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Organizational, Interpersonal, and Group Communication


Defined as the exchange of meanings between and among individuals through a shared system of symbols (verbal and nonverbal) that have the same meaning for both the sender and the receiver of the message (Vestal, 1995)

Channels of Communication


traditional primarily directive

satisfaction less for subordinate

employee handbook, reports, job descriptions

allow employee input staff satisfaction high supervisor passes up bias and filtering increase as information passes upward staff meetings, suggestion box

Variables Affecting Organizational Communication

Spatial distance Different subgroups or subcultures Differing authority and work structures Organizations are in a constant state of flux

Organizational Communication Strategies

Understand the structure of the organization. Communication is not a one-way channel. Keep communication clear, concise, and simple. Sender should seek feedback regarding accuracy. Use multiple communication methods. Dont overwhelm with unnecessary information.

The Communication Process

External Climate

Weather conditions Temperature Timing Organizational climate Internal Climate Values Feelings Temperament Stress levels of sender and receiver

Status, power, and authority as barriers to manager-subordinate communication

Communication Modes



Written communication Verbal communication Nonverbal communication

Grapevine Communication

Flows haphazardly among people at all levels of the hierarchy and usually involves 3 to 4 people at a time Subject to error and distortion because of the speed at which it passes Sender has little formal accountability for the accuracy of the message

Telephone Communication

Rapid Allows receiver to clarify message at time it is received Does not, however, allow the receipt of nonverbal messages for either the sender or the receiver

Guidelines for Writing Effective Memos

Memos should make the main point in the beginning. Only essential information should be included in the memo. The memo should be written simply, without inflated or authoritarian language. Headings should be used in the memo to direct the reader to specific issues.


The average person spends 70% of his or her time listening, but only 33% of messages are retained. Good listening skills are as important as good verbal skills to the manager. Good listening skills take ongoing effort.

Nonverbal Communication Clues

Space Environment Outward appearance Eye contact Body posture Gestures Facial expression Timing

Interpersonal Communication
Other interpersonal communication skills

Nonverbal communication Assertive communication Listening skills

Assertive Communication
A way of communicating that allows people to express themselves in direct, honest, and appropriate ways that do not infringe on another persons rights

Passive Communication
Occurs when a person suffers in silence, although he or she may feel strongly about the issue Nonassertive

Aggressive Communication
Expressing oneself in a direct and often hostile manner that infringes on another persons rights Generally oriented to winning at all costs

Passive-Aggressive Communication

An aggressive message presented in a passive way Limited verbal with incongruent nonverbal behavior

Misconceptions and Myths about Assertiveness

All behavior is either assertive or passive. To get what you want, all you have to do is be assertive. Being assertive will:

Increase the odds of getting what you want Increase your self-esteem

To be assertive is to be aggressive. Assertiveness is unfeminine. Assertive communication is rude or insensitive.

Virtual Communication
Electronic mail Fax Teleconferencing Pagers Internet CD-ROM Networked systems


Confidentiality is expected regarding sensitive personal communications between managers and subordinates. Computerized patient records require confidentiality.