BA 411 Wk 8 Final Project

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W8 “Final Project”

Training and Development

Final Project

Now it’s your turn! Below is all
the information given on a training program needed, called Effective
Communication. You are a trainer in the given situation. Please submit the
following:

1Training Needs Assessment (refer to previous assignment DST Systems for assessment
template)

2Powerpoint covering information provided and your own research,
no less than 10 slides 

32-page paper summarizing how this training will be effective and how it
should be evaluated.

Situation:

Tim Smith the IT manager comes
to you and says “My project coordinators are in a slump; they just are not
producing their usual caliber of work. I need to find out what the problem is.
No one on the project team knows what is going on. The communcation my project
coordinators are giving is coming across as rude, which in turn keeps moral low
and the teams are not doing the work. I was hoping you would be able to put
together an Effective Communication training for them to help get everyone back
on the right track.” There are 10 project coordinators in the IT
department. Two of the project coordinator’s are in the
organization’s Bangkok office. Tim wants the training to last no
longer than 4 hours and wants it to be face to face in a class room with you,
the trainer. He does not want to fly the Bangkok assoicates in
and would like you to set up a Skype session with them during your
training. He also wants you to set up weekly coaching sessions with each
project manager and himself for a month after the training is completed.

Training Purchased from USA
Training: Effective Communication

You are to use this information,
but are not limited to it. Tim wants to make sure this information is covered
in the training as he went online and bought it from USA Training, however he
is open to what research you find. He wants the training to be interactive and
requested that you included at least 1 activity around communication in the
training.

Effective Communcation:

Introduction

People in organizations typically
spend over 75% of their time in an interpersonal situation; thus it is no
surprise to find that at the root of a large number of organizational problems
is poor communications. Effective communication is an essential component of
organizational success whether it is at the interpersonal, inter-group, intra-group,
organizational, or external levels.

In this chapter we will cover the
basic process of communication and then we will cover some of the most
difficult communication issues managers’ face-providing constructive and
effective feedback and performance appraisal.

The Communication Process

Although all of us have been
communicating with others since our infancy, the process of transmitting
information from an individual (or group) to another is a very complex process
with many sources of potential error.

In any communication at least some
of the “meaning” lost in simple transmission of a message from the
sender to the receiver. In many situations a lot of the true message is lost
and the message that is heard is often far different than the one intended.
This is most obvious in cross-cultural situations where language is an issue.
But it is also common among people of the same culture.

Communications is so difficult
because at each step in the process there major potential for error. By the
time a message gets from a sender to a receiver there are four basic places
where transmission errors can take place and at each place, there are a
multitude of potential sources of error. Thus it is no surprise that social
psychologists estimate that there is usually a 40-60% loss of meaning in the
transmission of messages from sender to receiver.

It is critical to understand this
process, understand and be aware of the potential sources of errors and
constantly counteract these tendencies by making a conscientious effort to make
sure there is a minimal loss of meaning in your conversation.

It is also very important to
understand that a majoring of communication is non-verbal. This means that when
we attribute meaning to what someone else is saying, the verbal part of the
message actually means less than the non-verbal part. The non-verbal part
includes such things as body language and tone.

Barriers to Effective Communication

There are a wide number of sources
of noise or interference that can enter into the communication process. This
can occur when people now each other very well and should understand the
sources of error. In a work setting, it is even more common since interactions
involve people who not only don’t have years of experience with each other, but
communication is complicated by the complex and often confliction relationships
that exist at work. In a work setting, the following suggests a number of
sources of noise:

 
Language: The choice of words or
language in which a sender encodes a message will influence the quality of
communication. Because language is a symbolic representation of a phenomenon,
room for interpretation and distortion of the meaning exists. In the above
example, the Boss uses language (this is the third day you’ve missed) that is
likely to convey far more than objective information. To Terry it conveys
indifference to her medical problems. Note that the same words will be
interpreted different by each different person. Meaning has to be given to
words and many factors affect how an individual will attribute meaning to
particular words. It is important to note that no two people will attribute the
exact same meaning to the same words.

 
Defensiveness, distorted
perceptions, guilt, project, transference, distortions from the past

 
Misreading of body language, tone
and other non-verbal forms of communication

 
Noisy transmission (unreliable
messages, inconsistency)

 
Receiver distortion: selective
hearing, ignoring non-verbal cues

 
Power struggles

 
Self-fulfilling assumptions

 
Language-different levels of
meaning

 
Assumptions-eg. assuming others see
situation same as you, has same feelings as you

 
Distrusted source, erroneous
translation, value judgment, state of mind of two people

 
Perceptual Biases: People attend to
stimuli in the environment in very different ways. We each have shortcuts that
we use to organize data. Invariably, these shortcuts introduce some biases into
communication. Some of these shortcuts include stereotyping, projection, and
self-fulfilling prophecies. Stereotyping is one of the most common. This is
when we assume that the other person has certain characteristics based on the
group to which they belong without validating that they in fact have these
characteristics.

