The Importance of Communication in the Workplace

Here is a "guest post," written by Jonathan Trenton, that seems relevant to what I try to do here.

Communication problems can make the work environment uncomfortable and unproductive for everyone, and not just the individuals directly involved in the issue. The source of the problem could be everything from personal management styles and educational backgrounds to personality conflicts and cultural differences. And it only gets worse when past disagreements start influencing future decisions.
Open and clear communication in the workplace can build a more productive environment. It won’t always be easy to maintain the best levels of communication, but there are a few things you can do to resolve your situation as quickly and effectively as possible.


Communication Strategies: Talk between people with and without speech or language problems

Talk between people with and without speech or language problems can be uncertain and often awkward. Here are some suggestions (drawn from a variety of sources: www.nsastutter.org/material/indep.php?matid=189, www.aphasia.org/, http://spot.pcc.edu/~rjacobs/career/communication_tips.htm, and www.dol.gov/odep/pubs/fact/comucate.htm) for making this talk more comfortable.


Email Responding

A recent article in the New York Times, Anyone There?, discusses the often encountered problem of sending someone an email and not receiving a response. Even when you don’t ask a direct question, you expect a response of some kind. At least an acknowledgement that the email was received. And you don’t want to ask for a receipt which is generally considered inappropriate for personal email.
     So, why do so many people not respond? This article, by Henry Alford, mentions a few reasons and I add a few of my own, though, I’m sure, there are many, many other reasons.


Butler Lies

Here’s an interesting study, conducted in 2009, that I just discovered from a recent article in The New York Times. The study is on “butler lies” and their frequency in online communication. A “butler lie,” according to these authors, is a lie used to manage (to initiate or terminate) social interaction and would include, for example, saying that you didn’t get the person’s message until today (you had trouble with your computer or phone), that you need to cut the conversation short because you’re studying with a friend, or that you’re tired and need to get to sleep. In an examination of 50 IM users who indicated whether each of their messages were lies, the researchers found that approximately 10 percent of all IM messages were lies and that about 20 percent of these were butler lies. This is a study that should spark lots of classroom discussion; each student is likely to have his or her own arsenal of commonly used butler lies.


Communication Strategies: Six Guides to Thinking and Talking More Logically

Here are six guides to thinking and talking more logically, more sanely. All of these come from General Semantics—the study of the relationships among language, thought, and behavior. Check out their website at www.generalsemantics.org. 


Mentoring:Dos and Don'ts

Here’s an insightful article on mentoring by Michele Lent Hirsch in the August 2011 issue of Psychology Today. Among the suggestions made are these:

1.      Select mentors with clout and power.

2.      Select multiple mentors; this will ensure that if something goes wrong with one person, there’ll be someone else you can rely on.

3.      Be appropriately grateful; communicate your thanks.

4.      Don’t use your mentor as a psychiatrist.

5.      Don’t allow your mentor to dictate that you do anything unethical or to take credit for your accomplishments.

6.      Reach beyond any formal mentorship program.

7.      Focus your mentorship search on people who can help you, not necessarily on those who share your ethnicity or religion or are of the same gender.

Better, however, is to read the brief article (unfortunately, not online at this time).