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PARTICIPATE IN A WORKPLACE COMMUNICATION

Am I deaf that you need to use the Megaphone?

WHAT IS COMMUNICATION?
The word communication came from the Latin word communiswhich means
commonness. When people communicate with one another, the establish commonness; they
share a commonality. Dictionaries define the process as the giving and receiving of
communication signals or messages by talk, writing, gestures and signals. Herman M.
Weisman
Communication is a process through which two or more human beings share each
others thoughts, ideas, feelings, insights, and information and exchange meanings.
Hitachi advertisement
Communication is not simply sending messageIt is creating understanding swiftly,
clearly and precisely. Herta A Murphy and Herbert W Hildebrandt
Communication is the lifeblood of every organization Charles R. Wright
Communication is the basis of all social existence.

FORMS OF COMMUNICATION
These are the verbal communication (or written and oral communication) and the non-
verbal communication
Commonly, when people hear of verbal communication the connotation is that, it is oral.
Verbal communication is such which engages the use of words whether written or spoken.
What then is the difference between oral and written communication.
Written communication is such communication done through writing. Letters and
correspondence , written news and articles from magazines, newspapers and the likes, books and
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other reading materials, literary pieces such as essays, short stories and the likes, song and
poetries, billboard materials, bulletins and any other written forms comprise this kind.
On the other hand, oral communication uses spoken words. Thus, speeches-whether
formal or informal, discourses like debate, argumentation and open forum, dialogues and
monologues, poetry readings, drama presentation, singing or just common talks, all of these fall
under the category of oral communication.
One form of communication, which is not often mentioned but is commonly used, is the
third category. It falls under the non-\verbal communication. It is neither written nor uttered but
it is such an effective means of communication. This is the Sign communication or the Sign
Language. It uses the aids of the hands, the fingers, the eyes, and other body mechanism as in
the form of gestures. Sometime, it simply aids the oral communication in getting the idea across
but in some cases, it is the only means of having an understanding with each other.
Sign communication can be of two forms the overt and covert. When we talk of overt
signs, we pertain to the signs, symbols or signals which are visible and easily read. These are
also referred to as the macro symbols. On the other hand, covert signs are such signs, symbols
and signal which are not easily seen. These are otherwise known as the micro symbols.

THE COMMUNICATION MODEL


The illustration to the right shows the flow of communication:
Sender (encoder)
Message
Channel
Receiver
Feedback
Communication involves:
A sender who has a message or idea which they wish to send (source, transmitter, speaker,
encoder)
A message which is sent between the sender and the receiver (idea, thought, topic)
A channel and medium (face to face, telephone, letter, form) by which the message is sent
(medium)
a receiver who receives and understands the message (listener, decoder)
feedback passed from the receiver to the sender showing that the message has been received
and understood (reaction (non-verbal)
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ORGANIZATION COMMUNICATION
In a workplace situation, a worker interacts with people occupying different position that
is from janitor to manager. Likewise, communication is the best, to give receive and have a
feedback on the ideas being communicated. As part of the organization, it is very important to be
aware on how a message flows in a company.
In this case, organizational communication would be applied to observe proper
communication in the workplace. It may be oral or written depending on the content of the
message. There are four types of organizational communication:
1. Downward communication which is the top-to-bottom communication from the
management not only clears job directions and safety rules but also facts about organizational
goals, products and view-points on important controversial issues.
The following media tools of internal communication can be used to carry information
down to its intended receiver:
1) memo
2) letters
3) orientation manuals
4) pay envelope inserts
5) annual report
6) public address system
7) human channels, like supervisor or foreman.

2. Upward communication gives management with feed back needed for proper
planning, decision-making and controlling. On the part of the employees communication up to
management maybe a form of release from emotional tensions and pressures, a means to offer
valuable ideas to management or simply to show whether directions or policies are understood
and acceptable to the employees. Tools that can be used in upward communication are: memos,
suggestion systems (in a form of box or face to face, and guidance counselor as human channel.
3. Horizontal or lateral communication takes place between sections, divisions, or
departments of the same level. Keep employees aware of activities in a related department, like
for example one supervisor with another, one worker with another and so forth. The tools used in
horizontal or lateral are: meetings and conferences; seminars and workshops; telephones and
intercoms; social and other similar activities.
4. Diagonal communication takes place from one level to another level without passing
through traditional channels.
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EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION
Any workplace where people are able to communicate clearly tend to be a more efficient
working environment.
Effective communication leads to:
Clear instructions so people know exactly what they are expected to do and do it properly;
People feeling involved because they are well informed;
Higher morale and job satisfaction
People working better as a team
Time and effort saved as people are clear on what to do.

SOME PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION


To communicate with people effectively you need to:
Make sure it is not too noisy to hear what is being said.
Sit or stand so that you directly face the person whom you are talking or listening too;
Maintain eye contact;
Use polite opening and closing greetings
Speak clearly in an open and neutral tone
Be straight forward and to the point
Keep the message simple
Be patient
Show interest
Used words that the people you are speaking to can understand
Listen carefully to the conversation so that you get the right message.

