Equality and respect, seeking common ground while reserving differences, cooperation and win-win, flexible response, and getting things done.
The moment to let someone shut up is to know your boundaries. – DeepCreator
If you have something to say, do well.
We communicate with other people in almost every single second of our lives. We communicate to deliver a message to other people so that in return receiving a respond. Communication help us co-operate with people around us as well as understand them and share our thought. From the basis of daily family life to the busy working environment of school and workplace, we must practice how to communicate effectively to ensure that we are connecting with other. In this website, I am telling you everything to know about communication and how it can affect motivation.
Understand the basics of
effective communication and how to overcome barriers.
What is effective communication?
Effective communication is not only about conveying a message that you want to say. It is about conveying the message so that other people understand and respond to it.
Effective communication between 2 parties requires sending and receiving message in both directions. The sender must be able to deliver their message to the receiver and the receiver must respond to the message in order to complete a cycle of communication. This will ensure a smooth flow of idea and understanding between both parties and prevent misunderstanding.
Communication happens everywhere from the basis of our daily family life to our working or learning environment. We interact with other people every single day in order to co-operate with them and work towards a common goal. That’s why effective communication is extremely important.
Effective communication cycle
The Benefits of Effective Communication
By practicing effective communication in our workplace, there are many benefits arises from it.
By communicating effectively, two parties can exchange information thoroughly with lesser possibility of misunderstanding or missing out on information. Thus, allow more accurate assess on the information and avoid any reduction in productivity.
Effective communication in workplace allows members to work together effectively without any worries about being shun do to their different background or hierarchy standing. Workers tend to do better when they are respected and be heard by others.
By practicing good communication, one would be able to build his self-esteem and be more confident when they have to speak and respond to other.
Most important of all, effective communication helps you build your relationships with other people. Through good communication, you are able to cooperate efficiently with others and thus, build stronger bond as you gain trust from others.
Barriers to effective communication
Ineffective communication can always occur and lead to communication breakdown as both parties fail to deliver or process the received message. Without constant sending and feedback in communication, the parties will not be able to understand and respond appropriately to the idea of the others and thus, cannot co-operate. Without good communication, there will be no teamwork in the workplace and there sure to be misunderstandings and conflict. The video below is a comical example of how language barrier in communication and assumptions might lead to a whole lot of misunderstanding.
Ineffective communication is seen as a problems cause by different ‘barriers’. Those barriers includes:
Physical distraction: The elements of the surrounding such as poor lighting, background noises, atmosphere, etc can really drive off your focus span during communication.
Attitude: If you feel strong emotions like angered or unhappy, you will most likely feel uncomfortable to listen or even speak with someone. This will not only halt the effectiveness of your communication but also make you less productive and co-operative. Emotions can also interfere with your confidence in facing others and thus, make you less of a dependable person in other’s eyes.
Channel barriers: How you channel your message is very important. For example: If you are trying to send instruction to someone, it would be more ideal to have it in written form rather than telling them verbally, or else it would be difficult to follow through. People who are unaware of how they should communicate could get in a lot of problem.
Stereotype: When you have stereotypical thoughts about someone base on their background and culture, it would be hard for you to communicate effectively as you won’t have enough trust in them. Holding stereotypical thoughts about someone else who simply put a barrier between you and them.
Language barrier: In communication, language barriers can happen anytime. Everyone have their own mother tongue language as well as their own interpretation of certain words and phrases. Thus, conflicting language might occur and the communicators might not be able to understand each other.
Time barrier: Let say you complete a great design for a new car and you wanted to report it to your boss, when will it be better to tell him? Midnight right after you finish your design? or next morning when your boss is at work? Choosing when to approach a person to discuss something with them is very important because if you do not choose the appropriate time, the person whom you are trying to deliver the message to might not be interested in listening to you.
Structural problems in the organization: If the structure in an organization is unclear, then members of the organisation might have problems communicating as they don’t know who and when to communicate. New members should be instructed clearly to prevent any communication mishap or confusion.
