The concept of, various forms of, and barriers to communication as well as ways to overcome the barriers will also be discussed in this paper. There are many models depicting the communication process and each has a different number of steps that represent how the process flows. The seven step model will be used by this author for the purpose of describing how the communication process takes place within an organizational structure. The source is who initiates the communication process. This starts when the person has an idea or concept that he or she would like to convey to others.
In most organizations it can be done verbally or can be written. Many organizations are even using visual methods of communication. The source then encodes the information by determining exactly what it is he or she wants to present to the intended audience or receiver. Encoding is important because the source has to have a sense of what the audience already knows and what information he or she wants to add to it. For example, a department head would not hold a concept meeting with a team of engineers and talk to them about advertising issues. The message has to fit the achieve.
The channel is the way through which the message travels from the source. If the source chooses to communicate orally, he or she must use clear speech that is without Jargon and is easily understood. If the source chooses to communicate through written word, the correspondence must be concise and easily understood also. Visual methods, such as video conference calling and virtual meetings, are almost equivalent to interacting in person. It is important to use the proper channel when relaying messages to ensure that the receiver will achieve the intended understanding.
When determining what channel he or she should use, the source should consider several things such as; whether or not the message is critical, whether or not the message will be received outside of the organization, and whether or not the contents to the message are private or classified Decoding the message is how the receiver processes the message in order to understand it. Noise within the channel is anything that disrupts or interferes with the decoding of messages. There are different kinds of noise that can range from physiological to semantic.
Physiological factors such as being hungry or tired can be distracting and affect how the receiver decodes a message. If the source uses Jargon or unnecessary words that are too technical and not understood by the receiver, this semantic noise will hurt the decoding process and disrupt communication. The receiver is the intended audience of the sources’ message. This can be an individual person or a group of people. The success of the receiver understanding the message depends on several factors. If the receiver is knowledgeable about the subject, the message has a higher arability of being understood.
If the receiver is open to the message, the message will probably be received more readily than if there was resistance. If the receiver knows the source and there is a trust that exists between them, the message will be received easier. The decoding of the message by the receiver is largely influenced by previous experiences, the receivers’ skill level and subject knowledge, and by how the message is perceived. The feedback loop consists of the response from the receiver and how it is returned to the source as feedback.
The loop can be a spoken word, a axial expression, or even a change in body language. “Even a lack of response, is in a sense, a form of response” (Above & Till, 1992). This loop is extremely important to the communication process because it is how the source can tell whether or not the communication was effective. If the source receives feedback in the form of a long sigh, it may be a response signaling that he or she has been talking too long or that the subject matter is not holding the receivers attention.
If the feedback is a compliment or conveyed interest in the message, the source will know that the message was received as intended. Because the feedback loop is the final step in the process, this author believes that the desire for positive feedback tends to be what motivates sources to communicate effectively. Effective communication in an organization is paramount to its success. There are three kinds of communication in organizational structures. The first kind of communication is formal. This exists within the organization on the executive and upper management levels.
Company policies, operational procedures and directives, and the overall business goals and objectives are developed at these levels. Transmitting information of this nature is formal and is usually done through documents that have been approved by executives for the use of subordinates. The second kind of communication is informal. This communication is outside the formal organizational structure that fills the organizational gaps, maintains the linkages, and handles the one time situations. Emails, interoffice correspondence, and staff meetings are examples of methods that are used for informal communication.
The last kind of communication is unofficial. This is the interpersonal communication within social Truckee of the organization that serves as the vehicle for casual interpersonal exchanges, and transmittal of unofficial communications (“Kinds of Communication,” n. D. , Para. 3). Word of mouth and group emails are examples of unofficial communication. Lack of effective communication will prevent an organization from reaching goals, operating successfully, and building valuable client relations.
Barriers in the communication process can make detective communication difficult to achieve. In order to avoid barriers or overcome existing barriers, the organization must first know what the barriers are. There may be actual physical barriers that prevent effectual communication from taking place. Walls, doors, and dividers are literal barriers because they keep people separated. Employee work areas should be considered by corporations when it comes to maximizing communication. People tend to walk around and talk to others more when they are in more open spaces.
Departments that often work together on projects or with the same products will be able to do so more efficiently if located in a close proximity in contrast to being located on separate floors. There will always be a need for privacy and structure in he workplace, but by simply reconfiguring an area where there will be fewer walls and closed off spaces the opportunity for more effective communication is increased. Language and cultural barriers have become more prevalent in today’s organizational structures. Now more than ever, people whose first language is not English are in the work force.
The American work environment is representative of a melting pot society. Even people who speak English well may have different views and attitudes that stem from their place of origin. The cultural differences can sometimes pose a robber when it comes to perceptions in the communication process. Cultural barriers are not always due to a person being born outside of the United States. They can exist based on a person’s ethnicity, what region of the United States he or she was raised in, and even differences in socio-economic backgrounds.
Peoples’ personality traits can become barriers to effective communication. Every person is unique within themselves and it is that uniqueness that makes a difference in what the person has to contribute to an organization. It is also that uniqueness that can cause personality clashes among people. Personality clashes can lead to power struggles and game playing that can be detrimental to effective communication. Some personality traits, such as lacking focus, can also be a problem when trying to communicate.
It would be almost impossible to communicate effectively if a source could not translate an idea clearly and concisely so it can be understood by others. If the receiver is not a good listener, it would be difficult to communicate effectively also. Internal conflict can be one of the greatest barriers to effective communication in any organization. Defensiveness, fear, and preconceived ideas can prevent shivers from listening wholeheartedly or from expressing their own ideas when communicating with someone whom they have person issues.
This can be especially counterproductive if the barrier causes conflict between upper management and its employees. If an employee is afraid that his or her idea will be received by members of the organization with criticism, he or she may choose to not share it. This may also be true if an employee is not confident in his or her idea. If a receiver feels that the information being shared is not important, there can be a tendency to filter out what he or she does not care to hear. Information overload can be a costly barrier to communication.
When too much information is shared too fast there is not enough time to process it thoroughly. Those receiving the information cannot get full understanding and the end result is confusion. The point of the information has become irrelevant and time has been wasted. If the information happened to be a directive, in most cases the tasks cannot be completed without taking a significant amount to time going over it again. It work is prioritize and intimation is researched properly before being presented, information overload can be largely reverted.
Overcoming barriers to effective communication does not have to be a difficult task. Sometimes it can be accomplished by simply choosing words more clearly, or listening more actively. Being a good listener is letting the source know that the receiver understands the message being given and will make him or her more likely to reciprocate if the roles are reversed. Perceptual differences can be avoided by organizations recruiting people who are more suited to do certain Jobs. This can be done during the interview process by assuring that the potential employee has the necessary written and spoken language skills.
It can also be done by expanding the organizational structure to include interpreters and experts in languages other than English. The organizational structure itself should not be very complex and the span of control within the organization should be ideal. The more approachable higher management is, the more open the employees will be to the concept of communicating with them. If management avoids negative feedback and encourages a sharing of ideas, the employees will be inclined to participate in more pen forums.
Even when the content of the feedback is negative, if it is presented in a positive manner communication between management and employees will be enhanced. In conclusion, this author feels that the success of the organizational structure rests largely on the presence of effectual communication processes. Everyone in an organization is responsible for communication and should take efforts to improve how they communicate as well as to avoid the various barriers. Following the communication process will enhance how organizations give authority, delegate accessibility, and provide information.