Chapter 18
Managing Communication
What Would You Do?
Communication at Mutuals.com




Start-up stock brokerage firm charging flat
rate rather than commission
Spending is wildly out of control
As firm has grown larger, personal touch of
owner, and some valuable employees are
leaving
How can you get employees tell you what is
wrong?
2
Learning Objectives
Communication
After discussing this section,
you should be able to:
1.
2.
explain the role that perception plays in
communication and communication problems.
describe the communication process and the
various kinds of communication in organizations.
3
Perception and Communication
Problems
Basic Perception
Process
Perception
Problems
Perceptions
of Others
Self-Perception
4
Been There, Done That
Deborah Tannen: Communicating with Women & Men

There are gender and power differences in
communication


but not all men nor all women communicate in
the same way
Different styles to fit different people and
situations
5
Perception Basics


Perception is the process by which
individuals make sense of their world
Perceptual filters


how people experience stimuli
personality-, psychology-, or experience-based
differences
6
Basic Perception Process
Stimulus
Stimulus
Stimulus
Perceptual
Attention
Filter
Perceptual
Organization
Filter
Perceptual
Interpretation
Filter
Perceptual
Retention
Filter
Adapted From Exhibit 18.1
7
Perception Problems

Selective perception



notice and accept stimuli which are consistent
with our values and beliefs
ignore inconsistent stimuli
Closure


tendency to fill in the gaps when information is
missing
we assume that what we don’t know is consistent
with what we do know
8
Perceptions of Others

Attribution theory

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we have a need to understand others’ behavior
we want to know the causes of others’ behavior
Causes can be internal or external
attributions


the behavior was voluntary or under their control
the behavior was involuntary and beyond their
control
9
Attribution Bias and Error
Defensive
Bias
Fundamental
Attribution
Error
10
Self-Perception


We also evaluate ourselves and our
environment
Self-serving bias


attribute successes to ourselves - internal
attribute failures to the environment - external
11
Kinds of Communication
The Communication Process
Formal Communication Channels
Informal Communication Channels
Coaching & Counseling
Nonverbal Communication
12
The Interpersonal Communication
Sender
Receiver
Process
Message
that was
Understood
Message to be
Conveyed
N
o
i
s
e
N
N
o
o
Encode
i
i
Message
s
s
e
e
Transmit
Message
Adapted From Exhibit 18.3
N
o
i
s
e
N
o
i
s
e
N
o
i
s
e
N
o
i
s
e
N
o
i
s
e
N
o
i
s
e
N
N
o
o
Decode
i
i
Message
s
s
e
e
N
o
i
s
e
Receive
Message
13
Noise occurs if:
The sender is unsure what message to
communicate
 The message is not clearly encoded
 The wrong channel is chosen
 The message is improperly decoded
 The receiver lacks experience or time
Conduit Metaphor

14
Formal Communication Channels


The system of official channels
Downward communication


Upward communication

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top down
bottom up
Horizontal

within a level
15
Common Problems with Downward,
Upward, and Horizontal Communication
Common Problems
Downward • Sending too many messages
• Issuing contradictory messages
• Hurriedly communicating vague, unclear messages
• Issuing messages indicating management’s low regard
for lower-level workers
Upward
• Risk of telling upper management about problems
• Managers acting angrily and defensively to problems
• Few opportunities for workers to contact upper levels of
management
Horizontal • Management discouraging or punishing horizontal
communication
• Managers and workers not given time or opportunity for
horizontal communication
• Not enough opportunities or channels for lower-level
workers to engage in horizontal communication
Adapted from Exhibit 18.5
16
Improving Formal Communication

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Decrease reliance on downward
communication
Increase chances for upward communication
Encourage much greater use of horizontal
communication
Be aware of communication problems
17
Informal Communication Channels
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

Transmitting messages outside the formal
communication channels
The “grapevine”
Highly accurate



information is timely
senders seek feedback
accuracy can be verified
18
Grapevine Communication
Networks
Gossip
Chain
Adapted from Exhibit 18.7
Cluster
Chain
19
Managing the Grapevine

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
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Don’t withhold information from it
Don’t punish those who use it
Feed information to it
Use if as a source of information
20
Dealing With Internet Gripe Sites

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Correct information, put an end to false rumors,
don’t be defensive
Don’t take angry comments personally
Give your name and contact number to show
employees that you’re concerned
Hold a town meeting to discuss issues raised on
the gripe site
Set up anonymous internal discussion forums on
company server (discouraging use of the Web site)
21
Coaching and Counseling: One-onOne Communication

Coaching


communicating with someone for the direct
purpose of improving the person’s performance
Counseling


communicating with someone about non-job
related issues
issues may be affecting a person’s performance
22
Services Provided by EAPS
Counseling
Financial
Information
Pet Care
Health
Lifestyles
Adapted from Exhibit 18.9
Child Care
Employee
Assistance
Programs
Senior Care
Legal
Services
23
Nonverbal Communication

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Any communication that doesn’t involve
words
Kinesics

