Effective Means to Overcome Communication Barriers

Introduction

In any organization, communication is considered an important tool for success and proper business operations. The human resource personnel is therefore required to familiarize themselves with the diverse communication aspects of the business (Berman et al., 2002). In fact, it is necessary to employ effective communication techniques in the management of an organization to augment the level of competitiveness in the current highly competitive global market. The employees augment suitable learning procedures as well as a rapid business success while exchanging good ideas within the organization. Similarly, the corporation’s productivity upsurges because of the veracious verdicts made by workforces owing to the virtuous connection existing between them and their superiors. (Lunenburg, 2010). Hence, the commonly witnessed communication barriers during business operations should be avoided.

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Nevertheless, the HR personnel in any business venture should have a clear understanding of how communication barriers affect the organization’s processes. Otherwise, they will not be able to devise any innovative techniques that would be helpful in overcoming the state of affairs (Marican & Abdullah, 2008). Actually, a cautious understanding and surveillance of the specific prospective barriers to communication will help in curbing such problems. Through mentioning the predictable barriers that can impede daily business communication, the HR experts will come up with various alternative strategies that would provide a solution to the communication problems within the organization. Thus, a number of the essential strategies cutting across all situations relating to ineffective communication are laid down to assist in dealing with this issue (Keyton et al., 2013).

Communication techniques used by managers to overcome workplace communication barriers

At the outset, the executives should make sure that the employees promptly reach the set goals by initiating flexible approaches intended to meet such targets. The workers should transact duties freely without pressure to avoid skipping the properly laid communication conduits meant for effective correspondence (Mayfield & Mayfield, 2004). Proper selection of communication channels can as well assist managers to overcome such barriers since simple messages would be verbally communicated. Besides, written communication like memorandums can be used as reminders and in the distribution of intricate messages. The business directors can initiate a model for giving constructive feedback to circumvent pessimistic responses (Ploeger & Bisel, 2013). Through constructive message delivery, the subordinates and their superiors will effectively communicate even if the content of feedback is negative.

The other communication technique employed by administrators is the avoidance of overload in the information. Managers should keenly pay attention to the ensuing problems, spend a good time with their subordinates, and evade overburdening themselves by prioritizing their work (Stohl & Cheney, 2001). A simple structure rather than a compound organizational structure is also essential for effective communication. The manager should ensure that there are optimal numbers of hierarchical echelons in the business institution. Furthermore, it is important to use body lingo properly as the recipient might misconstrue the delivered message (Smola & Sutton, 2002).

On the other hand, managers should employ attentive listening approaches. That is, it becomes imperative for the workers to listen given the big difference between earshot and listening. The employees should engage in asking questions to make sure that the message is promptly understood in a manner perceived good by the recipient (Sharbrough, Simmons & Cantrill, 2006). The level of sound in the business communication milieu should be eradicated and abridged by the executives. The basis of noise should be identified and eradicated based on the precedence foundation (Mayfield & Mayfield, 2009). In general, business managers should also use simple lingoes when communicating information in the corporate context. The elimination of differences in communication discernment should be practiced through educating employees on the accent and voice used while communicating (Maria, 2009).

Motivating language and the employee’s attitudes

Proper language use to some degree could lead to the cost-effective ways through which the employees’ performances in an organization could be enhanced (Mayfield & Mayfield, 2002). Researches indicate that little use of motivating language can contribute to huge progress towards a cost-effective increase in the general performance of employees as well as help in promoting other desirable outcomes within the organization. Motivating language provides an opportunity for the organization managers to encourage the employees towards accomplishing their work performance as well as getting committed to the jobs (Gomez & Ballard, 2013). Motivating language remains to be the best leadership communication skill that leads to the attainment of the desired organizational outcomes.

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To attain the motivating language skills, organization managers and leaders are advised to have appropriate training on specific communication skills particularly those that they feel need improvement. In fact, motivating language remains to be the core of business communication skills that benefit firms not only at the local level but also at the international level (Mayfield & Mayfield, 2009). Many studies indicate that there is a positive correlation between work performance improvements and motivating language improvements. However, motivating language is not the only way through which organization leaders can improve performance among workers. The motivating language, as well as the attitude of leaders towards their employees, plays a big role in the management of workers’ performance (Amant, 2002).

The relationship between leaders motivating language and the positive organization outcome is not limited to workers’ performance. In fact, various studies have explored this relationship with other facets that determine the general organization outcome (Bisel, Messersmith & Kelley, 2012). These include the relationship between the motivating language of the organization management and job commitment as well as the correlation between the managers motivating language and the general employees’ psychological well-being (Keyton et al., 2013). In both studies, the relationship is direct. In other words, the correlations are positive. The studies indicate that motivating language as a determinant of organization outcome should not be downplayed.

The motivating language used by managers depends on the situation and the facet the manager wants to improve (Mayfield & Mayfield, 2009). However, the general techniques must entail the use of direct giving language. The direct giving language means that the words used have the direct meaning as the manager communicates directly to the employee. In this sense, the employee understands what the manager wants. As a result, the employee will perform the duties as required. Generally, work performance will increase since there is a clear understanding between the manager and the employee (Sharbrough, Simmons & Cantrill, 2006). In fact, the worker develops a positive attitude towards management as well as the assumed job. The result would be increased job commitment, which in turn leads to increased performance (Mayfield & Mayfield, 2004).

