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Information, Communication, Meetings and Presentation Skills


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Managing self, Interactions and Achieving Results
Working With Others in a Team
Perspectives inManagement
Information, Communication, Meetings and Presentation Skills
Telephoning - Telephoning across cultures
Traditional Perspective: Principles of Management
What Skills are necessary for effective Managers
Motivation, Leadership and Delegation
Negotiations - Know what you want
Using Microsoft Tools for Business Process Management

Information, Communication, Meetings and Presentation Skills

Text Box: This chapter includes 

• Definitions about what is communication
• Guideline to for a better communication
• The importance of listening
• Checklist for more efficient and effective meetings
• Basics for a successful presentation
• An exercise to train the capability to evaluate presentations
• A case study on effective communication with possible solutions and guidelines

There are many examples of communication failure which have resulted in inefficiency, ineffectiveness and inability to achieve both personal and organisational goals. Mintzberg’s (1973) analysis shows that communication is one of the most important activities a manager undertakes. A manager must communicate with his superiors, his subordinates and most important of all his or her clients or customers. For instance, the failure of the salesman to communicate important changes to the production manager and design department will lead to the production of products or commodities which will and not meet the needs and demands of the clients, which will result in wastage, loss of market position and loss of revenue for the organisation involved.

Similarly, a project manager who cannot precisely, coherently and effectively communicate the objectives of the project to those in charge of its implementation, regardless of the nature of the project, cannot expect effective implementation of the project, on time and within the specified budget.

What is communication? Some Definitions

There are many ways in which to define communication in the context of a project or organisation as the whole. In fact, a definition reflects not only one’s point of view, but more specifically, the perspective, classical, human relations or open system, to which a manager prescribes (see Chapter One)

If communication is viewed in its mechanical context, it could be seen as “the transmission of information from a source to a recipient”. Such definitions place emphasis on the ‘transmission’ as the most important function, whereas ‘ a source may transmit a message to a receiver with a conscious intent to affect the latter’s behaviour’. In most managerial situations, especially in the context of executing development projects, a manager is expected to alter, modify, guide and even attempt to change the behaviour and attitudes of those with whom he works, in order to place the projects activities in the right path, thus achieve the expected results. Peters and Robert (1977) argued that if the intention is to enhance the achievement of the organisational goals, such an endeavour results in “acting effectively”.

It is important to remember that managers who subscribe to traditional values, may use communication as a means of ‘defending or strengthening the ego.’ and it is not surprising to observe that in organisations where tension, conflict, ambiguity and a lack of motivation and effective leadership is dominant, managers often use communication as a ‘mechanism by which power is exerted.

The most effective way of understanding communication and its roles and potential problems is through the ‘System Approach Model of Communication’. Smith et al (1987) suggests that in any communication situation, managers are involved in two way process which during its different stages a decision has to be made. These stages are as follows:

A decision has to be made whether or not the information should be communicated to others or kept away from them. Managerial styles and attitudes play a great role in this stage of communication. Classical and traditional managers believe insecracy and holding information as a source of power (see barrier to information below), whereas the open system managers believe in communicating information as widely and as frequently as possible. This stage also includes what kind of information needs to be communicated or not and why.

Once a decision has been made, that information can be communicated to others. Another decision then has to be taken what kind of coding needs to be used? All messages are coded in one form or another. For example, the use of language, terminology and technical jargon, all tend to code a message. An effective manager will communicate in a simple, coherent and easy to use method. The use of specialist managerial jargon with which employees are not tends to misguide and confuse people. ‘Clarity is the key to the process’.

The coded message has to be communicated via communication channels. These could vary from formal channels such as written to informal and interpersonal forms. Communicating by memos, instructions, reports, fax, telephones of person to person are all options open to managers. The important issue is to consider which method is the most effective way for communicating what kind of information and to whom.

Reception and Decoding will provide the show whether or not the choices which were made were the correct ones. If the communication is received and it cannot be decoded, therefore failure follows. The chances are that there will be misunderstanding on the part of the receiver. In the context of a project, it is vital not to presume that others are as familiar with codes, jargon and terminology as you are. If managers have to use certain ‘terms’, explanation should also be provided to ensure that communication does not fail and that the receiver understands the true ‘intention’ of the ‘sender’ involved.

Action is the end result of any communication. The information, which does not lead to some form of action on the part of the receiver, has surely been badly processed and ineffectively managed. The expectation that the receivers, subordinates, clients and other managers should take action accordingly may be unrealistic. It is always advisable for a manager to specify what kind of action he or she expects to be taken by the receiver. Therefore, the question to be asked is: Does the receiver know what is expected from him or her?

