In any organization, communication plays a vital role in its normal function. All tasks require communication of some sort at some level. Communication in an organization helps the managers to perform the basic functions of management which include Planning, Organizing, Motivating and Controlling. Communication skills whether written or oral form the basis of any business activity. Human beings communicate consciously, through our choice of words, and subconsciously, with facial expressions and body language. The words we choose can be affected by several different things, including fear of embarrassment and fear of offending others. As a result, we often choose words designed more to address those concerns than to communicate our true feelings.
Organizational Communication refers to organizational-related communication skills for effective and participatory communication across business and organizational settings.
It is a subfield of the larger discipline of communication studies. Organizational communication, as a field, is the consideration, analysis, and criticism of the role of communication in organizational contexts.
It is a process by which activities of a society are collected and coordinated to reach the goals of both individuals and the collective group. It is a subfield of general communications studies and is often a component to effective management in a workplace environment.
The Communication for Governance and Accountability Program (CommGAP) defines Organizational communication according to two approaches: i- The Container Approach – According to which organizational communication can be defined as the transmission of a message through a channel to a receiver. ii- The Social Constructionist Approach–According to which organizational communication can be defined as the way language is used to create different kinds of social structures, such as relationships, teams, and networks The former definition emphasizes the constraints that are placed on communication given pre-existing organizational structures and the latter definition highlights the creative potential of communication to construct new possibilities for organizing.
Where Communication stands in an organization –
“Without credible communication, and a lot of it, employee hearts and minds are never captured.” (John Kotter) The very success of an organization is built upon effective communication. It establishes relationship between the superior and the subordinate, and the quality of relationship revolves around the nature of communication. As blood flows, it pumps oxygen through the body to sustain life. Likewise, communication is the lifeblood of projects and organizations. The project manager continuously circulates project information from the external stakeholders to the project plan documentation, to the internal stakeholders, to the project plan. This cycle of communication and information flow is iterative and continues throughout the life of the project.
Without it, stakeholders and the project team can be left wondering where things stand and what decisions have been made. A project team flowing with effective communication is empowered to make more contemplative and educated project decisions. Remember, just as blood doesn’t flow by itself, neither does communication. Both require interaction on the part of the team and stakeholders. The business of an organization is run on interchange of information, plans, ideas, proposals, use of data and conducting discussions, meetings and research which are all different forms of communicate on.
“Communication skills are the tools we use to remove the barriers to effective communication. The communication process is composed of several stages, each of which offers potential barriers to successful communication.”
Effective verbal and nonverbal communication skills are valuable in the organization. Effective communication causes productivity to increase, errors to decrease and operations to run smoother, some companies spend a lot of money to train their employees on how to effectively communicate. Good communication skills go beyond conversations, but employees must know how to communicate well in written reports and emails. Understanding the benefits of effective communication helps companies place a focus on developing a workforce that is able to communicate within the firm and with customers, vendors and international business partners.
How is it life blood of an organization?
Communication serves as the foundation of every facet of a business. Therefore, it can be said that effective communication is the building block of an organization. It encompasses both “official” communications — memos, guidelines, policies and procedures, etc. Poor communication within an organization can lead to disastrous effects. It’s true, but poor internal communication has plagued many grass-roots and community-based organizations, and has been the downfall of quite a few. It’s tremendously important that your organization foster an atmosphere of openness and create systems that will lead to the freest flow possible of, not only information, but ideas, feelings, and a sense of shared purpose. Interaction between boss and employee:
A project team flowing with effective communication is empowered to make more contemplative and educated project decisions. Remember, just as blood doesn’t flow by itself, neither does communication. Both require interaction on the part of the team and stakeholders. In an organization the manager has to read, speak, write, listen, observe and supervise that all are media of communication. He uses letters, reports, proposals and memos for written communication.
Importance of effective Communication in an Organization can be clarified with the following arguments:
Effective communication is vital inside the company because employees can be better motivated and more efficient by it. It helps the employer to know how a job is being performed and to improve performance if it is not up to the mark. Communication is one of the basic features of management. It is instrumental in raising the morale of the employees. It is through communication, Verbal or non-verbal
Advertising In an organization the manager has to read, speak, write, listen, observe and supervise that all are media of communication. He uses letters, reports, proposals and memos for written communication.
Source of information
Communication acts as a source of information and helps in the decision making process and helps in identifying the alternative course of action.
