Communication Characteristics in the Workplace Essay
Communication Characteristics in the Workplace
A workplace environment is one of the places that should importantly value the closeness and harmonious relationship among its employees. A successful business or workplace environment depends on the efficient and effective communication among members of the company. It is inevitable that in the workplace problems will occur that are related to the ineffective communication or disruption in the communication process. Communication is vital in a company or in any other institution for communication encourages productive and professional relationship among the workers and executives.
Communication is one of the common problems of businesses. It is becoming a barrier in achieving greater effectiveness in their business. Poor communication includes interpersonal conflict, misunderstanding among employees, conflict between executives and subordinates. Poor communication is also affecting the other aspect of the business such as productivity, quality of the products and services and formation of diversity in the workplace. The types and causes of poor and ineffective communication greatly contribute on the impact in the workplace environment (Smith).
Difficulties resulting from communication problems like ineffective relationships and information and flow of messages from supervisors and subordinates. Communication problems are dilemmas that are quite easy to solve. There are people who are not born communicators but they can easily learn the art of communication.
The work that I am involved to is overseas and dealing with various cultures. Dealing with a person from another culture may be very difficult for we may offend each other without knowing by just being unaware of the characteristics of the other culture. In the contemporary society, due to the influx of globalization people from various nations are able to migrate. Therefore, there is an increase in the number of workers that are belonging to other nationalities (Harlig). Particular nationality has their own language and people are having difficulty in speaking in English. Difference in language is a barrier in effective communication and a serious communication problem.
Another problem aside from language differences is the cultural diversity in a workplace environment. A company characterized by various cultures will have difficulty understanding the actions and manner of speaking of people. Culture is composed of discernible characteristics that set aside people from other culture. With the presence of cultural diversity in a workplace environment, it is difficult to establish unity.
A particular example of this communication problem is misinterpreting the information conveyed by superiors to subordinates due to language barrier. A person coming from different nationality with low educational background will have difficulty in understanding the orders or instructions of people who speak well and attained higher education.
Also, one of the problems in the workplace is the difference in communication styles of employees, especially the managers. It is becoming a big communication problem in the workplace as the employees tend to misinterpret the meaning of the message by the communication style used by the person. Every employee, especially the managers should be equipped with appropriate and proper communication style to convey messages that is clear and understandable to the recipients of the message. Communication style refers to the manner or preference of a person in communicating with other people and interpreting their messages. If two people have the same communication style, they will most likely to understand each other better.
It is undeniable that there are people who are good in expressing themselves and their thoughts in a manner that people would most likely understand. Their style encourages other people to listen. Problems arise when people judge other by the way they speak and not by the content of their message. Through the manner of speaking, people may encounter difficulties in understanding the message of others who employ a communication style that is different from theirs. People may also come to believe the things about another person’s character and motive based on his or her communication style (Harlig). Consequently, people make assumptions regarding other people’s personality and behavior. However, these assumptions may be incorrect and may become barriers to a successful and effective interaction. An example of this dilemma is the formulation of assumptions by some employees regarding other employees. Employees judge people through the manner of their speaking, and when they do not like another employee’s accent or manner of speaking, they assume that they will not get along with him or her.
Solving the Communication Problems
In attempting to solve the various communication dilemmas, it is important to understand first and determine the exact communication problem. Before attempting to solve a problem, the difficulties of the organization must also be assessed (Harlig). Another way to resolve communication problems is to hone one’s communication skills. Managers and supervisors could clearly benefit in honing their communication skills. They will be able to manage their subordinates properly, handle well interpersonal conflicts and misunderstandings with their subordinates.
In our problem with the intercultural communication, we should first know the culture of a particular nationality, especially in the aspect of language and communication to avoid misunderstanding during meetings and business transactions with international clients.
Clear lines of upward, downward and horizontal communication are an effective way to solve the problem. Upward communication is the communication of subordinates to higher level of officers. Downward communication is the type of communication from the supervisors or mangers to the regular employees. Horizontal communication is the communication between the people of the same rank or authority. By improving the lines of communication in the working environment, we will be able to achieve a unified communication style that will be understandable to ever every member of the organization.
Communication problems are inevitable in a workplace. There are problems existing in the work environment that evolved from ineffective and inefficient communication. Communication problems are dilemmas that are solvable but could be destructive at times when neglected. Communication problems take many forms such as gender differences, language and cultural differences, and grapevine. The various communication problems vary in impact depending on the extent of the communication problem. Communication problems can be addressed by developing one’s skills in communication and convey messages effectively. Resolving conflict is also important to maintain productivity and quality of the business.
Effective communication is vital in a business and other institution. Communication is utilized to convey important messages and information that are vital to the company. Communication is used to perform transactions and deliberation of important issues and relevant ideas that needed to be discussed by the whole company. Through effective communication, employees and managers alike will be able to maintain harmonious relationship with co-workers, and the good working relationship will have a positive impact on the company’s overall performance. A company which has effective communication will also achieve unity and efficiency.
Harlig, Jeff. “Effective Workplace Communication?: It’s More Than Just Talk”. [email protected] May/June 1999. 10 March 2009 <http://www.words-at-work.com/goodcomm.htm.>.
Smith, Shawn. “Remove your Workplace Communication Barriers: They are Costing more than you Think!.” Next Level Consulting. 2003. 10 March 2009 <http://www.nextlevel-consulting.com/articles/management/article06.html>.