Lack of knowledge on the subjects: Lack of understanding on the subject would make communication difficult for both the sender and the receiver. Usually, people communicate easier when the subject of matter is something that both of them are familiar with. If the sender is not sure about the matter he is communicating, then the receiver would be troubled in understanding as well.
Information overload: Processing information takes time and if communication does not goes at a pace where both parties can have enough time to carry out their thought process, then it will cause communication breakdown as concentration and interest might be haltered.
Assumptions: Assuming something without clarification is a very dangerous thing to do. When you assume the wrong information, it is very likely that you will make wrong decisions and conclusion. This could cause many extended problems and lead to conflicts as well.
(Source: Effectivecommunicationadvice / marin.edu / CTE)
How to overcome communication barriers?
Communication barriers are not impossible to overcome at all. They can be avoided if you know how to deal with them correctly. Here are some advice for you to overcome these problems
Be attentive: of who you are communicating with. If they have trouble getting your message, you should know how to adjust your communication method in order to get through with them.
Be patience: is the key to effective communication. You must never rush anything and take your time in order to make communication work thoroughly between you can your partner
Never assume: because you could interpretative the foul information and carry out wrong decisions or responds. Always clarify something if you are unclear.
Be friendly and open-minded: towards others you are co-operating with. You must never judge others or let your feelings towards someone interfere with your work. Also, you must be emphatic towards other to work out the problem rather than just let things be. Workplace often encourage those who co-operate well with others no matter what.
Be aware: of who you are communicating with and how you should communicate with them. This would help you approach that person and approach in a better manner and style and prevent and problems that might occur.
Learn about the various way we use to communicate.
Types of communications
Nowadays, we are exposed to many form of communications such as:
All of these mentioned form of communication and many more can be classified into 2 different categories
- Verbal communication
- Non-verbal communication
Verbal communication is the type of communication that involved communicating verbally using language that the sender and the receiver understand.It is meant to be done so that the sender and the receiver are able to understand each other effectively. There are two types of verbal communication: Oral communication and written communication.
- Oral communication
Oral communication involve communicating orally via spoken words. Many examples of oral communication is face to face talking, phone, radio, television and any forms of communication that deliver the message to the receiver’s ears. In oral communication, factors such as tone, speed, volume and confidence can affect its effectiveness.
Oral communication is very convenience as it can be perform very quickly and it allows sender to receive feedback faster. The sender are also able to express their feelings through verbal communication and bring certain mood effect to the receiver. In face-to-face communication, the speaker can also observe the other person’s expression and decide how to respond accordingly. Verbal communication can become an useful way to motivate others if you have the right skill and confidence
However, oral communication can become unsuccessful if external factors are encountered such as loud noise background or physical disturbance which could interrupt speaking. Oral communication cannot be done with a person who is either deaf, mute or does not speak the same language.In face-to-face communication, the communicator have to think of what to say while interpret what they heard which could cause them confusion and fail to communicate wisely. This could be worsen if that person lack confidence or communication skill.
- Written communication
Written communication involve composing the message in a written format and deliver it via soft copy or hard copy.This type of communication can be seen with the use of fax, text messages, social network, e-mail, etc. Written communication is influence by the structure of the language such as grammar and vocabulary.
Written communication is an important skill applied in the business environment. It is very important as it can be use to compose a lot of information together, save into many copies and deliver to many people at once.Written information can be recorded and stored for later study which can be useful to manage and organize detailed and mass information. The receiver will be able to understand the message more thoroughly as well.
However, written communication does not bring instant feedback like verbal communication do. It also requires good writing skill and time to compose the message and it could be a challenge to those who lack writing skill. Written communication allows people to compose more information and tend to lead to information overload.People who are blind are unable to communicate by writing.
(Source: Notes Desk)
Non-verbal communication refers to any other form of communication that does not involve writing, talking or use of words and languages. Body language such as posture, facial expression, hand movements, tone, etc are all consider non-verbal communication. It is a way of communicating messages or rather command without using words. The receiver will have to base on their own interpretation to understand the message and thus, the sender must be able to give clear signals. Non-verbal communication is very important as performing it effectively will decide how comfortable and attentive the other person feel about communicating with you.