Communication also helps in building people’s attitude. A well informed person will always have better attitude than a less informed person. Different forms of communication like magazines, journals and meetings will help the employees to form different attitudes.
In the current business scenario, no business can survive in isolation. Socializing is very important and communication is the tool that helps in socializing.
Aid in control by the management
Apart from the other functions of management, it also helps in the controlling process of management. It allows the managers to know about the grievances of the subordinates and helps the subordinates to know about the policies of the organization.
Sharing of ideas
In your business career, effective business communication helps you convey your ideas, lead, guide, persuade and motivate your employees. By communication skills you can solve the conflicts between the persons. Success of the business depends on effective communication. Wars, divorces, disputes, losses and bankruptcies are the result of ineffective or miscommunication. All management problems stem from ineffective communication.
The existence of an organization depends upon a number of things like unity of command, delegation of authority and responsibility, teamwork and leadership, each one of which entails a strong support of interpersonal communication.
Interpersonal communication, therefore, becomes the lifeblood of an organization. Fundamentals of interpersonal communication are communicators, message, noise, response, background and channel. Decent interpersonal communication skills support intimate relationship, counseling, selling, management, conflict management.
Effective communication in the workplace helps employees and managers form highly efficient teams. Employees are able to trust each other and management. Effective communication reduces unnecessary competition within departments and helps employees work together harmoniously. The result of a team that works together is high productivity, integrity and responsibility. Employees know their roles on the team and know they are valued. Managers are able to correct employees’ mistakes without creating a hostile work environment. A manager who openly communicates with his subordinates can foster positive relationships that benefit the company as a whole.
Feedback lets you gauge how successful you were at communicating. It also offers a chance to adjust your communication process for the future. In any case feedback is invaluable for helping you to improve your communication skills. You can learn what worked well and what didn’t so that you can be more efficient the next time you communicate with that person or the next time you need to communicate a similar message. Communication is one of the basic features of management. It is instrumental in raising the morale of the employees.
How to effectively communicate in an organization:
Our individual perceptions are the ‘filters’ through which we communicate with others. The example can be visual like the famous example of glass and water. What do you see when you look at it. Glass is half filled? Glass is half emptied? Both perspectives are possible, and both are valid. We have to recognize that there is more than one way to perceive the picture. Just like there is usually more than one way to see any situation we encounter.
Your commutation process will not look the same when you communicate with your boss as it is with your friend. The context helps determining the tone and style and style of your communication. Context involves things such as your relationship with your audience, the culture of you Organization and your general environment.
The same words can have very different meanings depending on how we interpret it.
Here is an example,
What is the meaning of the phrase?
A woman without her man is nothing
It sound pretty bad at first glance, doesn’t it? Look again if you add punctuation or change the word emphasis, how does the meaning change?
A Woman, without her, man is nothing.
The words were the same in both cases .But the meaning has now changed completely. So although we think our meaning may be clear when we use specific words in specific order, we can’t always be certain that the person will read or hear them in that way.
“The same words conceal and declare the thoughts of men” (Dionysius Cato 300)
Most conflicts are the result of misunderstood communication. When you become an effective communicator, you can resolve conflict and create harmony by bridging the communication gaps that create conflict. You can even use your skills to mediate conflict between other people.
The importance of communication can never be over-emphasised. Communication is the ‘lifeblood’ of all organizations. The success of a business enterprise is directly proportional to the level of communication maintained by it. Within an organization, effective inter-personal relationships are possible only if communication skills are cultivated. Good communication skills place an organization at the correct slot in the society. The image of an organization depends on its ability to communicate with, the society around it. Thus, communication skills help in establishing, running, producing and marketing of products by commercial establishments. A worker will not be able to turn out a good product and a customer will not buy a product however good it is, until each is convinced to do so through effective communication.
i. Communication for Governance and Accountability Program, (. (2012).Organizational Communication (1st ed., Vol. 1, p. 25). Washington DC: World Bank. ii. Harris, T. (2002). Applied organizational communication: Principles and pragmatics for future practice (2nd ed.). Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. iii. Johnson, R. (1976). Management, systems, and society: An introduction. Pacific Palisades, Calif.: Goodyear Pub. iv. Heath, R. (1994). Management of corporate communication: From interpersonal contacts to external affairs. Hillsdale, N.J.: Erlbaum. v. Effective Communication skills by MTD training
vi. The art of communicating by ERIC GARNER
vii. How to ask what you want at work by Anne Galloway