This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Much has been written
about the importance
of communication in
business. In any type of
communication - downward,
upward, lateral, or diagonal
- there are inherent
difficulties or barriers that
the office manager should
recognise and overcome.
A common breakdown in
communication occurs
when the sender fails to
transmit the message
intended for those who
should receive it. In turn,
many people for whom
a message is intended
either do not receive it or
receive a distorted version.
This article examines
Surmounting Hurdles To
several barriers to effective
communication and
Effective
points out ways to reduce
communication breakdown.
Communication
Barrier 1 - Differences in Perception yet the most neglected dimension of whole story, without evaluation, she might
communication. To understand the worker’s have understood Daniel’s frame of reference
Each office worker is unique and brings
perceptions, the office manager should try to and effectively worked with her in mutually
to the job a unique perception - a way
listen to the entire message before evaluating solving the problem.
of interpreting situations based on the
its contents.
individual’s personal experiences. Thus,
Barrier 2 - Differences in Semantics
the employees’ perceptions determine the For example, Jean Daniel, head of the
manner in which they interpret whatever computer centre, informs her boss, Kathleen Semantics is the study of word meanings
they see or hear. Often, because of their Simon, that there is no way to meet the and their effect upon human behaviour.
differing value systems, older office workers deadline for producing the year-end reports How often have you heard statements such
are unable to “tune in” on the younger unless more help is made available. Simon as: “Don’t worry about it; it’s just a matter of
workers’ “wave length” and thus experience hears only the first part of the message - no semantics,” or “The difficulty is that we have
difficulty in communicating. way to meet the deadline - and quickly a problem in semantics”?
perceives how top management will
By listening, office managers can learn
react to the delay and its effect upon her
Since the meaning of words may be
much about how employees perceive the
performance. Here, Simon seems more
interpreted differently by the sender and the
office environment and the emotional
interested in immediately evaluating a part
receiver, a barrier to communication may
states they may be experiencing. Listening
of the message than listening to the entire
be created. Often, there is no connection
is probably the most important and
communication. Had Simon listened to the
between the symbol (the word) and what
66 | BusinessFocus • August/September 2008
Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79