What is communication?
Communication is the process of sharing information in a simplistic form that is from the sender to the receiver and getting feedback.
Why do we communicate?
We communicate to –
- Enhance relationships within the workplace.
- Improve productivity in the workplace and thus guest satisfaction.
- To get things done right.
The main aspect of communication
- The Sender/Communicator of information – the sender may be an individual who is speaking. The sender is the source.
- The Content/Message – must be capable of being understood and interpreted by the sender and the audience.
- The Medium/Channel – communicated through the five senses e.g. seen (printed), heard (audio), seen and heard (television), touched, smelled and tested.
Forms of communication
- Body language.
- Signs language.
Constructive communication builds up:
- Employee morale.
- Positive relationships between people.
- Triggers conflict.
- Breeds dissension and divides teams.
- Results to resistance and sometimes to rebellion.
- Creates amenities.
Barriers to effective communication
- Allowing others to interrupt.
- Talking too much.
- Blaming others.
- Poor listening/speaking/writing habits.
- Too busy to communicate well.
- Personality differences e.g. attitude, picking the wrong time, place and method.
- Work destructions.
- Personality differences e.g. attitude.
- Lack of interest in the message.
- Being distracted by someone.
- A disorganized and confusing message.
- Poor listening skills.
- Emotions e.g. anger, fear, tension.
- Knowing what the message will be and turn out.
- Must be timely.
- Applicable to the situation.
Biases affecting communication
- First impression – making an immediate judgment when we meet someone.
- Stereotype – forming opinions about certain groups.
- Just like me – like those who behave and think just as we do.
- Halo or pick fork effect – liking/disliking someone because of one reason.
- Contrast effect – when we compare individuals with others and rank them as per our perceptions.
- Leniency/severity effect – judging someone positively or negatively.
Non-verbal communication/body language
a) Positive non-verbal communication
- Maintaining direct eye contact – good and friendly.
- Patting on the back-encouraging.
- Smiling –contented, understanding, encouraging.
- Leaning forward – attentive and interested.
- Erect position – self-confident, assertive.
b) Negative non-verbal communication
- Avoiding eye contact – implying coldness and evasive.
- Shaking head – implying avoiding.
- Scratching the head – implying disbelieving.
- Folding arms – implying angry.
- Slouching in the seat – implying bored, relaxed.
- Hunching-over – implying passive, insecure.
- Sitting on the edge of the seat – implying anxious o nervous.
- When the volume is too high, listeners feel you are pushy.
- When fast people may not hear you.
- When too low, you may seem shy, nervous or unassertive.
b) Vary your Speech
- Depending on the listener’s speech, and mood e.g. if one speaks softly because of confidentiality, you do the same
- Because communication is a two-way listening is important.
- Listen carefully and make meaningful eye contact.
- Give appropriate feedback.
- Should not be interrupted.
- Eliminate external destruction paraphrase when appropriate.
- When the speaker has finished confirm what they said.
“A Person Who Won’t Listen Won’t Learn Anything”
Tips when leaving messages
- State most important part of your message.
- Keep the message as short as possible.
- Be clear about what you want your receiver to know.
- Speak slowly and clearly – give your name and telephone number.
- If the person doesn’t know you, spell out your name and give the name of company and department.
- State the time you are likely to be available if your call has to be returned.
In the hospitality industry, communication plays a key role in relaying information from between two parties.