When management communication styles result in crisis, it is due to a plethora of reasons. Cross-cultural conflicts, millennial styles, and the role of technologies in organizational communications are just a handful of examples responsible. This present article seeks to present a cogent, real-life analysis discussing the contemporary situation focusing on the mention of five basic areas including (a) conflict strategies, (b) millennial styles, (c) internal employee engagement, (d) technology roles, and (e) corporate decision-making. These aspects render food for thought, serving as basic guidelines showing how important it is to focus upon how studying a critical analysis of management communication styles must happen to improve organizational performance.
Myriad components comprise all the various styles in management communication in the organizations of today. Vast complexities in the context and rubric of an international economic system can feel overwhelming to managers in organizations. In discussing why some leaders in organizations consider themselves good communicators, one observer from Harvard’s Business Review, Goulston (2013) states that conversational perceptions can reflect our counterparts “as lecturing, belaboring, talking down to us, or even shaming us” (“How to Listen”). As the abstract indicates, the main five areas which are based upon peer-reviewed journal articles to be examined cover certain chosen aspects important to the study of management communication styles. The areas include: (1) communication strategies to manage conflict in a teamwork environment, (2) communication styles among the younger millennials in organizations, (3) internal organizational communication styles to enhance employees’ engagement, (4) the role of technologies in organizational communication, and (5) decision-making in the corporate management environment. The communication crisis in management today concerns all the different types of cross-cultural interactions, all the aspects communications styles in settings, millennials, and the role of technologies. The key argument herein seeks to demonstrate and support the idea that studying a critical analysis of communication styles in management can be overwhelming, therefore it is important to focus on the five main elements aforementioned to ensure that organizations can function at their peak performance. The reason why is due to the complexity of the modern world in which we live.
One very important idea to keep in mind at the outset of this paper, is that the hopefully cogent analysis will definitely shed light – both practically and theoretically – on ways to improve deciphering what communication styles look like, and use applications as best as possible to each organizational situation. For example, Ellis and Abbott (2012) argue that strategies in managing communication conflicts in the medical business environment is important because the “proactive management of conflict” has a great impact on patients, and when poorly conducted can cause them to suffer (p. 138). Their professional research article is important since it examines critical avenues of management communications, internally, from the standpoint of the critical hospital environment. The researchers also offered valuable ground rules for arriving at resolutions. Of course, every organization strives for excellence. Achieving improvements first demands that managers have a real-world grasp of the problem in the first place. As the analysis develops, the intention is to investigate the recent literature data/studies and intelligently discuss the five aspects that were specified.
It is impossible to propose or conduct a critical analysis without interjecting the real-life aspects occurring in society today. Fifty years ago, or even thirty years ago have demonstrated vast differences in how the business economies and world communicates today. This is true in terms of internal management communications, and external communication. While it may be correct that there is an overwhelming number of aspects in management communication styles overall, it is unwise to try and evaluate each of them. The internal and external areas of management communications connect to employee relations, and public relations or relevant stakeholders outside the organization as third parties. Either way, communication is key. Thus, using all the concerns and recent findings in the professional literature as a foundation leads to a proper way to demonstrate and support this argumentative essay. For instance, Mishra, Boynton, and Mishra (2014) point out that public relations professionals value “internal communications” so greatly that it is a vital “part of their job responsibilities” (p. 185). If you really think about it human beings must build relationships to effectively communicate, in an organization. Technology has also changed the communication game, to a formidable degree, among management.
Management Communication Styles Impact
Management communication styles can impact an analysis about the process in organizations in a plethora of ways. No one organization is exactly like any other. Therefore, the analysis must examine the context of management communication styles’ impact from different perspectives. Obviously, this is the logical and efficient way to foster an analysis to study how the styles can contribute to organizations achieving better performance. Communications strategies in conflict is imperative, as Ellis and Abbott (2012) pointed out, giving key ground rules of represented by words beginning with the letter ‘C’, as follows:
Commanding, Comparing, Condemning, Challenging, Condescending, Contradicting, and Confusing (p. 139).
