Essay on Barriers to effective communication in a group:
Effective communication is very significant for the determination of the company’s trend. It is important to note that effective communication fosters the attainment of the group’s preset goals. Conversely, miscommunication leads to delivery of invalid information hence decline in the productivity of the group. In severe cases, lack of effective communication promotes misunderstanding between the involved parties thus may end up in conflicts. In order for communication to hold and be effective, the mode of information transmission ought to be reliable, and this will deem complete upon the reception of the feedback. However, it is difficult to attain effective communication owing to various barriers that deem detrimental. The management of every organization should enact policies governing communication within the hierarchy of the group to avert the encroaching barriers.
Lack of trust
Trust is one of the fundamental elements of any successful team. As highlighted, the level of trust progresses positively or negatively in each interaction amongst members of a given group (Robbins and Tim 316). When trust cease to exist between various parties within the group, then the information may not reach the intended destination in its original form. Lack of trust hinders the communication process in the sense that some group members may distort some information aimed at enhancing communication. This implies lack of trust is an impetus to information distortion and manipulation that lead to miscommunication hence making the organization less effective. Trust instills confidence amongst the group members hence the increased openness amongst the group members. This boosts the efficiency of the communication.
A sender may intentionally manipulate information so that it appears favorable. For instance, when a manager tells his/her boss exactly what he feels, the boss may opt to hear only what he wants. This attitude tends to flow with the level at which an employee is in the hierarchy of the organization. However, filtering sometimes occurs in are status differences. Reasons of fear of conveying displeasing news and the effort of pleasing the boss forces employees often to convey only the message that they think their superiors want to hear. This distorts upward communications (Robbins and Tim 316).
Selective perception and perceptual barriers
An employee on the receiving end might capitalize on selective perception whereby he/she contributes to communication based on their respective current needs, motivations, experience, background, and some other personal characteristics. Likewise, receivers project their own interests and personal expectations into communications when decoding information. In some cases, the inferiority complex amongst the junior members of the organization may deter them from delivering the actual information to their senior counterparts in management owing to their fear of being fired.
Our mind has a limited data processing capacity. In situations when we are bombarded with much information exceeding the processing capacity, this causes information. This becomes a barrier of communicating since people can only manage a limited amount of information. It is apparent that, the levels of understanding amongst the group members vary significantly. Some modes of communication therefore may deem ineffective owing to some members of the organization owing to their differences in various perspectives that may include education level, physical disparities, and other factors.
Emotional status of an employee can cause one to interpret a given message in a different perspective. Some of the emotional disruptions are anger and depression. One can have a different interpretation to similar information when angry and when happy. Emotions in the work place may lead to withdrawal of an employee and distrust. In cases of anger, an employee can cause harm to others and become less productive.
It important to note that, various organizations draw its membership from persons of different cultural backgrounds such as race, ethnicity, and religion. Some of the organization members may find difficult to fathom the official language embraced by the organization. This is mainly due to the language barrier. The use of some anecdotes may mean differently to a faction of the group members. This is highly witnessed when employees get used to abbreviations. Language barrier is common especially due to the different age groups in the work place. This results to inefficient flow of information, and at times, it may result in misunderstanding among the employees.
Any rational employer should not ignore silence since it means absence of information on the ongoing operations in an organization. Therefore, it is important for the management of the organization to encourage feedback from its members regarding client satisfaction, job satisfaction, and other feedbacks with respect to their notices and press releases. Silence means no communication at all. Employees, who decide to go silent about what they are going through, may also suffer psychological stress. The senior management should encourage downward communication, job satisfaction and to solve the problem of intimidation. It is apparent that silence is less where the management holds the opinions of the minority with high esteem (Robbins and Tim 316).
Poor communication channels
Members of a given group can send and receive information in several ways; different types of messages need different types of communicating channels, with factors of time and distance. Some communication media are more effective compared to others; given the situation. Some channels of communication may deem slow hence untimely delivery of the information. Normally, the face-to-face (FTF) medium of communication is the most reliable means to ensure the correct perception of the information.
California Pizza Kitchen scenario
The effectiveness of communication has been significantly interfered with, at the California Pizza Kitchen, which is an established fast food company. It is apparent that the company is a global leader in fast foods. The locations of the company’s branches mainly dwell in the flight destinations and stopovers globally. Therefore, most of the company’s customers are diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, and religious backgrounds among other factors. Recently, the company has reported a significant decline in its profits owing to decreased customers. The main cause of this is that the company has not been able to meet the demands of their customers because its employees are drawn from the USA and thus do not understand the expression of its customers whose native languages are not English with regard to tastes and preferences. It is also evident that there is a gap between the management of California Pizza Kitchen and its junior employees. This is attributed to poor communication channels between the top management of the company and its junior employees. Mostly, the managers use the notice board to communicate with the company’s employees. This is ineffective in the sense that its employees hardly find time to check on the notice boards. This has led to the failure of the employees to respond to the demands made by the management through the issuance of the notices. Therefore, the development of cold relationship between the management and the junior employees is simmering hence denting the performance and reputation of the company (Robbins, Judge, Millett, and Waters-Marsh 253)
Overcoming the barriers
Lack of trust
In order to address miscommunication that accrues because of this barrier, the management of the organization should capacity build its members by carrying out education workshops on a regular basis. This fosters the team building and inculcation of trust among the group members. By engaging the members in get-together parties and motivational trips, the members will be able to share ideas hence gain trust amongst themselves. During these meetings, the junior members will be able to interact with their managers hence get rid of the allayed fear whilst gaining trust. Communication in this case will be smooth and effective due to high level of trust amongst the group members.
Silence and poor communication channels
Silence means there is a lack of feedback to sender regarding disseminated information. The management of the organization should encourage its members to acknowledge the reception of the information disseminated and to provide feedbacks promptly. In order to avert silence, the management should involve all members in coming up with the most appropriate channels of communication that deems fit for members to receive the information and provide the feedback in a timely manner. By involving all members, the management will identify and do away with the poor communication channels.
The management of the organization should enact policies regarding the employee behaviors and the formal language embraced by the company. The full understanding of the formal language recommended by the company should be part of the hiring requirements. This will alleviate miscommunication resulting from the language barrier.
Emotional factors and information filtering
Depending on the nature of the information to be disseminated, the management of the organization should monitor the moods of the intended recipients before passing the information. In some cases, guidance and counseling of the intended recipients is necessary to prepare them for the negative impacts the information may have on them. Information filtering is therefore, not necessary.