Another motivating language relates to the use of empathetic words or phrases. Empathetic language is particularly used to drive emotions mainly in organizations that deal with emergencies. Empathetic language shows some remorse and indicates to the worker that the organization cares (Berman, West & Richter, 2002). The caring feeling encourages the worker towards job commitment, which in turn leads to increased performance. Studies indicate that workers prefer remorseful leaders. The perception is that such leaders are caring and have technical skills in sorting out problems (Mayfield & Mayfield, 2009).

The last technique is the use of meaning-making language. Leaders must communicate in languages that have a deeper meaning to what they need to be done. In most cases, leaders use proverbs, similes, and metaphors to pass important information to the workers (Sharbrough, Simmons & Cantrill, 2006). The language used must also be within the context of the worker’s expectations. In addition, the language used must be clear, concise, and simple so that each worker understands the information being passed. The use of language to pass information determines the worker’s attitudes towards their work (Berman, West & Richter, 2002). However, the relation between motivating language and a positive attitude towards work is positive.

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The usefulness of these communication techniques

The communication flow may follow different directions. The direction can be vertical or horizontal. Vertical communication is the most commonly used within any organization. Up-down or down-up is used to communicate with the superiors and the subordinates. In most cases, it takes the form of memos, manuals, bulletins, and direct orders (Ploeger & Bisel, 2013). Vertical communication is critical for the proper functioning of the organization. However, vertical communication cannot be the only system via which information is passed.

A balance must be created between the up-down and down-up communication since messages are susceptible to distortions while passing the hierarchical channel (Mayfield & Mayfield, 2009). In other words, the messages are likely to lose their true meaning and motivational power as they pass through the organizational hierarchical channel. To improve on the communication flow, managers are indebted to practice some of the communication techniques such as open doors communication, and free discussion sessions between managers and employees. Employees have responsibilities over different aspects of the organization and therefore require a communication channel through which they can share knowledge with their superiors (Ploeger & Bisel, 2013). Recent studies in the management practice indicate that managers who receive direct feedback from their juniors are efficient in fulfilling their tasks. For managers to achieve greater success, communication can be carried out through direct impersonal contact, formally by memos, orders, and speeches.

Organizations that effectively manage communication between employees and managers have increased chances of making their employees commit themselves to the jobs compared to those organizations that are inefficient in their communication management (Ploeger & Bisel, 2013). At the core of communication, problems seem to be the issues of perception and credibility. Perception largely influences the employees’ feelings, convictions, and behavior. Therefore, proper management of these attributes of communication anchor at the center of organizational success.

Conclusion

Communication is integral for organization success since it links all the organization processes. In addition, it is crucial for efficient coordination of all organization internal and external processes. Thus, communication is a process through which information, ideas, instructions, and feelings are conveyed within an organization. In essence, organizations that effectively manage their communication channels have increased chances of job commitments as opposed to businesses that are inefficient in their communication management. At the core of communication, are the issues of sensitivity and reliability that must be attained. Perception largely influences the employees’ approach to issues, certainty, and performance. Therefore, proper management of these attributes of communication lies at the center of organizational success.

References

Amant, K. (2002). When cultures and computers collide: Rethinking computer-mediated communication according to international and intercultural communication expectations. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 16(2), 196–214.

Berman, E., West, J., & Richter, M. (2002). Workplace relations: Friendship patterns and consequences (according to managers). Public Administration Review, 62(2), 217-230.

Bisel, R., Messersmith, A., & Kelley, K. (2012). Supervisor-subordinate communication: Hierarchical mum effect meets organizational learning. Journal of Business Communication, 49(2), 128 – 147.

Gomez, P. & Ballard, D. (2013). Communication for the long term: Information allocation and collective reflexivity as dynamic capabilities. Journal of Business Communication, 50(2), 208-220.

Keyton, J., Caputo, J., Ford, E., Fu, R., Leibowitz, S., Liu, T., Polasik, S., Ghosh, P. & Wu, C. (2013). Investigating verbal workplace communication behaviors. Journal of Business Communication, 50(2), 152-169.

Lunenburg, F. (2010). Communication: The process, barriers, and improving effectiveness. Schooling, 1(1), 1-11.

Maria, B. (2009). Guidelines regarding efficient communication within modern organizations. Annals of the University Of Oradea Economic Science Series, 18 (4), 591-594.

Marican, H. & Abdullah, S. (2008). Overcoming human barrier as a measure towards improved knowledge management. Communications of the IBIMA, 4(19), 148 – 160.

Mayfield, J., & Mayfield, M. (2002). Leader communication strategies: Critical paths to improving employee commitment. American Business Review, 20(2), 89-94.

Mayfield, J., & Mayfield, M. (2004). The effects of leader communication on worker innovation. American Business Review, 22(2), 46-51.

Mayfield, J., & Mayfield, M. (2009). The role of leader motivating language in employee absenteeism. Journal of Business Communication, 46 (4), 455-479.

Ploeger, N. & Bisel, R. (2013). The role of identification in giving sense to unethical organizational behavior: Defending the organization. Management Communication Quarterly, 27(1), 155-18.

Sharbrough, W., Simmons, S., & Cantrill, D. (2006). Motivating language in industry: Its impact on job satisfaction and perceived supervisor effectiveness. Journal of Business Communication, 43 (4), 322-343.

Smola, K. & Sutton, C. (2002). Generational differences: Revisiting generational work values for the new millennium. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 23(4), 363–382.

Stohl, C. & Cheney, G. (2001). Participatory processes/paradoxical practices: Communication and dilemmas of organizational democracy. Management Communication Quarterly, 14(3), 349–407.

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