Breaching Communication Barriers eBook

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The Fine Art of Communication

Published September 21, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

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As many in the United States tuned in to the recent Presidential debates on CNN, what made the event  particularly interesting to me, was witnessing the variety of ways  and the manner in which each candidate chose to communicate their messages. In my own life circumstances, business and personal, one of the most challenging aspects for me has been figuring out how to navigate the various forms of the communication process effectively, not only to get my point across, but to make my voice heard and be certain that the message was understood and received successfully. So I was inspired to focus this week’s posts on the topic of communication.

communication-pattern

When we take a moment to analyze and really think about it, we must acknowledge that the communication process affects nearly every avenue of our lives. Beginning from a child’s first words continuing to the end of life’s journey, communication affects: (a) what and how we learn, (b) how we interact with one another, and (c) the path we choose to make our living. Individuals, for whatever reason, that experience difficulty communicating, will be at a disadvantage. People that are gifted at the communication process, on the other hand, can typically achieve more successful outcomes in both their careers and personal lives.

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In his book, Management Communication, Donald Baack (2012) points out that in the business arena the ability to communicate innovative ideas is what can lead to big profits (Baack, 2012). For example the e-commerce and Internet industry evolved from an idea that computers could communicate to each other through technological advances. The notion that consumers would appreciate having a front porch coffee experience in a public setting helped Starbucks achieve phenomenal levels of success. These are a few instances of how company leaders developed new products and improved production systems to meet consumer needs. They were all derived from having great ideas that were communicated in a way that motivated staff members to take action and achieve their goals.

In order to achieve successful levels of communication and enjoy both a successful business career and personal life, it is important to understand that not only does an individual have to develop good communication skills, they must learn how to implement those skills to the task of managing in a business arena. Both of these concepts can be enhanced by including the significant component of critical thinking in the decision-making process. In the e-book, Breaching Communication Barriers, (2013) my research revealed that employment recruiters looking for top performers, specifically target their searches to include individuals with strong leadership qualities that consist of good communication skills because they want leaders who can be the potential ringmaster’s that will motivate staff members to enthusiastically take action and help them reach organizational goals (Berry, 2013).

Self-Confidence

Another positive aspect of developing strong communication skills is that it builds self-confidence and self esteem. This component helps individuals embrace who they are, because they can acknowledge their strengths and talents with confidence. Individuals that feel confident are in a better place to focus their efforts and bring new ideas more enthusiastically into the arena. Equally important is that effective communicators are confident transmitting the acceptance of their own weaknesses. This is because they feel secure that they can transmit a message effectively that they are seeking support or assistance from others who may be more qualified or experienced, content that they are still capable of managing their challenges with dignity. This is important because many people are quick at pointing out flaws in themselves and others, without considering that making errors does not define the individual, nor does it affect their strengths. In the meantime, if communication problems do persist and barriers have not been identified or addressed, it can create a hostile and toxic situation which ultimately can contaminate a healthy working and/or living environment.

That’s it for today’s post! Next time will continue our discussion on developing good communication skills. Until then … Stay organized!

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A Wise person speaks because they have something to say; the fool speaks because they have to say something. – Plato

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For more information on Media Magic, our digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit:

Mayr’s Author Page.

References:

Baack, D. (2012). Management Communication. San Diego, CA, USA: Bridgepoint Education.

Berry, M. A. (2013). Breaching Communication Barriers (Vol. 2). (C. Angela, Ed.) USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

Listening as a Management Strategy

Published May 29, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

The word Summer written on a sandy beach, with scuba mask, beach towel, starfish and flip flops (studio shot - warm color and directional light are intentional).