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body and face movements
Paralanguage

the pitch, tone, rate, volume, and speaking pattern
of a person’s voice
24
Learning Objectives
How to Improve
Communication
After discussing this section,
you should be able to:
3.
4.
explain how managers can manage effective oneon-one communication.
describe how managers can manage effective
organization-wide communication.
25
Managing One-on-One
Communication
Choosing the Right
Communication Medium
Listening
Giving Feedback
Improving CrossCultural Communication
26
Choosing the Right Communication
Medium


The method used to deliver a message
Oral communication



from face-to-face to video conferencing
a rich, popular medium
Written communication


from letters to email
good for conveying information
27
Listening
Hearing
v.
Listening
Active
Listening
Empathetic
Listening
28
Becoming an Active Listener

Clarify responses


Paraphrase responses


ask questions to clear up ambiguities
restating speaker’s comments in your own words
Summarize responses

review the speaker’s main points
29
Becoming an Emphatic Listener

Show your desire to understand


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listen first
talk about what’s important to the other
Reflecting feelings


focus on the emotional part of the message
more than just restating words
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Clarifying, Paraphrasing, and
Summarizing Responses
Responses
Clarifying
•
•
•
•
Could you explain that again?
I don’t understand what you mean
I’m confused. Would yourun throught that again?
I’m not sure how ….
Paraphrasing • What you’re really saying is ….
•
•
•
•
If I understand you correctly ….
So your Perspective is that ….
In other words ….
Tell me if I’m wrong, but what you’re saying is ….
Summarizing • Let me summarize ….
• Okay, your main concerns are ….
• Thus far, you’ve discussed ….
• To recap what you’ve said ….
Adapted from Exhibit 18.10
31
Giving Feedback
Destructive
Feedback
Constructive
Feedback
32
Making Feedback Effective
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Give immediate feedback
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Make feedback specific
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don’t delay feedback
discuss performance while the memory is vivid
focus on definite behavior and time-frame
make sure behavior was controllable
Make feedback problem-oriented

focus on behavior not personality
33
Improving Cross-Cultural
Communication
34
French v. American
Views of Work
It is important for a manager to have at hand
precise answers to most questions
subordinates may raise about their work.
Most organizations would be better off if
conflict could be eliminated forever.
Most managers have a clear notion of what
we call an organizational structure.
Most managers seem to be more motivated
by obtaining power than by achieving
objectives.
Adapted from Exhibit 18.11
Perceptions
Agreeing
U.S.
France
18%
53%
18%
53%
18%
53%
18%
53%
35
Affective and Neutral Cultures
In Affective Cultures
Thoughts and feelings are revealed through verbal and
nonverbal communication
Feelings of tension are expressed and shown
Emotions flow easily, intensely, and without inhibition
Heated, animated, and intense expressions of emotion
are admired
People are used to touching, gesturing, and showing
strong facial expressions of emotions
People make statements with emotion
Adapted from Exhibit 18.12
36
Affective and Neutral Cultures
In Neutral Cultures
Thoughts and feelings are not revealed
Feelings of tension are hidden and shown only
accidentally in person or face-to-face
Emotions are suppressed, leading to occasional
“explosions”
Remaining cool, calm, and relaxed is admired
Physical contact such as touching, gesturing, and strong
facial expressions are considered taboo
People often make statements in an unexpressive
manner
Adapted from Exhibit 18.12
37
Monochronic versus Polychronic
Cultures
People in Monochronic Cultures:
 Do one thing at a time
 Concentrate on the job
 Take time commitments seriously
 Are committed to the job
 Adhere religiously to plans
 Respect privacy and private property
 Are accustomed to short-term relationships
 Emphasize promptness
38
Monochronic versus Polychronic
Cultures
People in Polychronic Cultures:
 Do many things at once
 Are highly distractible and subject to interruptions
 Are committed to people
 Change plans easily and often
 Are more concerned with relationships than with
privacy
 Frequently borrow and lend things
 Vary promptness by the relationship
 Tend to build lifetime relationships
39
Cross-Cultural Temporal Concepts

Appointment time

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Schedule time

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time when projects should be completed
Discussion time

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how punctual you must be
how much time should be spent in discussions
Acquaintance time

how much small-talk is required
40
Managing Organization-Wide
Communication
Improving Transmission:
Getting the Message Out
Improving Reception:
Hearing What Others Feel & Think
41
Improving Transmission: Getting the
Message Out
e-mail
Online discussion forums
Televised/videotaped
Corporate
speeches and
talk shows
conferences
Broadcast
voice mail
42
Establishing Online Discussion
Forums 1
Knowledge
Audit
2
Online
Directory
Discussion
Groups on
Intranet
3
Reward
Information
Sharing
Adapted from Exhibit 18.14
4
43
Improving Reception: Hearing What
Others Feel & Think

Company hotlines

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Survey feedback


call and leave anonymous comments
information gathered from questionnaires
Informal meetings with top executives

directly “hear” employees
44
What Really Happened?
Communication at Mutuals.com
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Problems and frustrations can be put in an email and sent to a “hassles” folder
CEO reserves one hour each week to
“actively listen” to employee problems
Cost and revenue information updated daily
and available to employees and manager for
control purposes
45
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Chapter 9