To these we can also add gender differences40, status differences (for example boss vs. subordinate) and interference of nonverbal communication factors (for example smell as a personal physical characteristic).
Now what can a manager do to overcome these and as such be effective in his communication? If we know that an average manager spends 80% of his or her time communicating in one form or another (10% writing, 15% reading, 25% listening and 30% speaking), communication is affecting a company in every possible way ("How to be an effective manager", 2000, p. 14). Therefore effective communication is of extreme importance.
Robbins (2001, pp. 302-304) mentions 8 rules by which the barriers can be bridged:
Use feedback: question the receiver to know if he understood the message in the way it was intended.
Simplify language: choose words and structure your messages in ways that will make those messages clear and understandable to the receiver.
Listen actively: this means an active search for meaning, in opposite to passively hearing
Contrain emotions: when emotionally upset, refrain from communication until u have regained composure.
Watch nonverbal cues: to ensure that the receiver conveys the desired message.
Empathize with others: put yourself in the shoes of your listeners. This way you're more likely to see things from their perspective. Then you can choose the proper channel and the right words to transfer your message (cfr. infra).
Use multiple channels: this increases clarity because (1) it stimulates different senses and (2) it takes into account that people have different abilities to absorb communication.
Match your words and actions: actions speak louder than words. When nonverbal messages contradict official messages as conveyed in formal communications, people become confused and the official message loses its focus.
Tailor the message to the audience: different people in the organization have different information needs. Individuals in organizations vary in the type of information they need to know, their preferred channel for receiving the information, and their understanding of language, so you should take this into account and tailor your message to your audience.
Remember the value of face-to-face communication when dealing with change: as we shall seeimmediately, some channels are more rich than others. Especially in times of uncertainty, it is appropriate to use a rich channel to convey ambiguous and nonroutine messages.
Channels: understand that some channels have different effects on different audiences.
To conclude, I want to give some additional information to these last two. As a manager in the 21st century, you can make use of a wide variety of communication methods thanks to the rapid progression in information technology. These include: face-to-face, telephone, group meetings, formal presentations, memos, traditional mail, employee publications, bulletin boards, audio and videotapes, hot lines, electronic mail, computer conferencing, voice-mail, teleconferences, and videoconferences. As a manager, it is of crucial importance that you select the appropriate method/channel to communicate a specific message. Recent research has found that channels differ in their capacity to convey information. Some are rich in that they have the ability to (1) handle multiple cues simultaneously, (2) facilitate rapid feedback, and (3) be very personal. Attachment 2 shows us the hierarchy of channel richness. The rule to choose one channel above another depends then on the fact of whether the message is routine or nonroutine. For example firing a person by sending him/her an e-mail isn't quite effective. Instead, sending an e-mail to let him know that he/she's invited for a personnel party this Saturday do is so.
As a conclusion we can say that effective communication is of extreme importance if you want to be an effective manager. However, this doesn't mean that good communication skills alone make succesfull managers. We do can say that f the suggestions made here to communicate effective are applied in a correct manner, then a lot of problems for a manager can be avoided and surely the company as a whole will benefit from this.
Decveloping Trust inside the organization
Ethics and values have always been an important part of business, but they are now looked at more closely as there have been many instances where they were not adequately defined. According to Szwajkowksi in "The Myths and Realities of Research on Organizational Misconduct", managerial ethics are "principles that guide the decisions and behaviors of managers with regard to whether they are right or wrong in a moral sense."41 Because not every manager and individual follows the same principles, ethical dilemmas occur. It is crucial for a manager to first develop a list of core values for himself in order to be consistent in his business practices. As a manager handles each situation with these values, trust is built.
It is difficult to decide which values a manager should pay more attention to. According to Stephen Robbins's in "The Essentials of Organizational Behavior" trust is defined as a "positive expectation that another will not – through words, actions or decision -- act opportunistically".42 He goes on to present that trust is multi-dimensional and therefore encompasses a vast range of values within it. The Five Dimensions of trust that he mentions are as follows:
Integrity: honesty and truthfulness
Competence: Technical and interpersonal knowledge and skills
Consistency: Reliability, predictability, and good judgement
Loyalty; Willingness to protect and save face for a person
Openness: Willingness to share ideas and information freely43
By developing each of these qualities, a manager will encourage a trustworthy environment in his relationships with his employees as well as his superiors.
As Robbins suggests, trust is something that we expect as the outcome from a person through our experiences with them. Over time, we get a sense of how that person behaves and acts accordingly to our behavior. Trust is a rather sensitive issue to most people and requires that managers act appropriately to gain the trust needed to lead effectively. It is dangerous to lose trust of an employee as they may not respect your judgment without it.
Managers who want to engage in trustworthy relationships with their workers, according to Robbins's guidelines, must follow certain practices that show integrity, competence and consistency.44 Without these three characteristics, all aspect of trust becomes meaningless. The normal day to day actions of a manager affect the level of trust that each employee will have in him/her.
Managers of different levels and cultures prioritize trust differently. This is evident when evaluating how managerial decisions can build trust through the Managerial Linkage System. In "Managerial Leadership at Twelve O'Clock" Charles Kerns, describes that on one end of the managerial scale is an untrustworthy manager who accomplishes his goals with lies and deception to obtain the numbers. On the other end of the scale is a manager who uses the trust of his workers to accomplish the same numbers. It is clear that the untrusting manager is taking a shortcut through the managerial system from 12-9 and the trusting manager has taken the time and effort to move along from 12-3-6-9 as shown in the figure below.45