Communication

All posts tagged Communication

Breaching the Communication Gap

Published January 24, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

Broken Communication

Communication skills are an integral component in the organizational management process because it influences how we receive as well as how we deliver messages. This in turn helps us understand our organization’s purpose, the culture, as well as how we respond to and support our colleagues. Knowing how to communicate concisely, without criticizing or setting off the defense mechanisms of others, is an important element in organizational management. Highly successful leaders, for example, engage in a level of communication that motivates top performances and inspires team members and partners to become better people. The most effective leaders, in fact, are those that lead by example, delegating responsibilities and duties in a way that motivates and values staff members.

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Recruiters target their search for effective leaders with good communication skills because they know these are the potential ring masters who will lead their team enthusiastically to successful outcomes. In addition, top recruiters seek individuals in leadership positions with the potential to help staff members: (a) feel confident about themselves;, (b) accept them for who they are, (c) focus on their strengths and talents, (d) praise them for their hard work, and (e) value their talents and what they bring to the organization. In other words, companies are looking for strong leaders that are not only compassionate in their acknowledgement of weaknesses in others, but they also help them work through their challenges with dignity while praising their strengths.

To read more about breaching the communication gap, please read the article at the amazon.com link below:

 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G05W5QQ

Thanks everyone! In the meantime, be on the lookout next Friday for another article!

Until then … stay organized!

Virtual Organizations

Published December 28, 2012 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Technology and globalization play an increasingly important role in the evolution of today’s business environment. Although office face-time played a critical role in corporate settings in the past, the once-rigid boundaries of geography, time and even organizations are now quickly vanishing as members of almost any workplace team are communicating and collaborating regardless of physical location (Duarte & Snyder, 2006). For example, teams that are geographically dispersed rely on technology-mediated communication to accomplish tasks and the degree of virtuality can vary from slight to extreme. Teams that conduct their work through the following three technological devices: (a) email, (b) text messages, and (c) teleconferences never meeting face-to-face, are considered more virtual than a team that meets monthly in person. Teams that span multiple time zones and continents are more virtual than one whose members are located within the same city (Gibson, et al., 2003). These new components in the virtual work environment add complexities that require the development of new managerial skills.

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Virtual teams (VT) work across time, space and organizational boundaries with links strengthened by webs of communication technologies. VT are useful because they can be rapidly brought together to realize a business objective within limited time and resources. VT services are becoming more important today as a result of variety in their underlying business process models (Fong, 2005). Virtual enterprises (VE) share data, information as files, directories, internet bookmarks, databases and more sophisticated tools of knowledge management or a combination of all.

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Organizations that do not utilize virtual team technology may effectively be fighting an uphill battle in global competition in a swiftly changing environment. Institutions will find success in today’s business environment by finding new ways of working across boundaries through systems, processes, technology, and people. VE make technology a valued partner by developing and distributing competitive solutions (Duarte & Snyder, 2006). People working on virtual teams need special skills which include: (a) comprehending human dynamic and performance without the benefit of normal social cues, (b) knowledge of how to manage across functional areas and national cultures, (c) skill in managing their careers and others without the advantage of face-to-face interaction, and (d) the ability to use leverage and electronic communication technology as their primary means of collaboration and communication.

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The technology to enable VE is here. The acceptance of it depends on the willingness of the individuals and organizations to understand the concept and transition in this new approach to organizational management. Coordinating systems that address work practices, management oversight, organizational and cultural influences, are key components in building strategic alliances that will contribute to a company’s growth and success within the virtual organization environment.

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References:

Duarte, D., & Snyder, N. T. (2006). Mastering virtual teams (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Fong, M. (2005). E-Collaborations and virtual organizations. Hershey PA: IRM Press.

Gibson, C., Cohen, S., Alcordo, T., Athanassiou, N., Baba, M., Blackburn, R., . . . Tyran, C. (2003). Teams that work (1st ed.). (C. Gibson, & S. Cohen, Eds.) San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Entertaining Business Presentations

Published December 23, 2012 by Mayrbear's Lair

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In order to build rapport with an audience in a business presentation try to make it as entertaining as you can. First, establish who your audience is and what the potential barriers may be. Next, implement different motivational strategies that include maintaining eye contact, telling stories to personalize the presentation, and employ effective language (Baack, 2012). Also include music as a soundscape with visual aid, use hand gestures, and a variety of vocal intonations; particularly when emphasizing issues of importance. In addition, utilize the entire stage as well as the house to encourage audience participation and feedback.

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On several occasions, I have been hired as a consultant and special effects artist to enrich presentations for other motivational speakers making their events more theatrical and entertaining. For example, around 1990, I was part of a special effects team hired to wow the crowds at one of Tony Robbins two week motivational retreats in Maui.

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As one of the world’s foremost motivational speakers Tony is a dynamic personality and can engage an audience just with his energy and the power of his words. At this particular event, he wanted to make the experience more spectacular for his audience by adding stage theatrics. We set him up with some easy to perform magic tricks to help emphasize a point in certain segments. In other sections we included the use of pyrotechnics and special effects for more dramatic emphasis. To create an unforgettable introduction, we incorporated the use of uplifting music and staged his entrance to make it seem like he appeared out of thin air under the misdirection of the laser lights and a billow of clouds produced from strategically placed smoke machines. Making a presentation theatrical is to me, one of the highlights of putting on a show.

