Chapter 8
Communication
Learning Outcomes
1 Describe the interpersonal communication process and the role of
listening in the process.
2 Describe the five communication skills of effective supervisors.
3 Explain five communication barriers and gateways through them.
4 Distinguish between defensive and nondefensive communication.
5 Explain the impact of nonverbal communication.
6 Explain positive, healthy communication.
7 Identify communication technologies and how they affect the
communication process.
© 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.
Communication
Communication – the evoking of a shared or
common meaning in another person
Interpersonal Communication – communication
between two or more people in an organization
Communicator – the person originating the
message
Receiver – the person receiving a message
Perceptual Screen – a window through which we
interact with people that influences the quality,
accuracy, and clarity of the communication
© 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.
Communication
Message – the thoughts and feelings that the
communicator is attempting to elicit in the
receiver
Feedback Loop – the pathway that completes
two-way communication
Language – the words, their pronunciation,
and the methods of combining them used
and understood by a group of people
© 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.
Communication
Data – uninterpreted and unanalyzed facts
Information – data that have been
interpreted, analyzed, & and have
meaning to some user
Richness – the ability of a medium or
channel to elicit or evoke meaning in the
receiver
© 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.
Basic Interpersonal Communication
Model
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Communicator
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Message
• Context
• Affect
Perceptual screens
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Receiver
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Perceptual screens
Influence message quality, accuracy, clarity
Include age, gender, values, beliefs, culture,
experiences, needs
Event
X
Information Richness & Data
Capacity
MEDIA
Medium
Face-to-face
discussion
Telephone
Electronic mail
Individualized letter
Personalized note or
memo
Formal written
report
Flyer or bulletin
Formal numeric
report
Information
Richness
Data Capacity
Highest
Lowest
High
Moderate
Moderate
Low
Moderate
Moderate
Moderate
Moderate
Low
High
Low
High
Lowest
Highest
SOURCE: E. A. Gerloff in Research in Organizational Behavior 6 1984: 191-233. “Information Richness: A New Approach to Managerial Behavior and
Organizational Design” by Richard L. Dalt and R. H. Lengel. Reprinted by permission of JAI Press Inc.
© 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.
Reflective Listening
the skill of listening carefully to another
person and repeating back to the speaker
the heard message to correct any
inaccuracies or misunderstandings
This complex
process needs
to be divided to
be understood
What I heard you
say was we will
understand the
process better if we
break it into steps
Reflective Listening
• Emphasizes receiver’s role
• Helps the receiver and
communicator clearly and fully
understand the message sent
• Useful in problem solving
© 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.
Reflective Listening
Reflective listening emphasizes
• the personal elements of the
communication process
• the feelings communicated in the
message
• responding to the communicator, not
leading the communicator
• the role or receiver or audience
• understanding people by reducing
perceptual distortions and interpersonal
barriers
© 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.
One-way vs. Two-way
Communication
One-Way
Communication – a
person sends a message
to another person and no
questions, feedback, or
interaction follow
• Good for giving simple
directions
• Fast but often less
accurate than two-way
communication
Two-Way
Communication – the
communicator and
receiver interact
• Good for problem
solving
© 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.
Barriers to Communication
Communication
Barriers –
factors that block
or significantly
distort successful
communication
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by South-Western,
a division of
Thomson Learning.
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• Physical separation
• Status differences
• Gender differences
• Cultural diversity
• Language
Nonverbal Communication
all elements of communication that do not involve
words
© 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.
Types of Nonverbal
Communication
– Proxemics – an individual’s
perception and use of space
– Kinesics – study of body
movements, including posture
– Facial and Eye Behavior –
movements that add cues for the
receiver
– Paralanguage – variations in
speech, such as pitch, loudness,
tempo, tone, duration, laughing,
and crying
© 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.
Proxemics: Territorial Space
Territorial Space – bands of space
extending outward from the body; territorial
space differs from culture to culture
a = intimate <1.5’
b = personal 1.5-4’
a
c = social 4-12’
b
c
d = public >12’
d
© 2009 Cengage Learning. All
rights reserved.
Proxemics: Seating Dynamics
Seating Dynamics – seating people in
certain positions according to the person’s
purpose in communication
X
X O
Cooperation
X
Competition
O
O
Communication
O X O
NonCommunication
© 2009 Cengage Learning. All
rights reserved.
Paralanguage
Variations in speech send messages
What message is sent by
– High-pitched, breathy voice
– Rapid, loud speech
– Interruptions
– Tongue clucking
© 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.
Examples of
DECODING NONVERBAL CUES
He’s
unapproachable!
Boss fails to acknowledge
employee’s greeting
I wonder what
he’s hiding?
No eye contact
while
communicating
He’s angry! I’ll
stay out of
his way!
Boss breathes
heavily and
waves arms
My opinion
doesn’t count
Manager sighs deeply
SOURCE: Adapted from “Steps to Better Listening” by C. Hamilton and B. H. Kleiner. Copyright © February 1987. Reprinted with permission, Personnel Journal, all rights reserved.
Information Communication
Technology (ICT)
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Informational databases
Electronic mail systems
Voice mail systems
Fax machine systems
Cellular phone systems
© 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.
Characteristics of ICT
• Instant exchange of information
across geographic boundaries and
time zones
• Schedules and office hours
become irrelevant
• Normal considerations of time and
distance less important
© 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.
How ITC Affects Behavior
• Impersonal—
interaction with a
machine
• Flaming, rude, or
obscene outbursts
• Bluntness
• Intimacy
• Uninhibitedness
• Interpersonal
skills—tact and
graciousness
• Nonverbal cues—
emotional element
• Clues to power,
organizational
position,
departmental
membership
© 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.
Other Ways ICT Affect Behavior
• Alters group interaction
– Equalize participation
– Less influence from dominant people
Information overload
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Overwhelmed feelings
Can’t get away from work
Multi-tasking
Increases impatience with
face-to-face communication
© 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.
TIPS FOR
EFFECTIVE USE OF ITC
Strive for message completeness
Build in opportunities for feedback
Do not anticipate immediate response
“Is the communication really necessary?”
“Disconnect” from technology
Provide workplace social interactions
© 2009 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.
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