Patterns of Communication UNIT 2

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To help students to improve their communication skills

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UNIT 2 Patterns of CommunicationUNIT 2Patterns of CommunicationCommunication means transferring messages from one to another and it has several forms such as intrapersonal, interpersonal, group and mass communication. While it comes to group communication it has a certain patterns in its own. Few patterns are popular in mainstream communication studies. Such as: CircleChainYWheelAll communication patterns all have certain problems with each other. In circle, Chain and Y patterns all group members cannot directly communicate with the group leader. They can communicate to leader only through group members. In Wheel, all the group members can communicate directly with the group leader. Group Leader Group MembersIn Circle pattern, the sender (Group Leader) can communicate with the receivers (group members) who presents next to him/her. No others group members cannot receive the senders message directly and they receive messages from the other group members who shares the message from the sender. In this pattern of communication the sender messages travels all over the group through sharing by its members which will take time to reach the sender again.In Chain pattern, the same problems appears as in the circle pattern. The worst part in the pattern is the last member receives the modified messages from the leader. In this case the leader cannot find out whether the last member receives the correct information or not because there is no feedback to identify the message distortion.In the Y pattern, its a more complicated pattern and also has the communication problem which appears in both circle and chain pattern. The group is separated into three and the group members can communicate with the other members group through the leader only.In Wheel pattern, one of the best patterns in comparison to the other three types. The leader has direct contact with all the group members and there are no communication problems, time issues and feedback from the group members. But all the group members cannot connect with one another.http://communicationtheory.org/patterns-of-communication/Formal & informal Communication NetworksNetworks - structural means (patterns of interaction) that allow messages to flow within organizations. May include two people, small groups of people, or large numbers that flow outside the organization. Typically people are involved with multiple organizational networks. Message Flow DirectionsUpward - subordinates to managers. There is always the tendency of positive distortion from employees.No one really wants to make a bad impression on their supervisors and it is very human to put a positive spin in issues even when there is little to offer in that light.Downward - managers to subordinates. Try to provide rationale for decisions when possible. Studies show that employees feel better about the organization when they know why they are doing things or why change is occurring. Horizontal - communication between employees or departments of the same status. This may become overly competitive for organizational resources like budgets, awards, recognition and so on. This may not be a problem but it is top managements job to ensure the competition does not become counter-productive.Formal Networks - Officially sanctioned; the organizational flow chart; company newsletters; memos; managers meetings and so onInformal Networks - arise due to the situation employees are in; emerge out of a need; not permanent structure; may be faster than formal networks; a spontaneous flow of information that may or may not be correct.PutnamFORMAL COMMUNICATION NETWORKSThis is the blue print of how communication flows within any organization. Carries task-oriented messages (specific job instructions; performance reviews)Carries maintenance-oriented messages (more generally-based policies and procedures on how to accomplish tasks)Carries human messages (keys on employee needs like new health care benefits; vacation schedules and so on.)Network Structures - decentralized networks tend to be more efficient when involved in complex tasks; centralized ones often create higher worker dissatisfaction (feeling only marginally involved in the communication process)Circle, Chain, Y and Wheel previously discussed.Network Roles The communication roles we perform within organizations.Liaisons - employees who connect two groups without belonging to either one of them. Often an influential and experienced person.Bridges - employees who belong to at least two groups and connect each group to clique to the other, distortion may occur.Gatekeepers - employees who control the information flow. Secretaries are often key gatekeepers; may be others who have power to give or withhold information.Isolates - employees who have minimal contact with others; either by choice or because others try to avoid them.Boundary Spanners - sometimes called cosmopolites; those who connect the organization to its relevant environment. Common roles are sales and customer service reps, public relations workers and so on.Network Descriptors - patterns of behavior that help reveal how communication flows within the organization networks.Dominance - how equal employees are to one another, High versus Low dominance. High dominance requires communication be directed to a single or few key members who then disseminate information to others. Low dominance suggests that employees are roughly equal to one another.Centrality - centralized networks (wheel, Y, chain) require this; is there a key employee through whom communication flows...or not?Flexibility - how strictly organizations follow rules for communicating with others. High flex - allow variations; low flex would be very strict on how to communicate. Reachability - How many people must the message pass through before reaching its final destination? Low reachability has fewer intermediaries; high reachability has potential for greater distortion since many people are involved in the process.Strength - frequency and duration of communication are the keys. Strong network would be frequent and thorough communication with and among employees; weak network would be rare and brief communication.Reciprocity - the degree to which employees and bosses agree on the nature of their relationship. High reciprocity would exist when both see their relationship essentially the same; low reciprocity would exist when one perceives the relationship quite differently than the otherSymmetry - the degree of sharing information between bosses and workers. When communication flows upward and downward you have a symmetrical relationship; just downward would be asymmetrical.Openness - how open or connected the organization is to the outside environment. Some