 
Interpersonal Relationships: How we
perceive communication is affected by the past experience with the individual.
Perception is also affected by the organizational relationship two people have.
For example, communication from a superior may be perceived differently than
that from a subordinate or peer

 
Cultural Differences: Effective
communication requires deciphering the basic values, motives, aspirations, and
assumptions that operate across geographical lines. Given some dramatic differences
across cultures in approaches to such areas as time, space, and privacy, the
opportunities for mis-communication while we are in cross-cultural situations
are plentiful.

 

Reading Nonverbal Communication
Cues

A large percentage (studies suggest
over 90%) of the meaning we derive from communication, we derive from the
non-verbal cues that the other person gives. Often a person says one thing but
communicates something totally different through vocal intonation and body
language. These mixed signals force the receiver to choose between the verbal
and nonverbal parts of the message. Most often, the receiver chooses the
nonverbal aspects. Mixed messages create tension and distrust because the
receiver senses that the communicator is hiding something or is being less than
candid.

Nonverbal communication is made up
of the following parts:

1Visual

2Tactile

3Vocal

4Use of time, space, and image

Visual:

This often called body language and
includes facial expression, eye movement, posture, and gestures. The face is
the biggest part of this. All of us “read” people’s faces for ways to
interpret what they say and feel. This fact becomes very apparent when we deal
with someone with dark sunglasses. Of course we can easily misread these cues
especially when communicating across cultures where gestures can mean something
very different in another culture. For example, in American culture agreement
might be indicated by the head going up and down whereas in India, a
side-to-side head movement might mean the same thing.

We also look to posture to provide
cues about the communicator; posture can indicate self-confidence,
aggressiveness, fear, guilt, or anxiety. Similarly, we look at gestures such as
how we hold our hands, or a handshake. Many gestures are culture bound and
susceptible to misinterpretation

Tactile: 
This involves the use of touch to impart meaning as in a
handshake, a pat on the back, an arm around the shoulder, a kiss, or a hug.

Vocal:

The meaning of words can be altered
significantly by changing the intonation of one’s voice. Think of how many ways
you can say “no”-you could express mild doubt, terror, amazement,
anger among other emotions. Vocal meanings vary across cultures. Intonation in
one culture can mean support; another anger

Use of Time as Nonverbal
Communication:

Use of time can communicate how we
view our own status and power in relation to others. Think about how a
subordinate and his/her boss would view arriving at a place for an agreed upon
meeting…

Physical Space: 
For most of us, someone standing very close to us makes us
uncomfortable. We feel our “space” has been invaded. People seek to
extend their territory in many ways to attain power and intimacy. We tend to
mark our territory either with permanent walls, or in a classroom with our
coat, pen, paper, etc. We like to protect and control our territory. For
Americans, the “intimate zone” is about two feet; this can vary from
culture to culture. This zone is reserved for our closest friends. The
“personal zone” from about 2-4 feet usually is reserved for family
and friends. The social zone (4-12 feet) is where most business transactions
take place. The “public zone” (over 12 feet) is used for lectures.
Similarly, we use “things” to communicate. This can involve expensive
things, neat or messy things, photographs, plants, etc. Image: We use clothing
and other dimensions of physical appearance to communicate our values and expectations

Nonverbal Communication:

A “majority” of the
meaning we attribute to words comes not from the words themselves, but from
nonverbal factors such as gestures, facial expressions, tone, body language,
etc. Nonverbal cues can play five roles:

1Repetition: they can repeat the
message the person is making verbally

2Contradiction: they can contradict
a message the individual is trying to convey

3Substitution: they can substitute
for a verbal message. For example, a person’s eyes can often convey a far more
vivid message than words and often do

4Complementing: they may add to or
complement a verbal message. A boss who pats a person on the back in addition
to giving praise can increase the impact of the message

5Accenting: non-verbal communication
may accept or underline a verbal message. Pounding the table, for example, can
underline a message.

Skillful communicators understand
the importance of nonverbal communication and use it to increase their
effectiveness, as well as use it to understand more clearly what someone else
is really saying.