These clues provide admonitions or warnings of what not to do in management communication situations. For example, Ellis and Abbott (2012) say that if you challenge people they will resent you, or rebel against management. Also, they recommend that if the communication style condemns an individuals in terms of disrespecting their feelings and emotions, this can have quite a negative impact as a style. However, solving conflicts is not the only style of communication in the context of management. In our new era of digitalized society, the youthful millennials have communication styles of their own that impact business.
Millennials can be basically described as those individuals ranging from the age of approximately 20 years old, to 40 years old. Hartman and McCambridge (2011) insist that this group of today’s professionals cannot be stereotyped, but their research article offers insight on how millennials can be helped to optimize communication more effectively in organizations. They noticed the fundamental purpose, and reason, for development of communication skills in the workplace is to hone an ability for problem-solving, teamwork, and adapting the flexibility to successfully interact with varied audiences (Hartman et al., 2011, p. 22). If some millennials enter serious levels of business, or management in corporations today, he or she needs to have good skills in interpersonal communication. If a company rests in an online environment, then the millennial will help to positively impact the organization given the factor he may have excellent skills in texting, emailing, or building marketing tools in social media. However, the impact can be negative if millennials only are willing to text and not learn better verbal and written communication skills with company members, or external stakeholders. The implications, according to Hartman and McCambridge (2011) can be a gap, or “shortfall” after millennials graduate and enter the marketplace (p. 23). Also, the scholars indicate that this generation loves praise and many times fail to think independently, as many tend to be heavily tied to parents’ lives while continuing to ‘job-hop.’ Obviously, these detrimental attributes of communication styles will hurt the flow of work in the organization.
Also, driving employee engagement is critical to the impact of management communication styles. Mishra et al. (2014) indicate that this aspect of vitally important internal communication with employees has to work smoothly, across all departments, to effectively be clear on the different tasks. The idea is to integrate internal communications into the job format, or responsibility. This way, the organization can avoid insalubrious and inconsistent mistakes. Mishra et al. (2014) insist that “both theory and practice” are key because “internal communication is critical to building relationships with employees” (p. 185). Since employees are the life’s blood of an organization, everybody should get along well enough to accomplish business goals. The authors also mention trust, face-to-face communication, and helping employees feel supported are valuable tools in positively impacting the organization. When employees feel more engaged and involved, they most likely will perform better as part of the whole team. Nobody likes to feel left out, or discriminated against. This aspect brings to mind the cultural diversity of the global economy. Since diversity in the world is so widespread nowadays, good communication is the heart-and-soul to success. Keleher (2014) states that communication is a shared responsibility, and thus absolutely critical to daily function (“Effective Communication”). Yet, after mention of these aspects, there is still the reality of the role of technology in management communication of today.
Great use of technology in communication can have a wonderful impact upon an organization. Poor usage can help destroy it. The findings of Rosendale (2015) in a journal article has focused on the transformation which social media, as a communication tool, plays a role in business and brand promotion. It almost seems as if an endless parade of new apps, new social media devices and forums, are constantly emerging. When looking at corporate communications in organizations, Rosendale (2015) noted that one reason social media tools as an interactive communication style was desirable due to the lower cost. For example, social media would allow a company in California to communicate with its branch in Japan, or stakeholders – instead of using the expense and extended travel-time to get there. As long as the communication is clear, this convenience tool can make a terrific impact as a style. Communicating a new brand via Facebook could really boost sales also. Furthermore, Rosenthal (2015) suggests this communication style encourages transparency.
Everyone knows that one negative ‘tweet’ or YouTube video can have devastating impacts on an organization. Therefore, companies must decide very carefully how to use the technology tools in their communication processes. The journal article by Malenko (2014) give a well-thought basis why communications can “be more efficient when directors’ preferences are more diverse” (p. 1486). In other words corporate CEOs and organization boards already have the task of making decisions in the first place, but there should be a variety of diverse opinions to round out the situation in terms of better balance. These are some of the ways management communication styles can have an impact.
