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Communication in the

Workplace

Objectives:
To be able to define Communication.
To be able to identify the two types of
Communication (verbal and nonverbal).
To be able to give suggestions and
tips on how to communicate in the
workplace.

Good communication is a key


part of success in the workplace.

All organizations of more than one


person must use workplace
communication in one way or
another.
One person must give another
instructions before any activity can
occur.

Communication
The exchange of thoughts,
messages, or information, as by
speech, signals, writing, or behavior.
The art and technique of using words
effectively to impart information or
ideas.
Acceptable communication differs
from company to company, but many
aspects are universal.

What are the most common ways


we communicate?

Word
n
e
Spok

Written Word

ges
a
m
al I
u
s
i
V

Bod
y

La n

gua
ge

The Communication Process


Medium

Barrier
SENDER
(encodes)

Barrier

Feedback/Response

RECEIVER
(decodes)

Barriers to communication

Noise
Inappropriate medium
Assumptions/Misconceptions
Emotions
Language differences
Poor listening skills
Distractions

Without communication skills we are unable to let others know what we think,
feel, or want to accomplish.
We are unable to build partnerships, motivate others, or resolve conflict.

What is a workplace?
Dictionary definition - A place, such as
an office or factory, where people are
employed.

Tips to help us communicate effectively in the workplace

Listen - When you listen to others


attentively it makes them feel good.
It also makes for a deeper and more
positive connection with others.
In turn, you form an understanding
and they will listen to you when its
your turn to speak.
Poor listening happens often and
results in misunderstandings and
miscommunications.

Hearing Vs Listening
Hearing Physical process,
natural, passive
Listening Physical as well
as mental process, active,
learned process, a skill
Listening is hard.
You must choose to participate in the process of
listening.

WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE?


Have Intention - Ask yourself what
your intention is before starting a
project, going to a meeting, or
speaking to someone.
Knowing your intention will help you
be more conscious of what youre
doing or saying.
Always think ahead about what you
are going to say.

ESSENTIALS OF COMMUNICATION
DOs

Use simple words and phrases that are understood by every body.
Increase your knowledge on all subjects you are required to speak.
Speak clearly and audibly.
Check twice with the listener whether you have been understood
accurately or not
In case of an interruption, always do a little recap of what has
been already said.
Always pay undivided attention to the speaker while listening.
While listening, always make notes of important points.
Always ask for clarification if you have failed to grasp others point
of view.
Repeat what the speaker has said to check whether you have
understood accurately.

ESSENTIALS OF COMMUNICATION
DONTs
Do not instantly react and mutter something in anger.
Do not use technical terms & terminologies not
understood by majority of people.
Do not speak too fast or too slow.
Do not speak in inaudible surroundings, as you wont be
heard.
Do not assume that every body understands you.
While listening do not glance here and there as it might
distract the speaker.
Do not interrupt the speaker.
Do not jump to the conclusion that you have understood
every thing.

SPEAK CLEARLY
Speak Clearly - Take a
deep
breath and remain
positive when talking to
people.
Try to cut out the
ums, uh-hmms and
ahhs;
these make it difficult for
people to understand
what youre trying to
communicate.

Try to keep your voice


steady and dont talk
too quickly or too
quietly.
Be confident in what
youre saying and
others will feel your
confidence too.

BE GENUINE
Be Genuine - Being genuine can include
speaking honestly, expressing excitement or
sadness when you feel like it, and being
friendly.
There is nothing wrong with saying, no, I
dont really agree with that, or you know, I
think youve changed my mind!

However, dont be rude. I was just being honest is


not a good excuse for being harsh.

Being genuine builds your confidence.

Be Receptive
Be open to what others are saying or
offering.
Often, people restrict the flow of
ideas or communication because
theyre making too many
assumptions or are being too quick
to judge and criticize.

Communication
Flow

Communication Flow
Downward communication, Upward
communication, Lateral
communication, and the Grapevine.