Most writers on management regard the communication process as complete once the desired action has been taken. Analoui (1993) argues that only when feedback has been received can a manager be sure that he or she has been correctly understood. The feedback mechanism provides both an assurance to the sender that communication has worked the way it was intended to and also provides him with the opportunity to learn about the mechanism employed, the reliability of different stages of the process and the state of the receiver involved.

Formal communication In a perfect world the managers and chief executives will send information downwards to the operative, employees or other personnel responsible for its implementation. But, this is not always the case. Information needs to be communicated both upwards and downwards simply because without feedback, comments and suggestions managers and policy makers continue to make decisions and develop an elaborate corporate strategy without realising the problems involved and/or whether or not their decisions can be realistically implemented.

Informal communication. The followers of Human Relations and the System Approach insist that informal communication is vital to the well being of the community of the organisation as well as for the effective execution of its day to day activities. Informal communication most often occurs through informal channels, such as conversation, telephone calls or e-mail and enables the manager give and to obtain information from people who in a formal sense have no obligation to him. An important aspect of these informal channels is the ‘lateral communication’ between managers and colleagues or managers and similar ranks or positions.

Creating the Right Channel for Communication

Managers can create a defensive or supportive climate in which communication can take place in their units, projects or organisations. This is largely determined by the style and attitude of the managers involved. Managers who rely solely on authority, use of force and threats, create a ‘defensive’ or ‘aggressive’ climate, whereas the managers, who facilitate communication by removing threats and judgement on others, promote a ‘supportive’ climate. The characteristics of both are provided below:

Table : Creating the Right Channel for Communication

Defensive Climate

Supportive Climate

People feel that their communication and behaviour is evaluated and judged in a punitive, personal or ‘good/bad manner

People feel that their communication and behaviour is responded to factually and at face value

People feel that the intent of most communication is to control or influence their behaviour

People feel that the intent of most communication is to solve problems

People feel that there are hidden motives behind most communication

People feel that most communication is straight forward and genuine

People don’t feel that others are concerned for their welfare or that they are valued

People feel that they are respected and valued

People assume that there is only one right way of doing things

People listen to the ideas of others and are prepared to experiment

Professor Charles Handy argues that in order for organisations to work effectively, it is not sufficient to have well developed information which is well communicated. Indeed, there is one general law of communication which applies to most situations:

“We never communicate as effectively as we think we do”

This is largely due to the presence of the following factors which act as barriers to effective communication. These are:

Barriers to effective Communication

a)    Perceptual bias by the receiver. We only hear or perceive what we are ready to hear or receive. Unwelcome news can get filtered out or distorted.

b)   Omission or distortion by the sender. For various reasons, the sender will contaminate or leave out items in the message. Individuals with career ambitions systematically withheld information potentially threatening to their position. Less ambitious people contaminated significantly less.

c)    Lack of trust. If we do not trust someone, we are careful to screen the information. When an individual lacks trust in the recipient, he or she tends to conceal his own attitude, the result being evasive, compliant or aggressive communications.

d)   Non-verbal obliterates the verbal. The emotional overtones of a communication may distort the reception of the data.

e)    Overload. Too much information in a channel faces the recipient with a screening query, or stereotyping problem. Overload results in more or less self perpetuating conditions of communication confusion.

f)    Information secretion. The use of position power to garner and secrete information instead of sharing it. A study of executives showed that individuals who told the news to more than one person amounted to less than 10 per cent of the sixty-seven executives in each case.

g)   Distance. The further away one is, the less communicates. An inverse relationship has been found between the physical distance separating persons and the likelihood of communication between them.

h)   Relative status. Individuals with low perceived status have difficulty in initiating communications in groups or with those of superior status. Just as he who talks more in a group has more influence, he who has more influence can talk more.

i)     Immediacy. The more immediate communication drives out the less. Thus, telephone calls can interrupt discussions which in turn displace written communications.

j)     Tactic of conflict. Information withholding or distortion is a common tactic in organisational conflict

k)   Lack of clarity. Last but not least. What is obvious to the sender is obscure to the recipient. Sensible compression to one is jargon to the other. Circomlocution, woolly sentence construction, imprecise definitions, can all so easily lead to misunderstandings.