Areas of Communication Styles Improvements
Performing a critical analysis and study of the five areas mentioned can help to choose which management communication styles are most fruitful, and effective. Obviously, every organization is different. So decisions must be made carefully. Two broad areas of communication styles concern internal and external stakeholders and their environments. However, Lanz (2015) gets to the core of communication styles areas by noting behavioral patterns as a combination of cognitive factors, attitude, and delivery style (“Organizational Business Communications”). The concept he posits rests on the principles of the Social Exchange Theory (SET) which suggests that the exchange of information between people forms bonds of reciprocal relationships. The actual styles of interpersonal communications among management in organizational settings is as varied as individuals themselves. It is highly possible that most of us have run into managers or supervisors who are screamers, avoiders, excessive talkers, blamers, or what-have-you.
One scholar from the Association for Talent Development contributes the concept of four possible communication styles which are basic. Edmondson (2009) states that these are “expressive, systematic, sympathetic, and direct” (“Let’s be clear”). The article points out that diversity and cultural training seminars help to smooth out communication bumps in the road, and better recognize (and deal with) different personality types. Reducing conflict and raising awareness are the main, best starting positions to recognize the communication styles management either presents – or has to confront and work with. Situations in today’s fast business economy will inevitably cause stress and conflict occasionally. She evaluates and breaks down each personality communication style, to help learn how to react and perceive them.
The first one, expressiveness, tends to be highly energetic according to the article. Edmondson (2009) describes expressive interpersonal communication styles as perhaps “speaking quickly,” overly cheerful, “vain or unpredictable” (“Let’s be clear”). Of course in terms of personality styles, diversity/communications training seminars in the corporate setting can be a quite useful area in which extreme styles can be improved. Often times those in management may not be aware of how he or she is perceived by colleagues or subordinates. Edmondson (2009) explains the systematic kind of communication style of individuals as focusing on the details of facts, and being uncomfortable with emotional conflict, thus being perceived as “unemotional or nonchalant” (“Let’s be clear”). In contrast, the sympathetic type of interpersonal communication style is more of a people-person, who listens well, and wants everybody’s needs to be taken care of. Sometimes this style is too accommodating, too soft, or too eager to help. The way to identify areas in which communication styles can be improved, then, is to be aware of them and how they manifest in the workplace.
Communication styles in management situations in organizations can unmask in different ways, depending upon the activity occurring at the time. Edmondson (2009) smartly notices that it is important to recognize the style, and to respond according. For example, if you find a hyperactive expressive style, then “it’s necessary to remain calm, speak slowly, and control the pace of the interaction” (Edmondson, 2009, “Let’s be clear”). A systematic communication style may act in an overly cautious manner when choosing computer systems for the office, or orderly in the extreme. To improve the communications process and channel, one response might be to strive patiently to give him or her confidence to not be so stiff when trying to complete tasks. Most professionals at the managerial level can recognize the various communication styles because they have experience. The amazing part is that the areas in which communication styles can be improved depends upon the approach, and the organization. As mentioned beforehand, each firm or agency has its own unique way of functioning.
Since studying a critical analysis of communications styles in management can be overwhelming, in terms of developing a process to shape improvements in organizational performance, leaders must think about constantly training professionals. Facilitating techniques for training management towards better effectiveness will highlight exactly which areas in which communication styles can be improved. For example, an overview and targeted awareness and understanding of interpersonal communication styles may be appropriate, or the organization’s overall policy-style of how they cultivate learning environments must be revised. Also, the support and influence of the technological advance of social media in mass communications externally cannot be ignored. There is a big job to be done in simply identifying the areas, which is step one. Therefore, the key areas which are most important are responsible use of social media, awareness of millennial styles, internal and external interactions, and adequate planning for continued education for managers.
The public will not put their trust in companies that do not reveal acceptable levels of transparency. Social media represents an excellent gatekeeper to ensure that organizations develop a good relationship among consumers. For example, Rosendale (2015) recognizes that a firm’s transparency demands responsibility in several areas, suggesting “for the removal of barriers, from opening up the financial books, to being truthful about future actions and the company’s decision motivators” (p. 51). In other words, the online conduit of social media can be an encouraging arena for wider audience scrutiny of the organization, while simultaneously helping management to learn how to create the best communication style when dealing with external participation and feedback.
