Learning Objectives

13-1. Explain the three ways communication flows through organizations.

Formal communication flows vertically downward and upward through the chain of command. Formal communication flows horizontally between colleagues and peers. Informal communication flows through the grapevine in any direction.

13-2. Discuss information technology and how IT is used, the three primary types of information systems, and list the five components of an information network.

Information technology (IT) refers to the technology (hardware, operating systems, and software) used to store, process, and distribute useful data and information. The primary technology used is the Internet. IT is used for internal communications as well as externally for e-commence. The current trend is to store data and software in the cloud and access information from wireless mobile devices. The three information systems include transaction processing systems (TPS), used by managers to record routine, repetitive transactions; management information systems (MIS) to transform data into information, used by managers to perform their work and to make routine decisions; and decision support systems (DSS), used by managers to make nonroutine decisions. The components of an information network include connections between employees from headquarters and remote locations, suppliers and customers, and databases.

13-3. List the four steps in the interpersonal communication process, and nine barriers to communication.

The sender encodes the message and selects the transmission channel. (2) The sender transmits the message through a channel. (3) The receiver decodes the message and decides if feedback is needed. (4) The receiver may give feedback by making a response or sending a new message through a channel. The nine barriers to communication include perception, information overload, channel selection, noise, trust and credibility, poor listening, emotions, filtering, and language/culture.

13-4. State the major advantages and disadvantages of oral and written communication, a general guide to channel selection.

The major advantages of oral communication are that it is usually easier and faster than written communication and it encourages feedback. The dis-advantage is that there is usually no record of such communication. The major advantage of written communication is that it provides a record of what was communicated. The major disadvantages are that it usually takes longer and it hinders feedback. As a general guide, use rich oral channels for sending difficult and unusual messages, written channels for transmitting simple and routine messages to several people or messages that contain facts and figures or detailed information, and combined channels for important messages that recipients need to attend to and understand.

13-5. Name the five steps in the process of sending face-to-face messages, and describe paraphrasing and why it is useful. .

The face-to-face message-sending process involves five steps: (1) Develop rapport. (2) State your communication objective. (3) Transmit your message. (4) Check the receiver’s understanding. (5) Get a commitment and follow up. Paraphrasing is the process of restating a message in one’s own words. The receiver uses paraphrasing to check understanding of the transmitted message. If the receiver can paraphrase the message accurately, communication has taken place. If not, communication is not complete.

13-6.   Identify and explain the three parts of the process of receiving messages and active listening.

The three parts of the message-receiving process are listening, analyzing, and checking understanding. Listening is the process of giving a speaker your undivided attention. Analyzing is the process of thinking about, decoding, and evaluating the message. Checking understanding is the process of giving feedback. The three parts of the message- receiving process are put together with active listening by using verbal and nonverbal communication to show the sender that the receiver is fully engaged and cares about the sender as a person.

13-7. Define five response styles, describe how to deal with emotional people, and discuss guides to giving and receiving criticism.

The five response styles include advising responses, which provide evaluation, personal opinion, direction, or instructions; diverting responses, which switch the focus of the communication to a new message; probing responses, which ask the speaker to give more information about some aspect of the message; reassuring responses, which are given to reduce the intensity of the emotions and give confidence associated with the message; and reflecting responses, which paraphrase the message and communicate understanding and acceptance to the sender. When dealing with emotional people, be compassionate, using emotional intelligence, and calmly use reflective empathic listening responses. The best way to give criticism is to get the person to ask for it. When being criticized, remember that it is an opportunity to improve, and stay calm without getting defensive.