Non verbal communication has 3 main elements:
Appearance: How the speaker appears will decide how interested the listeners will be. In a workplace, a person with professional look and confident appearance will surely catch the attention of many. External factor such as room light, temperature and noise level will also influence the appearance of a conversation
Body language: There are many things that accounted to body language include hand signals, posture and facial expressions. When combine well in verbal communication, these body language could help emphasize the effectiveness of delivering the message.
Sounds: Speaking fluently with good tone, clear voice and normal speed could help verbal communication a lot more effective.
(Source: Notes Desk)
It is always said that ‘a picture worth a thousand words’. Visual aids are always important in communication as it will act as an illustration for the receiver to understand the message a lot faster and easier. In business presentation, the presenter are often accompanied by powerpoint slides or videos to help them get the message across easily without having to say too much. Visual communication relies on the ability to interpret images by the audience. Thus, if we are not careful with the images we choose, we could easily make the audience interpret the wrong message. In our daily life, we could see visual communication everywhere in the public such as banners, signboards, traffic light, maps and etc. Traffic light gives command to vehicle users by flickering lights signalling the action they should take like red for stop and green for go.
Understand formal and informal communication
Different type of communications are used depend on the situations. Certain form of communication can be useful and appropriate for certain use but it will not be consider ethical. For example: When a staff want to report to his boss, he will have to write a proper grammar using professional language and realistic data. He would be fired if he posted a note on his boss’ Facebook page because it is not professional and since Facebook is a social network place that is not very suitable for work discussion.
Formal communication refers to appropriate and professional style of communication that is used in business workplace. A person who needs to communicate formally requires to follow standard rules and outlines set by the higher authority. In formal communication, correct grammar and pronunciation are required while slang and foul language should be avoided at all cost as we used it to communicate with our co-operatives and people of higher rank. Thus, professionalism and formalism always come first.
Informal communication refers to a more free and comfortable style of communication as the communicator is allow to communicate in anyway they wish. In informal communication, there are no standard and limits to how one should use their language, thus, make it easier for communicator to communicate. In our daily life, we used informal communication with our friends and family as a more natural way of communication have people express themselves better and build better relationship. Thus, practicing informal communication in workplace to create a friendlier environment is not something wrong but should rather be done as long as it has a limit to it.
(Source: Notes Desk)
Look into how communication flow in the business world.
Communication in business - How does it go?
To begin with, let’s go through some basic concepts about communication in business. A business is structured using a hierarchical structure where each member would have responsible over other member of lower rank. The purpose of this hierarchical structure is to maintain a firm order and rule within a business and ensure that everyone within the organisation co-operate and communicate effectively.There are two main types of organisational structure: Tall structure and flat structure. Let’s look at the graph below
Diagram of tall and flat organisational structure
Organisation A is a tall organisational structure. In a tall structure, there are various levels of hierarchical ranking and thus, it has a long chain of command through the many layers from the highest (CEO) to lowest (employees). With the many layers, each manager will only have control over a limited number of employee, thus, they will have smaller span of control. Tall organisation structure is often applied in large companies where there are more members within the organisation itself.
Organisation B is a flat organisational structure. In a flat structure, there are lesser layers of hierarchical ranking and thus, make the chain of command shorter. Since there are lesser layers of authority, a manager would have more span of control since they will have to be in charge of more employees. Flat organisations are often embodied within small organisations owned by an individual sole trader where there are fewer employees.
By looking at the example of an organisational chart below, you would be able to understand how the hierarchical system work overall. The managing director sit on top and take charge of all the other directors while each directors take care of the team leaders who were assigned to keep an eye out for the teams. But, how do they communicate with each other?
Example of an organisational chart
In a business organisation, communication goes in an order and not simply from one person to another. Communication in business is perform in a very mannered way. For examples, Production Team Members cannot simply report to the Managing Director who is on the top. They can only report to the Managing Director after they have reported to the Production Team Leaders who will report to the Operations Director to the Managing Director. This is known as Vertical Communication, communication between members of different ranks. On the other hand, communication between members of the same rank is know as Horizontal Communication. Communication between members is known as Internal Communication while communicating with people outside of the business organisation such as suppliers or customers are called External Communication. Within communication in a organization, vertical communication must be made very clear to everyone or else there will be a big communication breakdown between managers and employees. Vertical communication ensures that there are co-operation and understanding among people in the organisation. Horizontal communication is as important except one should see it more than a working ethic along. Communicating with your partners in work help you works better as a team. But, at the same time, you should also bear in mind that it is an opportunity for you to build your relationship with your peer.
