The Ability to Communicate Effectively


Communication plays a major role in an organization. It is responsible for fostering success in many sectors of organizational operation. The success of individuals and organizations are often linked to effective communication. Individuals spent about 70% of their day doing some form of communication. Research findings have proven that interpersonal conflicts often result from poor communication. Communication refers to the process of passing and understanding information. It involves transferring information from the source to the recipient with the aim of conveying a message.  The paper compares and contrasts various forms of communication in a workplace, as well as their importance in facilitating success in an organization.

Importance of communication

Communication starts when a sender encodes a message, and use appropriate channel to deliver the message to the recipient.  After receiving the message, the recipient decodes the message with the aim of understanding the content of information. There are three main forms of communication that include verbal, written and demonstrative communication. Effective communication can only be possible in an organization if all these forms of communication are correctly used.  Communication in a workplace can take three directions. These are upward, lateral and downward.  Upward communication involves transferring information from the lower cadre to the top management of an organization. In downward communication, information flows from the top level to the lower level in an organization. Lateral communication occurs between people of the same work level, group or peers (Ashley, 2009).

Communication plays the following main functions in an organization: motivation, information, control and emotional expression. The control function aims at regulating the behaviors of people in an organization. For instance, the top management can influence the mechanism by which employees communicate with one another. The function of motivation is responsible for encouraging employees to do their best.  It involves promoting the willingness and the enthusiasm of employees to accomplish certain tasks. Employees can be motivated by awarding them in case they attain a set target. Emotion function is essential in conveying the satisfaction and frustration of employees in a workplace. The function of information is very important in an organization since it is responsible for facilitating the decision-making process. Information function is important in evaluating and identifying choices when coming up with decisions. Making well-informed decisions requires adequate information.  The four functions are essential for attaining and sustaining success in an organization (Rickheit, 2008).

Forms of communication, their effectiveness, and options for improvement

The types of communication used in an organization include verbal communication, written communication, and demonstrative communication. In verbal communication, the recipient listens to the spoken words from the source with the aim of inferring a meaning. It is a real-time form of communication. Written communication involves reading a printed message. Demonstrative communication is the application of non-verbal cues to reinforce the message being communicated. The most common type of communication is verbal communication. In an organization, verbal communication can occur via the phone or in person. The message is conveyed through the oral medium. Storytelling has emerged to be one of the most efficient types of verbal communication that is utilized by many organizations to assist in the construction of common meanings for members. Stories can be used for clarifying key values and demonstrating how to perform certain tasks in an organization. The frequency, strength and tone of a story have influence on the degree of organizational commitment. Successful entrepreneurs use quality stories in securing capital for their investments.  Verbal communication in an organization involves the normal daily interaction, as well as high stakes communication such as the presentation of business plan to potential investors.  Unlike the normal daily interaction that take place in workplace, high stakes communication involves more planning, refection and critical thinking (Rickheit, 2008).

Unlike verbal communication that is oral, written communication uses printed messages. There are various forms of written communication in a business set-up. They include letters, memos, operating policies, emails, training manuals and proposals. Written message can be printed manually on a paper or electronically on a digital media.  Contrary to verbal communication that occurs in real time, written communication does not occur on real time. It is asynchronous, that is, the message can be read by the receiver at anytime. Verbal communication can be asynchronous when the voice is recorded on a digital media. Voice mail is common form of a synchronous verbal form of communication. Unlike the verbal communication, written communication can be collaborative. The development of a written message may involve the contribution of many people before it is released to the target audience. The development of policies and procedures in an organization often involves many parties (Hill, 2007).

There are several strengths and weaknesses that are associated with verbal and written communication. In business, deciding on whether to use written or verbal communication is important. The most important question that is essential when deciding on the most appropriate form of communication to use is whether the communication aims to convey feelings or facts.  The best way of conveying feelings is through verbal communication. Conveying facts is best done using written form of communication (Hill, 2007).

Communication does not just involve verbal and written forms, but also demonstrative forms. Research findings shows that 55% of communication is physiology, 38% is voice tone and only 5% percent is words. Demonstrative communication entails sending and receiving wordless messages. Communication is not always about saying words but how the words are said. Demonstrative communication is categorized into physiology, body and tonal variation. Physiology in communication is all about the body language. Nonverbal communication involves emotion, eye contact, touch and tonal variation. The body communicates through movement, physical space and appearance. Although demonstrative communication is vital for effective communication, it may be feigned to give a wrong impression. Effective communication requires the appropriate application of the three main forms of communication (Ashley, 2009).

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