Communication weaknesses related to work situations.
Communication is the major way through which human beings connect with others; without which social interaction would be impossible. This ranges from verbal communication to electronic communication, among other forms. It is therefore important that people identify their strengths and weaknesses in communication and understand how they communicate in order for them to learn to communicate effectively. For effective communication, one must have good mastery of communication skills. Good communication skills enable one to pass their message across in a way that can be clearly understood by the recipients.
Weaknesses in communication come as a result of ineffective communication skills. This results in misunderstanding and misinterpretation of messages by the recipients. An individual with this kind of weaknesses may experience problems in their professional and social spheres and could develop feelings of rejection. Weiss (1994) insists that communication in the work place is paramount and so must be encouraged and promoted at all costs.
1) Weaknesses in written communication.
In written communication, people communicate through writing. This includes sending texts and e-mails, chatrooms, writing letters, among others. At the work place, this mode of communication is highly employed. Any person involved in this communication form must be fluent in the written language used in order for them to communicate effectively. Grammar and editing skills are paramount in order for messages to be passed on clearly. The most common weaknesses in writing at most work places are spelling and grammar. This mostly affects the non-native speakers of the language in use. These may use wrong verbs and nouns, wrong spellings and wrong punctuations. This results in poorly written piece of work that may not be clearly understood.
Illegible handwritings tamper with communication. If an employee writes a letter to their boss in such handwriting, communication will not be achieved as the message in the letter can not be clearly read. This results in a communication breakdown. Even though computer use has been widely adopted, a strong handwriting still counts.
Lack of coherent flow of ideas makes the reader less interested in the writing and so this bars the reception of intended message. This also includes lack of organization in the writing. A person’s personality can be read through his writing. Poor writing reflects negatively on the user and may cost them important opportunities.
2) Weaknesses in public speaking and presentations
Public speaking is a face to face communication form that involves addressing an audience. This could be a big or smaller audience. The speaker is thus faced with people of different cultural backgrounds.
Most weaknesses in this case include lack of speech etiquette by the speaker. This happens when the speaker fails to relate to the audience. A speaker will assume that the people they are addressing have an idea of what they are talking about. This results in a miscommunication and the audience may feel offended. When the speaker fails to explain himself to the audience beforehand, this is what results. Clear purposes and views before must thus be given by the speaker before engaging the audience. When a speaker is not audible enough, the audience might not get the message being relayed. This also includes the tones used by the speaker. If they are harsh, or unpleasant, the audience simply loses interest in the speaker and this breaks down communication.
Speakers who lack clarity in their presentations make listeners to misinterpret their messages. Intercultural communication is a challenge to most speakers as their messages could mean differently to the people of other cultures. Overcommunication is also a great weakness as it makes the audience lose interest in the speaker. Talking too much is undesirable and brings out a speaker as unskilled (Weiss, 1994)
At the workplace, if managers fail to first evaluate their audience, they may end up framing their messages poorly. Lack of paying attention to the body language of the audience will make communication be one-way instead of two-way. Lack of giving chance for feed back from the audience also derails proper communication.
3) Other communication weaknesses at work place
In any organization, communication is key to the achievement of goals. This involves the relationship between employees and customers, as well as internal relationships. According to (Hargie, 1997), poor communication makes employees get confused in going about the achievement of company goals (Hargie et al., 2000).
Poor flow of information is a major weakness in most companies’ communication. Most employees lack information about their jobs as this is not passed down to them in the best way possible. A study carried out showed that most managers always rushed in speedy conclusions without first communicating. (Hargie et al., 2000)
Another weakness is failure for employees to consider the needs of their customers. In a bid to meet deadlines, they overload customers with lots of information and in the process, vital information may not be properly communicated. Some employees are also inconsiderate of customers’ cultural or educational backgrounds. Experts who use technical terminologies while addressing a different class of audience will not get their message home. Two surveys by War (1998) also showed that managers were less attentive to employees and so ideas by employees were ignored (Hargie et al., 2000).
In conclusion, any smart manager should encourage effective communication in his organization. They act as models of superior communication skills. They know that meaning lies in the speakers, and not their words. So, they pay attention to their audience, understand them and encourage feedback as communication is continuous. Poor communication results in conflicts and misunderstandings that could cost the viability of a company. In order to avoid problems related to poor communication, everyone must take the initiative of learning to communicate effectively.
Hunt, O., Tourish, D., & Owen D.W. Hargie. (2000). The communication experiences of
education managers: Identifying strengths, weaknesses and critical incidents. The International Journal of Educational Management, 14(3), 120-129. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/229143856?accountid=45049
Weiss, W. H. (1994). Handling communication problems. SuperVision, 55(3), 17-17. Retrieved