A word of warning: Nonverbal cues
can differ dramatically from culture to culture. An American hand gesture
meaning “A-OK” would be viewed as obscene in some South American
countries. Be careful.

Developing Communication Skills:
Listening Skills

There are a number of situations
when you need to solicit good information from others; these situations include
interviewing candidates, solving work problems, seeking to help an employee on
work performance, and finding out reasons for performance discrepancies.

Skill in communication involves a
number of specific strengths. The first we will discuss involves listening
skills. The following lists some suggests for effective listening when
confronted with a problem at work: 

 
Listen openly and with empathy to
the other person

 
Judge the content, not the
messenger or delivery; comprehend before you judge

 
Use multiple techniques to fully
comprehend (ask, repeat, rephrase, etc.)

 
Active body state; fight
distractions

 
Ask the other person for as much
detail as he/she can provide; paraphrase what the other is saying to make sure
you understand it and check for understanding

 
Respond in an interested way that
shows you understand the problem and the employee’s concern

 
Attend to non-verbal cues, body
language, not just words; listen between the lines

 
Ask the other for his views or
suggestions

 
State your position openly; be
specific, not global

 
Communicate your feelings but don’t
act them out (eg. tell a person that his behavior really upsets you; don’t get
angry)

 
Be descriptive, not
evaluative-describe objectively, your reactions, consequences

 
Be validating, not invalidating
(“You wouldn’t understand”); acknowledge other’s uniqueness,
importance

 
Be conjunctive, not disjunctive
(not “I want to discuss this regardless of what you want to
discuss”);

 
Don’t totally control conversation;
acknowledge what was said

 
Own up: use “I”, not
“They”… not “I’ve heard you are non-cooperative”

 
Don’t react to emotional words, but
interpret their purpose

 
Practice supportive listening, not
one way listening

 
Decide on specific follow-up
actions and specific follow up dates

A major source of problem in
communication is defensiveness. Effective communicators are aware that
defensiveness is a typical response in a work situation especially when
negative information or criticism is involved. Be aware that defensiveness is
common, particularly with subordinates when you are dealing with a problem. Try
to make adjustments to compensate for the likely defensiveness. Realize that
when people feel threatened they will try to protect themselves; this is
natural. This defensiveness can take the form of aggression, anger,
competitiveness, avoidance among other responses. A skillful listener is aware
of the potential for defensiveness and makes needed adjustment. He or she is
aware that self-protection is necessary and avoids making the other person
spend energy defending the self.

In addition, a supportive and
effective listener does the following:

 
Stop Talking: Asks the other person
for as much detail as he/she can provide; asks for other’s views and
suggestions

 
Looks at the person, listens openly
and with empathy to the employee; is clear about his position; be patient

 
Listen and Respond in an interested
way that shows you understand the problem and the other’s concern is
validating, not invalidating (“You wouldn’t understand”); acknowledge
other;’s uniqueness, importance

 
Checks for understanding;
paraphrases; asks questions for clarification 

 
Do not control conversation;
acknowledges what was said; let’s the other finish before responding

 
Foucus on the problem, not the
person; is descriptive and specific, not evaluative; focuses on content, not
delivery or emotion

 
Attend to emotional as well as
cognitive messages (e.g., anger); aware of non-verbal cues, body language,
etc.; listen between the lines 

 
React to the message, not the
person, delivery or emotion 

 
Make sure you comprehend before you
judge; ask questions 

 
Use many techniques to fully
comprehend 

 
Stay in an active body state to aid
listening 

 
Fight distractions 

 
Take Notes; Decide on specific
follow-up actions and specific follow up dates

Constructive Feedback: Developing
Your Skills

“I don’t know how to turn her
performance around; she never used to have these attendance problems and her
work used to be so good; I don’t know why this is happening and what to
do.”

This manager is struggling with one
of the most important yet trickiest and most difficult management tasks:
providing constructive and useful feedback to others. Effective feedback is
absolutely essential to organizational effectiveness; people must know where
they are and where to go next in terms of expectations and goals-yours, their
own, and the organization.

Feedback taps basic human needs-to
improve, to compete, to be accurate; people want to be competent. Feedback can
be reinforcing; if given properly, feedback is almost always appreciated and
motivates people to improve. But for many people, daily work is like bowling
with a curtain placed between them and the pins; they receive little
information.

