Discuss the importance of communication for a manager. Describe various barriers to effective communication and how to overcome them to make communication more effective.
Communication is a process of conveying meaning form one person to another. It includes any means or method by which one mind affects another. Keith Davis says, communication is the process of passing information and understanding from one person to another.
Importance of communication:
The importance of communication is as follows:
Efficient and smooth functioning of an enterprise: Efficiently and smooth functioning of a firm largely depends on communication as same as the heart of organizing. It is difficult to conceive of an org without communication. It is only through communication that a manger can develop authority and status structures.
Basis of decision making: The importance of communication arises from the fact that decision making functions largely depend upon effective and efficient of communication to and from decision centre. The quality of decisions made in an org depends largely on the amount and quality of information available to the decision maker.
Basis of decentralization and delegation: communication is the basis of decentralization and delegation. Terry writes “communication is the means by which the act of delegation is accomplished”. When a company is decentralized its communication needs increase considerably.
Importance of planning and coordination: the success of planning depends on an efficient network of communication. If the system of communication is good useful suggestions will flow from the subordinate to the manager and this will considerably help in formulation of plans. Participation of employees are regarded as highly essential for getting the task done and this can be secured largely through communication.
Basis to good external communication: The importance of good internal communications also arises from the fact that they are now regarded as basis to good external ones. As organization must put its own house in order before it can speak convincingly to its public.
Basis for morale building: an efficient system of communication also helps in morale building. It is a means by which a manger boosts his employees to work hard for attainment of its goals and objectives.
For Higher Productivity: It has been proved that a definite relationship exists between communication and employee productivity. Recent evidence indicates that employees work more efficiently and with greater job satisfaction when they understand not only their job objectives but also objective of their work group and overall business enterprise.
For better union relations: An effective system of communication can play a very useful and important role in attaining constructive union relations. The communication program has a vital role to play in interpreting and explaining to workers management policy in respect of various issues concerning themselves, their work, their future, their prospects and a number of other things about the company, its products and its services and above all, its aims and objects from point of view of community at large.
To avoid misunderstanding and ignorance: A good system of communication is also necessary to avoid misunderstandings. Communication of information will go a long way to substitute knowledge and understanding for ignorance.
Orient people to their environment: It is communication that helps to orient people to their physical and social environment. Without such orientation people would be lost. They would be unable to perspective or to place themselves properly in their environment.
Binds people together: Force of effective communication binds people of an organization together. It is only through communication that people can attain a common viewpoint and understanding and cooperate to accomplish organization ends and objective.
Barriers to effective communication:
The failure in communication arises because of certain blockages between the sender and receiver. In order to make communication effective it must be ensured that these barriers are removed. There are three barriers: semantic, psychological and organizational.
Physical barriers are often due to the nature of the environment.
Thus, for example, the natural barrier which exists, if staff are located in different buildings or on different sites.
Likewise, poor or outdated equipment, particularly the failure of management to introduce new technology, may also cause problems.
Staff shortages are another factor which frequently causes communication difficulties for an organisation.
Whilst distractions like background noise, poor lighting or an environment which is too hot or cold can all affect people's morale and concentration, which in turn interfere with effective communication.
Attitudinal barriers come about as a result of problems with staff in an organisation.
These may be brought about, for example, by such factors as poor management, lack of consultation with employees, personality conflicts which can result in people delaying or refusing to communicate, the personal attitudes of individual employees which may be due to lack of motivation or dissatisfaction at work, brought about by insufficient training to enable them to carry out particular tasks, or just resistance to change due to entrenched attitudes and ideas.
Psychological factors such as People's state of mind. We all tend to feel happier and more receptive to information when the sun shines.
Equally, if someone has personal problems like worries about their health or marriage, then this will probably affect them.
Different languages and cultures represent a national barrier which is particularly important for organisations involved in overseas business
Individual linguistic ability is also important. The use of difficult or inappropriate words in communication can prevent people from understanding the message.
Poorly explained or misunderstood messages can also result in confusion. We can all think of situations where we have listened to something explained which we just could not grasp
Physiological barriers may result from individuals' personal discomfort, caused, for example, by ill health, poor eye sight or hearing difficulties.
Essentials of efficient communication:
The following are essential for good communication:
Think before communication: the first and the foremost step is to think clearly what one has to communicate. Management communication will achieve best results if there is an adequate planning.
Know your objectives: before communication one should be quite clear about the purpose and objective of what one wants to accomplish. Sharpening of objective is highly imperative as the sharper the focus the better is the result.
Consult: It is generally desirable to consult others in planning a communication. such an approach will provide additional insight and objectively the message
Determine the medium: After having decided the subject matter it should be determined as to how best this message is to be communicated. All aspects of oral or written communication must be carefully examined.
Help the receiver : Every effect should be made to convey something helpful or beneficial to the receiving audience. This is always welcomed by the receiver and makes communication more meaningful.
Timing and timeliness: Considerable attention should be given to the timing and timeliness of the communication. The same message will be received or responded to differently by different individuals and groups at the same time or by the same individual.
Check the results: The purpose of communication is not complete simply with transmission of the message. It should be ascertained whether the same was received in the manner intended and the response was appropriate. The receiver should be encouraged to express his reactions.
Support with action: it is highly necessary that the action of communication should support his communication. This is because action speaks louder than words.
Listen: A very important aspect of effective communication is that executives and supervisors should be good listeners. It is dangerous to be inattentive or in different when others are attempting to communicate.
Feedback: One of the essential conditions for efficient communication is feedback. The basic purpose of feedback is to ensure that what has been originally communicated has been properly understood by the recipients.