Reflection: The Role of Effective Communication in the Workplace

This output is from my essay requirement in Literature Class, Aug 2017.

Workplaces are spheres of human society where productivity and complexity must co-exist. One of the utmost essences of work is to bring order to disorder and to become successful in the workplace, a worker must be wise in navigating the complex system of human connections. A worker is to be productive by virtue of the responsibilities expected of him, to accomplish tasks while maintaining the ebb and tides of networks, to honor chains of command and to be responsible in sustaining relationships.

Since relationships are primarily shaped by communication, a wise worker will thoughtfully develop his communication skills and consistently grow that skill. One must ask himself, “how can I become a better communicator?”, “What are the good elements I have to consistently integrate so I can be an effective messenger?”

Since communication is a two-way process, there are a lot of factors involved. Boiling down to the essentials, here are three elements which I think detrimental in order for a communication process to be successful:

1. Clarity

First, is the element of clarity. Communication, as Merriam-Webster defines it, is the act or process of exchanging information between individuals through a system of signs, symbols or behavior. Good communication equates to a good exchange of information. A study found out that regular and effective communication improves workers’ productivity, commitment and performance(1).

In order to achieve clarity, the workplace must first promote understandable exchange of messages across the different kinds of media or platforms. Clarity of communication is not just achieved in the spoken realm, but must also be unambiguous in the written and non-verbal realms. In today’s post-modern society, clarity is a top priority as we transition to advanced technological mediums such as digital or virtual.

Workers have to have the skills and tools in creating clear messages. They must be forward-looking towards any possible miscommunication that may arise from the information which they unleashed and must be proactive in order to avoid such confusions. They must also have the tenacity to organize or reorganize flow of thoughts so that their message will be understood according to their desired intent and expected context. They must be prudent in selecting the right vocabulary and using the right dynamics.

An effective worker, then, has to be skillful in making sure of the clarity of his communications to avoid miscommunication among his recipients. A clear communicator is a successful communicator.

2. Knowledge

The second element is knowledge. There will be no effective communication if the messenger is not aware of the facts of his message. As the old saying goes, “knowledge is power.” Without knowledge, there is no power or authority.

When a workplace values the culture of continuing knowledge, training and development, the business climate creates a core of common ideas, motivations, concepts and most of all, knowledge. This will then lead to the development of common skills, experiences, challenges and bonds. An organizational structure whose top-level positions share values, skills and knowledge to their workers are more likely able to create a culture of effectivity and productivity.

When the communication within the organization lacks important details, are ambiguous and does not allow genuine dialogue, the morale of employees plummet(2). Workers feel empowered when their leader is equipped within the field of work they are in. As a result, trust and confidence are solidified between one another.

Inadequate, incompetent and insensitive communication due to lack of knowledge affects the motivation of employees. Poor and unprofessional communication severely increase stress levels in the workplace leading to absenteeism(3).

3. Character

The third and most important element is character. Character is the sum of a person’s inner motivations, drives and imaginations. It is the root beneath the trunk. Character is who we are in the dark. Without a good character, all the rest of the elements fall to ruin. Character is composed of positive traits such as trust, friendliness, hospitality, humor, listening, non-verbal gestures, consideration and much more. It’s the spring by which everything flows from.

Without the proper character, there will only be clarity without consideration, facts without fellowship, presentation without power. Clarity and knowledge will be of no sense if character is poor. Even though we speak with the tongues of great orators or communicate like a bombastic debater, without character, we are nothing.

There are no other entities responsible for communication barriers and misconduct than human beings. Hence the phrase, “For I am only human.” To overcome such barriers requires something that overcomes the human heart and shape it to a better mould.

That’s why even Solomon said “keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life”4. He acknowledged that the source of all of life’s outcomes come from it. And when the heart is changed, life is changed. Solomon knew that himself for there was a time he failed to do so which led to his failure and collapse of his kingdom. But the good news is that hundreds of years of later, a man came and successfully rescued and changed human hearts.

An unguarded character will produce unsatisfactory signals of communication both verbal and non-verbal. To attend to the needs of the inner man always produce better returns because it will impact the totality of the communication channels of an individual.

Communicating effectively creates impact both in the workers and in the workplace itself. Substandard communication could lead to poor performance, incidence of injuries, dampened innovation and lower morale5.

Therefore, companies and individuals have to invest time in putting significant attention to the clarity of their communications, their knowledge of the subject and the thoughts and recesses of their inner man.

References

  1. Femi, Festus ASAMU (2014). Department of Sociology, Landmark University, Nigeria. The Impact of Communication on Workers’ Performance in Selected Organisations in Lagos, Nigeria. IOSR Journal Of Humanities And Social Science (IOSR-JHSS) Volume 19, Issue 8, Ver. II
  2. Business Performance. Accessed 25 August, 2017 http://www.businessperform.com/workplace-communication/poor-communication-costs.html
  3. OPTUM. Why Communication Practices are Important in the Workplace. https://intranet.ecu.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/501634/Communication-practices-for-managers-Jan15.pdf Accessed 25 August, 2017
  4. Proverbs 4:23 ESV
  5. Shepell fgi, https://www.shepellfgiservices.com/research/stats.asp, Accessed January 23, 2014
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