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

Group Communication

Published December 23, 2012 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Communication in a group environment differs from individual communication namely because when more people are involved in the decision making process more effort is required to process everyone’s input. It can be time consuming to reach a conclusion for a small set of people seeking to achieve goals while they work through the differences that exist (Baack, 2012). The same principles apply as when communicating to an individual; participate in active listening; show respect; provide feedback and be honest. When a team is formed for a specific goal, in order to achieve the objectives, effective communication skills are essential.

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There are unique challenges to communicating within a group. First, proper planning can help prevent wasted time and energy. For example, when a group convenes for a specific task, the manager or team leader organizing the group must be specific about the reason for the group’s formation. In addition, providing an agenda and assigning key roles helps maintain order and assists the team in achieving their desired outcome sooner rather than later. A strong individual for instance, can dominate the group and steer them away from the intended agenda. In addition, a person in a gatekeeper role with their own motive can withhold information to keep certain individuals from participating.

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In other instances, one or two motivated and enthusiastic members with more experience in a particular field may carry the work load inadvertently encouraging social loafing from the other participants. As a possible solution when this occurs, the leader or other active members can assign duties to those needing guidance and direction. Creating group cohesiveness is also an important element for the success of achieving team objectives.

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

Conflict and Failure

Published December 23, 2012 by Mayrbear's Lair

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An intragroup conflict I experienced in the workplace occurred as a result over differences in work styles and ethics. Ours was a dysfunctional conflict that hindered our group and organizational performance (Baack, 2012). I entered into a project with two other individuals. My contribution was to produce the product. The responsibilities of others in the group were to organize and establish a database of potential clients and make initial connections to promote and generate interest.

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I maintained communication with the partners during the production process. In the meantime, I inquired about their efforts on marketing ideas and strategies, as well as offered a few suggestions. As the project neared completion, I continued to notice that the responsibilities assigned to the other players were not being addressed. The responses I kept receiving were vague. In other words, very little action had taken place from their end. I grew more frustrated as it become apparent I was the only one contributing.

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The project was completed but never got off the ground because of poor planning and execution. Several attempts were made on my end to communicate ideas to motivate and inspire, but to no avail. All parties were in agreement on the vision. Unfortunately it never came to full fruition because we were not able to agree on and formulate a strategic plan to get it launched. The more I negotiated and reached out for solutions, the more pressure my team mates felt until all communication came to a screeching halt. In conclusion, I entered into a project with people who were not at the same level of commitment or professionalism. We failed because of our inexperience and poor communication skills. We were not able to effectively deliver and receive the information we required to help us achieve success on the project.

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

Active Listening

Published December 23, 2012 by Mayrbear's Lair

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In my experience, most people are not good listeners. My extensive training as a performer emerges when I communicate. I become animated with verbal intonations, hand gestures and body language to communicate a message effectively. That being said, I still have issues in message delivery. The truth is, if someone does not value or want to hear what you have to say, they will not engage in active listening.

Company Policy Book Shows Rules For Employees

Organizations can do a lot to improve the listening skills of employees. When a new recruit is hired it’s customary to go over company policies with them. Some corporations even provide a detailed handbook that outlines acceptable parameters of conduct.

The full article can be viewed on amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G05W5QQ

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Assessing Communication Skills

Published December 22, 2012 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Time after time, I seem to experience situations where communicating to someone clearly feels impossible.  Now that our culture has become more globalized, it is imperative we analyze our communication skills to insure successful delivery and receipt.  Evaluation of message transmitting skills plays a significant role in the development of effective communication.

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To begin, training and experience in communication is extremely important in broadcasting a message effectively.  A person of power who is comfortable in a leadership position, like motivational guru Anthony Robbins, can make communicating seem fun, effortless, and like second nature. In his book Unlimited Power Robbins (1986) states, “What we do in life is determined by how we communicate to ourselves” (p. 8).  He coaches people to develop their use of personal power as a science to personal achievement.  Learning how to assess our communication skills will help us understand how to communicate more effectively so it won’t lead to tainted working and personal relationships.

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In addition, we are not always aware of our own shortcomings.  I recently participated in a short quiz to analyze my communication skills as part of an assignment.  I am delighted the results concluded I’m quite the capable communicator – two points away from what they considered excellent skills.  Quite honestly I’m surprised the result was that favorable. It seems as of late, that effective communication has not been my forte.

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In the professional arena, I seem to manage famously. Issues ensue more frequently on a personal level within my inner circle of friends.  The primary cause of these disruptions is called noise (Baack 2009).  I am beginning to recognize more notably how barrier noise, like a friend texting on a smart phone for example, while we’re conversing, affects our relationships. Furthermore, I can look at these barriers to help me recognize what my own nonverbal cues are transmitting, when I’m not being concise in delivering messages, or aware for that matter how they are received.

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For example, one of the most important relationships in my life is with my teenager.

The entire article is now available and can be viewed in its entirety on Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G05W5QQ

Thank you for your support!