Positive steps that can be taken in addition to removing any causes of blockage:

Use more than one communications net. There are various ‘nets’ – hierarchical, expert, group, status group, friendship group. Most formal communications go through one or the other of the first two. Use of the informal nets to prepare the ground or underline the formal, substantially improved retention levels.

Encourage two-way rather than one-way communication. In two-way communication, the recipient is encouraged to intervene in the message to get clarification or to ask questions. Experiments show that two-way communication takes much longer but substantially improves comprehension and retention, particularly if occasions are created to check the degree of understanding.

Keep the linkages in communication chain as few as possible. The more people in the chain, the more possibilities of distortion. If the list of positive steps is much shorter than the list of possible causes of breakdown, this is because the most effective way to improve communication systems is to remove the negative factor. Communications are symptoms. Good communications imply a well-designed healthy organisation.

(Adopted from Understanding Organisations by Handy-Charles 1985)

Communication Styles

Do people communicate in the same style: The answer is ‘no’. Like managerial styles, the ways people use to communicate are influenced by their value system and beliefs and thoughts which have been acquired over a long time. Peter Casse in his writings “Cultural Mind” explains how by paying attention to what people say, that is the words that they use to explain themselves, it is possible to detect their styles of communication. Of course, like-minded individuals tend to use similar styles for relating to others. These are Action; Process; People and Idea Styles.

The ‘content’ of the communication is also an indication of the ‘process’ involved.

These are set out below. Which of the following styles do you identify with the most?

Table : Communication Styles (Description of their main characteristics)






People who talk about:

They are:






Moving ahead








Pragmatic (down to earth)

Direct (to the point)



Quick (jump from one idea to another)

Energetic (challenge others)


People who talk about:

They are:







Trying out





Systematic (step-by step)

Logical (cause and effect)






Continuation of the table


People who talk about:

They are:







Team Spirit


















People who talk about:

They are:






Grand Designs


What’s new in the field


New ways

New methods







Difficult to understand




Full of Ideas


Adapted from: Casse, P. “Gross cultural Minds”, EDI, Sietar (1981)

Listening Skills

There are many good writers and speakers but few good listeners. Most of us filter the spoken words addressed to us so that we absorb only some of them - frequently those we want to hear. Listening is an art which not many people cultivate. But it is a very necessary one, because a good listener will gather more information and achieve better rapport with the other person. And both these effects of good listening are essential to good communications.

Why people don't listen effectively

People don't listen effectively because they are:

Unable to concentrate, for whatever reason

Too preoccupied with themselves

Over-concerned with what they are going to say next

Uncertain about what they are listening to or why they are listening to it

Unable to follow the points or arguments made by the speaker

Simply not interested in what is being said.

Effective listeners:

Concentrate on the speaker, following not only words but also body language which, through the use of eyes or gestures, often underlines meaning and gives life to the message

Respond quickly to points made by the speaker, if only in the shape of encouraging grunts

Ask questions frequently to elucidate meaning and to give the speaker an opportunity to rephrase or underline a point

Comment on the points made by the speaker, without interrupting the flow, in order to test understanding and demonstrate that the speaker and listener are still on the same wavelength. These comments may reflect back or summarise something the speaker has said, thus giving an opportunity for him to reconsider or elucidate the point made

Make notes on the key points - even if the notes are not referred to later they will help to concentrate the mind

Are continuously evaluating the messages being delivered to check that they are understood and relevant to the purpose of the meeting

Are alert at all times to the nuances of what the speaker is saying

Do not slump in their chairs - they lean forward, show interest and maintain contact through their oral responses and by means of body language

Are prepared to let the speaker go on with the minimum of interruption.

Levels of Active Listening

It has been argued by psychologists and communication specialists that effective listening occurs at three levels. It is important that attention is paid to all these levels.


Words derive from the intellectual side of the individual and can create understanding. However, they only account for 20-30% of effective communication.


Feelings are fuelled by emotions of the individual who wishes to communicate his or her intention. Feelings that tend to “make contact” which is vital for ensuring “commitment” and the establishment of long term relationships.


Actions are bodily behaviours and movements which make an impact on the listeners. Such an impact often takes place at a sub-conscious level. However, attention paid to them can reveal the intentions of the speaker.


Listening requires attention being paid to words, feelings and the body. It is said that more than 65% of information is conveyed through channels such as feelings and emotions.

How to manage meetings effectively

Most managers feel that the time spent in a meeting could be spent doing rather than talking about it. Handy said that meetings provide an important basis for the generation of ideas, implementation and taking important decisions.

