Lesson13Communication

Lesson13Communication - Lesson:-13 COMMUNICATION Research...

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Lesson:-13 COMMUNICATION Research indicates that poor communication is probably the most frequently cited source of interpersonal conflkt.2 Because individuals spend nearly 70 percent of their waking hours communicating-writing, reading, speaking, listening-it seems reasonable to conclude that one of the most inhibiting forces to successful group performance is a lack of effective communication. No group can exist without communication: the transference of meaning among its members. It is only through transmitting meaning from one person to another that information and ideas can be conveyed. Communication, however, is more than merely imparting meaning. It must also be understood. In a group in which one member speaks only German and the others do not know German, the individual speaking German will not be fully understood. Therefore, communication must include both the transference and the understanding of meaning. An idea, no matter how great, is useless until it is transmitted and understood by others. Perfect communication, if there were such a thing, would exist when a thought or an idea was transmitted so that the mental picture perceived by the receiver was exactly the same as that envisioned by the sender. Although elementary in theory, perfect communication is never achieved in practice, for reasons we shall expand on later in the chapter. Before making too many generalizations concerning communication and problems in communicating effectively, we need to review briefly the functions that communication performs and describe the communication process. FUNCTIONS OF COMMUNICATION Communication serves four major functions within a group or organization: control, motivation, emotional expression, and information. 3 Communication acts to control member behavior in several ways. Organizations have authority hierarchies and formal guidelines that employees are required to follow. When employees, for instance, are required to first communicate any job related grievance to their immediate boss, to follow their job description, or to comply with company policies, communication is performing a control function. But informal communication also controls behavior. When work groups tease or harass a member who produces too much (and makes the rest of the group look bad), they are informally communicating with, and controlling, the member's behavior. Communication fosters motivation by clarifying to employees what is to be done, how well they are doing, and what can be done to improve performance if it's subpart. We saw this operating in our review of goal-setting and reinforcement theories in Chapter 6. The formation of specific goals, feedback on progress toward the goals, and reinforcement of desired behavior all stimulate motivation and require communication. For many employees, their work group is a primary source for social interaction. The
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Lesson13Communication - Lesson:-13 COMMUNICATION Research...

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