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John Wiley & Sons

SupervisionChapter 4: Effective Communication

Effective CommunicationExcellent interpersonal or human relations skills are required if you hope to eventually become a successful manager, or owner of a business.In business, communication takes place in a variety of formats. Informal communicationnot formal communicationis most important in business.

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Formal and InformalInformation enables managers and supervisors to make sound business decisions. Formal communication often addresses task-related issues and tends to span the organizations chain of command. Informal communication may move in any direction, and it is as likely to satisfy social needs as it is to facilitate the functions of business.

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Verbal communication provides a more personal interaction and fosters feelings of trust and goodwill.Perhaps the least understood method of informal communication is the employee grapevine and the rumors and gossip it provides. Downward communication is necessary to execute decisions and to give employees information about the organization.

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Communication TypesUpward communication is initiated by employees who seek to inform or influence those who are higher up in the organizations hierarchy. There is probably no area of communication that is more in need of improvement than upward communication.

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Communication TypesWritten communication is generally the method used if the message is somewhat complex and official.Because e-mail messages are surprisingly permanent, a good rule of thumb is to think before you press the Send button.

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Methods of CommunicationWriting well in business is more important than everyou need to write concisely and with impact. In your business writing, ensure that you follow the seven suggestions and tips.

ObstaclesThe messages that we send are not always the messages that are received. When individuals have different cultural backgrounds, effective communication can be challenging.

ObstaclesPeople sometimes struggle with the communication process when they do not share similar backgrounds. When giving direction and instructions to your staff, it is best to use language that is measurable, concrete, and not open to interpretation.

Communication BarriersWhen you assume listeners know what you are talking about, you are simply asking for trouble.Emotions are a powerful force, but they have no real place in effective communication at work. Be aware of the actions that effective managers and supervisors can take to overcome the barriers to effective communication.

ListeningPassive listening - you are not really processing the entire message. Active listening - requires effort and concentration because you want to fully understand what the speaker is saying.There are generally four requirements for active listening.Follow the seven tips to focus on the other person and not allow all the people and tasks that are vying for your attention distract you.

Positive FeedbackTelling your employees that they are doing a good job and then pointing out specific examples is providing positive feedback. Positive feedback is almost always well received because it reinforces what people want to hear or what they already believe to be true about themselves.

Negative FeedbackStrolling out of the office and barking at the employee who has done something wrong is not negative feedback.The ultimate goal of negative feedback is to change incorrect behavior or performance by using hard numbers, data, and other specifics.For feedback to be effective, remember the four points presented.

SummaryEffective managers need excellent interpersonal or human relations skills to communicate with employees and to provide the kind of work environment where talented employees can self-motivate. The communication processsending and receiving informationcontributes significantly to ones human relations skills.

Copyright Notice 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction or translation of this work beyond that permitted in section 117 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act without express permission of the copyright owner is unlawful. Request for further information should be addressed to the Permissions Department, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. The purchaser may make back-up copies for his/her use only and not for distribution or resale. The Publisher assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions, or damages caused by the use of these programs or from the use of the information herein.

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