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Managerial Communication

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Autor:  yan000  22 December 2009
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Table of Contents

1. What Is Managerial Communication? 2

1.1 Organizational Communication 3

1.1.1 Methods To Effective Organizational Communication 4

1.1.2 Barriers of Organizational Communication And How To Overcome Them? 5

1.1.3 Benefits of Effective Organizational Communication 7

1.2 Interpersonal Communication 7

1.2.1 Methods of effective Interpersonal communication 7

1.2.2 Key Functions of Interpersonal Communication 8

2. Conclusion 9

References 11

1. What Is Managerial Communication?

Managerial communications involves gathering important information from both inside and out side the organization and distributing appropriate information to others who need it. If you carefully analyze a mangers job it is evident that managerial communication is essential for every management function known to business. For example, when managers perform the planning function, they gather information, write letters, memos, and reports, and then meet with other managers to explain the plan. When managers lead, they communicate to share a vision of what the organization can be and motivate employees to help achieve it, when managers organize, they gather information about the state of the organization and communicate a new structure to others. In this light it is safe to conclude that managerial communication is a fundamental part of every managerial activity.

While Managerial communication is a wide area of study. I will be focusing on two key areas, namely organizational communication and internal communication. Organizational communication is how people communicate within an organization or the influence of organizational structures in communicating. Interpersonal communication deals with interaction between people.

1.1 Organizational Communication

Organizational communication can be briefly stated as how people communicate within an organization and with outside parties, or the influence and interaction with organizational structures in communicating and organizing. The majority of analysts on organizations, management and leadership state that effective communications is the basis for effectiveness in any type of organization. It is of the view that there can't be too much communication. However, some leaders misidentify communications to be the same as paperwork or bureaucracy and so they are blinded to a high degree of communications. As leaders and managers mature, they realize the need to effectively convey and receive information, and efforts at communications both internally and externally increase substantially.

Managers have usually spent a greater part of their time communicating in one form or another, for example it takes the form of meetings, face-to-face discussions, memos, letters, e-mails, reports, etc. In the modern day work place more and more employees find that an important part of their work is communication, especially now that service workers outnumber production workers and research as well as production processes stresses greater collaboration and teamwork among workers in different functional groups. Moreover, a shift in communication technologies has paved the way to the change of both work and organizational structure. For these reasons, communication practices and technologies have become more important in all organizations, with a higher degree of importance in knowledge-intensive sectors and organizations.

Organizational communication in today’s organizations has not only become far more complicated and diverse, but has also become more important to overall organizational performance and success.

1.1.1 Methods To Effective Organizational Communication

Open Door Policy: literally means, that every manager's door is open to every employee. The purpose of the open door policy is to encourage open communication, feedback, and discussion about any matter of importance to an employee. The open door policy means that employees are free to talk with any manager at any time. If any area of work is causing an employee concern, they have the responsibility to address their concern with a manager. Whether it is a problem, a complaint, a suggestion, or an observation, the company managers want to hear from employees By listening to them, so that the company is able to improve, address complaints, and foster employee understanding of the rationale for practices, processes, and decisions. (Heathfield, 2002)

Listen: the art of listening is an important part of any successful manager's skill set. As the frenzy of work escalates, people don't often have the opportunity to be heard because others don't have the time to listen. Smart managers realize they have to make listening a priority. If they don't, team members may become disgruntled and use other channels to communicate their messages which can send ripples throughout an organization.

Frequent conversations: depending on the size of the team having at least one or two uninterrupted conversations a month with each team member. Having regular conversations will go a long way to establish trust and build healthy relationships between managers and team members. These informal meetings allow managers to stay on top of important issues, to be more attuned to the individual's needs and goals and to offer ongoing support. Frequent one-on-one meetings can also help to eliminate any surprises to you or the other person. (Lantz, 2004)

1.1.2 Barriers of Organizational Communication And How To Overcome Them?

Restrictive Environments: The communication chain is exposed to many errors. When a message travels through the chain it might end up being totally altered and may show no similarity to the original idea. If the flow of information is restricted in a company’s communication network, communication within the organization becomes fragmented. Which results in lower level employees being limited to their duties with no knowledge about other areas.
Successful companies encourage employees to contribute by making sure that communication flows freely through the organization. Employees in such organizations feel more comfortable to admit their mistakes, disagree with the boss and express their opinions. Modifying the number of organizational levels and encouraging feedback are two ways overcoming restrictive environments.

Information overload: an excess of messages can distract people by making it difficult to identify useful information from useless information. Most companies are trying to encourage employees to send fewer messages and also discourage the use of the word urgent.