SUMMER BREAK EDITION

(Originally posted October 2014)

For the most part, people are good listeners; however, many do not use their listening skills effectively. In his book Management Communication, Donald Baack (2012) postulates that the following three different styles of listening affect how a message is received and transmitted: (a) empathetic, (b) active, and (c) content listening. Active listeners listen with a reason, while empathetic listeners, for instance, combine active listening with critical thinking skills to comprehend a message while having compassion towards the messenger’s needs, wants, and feelings. Content listening on the other hand, is when the receiver makes an attempt to comprehend and retain in memory, the data presented by the transmitter (Baack, 2012). When individuals are able to identify the kind of listening they need to engage in for every situation, it will help enhance their communication skills.

active-listening

A level one listener, for instance, is the most engaged and authentic listener. A level two listener in the meantime, is less engaged and tends to miss important components like nonverbal cues. Finally, level three listeners are those who are too preoccupied with self-concerns. This can prevent them from engaging as an active listener or  receiving the message clearly.

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In the eBook, Breaching Communication Barriers, (2013) my research work revealed how effective active listening skills can play a significant role in the communication process. For example, when we are in the work place, we learn the importance of engaging in clear communication strategies because a message transmitted improperly can have dire consequences; and in a worst case scenario, that can result in an employee’s termination. To help employees, some leaders offer staff members communication workshops. Others develop programs that include activities to strengthen communication skills. Then there are companies that choose to distribute educational material to help improve and remind employees about the significance of good listening skills for clear communication, as well as how effective communication skills can help them achieve higher performance levels. In short, good listening skills provide clarification in receiving messages which is effective for breaching communication barriers.

culture oil

For an employee of a team of twenty people, for example, in addition to engaging in active listening, that staff member may also have to learn how to communicate effectively with different components like ethnicity, cultures, and other diversities. They may also need to understand how to be sympathetic and understanding under different circumstances like when shaking someone’s hand can transmit a message of disrespect to a dignitary when bowing is the accepted traditional custom. One tactic may be to ask for clarification before delivering a message, or repeating a sentence from the conversation. This can be done to clarify the individual was engaged in active listening and enthusiastic to confirm that the transmission was received as it was meant to be delivered. In conclusion, to achieve the best outcomes in the communication process, individuals must also apply skills like active listening. The key to ongoing success however, is an awareness that the enhancement of communication skills is an ongoing learning experience that continues to evolve because of advancements in technology that provide new methods of transmitting those messages.

That’s a wrap for this week’s summer break edition. Until next time … stay organized!

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“If speaking is silver, then listening is gold.” — Turkish Proverb

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For more information on Media Magic, our digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at:

Media Magic Publishing.

or amazon.com’s new feature called “Author Central” to view:

Mayr’s Author Page.

References:

Baack, D. (2012). Management Communication. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Berry, M. A. (2013). Breaching Communication Barriers (Vol. 2). (C. Angela, Ed.) USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

Transmitting Persuasive Messages

Published May 27, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

summer break

SUMMER BREAK EDITION

(Originally posted –  October 2014)

The main objective of a persuasive argument is a successful outcome. In his book, Organizational Behavior, Donald Baack suggests that persuasion is used to urge, influence, or convince an individual(s) thoughts or actions.  In order for a persuasive transmission to be effective and positive however, the transmitter should have knowledge of the receiving audience, identify the messenger’s objectives as well as the objectives of the recipient, present persuasive evidence, keep the argument simple, listen carefully to objectives and responses, and keep personal emotions under control (Baack, 2012). That is a lot of information to absorb, but very effective for individuals that find themselves in a situation that requires the implementation of communicating a persuasive message.

boss employee

Communication, whether persuasive or not, and how one communicates that message to a manager, peer, or subordinate, highly depends on the situation and the relationship between each individual. Obviously communicating with your boss requires different communication skills than transmitting a message to a head strong teenager. Throughout my career, the times I was typically placed in a situation that required the delivery of a persuasive message was when I was seeking out help or additional resources for a project. In this environment I was required to present a credible reason to justify my needs. For the most part, I have been fortunate that I had very approachable managers or was part of a team where we were able to authentically discuss our problems together and worked hand in hand to achieve our goals. Although the deliverance of communication will vary between an individual and their manager or peers, the key component is establishing a level of trust, ease, and comfort.

