Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hidden Data of Communication - Prof.M.S.Rao

“Who told you to hand over the resumes to Jim?” shouted Susan. Ron replied, “You told me when I asked”. Susan was infuriated and said, “I did not tell you to hand over to Jim but to John”. Ron responded, “You told me to hand over the resumes to HR manager and Jim is the HR manager and, therefore, I handed over to him. Why do you shout at me now? Is it a big issue worth shouting?” Susan shouted, “Stop talking all that you don’t know how to behave with others. Your behaviour is very bad.” Ron didn’t want to hurt Susan and coolly said, “Tell me, in which way my behaviour is bad so that I can correct myself.”

That was the heated conversation between Susan and Ron who were working in an organization where Ron and Susan work together. Ron did not know that Jim and Susan does not gel each other as they don’t enjoy amicable relations. Besides, there was communication gap between Susan and Ron in the office.

One of the reasons for failed communication is that people develop filters where the listener takes only what is required thereby discarding the vital information in communication given by the speaker.

Second reason is that information is not communication as any communication should have an element of feedback. No communication is effective and complete until the given instructions are confirmed. Susan failed to take feedback to her instructions. She should have asked, “Ron, I hope you understood the information”.

Thirdly, there is difference between assuming and presuming during communication. Susan assumed that Ron would hand over resumes to John whereas Ron presumed that the resumes were to be handed over to HR manager, Jim.

Fourthly, in every organization we find some people not getting on well with others due to personal preferences and tastes and temperaments. However, it is essential to keep personal preferences away from professional duties. Otherwise, the communication in organization would break down.

Above all, Susan has the attitude of ‘I am the boss’ which created attitude of ‘So what’ in Ron. Susan and Ron also don’t gel with each other as it was rumored that she troubled several colleagues whenever they had to work on projects in the organization. Ron too would have worked with Susan in a project and subsequently Ron withdrew and replaced Susan with another person with whom he was comfortable to work with. Susan also heard in the office that Ron was a difficult person to handle as he was adamant by nature. All these things led to heated conversation between Susan and Ron. In fact, something bugged Susan and she exploited the situation to tame Ron but failed.

There is hidden data in communication such as feelings, emotions and egos which needs to be observed in the given context. One needs intelligence to read the feelings and emotions of individuals which will affect the communication process. Therefore, next time when you come across with any conflict at workplace look for hidden data of communication to read between the lines and avert conflicts.

The End

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