at higher level posses the authority to communicate with individuals who are working at lower level. one of the major advantage of formal communication is that being a direct communication method, it posses the potential to strengthen the aurgoritarian structure of the ABC company. However, there are several limitation of Downward communications as well. They are:

  1. Delusion: Several times it has been evidenced that a communication that has originated in the higher level gets distorted on its way to the lower levels. sometimes, the massages the more is the delay which in turn impose negative may get lost.
  2. Delay: Another disadvantage of this type of communication includes it’s high time consumption. The more the levels, the more is the delay and this in turn impose negative impact on the yearly profit of the organization.
  3. Filtering: Some managers develop the tendency to withhold some valuable information from the employees. In such situations, adequate massage never researches the employees and as a result discrepancy in the task may take place.

The major channels used by organization for downward communication includes memos, reports or executive blogs (Daniel and EZE 2016). In order to establish effective formal and informal communication the following strategy must be followed bt organization.

  1. Appropriate implementation of goals, strategies and objectives.
  2. Clear and specific job instruction and rationale
  3. Regular performance feedbacks and finally
  4. Socialization

The chief role of upward communication includes sending information, suggestions, complaints as well as grievances of the base level employees to the managers who are at the higher level. According to researchers, upward communication is considered to be more participative in nature. In the past, this upward communication was never being encouraged (Tenhiälä and Salvador 2018). However, in the modern days, managers prefer upward communication over downward communication since it encourage democratization in the organization. Some of the major limitation of upward communication is as follows;

  1. Conflict: In case issues are sent to the higher management without the permission of immediate superior, conflicts may take place
  2. Hierarchical: Several managers do not prefer being directed by the juniors. Thus vital massages may get suppressed an as a result may hider the performance off the organization.

The major communication channel used during downward communication includes letters, email and video conferences. The key components for establishing and maintaining effective internal communication are as follows:

  1. Appropriate awareness of the issues in the organization
  2. Effective and specific suggestions for improvement
  3. Collective bargaining agreements o grievances and dispute (Koai, Ferreira and Fredericks 2017)

Horizontal communication is defined as the communication that takes place when individual working at similar level with those working at a higher or lower level of the organizational hierarchy. There are several advantages of horizontal communication that are as follows;

  1. Coordination: It helps the organization to establish effective channel in order to enhance coordination through informal meetings, formal conferences, lunch hour meetings, general notices etc.
  2. Morale boost: It provides opportunities to lower level workers to interact with managers and this in turn inspire them morally to enhance their performance.

The major limitation of the mentioned communication direction is as follows:

  1. Anarchy: Internal and external anatomy may take place due to lack of accepted procedure (Temby et al. 2017).
  2. Resistance to compliance: The superior may not implement the suggestion as he has not been consulted.

In this direction of communication almost all types of communication channels are used. Managers, in order to establish and maintain effective communication within and outside the organizations generally follow the bellow mentioned factors:

  1. Effective intradepartmental problem solving through meetings and conference calls
  2. Effective interdepartmental coordination between the employees encourages both formal as well as informal communication.

Assertiveness and negotiation

Conclusion

From the above discussion, it has been fund that both network and grapevine communication allows the individual to communicate with others while working with a group or independently. The personal and interpersonal aspects of communication are the key points for practicing the art of persuasion. Interpersonal skill has six main components of implementation namely the communicators, message, noise, feedback, context and channel. On the other hand, Interpersonal communication in workplace has some divisions as per the implementation and purpose of communication namely problem solving and decision-making, Listening, Assertiveness and negotiation. The benefits of this interpersonal communication in a workplace are improving the integrity, regulating work process and principles, Preserving value and ethics, identifying needs and problems, and developing solutions. However, excessive dependency on geographical position, cultural, social and psychographic background of the communicator can lead to miss interpretation, distorted information, failure of information interchange system and many more.  

From the above discussion, it can be concluded that effective establishment of formal communication has the potential to impose positive impact on the revenue of an organization. All the three mentioned direction of formal an informal communication poses several advantages and disadvantages. While the upward ad downward communication direction were preferred in the past days, with the emergence of modernization, managers prefers horizontal communication over the early mentioned communication direction. Considering the fact that the it totally depends on the organizational structure that the direction of communication will be well-suited for a particular organization, the ABC company should go for the horizontal direction of communication in order to enhance its revenue aas well as reputation in the  market.  

ABC organisation and its leading personnel should always have a Positive attitude when communicating with other person. It will allow the organisation to identify the core problems and to resolve them.  Positive attitude also allows the subordinates to convey their opinion freely. ABC Company has to maintain a friendly and cooperative workplace culture within the workforce. Through this ABC Company can resolve many internal issues easily. It will also allow the system to develop a efficient information integrity. The management of ABC Company should promote the value of cultural acceptance in the workplace. In this era of globalisation, workplace is a most significant platform, where persons from diverse sociological, cultural, geographical backgrounds can be found. Therefore, ABC has to keep the employees sensitive to increase their acceptance and understanding ability. ABC Company should also eliminate any faulty or ineffective communication system that can cause serious distortion in the personal and interpersonal communication system. Through eliminating these obstacles, ABC Company should empower the overall communication conducting procedure within the employees.

Being a company of this modern era, the CEO of ABC Company should establish the horizontal direction in order to establish effective formal communication in the organization. In order to establish effective formal communication, all the employees needs to be encourage to communicate through intranet. The organization must posses an internal communication tool lie the mentioned one. Communication through intranet will not only ensure rapid communication of information but will also help the management too directly communicate with a particular employee whenever needed (Serrat 2017). This in turn will definitely impose a positive impact on the revenue of the organization. Secondly, periodic meetings should be constructed with the employees so that their concerns strengths and weaknesses can be analyzed and evaluated. Moreover, employees must be incorporated during the decision making process (Tourish 2014). While regular meeting will minimize the barrier of communication between managers and the, incorporating employees in the decision-making process will enhance their loyalty towards the organization.

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