The simple factor associated with better performance practices in shaping management communication styles, comes on all levels: interpersonal, internal communications, external communications, cultural differences. Also, it is a good idea for company executives, managers, and decision-makers to be aware that all their activities surrounding communication styles must be proactive rather than reactive. Mark Goulston (2013) of the Harvard Business Review gave useful advice, for example, when encountering a yelling individual who is screaming at someone in the workplace, suggesting to say to yourself “Okay, here comes another temper tantrum” (“How to Listen”). This brings to mind a core fundamental truth when dealing with understanding and assessing communication styles, and that is the all-important skill of listening. In this situation, let the person blow off all the steam and try not to take it personally. The surprising answer Goulston (2013) adds to the advice is really quite smart, he writes “focus on their left eye,” because “The left eye is connected to the right brain – the emotional brain. Let them finish” – then, afterwards just confirm that you understand they are very frustrated (“How to Listen”). To follow-up, ask an open-ended question which steers the conversation to the specific item which bothered the person.
Another guideline is to constantly check up on how CEO success in communication style delivery, and understanding, can propel the organization towards better performance and solving any problems, particularly in social media. Men (2015) has offered suggestions in CEO communication styles in social media stating “The secrecy of management is an obsolete concept,” because “nowadays, it is simply impossible to hold secrets” due to the transparent ‘live’ communication of social media (“Chief Engagement Officer”). She reveals that the technological evolution has allowed the organization to realize management hierarchies to be ‘blurred’ – although traditional communication styles are the major methods used. In other words, print media, face-to-face conversations, and internal employee communication will never go out of style as channels for interaction.
At the end of the day, the basic idea to remember is that we are all human beings. Management stakeholders must keep in mind that ethical practice is just as vital as the implementation of teaching and learning how theory can help performance improvement. Every situation is different, yet at the same time people want to feel that they can approach the leaders and not be afraid to express a concern. The employee may be better able to see any problem because he or she is working directly on it. In other words, management communication styles must abandon the old, tired-out approach of acting like dictators in a rigid rubric of authority. Put yourself in the shoes of your subordinate. Ask yourself questions about your employees’ situation. One key to balancing communication styles success is to remember how important the rank-and-file worker is to the organization, and that you would not want to be mistreated or disrespected.
While it is true that anyone may lose his or her temper in these situations of high pressure, in a fast-moving global environment, learning to have a ‘problem-solving’ mindset is a large part of managerial responsibilities. Each company is different. But, everybody can learn from various industries. For example, in mentioning the hospital associations’ ground rules in the Ellis and Abbott (2012) article presents solutions for a high-stress-level of critical concern dealing with patients. Therefore, all organizational management can take advice how to keep emotional misbehavior under control by not allowing it to interfere with company goals and purpose. In other words, be prepared. Conflict resolution methods will be needed at some point. Each organization is shaped by all the different people who are a part of it. Using common sense and focusing on the five elements explained herein, makes a great start.
Edmondson, J. (2009, September 23). Let’s be clear: How to Manage Communication Styles. ATD Association for Talent Development. Retrieved from https://www.td.org/Publications/Magazines/TD/TD-Archive/2009/09/LetS-Be-Clear-How-to-Manage-Communication-Styles
Ellis, P., & Abbott, J. (2012). Strategies for managing conflict within the team. British Journal of Cardiac Nursing, 7(3), 138-140 3p.
Goulston, M. (2013, October 9). How to Listen When Your Communication Styles Don’t Match. HBR – Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2013/10/how-to-listen-when-your-communication-styles-dont-match/
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Keleher, J. (2014, November 3). Effective Communication and Project Management: What is Organizational Communication? Center for Nonprofit Advancement. Retrieved from https://www.nonprofitadvancement.org/blog/effective-communication-and-project-management-what-organizational-communication
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Malenko, N. (2014). Communication and Decision-Making in Corporate Boards. Review of Financial Studies, 27(5), 1486-1532.
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Rosendale, J.A. (2015). New Communication Technologies in Organization Communications and Branding: The Integral Role Social Media Now Play. Florida Communication Journal, 43(2), 49-59.