The mode of communicating to a boss, peer, or subordinate is different bearing in mind that each one of these individuals is unique. For example, when communicating with my boss, I am supposed to be procedural, composed, and straight to the point. Most communications with bosses are work-related and hence, there is a need to demonstrate a lot of seriousness. Also, a personal relationship is hardly developed between an employee and a boss. Even in cases whereby the boss is friendly, communication is still restricted to issues that are sensitive to work.
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In the case of a peer, the nature of communication is highly likely to be friendly, jocular, and quite liberal. Since peers are almost within the same age brackets, they are free to express themselves fully to each other without a significant element of fear. Peers can also reveal their innermost feelings and emotions when communicating with each other.
Communication with a subordinate is also different altogether. For example, a subordinate and a supervisor at work are more likely to restrict their conversations to work-related issues. There is also a tendency of concealing certain information when a subordinate is communicating with a senior employee.
As already discussed above, the communication pattern with each of the above individuals is completely different. If such communications are expected to yield certain decisions, then it is common knowledge that there will be a marked difference in the decision-making process. For instance, it is easy to make quick decisions when communicating with a peer compared to communicating with a boss. It may also require a short meeting between a boss and a subordinate before a final decision can be reached over an issue (Lewis & Graham, 2003).
Most people are poor listeners because listening is one of the most challenging skills to master in a conversation. The ability to be effective listeners demands two major skills, namely being attentive and also talking less. Unfortunately, most people prefer to be listened to instead of giving others a chance to talk to them. It is against this backdrop that organizations are supposed to improve the listening skills of their employees at the workplace so that there can be an effective flow of communication. Hence, organizations may engage their employees in capacity building and training so that they can learn the following listening tips.
To begin with, employees should be taught how to direct their attention to the conversation with fellow employees. Failure to concentrate when individuals are communicating is the main reason why most people are poor listeners. Second, employees should learn or be taught how to relay messages that are nonverbal after they have listened to their counterparts. The nonverbal messages may be in form of facial expressions and gestures. Employees should never rush to early evaluations or conclusions (Gesell, 2007). They are supposed to take adequate time before making conclusions in conversations.
Individuals who are defensive in their communication with other people can hardly be good listeners. Employees in organizations can be taught how to avoid taking a defensive position when communicating. They should learn how to submit themselves when engaging in conversations.
The ability to paraphrase statements is also an excellent skill in listening. Some direct statements cannot be relayed to other people unless they are paraphrased properly. On a personal level, I can improve my listening skills by observing emotions, feelings, and learning to ask questions whenever I need clarification on statements that are not clear (Gesell, 2007).
Gesell, I. (2007). Am I talking to me? The power of internal dialogue to help or hinder our full-body listening. The Journal for Quality and Participation, 30(3), 22-23.
Lewis, T. D., & Graham, G. (2003). 7 tips for effective listening. The Internal Auditor, 60(4), 23-25.