Communicating Effectively in Organizations – Communication Process, Barriers to Communication, Overcoming Barriers to Communication Dr. G C Mohanta, BE, MSc(Engg), MBA, PhD(Mgt) Professor

Communicating Effectively in Organizations - Communication Process, Barriers to Communication, Overcoming Barriers to Communication

Embed Size (px)

Citation preview

Communicating Effectively in Organizations – Communication Process, Barriers to Communication, Overcoming

Barriers to Communication

Dr. G C Mohanta, BE, MSc(Engg), MBA, PhD(Mgt)



Communication Communication is the sharing of information

between two or more individuals or groups to reach a common understanding.

Communication is defined as "the transmission of information and understanding through the use of common symbols."

Interpersonal Communication

Verbal Communication

The encoding of messages into words, either written or spoken

Nonverbal Communication

The encoding of messages by means of facial expressions, body language, and styles of dress.

Interpersonal Communication (Contd.) Oral Communication

Advantages: Speed and feedback.

Disadvantage: Distortion of the message.

Written Communication

Advantages: Tangible and verifiable.

Disadvantages: Time consuming and lacks feedback.

Nonverbal Communication Advantages: Supports other communications and provides

observable expression of emotions and feelings.

Disadvantage: Misperception of body language or gestures can influence receiver’s interpretation of message.

Importance of Good Communication

Increased efficiency in new technologies and skills

Improved quality of products and services

Increased responsiveness to customers

More innovation through communication

Communication ProcessPhases of the Communication Process:

Transmission phase in which information is shared by two or more people.

Feedback phase in which a common understanding is assured.

Communication Process

Communication Process (Contd.)Sender – person wishing to share

information with some other person

Message – what information to communicate

Encoding – sender translates the message into symbols or language

Noise – refers to anything that hampers any stage of the communication process

Communication Process (Contd.)

Receiver – person or group for which the message is intended

Medium – pathway through which an encoded message is transmitted to a receiver

Decoding - critical point where the receiver interprets and tries to make sense of the message

Communication Process (Contd.)

Feedback phase is initiated by the receiver

Receiver decides what message to be sent to the original sender

Feedback eliminates misunderstandings, ensures that messages are correctly interpreted

Dangers of Ineffective Communication

When managers and other members of an organization are ineffective communicators, organizational performance suffers and

Any competitive advantage the organization might have, is likely to be lost

Information Richness and Communication Media

Managers and their subordinates can become effective communicators by:

Selecting an appropriate medium for each message—there is no one “best” medium.

Considering information richness

A medium with high richness can carry much more information to aid understanding.

Information Richness

The amount of information that a communication medium can carry

The extent to which the medium enables the sender and receiver to reach a common understanding

Information Richness of Communication Media


Communication Media


Has highest information richness.

Can take advantage of verbal and nonverbal signals.

Communication Media


Provides for instant feedback.

Management by wandering around takes advantage of this with informal talks to workers.

Video conferences provide much of this richness and reduce travel costs and meeting times.

Communication MediaSpoken Communication Electronically


Has the second highest information richness.

Telephone conversations are information rich with tone of voice, sender’s emphasis, and quick feedback, but provide no visual nonverbal cues.

Communication MediaPersonally Addressed Written

Communication Has a lower richness than the verbal forms of

communication, but still is directed at a given person.

Personal addressing helps to ensure that receiver actually reads the message; personal letters and e-mail are common forms.

Communication Media

Personally Addressed Written Communication Does not provide instant feedback to the sender

although sender may get feedback later.

Excellent media for complex messages requesting follow-up actions by receiver.

Communication Media Impersonal Written Communication

Has the lowest information richness.

Good for messages to many receivers where little or no feedback is expected (e.g., newsletters, reports)

Grapevine Communication Grapevine Communication is informal communication and

there is no definite route of communication for sharing information.

In this form of communication, information converges a long way by passing from one person to another person, leaving no indication from which point it started.

Grapevine Communication Characteristics:

Informal, not controlled by management.

Perceived by most employees as being more believable and reliable than formal communications.

Largely used to serve the self-interests of those who use it.

Results from:

Desire for information about important situations

Ambiguous conditions

Conditions that cause anxiety

Barriers to Effective Communication Barriers to effective communications are as


1. Frame of reference: People can encode/decode messages differently because of different frames of reference.

It results from different individual backgrounds and experiences.

It produces distorted communication and occurs even at different organizational levels.

2. Selective listening: A form of selective perception where individuals perceive only information that affirms their beliefs and blocks out new and disconfirming information.