Reducing the number of messages, setting priorities for dealing with the overall message flow and improvement of business communication skills can help overcome the overload of information.

Physical Distractions: poor lighting, health problems and other irritating conditions can prevent an otherwise effective message. When the sender or receiver of the message tends to be in an emotional condition they tend to ignore or distort the message.

To overcome physical barriers it’s best to concentrate on the message rather than on the distractions. When dealing with emotional factors it is important to recognize the feelings that arise within ones self and others and controlling these emotions when communicating.

1.1.3 Benefits of Effective Organizational Communication

Organizational communication in today’s organizations has not only become far more complex and varied but more important to overall organizational functioning and success. (Desanctis and Fulk, 1999,p.45)

Organizational communication plays a key role in not only in leading, motivating and decision making, compliance gaining, influencing, sense making, problem solving, negotiation, bargaining, and conflict management but also in managing threats that confront organizations. Effective communication is not only essential for today’s organizations but can be seen as the foundation of modern organizations. (Witherspoon, 1997,p.78)

1.2 Interpersonal Communication

Interpersonal communications is a special form of communication that occurs when we interact simultaneously with another person and mutually influence each other.
(Falikowski, 2002,p.75) It is a vital tool, which is essential to maintain relationships.

1.2.1 Methods of effective Interpersonal communication

Effective listening is very important when communicating effectively as at times people think there listening but there really not. This explains why people tend to jump to conclusions before someone finishes a sentence or at times even try to finish the sentence for them. Knowing when to share personal information is also very important, this method is known as self-disclosure. When communicating it is very important that people understand their audience. When the speaker understands his or her audience there able to look at the situation from the other person’s point of view, which helps the speaker, assist the audience better. Each individual perceives things differently. Which is why perceptual clarity is essential to get an accurate perception of the situation.

Reasoning, evidence, credibility, organization and style are factors that need to be considered to make sure the speaker send outs an effective verbal message. These factors help the communicator to establish respect and understanding of the situation, which is important in the communication process. It is vital to establish credibly and present with good reasoning and evidence.

1.2.2 Key Functions of Interpersonal Communication

By engaging in interpersonal communication people are able to gain knowledge about another individual. Gaining information about others helps to interact more effectively with others.

People engage in interpersonal communication to establish an identity. The roles we play in our relationships help us establish identity. So does the face and the public self-image presented to others. Both roles and face are constructed based on how people interact with others.

Interpersonal communication puts people in a better position to understand what others are saying in a given context Words can be given different meaning depending on how it is said and in what context. Interpersonal communication helps to build a context of understanding.

FIRO Theory of Needs has found that people engage in interpersonal communication to express and receive interpersonal needs. Three such needs are inclusion, control and affection. Inclusion is the need to establish identity with others. Control is the need to exercise leadership and prove one's abilities; groups provide outlets for this need and the necessary control over aspects of their lives. Affection is the need to develop relationships with people. Groups are an excellent way to make friends and establish relationships. (William Schutz, 1958)

2. Conclusion
In today’s competitive environment organizations strive for that extra edge over their rivals. In this context managers have an uphill task of aligning company goals with its operations through communication and coordination across all levels of management and operational staff. The key functions of management would become unattainable without effective managerial communication. Managerial communication is important to managers and organizations for their overall functionality and success. Organizational and Interpersonal communication are two key areas of managerial communication.

As many modern day organizations have several layers of functionalities, communication within the organizational structure should flow freely throughout the organization. Employees at all levels should be able to access important information. Break down in organizational communication could result in operational chaos as communication plays a vital role in every aspect of the organization. Effective internal communications starts with effective communication skills. It is very important that the management fully supports and lays the foundation for an effective communication plan, or the organization will remain stilted. By fostering an open door policy and listening to employees and engaging in frequent conversations managers as well as employees will be motivated and well informed which will reflect on the organizations success.
Interpersonal communication is vital to any organization as it deals with the interactions between people. By using methods to improve interpersonal skills individuals will reap the harvest in more successful work relationships. Effective interpersonal communications is a must in any work environment.
Organizational communication and interpersonal communication are two key elements closely associated with managerial communication. Managerial communication is not new but in recent times it has evolved into a critical aspect of an organizations success. There are many methods that can be used to improve both organizational and interpersonal communication. Effective managerial communication will pave the way to a contented work force and competent managers who will lead the organization to growth and success.


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4. Hofstede Geert (2002) Culture and Organizations, 3rd edition, McGraw-Hill.
5. A Falikowski (2002) Mastering Human Relations, 3rd Edition
6. Gayle Lantz (2004), “Conversations Can Be the Key to a Manager's Success”,
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