i) Mr.S is Assistant Manager of Specialist Hospital since year 2006. He is 40 years old and holding degree in IT and currently doing his Master at Universiti Utara Malaysia. He is in charge for Human Resource and Facility Department of Specialist Hospital. His main business is dealing in recruiting new staffs, nurses and maintaining and monitoring facilities of the Hospital.
Mr.A is Operation Manager of ISS Sdn Bhd of Malacca Branch. The nature of the business of this company is offering cleaning and house keeping services for industries. Currently the company has offering this service at three main industries in Malacca with 90 workers and 6 supervisors. The responsibility of Mr.A is to monitor and maintain operation cost and employees under his supervision. He also will meet officers of every department of the industry to get feedback about their job and fulfill their needs.
The last person I met is Mr.SL, Marketing Manager of F Company located at Petaling Jaya. His job is to market the dairy products of his company especially to Thailand. So he will mostly deal with Thailand dealers and distributors. Most conversation he will do by phone and at some vacation he will meet them face to face. He also will explain about any new products offers plan by his company.
ii) At Putra Hospital Mr.K commonly face Misunderstandings problem which resulting from poor communication and make a worse situation. He said the communication problems often develop because staffs in conflict do not communicate with each other as frequently, as openly, and as accurately. The most Nurses and staffs not talk openly when he asks to gain clarity to avoid misunderstanding with instruction or briefing given by him or the management. At end the execution will be wrong because misunderstandings.
People often get confused about other people's messages. This is especially common when people from different cultures try to communicate. At Putra number nurses was brought from different countries and different culture. So Mr.K also face intercultural communication problem. Because of their cultures are different, it is easy for the same statement to mean one thing to one person and something different to someone else. Thus intercultural communication is especially prone to errors. So he has to careful with his body language, words and gesture when communicate with them to avoid wrong perception.
The sender may assume the receiver will respond to his message in a logical and rational manner. This is one more common problem face by Mr.K when communicate with most of the Doctors at Putra. The doctor’s priorities, problems, and assumptions differ from Mr.K because they feel he his lack of subjected knowledge. At these instances, the doctors or staffs might judge him as be incompetent or even an obstructionist. Here the communication commonly will fail.
Strong emotions about a particular idea or approach, of which he/she is not aware, will lead to communication problem. Mr.A commonly face communication problem among his supervisors because of ineffective relationships. Mr.A his high tempered person and he will fire anyone very fast when he fined wrong doings. So this attitude arise ineffective relationship among his supervisors. The not close to him and tend to listen his instruction and don’t want cooperate fairly.
Some people do want not take part on discussion or are excluded when invited to commune or give ideas by Mr.A. So Mr.A face problem to flow information or get feedback from such a person. This situation some time had made some decision making process to be delayed. So this lack of participation creates a problem in communication process at this branch which managed by Mr.A.
Language is common problem faced by Mr.SL when communicate with his Thailand clients. Most of his clients is not competence in English. They tend to use broken English. This sometimes led to miscommunication.
iii) Language - Inability to converse in a language that is known by both the sender and receiver is the greatest barrier to effective communication. When a person uses inappropriate words while conversing or writing, it could lead to misunderstanding between the sender and a receiver. Mr.SL most of times face this communication barrier when talk and giving presentation regarding their new products and promotions.
Emotions - Your emotions could be a barrier to communication if you are engrossed in your emotions for some reason. In such cases, you tend to have trouble listening to others or understanding the message conveyed to you. A few of the emotional interferences include hostility, anger, resentfulness and fear. This barriers posses by Mr.A when communicate with his employees. This creates ineffective relationship.
Lack of Subject Knowledge - If a person who sends a message lacks subject knowledge then he may not be able to convey his message clearly. The receiver could misunderstand his message, and this could lead to a barrier to effective communication. Mr.Kamalanathan used to faced this barrier when communicate with Doctor’s because he don’t have much knowledge about hospitality and medical field. He was formerly a government staff of Department of Education of Malacca. May be this situation made this barrier when he communicate with them.
