Communication At Work

There are two quite distinct views of how communication works in any organisation. Look at the definitions and features and see which one you practice the most.

  1. The Arrow
  • Managers believe that communication operates one way, as in firing an arrow.
  • If you have a clear message, then you will communicate.
  • On the positive side, arrow managers may well spend some time working out their ideas and making sure that their messages and instructions are as specific as possible.
  • It can be dangerous to see listeners as simply passive processors of information.
  • It is difficult to construct messages which are absolutely unambiguous.
  • Arrow managers can also be insensitive to possible ambiguities in what they say and how they say it.
  1. The Circuit
  • Managers concentrate on communication as a two-way process, emphasizing the importance of feedback.
  • They usually emphasize the importance of good listening and trust in relationships.
  • Managers can overemphasize agreement and fail to recognize real differences in views within the workplace.
  • Managers may assume that disagreement is simply a matter of poor communication and that more communication will almost automatically lead to agreement.

Perhaps there might be a better way?

  1. The Dance
  • Communication is used for a variety of purposes and issues – not one size fits all.
  • Communication is valued by all concerned and is not used as a tool to harm/damage the other party with.
  • There are strict rules and conventions to follow in how communication is structured, sent and managed to ensure maximum effectiveness and efficiency of the message.

So how do you measure up?

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