Hard transmissions

Typically, all aspects of an organization’s structure flows from the top-down. Each level is represented by individuals with varying roles and responsibilities and may require different levels of communication strategies, especially when sending a persuasive message. This requires the individual delivering the transmission to engage critical thinking in the decision making process as well as comprehend the differences in communicating a message to a supervisor or an associate. In the eBook, Breaking Communication Barriers, my research work takes a closer look at how communication in all directions effects decision making in business organizations including ideas, suggestions, and complaints that flow from lower-ranking to higher-level managers (Berry, 2013). In short, knowing how to prepare a persuasive transmission for a top level manager, which includes the deliberation of the length of the message, would take a different form than communicating to that of a lower ranked staff member, especially about events which affect the company. A sort transmission, for instance, may omit key components that can help support the persuasive position. A message that is too long, on the other hand, can put the audience to sleep.

That’s it for today. Until next time … stay organized!

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For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate. – Margaret Heffernan

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For more information on Media Magic’s digital publications, or to purchase any of our Business Life audio book titles, please visit amazon.com’s new feature called “Author Central” to view:

Mayr’s Author Page.

References:

Baack, D. (2012). Management Communication. San Diego, CA, USA: Bridgepoint Education.

Berry, M. A. (2013). Breaching Communication Barriers (Vol. 2). (C. Angela, Ed.) USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

Developing Great Communication Skills

Published May 8, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

clear-communication

Today we conclude our discussion on the development of effective communication skills. Just as great communication skills can transmit messages successfully, inefficient communication can lead to problems in an organization. For instance, poor transmissions or a lack of communication can lead to employee problems such as low morale, decreased motivation, and in extreme situations can eventually lead to complete breakdowns in companies. One memo, meeting, or even a kind word, could help increase morale, motivation and productivity. Poor communication could lead to mistakes, which in some organizations, could be deadly.

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Those who are gifted communicators can achieve a great deal of success. Take a look at what Oprah has developed and achieved with her communication skills. SW Airlines CEO, Herb Kelleher, also achieved greatness by sharing the company’s purpose, vision, and values with fellow staff members. In my eBook, Breaching Communication Barriers (2013), I explained that communication in a group environment differs from individual communication namely because when more people are involved in the process, more energy is required to absorb everyone’s input (Berry, 2013). In order to transmit messages successfully, leaders must have not only good communication skills, they must also be effective in transmitting them so they are undersood as intended. Plus for the best results, company leaders should be honest and consistent in their communication.

Communication

In his book, Management Communication, Donald Baack (2012) asserts that it can be time consuming for a small set of people seeking to achieve goals in a group setting while they attempt to work through the many differences that exist (Baack, 2012). Anyone with children knows that consistency is a key to parenting, while praise is another effective means to communicate a message. Another significant skill to cultivate, however, is transmitting a message honestly without contaminating the message, or worse, breaking someone’s spirit doing so. To avoid disastrous outcomes, leaders must make sure that their messages are communicated in an open manner that flows through all departments effectively so that staff members have the information they require to make the most effective choices in their decision making process. In conclusion, the most valuable leaders are those whose communication skills make a positive, long lasting difference in the company when they transmit their messages.

Well, that’s it for this week. Thanks for stopping by! Until next time … stay organized!

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“The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.” – Nicola Tesla

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Perfect for graduation

For more information on Media Magic’s digital publications, or to purchase any of our Business Life audio book titles, please visit amazon.com’s new feature called “Author Central” to view:

Mayr’s Author’s Page

References:

Baack, D. (2012). Management Communication. San Diego, CA, USA: Bridgepoint Education.