As a manager your role in meetings will vary depending on who has organised the meetings, the subject of discussion and its urgency.

However, whether you have called the meeting or are participating in others meetings, it is essential that you do not allow valuable time to be wasted by making sure that:

the purpose of the meeting is made clear beforehand

participants come to the meeting prepared

the agenda and budget for each item are not seen as a movable feast

contributions are limited to those which are useful and relevant

attendance is restricted to people affected by issues being discussed

all relevant information is at hand

the objectives of the meeting are seen to be achieved

appropriate decisions are made and actions initiated

How to make meetings work

The following guidelines ought to be adopted by you as an ‘organiser’ of and as a ‘participant’ of a meeting.

As an organiser

Before the meeting

Decide whether the meeting is necessary.

Could the objectives be achieved more effectively through another process?

Establish the purpose of the meeting.

Emphasis on quality of life and employee involvement; pluralism of interest & common goal actions need to be initiated?

Prepare an agenda.

Include only those items relevant to the purpose of the meeting.

Prioritise items in order of importance.

Group together related items.

Indicate time allowed for each item.

Collect all available information relevant to agenda items. If lengthy, summarise into briefing notes outlining salient points.

Circulate agenda and supporting documentation well in advance of meeting.

Restrict attendance to those people affected by the issues to be discussed.

Just before the meeting check for new information which, if to be presented to the meeting, should be simplified and summarised.

During the meeting

State the purpose of the meeting.

Check attendance and make a note of those present.

Set the scene for each new item on the agenda and then open discussion by inviting specific contributions from members.

Let everyone who has a pertinent contribution have his say.

Control the discussion. Don't be afraid to bring it into line if it starts to drift into excessive detail or irrelevance.

If a discussion becomes complex and a wide variety of views are being expressed, summarise to review your own understanding and that of others.

Stick to the time budget.

At the end of each item's discussion summarise any decisions made and conclusions reached.

Summarise what has been achieved at the end of the meeting. If further action is required specify who is to do what, and agree a deadline.

10. Agree the purpose and date of the next meeting.

After after the meeting

Circulate minutes to those who attended and those who did not attend the meeting. Minutes should be an accurate record of the proceedings.

Decisions made during the meeting should be highlighted with the names of people responsible for action and the time scale shown clearly against each decision. State the date and time of the next meeting.

I.     Monitor and review the progress of action arising from the meeting.

As a participant

Before the Meeting

Read the agenda and briefing papers. Make sure you understand the purpose of the meeting and pay particular attention to those items on the agenda which directly affect you.

Think through the issues likely to be raised and plan your contribution.

Take all relevant information into the meeting.

During the meeting

Don't be afraid to stay quiet and listen. Only speak when you are called upon or when you are seeking clarification or when you feel you have a useful contribution to make.

Make a note of any decisions made and any further action required, particularly from you.

After the meeting

Read the minutes, paying special attention to those items, which require action from you.

Produce an action plan specifying what you need to do and the time scale. Monitor your own performance against the action plan

How effective was that meeting?

After a meeting, whether it has been organised by you or one in which you only participated, it would be beneficial to answer the following questions and incorporate them into any further meetings. These are:


What was the purpose of the meeting?

What factors made the meeting effective/ineffective?

What contribution did you or others make towards the meetings effectiveness?



What were the main outcomes of the meeting (if any)?

Effective Communications

Getting the message across

The influence you exert as a manager depends largely on your ability to communicate and project yourself and your ideas to other people. Effective communication involves getting messages across to individuals and groups, informatively and persuasively, using both the written and the spoken word.

The prospect of speaking in public and addressing a large and perhaps unfamiliar group can create feelings of apprehension and even fear in the minds of many people. Thoughts of what might go wrong, memory lapse, `drying up', losing the interest and attention of the audience, questions you can't answer, can undermine confidence and even help to bring about the very situations you want at all costs to avoid.

Some people appear to have a particular talent for speaking in public. They are able to communicate facts and ideas in a confident, interesting and persuasive manner. Public speaking, however, is as much a skill as other methods of formal business communication such as writing letters and reports. By applying a few basic techniques you can develop an approach which will increase your confidence and enhance the effectiveness of your presentations.

There are four questions you must ask when preparing and planning oral presentations. The answers to these questions will guide you towards making presentations which achieve the outcomes you are seeking.

