Communicate Effectively with the Right Selection of Message
Posted by Dr.DRP Chandra Sekhar, Asst.Professor, HBS, GITAM University
If we want to communicate effectively, we should take care of the different components of the communication process. In an organization, a manager has to be all the more careful about his/her communication, because obviously, the impact of communication from a responsible person will be more.
Whenever we communicate, we encode the thought in our mind into some signals of language. If the language is erratic (that is, if the encoding is faulty), the communication has less chance of succeeding. The faulty signals we may use may communicate a meaning other than what we intend. Further, to communicate we need to use a channel. The channel may be face to face, telephone, a newspaper, or a public presentation. Choice of an appropriate channel for the message we are planning to deliver is a skill that a manager has to master. Though this choice is unconscious most often, in times of crisis, it becomes crucial. It makes a difference to the effectiveness of the message whether you speak directly or send a mail or post it on a blog.
Message itself is an important component of the communication process. Messages have the property of giving rise to multiple meanings to multiple people. A manager needs to reduce the complexity or controversial nature of the message in deference to the sentiments of the intended audience. Out of an array of messages that occur to a manager in any given context, the manager should choose the one that is appropriate. For example, you should not communicate a threatening message when you are not intending to make a threat, or when threat may likely to fail as a strategy. Selection of right message thus becomes a crucial part of our efforts at effective communication.
The recent gaffe of Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, at Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, is a case in point. By the time, he clarified his intended message (read: correct choice of message) on Microsoft blog, the damage has been done. His naive remark about the “superpower” of women and their “good karma” invited uproar globally, thanks to the super-active social media. That he made the comment as a spontaneous and unprepared response does not help his case. In a managerial role, the selection of right message, may have to be made often at a lightning speed. This requires on part of the manager a carefully cultivated sensitivity to the dynamics of the communication process.
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