Problems arising from the discussion between the Chief of Police and the Patrol Department
Communication between the chief of police and the patrol department is a classic example of horizontal communication. It essentially entails the communication between superiors to their juniors and vice versa. As such, the communication could be faced with a number of problems. The need for the juniors to demonstrate respect and obedience for their superiors essentially disallows them from freely expressing themselves. In the police structure and organization, commands and orders ought to be taken unchallenged. This limits the extent to which the patrol department can challenge or question the communication from then police chief. In addition, the police chief, like all superiors, seldom takes the feedback from the patrol department with the seriousness it deserves. He simply assumes that the message in the communication would be accepted and implemented to the letter. This mentality common in horizontal communication leads to problems in situations where the juniors ignore the message. In many instances, the organization usually does not have clearly outlined measures to address these issues. Consequently, the superior exercises his own discretion in solving the issues, which would be to the detriment of the disobedient juniors.
Effectiveness of chief of police communication method
The use of a memo to communicate the policy change was not effective in my opinion. The chief of police ought to have appreciated the gravity of the change he was advocating. He should have divorced the incident from common policy changes that are usually communicated through the memos. The use of the memos only underlined the fact that the chief of police did not give the policy change the gravity it deserves. He would have demonstrated his seriousness through the use of other channels. In addition, the policy change goes deep in affecting the officers’ working conditions. They should have been involved in the decision process. This essentially calls for the conveyance of the message through a direct interaction rather than through the memo the chief of police employed.
Importance of timing in the communication process
Timing in the communication process ensures the effectiveness of the communication. The communication must be conveyed at the appropriate time when the attention of all stakeholders is availed. Take for instance the poor timing the chief of police employed. He communicates a serious policy issue then takes off to a two week vacation. The communication obviously elicits reactions which culminate in the grievance filed. It should be noted that the absence of the chief of police at the critical time could necessarily lead to rebellion by the officers of the order. Communication should, therefore, be conveyed when the stakeholders are available. Sufficient time ought to be given for the policy debut. The reaction by the affected parties ought to be addressed with the immediacy appropriate for the circumstances.
Main barriers to effective communication between administrators and unions
Communication between administrators and unions are usually subjected to a number of limitations. For starters, the communication is usually governed by formal rules of engagements. The rules vary scope. However, they unfortunately, bar effective communication. Take for instance the rule that imposes the communication through spokespersons. It simple limits the success of the communication process to the abilities and input of the spokespersons. This also leads to distortion of messages due to the process of channeling the communication from one party to another. In addition, bureaucracies within the administration and union management may prevent effective communication.
This is because the officials subject themselves to the red tape that characterizes their systems. This inevitably leads to delays and distortions of communication processes. It essentially hinders the possible effectiveness in communication. While the bureaucracy is meant for the regulation of the systems to prevent the misuse or abuse, at times it occasions detrimental consequences. It could frustrate the communication in its entirety. Finally, mistrust between the two parties could bar effective communication. This arises from the fact that both parties essentially represent the interests of two diverse parties with conflicting interests. Either party mistrusts the other with the mindset that it could be outsmarted into selling its interests. This mistrust could distract the parties from effectively communicating to one another.
How to overcome barriers
The barriers to effective communication could be overcome through the application of a number of measures. For instance, the organizations need to dispense with the formalities governing the communication process. Communication ought to be under less formal circumstances to allow contributions from both parties without distortions and paraphrasing. It should be left for the parties to decide the mechanisms through which they prefer to communicate to one another. In addition, the bureaucracy that characterizes administrations and unions should be reduced to the bare minimum. This should be through the elimination of the redundant processes that remain within the systems.
It should be left open for the parties to communicate without the indulgence of administrative bureaucracies. The systems should employ open approaches to the communication between the administration and unions. The gap that is usually artificially created by the systems should be eliminated to allow for communication processes to be effective. Finally, it should be appreciated that mistrust can only be eliminated through joint action by both parties. The parties should be ready to compromise their interests for the sake of progress. The adoption of a negotiation based approach to communication would dispense with the mistrust that always blind the parties from objective communication. This would enable the parties to focus on the communication process with the aim of progressivity.
Channels of communication to be used in implementing the policy change
The channels of communication to be employed in implementing the policy change span from the formal and informal channels. It should be appreciated that since the policy change borders on individual choice, the best channel to use involves the use of the informal leader. The informal leader in the organization refers to that charismatic employee who unconsciously controls the decisions of other employees. As such, the manager should engage the services of the informal leader. He should convince the informal leader to encourage the others into adopting the policy change. Another method that should be employed entails the direct engagement of the officers in open forums. This forum should be informal and allow for open discourse between superiors and their juniors. This would allow the superior to explain the policy change and address the grievances that may arise.
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