Communication In The Workplace Essay

2533 words - 10 pages

The average worker spends two-thousand and eighty hours a year at their place of employment. Communication within the workplace is often overlooked or not given as much importance as most people should allow, given the amount of time that is spent there. Beyond the more basic verbal speech, one must be aware of the nonverbal symbols and noise that can have an effect on communication. There are also cultural, environmental and internal factors that can effect communication and how successful it can be. The various perceptions that an individual has developed over their life can also effect communication. One’s ability to communicate effectively will determine the success and enjoyment that is to come from their job.

There are many symbols that people encounter when communicating. In a verbal exchange there are abstract and concrete symbols. A concrete symbols represents a specific object (Hybels & Weaver, 2007, pg. 10). There is little room for a person to interpret a concrete symbol or to put another meaning to this. If, for example, the concrete symbol is a television, there may be different types, but the word will have a common picture in everyone’s mind. Abstract symbols are those which stand for ideas (Hybels & Weaver, 2007, pg. 10). As Hybels and Weaver (2007) state, the way in which these words are understood are based on the experiences of the person interpreting the words ( pg. 10). Take the word love; most people will have different ideas and feelings towards what the word love means. When abstract words are used over concrete words in the workplace, the can allow for more miscommunications or misunderstandings to occur. If one person has a very positive understanding of an abstract word, but the person they are communication with has a negative understanding of that same word based on their life experiences, the communication will ultimately fail due to this misunderstanding. For this reason, it is important for any communicator to be aware of the nonverbal symbols that are being given during any communication. Nonverbal symbols are “ways we communicate without using words; they include facial expressions, gestures, posture, vocal tones, appearance, and so on.” (Hybels & Weaver, 2007, pg 10). These nonverbal symbols are very important for positive, successful communication. “Nonverbal communication is everything that's not a word," says Navarro, author of Louder Than Words, (Bruzzese, 2010). If a client or co-worker is giving back negative nonverbal gestures, such as crossing their arms or rolling their eyes, it may be time to re-explain the point or move on to a new point. If this nonverbal symbol is missed and the communicator continues, this could result in a poor relationship with a co-worker or even worse, a missed sale with a client. If the feelings are strong enough it could lead to a long-term, negative relationship.

There is also noise that effects all communication. Noise...

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