Downward Workplace
Communication: Enabling
And, as information moves downward
in the workplace, it grows
increasingly detailed.
Manager

Make a
safety and
health
budget

Departm
ent Head

Include
the
following
items in
the
budget

Account
Exec

Details
on
quantity
and
prices

And, at each stage the information become less abstract, more


specific, and more detailed.

Upward Communication: Less


Detailed
Manager

Receives
highlight of
forklift
inspection
report

Supervis
or

Receives full
inspection
report;
highlights
need to
replace tyres

Forklift
Driver

Conducts
Full forklift
inspection
report, e.g.
work out
tires

Lateral communication:
Coordination
Information that flows back and forth
between you and your peers,
whether you're a front-line worker, a
manager, or a member of the board
of directors.
This is lateral communication.

Lateral communication:
Characteristics
First, no superior/subordinate relationship
exists here; it's strictly a case of two people
with roughly equal amounts of power and
prestige.
That makes this form of communication
voluntary and discretionary.
Yes, the boss may tell us to communicate
with each other, but unless we both want
to do it, we're not going to exchange much
information of value.

Reciprocating
The quality and quantity of
information we provide to our peers
generally reflects what we get back
from them.
I may provide good information to
you when we start working together,
but I won't continue to provide it
unless you reciprocate in kind.

Team Communication
Team communication is a special form of lateral
communication, and an essential one.
For teamwork in the workplace, members must not
only communicate with each other, but will often
need to communicate with peers outside their
immediate group.
Leaders will need to keep these communication flows
in mind, as well as the upward and downward flows
that connect them directly to their co-employees.
Communication for team building and just plain
teamwork and is many-faceted and requires
consistent attention.

The Grapevine:
Filling the Gaps
Its Tuesday morning, and Lee just emptied out his
desk and left the building. Apparently for good.
Everyone wants an answer to the same question:
"Why?" If there's no official answer, and sometimes
even if there is one, the people around him begin
speculating about possible reasons.
This is a communication channel that no one owns
and no one controls. And while we might complain
about gossips and busybodies, we all use it sooner
or later.

It has a function
Despite its many faults, though, the
grapevine does have a place, a function, in all
organizations.
It fills in gaps left behind by conventional and
official communication.
Downward communication delivers enabling
information from superior to subordinate
Upward communication involves compliance
information reported back to the superior by
the subordinate
Lateral communication takes place between
peers, helping us coordinate with each other.

New tools
Traditionally, the grapevine revolved
around mouth-to-mouth
communication, with only occasional
bits of information written down or put
on paper.
But, new technologies mean change.
The Internet opened up all kinds of
new opportunities for unofficial
communication.

What is your communicating style?


Good communication skills require a
high level of self-awareness.
Understanding your personal style of
communicating will go a long way
toward helping you to create good
and lasting impressions on others

Three basic communication styles


Aggressive
Passive
Assertive

Elements of the Aggressive


Style
Beliefs
"Everyone should
be like me."
"I am never wrong."
"I've got rights, but
you don't."

Communication
Style
Close minded
Poor listener
Has difficulty seeing
the other person's
point of view
Interrupts
Monopolizing

Characteristics
Achieves goals,
often at others'
expense
Domineering,
bullying
Patronizing
Condescending,
sarcastic

Behavior
Puts others down
Doesn't ever think they
are wrong
Bossy

Moves into people's


space, overpowers
Jumps on others,
pushes people around
Know-it-all attitude
Doesn't show
appreciation

Nonverbal Cues
Points, shakes finger
Frowns
Squints eyes
critically
Glares
Stares
Rigid posture
Critical, loud, yelling
tone of voice

Fast, clipped speech

Verbal Cues
"You must (should,
ought better)."
"Don't ask why. Just do
it."
Verbal abuse

Confrontation and
Problem Solving
Must win arguments,
threatens, attacks

Operates from
win/lose position

Feelings Felt

Anger
Hostility
Frustration
Impatience

Effects
Provokes
counteraggression,
alienation from others, ill
health
Wastes time and energy
oversupervising others
Pays high price in human
relationships
Fosters resistance, defiance,
sabotaging, striking back,
forming alliances, lying,
covering up
Forces compliance with
resentment

Elements of the Passive


Style
Beliefs
"Don't express your true feelings."
"Don't make waves."
"Don't disagree."
"Others have more rights than I do."

