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    Class 6
• Key to any improvement:
  – from task, observer, or from other sources
  – Can be quantitative / qualitative / non verbal
• Why do people hesitate to provide it?
• Why do recipients sometimes ignore it?
• Work backwards from your goal for the target
• Content
  – How much?
  – What to focus on?
• Tone
  – How positive? How negative?
  – How forceful should you be?
            Feedback for TAs
• Help them improve
• Quantitative feedback forms for all three of
  your guest lecturers from last week
• On the back:
  – Choose one TA (Bruce? Farimah? Christa? who
    you remember the most? Who needs the most
  – Write some useful feedback for this person
          Media Richness Theory
          (Daft & Lengel, 1984)
• Channel
  – the medium through which a message travels
• Channel Richness
  – The amount of information that can be transmitted
    during a communication episode
     • Handle multiple cues simultaneously
     • Facilitate rapid feedback
     • Feel “personal”
          Media Richness Theory
Ambiguous                         Clear

Richest        Channel Richness   Leanest

Face to     Phone E-mail Memos, Newsletters,
Face                     letters reports,
talking                          bulletins

 What types of channels are appropriate
 for providing feedback?
• Your colleague is mad because you were not
  very tactful in the feedback that you provided
  – It was in front of his subordinates
  – Looking back, it was actually a little harsh

• So you apologize to him, and say:
  – “I‟m sorry if I hurt your feelings”

• Is this likely to be effective? Can you devise a
  better response?
• What makes a persuasive apology?
  – State what you did wrong
     • Acknowledge what the desired outcome was, and how
       this differs from what actually happened
  – Provide the context for your error
     • Explain what your options were, and why you chose to
       behave the way you did
  – State your assessment of your actions
     • Identify how your behavior measures up to any ethical
       or moral standards
                Will it work?
• Some things in organizations are sacred
• Depends on the organizational history and
  social norms
  – Examples?
• Consequences for violating something sacred
  are extremely serious
              Hiring Exercise
• Read your instructions and information by
• Make your own decisions, by yourself, first
• I will assign a “devil‟s advocate” to the group
• Wait until I give the go-ahead to start your
• What was the group decision?
• Was it unanimous? How long did it take?
• How sure are you of your decision?
       Communication Barriers
• Filtering
  – A sender‟s manipulation of information so that it is
    perceived favorably
  – Especially as information goes “upwards” in an
• Defensiveness
  – Sarcasm, ad hominum attacks
  – Lack of interest in disconfirming information
     • Related to “confirmation bias”
       Communication Barriers
• Selective Perception
  – When information is processed according to the
    receiver‟s existing needs, motivations, experience,
    background, etc.
     • “not letting the facts get in the way of the story”
     • “When you have a hammer, everything looks like a
     • Can become a “self-fulfilling prophecy”
       Communication Barriers
• Devil‟s advocate: did it work?
  – Social identity theory: cohesive “in-groups”
• “Last chance”: did it work?
  – Escalation of commitment
• Prior preparation, voting, other group
  – What is helpful? Not helpful?
         Social Network Theory
              (Burt, 1992)
• Relationships – „who we know‟ vs. „what we
• Our social ties and relationships influence
  every aspect of our social lives
• We are all connected in one way or another

• Not all types of networks are the same
Types of Social Networks
What is a social network?


Are there different types of networks?
   – Resource
   – Information
   – Advice
Resource Networks


• Characteristics
  –   strong ties
  –   mutual, redundant ties
  –   few ties to other networks
  –   „Friends and Family‟ / community of practice
• Advantages? Disadvantages?
Information Networks


• Characteristics
  –   weak ties (Granovetter, 1979)
  –   Boundary spanners (in the middle)
  –   Structural Holes (Burt, 1992)
  –   many ties to other networks
• Advantages? Disadvantages?
Advice Networks
              Senior Manager

              Project Managers

              Senior People or


• Characteristics
  – Often influenced by hierarchy/power & status as
    much as „who knows what‟
  – Elements of both formal and informal organization

• Advantages? Disadvantages?
          Networking exercise
• I will assign you a role (read it quietly by
• Mingle and chat with the other people you
  meet (stay in character!).
• All your behavior has to conform to the usual
  social norms (e.g., be polite and courteous).
          Networking exercise
• How many people did you talk to?
• Did you make any useful contacts?
• What made this exercise easier than it could
  have been?
• What made this exercise difficult?

• What makes someone a successful networker?
• How can you help each other?
                Cerner email
• Form a small group (~5 people) and discuss:
  – What factors may have contributed to this email
    being sent?
  – What are the likely consequences of this email?
  – If you were Neal Patterson, what should you do
• Good intentions are not enough – effective
  managers need to consider
  – How they communicate
  – With whom do they communicate

  – There is no benefit from having an excellent idea if
    the originator cannot “sell” it to the people who
            Goal Setting Articles
•   What was each article arguing?
•   What did you agree with in each article?
•   What did you disagree with in each article?
•   What else could you add to the debate?
•   Overall, what do you believe about goal
           Romance of Teams
• What are the authors arguing in their article?
• What did you agree with?
• What did you disagree with?
• What else could Allen and Hecht have
  included in their article?
• What is your overall assessment?