WHY ARE YOU SAYING IT? - the purpose

TO WHOM ARE YOU SAYING IT? - the audience

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO SAY? - the content


The purpose

The types of oral presentation which managers are required to give in organisations generally fit into three categories. Each category defines the main purpose of the presentation:

To communicate information - the content is predominantly factual and the presentation may take the form of a briefing to a group of subordinates or other managers.

To make a proposition - the content is ideas supported by reasoned argument and personal judgement designed to persuade and win the support of the audience.

To inspire and motivate - the content, whether it be ideas or facts, should reflect and reinforce the feelings of the audience and generate enthusiasm, boost morale, and encourage positive attitudes.

Each of these types of presentation places different demands on the speaker and is intended to produce a different response from the audience. It is, therefore, important to establish the purpose of the presentation if you are to achieve the results which you and your audience desire.

The audience

Before deciding what you are going to say and how you are going to say it you must discover as much as you can about your audience. Considerations such as the size and characteristics of the audience and their knowledge of the subject should determine the content, language, structure and tone of the presentation. Ask the following questions:

How large is the audience?

Size will influence the degree of formality and audience involvement you can expect or reasonably encourage. If you are addressing a small group of say fewer than ten people, you can often adopt more of a conversational approach and may even welcome interventions from the audience. As group size increases there is a greater need for formality with few, if any opportunities for audience involvement except, perhaps, at the end of the presentation.

How much do they know about the subject of the presentation?

Your audience's knowledge and understanding of the subject should determine the level at which you pitch the presentation. You will quickly lose the attention and interest of your audience if you talk above or below their heads. The language you use and the number and complexity of facts and ideas you include in your presentation must be appropriate to the knowledge and understanding held by the audience. If in doubt, talk to someone who will be in the audience or whose interests and knowledge are similar to those of the audience. You may be required to address an audience with varied backgrounds and different levels of knowledge in which case you should aim for the middle ground.

Who are the audience?

Establish the significant characteristics of the audience, for example, the members' position and role in the organisation. Identify special interests and concerns shared by the audience which you can reflect in the presentation to help attract interest and win support.

Planning your presentation

When you have established the purpose of the presentation and identified the nature of the audience, you can start to plan what you are going to say and how you are going to say it.

Planning is essential but it is also time-consuming and requires an attention to detail which some may find tedious. You should, therefore, view planning as time well-spent - in building your confidence and enhancing the effectiveness of your presentation.

The following guidelines cover the main factors you need to consider:

Deciding what you are going to say

1.     Write a brief statement summarising the theme of the presentation.

List the points you intend to cover.

Think about your list and select those points which you must cover and indicate their priority by underlining or highlighting in some way.

Consider the points you have identified as non-essential. Remember that the fewer points you attempt to put across to your audience, the more likely they are to remember them. Review these nonessential points and select those which you still feel ought to be included.

Establish how much time you have to give the presentation. Allocate a time estimate to each of your main points and include time for your introduction and summing-up. If you find you don't have the time to cover some of the non-essential points, remove them from your presentation.

Decide on the sequence. Always start with an introduction which conveys the importance or purpose of the presentation and outlines what you are about to say. End with a summary of the main points or recommendations. Between the introduction and the summary develop a sequence of presentation which is appropriate to the nature of the material. For example, if the material is factual and the purpose of the presentation is to communicate information, start with the simple and work through to the more complex. If the information you are conveying is sequential in nature, follow the same sequence in your presentation.

Collect information to support the points you are including in your presentation. Refer to your time allocation and include in your oral presentation only that information you can communicate effectively in the time available. Any important details which may confuse or overburden the audience with information should be included in supporting papers.


Deciding how you are going to say it

Plan the structure of your presentation and decide what you are going to include in the introduction, the main body and the summing-up. If you are developing a complex argument or putting together a string of ideas, build in summaries at key points. These sign-posts will help the audience find their way through the presentation.

Prepare notes in the form of key words or phrases written on cards which should be numbered in sequence. Indicate on the cards where you intend to use visual aids and write clearly to enable you to see your notes at a glance. Remember that the notes are not intended to be a script for you to read from, but are a series of cues and reminders.

As far as possible use simple words and short sentences. Keep the nature of the audience in mind when selecting language. Be particularly careful in your use of specialist or technical terms. Try to be positive, precise and pertinent.

Pay careful attention to the use of visual aids. Think of the most effective way of getting the message across visually as well as verbally. Before deciding to use a particular visual aid check that the facility is available. Used discriminately, visual aids can add impact, introduce variety, help to maintain interest and aid audience recall. Aids such as flip-charts, whiteboards, chalkboards and overhead projectors are particularly useful as ‘verbal' aids - emphasising key words and ideas and summarising main points.

