Communication within Departments (intra-Departments)
Communication is wiring of entire organisation through which electricity (or words) are passed.
Communication is a medium of language or conveying words.
Communication means expressing the thoughts by one person to another in such a manner that the other person understands 100% what the first one intends to convey. If it is less than 100%, then, another person fills the balance through his / her knowledge bank and starts filtering of original information.
Communication need not be through words and even body movements (hand / eye) and expressions can also convey the same, e.g. if I want to drink the water, I can convey this intention through words or eye / hands movement or through expression. Communication gets complete when the purpose of drinking water is solved.
Communication in the organisational context
- Communication is an important human value;
- Impossible to work in the organisation without communication;
- Starting from morning when we wish “Good Morning!!!” to others in the organisation, the process of communication begins → “what if we don’t wish others?” → indifference in the entire team builds in → simple words but if avoided create large meanings;
- Instructions passing to juniors;
- Discussion with fellow members;
- Discussions in Meetings;
- Communication with vendors / customers / other stakeholders;
- Instruction feeding in machines (communication with machines);
- Websites / product catalogues / advertisements / promotion campaigns.
- Quite sometimes, we say “we wanted to convey THIS to him but he didn’t get THIS and created his own meaning” → execution of work in an un-intending manner → result → discussed in next paras.
- Unless users understand 100% same of each-other’s language → delays & extra cost & may be more.
Why communication fails?
- Human has been gifted with language by Mother Nature → Language consists of words, expressions and body movements (eyes / hands, etc.);
- Words are the most incomplete medium
- each word can have different meaning according to usage by a person or culture or context in which the same used;
- words create more confusion than expressions and body movements.
- Perception about particular words or traits of another person
- perception is the result of our past experience;
- our past governs the present while we face or analyse the present moments;
- we create meanings out of present interactions, (e.g. I may have encountered experience where seniors / bosses play unfair practices resulting into my perception that ‘bosses are bad and can’t be relied upon’ → this perception would create many different meanings from interactions with my present boss even if he / she works professionally in a fair manner).
- Present state of mind
- The person may be in a state of emergency (say, rushing to hospital) → any communication in this state would fail.
- Intentions of the person
- Person with bad intentions would spoil the further communication OR implement in an incorrect manner;
- Observe the body movements of the listening person → the person would not be listening what you want to convey.
Results of poor communication
- Message not reaching the other person in the manner conveyed (not 100% communication) → Default in delivery of information;
- Delayed projects impacting profits (e.g. the project site office may be asking for socket with diameter of 12 mm but receiving of 14 mm from store → project would get delayed unless the correct one would be received);
- Default in product delivery to customers / other departments;
- Increased process time / costing
- Frustration and bad health are also results of defaults;
- Creation / furtherance of bad perceptions about the person → impacting future communication (as discussed in previous topic);
- Rumours (i.e. circulating what is not present);
- Reputation loss impacting future sales, funds sources, credibility, etc.
Establishing Good Communication
Following practices are important even if these may appear to be obvious:
- Step-by-step break-up
- Break the entire project in sub-projects;
- List out smaller milestones to be achieved.
- Written instructions better than oral instructions
- Less confusion about the written words.
- Involving all concerned persons
- Involve all decision makers in the discussion loop so that everybody knows the present status of communication;
- In email conversations also, the entire concerned persons must be kept in the loop → no confusion regarding the present status.
- Each word can have different meaning according to usage by a person or culture or context in which the same used;
- Choice of words very crucial → don’t use inappropriate words.
- Check the present state of the person
- Whether other person is comfortable in discussion and has no emergency of urgent work-in-hand or family, etc.?
- Conveying the purpose of the work and end-results
- Begin communication by conveying the purpose of communication to the other person;
- Purpose brings clarity of the discussion;
- Once the end-result in sight, the listener engages in the discussion more.
- Involvement in the discussion
- Involve the other person in the discussion → don’t let be a one-way communication;
- Involvement brings listener in on-going analysing the discussion points.
- Observing body language of the person
- The body remains normal when it is comfortable in the surroundings but react adversely otherwise;
- Observe whether other person is still listening or got lost somewhere;
- Observe whether he / she has lost interest in the talk or started yawning.
- Cross verifying from the listener what he / she heard or understood;
- Summarising the discussion in the end.
- Check the progress
- Check the status of work on-going for:
- Whether the person understood the project clearly?
- Whether the project would complete by due date?
- Whether agreed steps have been followed by the person?
- Whether the projects steps need modifications to achieve the results in better manner?