Be aware of the many reasons why
people are hesitant to give feedback; they include fear of causing
embarrassment, discomfort, fear of an emotional reaction, and inability to
handle the reaction. It is crucial that we realize how critical feedback can be
and overcome our difficulties; it is very important and can be very rewarding
but it requires skill, understanding, courage, and respect for yourself and
others. Withholding constructive feedback is like sending people out on a
dangerous hike without a compass. This is especially true in today’s fast
changing and demanding workplace. Why managers are often reluctant to provide
feedback? As important as feedback is, this critical managerial task remains one
of the most problematic. Many managers would rather have root canal work than
provide feedback to another-especially feedback that might be viewed as
critical. Why are managers so reluctant to provide feedback? The reasons are
many:

 
Fear of the other person’s
reaction; people can get very defensive and emotional when confronted with
feedback and many managers are very fearful of the reaction

 
The feedback may be based on
subjective feeling and the manager may be unable to give concrete information
if the other person questions the basis for the feedback

 
The information on which the
feedback is based (eg. performance appraisal) may be a very flawed process and
the manager may not totally trust the information

 
Many managers would prefer being a
coach than “playing God.”

 
Other factors get in the way of
effective communication or feedback sessions. Some of these reasons are:

 
Defensiveness, distorted
perceptions, guilt, project, transference, distortions from the past

 
Misreading of body language, tone

 
Noisy transmission (unreliable
messages, inconsistency)

 
Receiver distortion: selective
hearing, ignoring non-verbal cues

 
Power struggles

 
Self-fulfilling assumptions

 
Language-different levels of
meaning

 
Managers hesitation to be candid

 
Assumptions-eg. assuming others see
situation same as you, has same feelings as you

 
Distrusted source, erroneous
translation, value judgment, state of mind of two people

Characteristics of Effective
Feedback

 
Effective Feedback has most of the
following characteristics:

 
Descriptive (not evaluative)
(avoids defensiveness.) By describing one’s own reactions, it leaves the
individual fee to use it or not to use it as he sees fit..

 
avoid accusations; present data if
necessary

 
describe your own reactions or
feelings; describe objective consequences that have or will occur; focus on
behavior and your own reaction, not on other individual or his or her
attributes

 
suggest more acceptable
alternative; be prepared to discuss additional alternatives; focus on
alternatives

 
Specific rather than general.

 
Focused on behavior not the person.
It is important that we refer to what a person does rather than to what we
think he is. Thus we might say that a person “talked more than anyone else
in this meeting” rather than that he is a “loud-mouth.”

 
It takes into account the needs of
both the receiver and giver of feedback. It should be given to help, not to
hurt. We too often give feedback because it makes us feel better or gives us a
psychological advantage.

 
It is directed toward behavior
which the receiver can do something about. A person gets frustrated when
reminded of some shortcoming over which he has no control.

 
It is solicited rather than
imposed. Feedback is most useful when the receiver himself has formulated the
kind of question which those observing him can answer or when he actively seeks
feedback.

 
Feedback is useful when well-timed
(soon after the behavior-depending, of course, on the person’s readiness to
hear it, support available from others, and so forth). Excellent feedback
presented at an inappropriate time may do more harm than good.

 
Sharing of information, rather than
giving advice allows a person to decide for himself, in accordance with his own
goals and needs. When we give advice we tell him what to do, and to some degree
take away his freedom to do decide for himself.

 
It involves the amount of
information the receiver can use rather than the amount we would like to give.
To overload a person with feedback is to reduce the possibility that he may be
able to use what he receives effectively. When we give more than can be used,
we are more often than not satisfying some need of our own rather than helping
the other person.

 
It concerns what is said and done,
or how, not why. The “why” involves assumptions regarding motive or
intent and this tends to alienate the person generate resentment, suspicion,
and distrust. If we are uncertain of his motives or intent, this uncertainty
itself is feedback, however, and should be revealed.

 
It is checked to insure clear
communication. One way of doing this is to have the receiver try to rephrase
the feedback. No matter what the intent, feedback is often threatening and thus
subject to considerable distortion or misinterpretation.

 
It is checked to determine degree
of agreement from others. Such “consensual validation” is of value to
both the sender and receiver.

 
It is followed by attention to the
consequences of the feedback. The supervisor needs to become acutely aware of
the effects of his feedback.

 
It is an important step toward
authenticity. Constructive feedback opens the way to a relationship which is
built on trust, honest, and genuine concern and mutual growth.

 

 

Grading Criteria Assignments

Maximum Points

Meets or exceeds established
assignment criteria

40

Demonstrates an understanding of lesson
concepts

20

Clearly presents well-reasoned
ideas and concepts

30

Uses proper mechanics,
punctuation, sentence structure, and spelling

10

Total

100

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