Summary Chapter 10: Communicating for Results 1. Communication is a social process involving the transfer of information and understanding. The links in the communication process include sender, encoding, medium, decoding, receiver, and feedback. Noise is any source of interference. According to the Lengel-Daft contingency model, media richness is determined by the amount of information conveyed and learning promoted. Rich media such as face-to-face communication are best for nonroutine problems. Lean media such as impersonal bulletins are suitable for routine problems. 2. Clampitt’s communication continuum explains how the five basic strategies are not equally effective. The Spray & Pray and Withhold & Uphold strategies are generally ineffective and should be avoided. The Tell & Sell and Identify & Reply strategies should be used sparingly. Managers need to use the Underscore & Explore strategy as much as possible. Media richness needs to be as high as possible if the preferred communication strategies are to be effective. 3. The unofficial and informal communication system that sometimes complements and sometimes disrupts the formal communication system has been labeled the grapevine. A sample of managers surveyed about it had predominantly negative feelings toward the grapevine. Recognizing that the grapevine cannot be suppressed, managers are advised to monitor it constructively. Nonverbal communication, including facial, gestural, and postural body language, accounts for most of the impact of face-to-face communication. Managers can become more effective communicators by doing a better job of receiving and giving nonverbal communications. 4. Upward communication can be stimulated by using formal grievance procedures, employee attitude and opinion surveys, suggestion systems, an open-door policy, informal meetings, Internet chat rooms, and exit interviews. 5. E-mail, supposedly a real time saver, has quickly become a major time waster. Organizations need to create and enforce a clear e-mail policy to improve message quality and curb abuses. Cell phone users need to be discreet and courteous to avoid broadcasting privileged information and/or offending others. Videoconferencing restricts how people communicate because televised contacts are more mechanical than face-to-face meetings. While telecommuting can reduce travel time and expense and offer employment to nontraditional employees, it severely restricts normal social contact and face-to-face communication in the workplace. 6. Listening does not get sufficient attention in communications training. Active, cooperative listening is to be encouraged. Writing skills are no less important in the computer age. Written messages need to be specific, simply worded, and concise. Meetings, an ever-present feature of organizational life, need to be agenda-driven if time is to be used wisely.
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