How do we go about making our listening more effective? Here are some suggestions:
Listen not for the words alone but for meanings
Avoid unconscious projection
Suspend as much as possible your own prejudgments
Control you emotional responses to language
Focus on the message
Focus on the structure of the message
Be conscious of your own meta-communication
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Do not interrupt

In the workplace, effective listening helps you to:


Understand instruction clearly
Learn from others
Convey clear message
Promote good listening in others (if you are prepared to listen to others, they will be
prepared to listen to you)
Offer ideas and take part in discussion
Co-operate with others and work well in a team
Understand the ideas and suggestions of others
Respond in an appropriate manner

The difference between listening and hearing:


People are not often aware that there is a difference between hearing and listening. It is
commonly assumed that because people can hear they can also listen. Unless people have a
physical disability they are able to hear. At any one something which just happens.

Processing sound:
Listening requires effort and attention. If someone is explaining to you how to complete a task
and you are distracted you may hear what is said but you may not have listened. In order to
listen,you need to focus on the person, try to understand what is said; check if you have
understood and ask question it actually takes effort.

A great many things can interfere with effective listening. They include:
Noise - It is very hard to listen in a noisy environment.
Temperature - If you are feeling uncomfortably hot it is hard to concentrate to listening.
Closeness - when a speaker is too close to you, your mind may be on the invasion of your
space rather than what is being said.
Furniture - the way in which furniture is arranged in a room may block good listening
for example; if you cannot see a speaker it is much harder to pay attention.
Time - when people are tried or in a hurry they are less able to fully concentrate fully on
what is being said.
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Impatience - if you are feeling impatient and want to get away to do other thing you
mind will not concentrating on the speaker.
Distractions - any type of distraction whether it be something going on outside work or
personal worries tends to stop you from paying full attention to what a speaker says.
Attitude - if you do not like the speaker or do not like what they are saying you may
quickly tune out.
Lack of interest - when you are not interested in a topic it is difficult to pay attention.
Thinking you - often people think that they already know what is about already know be
said and so they dont bother to listen

Proper Note taking for Recording Information/Instructions:


Effective note-taking is important to record information/instructions based on what we
read and heard.
Systematic note-taking means, reading through a passage or listening to a discussion and
determining its subject and then writing them down. They should be brief and easy to remember.
The following tips will help you in taking notes from your sources:
1. Dont write too many words.
2. Be sure that you have enough facts and details.
3. Dont get off the track. That is, stick to the topic
When you take notes from listening your degree of success can only be to the extent that you
listened well and understood what you heard.

CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF INEFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION


Communication needs to be clear and effective in order to achieve its aim. When it is not,
all kinds of problem can result.
There are many obstacles along the way that result to ineffective communication. These
are the following:
Barriers to good communication
Barriers to good communication can make things difficult and cause misunderstanding.
Good communication is affected when the sender and the receiver do not understand the message
in the same way.
Good communication can be affected by:
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Non-verbal communication which sends the opposite messge to what is being said.
Remember that what we see is different to what we hear, the non-verbal communication
always delivers the strongest message. For example; if you tell your supervisor that you are
happy to work late and then spend the whole time looking at you watch, he or she believes
the non-verbal message which is saying that you are not happy at all.
Poor listening. Use of slang and jargon. People who work in a particular area often talk to
each other in technical jargon or slang they have developed for their own use. This is fine
for all who speakl the language, but it makes it very hard to newcomers.
Ambiguity. This refers to the fact that some message have more than one meaning. Unless
the message means the same thing to both the sender and receiver, confusion can arise. It is
important to be specific and exact if you are the sender and to use feedback and questions to
check the message if you are the receiver.
People who think that they know everything and dont listen. They niether give nor ask for
feedback and then complain that others send confusing message.
Making assumption about what people do or dont know. It is important to clear about what
information people already have. To do this, we should put ourselves in place of the
receiver and ask ourselves what they need to know in order to understand our message. We
then need to be clear about how we send our message and what to include in it.
Poor expression.These means speech or writing that is not clear, thoughts and feeling
which are presented in illogical order or incorrect spelling punctuation and grammar.
If people working together are not able to communicate well. It can lead to confusion,
unhappiness, frustration and annoyance. It can also mean that the organizations goal will
not be met.

Poor communication may lead to:


Time being lost because work needs to be redone
Accidents
Poor quality service and/or product
Wastage
Frustration
Mistake being made because instructions are not clear
Teams not working well.

REASON FOR COMMUNICATION IN THE WORKPLACE


In the work environment you need to communicate with:
People who belong to your organization
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People who belong outside your organization and wish to do business with you

You communicate with people at work for several reasons, for example to:
Take part in friendly conversation
To assist customers
To receive or pass on information or instruction
Discuss problem
Ask for information
Get help
It is important that you communicate with people inside and outside your organization in
a professional and efficient manner. People do not work in isolation. No matter what your job is
good communication is vital.