Stress - One of the major communication barriers faced by employees in most of the organization is stress. When a person is under immense stress, he may find it difficult to understand the message, leading to communication distortion. At the time of stress, our psychological frame of mind depends on our beliefs, experiences, goals and values. Thus, we fail to realize the essence of communication. This situation also can lead to misunderstandings of instructions to be happened. In Putra I think Mr.K face same barrier when communicate with the nurses and staffs because of workload stress and time.
Stereotyping - Stereotyping causes us to typify a person, a group, an event or a thing on oversimplified conceptions, beliefs, or opinions. Stereotyping is a barrier to communication when it causes people to act as if they already know the message that is coming from the sender or worse, as if no message is necessary because "everybody already knows." Both senders and listeners should continuously look for and address thinking, conclusions and actions based on stereotypes.
Lack of feedback - Feedback is the mirror of communication. Feedback mirrors what the sender has sent. Feedback is the receiver sending back to the sender the message as perceived. Without feedback, communication is one-way. Feedback happens in a variety of ways. Asking a person to repeat what has been said, e.g., repeats instructions, is a very direct way of getting feedback. Feedback may be as subtle as a stare, a puzzled look, a nod, or failure to ask any questions after complicated instructions have been given. Both sender and receiver can play an active role in using feedback to make communication truly two-way. Feedback should be helpful rather than hurtful. Prompt feedback is more effective that feedback saved up until the "right" moment. Feedback should deal in specifics rather than generalities. Must approach feedback as a problem in perception rather than a problem of discovering the facts.
iv) Establish Clarity. When give instructions or discuss a business situation, the managers do not assume that everyone understands. They will ask whether have been clear or if further information or explanation is necessary.
Often, different people make different deductions from the same information, and proceed in good faith to do the opposite of what the manager expected. Clear communication results from a two-way process of asking the right questions, gaining clarity, and confirming what we have heard to achieve a common understanding of a business issue or course of action. So the managers aware of, and facilitate this process to overcome the communication problems.
Language problems: When we choose the words for our message, it should signal that we are a member of a particular culture or subculture. Barriers exist in business communication because words can be interpreted in more than one way. Language is an arbitrary code that depends on shared definitions, but there's a limit to how completely any of us share the same meaning for a given word. To overcome language barriers, the managers use the most specific and accurate words possible. Always try to use words that employees or business people will understand. Simple words are recommended.
Closed communication climate: Communication climate is influenced by management style, and a directive, authoritarian style blocks the free and open exchange of information that characterizes good communication. To overcome climate barriers, spend more time listening than issuing orders.
Active Listening: Listen attentively and carefully. There is a difference between “listening” and “hearing”. Active listening means hearing with proper understanding of the message that is heard. By asking questions the speaker can ensure whether his/her message is understood or not by the receiver in the same terms as intended by the speaker.
Avoid Information Overload: The managers should know how to prioritize their work. They should not overload themselves with the work. They should spend quality time with their subordinates and should listen to their problems and feedbacks actively.
Flexibility in meeting the targets: For effective communication in an organization the managers should ensure that the individuals are meeting their targets timely without skipping the formal channels of communication. There should not be much pressure on employees to meet their targets.
v) I understand that only one typical types of communication problem and barriers at all three departments / units that is misunderstanding because of the word or language. Mr.Kamalanathan face the word or language misunderstood by the employees from different culture, Mr.A face problem because his word or language which he spoke when he anger and kept by the employees all the way. Mr SL also face the same problem and barriers because he dealing with business people with different language and culture. The words and language like jargons, slang and intonation can be understood wrongly by the audience.
From this study I have seen that all around us the problems resulting from the inability of people in today's working environment to penetrate these barriers. So I think, if the persons with whom they communicate do their part to reduce these barriers, some of them may be eliminated. As a result, management of the organization will be enhanced. To become a competent manager they should develop an awareness of the barriers and learn to cope with them.