How to Prevent Breakdowns in Communication

It is essential for a manager to be able to deal and cope up with these barriers in order to ensure smooth and effective communication. A number of preventive measures that can be taken for this purpose are as follows.

1. Eliminating differences in perception. The organization should ensure that it recruits right individuals on the job. Its the responsibility of the interviewer to verify that the interviewee has command over the written and spoken language. There should be proper induction and training programs conducted for required employees (e.g: Voice and Accent training).

2. Use of simple language and clear words should be emphasized. Ambiguous words and jargons should be avoided.

3. Reduction and elimination of noise. It is essential to identify the source of noise and then eliminate it.

4. Active listening. Listen attentively and carefully. There is a difference between listening and hearing. Active listening means hearing with proper understanding of the message. By asking questions the speaker can ensure whether his/her message is understood or not by the receiver in the same terms as intended by the speaker.

5. Emotional state. During communication one should make effective use of the body language. He/she should not show their emotions as the receiver might misinterpret the message being delivered.

6. Give constructive feedback: Avoid giving negative feedback. The contents of the feedback might be negative, but it should be delivered constructively. Constructive feedback will lead to effective communication between the superior and subordinate.

7. Proper media selection. Managers should properly select the medium of communication. Simple messages should be conveyed orally, like: face to face interaction or meetings. Use of written means of communication should be encouraged for delivering complex messages. For significant messages reminders can be given by using written means of communication such as: memos, notices etc.

8. Flexibility in meeting the targets. For effective communication in an organization managers should ensure that employees are meeting their targets timely. There should not be much pressure on employees to meet their targets.

Beyond removal of specific barriers in communication, the following general guidelines may also help communication.

1. Have a positive attitude about communication. Defensiveness interferes with communication.

2. Work at improving communication skills. It takes knowledge and work. The communication model and discussion of barriers to communication provide the necessary knowledge. This increased awareness of the potential for improving communication is the first step to better communication. Include communication as a skill to be evaluated along with all the other skills in each person's job description.

3. Approach communication as a creative process rather than simply part of the chore of working with people. Experiment with communication alternatives. What works with one person may not work well with another person. Vary channels, listening techniques and feedback techniques.

4. Accept the reality of miscommunication. The best communicators fail to have perfect communication. They accept miscommunication and work to minimize its negative impacts.

5. Use non-verbal communication to SOFTEN the hard-line position of others: S = smile, O = open posture, F = forward lean, T = touch, E = eye-contact, N = nod.



2.Match the problems in communication with their solutions:


  Problem   Solution
1. Perceptual differences B Spell out your expectations and deadlines clearly. Instead of, Please get back to me shortly, say Please email the completed report by 5 pm Eastern Standard time on Wednesday, February 21.
2. Language differences C Two monologues do not make a dialogue. Develop your skills to demonstrate understanding and sharing reactions in any given situation.
3. Muddled messages D There should be proper induction and training programs conducted for employees (e.g.: Voice and Accent training, etc).
4. Wrong channel E Even if youre pressured for time, dont rush through your communication. Doing so often takes more time, as miscommunication and misunderstanding can result and youll ultimately have to invest additional time in clearing up the confusion.
5. Lack of feedback F You should not show your emotions as the receiver might misinterpret the message being delivered.
6. Poor listening skills G Business language is often culture specific (e.g. in the US, baseball terms are used extensively: Straight off the bat, Ballpark figures, Out in left field, Touch base, Strike a deal). As a good general rule, if the phrase requires knowledge of other information - be it an idiom or metaphor - recognize that this may make your communication more difficult to be understood.
7. Time pressure H Carefully choose your form of communication (phone or video conference, email, instant message, etc.). Be mindful not to overuse email. While useful, there are times when the medium is likely to be ineffective. When a message is complex and complicated or there is tension or conflict that needs to be resolved, switch to another medium.
8. Emotions I Check both that youve understood whats been said and that others have fully understood you. Practice paraphrasing to check your own understanding (e.g. 'So what I hear you saying is') and use open-ended questions to check other peoples understanding. Ask, 'what's your understanding of this process?' instead of 'is that clear?'



3.Put down 5 DOs and 5 DONTs of effective communication in an organization and explain each point in short.

1. Read the text and name modern means of communication. Which of them do you use in your life?


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