Communication Question Answers
15.a Consider a recent communication problem you experienced. What were the causes, and what could you have changed to improve communication?
My co-worker and I were discussing some communication we had received from the local council about our business. After the conversation, we both came up with a separate plan of action and each of these plans of action were in complete opposition. We had each encoded and decoded the information assuming we were our own audience, when in fact; the other person was the intended audience. In order to improve the communication we each needed to encode the information so it would be easily understood by the other. If it cannot be done, a clearer communication channel is required, one that can give each party more time to study, encode and process the information.
15.b Cite a recent example of poor communication caused by poor listening skills. Why do you think listening is sometimes difficult, and how can your listening skills be improved?
When I was talking to a business partner, I was giving him some instructions. He thought he had already worked out what action we needed to take which meant he was no longer listening to the instruction. It is one of the reasons listening is often difficult, because the structure into which we are decoding the information has to be accurate. If the framework we are using for decoding is flawed, then it is likely that our listening skills will be at risk. Listening skills can be improved by not having a pre-ordained framework in which to fit the conversation, as this will cause erroneous filtering of information. Conversations should be entered into with an open mind; this will ensure that people listen to the entire conversation rather than trying to filter it in order to save them time, which is often the major cause of miscommunication.