The term “communication” and its numerous derivatives are among the most widely used words in contemporary vocabulary and are applied to various spheres of our life. In frames of work environment the way communication between people happens is perhaps the most essential factor that determines the success of organizations and individuals within them. Let us use the theoretical and practical approaches to the investigation of the phenomenon of communication contained in the first chapter of the book “Improving Business Communication Skills” by Deborah Britt Roebuck in order to analyze the amount, types, options, location, and speed of communications that I practice at my job.
First of all, I should provide a brief summary of the mentioned chapter of Roebuck’s book. The title of the chapter is “Experiencing Communication”, and it immediately sets in readers proper expectations as to its content. Indeed, the author approaches the topic as if trying to make readers develop a new positive vision of what they might tend to view as a routine process of daily interaction. Instead, Roebuck manages to convincingly show that the communication between people has its own rules and principles, and that our awareness and conscious observance of these rules and principles may greatly boost the overall effectiveness of our interaction.
To accomplish this task, the author provides the structural analysis of the communication process with the separation of such its participants and elements as sender/encoder, receiver/decoder, messages containing ideas, channels of communication, the factor of feedback, and the influence of environment. On ground of this basic scheme of communication, possible causes of miscommunication are outlined. Along with this, many important themes that directly pertain to the issue of communication are also discussed, such as for example the role in the process of communication of our logic, our linguistic and cultural peculiarities, various types of perception, nonverbal aspects of interaction, our ability to listen, and others. All in all, perhaps the most important effects that reading of this chapter had on me was that I obtained capability to developed a more structured view of the communication process, which in application to my work environment is a very valuable skill.
Speaking about communications that as I now understand I consciously or subconsciously have been practicing at my job, I must admit that a lot of undoubtedly useful recommendations contained in the mentioned book I have yet to learn to use on a regular basis. More specifically, with the help of the author`s approach to separation of communication participants into senders and receivers I am now able to reevaluate the amount of each type of communicative situations that I get into. By this I mean that sometimes I am a receiver of information, so that for instance my ability to listen is the skill that can help me, and others for that matter, to communicate more effectively. Sometimes I am the sender of information, and in these circumstances I have to remember that there are a large number of obstacles that may prevent others from perceiving my initiatives and messages in a positive way. With this in mind, I believe that in my work environment it is not so much the amount but rather the quality of communication that matters. Simply put, when preparing for meetings and instances of individual interaction I know that in most cases I should aim to achieve more in less time.
On the basis of recommendations contained in the section of the chapter devoted to the causes of miscommunication I also concluded that quite often I had ignored the importance of location and of a proper choice among numerous other options that frame communication. For one, in several cases my colleagues in response to my initiatives to discuss certain issues while we were beyond the office at a corporate party were reluctant to do so as they confessed they did not feel concentrated enough. In some other instances, during important discussions I think I did not always pay due attention to the need to minimize the naturally present external noise.
On a positive side, I was pleased to find out that my intuitive approach to the choice of communication media in various situations mostly corresponds to recommendations of the author. For example, depending on the desirable speed of communications that I expect I either choose a faster but more risky in terms of its partial unpredictability face-to-face type of communication, or opt for a potentially slower but more stable in terms of the fixation of information e-mail. Still, even in this respect I also found useful suggestions in the studied chapter as I reevaluated my attitude to telephone conversations due to the fact mentioned in the book that tone and way the words are spoken constitute almost forty percent of a message impact.
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