Though much has already been said about communication within and among companies, it is worth to take a look at this subject once again, this time from the point of view of the processes and factors that can significantly increase the effectiveness of com
Though much has already been said about communication within and among companies, it is worth to take a look at this subject once again, this time from the point of view of the processes and factors that can significantly increase the effectiveness of communication at a workplace. It is worth remembering that effective communication makes it possible for an enterprise and its workers to achieve previously established goals.
We may assume, then, that well organized communication processes are the deciding factors which are responsible for the competitions’ leading position. Because of that, we should give priority to establishing proper communication processes in our company as well. The most important element that influences the efficiency of communication at a workplace is the atmosphere which is usually created by the owner of the enterprise or particular managers. In this article, we will discuss the issue of increasing the effectiveness of communication at a workplace. We will point out the factors which should be taken care of first in order to achieve the previously established communicative goals.
The importance of effective communication
The ability to speak is for most adults something totally natural and few people dwell upon this fact. However, speaking and information transfer should be differentiated from one another. We can talk about anything and with anyone, but in order to pass some information we have to possess some communicative skill. Not only is this skill important at a workplace, in our professional lives, but it is also invaluable in everyday situations. Incorrect information transfer, bad choice of words and mutually exclusive verbal expressions are just some of the problems which cause misunderstandings. Such problems are the reasons for the ineffectiveness of the whole communication process.
We are not aware of the fact that effective and competent communication is the key factor in determining our success and the amount of pleasure we draw from work. Establishing new contacts, discussing and communication in general make it possible to achieve goals, but they can also be the cause of failures and stress.
Communication as a means to fulfill our most basic needs
Communication is essential for many spheres of human life. Thanks to talking with friends, family members, coworkers, we fulfill a number of our needs, e.g.:
The need of safety
The need of acceptation
The need of friendship and love
The need of appreciation
The need of belonging to a certain social group
The need of domination and dependence
These are just some of the needs that can be fulfilled by means of efficient communication. It has to be stated that many of our smaller objectives that we establish at a workplace can be completed more effectively if we cooperate and communicate with others. There is no doubt that open communication positively influences and strengthens the relations between people. As experts in the field of communication in organizations point out, most of our actions aim at communication processes.
The effectiveness and successfulness of communication
Company communication is not effective by default. In order for it to be effective, the staff, the director, the manager and the owner of the company have to work hard and show much good will. Effective company communication is a manager’s priority. How should we understand this issue? Effectiveness means the relation between the results and the previously established aims. If our aims are fulfilled, then we might consider our actions as fully successful. Communication is effective only when data is sent to a receiver via a specific communicative channel and when the data reaches the receiver in an unchanged form. The receiver’s interpretation of the message should be the same as the sender’s. Furthermore, the receiver’s reaction to the message should be in accordance with the sender’s intentions. Communication is effective only if the aforementioned conditions are fulfilled.
This means that the first factor that increases the effectiveness of communication at a workplace is an efficient system of communication. In order to construct such a system, all staff members of a given enterprise have to cooperate.
We should differentiate between efficient communication and effective communication. Effectiveness means the relation between the benefits of communication and the costs of communication. This estimate of costs is what distinguishes the effectiveness from the efficiency of communication. The costs can relate to the amount of time or money spent in order for the message to provoke a desired response from the receiver.
The factors that increase the effectiveness of communication
Increasing the effectiveness of communication processes should be of high priority to managers as effective communication creates optimal conditions for completing projects and achieving the enterprise’s goals.
There are several factors that have an influence on the effectiveness of communication:
the credibility of the sender
the amount of control of the sender over the reader
the behavior of the partners of communication
the type of communication code the participants use
the coherence of ideas
The discrepancy between verbal and nonverbal messages
the mood of the receiver
the content of the message
the type of argumentation
the emotional impact
The repetition of certain aspects of the message
the channel of communication
The credibility of the sender
It is a sum of his or her personality, morality and competence. The credibility of the sender rises if the receiver does not feel manipulated; it is also amplified if the sender is not directly connected to the content of the message. The more competent and unbiased the sender is, the more credible he seems to be for the receiver. The more credible the sender is, the more effective the communication becomes.
The amount of control of the sender over the reader
Here we talk about the so cold strength of the source which is the overall ability to pass any message to an individual or a group. If the sender has the ability to control the behavior of the receivers, he can more effectively influence their morals and attitudes. In consequence, the communication process becomes more effective. Such strength should be the trait of a manager or a project director.
The behavior of the partners of communication
Communication partners can assume either a defensive or a sustaining approach. The defensive approach inhibits communication. The sustaining approach facilitates communication.
The type of communication code the participants use
We increase the effectiveness of communication processes in our workplace by using the same, or at least a similar, code of communication. Thanks to the same code, coworkers exchange information precisely and much faster.
The coherence of ideas
If the ideas and attitudes are shared by the sender and the receiver, communication processes are more effective. Generally speaking, people who are more eager to agree on some issues will communicate better than people at conflict with each other. In the latter case, communication is far less effective, especially if the sender and the receiver do not listen to each other’s arguments.
The discrepancy between verbal and nonverbal messages
Usually, such situation is unintentional. The sender and the receiver may lack the ability to control their nonverbal cues. If the verbal and nonverbal messages are in conflict with each other, they prolong the communication process and make it less effective. It takes more time to decode the sender’s intended meaning of the message.
The mood of the receiver
Communication processes are negatively affected by such things as the receiver’s bad mood, depression and personal problems. These factors can make it necessary to repeat the same messages several times. In consequence, we lose more time, and the effectiveness of communication is decreased.
The content of the message
If the content of the message is important to the receiver, he is more motivated to approach it with care. If he awaits specific information, he becomes more active. This leads to a better understanding of his communication partner.
The type of argumentation
The type of arguments used in communication is essential to the process’s success. We have to consider the emotional level of the arguments, e.g., it is ineffective to use intimidation in communication.
The emotional impact
If the message evokes in the receiver positive feelings like happiness and admiration, it is better understood. In such a case, the sender will do whatever it takes to improve the communicative relations. In consequence, the effectiveness of communication will increase.
The repetition of certain aspects of the message
Despite common beliefs, it is good to repeat certain aspects of the message when communicating. Information is acquired by the receiver selectively, therefore the repetition of key aspects of our message makes it easier to remember and interpret what we wish to communicate.
The channel of communication
It is very important in the process of communication to pass information via a certain route. The choice of a proper channel of communication is not without significance. However, this depends on the personal preferences of the receiver. Some prefer personal, oral communication, whereas others better memorize a piece of information that is presented in written form.
Effective communication is possible if we swiftly receive accurate feedback. The response is of greater value if it is up-to-date, detailed and useful to the receiver.
It is not easy to increase the effectiveness of communication processes in a workplace. Several factors referring to the sender and the receiver of the message, feedback, the channel and the code of communication have to be taken into account. However, if we prevail in all of these fields, we will get satisfying results.