Berry, M. A. (2013). Breaching Communication Barriers (Vol. 2). (C. Angela, Ed.) USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

The Communication Process

Published May 4, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Communication skills are important from cradle to grave. How we articulate our ideas during this time period are important, especially in today’s business sector. The foundation of successful communication, particularly in a professional arena, depends on who the encoder and decoder of the message is as well as the importance of the message being transmitted. In his book, Management Communication, Donald Baack (2012) points out that every type of organization, whether it is profit-seeking, nonprofit, or a government agency, interacts with a series of individuals and groups which affects its operations, therefore, it is important to understand who these groups are before exploring how they communicate with one another (Baack, 2012). Once the audience is determined, leaders must understand the best form of communication to engage in.

nonverbal cues

It is equally significant that they are aware of the two modes of communication — verbal and nonverbal, as well as the several different venues to execute their message effectively. In my ebook Breaching Communication Barriers (also available on audiobook) I explained the importance of assessing our own message transmitting skills as a means to help us comprehend how to communicate more effectively (Berry, 2013). This is especially significant in the hiring process because issues of miscommunication can become costly. Therefore, the ideal candidate would be someone that could perform the duties required for the job, as well as display good communication skills.

Broken Communication

The main reason today’s leaders want recruiters to focus on a candidate’s good communication skills, is because today’s economy is rapidly evolving around technology and communication. Technological advances have provided companies improvement in production and different innovations within the company. As a result, employees are now required to keep up with diversities and social trends to communicate successfully. This is true of any field that requires the transmitting of messages whether with internal employees or the general public.

That’s wraps up our discussion for today. On Wednesday we will look more closely at how great leaders put their communication skills to work. Until then … stay organized!

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“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” –  Nicola Tesla

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For more information on Media Magic’s digital publications, or to purchase any of our Business Life audio book titles, please visit amazon.com’s new feature called “Author Central” to view:

Mayr’s Author’s Page

References:

Baack, D. (2012). Management Communication. San Diego, CA, USA: Bridgepoint Education.

Berry, M. A. (2013). Breaching Communication Barriers (Vol. 2). (C. Angela, Ed.) USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

Persuasive Messages with Successful Outcomes

Published October 17, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair
IAgreeIDisagree

On Wednesday we talked about transmitting a persuasive message. Today’s post takes a closer look at how to do so with successful outcomes. To begin the process, the individual must understand that to create a transmission with the intent of having a successful outcome, it must contain two elements: content and process. In his book, Management Communication, Donald Baack (2012) explains that the content of the message should include the following three components: (a) it should state the point of the message clearly; (b) it should stay focused on a maximum of three main points; and (c) each point must be presented separately and clearly for maximum effect.  In addition, when making a persuasive argument, the key points should also include a careful balance of emotion and logic. This helps create a flow that leads to the intended outcome (Baack, 2012). Equally important when delivering a persuasive message is to make sure the transmission includes credible evidence and that it states the case, proves it, and provides methods for solutions.

To create successful outcomes from the flow the messenger desires, for example, one strategy most often utilized, is known as the AIDA model. It was developed by American advertising and sales pioneer Elias St. Elmo Lewis who also coined the phrase (Suggett, 2013). The AIDA method involves four processes:

  • Attention: Capture attention and draw the audience into the idea;
  • Interest: Maintain interest by making sure members of the audience see the benefit to them;
  • Desire: Help audience members understand how change is beneficial and respond to questions and concerns;
  • Action: Lead the audience to the desired response or behavior.
excited
According to Baack, another form of persuasive message transmission that is often used with success, is called the psychological progressive pattern approach. This method involves a series of structured steps developed specifically to help individuals navigate towards changing their views. The steps in this strategy include: (a) arousal to capture attention, (b) tactics to dissatisfy the receiver to demonstrate a concern or bring attention to the issue, (c) gratification in showing how the solution will resolve the dissatisfying factor, (d) visualization to help the recipient of the transmission see the potential outcome; and (e) include actions that can be taken to support the position.
Explaining mortgage conditions

Other tactics of successful persuasive message transmission involve simpler problem-solving methods that merely require the messenger to: (a) define the problem, (b) explain the problem, including causes and effects, (c) outline and evaluate potential solutions, and (d) provide the most ideal solution. Regardless of which method is employed, the key in achieving successful outcomes when transmitting persuasive messages, is balancing emotion and logic so that the message is delivered as it was intended without causing the recipient to receive it in a way that will merit a defensive or negative response.

