1. A lot of bosses are accused of being “poor communicators.” Why do you think this is?
People in managerial or supervisory positions tend to be “poor communicators” because they usually ‘macromanage’ their staff. This type of management only includes overlooking the different functions of the employees. As a result, interaction can be reduced and the lines of communication will also be lessened. More so, bosses have the tendency to be condescending because of their managerial or executive status. Sometimes their position influences their thinking and actions. The higher the position, the more supervisors or managers feel a certain degree of pride and superiority over their employees. Because of this, miscommunication or even lack of communication is practiced in the workplace. In addition, the hierarchical structure of a company also adds up to the complacency of the bosses that often results to poor communication. For example, instead of having the initiative to talk to their employees, they have this mentality that since they are the bosses and they are at the higher level in the organizational structure, their employees should be the ones to make an effort to consult them or talk to them.
2. What does this case suggest regarding the relationship between reinforcement theory and communication?
This case only proves that when an action results to a negative consequence, employees try to decrease the occurrence of this behavior but when it brings positive effects, the natural outcome would be an increase in the action that produced it. But when a specific behavior does not deliver either good or bad effects, it is most likely that the action will never happen again. In the workplace, reinforcement theory can either hinder or promote communication. If mangers or supervisors ways of communicating produce favorable results, there is huge possibility that they will repeat that action and as a result, it will yield a better flow of communication. But if they already know that a particular action will produce adverse results, they will most likely not do that specific action. Since Caruso is not aware of the consequences of his behavior, he continues to do it because it satisfies his wants and needs. For him, his actions bring positive results that benefit him as a manager or supervisor in public relations but in reality his bad behavior have affected the performance of his employees that led to lack of initiative to be more productive and promote effective communication.
3. What, specifically, do you think Caruso needs to do to improve his communication skills?
Caruso needs to change his outlook about his behavior. By having an idea about the problem, he can reflect on his own actions and see for himself if it is really worth it to act in such a way at the expense of alienating his employees. Also, looking at the pros and cons of the current situation will help in determining the advantages and disadvantages of not communicating with the employees. Through these steps, Caruso can form a realization that his behavior needs to be modified in order to foster better interaction and communication with his employees thus producing more high quality outputs for the company.
4. Assuming Caruso wants to improve, how would you suggest he go about learning to be a better communicator?
In order to improve Caruso’s communication skills, he should try to be more open-minded and sensitive to the feelings of his employees to avoid hurting them psychologically and emotionally. Also, he should try to be less condescending when he interacts with his employees so that they would not feel inferior or inadequate. In addition, he must remember in order to have a productive staff; a manager or supervisor should also be productive to generate a chain effect. In fact, Caruso should initiate positive changes so that his employees will be motivated and be encouraged to be better workers and individuals as well.