businesses are very dependent to the outside environment; others less so.INFORMAL COMMUNICATION NETWORKSPeople networks; unpredictable in how they operate; the communication is often spontaneous and situationally derived; employees may choose to use these or not. Whether we do or not is often dependent upon (a) our proximity to the sender; and (b) whether we think the person is reliable and knowledgeable (do we trust them?). Management may use the grapevine (even though we tend to think of it as being an employees network) to tap into employee sentiment; to send up trail balloons and then either distance themselves or embrace the ideas depending upon employee reactions. Research suggest that the grapevine is:fast....very fast!!generally accurate...though varies from company to company.an indicator of employee attitudes or sentiment usually travels by clusters Grapevine participants - No real gender differences regarding who uses it more often.Secretaries are often key players in the grapevine - being bridges between workers and management. Managers may use the grapevine for trial balloon or as thermometer, messages as mentioned earlier.Effects of grapevine activity on the organization - if formal networks dont provide employees with information; the grapevine will step in and rumors persist. Morale can be affected adversely.Factors involved in rumor dispersion--why do rumors exist? What keeps them alive? Such reasons are (a) the importance of the message; (b) the ambiguity of the message; (c) the need for information in crisis times; (d) credibility of the person sending the rumor; (e) who is the focus of the rumor; and (f) the age of the rumor.Putman, M. (2014). Formal and informal communication networks. The University of Texas Arlington. Department of Communicationshttp://www.uta.edu/faculty/mputnam/COMS309/Notes/FormalandInformal.html4.Factors that contribute the grapevine message distortion--(a)messages get condensed or shortened; stuff gets left out(b)certain information gets highlighted; other gets less attention; depends of the needs of the sender(c)messages may be added to; have gaps filled in as they move along(d)selective perceptive--we may only hear what we want to hear and disregard the rest5.Grapevine transmission patterns--(a) single-strand chain--I tell you a rumor and then you pass it along to another person, who then tells another, and on-and-on.... (pretty rare)(b)gossip chain--I tell the class a rumor and you pass it along to others(c)cluster transmission--most common; I tell two or more employees and you repeat this transmission process to others.6.Types of Organizational Rumors--(A)Anxiety rumors--reflect an uneasiness in employees (impending bad news on the horizon)(B)Wish-fulfillment rumors--good news may be on the horizon (as a group or for an individual)(C)Wedge-driving rumors--creates dissension; an us vs. them attitude in an organization.(D)Social rumors--juicy gossip about people; no direct company link.7.Suggestions for how an organization can manage or control the grapevine--Managers should or could..(A)be sensitive to employee reactions; respond to high anxiety cases.(B)be open, honest and quick to respond (when possible) with employees.(C)seek out key gatekeepers in employee ranks for information dissemination.(D)take a proactive stance; keep employees updates via bulletins, meetings, newsletters, etc.==========================================================METHODS OF ANALYZING FORMAL AND INFORMAL COMMUNICATION NETWORKS(1)Residential analysis--go to the organization and observe activity over an extended period of time. Whats good and bad about this?(2)Distribute questionnaires to employees--(how honest do you think employees will be here?)(3)Communication Diary--(same comment as above...do you speak the truth or tell the researchers what they want to hear?)(4)ECCO--requires employee assistance in looking for patterns of transmitted messages (how they learned and from whom)COMMUNICATION IN NURSINGThe majority of managerial communication time is spent speaking and listening, it is clear that in a leadership role, one must have excellent interpersonal communication skills. These are perhaps the most critical leadership skills. The nurseleader communicates with clients, colleagues, superiors, and subordinates. (Marquis & Huston, 2014)In addition, because nursing practice tends to be group-oriented, interpersonal communication among group members is necessary for continuity and productivity.The leader is responsible for developing a cohesive team to meet organizational goals.To do this, the leader must articulate issues and concerns so workers will not become confused about priorities. The ability to communicate effectively often determines success as a leadermanager.(Marquis & Huston, 2014)The Communication ProcessChitty (2001) defines communication as the complex exchange of thoughts, ideas, or information on at least two levels: verbal and nonverbal.Thus, communication begins the moment two or more people become aware of each others presence.An internal and an external climate also exist in communication. (Marquis & Huston, 2014)The internal climate includes the values, feelings, temperament, and stress levels of the sender and the receiver. Weather conditions, temperature, timing, and the organizational climate itself are parts of the external climate. The external climate also includes status, power, and authority as barriers to managersubordinate communication.Both the sender and the receiver must be sensitive to the internal and external climate, because the perception of the message is altered greatly depending on the climate that existed at the time the message was sent or received. For example, an insecure manager who is called to meet with superiors during a period of stringent layoffs will probably view the message with more trepidation than a manager who is secure in his or her role.