3. Value judgments: The receiver assigns an overall worth to the message based on his/her evaluation of the message's anticipated meaning.

Barriers to Effective Communication (Contd.)

4. Source credibility: Trust, confidence, and faith that the receiver has in the communicator's words/actions.

Directly impacts message reception and reaction by the receiver.

5. Filtering: The communicator manipulates the information so the receiver hears it as positive.

It frequently occurs in upward communication. It occurs because the direction carries control of information

to management that may affect merit evaluations. 6. In-group language: Language (jargon) developed by a

particular group that is meaningful/understandable only to the members;

Produces communication breakdowns when outsiders are involved.

Barriers to Effective Communication (Contd.)

7. Status differences: Can be perceived as threats by those lower in the organizational hierarchy and channel of communication who normally would be included.

8. Time pressures: Can produce short-circuiting wherein someone has been left out of the formal channel of communication who normally would be included.

9. Communication overload: People feel buried by information and data that they cannot adequately absorb.

It occurs because of the deluge of information with which managers must contend.

Overloaded manager cannot absorb/adequately respond to all messages which results in "screening out“ many messages.

Barriers to Effective Communication (Contd.)

10. Emotions: How a receiver feels at the time of receipt of a message, will influence how the message is interpreted.

11. Communication Apprehension: Undue tension and anxiety about oral communication, written communication, or both.

Barriers to Effective Communication (Contd.)

Communication Barriers Between Men & Women Men talk to: Emphasize status, power, and independence Complain that women talk on and on Offer solutions To boast about their accomplishments

Women talk to: Establish connection and intimacy Criticize men for not listening Speak of problems to promote closeness Express regret and restore balance to a conversation

Barriers to Effective Cross-Cultural Communication & Cultural Context

Barriers to Effective Cross-Cultural Communication

Semantics, Word Connotations, Tone Differences, Perception Differences

Communication Barriers and Cultural Context

High-Context Cultures - Cultures that rely heavily on nonverbal and subtle situational cues to communication

Low-Context Cultures - Cultures that rely heavily on words to convey meaning in communication

Overcoming Barriers to Effective Communications

Developing a deep understanding of the various barriers to communication must lead the management to devising ways and means of overcoming these barriers.

Besides, every communicator must take specific steps to improve conditions and eliminate roadblocks to effective communication.

Overcoming Barriers to Effective Communications (Contd.)

American Management Association has formulated the following commandments for effective communication:

1. Clarifying ideas before communication

2. Knowing purpose of communication

3. Understanding physical and human environments of communication

4. Consulting others in planning communication

5. Understanding contents and overtones of communication

6. Understanding value of communication to the receiver

7. Taking follow up action

8. Understanding importance of communication

9. Taking actions congruent with communication

10. Good listening

Strategies for Communicating Effectively in Organizations

Strategies for communicating effectively are as follows:

1. Following up - attempting to determine whether your intended message was actually received.

2. Regulating information flow - attempting to eliminate communication overload;

Regulating information quantity and quality by bringing only significant deviations from policies and procedures to the superior.

3. Utilizing feedback - sent by receivers of the messages. 4. Developing empathy - placing oneself in the shoes of the

receiver to anticipate how the message will be decoded.

Strategies for Communicating Effectively in Organizations (Contd.)

5. Repetition - Introducing repetition/redundancy into communications to be sure that the message is understood.

6. Encouraging mutual trust - developing trust between senders and receivers;

It facilitates communication and makes follow up on each communication less critical.

7. Effective timing - Timing a communication, so that it does not compete with other messages being sent to the receiver.

8. Simplifying language - Encoding messages into words and symbols that the receiver understands.

Strategies for Communicating Effectively in Organizations (Contd.) 9. Effective listening: Entails listening with

understanding - removing distractions, putting the speaker at ease, showing that you want to listen, and asking questions.

10. Using the grapevine: Managers should know how to use it and increase its accuracy, as distortions travelling through the grapevine can be devastating.

11. Promoting Ethical Communications: Send communications which adhere to ethics.

Strategies for Communicating Effectively in Organizations (Contd.)Krep's principles guiding effective internal

communications suggest that organization members:

i. Should not intentionally deceive one another. ii. Should not purposely harm any other member. iii. Should be treated justly. Management in many instances says it has the right to gather

intelligence on its employees, even spying if it is not illegal. There are many numbers of tools available for such monitoring

of behaviour. Competitive intelligence, a system for gathering information

that affects a firm, analyzing the data, and taking action is becoming an accepted practice.