In business, communication is very important. It plays a role in helping everyone in the organisation co-operate with each other and connect with customers and other partnered organisations as well. One who work in business need to have good communication skills in both oral and written. At all time, their communication must be formal and professional. Not only should you talk to deliver information and send feedback, you must also speak up in a way that other listen and empathize with you. But at the same time, you must be able to listen with what other have to say as well to maintain a balance two-ways communication.
We must keep in mind that in business, communication will determine how successful you are in the workplace.
Source: Cambridge IGCSE Business Studies Textbook 2nd Edition)
Giving you a detailed view on the matter.
How does communication affect motivation?
Before discussing this topic, I would like you to watch this very motivational speech made by Steve Job, the founder of Apple Inc at Stanford University on 12 June, 2006. See for yourself how he brought motivation upon the many students of Stanford as well as many who have watched this video and you.
If you have watch the full video, I believe you felt enlightened and motivated by this speech yourself. Motivational speaker such as Steve Job or Barack Obama are not rare at all. In fact, you probably know such people from your daily life experience as well. These motivational speakers have a great way to get others inspired. They are able to attract the attention of others and turn everything they said into an empowerment to the listeners. But, why do people like Steve Jobs want to motivates people?
In business, knowing how to communicate effectively in order to inspire the employees is a job that many managers are trying to achieve. The reason is simple: motivation eventually lead to more productivity. Motivation in workplace is often triggered when the managers find his way of speaking to his employee. Effective communication by the managers will result in changing the mood within the co-operate and inspire employees to work harder towards common goals. Not only so, a motivated group of people tend to have more co-operation among each other, which will result in more encouraged better teamwork and better outcomes. On the other hand, an article on Love2Reward said that 91% of companies with internal communication problems tend to find motivation at low level.
Motivation at workplace heavily depends on how the manager influence his workers. It is for a fact that employee feel more enthusiastic to work when they have a proactive leader who pay attentions to the workers. Manager who try to communicate effective by being friendly instead of trying to be the boss often win the employee over easier. This will not only make sure that communication will be channel effectively as the emotional barrier is eliminate and the managers and employee build a stronger bond. When employee feel that their boss is friendly and pay respect them, they will feel more comfortable and motivated to work.
All it takes for a leader to deliver a motivational speech is to be confidence. As you have observed from the Steve Job speech video, you could see that he comfortably spoke in front of many people. He spoke with a very calm tone and a lot of emotion expression it it. He even make jokes like at 04:40 where he said Microsoft copied Apple. Then, as he continued with his stories, he delivered some inspirational messages such as “you gotta ind what you love to do” (8:24) or “keep looking, don’t settle” (8:39). At the end of the video, you could see how many Stanford graduate has become as they clapped and cheer for him. Being motivational speaker is not difficult at all. It just require good, persuasive communication skills and confidence to speak out the message. When the message is delivered successfully, people are inspired and motivated.
In conclusion, motivation comes from a positive environment in the workplace and communication can do so. By channeling communication effectively within the organisation, managers and employee are not being shunned by the communication barriers such as emotion or structural problem, thus, lead to stronger bonds and co-operation. This will allow manager to interact more with their employees and be attentive to them. As this happen, employees will feel respected by their manager and felt more motivated to do work. In addition, managers who want to motivate their employee have to have confidence. They must be able to communicate to their employee with confidence and comfort, creating a close feeling between him and his employees while also draw out important inspirational messages. In today’s world, professionalism is very important in workplace, but ensure that workers are motivated to work is much more important as it will create the desire to aim for success and result in higher productivity and outcomes. That’s why communication should be practice effectively.
Let’s aim toward a motivated working environment !