(Marquis & Huston, 2014)SenderSource & encoderMessageWhat is actually said/written, body languageHow words are transmitted channelReceiverListener decoder perception of intentionResponse FeedbackVerbal CommunicationPace and intonationSimplicityClarity and brevityCongruenceTiming and relevanceAdaptabilityCredibilityHumorNon-Verbal CommunicationBody languageGestures, movements, use of touchEssential skills: observation, interpretationPersonal appearancePosture and gaitFacial expression of self, others; eye contactGesturesCultural component 47Variables Affecting CommunicationJackson (1984) identified the following characteristics of large organizations make communication particularly problematic:1. Spatial distance within an organization can be a barrier to communication.2. Different subgroups or subcultures within the organization have their own value systems and identities. Members within that subgroup form an allegiance to their own members. This results in different translations of messages from management, depending on the significance of the message to the things the subgroup values and is striving to accomplish.3. People are structured into different systems of relationships in organizations.A work structure exists in which certain people are expected to complete tasks with other people. An authority structure exists when some workers are in charge of supervising others. A status structure determines which people have rights and privileges. A prestige structure allows some people to expect deferential treatment from others. The friendship structure encourages interpersonal trust. All of these systems influence who should communicate with whom and in what manner.4. Organizations are in a constant state of flux.Relationships (subgroups or subcultures) and geographical locations constantly change. It is difficult to communicate decisions to all the people who are affected by them because of this constant state of change.Gender is also a significant factor in organizational communication since men and women communicate and use language differently (Marquis & Huston, 2014). A study of gender differences in team building showed that leadership style was an extension of communication style. The study found that when conducting business meetings, the males were all business while the females discussed other personal and social issues with team members. Rudans (2003)Complicating the picture further is the historical need in the healthcare industry for a predominantly male medical profession to closely communicate with a predominantly female nursing profession (Marquis & Huston, 2014).Chitty (2001) states that during female-dominated nursing school experiences, most nurses are encouraged to view physicians as teammates and to collaborate with them whenever possibleMale-dominated medical schools, however, tend to instill in their graduates a hierarchical model of teamwork with the physician at the top of the hierarchy.In addition, the majority of healthcare administrators continue to be male.Therefore, male physicians and male administrators may feel little incentive to seek a collaborative approach in communication that female nurses often desire.(Marquis & Huston, 2014)These differences in gender and in power and status continue to affect tremendously the types and quality of organizational and unit-level communication.ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION STRATEGIESORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION STRATEGIESAlthough organizational communication is complex, the following strategies can increase the likelihood of clear and complete communication:1. Managers must assess organizational communication.Who communicates with whom in the organization? Is the communication timely?Does communication within the formal organization concur with formal lines of authority? Are there conflicts or disagreements about communication? What modes of communication are used?2. Managers must understand the organizations structure and recognize who will be affected by decisions that are made. Both formal and informal communication networks need to be considered.Formal communication networks follow the formal line of authority in the organizations hierarchy. Informal communication networks occur between people at the same or different levels of the organizational hierarchy but do not represent formal lines of authority or responsibility. For example, an informal communication network might occur between a hospitals CEO and her daughter, who is a clerk on a medical wing. Although there may be a significant exchange of information about unit or organizational functioning, this communication network would not be apparent on the organization chartIt is imperative, then, that managers be very careful of what they say and to whom until they have a good understanding of the formal and informal communication networks.3. Communication is not a one-way channel. If other departments or disciplines will be affected by a message, the manager must consult with those areas for feedback before the communication occurs.4. The communication must be clear, simple, and precise. The manager (sender) is responsible for ensuring the message is understood.5. Managers should seek feedback regarding whether their communication was accurately received. One way to do this is to ask the receiver to repeat the communication or instructions. In addition, the sender should continue follow-up communication in an effort to determine if the communication is being acted upon.6. Multiple communication methods should be used when possible if a message is important.Using a variety of communication methods in combination increases the likelihood that everyone in the organization who needs to hear the message will.Communication ModesIn general, the more direct the communication, the greater the probability that it will be clear.The more people involved in filtering the communication, the greater the chance of distortion. The manager must evaluate each circumstance individually to determine which mode or combination of modes is optimal for each situation.The manager uses the following modes of communication most frequently:Written communication - Written messages (including electronic mail), allow for documentation. They may, however, be open to various interpretations and generally consume more managerial time. Most managers are required to do a considerable amount of this type of communication and therefore need to be able to write clearly.Face-to-face communication - Oral communication is rapid but may result in fewer people receiving the information than necessary.Managers communicate verbally upward and downward and formally and informally.They also communicate verbally in formal meetings, with people in peer work groups, and when making formal presentations.Non-verbal communication Non-verbal communication includes facial expression, body movements, and gestures and is commonly referred to as body language. Because nonverbal communication indicates the emotional component of the message, it is generally considered more reliable than verbal communication. There is significant danger, however, in misinterpretingnonverbal messages if they are not assessed in context with theverbal message. Nonverbal communication occurs any time managers areseen (e.g., messages are transmitted to subordinates every time the managercommunicates verbally or just walks down a hallway). Telephone communication. A telephone call is rapid and allows the receiver toclarify the message at the time it is given. It does not, however, allow the receiptof nonverbal messages for either the sender or receiver of the message. Accentsmay be difficult to understand as well in a multicultural workforce. Becausemanagers today use the telephone so much, it has become an important communicationtool, but it does have limits as an effective communication device