Devices such as personal anecdotes and humour can be used to good effect. If well-received they can act as useful ice-breakers at the start of a presentation and sustain the interest of the audience. But don't overdo it - excessive or inappropriate use of humour and anecdote could seriously detract from the purpose of the presentation.

Rehearse the presentation. Make sure that you can cover the material comfortably in the time allowed. If you have too much material, which is often the case, either remove unnecessary detail or exclude some of the less essential points. If there is insufficient material, think of ways of strengthening your main points. Don't add unnecessary material just to 'pad it out'. Record the presentation to get an impression of how it will sound to an audience. Pay particular attention to your pace of delivery and the use of pauses and changes in the pitch and tone of your voice to help the audience sustain interest and attention.

Finally, throughout your preparation and planning don't lose sight of the purpose of the presentation and the interests, knowledge and expectations of the audience. Presenting to an audience can be a stimulating and rewarding experience. It is possibly the most powerful means of influencing the feelings and attitudes of others.

Exercise 1:

Reviewing presentations: task sheet

The effective presentation

Think of one presentation when you were in the audience which you felt was particularly effective.

What was the purpose of the presentation?

Was it to tell?

(Tick one or more purposes, if appropriate)



Why was this presentation effective?

List the main factors which you feel contributed to its effectiveness. Use the chapter 'Getting The Message Across' as a guide.

The ineffective presentation

Think of one presentation when you were in the audience which you felt was particularly ineffective.

What was the purpose of the presentation?

Was it to tell?

(Tick one or more purposes, if appropriate)



Why was this presentation ineffective?

List the main factors which you feel contributed to its lack of effectiveness. Use handout ‘Getting The Message Across’ as a guide.

Exercise 2:

Next time you are invited to attend an interview panel or a presentation of a Project Management Team, take a few minutes to assess the effectiveness. Are you aware of the five factors mentioned below?

Evaluation Sheet



Did the presentation have a beginning, middle and end?

Did it fit the time allowed?

Did the candidate appear natural and relaxed?

Did the candidate use the notes unobstrusively?

Did the candidate put the case across effectively?

General comments on how the presentation was made

Case study

Effective Communication?

Dana and Julia were working in different departments but they were still spending a lot time together during coffee break and any other occasions whenever possible.

One day Dana was asked to start preparation of a study about the future influence of factors ‘X’ and ‘Y’ on the performance of regional agencies subordinated to their ministry. Since Julia was currently working with environment departments of these regional agencies, Dana thought that it might be very helpful to involve her friend Julia in preparation of this study.

During an usual coffee break, they were discussing this subject, trying to understand how to merge their efforts. This was indeed their first opportunity to work together and they were really excited about it. But things didn’t seem to go well.

What Dana was asked to investigate, was based on the information about the nature of social factor X and Y and the international experience about their influence. She received a long list of readings to refer to as well. She found her social background very helpful in order to better understand as she began to read.

On the other side, Julia was monitoring the current activity of regional agencies in the field of environment and she knew exactly what human and technology resources have been allocated for this task in each regional agency. Julia was familiar with specific environmental techniques, methods and competencies required.

Gradually their coffee break chat began to chan to an argument. Suddenly they realised that their expectation of a successful co-operation was about to be ruined. How could this happen?

Both Dana and Julia approach their heads of departments for further information. Their heads of departments supported their point of views accordingly. The heads of departments also stressed on what they thought was important in this study and how should it be approached.

This confused Dana and Julia even more.



What do you expect to be the reason for Dana and Julia’s misunderstanding?

Was there a communication problem?

What could have affected their communication with one onother and their in case of their bosses?

What ought to done to improve the communication in the above cases?

Possible Solution & Guidelines:

Read carefully the case study and try to identify what theoretical concepts presented in the Communication Chapter could apply;

As a potential answer for the first question, it could be concluded that misunderestanding is due to their differing frame of references;

As for the second question - the effective communication could have been affected by perceptual biases on the part of both Dana and Julia and the information they received about the objectives of the study. Both heard (perceived) what they were ready to hear and perceive from based on their daily activities;

Regarding the communication problems with their bosses, it could be considered that there is some kind of omission or distortion on the part of the senders – an individual in higher position or another head of department. Apparently, the person who initiated the study, has not transferred all the information about the context and the expected outcomes;

It is quite obvious that an effective communication could be obtained by avoiding the above mentioned problems.



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