Thursday, 9 June 2011

Effect of Communication Barriers in Business Communication

Effect of Communication Barriers in Business Communication

An organization is an individual’s first home as one spends the maximum time here only. No organization runs for charity, it is really important that the organization achieve its goals. How does an organization become successful ? How will an organization achieve its goals ?.

The employees are the assets for any organization and the profitability of any organization is directly proportional to the labour put by its employees. Putting labour does not mean getting involved in hard physical work or digging the gold mines, it actually refers to the smart work done by employees, transparency between the team members, free flow of information from the superior to the subordinates. How does free flow of information happen? How is the transparency between the team members achieved ? - Through Communication and not only through communication but effective communication.

In organizations the barriers in communication go a long way in distortion of the message and the information does not reach in its desired form.

Imagine a situation where you want some report from your team members which needs to be forwarded to the managing director of the organization. What if your team misinterprets your information, screws up the project and fails to submit it within the deadline. The managing director will literally sit on your head and make your life miserable. The poor communication can actually cost you your job.

Let us now understand how barriers in communication effect business communication.

Noise acts as a devil in business communication
. Any information downloaded at a noisy place is bound to get distorted and result in a complete mess.

Petty wanted to go through the complete budget of the sales, marketing and the operations team. She passed on this information to Joe at his workstation around which lots of other employees were shouting, the base phone was constantly ringing and the photocopier machine was making a terrible noise. At the end of the day, Joe submitted the report but the budget for the operations team was missing in the report. Joe actually had heard only about sales and marketing department and thus skipped the report of the operations team. Petty fired Joe and even stopped his appraisal. Unwanted distractions, noise, chit chats of the other employees etc played the culprit and poor Joe missed out on his promotion. Noise reduces the chances of the correct flow of information from the sender to the receiver. If the office is noisy, errors are bound to happen and thus increasing conflicts among the team members and decreasing the efficiency of the employees.

Unorganized and Haphazard thoughts also lead to ineffective communication in organizations. Business communications are bound to suffer due to ineffective communication. If any individual wants something from his team members, he first must be himself very clear what actually he expects from his team. The boss must clearly mention his team member’s key responsibility areas in clear words to avoid wastage of manpower, duplicacy of work, effective time management and more output from them.

Not cross checking among themselves or with the superiors also spoils the business communication to a large extent.

Misha was sharing her phone number with her client and she never bothered to verify with her client whether he has noted the correct number or not. One day, the client had a major query and he had to discuss with Misha on an urgent basis. He kept on trying the same number which Misha gave but someone else was responding. He then had to call the front desk lady to get connected with Misha and obviously he was furious. The client had wrongly noted Misha’s number and thus wasted his precious time and lost his temper. While sharing any important contact number it is the responsibility of the speaker to cross check with the listener. Email ids must be spelled out properly to avoid wrong spellings and unnecessary wastage of time.

During any business meeting, presentation or seminar, the speaker has to be very careful about his pitch and tone. It has been observed that during seminars or presentations only the front benchers are attentive, the last benchers are almost lost in their own sweet world. The person who chairs the meeting has to speak very clearly, has to be very confident and must maintain a tone audible to everyone, even to the individuals sitting on the last row. Information must pass to them also to expect the best out of them and increase their efficiency. Try to make the seminar or the meeting interactive.Dont just speak, also invite questions from the team. After any seminar or meeting, the superior or the incharge must send the minutes of the meeting through e mail to all the required recipients to avoid last minute confusions and discrepancies. The speaker must ensure whether everyone is clear or not ?

In any organization, it is mandatory to understand which employee can do a particular assignment, and which employee is not fit for a particular role. Chelsea was not keen for a branding profile but his boss could never understand her interest and always wondered why Chelsea was not effectively performing ? In any organization, before assigning responsibilities to the employees, it is a must to understand the employee and his area of specialization and interest. Communication will be for sure ineffective if a person from an accounting background is asked to deliver a presentation on sales techniques. He is bound to get nervous and the message will fail in creating the required impact. Don’t just impose work on any employee, give him the work he enjoys doing the most.

Difference in thought process also results in a poor communication in business areas. A boss and the employee can never think on the same level. Let us try to understand the situation with the help of an example.

Jude to Harry - “Harry, I need the complete financial report by end of the day”

By financial report, Jude actually meant the complete financial analysis, which would include the complete details of how much the company spends in advertising, promotional activities, and other marketing activities.,analyse the inflow and outflow of expenditure patterns and so on.

Harry could never understand Jude’s thought process. He simply compiled the expenditure details and handed over to Jude. Jude was obviously not happy. He was expecting much more from Harry. Harry had to resubmit the project resulting in duplicacy of effort and wastage of time. Jude should have made it very clear from the very beginning what all he was expecting from Harry. He kept half of his things within himself and did not share with Harry. Poor Harry had to redo his work. Every individual has a different mindset, different level of understanding and thus it is important to share each and every detail with others and clarify the things from the very beginning.

One should remember that the listeners are also a part of the conversation. The listeners must give their feedback at the end of the conversation. If you are not clear what your boss is expecting out of you, or what you are actually supposed to do, please ASK. Don’t hesitate, ask questions. Don’t hide your queries, ask and clear your doubts then and there only. Your boss will only feel happy if you share your queries with him.

For the successful running of an organization, it is important that transparency is maintained among the employees at all levels. Communication barriers must be overcome in organizations to ensure the free flow of information between the sender and the recipient and for an effective communication among the employees. Effective communication reduces the error rate, reduces conflicts and mis understandings and in turn increases the profitability of the organization. Every employee must try their level best to avoid the communication barriers in organizations for an effective business communication.

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