Communication Climate

Proper management of an organization requires an elaborate and effective communication. Effective communication helps the management in an organization to perform its basic functions of planning, organizing, motivating, controlling and making fundamental choices. Proper communication skills are the key to the success of any business endeavor (Buchholz, 2001).

In an organization, there are people who are held together by slender threads of communication. These threads are maintained by people sharing information resulting to a network of human relationship brought together through communication. People in these threads may sometimes create or experience barriers of communication which prevents others to access the information, and this disrupts its flow. This withholding of information from the organization members is very costly to that organization.

Others share the information that they might be possessing and this is very productive to an organization. It ensures that there are good working relationships, boosts their morale, and also the productivity of an organization. This creates an open communication climate which is favorable for organizational operations. This paper will analyze how communication climate affects organizational operations.

Communication Climate

This refers to the exchange of information in organization’s formal and informal networks. The information climate is open when the information is flowing freely. Closed information climate refers to a situation where the flow of information is blocked. In my places of work, communication affects the manner that services are offered.

I am in the Military. My job consists of dealing with service contracts, budgeting, customer service, and material acquisition. I deal with customers on a daily basis at the Customers’ Care Desk. We once issued a tender to supply the military camp with building materials. Some suppliers applied for the tender and the lowest binder was to be issued the tender.

However, some of the suppliers colluded with some of our staff in our office to be issued the tender illegally even without proper qualification. The information reached me through a colleague.  The said employees were very close to me. Our managers were unapproachable who had adopted an authoritarian manner such that we all feared them. By reporting them, they would have lost their jobs as it had happened to other employees who had done the same previously. They would also have been reprimanded before being laid off. The managers would not have listened to them. I felt that by reporting them to my superiors, I would have been labeled a whistleblower too. I decided not to share this information with my superiors though the information would have been very crucial in the productivity of our organization in future and maintenance of a good name. I knew the climate of the organization was defensive since previous cases related to employees were not handled in a professional manner.

This kind of communication climate is defensive. In this climate, barriers are created and the free flow of crucial information is inhibited. Defensive communication may be caused by past experiences as it was in my case. This made me hold back the information thereby creating a barrier to protect my other colleagues from being laid off or reprimanded where no support would have been offered to them. I also felt that I had to protect myself from losing my self-worth to the other members.

Effects of Communication Climate on Motivation and Team Commitment in an Organization.

The defensive climate is usually hostile, inflexible, and very unsupportive. (McCormack, Henderson, Wilson, & Wright, 2009). In such kinds of environment, the employees are usually unhappy due to the poor handling of interactions and are less motivated. The employees lack morale and fail to be efficient in their performance. The employees are uncommitted to completing tasks issued which negatively affects the productivity of the team. I couldn’t report to my superiors though the information was very important to them.

A defensive climate is characterized by a leader who is critical of what has been done and does not acknowledge good work done. He reprimands instead of correcting. The leader leads and directs in an authoritarian manner which turns out to be less helpful in meeting the needs of the employees

A team can achieve its objectives better if proper communication climate is cultivated in a team. During the formation of a team, the formative stage is usually faced with a lot of challenges (Bruce Tuchman’s, 1965). A lot of confusion faces the team hindering its progress in achieving its roles. As the team progresses through other formative stages of storming, norming, and performing, closure of good communication climate should be enhanced to facilitate proper conflicts resolutions and communication should be enhanced all through (Clayton, 2011).

     The supportive climate in an organization is always warm, encouraging and open. In a supportive environment the employees work in a more effective manner. The employees are highly motivated and committed to the duty at hand. Improving the Communication climate in an organization can be done through promoting openness, emphasizing on high-quality goals, building trust, participation in decision-making process, and supportiveness. For a supportive communication climate to be created, messages that approve employee’s creativeness, their effort, and their teamwork should be embraced in an organization.

To improve the communication climate in my organization, a strong work relationship should be enhanced. To improve my communication skills to enhance a positive communication climate that is supportive and shall improve our productivity, the following skills shall be essential;

 1. Listening. This will involve paying close attention to what the other person is saying and being able to respond accordingly. The skill shall also help me in resolving conflicts in the organization.

2. Clarity and Concision-This skill will be helpful in prompting me to think critically before giving a feedback while am speaking.