Well, that’s a wrap for this week everyone! Thanks for tuning in! Until next time … stay organized!
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Ninety percent of selling is conviction and ten percent is persuasion. – Shiv Khera
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If you are interested in more tips and information on effective communication, pick up a copy of Media Magic’s digital publication Breaching Communication Barriers. To find out more about our other digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at:

References:
Baack, D. (2012). Management Communication. San Diego, CA, USA: Bridgepoint Education.
Suggett, P. (2013). Get to know and use AIDA. Retrieved October 14, 2014, from aboutmoney.com: http://advertising.about.com/od/successstrategies/a/Get-To-Know-And-Use-Aida.htm

Technology Barriers

Published October 3, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

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On Monday’s post we examined communication barriers and the different ways to break through them. During my enrollment in Ashford University’s MBA program, I was in a class called Management Communications with Technology Tools. One of our discussions was focused on the evolution of technology and the huge impact it has had on businesses and organizations. Many of us agreed that it has had a positive impact because it helps businesses run faster with more convenient tools that have a level of programmable intelligence. One student interjected that data has never been transmitted so quickly and communication has never been as sophisticated as it is right now. Our fellow student went on to remind us that rather than having to write data manually on various forms of paper items, communication is now typically transmitted by systems that are automated, digital, or electronic. In addition, businesses relay messages to employees and colleagues via conference calls, face time video, messaging both verbally and with text messaging programs, through smartphones and tablets, the Internet, e-mail, instant messaging, and so on. In my eBook, Breaching Communication Barriers, my research work examines these and other components more closely, including why it is an important leadership tool, and how effective communication skills can help individuals achieve more successful outcomes in their personal and professional relationships.

text-message

Another point my classmate made was that technology can provide us with luxuries that can keep businesses competitive and efficient. However, she also made it clear that there is a downside as well. For example, an organization may have the propensity to lose personal face-to-face contact with staff members due to the convenience of electronic communication channels like email or text messaging. To clarify this position, the student revealed that as a staff member at the Port of Los Angeles, there are people in senior management that have worked at the firm for a number of years but never met because of this component. Her view was that communicating to employees through various network channels including a corporate internal website system, digital memos, and weekly e-mails, was not a sufficient means of contact because it took away the element of creating genuine relationships. In other words, this kind of communication did not support the development of interpersonal relationships.

face-to-face

In his book, Organizational Behavior, Donald Baack (2012) postulates that face-to-face verbal communication offers the richest kind of communication channel, because information is transmitted in the form of verbal cues, facial expressions, bodily movements, appearance, the use of space, the use of time, physical contact, and the potential to supplement messages with other media, such as written notes, symbolic items, and electronic media (Baack, 2012). In other words, without verbal and nonverbal cues that technology does not always capture, communicating a message can become garbled. This may explain why job interviews are usually not conducted by e-mail as these types of meetings require verbal and nonverbal cues such as voice tonality, speaking abilities and skills, appearance, facial expressions, direct eye contact, and how mindful they are of time management. Discovering new ways to break through communication barriers is an ongoing learning experience that continues to evolve with technological advances.

300 blog congrats

Well that wraps things up for this week. Today’s blog publication marks a new milestone for me as this is my 300th post in this series on organizational management! A warm thank you to everyone that is a part of this journey and a special note of thanks to those of you that have been with me from the beginning!  I am deeply grateful for your support and friendship.

Have a great weekend everybody … and stay organized!

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The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said. – Peter Drucker

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acelerated learning ebboks ad Aug 2014

For more information on Media Magic, our digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at:

Media Magic Publishing.

References:

Baack, D. (2012). Organizational Behavior. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Berry, M. A. (2013). Breaching Communication Barriers (Vol. 2). (C. Angela, Ed.) USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.