Communication capers

Effective communication is the key to successful relationships at the workplace on a professional and personal level.

Effective communication is important to managers for three primary reasons. First, communication provides a common thread for the management processes of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Managers develop plans through communication with others at their organizations and organize to carry out those plans be talking with other people about how best to distribute authority and design jobs. Managers know that motivational policies, leadership, and groups and teams are activated through the regular exchange of information. We will see that communication is equally important for controlling the work of the organization.’ In a variation on Peters’ and Waterman’s concept of “management by walking around” we might say that management is also a complex practice of “talking around” the organization.

You will be required to communicate with colleagues, superiors, customers, suppliers, shareholders, government employees, and various stakeholders. The effectiveness of your communication will go a long way in helping the organization achieve its goals.

However, there are various barriers that prevent effective communication. If the message is not adequately transferred from sender to the receiver, the essence of the message will have got lost in transmission.

Understanding these common barriers furthers our success in becoming effective and engaging communicators.

Time and space

The physical barriers of time and space are a fundamental barrier to communication. The rise of the trans-national corporations and multinational corporations has made physical distance a very real barrier to communication. Additionally, time zones may also prove to be a hindrance.

Emotional Dissonance

Emotions can cloud people’s thinking and prevent them from seeing things as they should be seen. We are all emotional listeners. We filter all communication we receive through the emotions we are currently experiencing

Stress is also a notable obstruction. The workplace is getting increasingly hectic, the time off that employees conventionally had after work is disappearing due to the concept of always being wired in. Being stressed affects your ability to communicate an idea clearly. Also if the receiver is stressed he /she is prone to misconstruing the message.

Attitudes, biases and preconceived notions can prove to be a major hurdle to effective communications. If you are already biased against a particular issue, person or topic, you will not fairly consider any communications you receive related to it. Conversely any communication that you send out will also be lopsided. Take proper precautions to ensure the same.

Cultural Chasm

Cultures play a huge role in the way people interpret messages and communicate. With the emergence of a global workplace it is not unusual for people from wholly different cultures to be working together. Every language has its own nuances and tonalities which non-native speakers may not understand. Indians have the habit of using yaa and naa after every sentence. This can be confusing for someone not familiar with this practice. Hence try and keep language as standard and simple as possible. The use of heavy and technical jargon could leave the uninitiated baffled as well. So if you decide t throw words like exploratory research and target group segmentation at a hard core engineer expect the lack of context and knowledge in the subject to become a communication barrier.

Systematic stumble

Sometimes, the hierarchies and systems in the organization itself can prove to be a barrier to communication. The marketing and editorial teams in my organization are permanently at loggerheads. This animosity leads to a lot of misunderstandings n communication. They also tend to view our communications through a colored perspective. , says a journalist with leading language daily. The quickest and most effective way to check whether communication has accurately reached the end point is through feedback. Verify whether the receiver has understood the message as it should be.