Communication Style
Indirect
Always agrees
Doesn't speak up
Hesitant

Characteristics
Apologetic, selfconscious
Trusts others, but not
self
Doesn't express own
wants and feelings
Allows others to make
decisions for self
Doesn't get what he
or she wants

Behaviors
Sighs a lot
Tries to sit on both sides of
the fence to avoid conflict
Clams up when feeling
treated unfairly
Asks permission
unnecessarily
Complains instead of taking
action
Lets others make choices
Has difficulty implementing
plans
Self-effacing

Nonverbal Cues
Fidgets
Nods head often; comes across as pleading
Lack of facial animation
Smiles and nods in agreement
Downcast eyes
Slumped posture
Low volume, meek
Up talk
Fast, when anxious; slow, hesitant, when doubtful

Verbal Cues
"You should do it."
"You have more experience than I do."
"I can't......"
"This is probably wrong, but..."
"I'll try..."
Monotone, low energy

Confrontation and Problem Solving


Avoids, ignores, leaves, postpones
Withdraws, is sullen and silent
Agrees externally, while disagreeing
internally
Expends energy to avoid conflicts that
are anxiety provoking
Spends too much time asking for advice,
supervision
Agrees too often

Feelings Felt
Powerlessness
Wonders why doesn't receive credit for good work
Chalks lack of recognition to others' inabilities

Effects
Gives up being him or herself
Builds dependency relationships
Doesn't know where he or she stands
Slowly loses self esteem
Promotes others' causes
Is not well-liked

Elements of the Assertive


Style
Beliefs
Believes self and others are valuable
Knowing that assertiveness doesn't mean you always win,
but that you handled the situation as effectively as possible
"I have rights and so do others."

Communication Style
Effective, active listener
States limits, expectations
States observations, no labels or judgments
Expresses self directly, honestly, and as soon as possible
about feelings and wants
Checks on others feelings

Characteristics
Non-judgmental
Observes behavior rather than labeling it
Trusts self and others
Confident
Self-aware
Open, flexible, versatile
Playful, sense of humor
Decisive
Proactive, initiating

Behavior
Operates from choice
Knows what it is needed and develops a plan to
get it
Action-oriented
Firm
Realistic expectations
Fair, just
Consistent
Takes appropriate action toward getting what she
wants without denying rights of others

Nonverbal Cues
Open, natural gestures
Attentive, interested facial expression
Direct eye contact
Confident or relaxed posture
Vocal volume appropriate, expressive
Varied rate of speech

Verbal Cues
"I choose to..."
"What are my options?"
"What alternatives do we have?"

Confrontation and Problem Solving


Negotiates, bargains, trades off,
compromises
Confronts problems at the time they
happen
Doesn't let negative feelings build up

Feelings Felt
Enthusiasm
Well being
Even tempered

Effects
Increased self-esteem and self-confidence
Increased self-esteem of others
Feels motivated and understood
Others know where they stand

Clearly, the assertive style is the one


to strive for. Keep in mind that very
few people are all one or another style.
In fact, the aggressive style is
essential at certain times such as:
when a decision has to be made quickly;
during emergencies;
when you know you're right and that fact
is crucial;

Passiveness also has its critical applications:


when an issue is minor;
when the problems caused by the conflict are
greater than the conflict itself;
when emotions are running high and it makes sense
to take a break in order to calm down and regain
perspective;
when your power is much lower than the other
party's;
when the other's position is impossible to change
for all practical purposes (i.e., government policies,
etc.).

Remaining aware of your own communication


style and fine-tuning it as time goes by gives you
the best chance of success in business and life.

Thank you....