3. Friendliness-This is effective in promoting personal politeness within an organization and encourage my colleagues to be open communication with me.

4. Confidence; This helps to improve the trust among the colleagues in dealing with all situation.

5. Empathy; this shall help me understand everyone’s views and put them into considerations despite disagreement.

6. Open-Mindedness; this will help me improve my communication by promoting an open mind thereby be able to listen and understand the views and perspective of others.

7. Respect-It shall be important for me to have this skill to respect all people opinions irrespective of their positions in the organization.

9. Feedback-The skill shall assist me in providing everyone with constructive feedback that shall be helpful to them. I shall also acknowledge feedback from others.

10. Selecting the Right Medium-The skill shall help me choose the right medium to connect to the others on various issues.

Conclusion

As discussed above, there is need for an organization to put in place elaborate and effective communication systems. Effective communication is essential to the organizations’ management functions of planning, organizing, motivating, and controlling. In an organization, communication climate may take place in formal and informal networks thereby ensuring free flow of communication. Working in the military service has taught me a lot on the importance of open communication culture. The office experience unethical issues in the issuance of tenders for building materials. The defensive organization climate in the service hindered the free flow of information. A defensive climate makes an organization be hostile, inflexible and very unsupportive. This affects the employee morale and motivation. It is thereby important for an organization to enhance a strong work relationship as it enhanced a positive communication climate.

References

Buchholz,W. (2001). Open communication climate.

Clayton, M. (2011). Swift trust-why some teams dont storm. sagepub. (n.d.). Retrieved 2017, from issues that team face: http://www.sagepub.com/upm-data/54195_Chapter_7.pdf

McCormack, B., Henderson, E., Wilson, V., & Wright, J. (2009). Making Practice Visible: The Workplace Culture Critical Analysis Tool (WCCAT). Practice Development in Health Care.

Tuchman,B.,&Chapman,A.2.(2013).businessballs.com/tuckmanformingstormingnormingperforming.htm . Retrieved Dec 2017 , from http://www.businessballs.com/tuckmanformingstormingnormingperforming.htm

Appendix

Communication climatic Inventory

Scoring and Interpretation Sheet

Part 1: Defensive Scores

Evaluation

Neutrality

Question 1____1__________

Question 3 ____1________

Question 5 ____1______

Question 19 _______2_______

Question 21 _______1______

Question 23 _______1______

Subtotal __________3____

Subtotal ______4________

Control

Superiority

Question 7______1________

Question 9 ______1_______

Question 11 _____1_______

Question 25 ______1________

Question 27 _______1_______

Question 29 ________1______

Subtotal ______3________

Subtotal _______3_______

Strategy

Certainty

Question 1_____2_________

Question15_____1________

Question17_____1________

Question 31 _______1_______

Question 33 _______1_______

Question 35 ________1______

Subtotal _______4_______

Subtotal ________3______

Subtotal for Defensive Scores

Evaluation _______3_______

Control _________3_____

Strategy ________4______

Neutrality _______4_______

Superiority ______4________

Certainty ______3________

Total ______21________

Defensive Scale

Defensive, 18-40

Defensive to Neutral, 41-55

Neutral to Supportive, 56-69

Supportive, 70-90

Part II: Supportive Scores

Provisionalism                                  Spontaneity

Question 2 ________5______

5

Question 4 ________5______

Question 6 ________5______

Question 20 _______3_______

Question 22 _______5_______

Question 24 ________5______

Subtotal _______15_______

Sub total _______13_______

Empathy

Problem Orientation

Question 8 _____5_________

Question 10 ______5________

Question 12 _______5_______

Question 26 _______5_______

Question 28 _______5_______

Question 30 ________5______

Subtotal _______15_______

Sub total ________15______

Equality

Description

Question 14 ______5________

Question 16 _______5_______

Question 18 ________4______

Question 32 _______5_______

Question 34 ________1______

Question 36 _________5_____

Subtotal ______14________

Subtotal _______11_______

Subtotals for Supportive Scores

Provisionalism ____15__________

Empathy ______15________

Equality _________14_____

Spontaneity _______13_______

Problem Orientation __15____________

Description _______11_______

Total _____83_________

Supportive Scale

Supportive, 18-40

Supportive to Neutral, 41-55

Neutral to Defensive, 56-69

Defensive, 70-90

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